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Milligan welcomes Eric Deaton and Lottie Ryans to Board of Trustees

Eric Deaton ('83)

Lottie Ryans

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. (Oct. 29, 2019) — Milligan College announced two new appointments to the college’s Board of Trustees. Eric Deaton, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Ballad Health, and Lottie Ryans, director of workforce and literacy initiatives for the First Tennessee Development District, were approved on Friday, Oct. 25, at the board’s biannual meeting and will join the board in January 2020.

“I am delighted that these two prominent and influential members of the community will be joining the Board of Trustees,” said Milligan President Dr. Bill Greer. “Both have longstanding connections with Milligan and will bring important skillsets to our board.”

Eric Deaton

Deaton, a 1983 Milligan alumnus, has over 30 years of experience as a healthcare executive, steering the strategic vision and direction of multimillion-dollar, multi-facility healthcare operations.

Deaton oversees system wide operations for Ballad Health, including its newly created behavioral services division. He transitioned to chief operating officer this fall, having served as senior vice president of hospital and market operations at Ballad Health since 2018. In both roles, Deaton has driven the business strategy for the $1.9 billion healthcare organization formed from the merger of Wellmont Health System and Mountain States Health Alliance. Prior to the merger, he served as the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Wellmont Health Systems.

As a healthcare executive, Deaton’s leadership has generated strong bottom-line results, guided organizations through turnarounds and transformations, and led organizations to award-winning recognitions. He is also an active advocate of developing servant-leadership in the workplace. He champions the belief that patient satisfaction and service are equally important to growth and financial stability.

He holds a Master of Business Administration from Bristol University, a master’s degree in healthcare administration from the University of Cincinnati, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting from Milligan. He also completed a Healthcare Advisory Board Fellowship in 2010.

Lottie Ryans

Lottie Ryans has served as the director of workforce and literacy initiatives for the First Tennessee Development District since April 2016. In this role, she develops creative partnerships and programs to ensure a strong workforce pipeline. She also works with school systems and community partners to address literacy issues in an eight county region.

Ryans’ professional history includes a 32-year telecommunications career. She retired in 2015 after serving as vice president and general manager for CenturyLink’s Western North Carolina/Tennessee Division. She also was partner in Perfectly Planned, an event company serving Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia from 2015-2018.

Ryans is an active community member and serves on multiple boards in the region. She frequently serves as a speaker for professional development workshops and as a panelist for community engagement forums.

She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, and her daughter Victoria Ryans is an alumna of Milligan.

About Milligan’s Board of Trustees: Milligan’s Board of Trustees is currently composed of 28 active members whose combined experience, dedication and vision provides leadership and guidance to shape Milligan’s goals, policies and fiscal management. The board is a self-perpetuating board, with members serving five-year terms. Alumni currently comprise approximately 86% of the board membership. The president is a nonvoting, ex officio member of the board. The board meets twice a year and has five standing committees.

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MILLIGAN COLLEGE is a Christian liberal arts college in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The college offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs.  To learn more about Milligan College, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-262-8337.

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