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Posted on: February 12, 2019

Sixth Annual ATHENA Awards at Embassy Suites Murfreesboro April 12

Rutherford Cable


RUTHERFORD Cable, founding sponsor, is proud to announce the 2019 ATHENA International Leadership Awards Nominees. Now in its sixth year, the local Rutherford County awards have a wonderful group of diverse and outstanding women to celebrate. 


Dr. Ellen Slicker, 2019 ATHENA Chair indicated, "Since we are celebrating the 10th Anniversary of RUTHERFORD Cable, we are pleased to have two wonderful women keynote our awards ceremony this year. Terri Donovan, one of the founding members of RUTHERFORD Cable and its first President, and Jean Anne Rogers, the first to bring the ATHENA International Awards to Rutherford County and chair the committee. Their informative, entertaining, and inspiring presentations will highlight RUTHERFORD Cable as the ATHENA founding sponsor, as well as provide a local highlight to the Rutherford County ATHENA Program." 

The local program is a part of ATHENA International, a nonprofit organization that seeks to support, develop and honor women leaders. ATHENA is a global program. Since its founding in 1982, more than 8,000 awards have been presented in eight countries. 

The 16 nominees for the 2019 ATHENA Award and 7 nominees for the ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award were introduced at RUTHERFORD Cable’s February 12th breakfast meeting. 

This year’s ATHENA Award luncheon and ceremony will begin at 11:15 a.m. with registration followed by lunch and the Award Ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are $40 per person/$400 per table of 10 and are available online at RutherfordCable.org. 

The Rutherford County community is looking forward to another year of celebrating the ladies honored at this year’s event. "They are our mentors, our coworkers, and our friends. They are true examples of leaders in their profession and work deep within the community to volunteer and spend their extra time improving the qualities of our community." said Jackie Morgan, current RUTHERFORD Cable President. 

In addition to founding sponsor Rutherford Cable, the 2019 Rutherford ATHENA Awards are sponsored by Pinnacle Financial Partners, Deloitte, Guaranty Trust, First Tennessee Bank, UPS, State Farm, Ascend Federal Credit Union, Farrar Wright Attorneys and Advisors, Redstone Federal Credit Union, TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center, Stones River Total Beverages, Wax Family Printing, Daffodilly Design and VIP Murfreesboro Magazine. 

The 2019 ATHENA Award nominees are… 

Dr. Yuan-ling Chao, American Association of University Women of Tennessee 

Dr. Yuan-Ling Chao has been a Professor for the History Department at Middle Tennessee State University for 24 years. She has done research on the history of medicine in late imperial China and has published several articles and a book titled MEDICINE AND SOCIETY IN LATE IMPERIAL CHINA: A STUDY OF PHYSICIANS IN SUZHOU, 1600-1850. She has served as the Chair of the Scholarship Committee for the charitable arm of AAUW, the Middle Tennessee Funds for Women and Girls. She also volunteers at various endeavors such as Expanding Your Horizon, encouraging women and girls to study science and technology. 

Leslie Anne Collum, League of Women Voters of Murfreesboro/Rutherford County 

Leslie Anne Collum is the Assistant District Attorney General for Rutherford County and has been a practicing attorney for over 35 years. Leslie has served as Co-President for the League of Women Voters of Murfreesboro/Rutherford County for 8 years where she has served on the Board and Co-President. She has volunteered as a tutor with the Read To Succeed Program in Rutherford County, is a member of the American Association of University Women in Murfreesboro, and is active with the Middle Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women. 

Kristin Coile Demos, Saint Thomas Rutherford Foundation Ambassadors 

Kristin Coile Demos is Vice President of Brand & Retail for Demos Brands, successfully opened a new restaturant concept called PDK, transitioned Peter D’s Catering, and is a dedicated community volunteer, working with many organizations in Rutherford County. She and husband, Peter, have launched an e-commerce site called Demos Family Kitchen and a Demos Brands Food Truck. Kristin serves on or has the lead at several organizations in Rutherford County. She also enjoys dedicating her time to the St. Thomas Rutherford Foundation because of the impact it has on the poor and underprivledged members of the community. 

