Strange Thomas

Press Release                                                                           

Date: April 4, 2022

Contact: Lisa Garrett,

Tri-County Technical College Commission Elects New Chair

PENDLETON, SC – Thomas Strange of Easley is the new chairman of Tri-County Technical College's Commission, the nine-member governing board of the College.

Hamid Mohsseni of Anderson was elected vice chair. 

Jim Kaplan of Pickens was re-elected secretary.         

They took office at the April 4 meeting.  

“Chairman Strange shares in our belief in the transformative power of education, and he brings a wealth of experiences to his role as chair,” said TCTC President Galen DeHay. “I’m looking forward to working with Tom as we continue to advance our mission and vision.”

Strange, who previously served as the Commission’s vice chair, was appointed to the Commission in April 2017, following a three-year stint from 2011 to 2014. Until his retirement, Strange worked for 23 years for Abbott (formerly St. Jude Medical) in Liberty. As senior director of research and development, he introduced many new technologies that continue to define state of the art in implantable medical devices for both pacing and arrhythmia correction.

He has an extensive background in materials science and is the author of 57 patents and numerous papers over the last three decades, covering all aspects of power component development. He served on the Foundation Board of Tri-County Technical College from 2014 – 2017.

His honors and achievements include receiving the 1998 St. Jude Medical Hendrickson Award for his work on development of flat capacitors, the highest honor for St. Jude; and has been inducted into the Abbott Volwiler Society as a Senior Research Fellow, the highest honor for Abbott scientists. He is also an American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers Fellow.

In 2002 he was appointed Economic Ambassador for Pickens County by Governor Jim Hodges. He received the St. Jude Medical Patent Hall of Fame award in 2005, the University of SC Distinguished Alumni in 2007 and the Dr. Charles Towns Individual Achievement Award in 2009.

After receiving his undergraduate degree, he completed graduate studies in physics at the University of South Carolina and joined Philips Components as a member of the research staff and participated in or led the research activity involving the development of electrochemical and AC film capacitors.

Strange serves on the board of directors for the Fine Arts Center, Musical Instrument Research Catalog, and was a founding member of the S.C. Biotechnology Industry Organization (2008-2016).  He and his wife, Debra, have a son, Derek.

Mohsseni was appointed to the Commission in 2020.

He is president and CEO of Anderson Restaurant Group in Anderson.  The company operates two full-service restaurants – Tucker’s Restaurant and Carson’s Steak Warehouse & Saloon, as well as a restaurant management and commercial leasing operation.

He is a member and former chairman of the Anderson Economic Development Board and has participated in several overseas economic development partnerships, including missions to China and Ireland.  He is a 2005 graduate of Leadership South Carolina. He served as chairman of the Leadership South Carolina board for two years and is a graduate of Leadership Anderson.

He serves on the Board of Regents for Anderson University and the local Salvation Army board.  He has served on the boards of Region’s Bank, the Anderson Chamber of Commerce, the Anderson YMCA, United Way of Anderson County and the AnMed Hospital Foundation. He is an ex-officio member of the Tri-County Technical College Foundation. 

A native of Tehran, Iran, Mohsseni came to the United States in 1977, earning a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Clemson University.

He has made Anderson his home for 25 years with his wife, KD, and their son, Maddox. 

Kaplan was appointed to the Commission in 2018.

He is CEO of Cornell Dubilier Electronics, a manufacturer of electric components. With corporate headquarters and manufacturing in Liberty, the company also operates from sites in Massachusetts, California, Illinois, Mexico, North Carolina, and Hong Kong. He joined the company as a process engineer in 1988 and later moved to Mexicali, Mexico, where he was production control manager. He moved back to Liberty in 1994 to assume the role of manufacturing manager and later was named general manager (1996 -1999). He was the president from 2000 to 2021 and now serves as CEO.

He received a bachelor of science degree in ceramic engineering from Clemson University and an MBA from The College of William and Mary.

He serves on several boards, including the Pickens County United Way, Electronic Industry Association, Alliance Pickens County and the Electronic Components Industry Association. He is a former Red Cross board member.

He is a member of Grace United Methodist Church. He and his wife, Julee, have three children.


About Tri-County Technical College

Tri-County Technical College, a public two-year community and technical college serving Anderson, Oconee and Pickens Counties in South Carolina, enrolls more than 9,000 students annually and offers more than 70 major fields of study, including computer technology, industrial electronics, mechatronics, nursing, and university transfer programs. Tri-County boasts the highest student success rate among two-year colleges in the state and ranks in the top one percent nationally for successful student transfers to four-year colleges and universities. To learn more, visit