Staff Bios

Linda Arms

 

Linda Arms is an Administrative Coordinator for UT CIS. Arms holds 20 years of experience in administration including account, customer service, and finance. She has served in positions with the Tennessee Valley Authority and Smurfit Stone Container Corporation, where she held a number of positions of increasing responsibility. Her experience has led her to quickly accommodate to a fast-paced work environment and to succeed as an employee of the University of Tennessee.

 


Debbie Barber

 

Debbie Barber is a PTAC Counselor at UT CIS for the Middle Tennessee area. Barber counsels companies on federal contract processes and federal acquisition regulations. Her expertise includes helping companies with certification processes, sourcing government business opportunities in Tennessee, and providing assistance to women-owned business.

Barber holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree. She has worked in the field of procurement for 25 years and has retained positions as Program Director at Ohio PTAC and President of the National Contract Management Association. She maintains certifications for Certified Procurement Professional (CPP), Certified Veterans Assistance Counselor, and Certified Contracting Assistance Specialist from the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance.

 


Kathy Barber

 

Kathy Barber joined UT CIS as an Economic Development Specialist in October 2017.  Her primary focus is to manage the Asset Based Planning initiative, working with rural communities across the state to leverage community assets for economic development.

Barber gained her experience and passion for economic development while serving six years at the Oak Ridge Economic Partnership as Existing Industry Manager and Economic Development Project Manager for the Oak Ridge, TN community.  She was also actively involved in workforce development, tech-led economic development, and promoting entrepreneurship as part of the regional initiative – Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley.

Barber grew up in the metro area of Denver, CO, and earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Marketing from the University of Northern Colorado.  She is a 2009 graduate of Leadership Oak Ridge.

 


Donna Bridges

 

Donna Bridges serves as an Accounting Specialist for UT CIS. Based in the CIS office in Nashville, her responsibilities include office supply management and processing accounts receivable, including reconciling credit card payments for all IPS agencies. She has previously served as a registration assistant and travel coordinator for UT CIS.

 


Veronica Clark

 

Veronica Clark is a Procurement Consultant for UT CIS. Clark provides capability statement reviews and company registration assistance (i.e., DUNS, EIN, and SAMS) for CIS customers interested in procurement opportunities with units of government and prime contractors. She holds 12 years of experience in project management, marketing, and communications, for which she has held director-level positions in administration, marketing, and community engagement.

Clark holds a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Business Administration (MBA).

 


Michael Codega

 

Michael Codega is a Solutions Consultant at UT CIS for the Memphis area. Codega serves Tennessee manufacturers by assisting in improving profitability, business effectiveness, and providing resources to insure a safe, healthy, and regulatory compliant workplace.  He collaborates with state, regional, and independent resources to offer solutions helping following CIS’s mission to build a “better Tennessee.”

Codega has over 35 years of experience as a senior executive and consultant working across North America and internationally. He has supported companies that have been selected as benchmarks by professional associations as well as regional and state organizations for business excellence and community support. In addition, he has directed or advised on lean and six sigma deployments, organization assessment and cultural transformation, leadership development, strategic planning, and ISO quality and environmental certifications. Codega received his bachelor’s degree and Master of Business Administration from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

 


Kim Denton

 

Kim Denton serves as the Tennessee Certified Economic Developer (TCED) Director for UT CIS.  The TCED Program provides quality training, continuing education and professional development opportunities for economic and community development practitioners and community leaders.

Denton came to the university in 2014 as Associate Director in the UT Office of Corporate & Foundation Engagement, which connects industry and foundation partners to opportunities in research, innovation, technology and economic development.  Denton also served as Associate Director of Corporate Relations in the UT Haslam College of Business, where she built a corporate engagement program and managed corporate partnerships.

Prior to coming to UT, Denton spent 15 years as President/CEO of the Oak Ridge Economic Partnership leading the economic development efforts for greater Oak Ridge.  She previously served as Marketing Director for Tennessee’s Resource Valley (now ETEDA) and as Director of Marketing & Corporate Communications for PHP Companies (now Humana). 

Denton is past chair of the Tennessee Economic Partnership, past president of the Tennessee Economic Development Council and currently sits on the CDFA Tennessee Advisory Committee, Big Brothers Big Sisters Inner Circle Council and Blount Mansion Board of Directors.  

Denton earned her Bachelor of Science in Marketing Communications from the University of Florida and is a Certified Economic & Community Developer.  She is married to Dennis Denton, an account manager with WW Grainger.

 


Misty DePriest

 

Misty DePriest is the Resource Manager for the TN Manufacturing Extension Partnership housed in the University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services. DePriest started at UT CIS as a Manufacturing Consultant, and has over twelve years of experience managing manufacturing operations and continuous improvement projects across a broad range of industries. She is also a certified National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) lean trainer, and has trained thousands of executives, managers, engineers and operators in the principles of Lean Manufacturing. She has facilitated over one hundred lean implementation events with companies in various industries and specializes in Kaizen implementation to create value and profitability for her customers.

