Tom is Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Initiatives for Pershing Yoakley & Associates and Chief Operating Officer of PYA Analytics, one of the firm’s five affiliates. The East Tennessee native joined PYA in January 2012 following his retirement as the inaugural Director of Partnerships for Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Prior to that role, Ballard served for 35 years at the University of Tennessee before retiring in 2004 as Vice President for Public and Governmental Relations.
His career has spanned more than four decades during which he has focused on building business connections throughout the region, state and nation. At PYA, his two positions involve: (1) business development for the nation’s 11th largest privately-held healthcare consulting company; and (2) day-to-day management of the firm’s newest affiliate that applies state-of-the-art analytic methods and data management methodology to complex challenges facing businesses.
Ballard is President of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Steering Committee of the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council and Vice Chair of the Advisory Board for Roane State Community College’s Advanced Materials Training and Education Center and Advanced Composites Employment Accelerator. He also serves on the board of directors of the East Tennessee Economic Council (Past Chair), Life Science Tennessee (Executive Committee and Chair of the Economic and Entrepreneurial Development Committee), Tech 20/20 (Executive Committee and Chair of the Entrepreneurship Committee), and LaunchTN (former Vice Chair and now Board Member – Emeritus).
Ballard is a member of UT’s Development Council, the Board of Trustees of Pellissippi State Community College’s Foundation, and the Marketing Committee of the Tennessee Economic Partnership.
He is a graduate of UT and was the 2001 recipient of the College of Communication and Information’s Hileman Outstanding Alumni Award. He received the second “Tennessee Valley Corridor Champion” award in 2005 and the 2009 Acorn Award from the Oak Ridge Economic Partnership. His wife, Diane, is Editor Emeritus of The Tennessee Alumnus magazine, and they have one daughter and two granddaughters.