Conn Named Community First Awards Person Of The Year

Friday, September 25, 2020
The Fifth Annual Community First Awards premiered Thursday and announced the selection of Lee University Chancellor Dr. Paul Conn as the 2020 Person of the Year.

Dr. Conn, who recently stepped down from his 34-year-long tenure as president of Lee University, was named chancellor of the institution last month. Dr. Conn was also honored with the Community First Award in the Education category this year. 

“Dr. Conn’s name is synonymous with higher education in our region,” said Dr. Bill Seymour, Cleveland State Community College president. “He has been at the helm of one of the finest and fastest growing universities in the southeast.” Former Community First Award Person of the Year winners include Brenda Hughes, Brenda Lawson, Tom Rowland and Gary Farlow.
Former Community First Award winners in the Education category include Mickey Blevins, Jonathan Pierce, Carmen Choat and Eric Weaver.

Currently published on the Cleveland State Community College Foundation website, as well as the social media outlets of Cleveland State Community College, the 2020 production of the Community First Awards recognizes leaders of all ages from Bradley, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe and Polk Counties in Tennessee. The Community First Awards are an annual event which pay tribute to those who exemplify the ideal of putting their communities first in all that they do. The presentation is available to the public at Cleveland State’s Foundation website at MyCS.CC/CFA.

The Fifth Annual Community First Awards, brought to you in part by Premier Sponsor SouthEast Bank, Gold Sponsor Follett Higher Education Group and Silver Sponsor Hoar Construction, recognized nine category winners during their presentation: Arts – Sarah Pearson (Bradley County), Business – Sharon Sliger Brown (McMinn County), Conn, Healthcare – Laura Harris (Monroe County), Non-Profit Leadership – David and Mary Ketchersid (Bradley County), Philanthropy – Sam McReyolds (Bradley County), Public Service – Adrian Lambert (Polk County), Student Leadership – Tayler Davis (Meigs County) and Volunteer Service – Cheryl Dunson (Bradley County).

Mr. Dunson, the former vice president of Marketing for Santek Waste Services, had the honor of winning the recently named Don M. Lorton Volunteer Service Award. Mr. Lorton was known for his volunteer efforts in the region. During his career, he served as the president of the Jenn-Air Company, Magic Chef and Maytag Appliance Group.

The Community First Awards are a centerpiece of the Cleveland State Community College Foundation’s fundraising efforts each year.  Proceeds from the annual event help the CSCC Foundation fund the endeavors of the college and its students throughout the year. If you would like to learn more about the Community First Awards, call 423-614-8700.

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