published Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Women of Distinction

Audio clip

Shirley Cudabac

Ten female leaders will be honored as Chattanooga’s Women of Distinction on May 4 during the annual Women of Distinction luncheon held at the Chattanooga Convention Center. The luncheon is a fundraiser for the American Lung Association of Tennessee.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is presenting this year’s 25th anniversary celebration of the WOD awards. Barbie Standefer and Debbie Clifford Brown are event co-chairmen.

Mrs. Brown said that many past honorees are forming tables representing their “WOD class year.”

In addition to the 10 local honorees, the Lung Association will present Richardia “Rickie” Pierce, Dr. Phyllis Miller and Susan Elliott Rich will its Tennessee Woman of Distinction Award.

Shirley Cudabac, executive director of the Lung Association, said Tuesday is the deadline to make luncheon reservations.

Kim Coffey

Mrs. Coffey is owner of Pediatric Physical Therapy Services. Of the 30 organizations for which she volunteers, she has served on nine boards, and chaired an allocations subcommittee for the United Way. Her board service includes Partnership for Families, Children and Adults; the Tennessee chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association; and Hamilton County Parks and Recreation.

She is a past president of the Hamilton County chapter of the UT Alumni Association, served on the executive committee of the UT Alumni Association board of governors, and is a past member of the UTC Alumni Board.

Robin Derryberry

Mrs. Derryberry is president of Derryberry Public Relations. Of the 26 organizations for which she volunteers, she has sat on the boards of 12. She currently is on the executive committee of Partnership for Families, Children and Adults, and is a member of the Rotary Club, UT Women’s Council and Friends of the Zoo.

She has served on the board of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, and was president of the North Chattanooga Council of the Chamber during the renovation and reopening of the Market Street Bridge.

Dolores Harvey

Mrs. Harvey was a music teacher in Hamilton County Schools for eight years, and accordion teacher at Cadek Conservatory. She is a longtime patron of the arts, and is a past president of the Salvation Army Auxiliary, Valamont Women’s Club and Chattanooga Music Club. For 24 years, she served on the YMCA Christmas Market committee.

She has given 20 years of service to the board of Caldsted Retirement Home, is a past member of the UTC Alumni Council, and served as vice moderator and treasurer of the Presbytery of East Tennessee.

She and her husband, Steve, are past recipients of the Gordon Davenport Award at UTC for their support of UTC Athletics.

Jan Headrick

Employed by IOR Global Services as a destination services consultant, Mrs. Headrick assists with relocation of Volkswagen employees to Chattanooga.

She is known for her long, distinguished service with the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society Alliance. Of her 49 years as a member, she has served on the board for 25 years and held nine offices, including one term as president.

She also served several years on the board of the Tennessee Medical Association Alliance, chairing its 2005 convention. She was a charter volunteer for the Ronald McDonald House and served on its board for 18 years.

Jayne Holder

Mrs. Holder is UTC’s Director of Alumni Affairs.

She is the first female board president of the Chattanooga Ronald McDonald House in its 20 years, where she has been a longtime volunteer. She has also volunteered for Contact of Chattanooga, Chattanooga Symphony Guild and American Heart Association.

She is a past president of the UTC Alumni Council, past chairman of the Blue and Gold Club, a member of the Mocs Club, Tower Society and UT Women’s Council. She is currently vice president of the Chattanooga Quarterback Club.

Kristin Huntley

Ms. Huntley is program officer and finance officer of the Benwood Foundation. She is responsible for the management of the Benwood investment portfolio and working with Benwood’s investment consultants. Her job entails managing grants in three focus areas: arts and culture, neighborhood and community building and the environment.

She is on the boards of Community Impact and CreateHere, serves on the Chattanooga Public Art Committee and the investment committee and allocations committee of Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga.

Eleanor Jones

Ms. Jones retired in January as district manager of the Chattanooga Social Security Office. In her 40 years with the company, she was the only African American female district manager in the state.

In 2009, she received the Social Security Administration’s highest national award, The Commissioner’s Citation. For 10 years she wrote a weekly column for the Times Free Press answering readers’ Social Security questions.

She sits on the boards of Partnership for Families, Children and Adults, and Chattanooga College Board. She is a former board member for the Foster Grandparent Program, Hamilton County Adult Protective Services and Kelley’s Adult Day Care Center.

She tutors students at Hardy Elementary School through the Bridge Program and leads PSAT test-prep workshops for high school juniors.

Jill Levine

Mrs. Levine is principal of Normal Park Museum Magnet School, which she helped start at the request of former Supt. Jesse Register in 2002. By 2005, it was named the No. 1 magnet school in the country.

Normal Park has received the Magnet School of Excellence Award from Magnet Schools of America for five consecutive years. Mrs. Levine and her school have been featured in 10 educational journals and videos. She was most recently appointed by Gov. Phil Bredesen to serve on the statewide Teacher Evaluation Advisory Committee.

The honoree serves on the board of the Chambliss Home Children’s Shelter and is a former board member for the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga and Hunter Museum.

Jennifer Nicely

Mrs. Nicely is vice president and chief development officer of Memorial Health Care System.

She has actively served 12 nonprofits, holding three board seats and two presidencies. She is a former president of the Junior League, and held seven offices and committee chairmanships just within that organization.

She is on the board of the Women’s Leadership Institute, a member of Rotary Club, Leadership Chattanooga graduate and has chaired committees for fundraisers benefiting Bright School, Chambliss Home Children’s Shelter and Creative Discovery Museum.

Rebecca Smith

Ms. Smith is director of scholarships for the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga Inc.

This young professional has served on the boards of eight nonprofits in the last seven years. She currently sits on the boards of the Hazel Robinson Bowles Foundation and AIM Center. She was named the Urban League of Chattanooga’s Volunteer of the Year in 2005, is a Leadership Chattanooga graduate and a volunteer for Ronald McDonald House and Habitat for Humanity, whose boards she formerly served.

She serves on Camp College Financial Aid, is a judge for the Passport Scholars Program and Pearl Of Promise and is a facilitator of the National Achievers Society.

about Susan Pierce...

Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...

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