Additional awards to be presented that evening

Franklin Tomorrow today announced the nominees in five categories for its 17th annual Exemplary Community Volunteer Awards, which will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at 6 p.m. at the Franklin Theatre in Historic Downtown Franklin.

Doors will open at 5 p.m., and thanks to the generosity of partners, including presenting partner Williamson Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Services, there is no cost to attend this year’s event, but RSVPs are requested at

More than 20 nonprofits, other organizations and individuals submitted nominees for the awards, which carry a cash prize to the nonprofit of the recipients’ choice.

Nominees by category include:

Corporate Volunteerism Award: Nik Conklin & the Tennessee Titans organization, nominated by Kris Schneider of Williamson County Schools’ Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center; Harpeth TrueValue, nominated by Amanda Fisher of the Franklin Special School District; Mars Petcare, nominated by Susannah Gentry of the Franklin Special School District; and Atmos Energy, nominated by Habitat for Humanity Williamson-Maury.

Volunteer Spirit Award: Bhavani “BK” Muvvala, nominated by the Rotary Club of Franklin at Breakfast; Cassie Chapman, nominated by Cul2vate; Christy Pauley, The N.O.O.K.; Ed Silva, The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County; Jack McCann, Habitat for Humanity; Janine Moore, Friends of the Library & Williamson County Public Library Foundation; Jason Wahler, Williamson Prevention Coalition; Jayne O’Mera, SaddleUp! Jim Garges, TennGreen Land Conservancy; Judy Moser, GraceWorks; Kalinda L. Fisher, The Great Reset; Karen Martell, Freedom Reigns Ranch; Karen Rogers, Brightstone; Kim Cannon, Sister Cities of Franklin & Williamson County; MaryBeth Richards, Five Points Post Office; Melissa Killoren, Davis House Child Advocacy Center; Mike Ingram, Arts Council of Williamson County; Molly Brewer, The N.O.O.K. & Elks Lodge; Molly Darr, Williamson County Animal Center & Waves Inc.; Pam Lewis, Battle of Franklin Trust, African American Heritage Society, Hard Bargain Association & others; Pat Ralls, Healing House; Ruby Smith, FrankTown Open Hearts; Ted Dreier, Children’s Kindness Network; and Christian Debay, Stronger The My Father.

Emerging Leader Award: Rebekah Zeitlin, Middle TN Young Leaders Council, Waves Inc., Congregation Micah, & Make-A-Wish; Hunter Jones, Heritage Foundation of Williamson County-Next Gen; Jena Potter, Downtown Franklin Rotary Club & Stronger Than My Father; Marquis Gough, Davis House Child Advocacy Center & Tennessee Army Reserve; Rachel Caudle, Auxiliary Board of Williamson Health; Travis Dumke, FrankTown Open Hearts, Williamson County Homeless Alliance, and other organizations; Mandi Goodrich, Tennessee Funeral Directors Association; Jennifer Pagliara, Leadership Middle Tennessee, Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee Women’s Fund; Will Cross, A Vintage Affair; Blake Lambert, FrankTown Open Hearts, Joy Leadership & Youth Leadership Franklin; Brandi Thigpen, Williamson County Association of REALTORS; and Chrislin Ledbetter, OneGen Away.

Youth Initiative Award: Abby George, SaddleUp!; Levi Cullum, Williamson County 4-H; Liliana Zendeias, Path United; and Zoe Althoff, Freedom Reigns Ranch.

Neighbor to Neighbor Award: Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center Mentor Network, nominated by Jeremy Qualls of Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center; Pawsabilities, nominated by Williamson County Animal Center & Waves Inc.; and Children’s Kindness Network, nominated by Patricia Cronin.

Also, a special In Memoriam program will honor community leaders, volunteers and individuals who have passed away over the last year.

Franklin Tomorrow will also present additional awards, including the Anne T. Rutherford Exemplary Community Volunteer Award and the Charles M. Sargent Leadership Award. Franklin Tomorrow Board Chair Teresa Ashworth Harris will also have awards.

Each award carries a cash prize to the nonprofit of the recipients’ choice.

In addition to Williamson Memorial, Franklin Tomorrow wishes to thank Franklin Rotary at Breakfast; Buerger Moseley Carson, PLC; The TMA Group, and the following elected officials for their support — County Mayor Rogers Anderson, Property Assessor Brad Coleman, County Clerk Jeff Whidby, Trustee Karen Paris, Register of Deeds Sherry Anderson, Circuit Court Clerk Debbie Barrett, and  Juvenile Court Clerk Margaret Mahew, as well as County Commission Chair Brian Beathard. Franklin Tomorrow’s Sustaining Partners, Atmos Energy and Williamson Health, also support this event.

It is not too late to be a sponsor and those interested can email CEO Mindy Tate at

About Franklin Tomorrow

Franklin Tomorrow is an independent, nonprofit community visioning and engagement organization founded in 2000 by a group of business and community leaders. Our mission is to engage the community, foster collaboration, and advocate for a shared vision for the future of Franklin. Learn more at