Halfway Home ... and a Long Way Still to Go



Tom Ballard

 Chief Alliance Officer


Monday, June 12, 2023

11:30 a.m.

Crowne Plaza Hotel

401 W Summit Hill Drive, Knoxville


Price for buffet lunch is $15 (includes complimentary parking in the hotel garage).

If you plan to eat, please RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call him at 865-679-9854 by Friday, June 9.

 If you choose not to eat, a charge of $7 will cover parking and event arrangements.

The formal meeting begins at 11:55 a.m.


For five decades, Tom Ballard, a native of East Tennessee, has been a driving force of entrepreneurial evolution. Working for the University of Tennessee’s Institute of Public Service, he advised public officials and manufacturers, eventually heading that non-agricultural extension service for 20 years and becoming UT’s Vice President for Public and Governmental Relations. Next, he joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory as its first Director of Partnerships, which extended his range of activity beyond the borders of Tennessee. During both of these engagements, Ballard led initiatives to build multi-organizational alliances focusing on statewide telecommunications networking, automotive research, and land use planning. 

After he turned 65 in 2011, Ballard joined PYA as Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Initiatives. He launched Teknovation.biz, a daily electronic newsletter focused on technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. He also serves on, and has chaired, many local and regional nonprofit and educational organizations, advisory boards and councils.

Ballard’s vision and efforts have contributed greatly to advancing entrepreneurial evolution in East Tennesse, which is turning Knoxville – Oak Ridge into a hub for innovative high-tech enterprises that employ carbon-fiber, composite, nanoscale and other advanced material technologies. These companies also benefit from the latest electronic, additive manufacturing, bioscience, an computational discoveries of the Governor’s Chairs at the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

In 2020, PYA launched an annual $50,000 competition for emerging enterprises — named the Ballard Innovation Award — in Tom’s honor.

PYA, founded 1983 in Knoxville as Pershing and Yoakley CPA’s, is one of our area’s outstanding corporate success stories. Listed by Forbes among America’s Best Accounting and Tax firms, PYA consistently ranks under Modern Healthcare’s Top 20 healthcare consulting firms. It also has been ranked third-highest in female ownership among Top 100 Accounting Firms by Inside Public Accounting and is a Top 15 auditor of the nation’s largest health systems.

For more information on TSK and its meetings, please email TSK secretary, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call him at 865-679-9854.