An aeronautics engineer and decorated civilian veteran of Desert Storm, a leader in the health and fitness industry, an award-winning teacher, a successful insurance executive, and the president of a preventive health and wellness company have been selected to receive the 2011 Alumni Awards for Achievement and Merit from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.
Dale Burton of Melbourne, Fla., vice president of programs for Northrup Grumman Corporation; Randy Risher of Houston, Tex., president and founder of The Risher Companies specializing in fitness and wellness; Ginny Chambliss of Rison, the 2010 Arkansas Rural Teacher of the Year; William “Bud” Bulloch of Monticello, owner of Bulloch Insurance Agency, Inc.; and Dr. Larry Proctor of Ruston, La., chief executive officer of B.E.A.M. Preventive Health and Wellness Company, will be honored at a dinner October 28 as part of UAM’s homecoming celebration. Monticello businessman P.Q. Gardner will receive the Continuing the Connection Award presented annually to the individual who best keeps alive the connection between Arkansas A&M and UAM.
“This is an outstanding group of individuals who have distinguished themselves in education and business,” said UAM Chancellor Jack Lassiter. “We are pleased to honor them for their accomplishments.”
Burton graduated from UAM in 1977 with a degree in physics and earned a doctorate in mathematics from Florida State in 1981. He joined Northrup Grumman, a multibillion dollar global defense and technology company, in 1987 as a lead engineer and was promoted to chief systems engineer a year later.
In 1990, Burton led the development of the Joint STARS engineering flight test system, the world’s most advanced targeting and battle management system. From 1994-98 he served as a member of the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and later flew 37 Joint STARS combat missions as a civilian during Operation Desert Storm, earning the Air Medal from the Air Force Chief of Staff.
He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2007, among the highest professional distinctions in the engineering field, an honor which is presented based on outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice or education, and to the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology.
Randy Risher is a 1989 UAM graduate with a degree in physical education and holds a master’s degree in exercise science from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Risher founded The Risher Companies, a full-service company that provides the services and products needed to plan, open and operate a fitness center, including facility design development, fitness center management and staffing, and tailored corporate wellness programs. Risher and his companies work with clients to find fitness solutions for in-home fitness studios, large private clubs, corporate fitness centers, educational institutions , non-profit organizations, and professional sports teams.
The Risher Companies include Randy Risher Fitness, Inc.; Risher Fitness Management, Inc.; Risher Wellness and Risk Management; Risher Fitness Equipment; Lifestyle Director, Inc.; and Jenna Investments, LLC.
Risher’s clients include the Houston Texans, M.D. Anderson Medical Center, Silver Eagle Distributors, and the University of Oklahoma. Risher is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, Community Associations Institute, and the Houston Apartment Association.
Following the advice of a former teacher, Ginny Chambliss enrolled at UAM in 1992, earning a degree in mathematics with a minor in physics and chemistry in 1996. Chambliss had been out of school for nine years after earning an associate degree in computer science from SAU-Tech in Camden in 1983. Her career plans were put on hold for marriage and a family, but after working two years as a Title I teacher’s aide at Rison Elementary School from 1990 to 1992, she decided to go back to school at the urging of Lula Mae Cathey, her former teacher.
It was good advice.
For the past 16 years, Chambliss has taught a variety of science and mathematics courses at Star City and Rison High Schools, including physical science, chemistry and advanced placement chemistry, physics and multiple mathematics courses. In 2009, she was a state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching and in 2010 was recognized as Arkansas’ Rural Teacher of the Year.
Chambliss is currently pursuing a master’s degree in geoscience from Mississippi State University and incorporates the meteorological and geological concepts she is learning in graduate school into the topics she is teaching at Rison High School.
William “Bud” Bulloch graduated from what was then Arkansas A&M College in 1957 with a degree in business administration and built a successful career in insurance and real estate. From 1957 to 1969, Bulloch worked for the Hartford Insurance Company, beginning in Chicago as a management trainee before becoming a state agent in Lexington, Ky. He spent two years in corporate planning at the company’s home office in Hartford, Conn., was transferred to Dallas where he served as an underwriting manager, then became an assistant regional manager in Baltimore.
Bulloch returned to Monticello in 1969 to found Bulloch Insurance and Real Estate and built the company into one of the most successful in southeast Arkansas. He is a member of the board and president of the Professional Insurance Agents and a member of the board of directors of Time Insurance Co., of Milwaukee.
Bulloch has held numerous civic leadership roles in Monticello. He is a member of the board of directors of Commercial Bank, served two terms as president of the Chamber of Commerce, six years as a member and two as president of the board of directors of Drew Memorial Hospital, and 20 years on the Southeast Arkansas Health Foundation. He is a former Rotary District Governor and former member of the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission.
Larry Proctor was a basketball star for the Boll Weevils before graduating with a degree in health and physical education in 1987. He holds a master’s degree in health and physical education from Delta State University and a Ph.D. in health and exercise physiology from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Proctor’s company, B.E.A.M. LLC is a preventive health care agency providing health and wellness programs to lower the disparity in cardiovascular disease relating to socio-cultural and racial differences. Proctor is also the assistant project manager in a joint venture between his company, Grambling State University, and M.O.V.E. Inc., to provide educational enrichment and health and wellness seminars to the community.
Proctor has a wide-ranging professional background. He has been a high school coach, area coordinator of the National Youth Sports Program and activity coordinator for the Mississippi Alliance for Minority Participation at Delta State, where he also served as assistant men’s basketball coach. He held a teaching and research fellowship at Washington State University where he served as a visiting faculty member, and later became an assistant professor at Southeast Missouri State.
Proctor joined the faculty at Louisiana Tech in 2004 as an assistant professor and in 2008, became associate director of the Southern University Agricultural Center’s Communities of Color, where he managed the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living in northern Louisiana.
He is a member of the American and Louisiana Alliances for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, the National African American Fitness and Health Association, the Ethnic Minority Council, the American College of Sports Medicine, the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport, and the Black Coaches Association.
P.Q. Gardner was named the 2011 Drew County Man of the Year by the Monticello/Drew County Chamber of Commerce after serving more than half a century in the real estate business. Gardner is a 1953 Arkansas A&M graduate and earned a master’s degree from the University of Mississippi before entering business. Gardner’s college education was put on hold during World War II when he served as a gunner on A-26 and B-26 bombers over Nazi Germany.
Gardner has been active in numerous civic and professional organizations, including the Arkansas State Real Estate Commission, the Southeast Arkansas Concert Association, the Drew County Election Commission, the Drew Memorial Hospital board, the Monticello City Council, and the Drew County Quorum Court. Gardner operated cable television franchises in Monticello and Warren and built and sold cable systems in Sheridan, White Hall, Redfield, Altheimer and south Pine Bluff. He also owned and operated four radio stations and owns his own real estate agency, Gardner Realty.