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2018 Alumni Achievement Awards


August 12, 2019 By Webb Alumni Office

During our 2018 Spartan Alumni Weekend, ten Webb alumni, nominated by their classmates and representing this year’s reunion classes, were honored at the third annual Alumni Achievement Awards Luncheon. These individuals have distinguished themselves in their respective careers and have achieved outstanding success in their chosen professions while upholding the mission of Webb School.

Doug McCarty ’68is President and Chief Executive Officer of McCarty Holsaple McCarty, Inc. (MHM). As far back as 1982 when McCarty was design coordinator for the World’s Fair, he has provided leadership for many of MHM’s most prominent projects in East Tennessee, including the Knoxville Convention Center, McGhee Tyson Airport Terminal expansion and improvements, renovations to University of Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium, and restoration of the historical Tennessee Theatre.

McCarty received his Bachelor of Architecture from University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT), and later attended the Graduate School of Planning at

Princeton University. He is active in both professional and community groups, always finding time to champion the profession of architecture. A member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), McCarty was Honorary Co-Chair of the UT College of Architecture & Design Century 21 Campaign. He also served on the UT College of Architecture & Design Board of Advisors.

 

Ed Sims ’73is Chief Executive Officer at TIS Insurance. A graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a degree in general business, Sims was previously president of TIS’ HealthCa’re Services – a division he started in 1994 and helped grow to $12 million in revenue within

20 years. He attended Safeco’s Commercial and Personal Lines training program in Seattle, Wash., and earned his Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) professional designation over 25 years ago.

After purchasing the Robert M. Sims Insurance Agency from his father in 1987, Sims merged the Agency with TIS in 1994 when he

became a shareholder. Since the merger, revenues at TIS grew from $5 million to more than $33 million in 2015, and the company is now considered one of the top 100 independent insurance brokers in the country.

Ginny Bowers Izydore ’78is Regional Sales Manager for the world-class Barnsley Resort in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. She notes that she has been blessed to have enjoyed an amazing career in the hospitality industry since graduating from Clemson University in 1982 with a business degree. From opening The Ritz-Carlton in Buckhead, Ga., and being the 13th employee brought on board in the newly formed Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company; to helping to place Blackberry Farm on the world map before anyone had ever heard of it; to creating and launching the Southern Living Hotel Collection for

Southern Living magazine, her career has taken her around the world – from Australia to Africa – all in the name of creating first-class service and memorable experiences for guests.

Izydore is heavily involved in numerous hospitality industry associations and says she has been humbled and honored to have received several awards over the years. She was presented with the Hayward C. Cox Continuing Quality Award, as well as the Supplier Member of the Year Award from Meeting Professionals International, Georgia Chapter.

More recently, she was honored with the Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award.
A member of the Board of Directors for the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), Izydore also received the Emerging Member of the Year award. “Serving others and giving back to our industry has been so rewarding,” she says, “and has resulted in lifelong friendships and memories.”

According to Izydore, attending Webb School had an enormous impact on her life and the direction that it took. “I arrived at Webb as a freshman after the unexpected death of my father the year prior, followed by a sudden move to Knoxville, away from the friends and support that I had known up to that point,” she recalls. “The immediate welcome and sense of family that I received from the faculty and new friends will always be remembered.” Izydore adds that she is grateful for the discipline, focus and commitment that the teachers, coaches and leaders at Webb instilled in her. “I was encouraged when I felt discouraged and was supported when I felt unsteady in life,” she notes. “I am forever grateful for my most important years at Webb School of Knoxville.

Pete Jacobstein ’83serves as Chief Strategic Partnership Officer at Interface Financial, managing the company’s growth in digital supply chain finance. A leader in digital technology with deep experience in financial services and media, Jacobstein was formerly Senior Vice President of Folio Investing, responsible for all aspects of the company’s online retail brokerage business. In that role, he drove a fivefold expansion of the business, adding hundreds of thousands of paying customers through a strategy focused on competitor acquisitions.

Jacobstein began his career with marketing and corporate strategy positions at Time Warner and Discovery Communications and later became President of Motley Fool Asset management where he led the launch of the company’s multi-billion-dollar asset management business.

