David Wilds

For 2019, the YMCA of Middle Tennessee presents the Order of the Red Triangle—its top volunteer honor—to David Wilds.

An avid runner, Wilds says his love for running was inspired by his service in the U.S. Marine Corps and the YMCA, and led him to complete a remarkable 68 marathons. His decades-long involvement with our Y began as a member. Over the years, David learned more about the Y’s range of youth outreach programs, prompting him to support our nonprofit not only as a member, but also as a donor. As his connection deepened, and as is often the case, David began to give of his time and talents as a volunteer, eventually joining the Finance Committee, which he now chairs.

David’s critical and steady leadership and experience as a career investment professional was paramount as our YMCA emerged from its restructuring efforts in 2013 and 2014. He continues to provide wise counsel through the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to his financial acumen, it’s clear David’s heart is in it, too. He leads by example, always wanting to be the “first in” to support YMCA campaigns for critical initiatives, and his generosity will make a difference for generations to come through the campership David established in the YMCA’s endowment fund.

Although now officially ‘retired,’ David continues to serve as the Managing Partner of First Avenue Partners, which he founded, and where he is actively involved in managing private equity investments. Prior to his role with First Avenue Partners, David’s accomplished career included roles as a partner at J.C. Bradford & Company, Chairman of the Board for Cumberland Health Systems and Principal with Nelson Capital Group. In 1998, he helped to found The Family Office, where he served as CEO for 19 years prior to his retirement, providing financial, investment and wealth management services to the Turner family, founders of Dollar General.

Having served on the board of nine public companies, David currently serves on the Board of Directors for Nashville-based iii3 Verticals. He has also held board positions at iPayment, Inc., a card transaction processing services company that was taken private in 2006; Dollar General, which was sold to KKR and GS Capital Partners; and Symbion, Inc., which was sold to Crestview Partners. David holds a Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Business Administration from Emory University.

David has two daughters and a teenage grandson who’s literally following in some of his footsteps, racking up miles as an accomplished cross country runner. When not busy with his service on nonprofit and corporate boards, he and his wife Cindy enjoy spending time in Boca Grande, Florida, and also hope to get back to Italy when the pandemic subsides.

We congratulate David on this well-deserved honor, and offer our most sincere gratitude for all that he has done and continues to do to support and steward our YMCA.


1964 H.G. Hill Jr.
1965 Clifford Love Jr.
1966 Edmund W. Turnley Sr.
1967 Mark Bradford Jr.
1968 Roupen M. Gulbenk
1969 Harold U. Buchi
1970 George H. Cate Jr.
1971 Russell W. Brothers
1972 James M. Hudgins M.D.
1973 Robert L. Freeman
1974 D. H. Vardell
1975 Thomas E. Baldridge
1976 Homer B. Gibbs Jr.
1977 James M. Ward
1978 Charles L. Cornelius Jr.
1979 A. Battle Rodes
1979 William C. Weaver Jr.
1980 William Henderson
1981 Sydney F. Keeble Jr.
1982 J. P. Foster
1983 W. Ridley Wills II
1984 Walter Knestrick
1985 Dortch Oldham
1986 Jack Elisar
1987 Robert L. Bibb Jr.
1988 James L. Harper
1988 William B. Wadlington M.D.
1989 William Wilson
1990 E.M. “Bert” Haywood
1991 Nelson Andrews
1992 Sandra Ford Fulton
1993 William E. Turner Jr.
1996 Margaret H. Maddox
1997 H. Lee Barfield
1998 John Ed Miller
1999 Rebecca Thomas
2000 Cal Turner Sr.
2001 Senator Douglas Henry
2002 James A. “Jimmy” Webb III
2003 Anne E. Ragsdale
2004 Florence Davis
2005 Ron F. Knox Jr.
2006 Jacquelyn Draughon Guthrie
2007 Bill DeLoache
2008 Cal Turner Jr.
2009 Wood S. Caldwell
2010 Rep. Brenda Gilmore
2011 Frank F. Drowota III
2012 George L. Yowell
2013 Marty G. Dickens
2014 Leilani S. Boulware
2015 Bill Lee
2016 Liz Wilson Allbritton
2017 R. Walter Hale III
2018 Jimmy Granberry



