Andy Page: Taking ORAU Further Together

“Further together” is more than an organizational motto for ORAU President and CEO Andy Page—it’s how he believes success in life or in business is attained.

Throughout Page’s career, which includes 25 years of service in the Marine Corps, he has finessed a leadership style that emphasizes teamwork and relies on unleashing the power of ORAU’s employees, researchers, scientists and students to solve some of the nation’s most challenging scientific problems.

Before accepting his appointment as ORAU’s president in 2009, Page honed his skills as a team builder and leader in the honored tradition of the U. S. Marine Corps through progressively accepting greater roles and responsibilities as part of his service. Serving as an Infantry Officer in the Marine Corps Fleet Marine and Security Forces plus high level staff assignments at Headquarters Marine Corps, and as deputy branch head of amphibious ships and programs on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon, Page believes it was certain moments in his career that defined how he would later lead the ranks at ORAU.

One of the most exciting and focused times in Page’s career in the Marine Corps was being a part of the first special operations capable Marine Expeditionary Units deployed to the Mediterranean shortly following a fatal bombing of the Marine barracks at the Beirut International Airport. His unit’s mission was to be involved with over the horizon noncombatant evacuation operations, amphibious raids and peacekeeping efforts off the coast of Lebanon after 241 U.S. service men and women were killed in the Beirut bombing, 220 of those being Marines.

“Being involved in operations like this one required performing at the highest level of security and operating as nothing less than a high functioning team,” Page said. “We were suddenly thrust into a very high tempo of operations and required to conduct any number of special operations to fit new mission profiles after the bombing in Beirut. The urgency and importance of the deployment and preparation for its missions created a special bond of teamwork in my unit which I have never forgotten”.

Recalling that experience, Page reminisced on the somber time his unit had a CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter crash into the ocean while training for one of these new special operations. Of the 19 on board, 14 Marines and the Battalion’s Navy Chaplain were killed.

“We only had a day to recover the deceased and their equipment, Page recalled. “The next morning we had to be ready to do the mission again.”

What stays with him today was in the pre-dawn darkness of that morning, seeing one of the Marines who survived the crash, a Satellite Radio Operator, laden down with all his radio and tactical equipment standing in the helicopter team ready to go again. After this young Marine had barely survived the fatal crash the day before, he was ready to participate in the same operation the next day.

“He was the first one in line,” Page recalls. “Because I was there when we rescued him the day before, I think I was the only one who recognized him as one of the crash victims. I put my arms around him and asked if he was okay and he said, ‘just fine, Sir-Semper Fi (Always Faithful).’ That Marine’s dedication, courage and commitment to our unit and mission has always stayed with me as the one of the best examples of leadership I witnessed during my service– and it didn’t come from a high ranking general or staff non-commissioned officer, but from a Private First Class Radio Operator.

Page said this taught him that leadership and inspiration can, and usually does, come from any level of an organization and can be manifested in the simplest of ways. Through these mission-focused experiences, he learned that teamwork is the best solution to solving a problem, which is the leadership style he upholds at ORAU.

Today as president and CEO, Page provides comprehensive oversight, strategic direction and leadership for ORAU and its diverse set of missions involving STEM workforce development, scientific assessment, worker health, environmental management and radiological emergency response. A part of ORAU’s mission involves providing support to a myriad of government programs, such as ORAU’s flagship contract with the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE). ORAU also supports the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and DOE national labs including Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the National Energy Technology Laboratory. In 2017, ORAU was awarded the Tennessee Valley Corridor (TVC) Champion Award for its demonstrated leadership, contributing to economic development, developing advanced technology and promoting collaborative efforts.

Beyond taking ORAU employees to their greatest potential, Page encourages a company-wide attitude of altruism through community service initiatives. Since 2001, ORAU has contributed 416,000 books to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Additional community projects that ORAU has made a priority in 2017 included building and sponsoring its third Habitat for Humanity house in Anderson County and contributing $100,000 toward the building of a Peace Pavilion for the International Friendship Bell. ORAU celebrated its 10th year of Extreme Classroom Makeover in 2018, which provides $25,000 in technology and classroom upgrades to an East Tennessee teacher. Since the program’s inception, ORAU has provided $336,000 in Extreme Classroom Makeovers to area schools. Through ORAU’s Education Grants program, $487,000 has been awarded in the past 15 years to local teachers for funding educational projects that enrich STEM programs. In March, ORAU partnered with ORISE and the Oak Ridge Rotary Club to package 20,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger. This year, however, Page said he is most excited about finding new ways to empower employees.

“I’d really like to give employees more latitude to question those above them and voice concerns. I want to ensure them that their ideas are being heard,” Page said. “I still remember what that Radio Operator taught me from my Marine Corps days: that leadership and inspiration can come from any and every level of the organization.”

Page lives in West Knoxville with his wife, Cheryl, five dogs and a cat. In his spare time, he is the logistician and pay master for “The Page Family Shameless Princess Tours” at Disney World with his granddaughter Annabel and all the other “princesses” in the family. He also likes to spend time at his beach house in North Carolina.

