Joe M. Dorris
Joe Dorris grew up in Goodlettsville, Tenn. His great-grand- father and great-great-grandfather both graduated from Vanderbilt University Medical School in the 19th century. After graduating from the School of Engineering in 1965, Dorris earned his MBA from the University of Memphis while working full time at RCA Corp.
Dorris has worked in engineering, marketing and management positions at McDonnell Aircraft Corp., RCA, Union Carbide Corp., R.O. Whitesell and Associates and Futaba Corp. of America. He became president and CEO of Futaba, a Japanese subsidiary with manufacturing and distribution operations located in Huntsville, Ala. At Futaba, Dorris steered the company’s North American growth to multimillion-dollar annual revenues. He also founded two U.S. subsidiary companies. In 2006 he retired from Futaba after 26 years.
Dorris has long been a strong supporter of Vanderbilt University. He provided financial support and contracted research with both the Vanderbilt School of Engineering and the Owen Graduate School of Management. He donated equipment to the School of Engineering’s laboratories and to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. He was a major sponsor of the Vanderbilt Association for Technology Management program. During his time at Futuba, he encouraged two employees to apply to Owen and another to apply for a master’s degree program at the School of Engineering— all received their degrees. In 2005 he received the Vanderbilt School of Engineering Dean’s Distinguished Service Award for his support of the Vanderbilt Motorsports program. He is an active member of the Vanderbilt School of Engineering Committee of Visitors and a member of the Fred J. Lewis Society.
Joe and his wife of 45 years, Claire, spend their retirement in Estero, Fla., and Huntsville, Ala.