The Georgia Tech Alumni Association announced that Ron Johnson (MSOR 85) will be honored with the Joseph May Pettit Distinguished Service Award. Johnson, who is a professor of the practice in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), will accept the award at the seventh annual Gold & White Honors Gala on February 21, 2019.
“Ron has had an incredible career in which he has demonstrated tremendous leadership abilities,” said Edwin Romeijn, the H. Milton and Carolyn J. Stewart School Chair at ISyE. “The Joseph Mayo Pettit Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor presented by the Georgia Tech Alumni Association. Ron is an outstanding member of our community, and we are proud to have him as part of the ISyE family.”
Johnson said, “I am deeply honored and humbled to receive this undeserved recognition from Georgia Tech. I am proud to be an alumnus of this great institution and even more proud to say that I work here. I accept this award on behalf of every student, staff member, faculty member, and colleague here at Tech who may have allowed this light to shine in my direction — it was not my effort; it was all of ours.”
Before he joined the ISyE faculty, Johnson was the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) first senior vice president for referee operations from July 2008 - July 2012.
Prior to the NBA, Johnson served as the deputy commanding general and deputy chief of engineers, the second highest-ranking senior engineer staff officer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He retired as a major general in April 2008 after 32 years of military service.
Johnson’s awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), the Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit (with four Oak Leaf Clusters), and the Combat Action Badge.
He is also the recipient of the 2018 Atlanta Business League Men of Influence Award, the 2017 Trailblazer Award from the Georgia Tech Black Alumni Organization, the 2003 Black Engineer of the Year Award for Professional Achievement in Government Service, an inductee into the 2005 Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni at Georgia Tech, and the recipient of the 2008 Black Engineer Lifetime Achievement Award. He was recently chosen to receive the 2019 Black Engineer of the Year Educational Leadership Award.
Johnson is the former secretary and board member of Goodwill Industries, International. He is a National Trustee of the Boys and Girls Club of America, serves on the National Workforce Solutions Advisory Board, and is a former trustee for both the Georgia Tech Foundation and Georgia Tech Alumni Association.
He has also given back in the form of two scholarships endowed in his name at Georgia Tech, and has a room named for him in Tech’s Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons.