UTA honors Distinguished Alumni for commitment to University, community engagement

Monday, Oct 23, 2017 • Media Contact : Teresa Woodard Schnyder

The University of Texas at Arlington recognizes exemplary alumni who represent the University through professional achievement and community engagement while displaying the distinct mark of excellence associated with the Maverick spirit.

Each year these individuals are honored at the Distinguished Alumni Awards banquet, a highlight of UTA’s homecoming week. The 2017 Distinguished Alumni Awards will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, in the E.H. Hereford University Center Bluebonnet Ballroom on the UTA campus.

This year’s honorees are Roger A. Krone, Raj K. Nooyi, Mike Rhyner, Teresa White, Nafees Alam, and Frank and Jane Alexander. Alam will receive the Distinguished Recent Graduate Award. Frank and Jane Alexander will be named Distinguished Honorary Alumni.

Mike Rhyner, Nafees Alam, Teresa White, Frank and Jane Alexander, Raj Nooyi, and Roger Krone will be honored at UTA's 2017 Distinguished Alumni Awards.

The recipients’ accomplishments are impressive:

  • Roger A. Krone, ’81: Krone is chairman and chief executive officer of Leidos. With approximately $10 billion in annual revenue and 32,000 employees worldwide, Leidos is a recognized global leader in solving important problems in the defense, intelligence, homeland security and health industries. Before being named CEO in July 2014, Krone held leadership roles at some of the most prominent organizations in aerospace for nearly 40 years. Krone earned a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, a master's degree in aerospace engineering from UTA and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
  • Raj K. Nooyi, ’78: Nooyi is the retired vice president and global head, Supply Chain Management Center of Excellence, Tata Consultancy Services. Nooyi spent more than 35 years in the manufacturing industry designing, developing and implementing business solutions to improve supply chain operations, accelerate product innovation and effect organizational change. He co-pioneered the development of quantitative metrics and benchmarks for the consistent evaluation of inter-industry supply chain performance, which formed the basis for the development of SCOR – a process reference model that has become the universal medium to facilitate supply chain design and performance management. He holds a master’s degree in industrial engineering from UTA and serves as a member of the UTA President’s Advisory Board.
  • Mike Rhyner, ’81: Rhyner started his career in radio broadcasting in 1979 as a news intern at KZEW-FM. He has since become one of the most well-known sports radio personalities in the nation. He was responsible for creating The Ticket, a sports-talk radio station owned by Cumulus Media. Rhyner was named to ESPN’s list of Sports Radio Personalities of the Year in 1997, 1998 and 2003. He was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in 2014 and the Dallas Press Club Legends in 2016. He graduated from UTA in 1981 with a degree in radio broadcasting.  
  • Teresa White, ’88: White, president of Aflac U.S., is responsible for driving seamless strategy and execution across Aflac’s U.S. operations, including oversight and support of the company's extensive network of agents and brokers. In her role, she focuses on specific growth enablers including improving and expanding distribution, product innovation, customer experience and strengthening Aflac’s low-cost model. She has aligned sales and marketing operations in support of Aflac’s core strategy. White holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from UTA.
  • Nafees Alam, ’02: As CEO of DRG Concepts, one of the Southwest's premier restaurant development and operations companies, Alam directs a 300-plus-member team responsible for every facet of one of the region’s leading independent restaurant brands. DRG Concepts is an independent restaurant operating company in Dallas with brands that include Dallas Fish Market, Dallas Chop House, Wild Salsa, Chop House Burger, Oven & Cellar, and Farmers Common – all with original locations in downtown Dallas pivotal to the revitalization of the downtown area. Alam became CEO in 2014, has been named a Dallas Business Journal “40 Under 40” and has received the Faces of Diversity Award from the National Restaurant Association. He holds a bachelor of science degree in information sciences from UTA and a graduate degree in business from Southern Methodist University.
  • Frank and Jane Alexander: Longtime pillars in the community, Frank and Jane Alexander have given back to Arlington through their time and resources. Jane’s family members were early pioneers in Arlington – both Collins Street and Mayfield Road are named after them. She is the current owner of Stream Texas Now, a digital music service that streams all genres of Texas Music and film. Jane is an active member of the Levitt Pavilion Board of Directors, the advisory board for Dance Theatre of Arlington, and the University of Texas Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee. Frank has practiced dentistry in Arlington for more than 30 years and has served on the Board of Directors for Arlington Big Brothers and Big Sisters. He also is the chairman of the UT System’s Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee. Frank has been a member of the UTA President’s Advisory Board since 2003. The Alexanders have endowed an undergraduate scholarship, graduate fellowship and a postgraduate fellowship in bioengineering as well as donated a suite at College Park Center.

Tickets for the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Awards and table sponsorships at several levels are available at alumni.uta.edu/daawards. Contact Julie Barfield at 817-272-0040 or barfield@uta.edu for more information.

Previous Distinguished Alumni honorees include HKS chairman Ralph Hawkins, actor Lou Diamond Phillips and former NFL linebacker Cliff Odom.

--Tommy White, contributing writer