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Be A Good Boy, Harry Burn

It was August 18, 1920 when tempers flared and the pressure on the State of Tennessee became unbearable, the venue was a special legislative session to ratify the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. Congress needed 36 of the 40 states to ratify in order to amend the US Constitution. It all came down to one vote, one state, one mother’s letter and one 24 year old named Harry Burn.

Harry Burn was a Republican Tennessee State Representative, his mother, Phoebe (Febb) Burn was a woman of intelligence reading three newspapers daily. However, no matter how intelligent, she could not vote. Men in her employ on the farm could vote despite their inability to read or write.

So stood Representative Harry Burn in 1920 with the deciding vote to break the 48-48 tie in favor of ratifying the 19th amendment. In all previous discussions, Burn was voting against the ratification. With the words of his mother’s letter on his heart, he changed that vote to yes, breaking the deadlock and receiving a angry reaction from his fellow General Assembly members. That one changed mind from that one mother’s letter made Tennessee the decisive state passing the 19th Amendment.

A monument honoring Harry T. Burn and his mother for their roles in the right to vote was erected by the Suffrage Coalition in Knoxville near Clinch Avenue & Market Square. It features Febb Burn standing with son, Harry Burn seated, her hand gripping his shoulder, a statement in sculpture expressing the encouragement for him to vote in favor of ratification, to forbid the US Constitution from restricting voting privileges on the basis of gender.

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The Best Kept Secret in Town? The secret is getting out… We might have a “renowned architect” in our midst.

His name is Jonathan Miller, and the work he does is being admired all over the Southeast by sophisticated clientele who appreciate the finest things.

They understand the world of business, custom residential architecture, international interior design, the fine art world, and the level of custom home design they can get from the talent of Jonathan Miller Architecture.

Now, instead of Knoxville homeowners going to big cities to acquire top-shelf residential architectural services, big city folks are starting to look in Knoxville for Jonathan Miller. Residents in places like Nashville, Atlanta and Birmingham are beginning to understand Knoxville is the place to find an architect.

These people appreciate how their experience and vision are expressed through the design collaboration between themselves and Jonathan. The experience is similar to that provided by the famous guys in big cities.

One homeowner says, “Once you have lived in one of Jonathan’s homes for a while, you begin to realize you are living in a house that was DESIGNED. You start to see things that were PLANNED…the way the light comes through the house in the morning… the different sizes and positions of the windows…the size of the rooms…the views from one room to another and the way they open onto each other. You start to think…how did Jonathan KNOW that?”

“I did not know what I was getting when I moved into the home. But after living here for 10 years, I get it now. I appreciate it every day. I learned a lot, and I would never build another home without Jonathan.”

Once you live in rooms and designed outdoor spaces like these, you come to value them as your own. They serve as a platform for you to express your own personality in the space. You understand. You get it.

Over time, these spaces become YOUR spaces…they are personal and intimate…and you will never go back. If you have to move…you want to recreate them…and where do you turn for that?

Well…there is a guy named Jonathan Miller in Knoxville, Tennessee.

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Chef Omar Samawi And Water Into Wine Win Farragut Food and Wine Festival

SHOP FARRAGUT and the Town of Farragut presented the 9th Annual Farragut Food & Wine Festival again this year to rave reviews.

The Farragut Food & Wine Festival is an event of the Farragut Business Alliance aka SHOP FARRAGUT. Their mission is to positively impact Farragut’s economic growth by assisting new businesses, supporting and promoting existing businesses and, in coordination with the Town of Farragut, aiding in the economic development and promotion of the community.

The much anticipated evening brought more than 1,200 food lovers to 11240 Kingston Pike, area across from Farragut High School, for an evening of culinary arts from over 24 local restaurants and bakeries.

The festival introduced attendees to amazing flavors with a showcase of samples from each food provider that could be paired with wine & beer, if desired. The great line-up bringing those flavors to savor included Restaurant Linderhof, The Cutting Edge Classroom, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Seasons Café, Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop, Citico of Wind River, Clean Eatz, Don Delphi’s Pancakes & Restaurant, Water Into Wine, Longhorn Steakhouse, Buddy’s BBQ and The Casual Pint just to name a few.

Attendees enjoyed general admission to walk around tasting the varied food vendors and beverages or the “VIB” admission to the Very Important Bites tent offering a sit-down 4 course plated tasting from different Chefs. The VIB tent paired each food selection with a wine as volunteers were available to provide details on the chef selections and beverage pairings. All festival attendees were given a rate card upon entrance for scoring the tastings, each card was submitted and tabulated to determine the winning Taste of Farragut.

Food is not all there was to be enjoyed at this event, Live music entertained from the center of the festival where a tent with banquet style seating was available. There was something for all ages to enjoy and the festival setting allowed attendees to enjoy family, friends and even make new friends from Farragut and the surrounding region.

