Wade and Guerry recognized with UTC honors

Author: Omar Dedovic

Last Updated:

Category: Featured

David Wade (’04) and Alexander “Zan” Guerry have been recognized as the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award and Outstanding Service Award recipients respectively. The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest annual commendation presented to an alumnus or alumna and recognizes someone who demonstrates extraordinary service to their alma mater, field and community. The Outstanding Service Award recognizes community leaders who demonstrate exemplary personal service and commitment to UTC and the community.

“Both David and Zan are extraordinary leaders in our community who we are proud to recognize with these distinctive honors,” states UTC Chancellor Steve Angle. “Our campus community is a better place because of their support and achievements.”

While Wade began his journey at UTC directly out of high school, he left the university after one semester to begin work at EPB in an entry-level position assisting linemen in 1983. Wade progressed in his career at EPB while returning to UTC for evening courses where he received his bachelor’s degree in Engineering Management before eventually being appointed the president and CEO of EPB in 2016. Wade has continued to serve his alma mater as a member of the Advisory Board for the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Among his many notable accomplishments, Wade led EPB’s effort to design and build Chattanooga’s community-wide fiber optic network which also served as the communications backbone for constructing the nation’s most automated electric power distribution system. Wade’s focus on fostering innovation has led to the development of groundbreaking projects such as EPB Quantum NetworkSM powered by Qubitekk, the first commercially available quantum network in the nation, and EPB Gig25, the first community-wide 25 gig internet in the nation. During the pandemic, Wade led the effort to launch HCS EdConnect which provides free internet to families in need on a continuing basis serving more than 28,000 Chattanooga residents.

“While I am thankful to UTC for this recognition, my career accomplishments would not have been possible without the support of my EPB colleagues and my family,” states Wade. “My time at UTC gave me the tools to not only advance my career but also work to enhance the quality of life for everyone in Hamilton County. My career success is rooted in my desire to help my neighbors, and I’m grateful I get that opportunity.”

Zan Guerry’s deep connection to UTC is rooted in his family’s longstanding involvement, as evidenced by his grandfather, Dr. Alexander Guerry, who served as the president of the University of Chattanooga from 1929 to 1938 which preceded the university’s inclusion in the University of Tennessee System and renaming in 1969.

Currently leading Hamico, Inc., the family’s charitable foundation, Guerry was the longtime CEO of Chattanooga-based Chattem Inc., a consumer health care company, until 2014. While Guerry has been deeply supportive of a variety of causes and nonprofit organizations throughout the community, his dedication to UTC has been exhibited in many roles, including playing a pivotal part in launching the Honors College, serving as a voluntary assistant tennis coach, supporting the Chattem Basketball Practice Facility and contributing to the creation of the Wolford Family Athletics Center.

“One of my joys in life is doing things where I feel I can make a difference,” Guerry says. “I enjoy being able to help and continue to improve the university. UTC has a lot of momentum. It is a great success, which means the students are happy and the school’s doing well with great leaders.”

Wade and Guerry will be recognized throughout the year for their honors and commitment to UTC.