Sixth Annual ATHENA Awards Set for April 12


RUTHERFORD Cable, founding sponsor, is proud to announce the 2019 ATHENA International Leadership Awards Nominees. Now in its sixth year, the local Rutherford County awards have a wonderful group of diverse and outstanding women to

The local program is a part of ATHENA International, a nonprofit organization that seeks to support, develop and honor women leaders. ATHENA is a global program. Since its founding in 1982, more than 8,000 awards have been presented in eight countries.
The 16 nominees for the 2019 ATHENA Award and 7 nominees for the ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award were introduced at RUTHERFORD Cable’s February 12th breakfast meeting.

This year’s ATHENA Award luncheon and ceremony will begin at 11:15 a.m. with registration followed by lunch and the Award Ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are $40 per person/$400 per table of 10 and are available online at

In addition to founding sponsor Rutherford Cable, the 2019 Rutherford ATHENA Awards are sponsored by Pinnacle Financial Partners, Deloitte, Guaranty Trust, First Tennessee Bank, UPS, State Farm, Ascend Federal Credit Union, Farrar Wright Attorneys and Advisors, Redstone Federal Credit Union, TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center, Stones River Total Beverages, Wax Family Printing, Daffodilly Design and VIP Murfreesboro Magazine.

The 2019 ATHENA Award nominees are…

Dr. Yuan-ling Chao, American Association of University Women of Tennessee
Dr. Yuan-Ling Chao has been a Professor for the History Department at Middle Tennessee State University for 24 years. She has done research on the history of medicine in late imperial China and has published several articles and a book titled MEDICINE AND SOCIETY IN LATE IMPERIAL CHINA: A STUDY OF PHYSICIANS IN SUZHOU, 1600-1850. She has served as the Chair of the Scholarship Committee for the charitable arm of AAUW, the Middle Tennessee Funds for Women and Girls. She also volunteers at various endeavors such as Expanding Your Horizon, encouraging women and girls to study science and technology.

Leslie Anne Collum, League of Women Voters of Murfreesboro/Rutherford County
Leslie Anne Collum is the Assistant District Attorney General for Rutherford County and has been a practicing attorney for over 35 years. Leslie has served as Co-President for the League of Women Voters of Murfreesboro/Rutherford County for 8 years where she has served on the Board and Co- President. She has volunteered as a tutor with the Read To Succeed Program in Rutherford County, is a member of the American Association of University Women in Murfreesboro, and is active with the Middle Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women.

Kristin Coile Demos, Saint Thomas Rutherford Foundation Ambassadors
Kristin Coile Demos is Vice President of Brand & Retail for Demos Brands, successfully opened a new restaturant concept called PDK, transitioned Peter D’s Catering, and is a dedicated community volunteer, working with many organizations in Rutherford County. She and husband, Peter, have launched an e-commerce site called Demos Family Kitchen and a Demos Brands Food Truck. Kristin serves on or has the lead at several organizations in Rutherford County. She also enjoys dedicating her time to the St. Thomas Rutherford Foundation because of the impact it has on the poor and
underprivileged members of the community.

Judge Lynn England Alexander, Middle Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women
Judge Lynn England Alexander is a Judge for the Town of Smyrna. Lynn is a charter member of Middle Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women, where they have been involved with the Rutherford County Drug Court to furnish Recovery House which provides much needed safe, supportive housing to women, assisting them in their goal to succeed. She believes in providing guidance to others and serves as a mentor to the women in the Doors of Hope Program and tnAchieves, where she assists high school students in navigating the Tennessee Promise Program requirements for obtaining a college scholarship.

Dr. Linda Gilbert, United Way of Rutherford & Cannon Counties
Dr. Linda Gilbert is the Director of Schools for Murfreesboro City and was recently awarded the 2019 Tennessee Superintendent of the Year. She is a member of twelve community boards, including the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties. Linda established Read To Succeed, co-established the St. Thomas Rutherford Mobile Health Unit (Ministry in Motion), co-established the Prevention Coalition for Success Rutherford County, co-authored the initial grants for Rutherford County’s Books from Birth, and has written and received more than $16 million in grants for schools and community

Cherillyn A. Maddox, Goco Center for Aesthetics
Cherillyn A. Maddox is Office Manager and Paitent Coordinator for Goco Center for Aesthetics. Cherillyn works with teammates to give back to their community, including organizations such as A Soldiers Child, Special Kids, Beasley Animal Foundation, Braxton Harrell, and more. She has also been able to start her own business where she can use her passion of helping other women gain confidence, step out of their comfort zone, and find out what they were made for, all while helping others get healthier. She has a heart for serving women and encouraging them to love and lift each other up.

Betsy Maples Taylor, MTSU Jennings A. Jones College of Business
Betsy Maples Taylor is the Owner of Maples Realty & Auction Co., which is a local company, serving Rutherford County for 50 years. Betsy is active in her community, serving on the MTSU Jones College of Business Advisory Council, the Discovery Center Advisory Board, and is Treasurer at Mt. Tabor Cumberland Presbyterian Church. She is also a past board chair with The Salvation Army and is an active volunteer. Betsy has dedicated her time to mentoring MTSU students, and she has also served
in the past on the Athena Leadership forum committee at MTSU.

