Hall of Fame business leaders

Coles College 2016 Hall of Fame
Coles College of Business Hall of Fame inductees Lee Rhyant and Jack Dinos are shown with Dean Kathy Schwaig.

Jack Dinos, Lee Rhyant inducted into Coles College Hall of Fame

KENNESAW, Ga. (Oct 28, 2016) — The Michael J. Coles College of Business celebrated its second class of Hall of Fame honorees with the induction of Jack Dinos and Lee Rhyant.

Established in 2015, the Hall of Fame recognizes the Coles College’s most esteemed supporters. During a ceremony at Kennesaw State University, Dinos and Rhyant were lauded for their commitment to innovation, community service and global engagement, elements at the heart of the Coles College mission.

“It is a great honor for the Coles College of Business to have such tremendous partners,” Dean Kathy Schwaig said. “Jack Dinos and Lee Rhyant have paved remarkable paths in business and industry and serve as role models for us all as we strive to be better citizens and engage more effectively in our communities. Their entrepreneurial spirit makes our world a better place.”

More about the 2016 inductees:

Jack Dinos, retired CEO and founder of Southern Tea Company

Jack Dinos grew Southern Tea Company into the second-largest packer of tea in North America and the nation’s largest private-label tea producer. He and his family have endowed two eminent scholar chairs in the Coles College of Business: the Chair of Private Enterprise and the Chair of Entrepreneurial Management. The Tetley Lecture series exists today because of his advocacy and support. He also assisted in establishing the Family Business Forum, the “K System,” which was adopted by business colleges globally. Dinos is an honorary member of Beta Gamma Sigma and was a charter member/founder of Pi Sigma Epsilon professional sales and marketing fraternity. He holds an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from the University System of Georgia and is a trustee emeritus of the Kennesaw State University Foundation. 

Lee Rhyant, president and CEO of LER Solutions, LLC

Lee Rhyant offers executive coaching and executive development to Fortune 500 CEOs and senior executives. He spent 33 years in corporate leadership roles, including 11 years as executive vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin. Named one of Georgia’s Most Influential People by Georgia Trend magazine, Rhyant has been an active supporter of KSU and the Coles College of Business for more than a decade. He is an advisory board member and an executive in residence in the Coles College of Business and has served as a commencement speaker, advisor to the president and mentor to Dean Schwaig. Rhyant has spoken in both the Tetley Leader Lecture Series and the Clary Lecture Series, which specifically focuses on deeper engagement with and among alumni of Coles College graduate programs.

The induction of Dinos and Rhyant brings the Coles College Hall of Fame’s membership to eight honorees. The inaugural class in 2015 consisted of Michael Coles, Connie Engel, Gene Henssler, Tom Hughes, Kerstin Valdes Benden and Mark Wilson.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu