Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke and U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann held the red ribbon tight so Don Lepard could make a clean cut with an unwieldy pair of extra-large scissors.
Gov. Bill Haslam began to clap before the ribbon hit the ground. Lepard grinned and turned to shake the governor's hand as the applause washed over him. It was Aug. 16, 2013 -- a good day for the former UTC football star.
Lepard, founder of Global Green Lighting, had just opened a 180,000-square-foot factory that he had relocated to Chattanooga from China, much to the delight of officials across the Volunteer State.