VOL. 133 | NO. 10 | Friday, January 12, 2018
Dunavant Awards Spotlight Public Servants
By Michael Waddell
15th annual Dunavant Public Servant Awards
WHAT: The Rotary Club of Memphis East recognizes the importance of public service by honoring two public servants each year – one elected official and one non-elected.
WHEN: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m, Wednesday, Feb. 28
WHERE: Holiday Inn-University of Memphis, 3700 Central Ave.
NOMINATION DEADLINE: Feb. 1 (Nomination form can be found at rotaryclubofmemphiseast.org)
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Carolyn Hardy, chairwoman of the Greater Memphis Chamber’s Chairman’s Circle and president and CEO of Chism Hardy Investments
RESERVATIONS: A table for 10 can be reserved for $400 and individual tickets are available for $50.
CONTACT: Lee Hughes, firstname.lastname@example.org
Being a public servant often is thankless job, but each year the Rotary Club of Memphis East recognizes the importance of public service to the community by hosting the Dunavant Public Servant Awards.
Two public servants are honored each year – one elected official and one non-elected. The 15th annual event, co-sponsored by The Daily News, will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at the Holiday Inn-University of Memphis on Central Avenue.
Nominations, which are due by Feb. 1, are open to the public. The nomination link can be found at http://www.rotaryclubofmemphiseast.org.
The event seeks to honor public servants who are honest, unpretentious, accessible, energetic, involved, generous, empathetic and attentive to detail – all of the things that defined the late Shelby County Probate Court Clerk Bobby Dunavant.
“He was the epitome of a public servant for decades,” said Rotary Club president J. Mark Griffee, shareholder and partner with Black McLaren Jones Ryland & Griffee, P.C. “He never had an office in the back. His desk was right out in front. He was particularly helpful as a mentor to young attorneys such as myself who were just learning the ropes.”
Last year’s award recipients were Collierville Mayor Stan Joyner and Memphis Public Libraries director Keenon McCloy.
The awards began in 2004 as a way to not only honor Dunavant, who died in 2003, but to promote good government through the example of award winners.
Other past honorees include Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland when he was a Memphis City Council member in 2012, as well as Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell in 2010.
“We keep prior years’ nominations for both categories because we tend to see some of the same people nominated each year, and we can’t choose everyone every year,” Griffee said.
The event usually draws 400 to 500 attendees. This year’s keynote speaker for the event is Carolyn Hardy, chairwoman of the Greater Memphis Chamber’s Chairman’s Circle and president and CEO of Chism Hardy Investments.
Other previous keynote speakers at the luncheon have featured a mix from politics and business like U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, FedEx Corp. founder Fred Smith; U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander, Howard Baker and Phil Gramm; U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr.; AutoZone president and CEO Bill Rhodes; Tennessee Govs. Bill Haslam and Phil Bredesen; Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour; and Spence L. Wilson, chairman of Kemmons Wilson Cos.
A table for 10 can be reserved for $400 and individual tickets are available for $50.