The 2016 Leadership Wilson Alumni Luncheon will be March 30 at Baird Chapel on the Cumberland University campus.
The event is open to any alumni and is an opportunity “for everyone to gather together with their class. That is the main reason we do the luncheon,” said Leadership Wilson executive director Dorie Mitchell.
Mitchell said the luncheon was the brainchild of a group from the class of 2013. Group members Adam Bannach, Paul Johnson, Jack Pratt, Cathy Rhodes, Jay Cameli and Leslie Steele came up with the idea as their project, and the event has been held each year since.
National Junior High Rodeo representative Austin White will be the guest speaker.
Also at the luncheon, the Commitment to Leadership Award will be bestowed on a lucky recipient. The award has been given each year to the individual who “inspires leadership and the development of people, communicates effectively with a diverse group of people and has stayed involved with Leadership Wilson as well as a continuing leadership role in the community on a volunteer basis, among other criteria, according to Mitchell.
This year’s nominees are Jo Smith, Rob Porter and Dr. Robert Carver Bone.
Smith was a member of the class of 2000. She is a Wilson County native and is active in her church, College Hills Church of Christ. She has been an employee at WANT FM in Lebanon for 20 years as the sales and promotions coordinator. Her community service includes being a member of the James E. Ward Agricultural Center Management Committee since 2002, serving on the National High School Rodeo Association and Wilson County Expo Committees and on the Empower Me Day Camp Community Relations Committee, among others.
Porter was a member of the class of 2002. He is president and a founding member of Civil Site Design Group and has worked on projects including Opry Mills, Titan’s stadium, Five Oaks in Lebanon, Opryland Hotel and Providence in Mt. Juliet. His community service includes president of the Mt. Juliet Rotary Club in 2008 and a member on the Mt. Juliet-West Wilson Chamber of Commerce Board since 2010. From 1998 until 2009, Porter coached baseball and basketball for various Mt. Juliet youth organizations. He is a member of St. Stephen Catholic Church and served on the most recent church expansion committee.
Bone is a Lebanon native and serves the community in numerous capacities. He was Lebanon’s first board certified pediatrician and was instrumental in obtaining federal grants to fund six rural health clinics in Wilson County. Bone served on the Cumberland University Board for 50 years, including 20 as chairman.
The 17 previous winners of this award are Thomas Pate, Sue Vanatta, Linda Schenk, Judge Barry Tatum, Kathy Warmath, Pat Bone and Sharon McComb (tie), Ray Lynn Crutcher, Greg Dugdale, Roger Farley, Jim Mills, Kathy Haskins, Paul Stumb, Joel Usery, Michelle Hill, Luke Winchester, Jenni Moscardelli and Phil Smartt.
The 2016 class will present its projects at the luncheon as well. The luncheon will be held in Baird Chapel at Cumberland University March 30 at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at leadershipwilson.com.