JUMP honors Nashville leadership at Christmas Extravaganza

JUMP Trailblazer Award recipient Angela Mitchell Hill [at right] with her son (Photo Credit: Walter Jones at RhinoPic).

JUMP Trailblazer Award recipient Angela Mitchell Hill [at right] with her son (Photo Credit: Walter Jones at RhinoPic).

The Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership, (JUMP), a local North Nashville community partnership, honored several of Nashville’s leaders at their Annual Christmas Extravaganza this past Sunday, December 6 at 15th Avenue Baptist Church. The event was established to recognize local business leaders that work tirelessly on behalf of the North Nashville community. The 16th annual event honored the contributions and generosity of the several individuals for their contributions to Jefferson Street Corridor.

“These awards are an attempt to show appreciation to those individuals who have shown leadership in the African American community,” said Ms. Sharon Hurt, Council-woman at Large and President/CEO of JUMP. “It is a small award in comparison to the value of the service they provide.”

Candlelight Awards were presented to Bill & Pam Martin, owners of Cushion Employer Services; Dr. Gloria Johnson, Interim Dean, College of Liberal Arts at Tennessee State University; and Mr. Don Hardin, President/CEO of Don Hardin Group, whose mother accepted on his behalf. The Community Advocate Award was presented to Ms. Sharon Kay, WFSK Radio Manager at Fisk University.

Over 150 attendees were in attendance including Metro Councilpersons DeCosta Hastings, Loniel Green, Karen Y. Johnson, former Councilman Rev. Jerry Maynard and former mayoral candidate, Jeremy Kane.

Among the many other Nashville notables in attendance was Mr. Walter Overton, Executive Director of Nissan Stadium, who arrived to the event fashionably late due to the Tennessee Titans win, mere hours before. Mr. Overton presented Ms. Monica Fawknotson, Executive Director of Sports Authority at Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County with the Candlelight Award for her continuous dedication to the Nashville community and the Unsung Hero Award for her humble spirit and inspiring work ethic.

Overton, a past Executive Director of Sports Authority, told how he hired Fawknotson to one of her very first professional positions as his Executive Assistant at the government agency that she now heads as Executive Director.

“We worked well together…and during that time I watched her grow, develop, and I saw her turn into an outstanding lady,” said Overton. He sweetly noted that he was once Fawknotson’s boss but now it is Fawknotson who oversees his position at Nissan stadium.

The Trailblazer Award, which recognizes a Jefferson Street Corridor merchant whose active membership and avid support has helped revitalize the neighborhood and its businesses, was given to Ms. Angela Mitchell-Hill, owner of Nashville Nails and Salon Service by Na’Sah’s. Hill, affectionately known as the “Nashville Nail Lady,” started her first nail salon on Jefferson Street over 11 years ago. Today, she is in the Nashville International Airport, with a thriving and expanding business that services thousands each year.

“It is with the support and help of JUMP and Mrs. Sharon Hurt, that I have been able to take my passion and make it my purpose,” said Hill as she accepted the award along with her young son. “I am honored and blessed to be a part of this organization and community.”

For more information about how you can get involved with the Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership, please visit their website at www.jumpnashville.com.

JUMP was established in 1994 by a group of concerned citizens to develop, foster and promote cooperative economic development through revitalization, acquisition, education and public safety programs in North Nashville.

Today over 111 individuals and organizations make up JUMP’s active membership — doctors, lawyers, dentists, master barbers, musicians, ministers, writers, hair stylists, retailers and restaurateurs — with one thing in common. Keeping Jefferson Street alive and thriving.