Retired Boeing VP, Greenville businessman join governing board
Retired Boeing vice president John B. Sams Jr. and Greenville, S.C., businessman Tecumseh “Tee” Hooper Jr. joined The Citadel Board of Visitors this month.
Sams, Citadel Class of 1967, was elected by Citadel Alumni Association members while Hooper, Class of 1969, was elected by the South Carolina General Assembly. Both will serve six-year terms. They replace board members William G. Kastner and Claude W. Burns III.
A retired Air Force lieutenant general, Sams is currently president of his own consulting company and serves as a consultant for numerous aerospace companies from his office in Mount Pleasant, S.C. Sams, who retired from The Boeing Co. in December of 2007, served as vice president of Air Force programs for Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. Prior to that, he served 32 years with the Air Force, accumulating more than 6,000 flying hours – including 700 combat hours in Vietnam. He retired from the Air Force in 1999 as commander of the 15th Air Force.
Sams’ education includes a bachelor’s degree in history from The Citadel and a master’s degree in personnel management from Central Michigan University. He is a graduate of Squadron Officer School and a distinguished graduate of both the Air Command and Staff College and the Air War College. He is also a graduate of the Emory University Advanced Management Program and the Advanced School for Government at Harvard University.
While a cadet at The Citadel, Sams served in India Company as a corporal, platoon sergeant and on Third Battalion Staff. He was a member of the Arnold Air Society, the Orphanage Fund Committee, Sphinx Staff, the Society of American Military Engineers and the Menu Advisory Committee.
Hooper, who lives in Greenville, S.C., is CEO of GWD LLC, a Trane HVAC distributor of residential and light commercial equipment in South Carolina. He is also the owner of FGP International Inc., an executive and temporary placement service company and Sign Crafters, USA, a sign manufacturing and service company headquartered in Greenville. Hooper was the president of Modern Office Machines/IKON Office Solutions in Greenville from 1982 through 2001. In addition he currently serves on the boards of Southern First Bank, Peregrine Energy Inc., and Verdae Development Inc. He served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Army Reserves and is former chairman of the boards at the S.C. Department of Transportation and Patriots Point Development Authority.
Hooper received a BS in business administration from The Citadel and a master’s in business from the University of South Carolina in 1971. As a cadet, he was the senior class treasurer, an All Conference Bulldog basketball player in 1969 and captain of the basketball team his senior year. As a member of the tennis team, Hooper was a two-time singles (’67, ’69) and a three-time doubles Southern Conference champion (’67, ’68, ’69).
Hooper was inducted into The Citadel Athletic Hall of Fame in 1982. He is a lifetime member of The Citadel Alumni Association and a member of the Citadel Brigadier Foundation. In 2009, he received the Order of the Palmetto for his work as chairman of the state Department of Transportation. The Order of the Palmetto is the highest civilian honor given in South Carolina.