Mark Burnette, 2009 Honoree

Executive director of IT operations & security
Gaylord Entertainment Co.
First job:
"Selling Cokes in Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn., for University of Tennessee Vols games."
Most valuable career advice:
"Remember that we're all free agents."
What do you love about IT?
"IT is so dynamic. It's hard to get bored because things are different every day."
Best mentoring relationship:
"I'm proud to say my children."
Favorite gadget:
"My HD DVR. My household wears one out about every three months. The local cable company knows us on a first-name basis."
Your recreational best:
"I kicked a 55-yard field goal in both high-school and college scrimmages."
What's in your MP3 player?
"Lots of classic rock: The Eagles, Styx, Journey, Lynyrd Skynyrd."
Favorite ice cream flavor:
"Anything with caramel in or on it. You could put caramel on dirt and I would eat it..."
Favorite TV show:
What about you would surprise the people who you work with?
"I've sung the National Anthem for an Atlanta Hawks NBA basketball game twice."
Leadership philosophy in a nutshell:
"My favorite part of leadership is giving employees the tools, direction and support to succeed and then celebrating with them when they do."
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