Sterling Awards 2019

   STERLING AWARD WINNERS 2019. Outstanding Woman Military Veteran. Sue Shelton White Award.


STERLING AWARD WINNERS 2018. Outstanding Woman Military Veteran. Sue Shelton White Award.

  1. Dr. Belinda Anderson. Principal, Chester County Junior High. Henderson. FHU. U of Memphis.
  2. LaToshia Chism. Kindergarten-Second Grade Inclusion Teacher. JMCSS. Jackson. Lane College, FHU, TN State U.
  3. Nancy Choate. Attorney-at-Law, Jackson. Vanderbilt University School of Law.
  4. Dr. Kelli Deere. Director, UT Martin Parsons Center. Lexington. Union University.
  5. Cynthia Early. Nurse-Midwife. Owner, CEO, Agape Family Healthcare Clinic, Jackson. Phillips County CC, Union U., UT Memphis, Vanderbilt.
  6. Shirley Jones. Retiring Feb. 28 as Senior Vice-President, Jackson Chamber. Memphis State University. Jackson.
  7. Sharron Murden, Branch Sales Manager, Asst. VP. CB&S Bank, Bolivar. Jackson State CC, A.S.; Union, B.S. Saulsbury.
  8. Pam Nash. President, CEO, Carl Perkins Center. Chester Co. H.S., A.S., B.S., FHU; M.S. U of Memphis. Jackson.
  9. Cassandra Owens. Chair, Dept. of Religion, Asst. Prof., Lane College. Clark College; Masters of Divinity, ITS, Atlanta, Ga.; Ed.D., Union U., Jackson.
  10. Karen Freeman, Business Development Manager, Leaders Credit Union. UT Martin.
  11. Danielle Hardee. Law Clerk, U.S. District Court. Jackson. Jackson Central-Merry H.S.; Bachelor’s, UT Chattanooga; Washington U. School of Law, St. Louis.
  12. Shannon Haynes. Director of Client Development, Emmaus Consulting. Bachelor’s, Christian Brothers University; MBA, Union University. Alamo.
  13. Kerrie Heckethorn. Senior VP, Human Resources Officer, First Citizens National Bank. Dyersburg. Bachelor’s, MTSU; Certifications, SHRM.
  14. Emily Johnson. Director, Henderson/Chester Co. Chamber of Commerce. Henderson. Lipscomb Academy, Nashville; B.A., FHU.en



  1. Lt. Danielle Jones. Lieutenant, Jackson Police Dept. Jackson. North Side H.S.; B.S., Lane College; M.S., Bethel University.
  2. Michelle Reddick. Director of Career and Learning Services, U of Memphis Lambuth. Jackson. Valdosta State U.; University of Tennessee.
  3. Kandy Shackelford. Director, Hardeman Co. Chamber of Commerce. Bolivar. B.A., FHU.
  4. Dr. Ann Singleton. University Professor of Special Education and Associate Provost, Dean of Instructions, Union University. Jackson. B.S., Union University.; M.Ed., U of Memphis; Ed.D. U of Memphis.
  5. Sherry Tignor. Executive Director, Center for Academic Success, Union University. Jackson. B.S., Union University; Masters, Memphis State University; postgraduate, U of Memphis.
  6. Brenda Whalley. Vice-President, Whalley Enterprises DBA Morton Moving & Storage. B.A., Lambuth. Jackson.

Outstanding Woman Military Veteran: Judy Bivens, Veterans Service Officer, McNairy County. Selmer. Served in USAF 26 years. Retired as Chief Master Sergeant. Chairman of the Board, Air Force Public Alumni Association. B.A., Wayland Baptist University; Master’s, University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, Texas. Habitat for Humanity board; American Cancer Society’s Voices of Hope 2018.

Sue Shelton White Award winner: Mary Jo Middlebrooks. Attorney-at-Law, Middlebrooks and Gray, P.A. Founding Member, Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women; founder, Anne Schneider Chapter, Lawyers Association for Women. Specially trained mediator for domestic violence victims. Has lobbied for women’s issues for 40 years in Washington, D.C. and in Nashville.