DePriest holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Master of Science in Engineering Management from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. She is also a SME Bronze level lean certified sensei and a Tennessee Certified Economic Developer.

 


Chuck Gluck

 

Chuck Gluck is a Safety Consultant at UT CIS. Gluck assists industries with all phases of occupational safety training and inspection, including generating and interpreting fire and OSHA codes for emergency responders. He provides instruction for OSHA General Industry Outreach, 40-Hour HAZWOPER, 16-HHour OT, and refresher training programs.

Gluck holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Safety management and ICS, 100, 200, 30, 400, 700, and 800 certifications. He has served as a professional firefighter for 37 years and Fire Life Safety Consultant for 25 years. His other roles include Hazardous Materials Specialist and Incident Commander.

 


Bill Hicks

 

Bill Hicks serves as the Solutions Consultant at UT CIS for the East Tennessee area. Hicks spent 10 years as a Resource Consultant while sharing his expertise in environmental, health, and safety regulations, various management systems standards, and lean manufacturing. Prior to rejoining CIS as a Solutions Consultant in July 2016, Hicks served in a variety of roles, both technical and managerial, in multiple Tennessee manufacturing companies and the Tennessee Valley Authority. Bill is an alumnus of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where he received his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1991.


Hannah Holder

 

As the UT CIS Information Specialist, Hannah Holder develops, manages and implements marketing communications for the organization. Hannah graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2014 with a BFA in Graphic Design, and she is currently pursuing her masters degree in Digital Marketing at East Tennessee State University.

 


Walter Idol

 

Walter Idol is a Program Manager and Safety Consultant at UT CIS, for which he manages the Emergency Preparedness Program. His tasks include developing and delivering safety and emergency response training programs and audits to manufacturers, first responders, public works, and healthcare organizations. As an OSHA Authorized Outreach Trainer, he specializes in training responders for confined spaces, trench and structural collapse, and machinery rescue in compliance with OSHA regulations.

Idol’s background consists of 40 years in emergency response with additional experience in Company Officer and Chief of Department roles. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree and is a Licensed Paramedic.

 


Carol Jones

 

Carol Jones is an Administrative Specialist for UT CIS. Prior to joining UT CIS, Jones worked extensively in the print and digital publishing field. She previously worked for Baird Ward Printing Company in Nashville as a data entry operator and desktop publishing coordinator. More recently, she served as an advertising traffic manager at Salem Communications, which led her to promote several magazines at various conferences and live music events across North America.

A native Nashvillian, Jones attended Nashville State Community College and Middle Tennessee State University. She was granted the Meeting & Event Planning certificate from Belmont University. She has two grown sons who are both UT graduates (UTK & UTC).

 


Martha Kelley

 

Martha Kelley is a Performance Improvement Consultant for UT CIS, where she focuses on both internal and client-driven process improvement projects. Her background includes team and personal development coursework for a variety of university clients. She is skilled in continuous quality improvement, strategic planning, team training, and leadership development. She is certified in the Myer Briggs Type Inventory, the FIRO-B (Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation – Behavior) assessment, and the CPI 260 executive coaching tool.

 


Bryan Lane

 

Bryan Lane is a Safety Consultant and Program Coordinator at UT CIS. Lane manages the Southeastern OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Center in Tennessee, which provides OSHA standards and trainer classes for participants interested in becoming Authorized OSHA Outreach Trainers. As an OSHA Authorized Outreach Trainer, Lane develops and delivers safety training, conducts safety audits, and develops OSHA-compliant safety programs for Tennessee companies. His expertise include OSHA 10-Hour and OSHA 30-Hour General Industry, OSHA 10-Hour Construction, OSHA Safety Program Development, OSHAS Standard-Specific Training, Accident Investigation and OSHA 18001 Training and Auditing.

Lane’s expertise includes 30 years of industry and consulting experience in safety and quality assurance, inventory control, lean manufacturing, and sales. He holds a bachelor’s degree and a certification for OHSAS 18001 Internal Auditor.

 


Paul Middlebrooks

 

Paul Middlebrooks is a Program Manager and PTAC Counselor at UT CIS for the East Tennessee area. Middlebrooks provides technical assistance to Tennessee industries interested in procurement opportunities with units of government. With 40 years of marketing and consulting experience, Middlebrooks helps companies with marketing research and strategy, analyzing solicitation contracts, and understanding federal acquisition regulations. He is skilled in business and supply chain development, bid estimating, GSA schedule contracting, and project management.

Middlebrooks holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. He is Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certified and maintains other certifications including Certified Contracting Assistance Specialist, Certified Project Management Professional (PMP), and Certified Veterans Business Counselor.

 


Danny Norman

 

Danny Norman is the Advanced Composites Technical Specialist in the Tennessee NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (TMEP) Program at UT CIS.  His responsibilities include development of training that highlights research, projects and technology developed at IACMI, the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation. Norman develops resources to enable MEP Practitioners to identify SMEs that can take advantage of carbon fiber or other fiber reinforcements and assist SMEs in design, materials selection, process planning and integration. 

