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5 Berry alums win accomplishment awards | Business

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5 Berry alums win accomplishment awards
Business, People, Schools
5 Berry alums win accomplishment awards

ROME, Ga. -- Berry College recently honored five distinguished alumni for their many accomplishments since college.

The Berry grads all demonstrate outstanding achievement, service and entrepreneurial spirit. They were recognized during the school's annual Alumni Awards and Golden Guard Gala.

Distinguished Achievement Award

Internationally known for his expertise in the field of nuclear energy, Jimmy T. Bell ('60) is CEO of Bell Consultants, a private consulting firm founded after his retirement as head of the chemical development section at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Bell works with national and international clients and consults with the Department of Energy and private environmental companies in projects relating to the nuclear fuel cycle and waste management technologies.

Among his many achievements is his work to clean up post-Cold War nuclear sites throughout the United States. He also played a role in U.S. efforts to survey and evaluate Taiwanese nuclear programs in the 1980s. Bell currently works with an international team to protect the Irish Sea from radioactive contamination deposited by a neighboring nation.

"I cannot imagine an individual representing and bringing honor to Berry College in his professional career any better than Dr. Bell has done and continues to do," said Charles J. Fitzpatrick of Egan, Fitzpatrick, Malsch & Lawrence, PLLC, which is working with Bell Consultants on the project.

Bell and his wife, Luci, live in Kingston, Tenn.

Distinguished Service Award

A retired engineer, Jack A. Jones ('57) has worked for the past 12 years as a Guardian ad Litem volunteer, a court-appointed position to advocate for abused and neglected children, in Buncombe County, N.C.

Jones works to provide safe homes for the children until they can be placed in more permanent settings and makes recommendations for the services they need.

"We have found Jack to be a humble, dedicated and sincere man who sees the good in every child he has helped," said Tim and Lynn Leckron, who adopted a child for whom Jones served as guardian.

As a representative to the Senior Tar Hill Legislature, Jones assessed legislative needs of older citizens, reported to North Carolina General Assembly and recommended legislation on these issues while promoting advocacy amongst seniors.

Jones lives in Asheville, N.C. with his wife, Katherine. He also received the 2006 Distinguished Achievement Award from Berry.

Entrepreneurial Spirit Award (tie)

While attending Berry, R. Lee Jennings ('85) developed a desire to own a business. After working for several companies and serving in the U.S. Army, he and an associate opening an accounting practice in downtown Rome in 1997.

Jennings now owns and operates R.L. Jennings & Associates in Rome and R.L. Jennings & Company in Ellijay with 25 employees. His clients range from small family operations to multi-national corporations.

"Lee has lived core values that were emphasized during our days at Berry College, and he has an outstanding ability to see developing business opportunities," said fellow Berry alumnus Stan Ezell of Control Resources, Inc.

In 2009, R.L. Jennings & Associates was named the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year.

Jennings and his wife, Sherry, live in Rome.

Lisa D. Miller, M.D. ('83) credits Berry with giving her the tools she needed to manage the risks involved in her business ventures.

"I acquired a work ethic from Berry College that taught me to work hard and stay focused in life," she said. "The keys to my success have been determination and hard work."

After obtaining a medical degree, Miller worked in a group practice for several years, but she dreamed of owning her own practice in her hometown of Covington, which was then an underserved area for pediatrics.

Today, Lisa D. Miller, M.D. Pediatrics has expanded from a solo practice to one with four providers, 16 staff members and more than 5,000 patients.

In 2006, Miller opened Dauphin Properties with her husband, Mike.

Outstanding Young Alumni Award

Casey T. Smith ('00), founder and president of Wiser Wealth Management in Marietta, opened his business with the conviction to be a different kind of financial firm -- one designed "to show God's unconditional love to all who seek our advice."

Smith receives numerous requests to speak at both national and international conventions. His knowledge of index and exchange traded funds has been in demand by several media outlets.

"Casey is very proud of the experience he received at Berry College, and that experience is what has made Wiser Wealth Management the company it is today," said Latrelle Allen, a former client who now works for Smith's company.

Smith and his wife, Angela, live in Marietta. Cobb Life magazine recently recognized him as one of the county's rising stars under age 40.

Business, People, Schools