East Nashvillian of the Year

East Nashvillian of the Year Awards

Each year, HENMA presents the awards for East Nashvillian of the Year by highlighting people and businesses who exemplify the best of all the positive aspects of life in East Nashville.

2013 Winners

Citizen of the Year: Carol Williams

Ever since she and husband Charlie bought a house in Edgefield on Russell Street in 1975, Carol Williams has been a neighborhood activist. Over the years, she has been Team Mom at Jess Neeley, and she served on the boards of Historic Edgefield and ReDiscover East! Carol also served on the BOLO team (Be on the lookout—a Metro Police program), as well as the Property Standards and Appeals Board under Mayor Bill Purcell as vice chair. She is a founding member of Friends of Shelby Park, where she also served as chairperson for two terms, and is a Cayce Revitalization board member.

Business of the Year: March Egerton

March has been key in the redevelopment for many years, owning and remodeling the buildings that house many of our favorite destinations: Margot, Marche, Bongo Java, Ugly Mugs, Jeni’s, Silly Goose, Pizza Real, and Fat Bottom Brewery. His current project is the second phase of Walden, which will be the new home for Cumberland Transit, Two Ten Jack and Climb Nashville.

The Historic East Nashville Merchants Association announces the winners of this year’s East Nashvillian of the Year Awards. 2013 is the 6th year of an annual award highlighting people and businesses who exemplify the best of all the positive aspects of life in East Nashville. There is one winner in each of two categories. The first is for a business or business owner that in 2013 portrayed the best of what East Nashville has to offer. The second award is for a private citizen who best symbolizes what being a good East Nashville neighbor means.

“East Nashville is full of great people,” said Tom Hadley, 2012 president of Historic East Nashville Merchants Association, “We want to acknowledge people who really stand out in making East Nashville a great place to live.”

Congratulations to our winners! Winners received a $200 prize and the recognition at the first HENMA Board meeting of 2014.


The Other Nominees

Only one person from each category can be named East Nashvillian of the Year, but all of these people and businesses deserve our respect and thanks for their commitment to our neighborhood. Please be sure to offer congratulations to any of these individuals you may see in the near future, they deserve it!

Citizen of the Year Nominees

Randall Gilberd

Randall Gilberd is the President and co-founder of the Cayce Place Revitalization Foundation (CPRF). The CPRF mission is to break the cycle of multigenerational poverty through the holistic revitalization of Cayce Place, including mixed income housing, world-class schools and a broad network of social support programs. Randall also sits on the Community Advisory Group, a group of 25 stakeholders who assist in the planning for Cayce.

Bob Borzak

Most recently, Bob, along with Randall Gilberd, formed the non-profit Cayce Place Foundation, an effort that contributed to the start of the revitalization of Cayce Place; now in the planning process and the goal is to begin construction in early 2015.  This proposed holistic solution for lower income families promises to bring newly constructed homes and first class education to the over 2,000 residents of Cayce Place. Among his many contributions to the community, Bob was the Rediscover East Chairman of the Zoning and Codes committee and has been a board member of Friends of Shelby since its inception in 2008.

Mark Miller

What began as a small running club called East Nasty has grown into a full-blown phenomenon. Mark Miller’s brainchild focuses a lot of positive attention on our community as it inspires its participants to get in shape.

Mona Lisa Warren

An event Planner in Nashville since 1996, Mona Lisa Warren has worked on a variety of Nashville events, including the Country Music Marathon & 1/2 Marathon, CMA Music Fest, CMA Music Awards, and the Vanderbilt Family Re-Union Conference. Her work as a volunteer includes serving as a Board Member and Officer of the Convention Center Authority as well as the Logistics Coordinator for the Hot Chicken Festival, a benefit for Friends of Shelby Park and Bottoms.