A graduate of Georgetown University, Jacobstein earned his MBA from Harvard Business School. He is an active community volunteer, heading strategy projects for CompassDC, an organization that pairs business leaders with non-profit organizations for consulting engagements. Jacobstein and his wife, Jody, are the proud parents of two teenage sons and make their home in the Washington, D.C. suburbs.

 

Margie Gould Stewart ’88is Vice President of Product Design at Facebook where she leads a global group of product designers and researchers for teams such as Artificial Intelligence and Privacy & Data Use. She is a frequent speaker on the subjects of design leadership, ethics and the impact of technology on society.

Stewart has been a leader in the field of user experience design for over 20 years. After graduating from New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program in 1995, she consulted with media companies such as the New York Times, Time-Warner and Scholastic to develop many of their first web properties.

Over the course of her career, she has led design teams for six of the top ten most- visited digital properties in the world: Facebook, YouTube, Google, Lycos, Tripod, and Angelfire. Prior to joining Facebook, Stewart served as Director of User Experience at YouTube, overseeing the design of all of YouTube’s products, globally. She also managed Google’s Search and Consumer Products User Experience team.

In 2008, she was presented with the National Design Award for Corporate Achievement and now serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. Margaret Gould Stewart is a regular speaker at conferences such as TED, CHI and AIGA, and publishes her thoughts on design and leadership on Medium.com.

“Long after the facts and figures have faded, what has remained with me from my days at Webb are the memories of my teachers,” Stewart recalls. “They gave me the skills and confidence to tackle future challenges I couldn’t even have imagined back in high school. Throughout my college years, graduate studies and career, I’ve gratefully carried the joy of learning they instilled and cultivated in me.”

Allison Page ’93is President of HGTV and Food Network at Discovery, Inc., where she oversees all programming and development for the two dynamic lifestyle brands. Previously, she was Senior Vice President and General Manager of Programming and Development for Scripps Networks Interactive’s HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, DIY Network, Cooking Channel and Great American Country brands. Under her leadership, series such as Fixer Upper, Flip or Flop and Brother vs. Brother garnered record ratings for HGTV.

Page graduated with honors from Northwestern University with a bachelor’s degree in American studies. She started her career at CBS

News Productions and later became an associate producer at CBS News Sunday Morning. Page joined Food Network in 2001 and spent many years developing primetime series for Rachael Ray, Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay, and Guy Fieri. She was known as a key strategist and dynamic leader who developed hit shows, as well as successful sales and digital partnerships. Her efforts were key to Food Network’s record-breaking, double-digit ratings growth and instrumental in the successful launch of Cooking Channel in 2010.

A member of the advisory board for the Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission, as well as the Board of Directors for the Knoxville Museum of Art, Page is also active with Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT). In 2012, she was recognized as one of the Multichannel News’ “40 Under 40,” and later as a “Women to Watch.” Page is the recipient of the 2015 WICT Southeast Woman of the Year award. More recently, she was named to the Cablefax 100, which honors the most influential players in the cable industry. Page and her husband, Connor, reside in Knoxville, Tenn., with their two children.

Katherine Walker ’03 is a Creative Director with Google’s Brand Studio in San Francisco, Ca., where her team creates experiences through the combination of technology and design. Inspired by the future and obsessed with simplicity, she works to define and craft the Google brand.

A graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Walker was previously Associate Creative Director at VSA Partners in Chicago. Her work has been recognized in Dwell, AIGA, STA Archive,UnderConsideration, Computer Arts, TimeOut, and Communication Artsamong others.

Described as a pragmatic idealist, Walker is as committed to her principles as she is to putting them into action. She co-founded the highly touted and often-inked Quite Strong – an all-female design collaborative focusing on community-oriented events and empowering creatives. In addition, she has participated in various speaking and judging engagements throughout the country, and has taught at DePaul University.

Walker says that she owes so much to the education she received at Webb and to the teachers who supported her in pursuing an arts education. “I didn’t quite realize how impactful my time at Webb was until after graduation,” she remarked. “Webb has taught me to be a self-reliant thinker with a love of learning.”

