General Shale Honors Community, Military Leaders at Second Annual History & Hero Night

Aug 6, 2015 | General Shale

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — General Shale teamed up with the Johnson City Cardinals earlier this week to once again honor several local heroes.

The second annual History & Hero Night ― held at Monday’s game at Howard Johnson Field ― recognized community leaders who have contributed both to Johnson City’s success and to their country through the U.S. Armed Forces.

The Johnson City, Tennessee-based company presented commemorative brick sculptures to nine of Johnson City’s leading citizens from several disciplines within the city — including the banking, business, healthcare and higher education sectors — and from a variety of military backgrounds.

General Shale is the North American subsidiary of Wienerberger AG and a leading manufacturer of brick, one of the world’s oldest green building materials.

“General Shale is proud to honor nine heroes who have not only served our community through their careers and volunteerism, but have served our country through distinguished military service,” said Charles Smith, president and CEO of General Shale. “The many contributions and sacrifices of these individuals is what makes our community such a great place to live and work.”

General Shale presented the following individuals with a History & Hero award:

Col. Tommy Burleson, president of Burleson Construction Co., Inc., served in Desert Storm, and retired from military service after more than 30 years in active and reserve service in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He has served the community through service on a number of boards, including the Mountain States Health Alliance board of directors, the Johnson City Housing Authority board of commissioners, and the Milligan College board of trustees.

Phil Carriger began his military service in 1966 in the U.S. Air Force, where he received the Air Force Commendation Medal. He was honorably discharged in 1970 with the rank of staff sergeant. He currently serves on the Bank of Tennessee’s board of directors after a nearly four-decade-long banking career. A former city commissioner and vice mayor, he has served the community through various boards and committees, including the ETSU Research Foundation board of directors, the Johnson City Power Board board of directors, and the Johnson City area board of directors for Junior Achievement of Tri-Cities TN/VA.

Capt. William A. Coleman, Jr. retired from the U.S. Navy after more than 27 years of service, including nearly 20 years at sea aboard eight different ships. He served as the commanding officer on four of those vessels, and was the youngest African-American commanding officer of a U.S. Navy warship. Following his retirement, he served as associate vice president and director of human resources at ETSU for more than 11 years. He has served on numerous community boards and committees, including chairman of the Johnson City Power Board’s board of directors.

Lt. Col. Harry Gibson served in the U.S. Army in Desert Storm and Desert Shield. His military honors include the Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit and the Kuwait Libertarian Medal. Currently president and CEO of M & M Properties, Inc., his contributions to the community include serving as chairman of the Johnson City Schools board of education and the Johnson City Parks and Recreation advisory board, and support of area youth athletic programs.

Louie Gump, president of Impact Management, began his military service while a student NROTC battalion commander at the University of North Carolina, and continued as an officer in the U.S. Navy, serving two years of active duty on the USS O’Brien. He has served on numerous local boards and committees, including the president’s executive council at Milligan College and the ETSU Foundation board of directors, among many others.

Lt. Col. Lori Hagen, director of quality and improvement at the Mountain Home Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, served in Desert Storm and retired after 20 years of service in the U.S. Army Reserves and U.S. Air Force Reserves. With more than 30 years of federal service, she has helped the VA Medical Center obtain Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recognition. She has also served on various youth and high school soccer boards.

Lt. Gen. Ron Hite retired from the U.S. Army as a three-star general following a distinguished military career that began after his graduation from ETSU. He has commanded at all levels in the Army, with service in several U.S. Army installations across the United States and abroad. He has served on various community boards, including the ETSU Alumni Association board of directors, the ETSU Foundation board of directors, and more.

Lt. Col. Sue Reed is a staff nurse practitioner in ETSU’s College of Nursing, and a family nurse practitioner and director of special populations at the Johnson City Community Health Center. She retired from the U.S. Army last May after 26 years of service, where she was mobilized four times and deployed once during Desert Storm. She was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, five Commendation medals, six Achievement medals and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Rick Storey, senior vice president of Citizens Bank, served with the U.S. Army’s 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam as a platoon sergeant. He also served in Japan and at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He attained the rank of staff sergeant and was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds suffered in Vietnam. He has worked in banking for more than 40 years. He currently serves as a Washington County commissioner and has been a member of various community boards, including the Johnson City Development Authority, the ETSU Center for Banking, and several others.


General Shale is one of North America’s largest brick, stone and concrete block manufacturers, supplying a wide variety of masonry materials for residential, commercial and specialty architectural projects. These materials include brick, thin veneers, stone, outdoor living kits, concrete block and various building materials, which include Arriscraft Stone Products. The company offers an endless array of sizes, colors and textures to complete any building project. With a life cycle of more than 100 years, the sustainability of brick is the company’s commitment to responsible stewardship.

Throughout the U.S. and Canada, General Shale operates manufacturing facilities in nine states and provinces, in addition to a network of more than 40 retail showrooms and over 300 affiliated distributors across North America. In 1999, General Shale grew even stronger when it joined Wienerberger AG of Vienna, Austria, the world’s largest brick manufacturer.

General Shale was founded in 1928 and is headquartered in Johnson City, Tennessee. For more information, visit


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