Congrats Salute Winners! Hear Their Stories From the Awards

October 24, 2016

Congrats Salute Winners! Hear Their Stories From the Awards

by guest podcaster and blogger Clark Buckner

“If you’ve got a problem in the community, you can count on a Nashville nonprofit to step up.”

I’ve been eager to learn more about our local nonprofit community and what better way than attending CNM’s Salute to Excellence. With more than 1200 people in attendance, this is the largest nonprofit awards ceremony in the country. Before the awards started, Mayor Megan Barry shared the resilience and commitment our local nonprofits contribute to greater Nashville each day.

“Governments can’t solve all the problems... having CNM at the table makes everyone better.”

After an evening of interviews, I can see why. It is clear that this theme--a spirit of collaboration, innovation and support-- is a common trait all award recipients hold close to their hearts. I had a wonderful time engaging with our city's nonprofit leaders, and I hope these brief interviews echo the promising future we're all looking towards Listen to all the #CNMSalute interviews auto-play on SoundCloud, or select from the following to hear from the winners. Marry Megan Barry started the night out for us:

Conexión Américas won the new Skanska Educational Enhancement Award, which recognizes direct service and collaboration within the public school system, for its pipeline of educational programs and wraparound services. We spoke with Denise Rocha of Conexión Américas about the win.

Turnip Green Creative Reuse won the Piedmont Natural Gas Sustainable Practices Award for its integrated approach to economic, environmental and social stewardship. Kelly Tipler of Turnip Green Creative Reuse spoke with us about the win

Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc. won the Diversified Trust New Generations Award for its #IGotItAtGoodwill Campaign to engage and grow a new generation of brand ambassadors. Matthew Bourlakas, President and CEO at Goodwill Industries of Middle TN, spoke with us about his company's win.

Dianna Murphy of Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee won the SunTrust CFO of the Year Award for her contributions in process improvements, internal controls, and streamlined financial budgeting and reporting.

Thriashaun Stephens of Bethlehem Centers of Nashville won the Erie Chapman Foundation Servant’s Heart Award for and going the extra mile serving as a mentor for at-risk youth with genuine positivity.

Clare Armistead of Friends of Warner Parks won the KraftCPAs Board Member of the Year Award for her longtime leadership is guiding Warner Parks to become a nationally recognized destination park.

Casey Summar of the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville won the Bank of America CEO of the Year Award for shaping the organization’s mission with her sincere passion.

Smyrna-La Verge Food Bank won The Memorial Foundation Leadership Award, which honors a nonprofit that has overcome substantial fiscal problems, for creating a stronger, more diversified base of critical financial support and food donations over the past three years.

Open Table Nashville won The Healing Trust Catalyst for Change Award for its advocacy efforts that provide the marginalized a platform to share their voices and shape key public policies.

The Refuge Center for Counseling won The Healing Trust Compassionate Care Award for its “nurture team” system that supports employees with tools to prevent compassion fatigue and celebrates personal and professional successes.

The Next Door won The Frist Foundation Innovation in Action award for its facility that integrates a new approach for focusing on women impacted by addiction and trauma.

The Conservancy for Parthenon and Centennial Park won The Frist Foundation Revenue Development award for its expanded arts and educational programming that have increased gross income by 40% in three years.

End Slavery Tennessee’s “Building a Survivor Care Team” program won The Frist Foundation Team Building award for building a team of law enforcement officials, legislators, court professionals, social services agencies, healthcare providers, and businesses to give human trafficking victims hope.


Clark Buckner is a storyteller, B2B podcaster and active volunteer in the local technology community. He is the podcast lead at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and co-founder of Relationary Marketing, a podcast production agency homegrown in Nashville. He was last seen either being walked by his pup SaaSy around the trolley barns or enjoying chips & queso at Chago’s Cantina with his wife Hope.

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