Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Ron Walli (wallira@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


ORNL's Smith, DOE's Brown winners of Muddy Boot Award

On the left, DOE Oak Ridge Office Deputy Manager Robert Brown (left) and ORNL Deputy Director for Operations Jeff Smith received Muddy Boot Awards from the East Tennessee Economic Council. On the right, Leigha Stewart (right), shown with Pat Postma, received the Postma Young Professional Medal, named for the late ORNL Director Herman Postma.
OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Dec. 4, 2008 — Jeff Smith, deputy director of operations at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Robert Brown, deputy manager for the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge Office, are the 2008 recipients of the Muddy Boot Award.

The East Tennessee Economic Council presents the award each year to a group or individual who has helped build the community's economic base.

Since April 2000, when UT-Battelle assumed management of ORNL, Smith has led a revitalization effort that has transformed ORNL into one of the world's most modern laboratories. Using a creative method of private financing, and through partnerships developed with the state of Tennessee and the Department of Energy, he has overseen more than $350 million in new construction on the ORNL campus.

The award was presented today at ETEC's annual meeting at the Doubletree Hotel.

"The reason Jeff was selected for the Muddy Boot, above and beyond the long list of activities on his resume, is the passion and creativity he brings to each of the projects he touches," said Jim Campbell, president of ETEC. "While we may have dreamed of using private capital to redevelop ORNL, it was Jeff's commitment, his drive and his genius that made it work."

Smith also serves as a senior leader for Battelle Memorial Institute on operational matters in Battelle's laboratory operations sector, providing insight and coordination across the systems of laboratories managed by Battelle. He also serves as chair of the National Laboratory Chief Operating Officer's Working Group. In this role Smith coordinates activities with DOE's senior operations managers and the national laboratory directors.

For six months in 2002 he supported the White House's Transition Planning Office, participating in the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.

Smith is active in Oak Ridge and Knoxville, serving on several boards, including ETEC and the Metropolitan Airport Authority. He is a private pilot and has built his own airplane.

Native Oak Ridger Brown, who was named to his position in May 2007, is responsible for the integration of the operational and internal business activities of Oak Ridge operations and serves as a focal point to address cross-cutting issues, internal initiatives and continuity of leadership in Oak Ridge.

Prior to being named deputy manager, Brown served as chief operating officer DOE's Oak Ridge Operations. Before that, he served as assistant manager for assets utilization, an organization created to consolidate efforts in reindustrialization, metal recycling and a major environmental cleanup program at East Tennessee Technology Park.

Reindustrialization has been a major focus for Brown, and over the last several years his determination and "can-do" attitude have led to 99 businesses leasing space at ETTP.

Before becoming assets manager in 1996, Brown was deputy manager for Oak Ridge Operations' Construction and Engineering Division. Brown also served as director of the Project Management Division and deputy assistant manager of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in Louisiana, where for six years he was a project engineer for the petroleum reserve.

Brown, a native of St. Louis, received a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from the University of Tennessee. Before joining the Atomic Energy Commission, a predecessor of DOE, he was employed as an engineer for the Pittsburgh-Des Moines Steel Company in Birmingham, Ala.

The Muddy Boot Award was created in the 1970s to honor people who have gone above the call of duty to make the Oak Ridge community, the state and the nation a better place, Campbell said. More than 70 individuals have received this award. A complete list of recipients and more information about the award can be found at the ETEC web site (www.eteconline.org).

Also honored today was ORNL's Leigha Edwards, who received the Postma Young Professional Medal in recognition of her leadership in the workplace and the community. Edwards is manager of protocol and community outreach for ORNL.

"Leigha excels at building strong relationships with business and community partners," Campbell said. "She has excellent communication skills and, most important, really enjoys her work and the people around her."

She is a graduate of Leadership Oak Ridge, the East Tennessee Regional Leadership Association, and serves on the Leadership Oak Ridge Alumni Board. Edwards is also a member of the Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary Club and served as chair of its community service committee.