TSU Women of Legend & Merit Awards Celebrates the Power of Women

(Top row l-r): Gwendolyn Vincent, Many Bears Grinder, and Tameka Winston (Bottom row l-r) Tina Tuggle, Vivian Wilhoite, and keynote speaker Beverly E. Smith.

Tennessee State University’s annual Women of Legend and Merit Awards will honor women leaders on Tuesday, April, 10, 2018 in Kean Auditorium. The Women of Legend and Merit Awards is an annual celebration saluting dynamic women leaders in business and the community in a variety of fields, first held in 2007, to bring awareness and raise funds in support of the TSU Women’s Center. It also exposes the university’s female students to positive role models, networking opportunities and resources to assist their academic, personal and professional growth. The event is a Black Tie affair, beginning at 7:00 pm.

“Tennessee State University is proud to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of women in our community, and the Women of Legend and Merit Awards presents a perfect opportunity for us to highlight the achievements so many have made in advancing our community and nation,” said Dr. Glenda Glover, president of Tennessee State University. “These women have lived lives of inspiration, courage and sacrifice. It is our privilege to share their stories and achievements.”

The 2018 Women of Legend and Merit Awards honor five exceptional women in five categories: Vivian Wihoite, Metro Nashville Assessor of Property, in Business; Tameka Winston, Interim Chair of the TSU Department of Communication, in Education; Many Bears Grinder, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs, in Government; Tina Tuggle of the Tennessee Titans, in Leadership; and Gwendolyn Vincent, Retired Metro School Teacher as the 2018 Woman of Strength, Courage & Commitment.

About the Speaker

Beverly E. Smith, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. National President & CEO, is a seasoned Delta leader with an extensive history of serving the Sorority on local, regional and national levels. Initiated into Epsilon Omicron Chapter at Bowling Green State University October, 1967, Smith has been a dedicated member for 50 years, currently in the Marietta-Roswell (GA) Alumnae chapter.

Smith is assistant commissioner and Georgia State director for Adult Education and GED Testing through the Technical College System of Georgia. As an entrepreneur, Smith is senior vice-president of The HR Group, Inc., management consulting firm she has co-owned with her husband Stephen for 27 years. Smith spent 18 years in leadership positions with AT&T (Southern Bell) and has experience in strategic planning; organizational effectiveness, training; operations redesign and restructure; financial management; and human resources. With a master’s degree in college student personnel administration, Smith was a college administrator at Kent State University (Ohio), Georgia State University, served as an Upward Bound Program Director and taught high school in Ohio.

Smith, a native of Massillon, Ohio, and her husband Stephen live in Marietta, Ga. and have been married for forty-six years. They have two married children, son Brian (Rashan Ali) Smith and daughter Stacy (Jason) Frazier, and five grandchildren.