Local entrepreneur Greg Vital was honored by the Daughters of the American Revolution with the presentation of their prestigious Historic Preservation Medal on Wednesday. Mr. Vital, a nationally-recognized force in the historic preservation community, was nominated by the Chief John Ross Chapter of the DAR, Teresa Rimer, regent. The award highlights Mr. Vital’s "integral love of history and historical preservation by applauding his diversity of leadership and board service."
Historical preservation projects spearheaded, and often funded, by Mr. Vital include the restoration of the founding Hixson family’s 1840s cabin, now on site near Greenbriar Cove in Hixson, the restoration and donation of the façade of two Chattanooga landmark buildings, the Dome Building and the Old Post Office and Customs Building. In addition, Mr. Vital served as a financial contributor and member of the volunteer design team for the Cherokee Removal Park at Blythe Ferry in Harrison. Located at the juncture of the Hiwassee and Tennessee rivers, the Blythe Ferry site features a park, walking trails, interpretative center and monument commemorating the Trail of Tears and the 9000 Cherokee who passed by on their way to Oklahoma. Complimenting the Blythe Ferry site is Mr. Vital’s personal commitment to historic preservation through the creation of his Georgetown family farm where he raises bison and commemorates their role in history through an annual ‘Blessing of the Bison’ with representatives of the First Nations.
Mr. Vital serves on the Board of Trustees of the National Parks Conservation Association and co-chaired their ‘Renewing Our Promise’ campaign, resulting in a capital campaign accomplishment of over $125 million. In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Friends of Moccasin Bend National Park and was instrumental in securing Congressional approval for the archaeological park, the first land receiving that designation in the nation. He also funds the Friends of Moccasin Bend Lecture series each fall along with serving on the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Preservation Trust where he championed the creation of the award-winning Historic Tennessee photographic book.
The Daughters of the American Revolution have three primary goals as a membership of more than 500,000 women across the nation and around the world: patriotism, education and historic preservation.