Community First Award Winners Chosen

Community First Award Winners Chosen

Holly Vincent
Monday, February 18, 2019 12:00 AM

The results are in! The Community First Awards Committee received over 50 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 11 winners for the individual categories. 

“We are thrilled to have another outstanding group of Community First Award honorees,” stated Dr. Bill Seymour, CSCC President. “Each in their own special way exemplifies the value of always putting your community first. We look forward to honoring them at our Gala and identifying one as the Community First Person of the Year.”

The committee met recently 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 college will keep the name of this prestigious award, the Community First Person of the Year, a surprise until the night of the event, March 28.

The categories and winners are as follows:

  • Arts:
    Dwight Richardson, Owner / Designer, Fenimore’s Floral Design Studio
    (Cleveland, TN)


  • Business:
    Ron Hammontree, Former Executive Director of Tellico Reservoir Development Agency (TRDA)
    (Maryville, TN)

  • Education:

Eric Weaver, Principal, Sweetwater, High School
(Vonore, TN)

  • Healthcare:

Dr. James F. Ohlsson, DDS
(Cleveland, TN)


  • Non-Profit Leadership:
                           Lynn Voelz, Executive Director of the Bradley Memorial Healthcare Foundation

(Cleveland, TN)

  • Philanthropy:
    Gary Fuller, Retired Partner and Director of Operations, Aloette Cosmetics of East Tennessee
    Pat Fuller, Retired Owner and Operator of Orange Blossom Boutique, Retired Co-owner and President of franchise for Aloette Cosmetics of East Tennessee
    (Cleveland, TN)
  • Public Service:
               Gary Farlow, President and CEO, Cleveland / Bradley Chamber of Commerce
                (Cleveland, TN)

    ●          Student Leadership:
                Amanda Forbes, Cleveland State Community College Student
                (Athens, TN)

                Taylor Odum, Meigs County High School Student

            (Decatur, TN)

  • Volunteer Service:
    Ron Braam, Retired President / CEO, Synalloy Corp.
    (Cleveland, TN)


The Community First Awards Gala is sponsored by Southeast Bank and will be held on

Thursday, March 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the L. Quentin Lane Center. Dinner will be provided, and

business attire is requested.

To purchase a ticket or for information on corporate sponsorship, contact Cindy Dawson

at (423) 614-8703 or visit the website at All proceeds will go to

support the Cleveland State Annual Fund.


Partners & Initiatives

  • Cleveland Bradley Business Incubator
  • America's SBDC Tennesseey
  • Your Skills. Your Future.
  • OneSource
  • Cleveland State Sustainability Initiative
  • TBR The College System of Tennessee
  • TN eCampus
  • Tennessee Transfer Pathway