Judge Lynn England Alexander, Middle Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women 

Judge Lynn England Alexander is a Judge for the Town of Smyrna. Lynn is a charter member of Middle Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women, where they have been invovled with the Rutherford County Drug Court to furnish Recovery House which provides much needed safe, supportive housing to women, assisting them in their goal to succeed. She believes in providing guidance to others and serves as a mentor to the women in the Doors of Hope Program and tnAchieves, where she assists high school students in navigating the Tennessee Promise Program requirements for obtaining a college scholarship. 

Dr. Linda Gilbert, United Way of Rutherford & Cannon Counties Dr. Linda Gilbert is the Director of Schools for Murfreesboro City and was recently awarded the 2019 Tennessee Superintendent of the Year. She is a member of twelve community boards, including the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties. Linda established Read To Succeed, co-established the St. Thomas Rutherford Mobile Health Unit (Ministry in Motion), co-established the Prevention Coalition for Success Rutherford County, co-authored the initial grants for Rutherford County’s Books from Birth, and has written and received more than $16 million in grants for schools and community organizations. 

Cherillyn A. Maddox, Goco Center for Aesthetics Cherillyn A. Maddox is Office Manager and Paitent Coordinator for Goco Center for Aesthetics. Cherillyn works with teammates to give back to their community, including organizations such as A Soldiers Child, Special Kids, Beasley Animal Foundation, Braxton Harrell, and more. She has also been able to start her own business where she can use her passion of helping other women gain confidence, step out of their comfort zone, and find out what they were made for, all while helping others get healthier. She has a heart for serving women and encouraging them to love and lift each other up. 

Betsy Maples Taylor, MTSU Jennings A. Jones College of Business 

Betsy Maples Taylor is the Owner of Maples Realty & Auction Co., which is a local company, serving Rutherford County for 50 years. Betsy is active in her community, serving on the MTSU Jones College of Business Advisory Council, the Discovery Center Advisory Board, and is Treasurer at Mt. Tabor Cumberland Presbyterian Church. She is also a past board chair with The Salvation Army and is an active volunteer. Betsy has dedicated her time to mentoring MTSU students, and she has also served in the past on the Athena Leadership forum committee at MTSU. 

Elizabeth McPhee, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Pi Nu Omega Chapter 

Elizabeth McPhee, first lady of Middle Tennessee State University, is a retired teacher with forty years of experience, was dedicated to educating the whole child; mind, body, and soul. A lifetime member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Elizabeth and her organization participated in collecting several backpacks filled with school supplies, winter accessories, and used eye wear to donate to local students and families in need. Recently, she had the opportunity to make a global impact through chairing Soles 4 Souls for the Southeastern Region where they collected 636 new shoes, 4,186 used shoes, making the total donation of 4,822 shoes in all to be delivered to Haiti. 

Celeste Middleton, Boys & Girls Clubs of Rutherford County 

Celeste Middleton is a local State Farm Agent who supports local High School athletics and the State Farm Classic. She has been a guest speaker at the GameDay Fundraiser, as well as local Driver’s Education and Business classes, and has spoken to the Lipscomb University women atheltes. Her office is an advocate for and involved in the Power of Pink events and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Rutherford County. Celeste serves as a board member for the Rutherford County Boys and Girls Club, has spent several years volunteering as a coach for boys and girls basketball, and believes in helping young women realize their full potential. 

Dr. Mary T. Moss, Charity Circle of Murfreesboro 

Dr. Mary T. Moss, Physician/MD at Tennessee Women's Care, has practiced in the Murfreesboro Community for 26 years and has served on the General Board and Executive Board of St Thomas Rutherford Hospital for over 10 years. She believes in supporting her community through various organizations such as, Circle of Murfreesboro Organization, City School Foundation, Murfreesboro Soccer Club, United Way, Boys and Girls Club, Oakland Mansion, Domestic Violence, Special Kids, and numerous mission efforts through St Mark's United Methodist Church. 

