U.S. Senate staffer Tom Craig became the latest recipient of the Muddy Boot award at a Craig and Mason Boot 1.23.15surprise presentation by ORNL Director Thom Mason at the Council’s board of directors meeting Friday, Jan. 23.

Craig, who is retiring at the end of this month after 16 years of service to three different Tennessee Senators, is the clerk of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on energy and water. He was in Oak Ridge with other members of Senator Lamar Alexander’s staff to introduce his successor, Tyler Owens, to the community.

Tom Craig began his career in the office of Senator Fred Thompson, and worked for Sens. Bill Frist and Lamar Alexander before his assignment on the committee staff. His focus throughout that career has been on the work the Department of Energy performs, not only in Oak Ridge, but across the nation. Craig will be joining Duke Energy’s Washington DC office.

“Tom has been a tireless advocate for Oak Ridge,” says ETEC president Jim Campbell.  “We will miss working with him, but are looking forward to re-engaging with him in his new role at Duke.”

Each year, the East Tennessee Economic Council (ETEC) honors individuals or groups of people that have helped build the community’s economic base with a “Muddy Boot.” The award was started in 1973 by the founders of ETEC – then the Roane Anderson Economic Council (R-AEC) – to reflect the Manhattan Project founders of Oak Ridge, who worked through adverse conditions to build the community. It has been presented to elected officials, business leaders, representatives of the Department of Energy, and others.