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01-03-2011

Earl "Skip" Lewis Receives Clarkson University's Top Alumni Honor

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/elewis-gk.jpg .]

Earl R. “Skip” Lewis of Boston, Mass., CEO and president of FLIR Systems Inc., has received the Golden Knight Award from his alma mater, Clarkson University.

Clarkson University President Tony Collins, Earl R. Presented each year during Reunion Weekend, Clarkson's most prestigious alumni award is given to alumni who have distinguished themselves either by service to Clarkson through Alumni Association activities or have demonstrated outstanding career achievement, bringing distinction to themselves and to Clarkson.

Lewis received his bachelor of science degree in industrial distribution from Clarkson in 1966.

Beginning as a planning engineer at Westinghouse Electric Corporation after graduation, Lewis quickly moved up the ranks throughout his career, holding a number of leadership positions at companies such as Alfa-Laval and Thermo Instrument Systems Inc.

He is currently the CEO and president of FLIR Systems Inc., the world leader in thermal imaging. Under his leadership, FLIR has been rated by Forbes six times in the last nine years -- four times in the top 200 best small companies and twice in the top 100 best mid-cap companies.

FLIR was also named the Best Company in the Northwest three times by the Seattle Journal; rated #7 by the Wall Street Journal for five years performance ranking and #1 for electronic equipment manufacturers; and named as one of the 100 fastest growing companies by Fortune. In 2010, Lewis was named business man of the year by Battlespace magazine.

Lewis has also continued to further his education and has attended post-graduate programs at the Harvard University, Northeastern University and University of Buffalo.

He currently holds board positions for four public companies, FLIR Systems, Inc., Harvard BioScience, NxStage Medical Inc., and American DG Energy, and two private companies.

Lewis is also a member of Clarkson University’s board of trustees and serves on the institutional advancement, research and investment committees. He has been a generous supporter of Clarkson and continues to demonstrate his devotion to his alma mater.

Lewis and his wife, Barbara, live in Boston, Mass., and have two sons, Chip and Gregory.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Earl R. “Skip” Lewis of Boston, Mass., CEO and president of FLIR Systems Inc., has received the Golden Knight Award from his alma mater, Clarkson University. Left to right: Clarkson University President Tony Collins, Lewis, and Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations Steve Newkofsky.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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