West Virginia University Institute of Technology has announced Barry Pearson and James E. "Jim" Smith as its alumni of the year.
Pearson is a 1996 graduate from the College of Business, Humanities and Social Sciences and Smith is a 1986 graduate from the Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering and Sciences.
Pearson is a West Virginia native and was a student-athlete; starting for the Golden Bears football team for the years and serving as defensive co-captain his senior year. He joined RJF International in the production control and planning division after graduation. He then moved on to the Imperial Electric Company as its production control manager, and in 2000, he accepted a position as the production control group leader with Toyota Motor Manufacturing of West Virginia. He has been with Toyota in several different leadership positions for the past 13 years.
Smith was an electrical engineering graduate who spent the last 25 years of his career serving as a recognized leader, subject matter expert and motivator for teams of engineers throughout the world. He was an active member of the campus community while he was a student, as a member of the Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity, co-founder of the Golden Bear's Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity chapter and editor of the 1985 "Bear Tracks" yearbook.
He grew from an entry-level RF engineer to a senior engineering manager during his 23-year career with Motorola, becoming responsible for teams of engineers in multiple countries. He took the role of regional RAN manager for Ericsson in 2011, managing more than 100 engineers in four countries.
The Tech Alumni of the Year have been named during Homecoming Weekend since 1949, and both Perason and Smith will be formally recognized Oct. 25 at the Alumni of the Year Banquet. Contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 304-442-3131 for details.