Ed Pershing (’74)

Category: Alumni Service | Awards

2021 Alumni Service Award Winner

An entrepreneur, public servant, and dedicated alumnus, Ed Pershing is the retired president and CEO of PYA, a professional services firm that he co-founded in 1983 as a small accounting firm. Today, it is ranked in the top 100 accounting firms and is the 13th largest health care management consulting firm in the United States. He also co-founded Healthcare Horizons Consulting Group Inc., Realty Trust Group, PYA Waltman Capital, and PYA Analytics.

Though Pershing has been successful in business, he has long made time to contribute to UT. He is an active member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Haslam College of Business and the board of the UT Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He is also a former member of the Chancellor’s Associates and has become a familiar face in the Haslam College of Business as he contributes his time to faculty, staff, and students.

The community has also benefited from Pershing’s servant heart. He co-founded the East Tennessee Maternity Center and Knoxville Area Project Access. He was a founding board member and treasurer of Tennessee’s first Ronald McDonald House, a graduate of Leadership Knoxville, a former board member of the Knoxville Chamber, and a board member and past chairman of the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont.

Both UT and other organizations have recognized Pershing’s contributions. The Haslam College of Business awarded him the 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year award, and the Department of Accounting and Information Management presented him with the Distinguished Alum Award in 2014. In the community, he was given the Health Care Heroes Lifetime Achievement Award by the Knoxville Business Journal in 2012 and is a member of the Junior Achievement of East Tennessee Business Hall of Fame.