 

Chante Hensley ’03is founder of Fostering Hope TN, a non-profit organization that provides backpacks, suitcases, supplies, and support to children who are transitioning from foster homes or who have just entered the system. Each backpack or suitcase is packed with hygiene items, school supplies, and other essential needs so that children have something they can call their own.

A graduate of Maryville College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in sociology, Hensley went on to complete her master’s degree in social work from Boston University. Her ten-year-plus career in the foster care and adoption field includes working at Camelot Care

Centers and more recently as the assistant branch director at Bethany Christian Services. Hensley and her husband, Matthew, have eight children; six of whom are adopted. Over the years, Hensley and her family have fostered more than 50 children in their home.

Chante Hensley says that her experience at Webb School provided her with a strong foundation for academics, taught her valuable time-management skills, and strengthened her capacity to interact well with others. “I feel blessed to have attended Webb,” she continues, “and I hope my children can attend in the future.”

Greer Mackebee ’08is an attorney in the Washington, D.C. office of the international law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP where he focuses on the development and finance of renewable energy and large transportation infrastructure projects. He earned his undergraduate degree from Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering, a master’s degree in energy resources from Stanford University and a law degree from Stanford Law School.

Through the Duke chapter of Engineers Without Borders, Mackebee designed and constructed the water and sanitation systems for a fully sustainable health clinic in Las Mercedes,

Honduras, aimed at improving maternal and infant care. After returning from Honduras, he managed a group of engineering students to complete construction of the clinic.

Later at Stanford, Mackebee worked with a California agricultural nonprofit to design an asset-building program to help new and limited-resource farmers save money for the purchase of capital equipment. And at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, Mackebee represents, pro bono, a nonprofit affordable housing developer in the acquisition, financing and redevelopment of quality multi-unit properties for low- and moderate- income communities in the district.

Greer Mackebee has published several pieces on renewable energy development and the chemistry of coal combustion byproducts. He is an avid tennis player and was a semifinalist in the 2012 Jeopardy! College Championship.

Galen Erickson ’13is participating in a second and final year of Princeton in Asia (PiA), which offers over 150 service-oriented fellowships in 21 Asian countries in the fields of education, international development, public health, environmental advocacy, journalism, and business. Based in Jakarta, Indonesia, Erickson is working for Vriens & Partners, a political risk consulting firm, assisting with the continued growth of the Indonesian economy.

While attending the University of Southern California where he majored in international relations with a minor in economics, Erickson spent a semester in Washington, D.C. as an intern at a

foreign policy thinktank; worked as an undergraduate research fellow, writing foreign policy case studies; and served as the president of his fraternity, Kappa Sigma. In his senior year, he was chosen for a postgraduate fellowship from PiA and was slated to work at the Lao Rugby Federation (LRF) – the governing body for all rugby union activities within Laos – based out of Vientiane, Laos. At LRF, he was the Sponsorship and Outreach Coordinator and advisor to the Senior Management Team, responsible for promoting the LRF and its four focus areas: youth rugby, senior club rugby, national teams, and capacity building. Erickson played a key role in developing LRF’s most successful initiative – ChildFund Pass It Back – a unique sport-for-development program that provides rugby and life skills training to thousands of disadvantaged young people in communities across Laos. He also organized an introductory English camp for over 70 youth rugby coaches. The camp proved to be hugely successful and Lao Rugby expects to hold the camp on an annual basis.

Besides workplace success, the most important highlight of his fellowship in Laos was discovering a supportive community of both local Lao people and expats. “My personal growth and the creation of a community in such a formerly foreign environment was by far one of the greatest experiences of my life,” he notes.

Given his time abroad, Erickson says the most applicable lesson he learned at Webb is that building a community takes investment from every community member. Developing the trust and goodwill needed to foster a sense of community is a long process that can be easily undercut with one word or interaction. “Across Webb’s campus, all students, faculty and staff are urged to invest their time in others, whether it be completing service hours, listening to Chapel Talks, participating in sports, or simply being respectful,” he adds. “The high standards at Webb grant students an adept understanding of community – a trait that has allowed me to connect with individuals across the globe and is sure to benefit any graduate of Webb School of Knoxville.”