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Press Release                                                                                      
February 1, 2021
Lisa Garrett,
(By Lisa Garrett)

Tri-County Technical College’s Commission Officers Re-Elected

PENDLETON --- Tri-County Technical College’s commissioners unanimously re-elected J. Allard (Al) Young, of Honea Path, to lead its nine-member governing board. 

Chairman Young was re-elected to a second term at the commission’s February 1 bi-monthly meeting.

Thomas Strange of Easley was re-elected vice chair and Jim Kaplan of Pickens was re-elected secretary-treasurer.

They will begin their three-year terms April 1.

“Tri-County is blessed to have exceptional board leadership. Commissioners Kaplan, Strange and Young bring a wealth of experience to the Commission, and equally important, they are passionate about creating opportunities for people to have better lives through education,” said TCTC President Dr. Galen DeHay.

Young served as president and CEO of The Commercial Bank in Honea Path from 1996 until his retirement in 2014.  Prior to that he was senior vice president of BB&T in Belton for 12 years and served as president of Latta Bank and Trust Company from 1977 to 84.  He began his career in banking with First Citizens Bank and Trust in Dillon, SC, as a management trainee and was promoted to vice president. 

In 2010 Young was elected president of the Independent Banks of South Carolina at the organization's annual convention. In 2013 he was recognized as the" Independent Banker of the Year" by the same organization.

A native of Florence, he studied heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology at Florence Darlington Technical College and later graduated from the University of Alabama where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in administrative sciences.  He also is a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University, the National Commercial Lending Graduate School at the University of Oklahoma, the Graduate School of Bank Investments at the University of Oklahoma and the South Carolina Bankers School at the University of South Carolina.  In addition, Young served six years in the U.S. Army Reserves.

He is active in his community and was instrumental in bringing the Watkins Community Center to Honea Path by initially serving as chair of the organizing committee.  In 2009, residents and Tri-County Technical College officials gathered at the Watkins Community Center in Honea Path to celebrate the dedication of the College’s new Learning Center named in honor of the late Senator Billy O’Dell.

            In addition, Young is a member of the board of directors of the Jennie Erwin Library, past president of the Watkins Community Center and the Honea Path Civitans.  In 2000 and 2006 he was recognized as the Civitan of the Year by the Honea Path Civitan Club.  In 2014 Governor Nikki Haley presented him with the Order of the Silver Crescent.   

He is a member of Belton Presbyterian Church, where he serves as an elder.  He is married to the former Judith Allen.  They have a son, Carl, and a daughter, Carrie. 

Strange was appointed to the Commission in April 2017.

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 53 patents and numerous papers over the last three decades, covering all aspects of power component development.

He represented Pickens County on the Tri-County Technical College Commission from 2011 to 2014.  He served on the Foundation Board of Tri-County Technical College from 2014 to 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 he has been inducted into the Abbott Volwiler Society as a Research Fellow, the highest honor for Abbott scientists.

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 and completing graduate studies in physics at the University of South Carolina, he joined Philips Components as a member of the research staff. During his 15 years with Philips Components in Columbia, South Carolina, and two years with Aerovox, Inc., in Huntsville Alabama, he participated in or led the research activity involving the development of electrochemical and AC film capacitors. He was a member of a small team of entrepreneurs who, from 1994 to 1996, developed and produced the pioneering flat medical grade electrolytic capacitor that made thoracic implantable cardioverter defibrillators possible.

Strange serves on the board of directors for the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, Carolina Music Museum, Manufacturers Caring for Pickens County (MCPC) and was a founding member of the S.C. Biotechnology Industry Organization (2008-2016).

He and his wife, Debra, have a son, Derek. They live in Easley.                                  

Kaplan was appointed to the Commission in 2018.

He is president/owner 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 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 role of manufacturing manager and later was named general manager (1996 -1999).  He has been president since 2000.

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.                                                  


The Tri-County Technical College Commission meets bi-monthly in the Board Room of the Ruby S. Hicks Library/Administration Building on the Pendleton Campus located at 7900 Highway 76 in Pendleton. The meetings begin at 12:30 p.m. 



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