Lenoir-Rhyne University's Business Council honored Eddie Edwards, President and Chief Executive Officer of CommScope, as the 35th Business Leader of the Year (BLOY) during an awards luncheon at Moretz Mills on Aug. 8.
Edwards is an industry-leading executive, serving in his current role since January 2011. His strategic vision and leadership achievements make him an exceptional role model for LRU students and the community, and an ideal selection for the University's BLOY.
"In receiving this honor, I commend the global CommScope employee team whose passion for innovation and support for our global customers have led directly to the company's success," Edwards said. "While CommScope is a global leader in network infrastructure, we are proud of the company's roots here in Hickory and Catawba County. I also thank the Business Council for this accolade, its leadership and the role it plays in the community."
With its worldwide headquarters in Hickory and several other facilities in North Carolina, CommScope maintains a strong presence in the Catawba Valley. Today, it is among one of North Carolina's largest companies and employs approximately 1,900 people in in the state and more than 20,000 people around the world.
Edwards has been instrumental in several of the company's recent acquisitions, helping transform CommScope to a multibillion dollar company with a stronger global presence.
"Under Mr. Edwards' leadership, CommScope has developed some of the world's best communication networks," said Dr. Robert E. Allen, Executive Director of Advancement Relations. "We are excited to add him to our prestigious list of Business Leader of the Year honorees."
Edwards was named to the company's top position and to the Board of Directors in January 2011, following The Carlyle Group's acquisition of CommScope, making it a private company. Since then, CommScope returned to being a publicly-traded company following its initial public offering in October 2013.
In 2016, Edwards was presented with the Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Excellence Award by The Carlyle Group. The award is presented each year to a CEO who exemplified outstanding leadership, business acumen and management excellence in leading one of more than 200 Carlyle portfolio companies.
Edwards previously served as CommScope's President and Chief Operating Officer. Before that, he served as Executive Vice President of Business Development and General Manager, Wireless Network Solutions. He previously served as Executive Vice President of Business Development and the chairman of a CommScope wholly owned subsidiary, Connectivity Solutions Manufacturing, Inc.
Dr. Fred Whitt, President of LRU, stated "We congratulate Eddie and recognize him as an exemplary leader within our community, and we are delighted that he is a new member of the LRU Board of Trustees."
The University recognizes each year a man or woman who exemplifies the outstanding gifts of leadership within his or her business as well as within the surrounding community. This individual is selected by a University committee from among a number of individuals.
The BLOY award is sponsored by the University's Business Council, which was established in 1983 to promote a better understanding of LRU and its programs within the business community, to provide unique learning opportunities for students and businesses, and to support the LRU giving programs.
Photo caption: In the attached photo, Eddie Edward (pictured with award) is joined by (Left to Right) Peter Karlsson, Senior Vice President of Global Sales, CommScope; Jearld Leonhardt, a CommScope founder and the company's former Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; Ben Cardwell, Senior Vice President of Mobility Solutions, CommScope; Phil Armstrong, Senior Vice President of Corporate Finance, CommScope; Frank Drendel, a CommScope founder and the company's Chairman of the Board; Boris Kokotovic, Senior Vice President of Corporate Quality, Responsibility and Sustainability, CommScope; Mark Olson, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, CommScope; Chris Story, Senior Vice President of Global Operations, CommScope; and Mike Cross, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, CommScope.