Judge Donna Scott Davenport, Junior League of Murfreesboro 

Judge Donna Scott Davenport, Rutherford County Juvenile Judge, became Rutherford County’s first independent Juvenile Court Judge and first female Judge in the year 2000. Donna is involved with the Junior League of Murfreesboro to empower all women and young ladies in our community. She is also an Adjunct Professor for the past twenty-five years at MTSU via the Criminal Justice Department, 

where she has been able to refer prior students for jobs, graduate programs, and law school. Donna also hosts a radio program on WGNS and enjoys being able to mentor to some of Murfreesboro’s Young Professionals. 

Sharon Seibert, Murfreesboro Breakfast Rotary Club 

Sharon Seibert, Customer Service Manager for Murfreesboro Water Resources Department, has a long history of working with others to serve her neighbors and humankind. During her career she has been awarded a utility patent, a trademark, and earned her Six Sigma Green Belt distinction. She has deep community involvement, partnering with local organization’s such as Jim Brown’s Amer-I-Can and Oakland High School’s trade program, serves as co-sponsor for earth day school competitions, and created a state wide culinary arts competition as part of Murfreesboro Breakfast Rotary’s BBQ festival. 

Nancy Skinner, Guaranty Trust Company 

Nancy Skinner, Chief Operations Officer and Sr. Vice President for Guaranty Trust Company, works closely with United Way through donations of time, talent, and treasure. Nancy was on the committee that hosted the event for the 2nd Annual Battle of the Boro Mortgage games, where all proceeds went to benefit the Rutherford County Food Bank. Nancy has been in the mortgage industry since 1985 and has been with Guaranty Trust for 20 years. She works with the operations staff by assisting in problem solving, updating guidelines and helping to make your loan approvals and closings as smooth as possible. In the last year she has been dedicated to growing her professional skills and has earned the Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) designation through the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). 

Dr. Barbara F. Turnage, MTSU President’s Commission on the Status of Women & June Anderson Center for Women & Nontraditional Studies 

Dr. Barbara F. Turnage is Interiim Associate Dean and Professor of Social Work for Middle Tennessee State University. Barbara is an active member of many organizations, including The June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students, the President’s Commission on the Status of Women, and the National Women’s History Month Committee. She has also served on MTSU’s Faculty Senate, the Africana Studies Program Development Committee, and the International Education and Exchange Committee. Her life goal is—‘To help others become emotionally and spiritually sound.’ 

Gina W. Urban, RUTHERFORD Cable 

Gina W. Urban, owner of Urban Expert Services, is a lifelong marketing professional who has worked in the private, public, and education sectors. Gina is an active member of RUTHERFORD Cable, serving as Board Secretary for two terms and in several other leadership roles. She is an active volunteer for Amelia’s Closet, a clothier of hope helping disadvantaged women become productive members of society. She is a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where she provides financial support to the downtown congregation which provides food and shelter for the homeless of our community. 

Mary M. Wade, Murfreesboro Branch of the NAACP 

Mary M. Wade is a retiree after 39 years of service with State Farm Insurance. Mary served on the Murfreesboro City School Board of Education as Board Chair and on the Tennessee School Board of Directors on behalf of Murfreesboro City Schools. She is a long-standing life member of the NAACP and has a philosophy to excellence, inclusion, and service above self. She is an advocate for woman, 

children, underrepresented, and underserved members of her community, giving them a voice and seat at the table for the appropriate dialogue on policies that impact them the most. 

The 2019 ATHENA Young Professional Nominees are . . . 

