The late Roy Barker to be honored with Ned Lea Lifetime Achievement Award
As part of the 1oth annual Franklin Tomorrow Exemplary Community Volunteer Awards and Volunteer Spirit Awards, set for Aug. 17, the Ned Lea Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented posthumously to the late Roy Barker.
The award will be presented at the Franklin Theatre as part of the 10th annual Exemplary Community Volunteer Awards and Volunteer Spirit Awards. The event will begin at 7 p.m. following a 5:30 p.m. reception at First Bank at Five Points for nominees, their families and ticketholders to the event..
The awards presentation will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are available through the Franklin Theatre at www.franklintheatre.com. Making the event possible as partners are FirstBank, Williamson Medical Center, and Vanderbilt University’s Office of Community, Neighborhood and Government Relations. Acting as partners are Buerger Moseley Carson, PARKS Realty, and Franklin Rotary at Breakfast.
The Ned Lea Lifetime Achievement Award is presented posthumously to recognize individuals who have had a significant impact for one organization or on their community through their life. They exemplify a heart of service and a dedication to the community at large.
Barker, who died in March 2016, was known as a quiet, civic-minded leader who rarely sought attention for his work, instead choosing to be constant source of encouragement and leadership by example.
He was nominated by Derby Jones, publisher of the Williamson Herald.
“I only knew Roy Barker for the past 10 years of his life. The first thing I learned about Mr. Barker, as I called him, was the he was true World War II hero,” Jones wrote in his nomination. “He was seriously wounded by German machine gun during the war. His left arm was paralyzed but he did regain partial use of his arm.
“I never once heard him complain about his handicap. I just noticed how he adapted to not having use of his left arm,” Jones said, adding despite Barker’s injury, “He was dedicated to working at the (Franklin Noon Rotary) Rodeo every year, despite his health, he would be there.”
Barker was a Williamson County native who spent his professional life in the insurance business, although his short adventure as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives in the early 1960s is credited as being the force behind construction of New Highway 96 West, giving a better connection between the Fairview and the county seat of Franklin.
As publisher of the Williamson Herald, Jones was not the first young businessman Barker mentored and supported, but to Jones, it had special meaning.
“He took me under his wing because he wanted to see a newspaper survive and thrive in this community. He cared about this community, always making sure I knew of locals that passed away and what they meant to the community,” Jones said in his nomination. “He encouraged me to join the Franklin Noon Rotary Club, which was his passion. He was very involved with the American Legion and was a proud veteran. I would not be here today if not for Roy Barker’s influence and passion for community involvement.”
Barker had served as the Franklin Noon Rotary President, was a delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention and served on the Franklin Planning Commission for 17 years.
As a veteran, he was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation and the Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award. He was an active member of the American Legion Post 22 and a past post commander.
The top award of the evening is the Anne T. Rutherford Exemplary Community Volunteer Award, chosen from nominations submitted by more than 30 local nonprofit organizations or charities.
Awards also to be presented will recognize Civic Groups, Corporate Volunteer Teams, as well as Individual Corporate volunteers. Also being presented will be the Volunteer Spirit and Youth Initiative Awards.
For the third year, Franklin Tomorrow will present the Legacy Award, a continuation of the Business Legends Award previously presented by the Williamson County-Franklin Chamber of Commerce. This award will recognize an individual or individuals who have made significant impact in the areas of business, quality of life, and leadership.
To read more about nominees for other awards, click the link below.
Patrons supporters for the event are The TMA Group and Signs First. Supporters are 61st District State Rep. Charles Sargent, 63rd District State Rep. Glen Casada, 23rd District State Sen. Jack Johnson, Ernie & Nell Bacon, Benchmark Realty, Deana Hood, Attorney at Law, The BBB Integrity Foundation, District Attorney General Kim Helper, and Ryan Search & Consulting.
Franklin Tomorrow is the community visioning nonprofit which seeks to engage the community, foster collaboration, and advocate for a shared vision for the future of Franklin. That shared vision includes a vibrant economy, distinct character, robust neighborhoods, and great people.