  1. Arlisa Armstrong, Brownsville. Area Director, USDA Rural Development.
  2. Carolyn Blakney, Savannah. Vice-president, branch manager of 3 branches, CB&S Bank.
  3. Elaine Christian, Jackson. Past president, Jackson-Madison County Library Foundation Board.
  4. Kasey Culbreath, Atoka. Attorney-at-Law, Kasey A. Culbreath P.C.
  5. Amy Dietrich, Jackson. Retired Associate Professor, University of Memphis.
  6. Kathleen Huneycutt, Jackson. Director, Health, Sanitation, Animal Control, City of Jackson.
  7. Jenny Kirkland, Union City. Board chair of Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Foundation. The Promethean Foundation.
  8. Abby Lackey, Jackson. Associate Professor at Jackson State CC. Founder, Heaven’s Cradle
  9. Judy Long, Dyersburg. President and Chief Operating Officer of First Citizens National Bank
  10. Tawanika McKinney, Jackson. State of TN Fiscal Director, Henning TN.
  11. Teri Maddox, Jackson. Vice-President for Dyersburg State CC.
  12. LaShell Moore, Selmer. Pre-Kindergarten Teacher, McNairy Co. Schools.
  13. Susan Oliver, Jackson. First Lady, Union University. Ambassador for United Way. Board member, Hands Up Preschool.
  14. Debra Owen, Jackson. Attorney, Jackson Shields, Yeiser and Holt. Counsels district and school administrative leaders on legal issues.
  15. Helen Owens, Jackson. Assistant Professor, Lane College. Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority (National President).
  16. Renee Phelps, Henderson. Customer Service Representative, 27 years at Clayton Bank & Trust Co.
  17. Darlette Samuels, Jackson. Chief of Staff, Lane College.
  18. Sandy Stanfill, Lexington. Lead Off-Campus Director at Jackson State CC, Lexington Center.
  19. Ginger Terry, Lexington. Farmspace Systems. Public Relations Director.
  20. Laura Williams, Jackson. Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell, PLC. Served 3 terms on E.C. of Jackson Chamber of Commerce. Board of Regents, Union, U., and University School of Jackson.

Outstanding Woman Military Veteran: Dr. Linda Brice, Jackson. Clinical Associate Professor, Pre-Nursing Advisor, University of Memphis, Lambuth Campus.

Officer, USAF, 1973-1985, Executive Support Officer, B-52 Bomber Training Base; Squadron Section commander, Civil Engineering Squadron at Offutt AFB. Went to Guam for Project New Life to assist over 100,000 Vietnamese refugees displaced during “Fall of Saigon.” Assisted refugees to find new homes and lives in the U.S. Developed the first Foreign Liaison Office in USAF Strategic Air Command.

Sue Shelton White Award: Beth Bates, Jackson. Managing Attorney, Benefits Unit West Tennessee Legal Services, Inc. Bates testified before the Social Security Subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee of the United States House of Representatives on November 19, 2009 on behalf of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities.  The subject of the testimony was the need for increased funding for the Social Security Offices of Disability Adjudication and Review. Since then, she has joined with other public service attorneys who advocate for improved service from the agency with then-Acting Commissioner Carolyn Colvin and two Tennessee Disability Determination directors.  She writes a monthly column on Social Security issues for The Jackson Sun.  She is a Board Certified Social Security Disability specialist and has represented approximately 2000 citizens before the agency during her 33 years as an attorney.



  1. Tammy Buchanan, Jackson. Public Liaison and Farmers Market Director.
  2. Cathy Clayton, Jackson. Executive Director, West Tennessee Legal Services.
  3. Linda Cox, Jackson. CEO/Owner, Exotic Hair Care Center & VViolet Hair Products.
  4. Amy Crenshaw, Jackson. Founder, ComeUnity Café.
  5. Cheryl Crider, Humboldt. Founder, Executive Director, TLC Riding Academy, Inc.
  6. Maleia Evans, Friendship. Director, TN Small Business Development Center of Dyersburg State CC.
  7. Ginger French, Jackson. Architect, Partner, TLM Associates.
  8. Brandon O. Gibson, Jackson. Judge, Tennessee Court of Appeals.
  9. Gail Gustafson, Milan. Executive Director, The Dream Center of Jackson.
  10. Delita Johnson, Jackson. Assistant Coordinator, City of Jackson Criminal Investigation Division.
  11. Mary Marvin, Friendship. Chair, Crockett County NOAH.
  12. Shirley Nanney, McKenzie. Editor, News Leader.
  13. Rebecca Rose, Savannah. Retired Educator. President, Big Ivy Community Center Association.
  14. Opal Shaw, Bolivar. Co-owner, Shaw Broadcasting.
  15. Dixie Spencer, Bolivar. REDI College Access Mentor, Southwest TN Development District.
  16. Kayla Taylor, Jackson. Marketing Services Manager, Younger Associates.
  17. Deann Thelen, Jackson. Vice-President, Hospital Services, West Tennessee Healthcare.
  18. Lisa Tillman, Executive Director, Regional Interfaith Association.
  19. Kathleen Walker, Brownsville. President, Tennessee Pewter Co. of Somerville.
  20. Pam Wright, Jackson. Owner, The Wright Law Firm PLLC.