Diane Neighbors

Currently the Vice Mayor of Metropolitan Davidson County, longtime East Nashville resident Diane Neighbors has worked as a teacher and both director and state director of child care services during a career in early childhood education that spans 37-years. She is a member of both the Nashville and the Tennessee Associations for the Education of Young Children, each of which she also served as president. Neighbors continues to be very involved with Friends of Shelby and the Hot Chicken Festival.

Pat Gray

Pat is a third generation East Nashvillian who has always called the area home. She served on the board of Friends of Shelby Park for four years and in 2012 served as both Secretary of the Board and Co-Chair for the Shelby Park Centennial Celebration. Pat was instrumental in organizing relief assistance after the 2010 Flood, which included locating elderly victims who had been in their homes for decades. In 2011 she raised the alarm to prevent Lockeland Springs Park from development, which ultimately led to the land becoming part of Metro Parks.

Business of the Year Nominees

Matt Charette

A Massachusetts native, Matt first moved to Nashville in 1994 and lived on Ordway. In 2003 Matt took a chance on East Nashville with Beyond the Edge, which has become a neighborhood staple, and has since expanded with great destinations like Drifter’s, Batter’d and Fried and Watanabe. When Matt first started BTE he was the restaurant’s bartender, cook, server and host. He now has 118 employees and is one of the largest employers in the area.

Kustom Thrills

Chris Saint Clark opened in East Nashville in 2007. It is the first tattoo studio to open in the 5 Points area and has gone on to win multiple national awards. The studio has lead many charitable events, such as the "Cash for Cash" event and Tats for toys at Christmas. Kustom Thrills Tattoo is dedicated to being a business role model and a staple in the community.

Patti and Mark Sanders / S&S Property Management

East Nashville residents since 1984, their developments include Fatherland Court, the 37206 Building, MC3 condominiums, a major rehab of the historic building at 1012 Fatherland Street, and the Shoppes on Fatherland. The latter four projects have added more then 90,000 square feet of residential, retail and office space to the 5 Points area and created more then 100 jobs.  Their newest venture at 1100 Fatherland will add more then 6500 square feet of restaurant and retail space.

Christian Paro

Christian Paro moved to Nashville in 2005 to invest in real estate. By 2007, he had started Paro South LLC. In spite of the financial crisis of 2009, Paro’s investment strategy and forward thinking have yielded dividends for both himself and the community. His projects include is 1701 Fatherland, Paro South Creative Suites, Main Street Gallery and Center 615. Paro also serves on the board of Nashville Classical Charter School.

East Nashville Underground

In 2011, husband and wife team Kristyn and Jared Corder created East Nashville Underground. The quarterly "basement music festival" grew organically and soon prompted the Corders to create an accessible and unique experience that highlighted 120+ local bands and businesses. The quarterly aspect of the festival ended in August 2013 after 10 festivals, and East Nashville Underground faces a new future. The Corders have been prominent contributors to local events such as Tomato Art Festival, Save The Roxy, the Official SXSW Sendoff, and the Music City Guitar Tour, among others.

The Dog Spot

Chad Baker opened The Dog Spot—a doggy daycare/boarding facility—in East Nashville two years ago. Baker has recently opened a pet food store, which includes a community dog wash. This will be used whenever possible to facilitate fundraising efforts by local dog rescues. They will encourage groups to come in whenever possible and use the tubs for fundraisers. They plan on hosting as many fundraisers as possible, and will donate the use of the tubs as well as the shampoo, and the organization gets to keep all the money raised from washes that day.

See the past winners of East Nashvillian of the Year

Past Winners

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About Us

The Historic East Nashville Merchants Association is a business collective formed in 2003 to foster a cooperative spirit between businesses located in Historic Nashville’s East Bank Business District. Its member businesses work in concert with government and neighborhood associations to improve the welfare, commerce and quality of life in East Nashville, Tennessee.


Historic East Nashville Merchants Association

P.O. Box 68513
Nashville TN 37206

© Copyright 2017. Historic East Nashville Merchants Association. All rights reserved.

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