Before joining TMEP, Norman worked as a technology commercialization specialist and focused on patent licensing of energy tech, smart sensors, mechanical systems and other commercialization opportunities, enabling two patent licenses from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Y-12 National Security.  He has eight years of experience as a business specialist with a focus on mechanical technology commercialization.

Norman holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Mechanics from Lipscomb University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee with a concentration in marketing and entrepreneurship.

 


Beth Phillips

 

As the leader of UT CIS’s Economic Development program, Beth Phillips works to connect businesses, communities, and organizations to the resources of the university and its partners. With over 30 years of experience in economic and community development, Phillips has engaged in projects across the state to attract new jobs and investment, support existing business, and enhance community economic competitiveness. She specializes in helping regions leverage their unique assets to grow jobs and investment and developing effective partnerships and strategies for these communities.

A longtime resident of Knoxville, Phillips holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and transportation from the University of Georgia and a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Tennessee.

 


Dwaine Raper

 

Dwaine Raper leads the Solutions Consultant Team at UT CIS, the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partner Center serving the state of TN.  The CIS Solutions Consultant Team provides industrial extension services throughout the state of TN, working with manufacturers and industry partners to grow by helping them improve performance and profitability. Before joining CIS in 2007, Raper attained 15 years of manufacturing operations and supply chain management experience with manufacturing companies in the automotive and electronics industries.

Raper holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business administration from East Tennessee State University.  He also maintains supply chain management related professional certifications; Certified Production and Inventory Manager (CPIM) and Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), both from APICS – The Association for Operations Management.

 


Lynn Reed

 

As a Productivity Consultant at UT CIS, Lynn Reed develops and delivers ISO 14001:2015 environment system training and assistance to industries. He also provides environmental regulatory EPCRA Tier II and EPCRA Form Reporting assistance to these industries and other communities. Additionally, Reed is skilled in implementing ISO 9001:2015 principles, product failure mode effect analysis (PFMEA), and 8D, as well as customizing supply chain development programs.

Reed holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering. His background covers 43 years of industry experience as a chemical and industrial engineer. He is Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certified and maintains other certifications for ISO Environment Management System Lead Auditor and ISO Quality Management System Lead Auditor.

 


Felicia Roberts

 

Felicia Roberts serves as an Administrative Coordinator for UT CIS and manages the training registration administrative processes which include maintaining catalog training schedules, processing registration requests and handling logistics for training events. Roberts worked for nearly 20 years in the Knoxville area as a Production Manager coordinating various schedules before joining CIS in March 2016.

 


James Ruble

 

James Ruble is the Embedded Advanced Composites Outreach Consultant at UT CIS. Ruble is responsible for working with the TMEP-IACMI project team to translate the work activities at IACMI on advanced composite materials. In addition, he has developed a tool kit of resources, programs and services that enable CIS and MEP practitioners to raise awareness of advanced composites, identify SMEs interested in advanced composites, and assist SMEs in adopting advanced composites in Tennessee and the other nine states of the Project Region.

Prior to joining the university, Ruble was the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Center Director at the Ohio Development Services Agency. He was responsible for advancing Ohio’s manufacturing economic development goals through strategic planning, organizational leadership and facilitating statewide partnerships. Ruble worked at the Ohio Department of Education as the STEM Coordinator and Educational Consultant for Engineering and Manufacturing. He was also an Engineering and Design Instructor at Tolls Career and Technical Center, where he received the Ohio ACTE 2008 Outstanding New Career Technical Educator. In addition, Ruble spent several years working as an engineer in the manufacturing industry.

Ruble received an Associate of Applied Science in Quality Technology from Columbus State Community College, a Bachelor of Science in Technical Management and Masters of Business Administration from Franklin University, and a Master of Education from Ohio Dominican University.

 


Russell Toone

 

Russell Toone is a PTAC Counselor at UT CIS for the West Tennessee area. Toone specializes in counseling companies on RFP submittals and military specification (MillSPec) requirements. His experience includes 44 years in industry and consulting with expertise in federal acquisition regulations training and assistance to industries with a focus on veteran-owned businesses.

Toone is a Vietnam Veteran and holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering. He is Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certified and a Certified Contract Assistance Specialist (CCAS).

 


Norma Wilcox

 

Norma Wilcox is a Solutions Consultant for UT CIS for the Northern Middle Tennessee area. Wilcox is responsible for promoting the resources of UT CIS to business and industry in her region.

Wilcox previously worked with the Small Business Development Center at The University of Central Missouri counseling small businesses on marketing and promotion. She also helped create and manage MoPAL ( Missouri Product Assistance Laboratory) at UCM. MoPAL provided quality measurement services for product design and development for small businesses. Her industrial experience was with The General Electric Company as a Sales Engineer for the motors and motor control division and with The Eaton Corporation as a product application coordinator.

Wilcox graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering. She also holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from The University of Central Missouri and was awarded the Lucas F. Sterne Outstanding MBA Graduate Student Award.