Jayme Brunson, American Association of University Women of Tennessee 

Jayme Brunson is the Coordinator of Library Administration for the James E. Walker Library, Middle Tennessee State University where she also serves on the Diversity Committee for MTSU’s President’s Commission on the Status of Women and is the Middle Tennessee Co-Chair for the Gender Equity Committee of United Campus Workers. Jayme is a recipient of a 2019 New Leaders Council fellowship in Nashville and she is an active member of AAUW Murfreesboro and Communications Chair for AAUW of Tennessee, both of which allow her to serve her community in a variety of capacities 

Courtney E. Chavez, United Way of Rutherford & Cannon Counties 

Courtney E. Chavez is a Business Banking Relationship Manager with First Tennessee Bank. She is the recipient of the Murfreesboro "All In" Award for Outstanding Leadership, Chairman Club of Top Performers, and Ruthies Favorite Banker Finalist for 2015. Courtney has been able to partner with United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties, first as a volunteer and most recently as a Board Member. She has spent her time supporting events such as the Community Baby Shower, Stuff the Bus, and Home Town Huddle. She has also been able to mentor and coach many young women through the banking industry. 

Dr. Amy Hodgin, Junior League of Murfreesboro 

Dr. Amy Hodgin is the Pharmacy Manager and the Pharmacy Residency Program Director for Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital where she has led the expansion of clinical pharmacy services including the development of the hospital's first post-graduate pharmacy residency program. Amy has been an active member of the Junior League of Murfreesboro for six years, and has served the organization in a variety of roles, including chair of the New Member Community Service Project for two years. Amy is also involved in international missions and serves on The Mario Foundation’s Board of Directors. 

Kenzi Keene, RUTHERFORD Cable 

Kenzi Keene is an Insurance Agent and Business Owner for The Keene Agency with Farmers Insurance, serving the Murfreesboro community for 6 years. Kenzi has been a youth leader at two different churches where she has mentored over 150 girls, both emotionally and spiritually, over the last 16 years. She is an active member of Rutherford Cable for the last four years, where she serves on various committees, including Special Events and the ATHENA committee. Kenzi also has completed training through the Center for Executive Leadership Program and is currently participating in the Mentor/Protegee Program. 

Becky Lanham, Murfreesboro Kiwanis 

Becky Lanham is the Owner of Volunteer Rutherford-Founder, Dance Murfreesboro, The Warehouse, and The Remington Room. Becky is a member of the Kiwanis club, where she has served as President twice and is currently on the Board of Directors. She oversees the concessions stand for the girls softball league at McKnight Park, is the project chair for the Candle Wishes Party hosted 

every December, and serves as the club's advisor to the LaVergne High School Key Club. Becky is also the Board Chair for the Tennessee Rehabilitation Center in Murfreesboro and serves on the board of Candle Wishes Foundation. 

Kim N. Page, Chi Omega Alumnae of Murfreesboro 

Kim N. Page is a Mathematics and Scholars Academy Instructor at Middle Tennessee State University where she serves a diverse population of students that traditionally struggle with math. Kim has served as a chapter advisor for the Zeta Theta chapter of Chi Omega for the past five years. She facilitates the training of chapter officers, aids in the planning process of events to raise money for Make a Wish of Middle Tennessee, and tutors members of the Greek community in their mathematics courses. Additionally, Kim serves as a board member for the Chi Omega alumnae chapter of Murfreesboro. 

Erin Rains, Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Center 

Erin Rains is a Family Nurse Practitioner for Saint Thomas Medical Partners and is a member of the American Nurses Association, Tennessee Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau, and holds national certification with the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Erin created the plans and vision for Boots & Brews, raising over $15,000 and more than doubling event attendance. She has been involved with Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee, Junior League of Murfreesboro, a member of the logistics committee for the Be Well Boro health fair, and is currently giving her time to the Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Center. 

For more information about the ATHENA Award Program, please contact Dr. Ellen Slicker at AthenaLead@gmail.com. 

RUTHERFORD Cable is the premier leadership organization for women’s professional advancement. The ten-year-old organization of more than 250 members provides professional and personal development as well as business growth through building long-term relationships, structured networking, and referrals. Rutherford CABLE does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. The organization is the first chapter of 40-year-old Nashville Cable. Visit www.RutherfordCable.org to learn more. 

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