Chattanooga Now Luncheon to honor local history makers

Chattanooga Now Luncheon to honor local history makers

November 11th, 2011 by Staff Report in Chattnow Outabout

The Chattanooga History Center will honor Chattanooga Venture and Vision 2000 with its sixth annual History Makers Award, given to local individuals or groups who have made significant contributions to Chattanooga, the region, the state or the country.

The award honors the process that changed the face of downtown Chattanooga, acknowledging those who organized Venture and those who participated in the Vision 2000 process. The awards luncheon will take place 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday at the Chattanooga Convention Center, 1 Carter Plaza.

Mai Bell Hurley, first chairperson of Venture, and Ron Littlefield, its first executive director, will accept the award, an original sculpture by Cessna Decosimo.

Chattanooga Venture was launched in 1983 by a group of local citizens who organized "visioning meetings" based on similar gatherings they'd seen elsewhere.

"We could develop the best plans in the world, but nothing would happen unless there was broad-based community support for implementing those plans," Hurley said.

The original Venture board, which began meeting at the Urban Design Studio on Vine Street, had a 60-member board created by Hurley, Bob Seals, Tome Hebert and Rick Montague, and approved by County Mayor Dalton Roberts and City Mayor Gene Roberts.

"The only charge the mayor gave the Chattanooga Venture board was to look beyond their own agendas and come up with ideas and recommendations that were in the best interests of the community as a whole," said Littlefield, who became Venture's first executive director.

By the end, participants had created 40 goal statements, as well as possible ways to bring them to fruition. The process became a template for creating Chattanooga as it is today.

The luncheon is the History Center's major fundraiser of the year. Individual tickets are $45. Table sponsorships are available.

For information, call 265-3247, ext. 17 or 10.