The 9th Annual Farragut Food & Wine Festival closed with a celebration for the winning dish, Prime Rib Crostinis by Water Into Wine, Bistro & Lounge located at 607 N. Campbell Station Rd. Also voted Best Wine Menu in Knoxville, Water Into Wine offers a full bar, local craft beers, artisan food pairings in addition to fresh cocktails and over 100 wines that change monthly. The mission at Water Into Wine is to provide a warm, cozy, social lounge and eatery which promotes relationships, connection opportunities and local patronage, all while offering the enjoyment of wine and artisan food pairing in the heart of the community. Congratulations to Owner, Candace Viox and Chef Omar Samawi on being the Taste of Farragut!

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The Best of East Tennessee

Camping in Tennessee is a time-honored tradition, to take in the natural beauty of our Smoky Mountains and the changing leaves in the fall that would leave Vermont jealous. When you live in the city, however, it can be hard to know which camping spots are best for a family trip, an overnight or just a quick hike through the woods. Here’s a quick list of the best places to enjoy nature whenever you feel the need to get out there, but not too far from home.

One of the most popular campsites in East Tennessee is called Cades Cove. Located just 11 miles from Townsend, the campground is open year-round with check-in starting at 11 am. Not only is it beautiful and populated with Tennessee wildlife such as white-tailed deer, black bears, coyotes and turkeys, it also has a great historical value to Tennessee. The Native American Cherokee tribe used to hunt at Cades Cove, and the settlers of the area left behind the most varied historical buildings concentrated in the Smoky Mountains! Offering everything from RV camping spots to tents, you can rough it however you feel comfortable.

Also in Townsend is the Little River Campground. Recently under new management, the park boasts fishing, camping, a newly redesigned bathhouse, as well as WiFi and mature trees. With day passes from $15, the Little River is the perfect little spot in the Smokies.

Hidden in Tellico, meanwhile, is a place called Indian Boundary. Considered the Crown Jewel of Cherokee forest, Indian Boundary is an 87-spot campground that boasts a variety of activities like swimming, fishing, biking and wildlife observation. Only open from April to November, it costs $10 a night to stay at any standard electricity-supplied space.

One of my favorite spots in Crossville is called Deer Run RV Resort. Open year-round with a $10 refundable gate fee,

Deer Run RV Resort is gorgeous no matter the weather. With an enormous lake for fishing, swimming and waterboarding, a pool, as well as access to a communal shower and activities planned by staff throughout the day, Deer Run RV Resort is a great place to bring the family. And you don’t need an RV, either – they offer places for tent camping as well as cabins. There are limited hiking trails, but this is a place to sit and enjoy yourself by the water.

Other family-friendly parks include the Norris Dam State Park that offers several lengths of hiking trails, several pull-ins and nearby attractions like the Museum of Appalachia. Not including the $5 non-refundable reservation fee, the campground at Norris Dam costs between $15-$27 a night depending on where you stay. This park does include a laundromat, so you can stay long after the first socks get muddy. If you prefer climbing over hiking, The Obed Lilypad on the Cumberland Plateau is a climber’s paradise and inexpensive at $5 a night. Though it sits on private land, the Obed Lilypad is open to all those who want to tackle Tennessee’s rocky top.

If you want a splashing good time, Tennessee has plenty of waterfalls, creeks and bends to keep you cool in our famously humid summers. Down in Hiwassee, the Gee Creek Campground in Hiwassee/Ocoee State Scenic River State Park offers a cool swim, a fishing area and even rafting. It is a primitive campground, however, catering to tent users. Depending on how many people are in your party, campsites can be anywhere from $30-$80 a night. If you want something water-related that’s a little more exciting,

Nolichucky Gorge on the Nolichucky River near the Tri-cities has the answer. Offering tubing, swimming and its signature whitewater rafting in late spring, Nolichucky Gorge can either be relaxing or exciting depending on what you’re looking for. Nolichucky Gorge also offers places for RVs and offers cabins if you want the outdoors to stay out. If you’re only looking to stay for the day, it’s $4 per person, and if you want an overnight, prices range from $11.50 a person (kids for $5) to $219 a night for the deluxe family cabin that sleeps 14.

But maybe a relaxing day trip isn’t what you want in a camping experience. Maybe you’re looking for a classic, overnight, backpacking, roughing it experience worthy of stories by the fire both in and outside the house. Given our proximity to the Appalachian Trail, you’re in luck. With over 50 miles of trails, Frozen Head State Park in the Cumberland Mountain offers 10 backcountry sites for backpackers and adventurers. The rates are between $8 and $35 a night. They ask that no one hikes a trail at night, due to the obvious risks involved. For night hiking, the Big South Fork National Park, also on the Cumberland Plateau, offers trails ranging from 11-55 miles for all levels of backpackers. A backcountry permit is required, however, and can be obtained for $5 depending on how many people will be traveling together. Open year-round, the park has no entrance fees.

No matter what your skill, or what you want out of your camping experience, there’s a park for you. Whether you’re an experienced backpacker or an RV owner hoping to enjoy the outdoors, there’s a park for you. Whether you want to whitewater raft or take a tubing cruise, there’s a park for you. Take advantage of the beautiful outdoors of Tennessee. The fantastic natural scenery is waiting.

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