N.C. State has a new alumni association director.
He is Ralph (Benny) E. Suggs, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (ret.) and general manager of the Harley Owners Group (HOG) and Rider Services at Harley-Davidson Motor Company.
He succeeds Lennie Barton, who was fired last year by interim Chancellor James Woodward.
Suggs, a 1969 graduate of NC State, was one of the university’s 2006 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. He has also served on the General Hugh Shelton Leadership Initiative Board of Advisors at the university for the past eight years.
“We’re thrilled that Benny Suggs is returning to the university he has loved and supported over the years, “ said Alumni Association President Dennis Howard, in a university news release. “He epitomizes the leadership and public service commitment graduates of NC State are known for throughout the nation.”
From the release:
As general manager of the Harley Owners Group, Suggs is responsible for managing an organization with 1.2 million members worldwide. He also manages all rider-training programs sponsored by Harley-Davidson as well as authorized rentals worldwide. He has a full-time staff of 60 and thousands of volunteers around the world.
Suggs served for 30 years in the U.S. Navy and was Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. Special Operations Command, upon his retirement in 2000. He also served as Commander of Carrier Group Six/John C. Stennis Battle Group and was director for Operations, Plans and Policy, U.S. Atlantic Fleet where he was responsible for the training and deployment preparations of more than 175,000 personnel.
Suggs is also a Navy aviator, receiving his Naval Aviation Wings in 1971. He has received the Defense Meritorious and Distinguished Service Medals, Five Legion of Merit Medals and Two Navy Commendation Medals.
NCSU has more than 175,000 alums.