2015 is the 8th 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 2015 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.
Winners will receive a $200 prize and community recognition.
The 2015 Winners
Business Award - Matt Charette
Matt Charette of Beyond the Edge, Drifter's BBQ, and Batter’d and Fried Boston Seafood House
Citizen Award - Darrell Downs & Kelly Perry
Darrell Downs of East Nashville Little League AND Kelly Perry of the East Nashville & Inglewood Lost and Found Pets Facebook page The 2015 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
When their duplex was sold to developers, Rosalyn and her grandchildren had nowhere to go. Shan, treasurer of the East Hill Neighborhood Association, was instrumental in the effort to secure housing for Rosalyn. In addition to raising over $20,000 and placing it in trust for Rosalyn’s family, Shan also took the family apartment hunting, drove Rosalyn to vote, and helped her re-apply for Section 8 housing. Shan continues to assist Rosalyn with financial planning and government benefits. She also voluntarily designs and distributes the flyers for the neighborhood association meeting.
Darrell moved to Nashville in 2012 with his wife, Denise, and their two young children. Following the 2010 flood, Darrel, Denise, and other baseball fans reinvigorated the Jess Neely Athletics Little League. From this effort, East Nashville Baseball was born. ENB provides instruction and leagues for girls and boys ages 4-18 and aspires to reflect the racial and economic diversity of East Nashville. Darrel was an integral force in the creation of this league, which aims to give each player the opportunity to learn in an atmosphere that encourages emotional maturity and strong community ties.
Admins of East Nashville Facebook Page
(Tracey Hawke, Paul Nicholson, Tracey Henry, Jackson Alexander Black, Cliff Walker, Peter King, and Ellen Duer McClanahan) - These six individuals are willing to dive into a conversation about tall-skinnies, lost dogs and old vs. new residents with clear heads and the greater good in mind. They only allow East Nashville businesses to post on the page, and ban members that promote irrelevant or hateful discussion. They have also helped reunite lost dogs, lost chickens, lost bicycles with their owners.
Greg, longtime civilian employee of the Nashville Metro Police Department, was raised in Inglewood and has spent his entire life here. His farthest move was about 100ft from his childhood home. He is known by many of his neighbors as the "Mayor of McChesney". In the past few years, Greg has opened his home to the entire neighborhood, for meet and greets. Cops, musicians, and working mothers rub shoulders and get to know their neighbors, thanks to a true community organizer, Greg Ernsberger.
Mark is the founder of East Nasty Running Club, a non-profit organization whose mission is to make East Nashville a great place to live and run, and to make running accessible to everyone in our community. The club provides training and support for runners of all paces, and even offers free 1/2 marathon and couch to 5k training. Mark's efforts have strengthened neighborhood ties and encouraged many to get active.
Jack is the founder and admin of the popular Facebook group, East Nashville & Inglewood Lost and Found Pets. This popular Facebook group rallies users to keep their eyes peeled for missing pets, returning many back to their home. Jack connects Eastside pet lovers to other resources as well, such as food and veterinary assistance programs, shelters, fencing, and other places to list your lost pet. Highly engaged and continually producing helpful content, she has created a valuable platform for our community.
As the Metropolitan Beautification and Environment Commissioner, Anthony has organized highly effective efforts to plant trees, clear waste, and restore local creeks affected by the 2010 flood. Despite the fact that metro viewed Cooper Creek and other areas outside their responsibility, Anthony attacked the problem head on. He organized community members to remove blockage and debris from the creek, which was a flood hazard to surrounding neighbors. He also arranges tree plantings around the city.
Business of the Year Nominees
Beyond the Edge - 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, and Batter'd & Fried. When Matt first started BTE he was the restaurant's bartender, cook, server and host. He now has over 100 employees and is one of the largest employers in the area. His restaurants often serve at local events and frequently donate a portion of the proceeds back to the organizers and its non-profit beneficiaries.
Bootstrap Architecture + Construction - Kim Kennedy
President of Bootstrap Architecture + Construction, est. in 2009. Contrary to current market trends (tear-downs followed by tall skinnys), Bootstrap focuses on the design and renovation of historic homes and creative infill solutions. When she is not preserving EN history, Kim spends her free time leading volunteer efforts at the East End UMC. Among many projects, she spearheaded the EEUMC Tomato Art Kids Fest and Gleaning Ministry, a group which gathers leftover produce from the East Nashville Farmers Market to deliver to the Martha O’Brien community produce table. Kim served at the Treasurer of the Lockeland Design Center in 2014 and 2015.
Center 615 - Christian Paro
Christian moved to Nashville in 2005 to work in real estate. After successfully renovating 1701 Fatherland Street, Christian set his sites on 625 Main Street, which we now know as Center 615. Since then, his investment strategy and forward thinking have yielded dividends for both himself and the community. Christian's developments are rehabilitative, preserving each building's uniqueness, while his projects are collaborative, providing affordable office and co-working space to the modern professional. This year Center 615 added two new enterprises, Studio 615 and Loft 615. Christian has served on the board of the Nashville Classical Charter School since 2013, and was recently appointed to vice chair.
Hot Yoga & Scout's Barbershop - Brooke Ashbury
Brooke moved to East Nashville six years ago with both an entrepreneurial drive and a sensitivity to the EN spirit that is unique in our community. Her successful goal for opening a Hot Yoga studio has evolved into also opening the Scout's Barbershop. Both concepts have not only thrived as local businesses but she has employed both business to contribute to the success of the neighborhood. She also continues to expand her vision with opening additional Scout's locations in Nashville.
Nutmeg - Meg Anderson
Meg's shop has been a wonderful addition to the neighborhood - and she's been the driving force behind a number of events in the neighborhood - knitting nights, Small Business Saturday at the Shoppes on Fatherland (Fa-La-La Fatherland!) and she also organized and promoted the first East Nashville Fiber Fest this past summer. The fest had numerous vendors and attendees and was a great way to bring people into our neighborhood for shopping and socializing.
S&S Property Management - Patti & Mark Sanders
East Nashville residents since 1984, their business, S&S Property Management is responsible for developments such as 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 than 90,000 square feet of residential, retail and office space to the 5 Points area and created more than 100 jobs. Their newest venture at 1100 Fatherland will add more than 6,500 square feet of restaurant and retail space.