City Schools' Director Linda Gilbert is ATHENA Recipient

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(MURFREESBORO) Dr. Linda Gilbert, Director of Murfreesboro City Schools, is the recipient of Rutherford County's 2019 ATHENA International Leadership Award. Erin Rains is the recipient of the 2019 ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award.

The ATHENA International Leadership Award Program recognizes individuals who excel in their professions, give back to their communities and help raise up other leaders, especially women. Dr. Galloway was selected from a group of 16 nominees for this year's award, while Greene was selected from a group of 7 Young Professional nominees.

The luncheon ceremony was held Friday, April 12, 2019, at Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center.

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The ATHENA Award recognizes an individual who excels in her profession, gives back to the community, and helps raise up other leaders, especially women.

Dr. Gilbert

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Throughout her career, Gilbert has embodied the spirit of the ATHENA Award by creating positive change in the community.

Dr. Gilbert said, "In any life or organization, each new experience, new responsibility, new proficiency we encounter creates change. And while change is inevitable, growth is not. In fact, positive change that moves us forward will only occur in an environment authentic enough to encourage change."

Throughout her career, she has worked tirelessly to create an environment for positive change by helping establish Read To Succeed, Saint Thomas Health's Ministry in Motion, Prevention Coalition for Success Rutherford County and Rutherford County's Books from Birth. In all, she has written and received more than $16 million in grants for schools and community organizations. Since she was appointed in 2010, Murfreesboro City Schools was named 2018 Exemplary ACCESS District for providing all students with high quality instruction and intervention. MCS has also implemented programs to improve student nutrition both in and out of school.

Nominees

In addition to Dr. Gilbert, the other ATHENA nominees included:

  • Dr. Yuan-ling Chao, American Association of University Women of Tennessee
  • Kristin Coile Demos, Saint Thomas Rutherford Foundation Ambassadors
  • Judge Lynn England Alexander, Middle Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women
  • Cherillyn A. Maddox, Goco Center for Aesthetics
  • Betsy Maples Taylor, MTSU Jennings A. Jones College of Business
  • Elizabeth McPhee, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Pi Nu Omega Chapter
  • Celeste Middleton, Boys & Girls Clubs of Rutherford County
  • Dr. Mary T. Moss, Charity Circle of Murfreesboro
  • Judge Donna Scott Davenport, Junior League of Murfreesboro
  • Sharon Seibert, Murfreesboro Breakfast Rotary Club
  • Nancy Skinner, Guaranty Trust Company
  • Dr. Barbara F. Turnage, MTSU President's Commission on the Status of Women & June Anderson • Center for Women & Nontraditional Studies
  • Gina W. Urban, RUTHERFORD Cable
  • Mary M. Wade, Murfreesboro Branch of the NAACP.

Young Professional

The ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award recipient is Erin Rains, family nurse practitioner with Saint Thomas Medical Partners.

Like the ATHENA Award, the Young Professional Leadership Award recognizes an emerging leader under 40 years old who exemplifies the ATHENA attributes and serves as a role model for young women.

A native of Murfreesboro and MTSU alumna, Rains worked for 14 years as a travel nurse and in critical care nursing before graduating as a family nurse practitioner. Over her career she has lent her knowledge to a variety of professional organizations, her workplaces and the community at large through volunteering. But Rains' impact on the community can best be seen in her work with the Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Center.

Rains commented, "My voluntary work with the Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Center reflects my struggles and triumphs in my personal life. I'm a victim, a survivor, and now an advocate speaking out against domestic violence and sexual assault."

As a member of the board and her past as a victim of domestic violence, Rains saw a way to help victims by helping guide the decision to provide a safe, private place to perform sexual assault examinations. She helped the center relocate to a new office building in efforts to provide many of these exams in a more comfortable, private space. Rains has also worked to create and refine its annual fundraisers.

In 2017, she created the plans and vision for Boots & Brews, a fun-filled night of live music, food, and craft beer tasting, which is the newest fundraiser for the Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Center. In its second year, Boots & Brews raised more than $15,000 and doubled attendance.

Rains also revamped the center's annual Tip Your Waiter luncheon, making last year's event the most successful to date by raising more than $21,000.

In addition to Erin Rains, the YOUNG PROFESSIONAL nominees included:

  • Jayme Brunson, American Association of University Women of Tennessee
  • Courtney E. Chavez, United Way of Rutherford & Cannon Counties
  • Dr. Amy Hodgin, Junior League of Murfreesboro
  • Kenzi Keene, RUTHERFORD Cable; Becky Lanham, Murfreesboro Kiwanis
  • Kim N. Page, Chi Omega Alumnae of Murfreesboro.

In addition to founding sponsor RUTHERFORD Cable, community sponsors Pinnacle Financial Partners and Deloitte. Partner sponsors First Tennessee and Guaranty Home Mortgage Corporation and Sustaining Sponsor TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center.

The 2019 ATHENA Awards are supported by sponsors State Farm, Ascend Federal Credit Union, First Tennessee, Farrar|Wright Attorneys and Advisors, Redstone Federal Credit Union and UPS as well as in-kind sponsors Wax Family Printing, Bell Jewelers, Stones River Total Beverages, Daffodilly Designs, Angel Pardue Photography and media sponsor VIP Murfreesboro.

RUTHERFORD Cable is the premiere leadership organization for women's professional advancement. The 10-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. The organization is a chapter of the 40-year-old Nashville Cable. Visit rutherfordcable.org to learn more

Two scholarships were also awarded at the event.

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2019, ATHENA Award, Dr. Linda Gilbert, Murfreesboro City Schools, WGNS
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