CSCC’s Community First Award Winners Chosen

CSCC’s Community First Award Winners Chosen

Holly Vincent
Thursday, March 3, 2016 1:23 PM
All, Community

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – The results are in! Cleveland State’s Community First Awards Committee received 64 nominations seeking to honor individuals across nine categories. Nominations were judged based on the nominees’ extraordinary commitment of time, talent or treasure to the community. There were a total of ten winners for the individual categories.
“I was very pleasantly surprised with the large number of nominations,” stated CSCC President Dr. Bill Seymour. “Such a strong response tells me that our theme of ‘Community First’ strikes a meaningful chord with many who share this value.”
The committee met on February 26 following a review of all the nomination materials. They voted on their top candidates for each category, as well as the one person who will be identified as the Community First Person of the Year. The Person of the Year will not be revealed until the Community First Gala on March 31.
The categories and winners are as follows:

● Arts:
Mary Kennedy Hendershot
Executive Director, Monroe Area Council for the Arts (MACA) Madisonville, TN

● Business:
J. Lee Stewart
CEO, Southern Heritage Bank, Cleveland, TN

● Education:
Mickey Blevins
Director, McMinn County Schools, Athens, TN

● Healthcare:
Scott Bowman
Administrator, Sweetwater Hospital, Sweetwater, TN

● Non-Profit Leadership:
Brenda Hughes
Founder, Family Cornerstones, Cleveland, TN

● Philanthropy:
Bob Card
Founder, Bob and Susan Card Charitable Foundation, Cleveland, TN

● Public Service:
George Poe
Vice Mayor, Cleveland, TN

● Student Leadership:
Wendy Armenta
Student, Bradley Central High School / Boys and Girls Club, Cleveland, TN

● Volunteer Service:
Donald Lorton
Retired, Cleveland, TN

Nancy Casson
Owner, The Red Ribbon
Cleveland, TN

Seymour continued, “The inaugural class of Community First Award honorees is very impressive. Each one truly exemplifies the idea of putting community first before self. I am confident the public will want to come out in support of these champions of our community.”
The Community First Awards Gala is presented by CSCC and sponsored by First Tennessee Bank. It is a benefit for the CSCC Foundation Annual Campaign, and will be held on March 31 at 6:30 p.m. in the Lane Center on the CSCC campus. Dinner will be provided, and entertainment will be the Mountain Faith Band, a semifinalist in the nationally televised “America’s Got Talent” show. Business attire is requested.
A corporate table for eight is $1,000. For more information and to purchase a table, contact the Cleveland State Foundation at (423) 473-2262 or visit the website at All proceeds will go to support the Cleveland State Annual Fund. Please make checks payable to the Cleveland State Foundation and put “Community First” on the memo line.

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