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Speaker Information

Speaker Information

2024 Commencement Speaker: Misty Mayes

Misty Mayes

Misty Mayes is a 1988 UT graduate with a degree in industrial engineering. She is the founder and CEO of Management Solutions, the prime contractor supporting the $26 billion clean energy project portfolio of the US Department of Energy’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations.

Mayes founded Management Solutions in 2002 with a focus on delivering complex projects critical to national security. Under her leadership, the firm has grown across 26 states and managed over $10 billion in projects, primarily supporting federal clients in the defense, environmental, and energy sectors.

Management Solutions has been recognized as the US Small Business Administration’s National Subcontractor of the Year. In 2023, the company was awarded a $192 million contract to provide comprehensive clean energy technical support services for the Department of Energy—one of the largest federal clean energy contracts ever awarded to a woman-owned business.

Mayes has been invited to the White House, and she has testified before Congress on multiple occasions in recognition of her achievements and advocacy for women entrepreneurs. She has been recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year by the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce and was recently inducted into UT’s Industrial and Systems Engineering Hall of Fame. She was honored as a Tickle College of Engineering Alumni Legend and received UT’s Service Award for her dedication to leadership roles that promote generosity and equity.

Mayes serves her alma mater as a member of the Tickle College of Engineering Board of Advisors, for which she was the first woman chair, and the Haslam College of Business Management Advisory Board. She is a guest lecturer for the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering entrepreneurial program, and she advocates for women entrepreneurs through Women Impacting Public Policy and other local, national, and global nonprofit agencies.

Mayes has been married to UT engineering alumnus Samuel Mayes for 36 years, and together they have three grown sons and two granddaughters.