Elizabeth McPhee, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Pi Nu Omega Chapter
Elizabeth McPhee, first lady of Middle Tennessee State University, is a retired teacher with forty years of experience, was dedicated to educating the whole child; mind, body, and soul. A lifetime member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Elizabeth and her organization participated in collecting several backpacks filled with school supplies, winter accessories, and used eye wear to donate to local students and families in need. Recently, she had the opportunity to make a global impact through chairing Soles 4
Souls for the Southeastern Region where they collected 636 new shoes, 4,186 used shoes, making the total donation of 4,822 shoes in all to be delivered to

Celeste Middleton, Boys & Girls Clubs of Rutherford County
Celeste Middleton is a local State Farm Agent who supports local High School athletics and the State Farm Classic. She has been a guest speaker at the GameDay Fundraiser, as well as local Driver’s Education and Business classes, and has spoken to the Lipscomb University women atheltes. Her office is an advocate for and involved in the Power of Pink events and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Rutherford County. Celeste serves as a board member for the Rutherford County Boys and Girls Club, has spent several years volunteering as a coach for boys and girls basketball, and believes in helping young women realize their full

Dr. Mary T. Moss, Charity Circle of Murfreesboro
Dr. Mary T. Moss, Physician/MD at Tennessee Women’s Care, has practiced in the Murfreesboro Community for 26 years and has served on the General Board and Executive Board of St Thomas Rutherford Hospital for over 10 years. She believes in supporting her community through various organizations such as, Circle of Murfreesboro Organization, City School Foundation, Murfreesboro Soccer Club, United Way, Boys and Girls Club, Oakland Mansion, Domestic Violence, Special Kids, and numerous mission efforts through St Mark’s United Methodist Church.

Judge Donna Scott Davenport, Junior League of Murfreesboro
Judge Donna Scott Davenport, Rutherford County Juvenile Judge, became Rutherford County’s first independent Juvenile Court Judge and first female Judge in the year 2000. Donna is involved with the Junior League of Murfreesboro to empower all women and young ladies in our community. She is also an Adjunct Professor for the past twenty-five years at MTSU via the Criminal Justice Department, where she has been able to refer prior students for jobs, graduate programs, and law school. Donna also hosts a radio program on WGNS and enjoys being able to mentor to some of Murfreesboro’s Young Professionals.

Sharon Seibert, Murfreesboro Breakfast Rotary Club
Sharon Seibert, Customer Service Manager for Murfreesboro Water Resources Department, has a long history of working with others to serve her neighbors and humankind. During her career she has been awarded a utility patent, a trademark, and earned her Six Sigma Green Belt distinction. She has deep community involvement, partnering with local organization’s such as Jim Brown’s Amer-I-Can and Oakland High School’s trade program, serves as co-sponsor for earth day school competitions,
and created a state wide culinary arts competition as part of Murfreesboro Breakfast Rotary’s BBQ festival.

Nancy Skinner, Guaranty Trust Company
Nancy Skinner, Chief Operations Officer and Sr. Vice President for Guaranty Trust Company, works closely with United Way through donations of time, talent, and treasure. Nancy was on the committee that hosted the event for the 2nd Annual Battle of the Boro Mortgage games, where all proceeds went to benefit the Rutherford County Food Bank. Nancy has been in the mortgage industry since 1985 and has been with Guaranty Trust for 20 years. She works with the operations staff by assisting in
problem solving, updating guidelines and helping to make your loan approvals and closings as smooth as possible. In the last year she has been dedicated to growing her professional skills and has earned the Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) designation through the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

Dr. Barbara F. Turnage, MTSU President’s Commission on the Status of Women & June Anderson
Center for Women & Nontraditional Studies
Dr. Barbara F. Turnage is Interiim Associate Dean and Professor of Social Work for Middle
Tennessee State University. Barbara is an active member of many organizations, including The June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students, the President’s Commission on the Status of Women, and the National Women’s History Month Committee. She has also served on MTSU’s Faculty Senate, the Africana Studies Program Development Committee, and the International Education and Exchange Committee. Her life goal is—‘To help others become emotionally and spiritually sound.’

Gina W. Urban, RUTHERFORD Cable
Gina W. Urban, owner of Urban Expert Services, is a lifelong marketing professional who has worked in the private, public, and education sectors. Gina is an active member of RUTHERFORD Cable, serving as Board Secretary for two terms and in several other leadership roles. She is an active volunteer for Amelia’s Closet, a clothier of hope helping disadvantaged women become productive members of society. She is a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where she provides financial support to the downtown congregation which provides food and shelter for the homeless of our community.

Mary M. Wade, Murfreesboro Branch of the NAACP
Mary M. Wade is a retiree after 39 years of service with State Farm Insurance. Mary served on the Murfreesboro City School Board of Education as Board Chair and on the Tennessee School Board of Directors on behalf of Murfreesboro City Schools. She is a long-standing life member of the NAACP and has a philosophy to excellence, inclusion, and service above self. She is an advocate for woman, children, underrepresented, and underserved members of her community, giving them a voice and seat at the table for the appropriate dialogue on policies that impact them the most.