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Date, format of Nashville Chamber of Commerce banquet yet to be decided

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By Louie Graves

News-Leader staff

A date has yet to be set for the annual Chamber of Commerce awards banquet, but anticipation is already building for possible recipients of the chamber’s major citizenship awards.

Chamber executive director told the newspaper Monday that the board still had not decided whether or not to have a formal banquet. 

He added that the chamber might go ahead and present the citizenship awards in some manner.

The recipients will be chosen by the chamber’s board of directors from nominations submitted by the public. For many years the award recipients were chosen by a committee composed of former winners.

Normally at the banquet, the awards are presented by the previous year’s winners, and the identity of the new winner is often kept secret for as long as possible before and during the presenter’s speech.

Other awards such as past accomplishments or lifetime achievement may also be presented.

A nomination form can be found in this issue of the News-Leader. The form may be mailed or taken to the chamber office.

Originally, only a Man of the Year Award was presented, and two years 

later a Woman of the Year award was given. The first Man winner was the late Jay Toland, an insurance executive who helped write grants for the city. The first Woman winner was Liz Backus Bell who founded the Howard County Children’s Center. Her award was actually called Citizen of the Decade, but the title gave way to Woman of the Year.

The first Orange & Black Award was presented for 1996 and recipients were Coach Billy Laird and the undefeated state champion Scrapper football team members. Originally, the award was sponsored by the ‘Nashville News,’ but trophy sponsorship was eventually taken over by the chamber of commerce.

Awards are given in recognition for contributions or accomplishments during the previous year or before:

Man of the Year

1973 Jay Toland

1974 Louis ‘Swampy’ Graves

1975 Clayton Franklin

1976 John Reuther

1977 Larry Renard

1978 James Masey

1979 Deward Sharp

1980 Bobby Feemster

1981 Arthur Baker

1982 Roy Reaves

1983 David Pile

1984 Herschell Teague

1985 Mike Reese

1986 Dale Hart

1987 Mike McCann

1988 Dr. John Hearnsberger

1989 Joe H. Ball

1990 Donny & Ronny Woods

1991 Louie Graves

1992 Wendell Hoover

1993 Jess Young

1994 Norman Adamson

1995 Mike Kinkade

1996 Donnie Parrish

1997 Cliff Petty

1998 Roger Cox

1999 Ray Blakely

2000 Billy Hockaday

2001 Rev. Jim Polk

2002 Bo Castleberry

2003 J.B. Davis

2004 Gary Dan Futrell

2005 Dr. Glenn Lance

2006 James Reed

2007 Sen. Jim Hill

2008 Joe Dallas

2009 Bill Blakely

2010 Mark Canaday

2011 Randy White

2012 Sheriff Butch Morris

2013 Bob Carlisle

2014 Freddie Horne

2015 Don Fletcher 

2016 John R. Schirmer

2017 Alfred Neeley

2018 Tim Pinkerton

2019 Alan Green

Woman of the Year

1975 Liz Bell

1976 Jane Chesshir

1977 Mercedes Dildy

1978 Jane Graves

1979 Dot Tyndall

1980 Mary Power

1981 Junior Auxiliary

1982 Becky Steel

1983 Edna Benson

1984 Jo N. Howard

1985 Hospital Auxiliary

1986 Lossie Johnson

1987 Evelyn Cobb

1988 Verna Hockaday

1989 Sandy Steel

1990 Nobie Ann Williams

1991 Mabel Sanders

1992 Mary Lawrence

1993 Sandy Boone

1994 Deb Kinkade

1995 Neva Byrd

1996 Lou Jamison

1997 Carol Oliver

1998 Kaye Jones

1999 Dolly Henley

2000 Jimmie Jean White

2001 Freda Davis

2002 Becky Rockenbach

2003 Cay Teague

2004 Voncille Bullock

2005 Carolyn Ellis

2006 Dena Tollett

2007 Beverly Starr

2008 Sandra Jones

2009 Ruth Wilson

2010 Rose Ray

2011 Sheila Kreul

2012 Anna Blase

2013 Vivian Wright

2014 Kristi Vines

2015 Joan McCrary

2016 Gail Harris Hearnsberger

2017 Jodi King

2018 Becky Sides Floyd

2019 Cheryl Power

Orange & Black

Education Award

1996 Coach Billy Laird and the

State Champion Scrappers

1997 John R. Schirmer

1998 Katie Wesche

1999 Edwin R. ‘Bob’ Armil

2000 Anita Stuckey

2001 Tammie Elliott

2002 Dennis Horn

2003 Jr. & Sr. High FCCLA Classes

2004 Cheryl Power

2005 Gaye Graham

2006 Billy Dawson

2007 Johnny Wilson

2008 Becky Floyd

2009 Tammy Alexander

2010 LaDonna Curtis

2011 Paul Tollett

2012 Doug Graham

2013 James ‘Bunch’ Nichols

2014 Reeder McCullough

2015 Joy Freel

2016 Stacia Petty

2017 Julie Rhodes

2018 Brian Bearden

2019 Andrea Pinegar

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