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11. President and CEO of UCOR, Ken Rueter

Ken Rueter is UCOR’s President and Cleanup Project Manager for the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP). As President of UCOR, Ken has guided and motivated a professional management team and hundreds of skilled workers as they successfully undertake the largest environmental cleanup in the Department of Energy’s history.

Ken is a member of the Board of Directors of East Tennessee Children's Hospital and also serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for Construction Research and Training. He was the 2016 recipient of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers' prestigious Management Division Award. In 2017, he was presented with the East Tennessee Economic Council Muddy Boot Award, recognizing his contributions to the Oak Ridge community.

In 2019, the National Safety Council recognized Ken's personal commitment to safety and his philosophy of safety as a prerequisite to all work by naming him a CEO who "Gets It." This prestigious designation is presented to leaders who go above and beyond to protect employees both on and off the job.

Ken puts a strong emphasis on the safety of his employees. “We have to have a very different approach to safety and health. We implement what we call the culture of excellence, in which we culturally develop our organization with an understanding and an appreciation that every task, every activity, every time can be done safely. High performing safety is high performing productivity.”

To hear more from this great Tennessee leader, listen to Ken’s episode below!