The Council on Aging of Middle Tennessee will recognize four honorees and 19 nominees for this year's Sage Awards for visionary leadership and lifelong commitment to improving quality of life for others.
The 2016 Sage Awards honorees are Berdelle T. Campbell, Rep. Brenda Gilmore and James V. Vandiver, all of Nashville, and Cleatrice C. McTorry of Brentwood.
Campbell is admired for her leadership in protecting and preserving Nashville. She is a founding member of the Cumberland River Compact, the Historic Germantown Neighborhood Association, Nashville's Greenway System and the Nashville Neighborhood Alliance. She has also made significant contributions through her volunteer work at Planned Parenthood and League of Women Voters. She worked for the Tennessee Department of Health, specializing in maternal and child health and volunteered to train international healthcare workers traveling to and from Africa. Currently, Campbell volunteers with children at the Martin ArtQuest Program at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.
Rep. Gilmore has been a member of the Tennessee General Assembly since 2006. A Sumner County native, she served as a Metro Councilwoman for 10 years and the director of university mail services at Vanderbilt University for 20 years. Both in her life as a public servant and a community volunteer, she has built a lifelong reputation as a champion for minorities, women, children and the environment. She has volunteered in leadership roles with CABLE, the NAACP, Delta Sigma Theta, Senior Citizens Inc. (now FiftyForward), the Negro College Fund Volunteer Committee, Skyline Medical center, Belmont University, the John F. Kennedy Susan Gray School and the Margaret Cunningham Women's Center. In addition, she chaired fund-raising campaigns for Vanderbilt University and Northwest YMCA. She is a member of The Links Inc., the Tennessee State University Alumni Association and Top Ladies of Distinction.
Vandiver served in full-time ministry in the Middle Tennessee area for 40 years. He also worked as the director of community relations for LifeTrust America, where he was responsible for creating and advancing community partnerships among healthcare, religious, social and civic organizations on both local and national levels. Vandiver served as the president of the Tennessee Association of Homes and Services for the Aging and was appointed by the Speaker of Tennessee's House of Representatives to serve on the state's Long-Term Care Advisory Council. He also served on the Patient Safety Advisory Board for the state. He is director of the Older Adults Ministry and executive director of the Resource Center on Aging at Harpeth Hills Church of Christ.
McTorry has dedicated her life to promoting economic empowerment and equal rights. She enjoyed a distinguished 30-year career in the federal court system with accolades as the first female federal probation officer in the state of Tennessee and the first African-American CEO of the United States Probation and Pretrial Services Office. In retirement, she continues her life's work by mentoring Tennessee inmates. She is the founder, past president and now serves as the first vice president fo the Middle Tennessee Section of the National Council of Negro Women Inc. McTorry is an active member of Mount Pisgah UMC, Top Ladies of Distinction Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and Silhouettes of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.
Annually, the Council on Aging of Middle Tennessee recognizes older adults who have devoted their lives to improving their community through its distinguished Sage Awards program. Nominees have demonstrated a lifelong commitment to improving the quality of life where they have lived and worked. Eligibility includes any older adult, age 55 and older, living in the Middle Tennessee area served by the Council on Aging. Awardees will be honored at a luncheon held at the Omni Hotel in Nashville on Oct. 18.
"The Council on Aging strives to create a community that values the wisdom and experience of older adults," said Grace Smith, executive director. "The Sage Awards are a wonderful opportunity for us to acknowledge men and women who have devoted their lives to improving quality of life for others. This year's nominees all deserve recognition for their active role in improving their communities."
Sage Award honorees (couples or individuals) and alternates are selected each year by the Sage Awards Committee from the nominations received. Nominations from previous years may also be considered by the committee. The Sage Awards Committee is comprised of past Sage Award recipients, Council on Aging board members and community volunteers.
In addition to the honorees, the 2016 Sage Award nominees include Phillip J. Barnett of Murfreesboro, Nancy Conway of Franklin, Katrina & Ed Hagerty of Mt. Juliet, Beverly Glaze Johnson of Madison, Mary Anna Womeldorf of Hendersonville, Dr. Maggie Saxon Wright of Hermitage, the Rev. Dr. Patricia Brock, Constance Caldwell, Mary Herbert Kelly, Dr. Paula Sandidge, Sam Smith, Sister Sandra Olivia Smithson, Paul E. Teschan, Lytle Thomas and Dr. Jan Van Eys, all of Nashville.
To learn more about the Council on Aging of Middle Tennessee, visit www.coamidtn.org.