UT Arlington will recognize six alumni for their professional achievements, community engagement, and loyalty to their alma mater at the 49th annual Distinguished Alumni Awards on Nov. 21.
The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor bestowed on alumni by the University. The 2014 honorees are Baron Concors ’93, Serena Simmons Connelly ’95, Jim Greer ’84, Fred Perpall ’96, ’98, and Bruce ’90 and Vicki Tanner ’79.
Concors, who earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from UT Arlington, is chief digital officer for Pizza Hut, an operating company of Yum! Brands. He is responsible for digital technology, digital marketing, and digital ventures to ensure that Pizza Hut fully engages its technology-connected consumers. Previously he was chief information officer for Yum! Restaurants International, overseeing KFC and Pizza Hut information technology in more than 120 countries, as well as chief information and digital officer for Pizza Hut U.S.
Connelly is the director of philanthropy for the Harold Simmons Foundation. Established in 1988, the foundation supports programs that advance human dignity, a safe and enriching environment, and comprehensive support systems for individuals, children, and families. She holds a master’s degree in social work from UT Arlington and worked in Dallas nonprofit agencies as a case manager before joining the Simmons Foundation as a grant reviewer in 1999. She has served on numerous advisory councils of organizations in North Texas and beyond.
Greer is senior vice president and chief operating officer for Oncor Electric Delivery, overseeing all distribution and transmission engineering construction, maintenance and operations, and system operations and measurement activities. He joined the Texas Utilities Co. system in 1984 after completing his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at UT Arlington. A registered professional engineer in Texas, he has held numerous leadership positions at Oncor and its predecessor companies spanning engineering, operations, and governmental relations.
Perpall, who received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture at UT Arlington, is chief executive officer of The Beck Group. He oversees all aspects of the firm’s domestic real estate, design, and construction practice and focuses on driving Beck’s strategy to eliminate waste in the implementation of real estate assets. He began his career in the design and construction industry in 1996 and has been a registered architect since 2003.
Bruce Tanner is executive vice president and chief financial officer for Lockheed Martin Corp. He is responsible for all aspects of the company’s financial strategies, processes, and operations. He previously served as vice president of finance and business operations for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., overseeing financial management, accounting, estimating, contracts, and program finance. He earned an MBA in finance from UT Arlington.
Vicki Tanner worked 12 years in various financial analysis positions with General Dynamics before pursuing a career in education. She has taught elementary school for more than 20 years in Texas and Maryland. She graduated from UT Arlington with a BBA in accounting and holds a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University. The Tanners, who are receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award as a couple, established the Bruce and Vicki Tanner Endowment for Math and Science Education in the UTA College of Science.