Ragan-Smith Associates, Inc.
Alan Thompson

Alan has played a pivotal role on our board over the past few years, giving his time, talent and treasure to the Y and Bellevue community. Alan and his team have worked tirelessly—and pro bono—to get the plans drawn for a dek hockey rink gifted to the Bellevue Y by the Predators in 2019. We are grateful for Alan and Ragan-Smith for their instrumental role in making the rink a future reality for our Bellevue community. Alan truly embodies the Y’s cause of strengthening community.
—Sam Stephens
Brentwood Family YMCA

Sam McGahren Memorial Fund

Over the past three years, the fund has given $50k to support Full Circle and was instrumental through financial support as well as program input in the creation of the Full Circle adult program at the Brentwood YMCA. —Steve Saxton
Center for Civic Engagement

Sean Wright

Sean Wright has been a consistent participant and volunteer for the Center for Civic Engagement. Sean has only missed one conference since his middle school days. As a participant, he enjoyed a successful Youth in Government career that culminated in a term as Youth Governor of Tennessee. Since completing the program, Sean has worked tirelessly to give back, volunteering at all subsequent conferences and improving program aspects every year. Sean currently serves as our component advisor, mentoring our current Youth Governors on the mysteries of the state budget and crafting intricate crises for our Security Council to tackle at Model UN. His intellect, humor and talent for servant leadership have become a hallmark of CCE conferences. Additionally, Sean has returned almost every summer to help chaperone a group of 25 students to North Carolina for the Conference on National Affairs. There, his insight into the legislative process and wise advice has made him a valuable resource for eager students. Sean has truly left this program better than he found it, and continues to improve the conference experience for students and staff alike. We are pleased to present him with this honor.
—Susan Moriarty
Christ Church YMCA

Plaza Mariachi/Hispanic
Family Foundation
Diane Janbakhsh

How do I begin to describe the impact the Hispanic Family Foundation and Plaza Mariachi have had on the Christ Church YMCA? The partnership started when our communities came together for Welcome Week. We invited Diane Janbakhsh to our center in hopes of creating a small event for the diverse population we serve. That event turned into a bilingual children’s story time, which has now grown into a bountiful relationship involving full support and focus by our CCY Board. The compassion and love shown by the Hispanic Family Foundation and Plaza Mariachi are values the Christ Church YMCA strives to build. We are blessed to call them a partner in the goal of serving New Americans of all faiths, cultures and beliefs in southern Davidson County.
—Roger Grove

Clarksville Area YMCA

Bruce & Ann Clem

Bruce and Ann Clem are a valuable asset to our members, our staff and our YMCA. Not only do they give selflessly of their time, but also of their treasure. On any given day, you can find them in the lobby encouraging and helping others. They also fill the role of Santa and his elf for our Breakfast with Santa event! Their compassion and desire to help others is a true inspiration to those around them and really speak to the mission of the YMCA. Their commitment and support are truly making an impact on our Y staff and members.
—Amanda Gill
Downtown YMCA

Brian Poynter

In 2019, Downtown had various issues we needed to navigate with construction, struggling membership, parking issues, and a depleted Advisory Board. Brian had only been on the board for a few months in 2018 and agreed to be the Board Chair in 2019. He has provided great leadership to re-establish and re-energize our board, implemented a much-needed committee structure, increased board attendance at meetings and provided a vision to re-engage the Downtown community.
—Scott Clinton
Franklin Family YMCA

Jean & Don Gunn

Jean and Don Gunn went above and beyond what was asked of them in supporting the 2019 Annual Giving Campaign at the Franklin Family YMCA. During the two-and-a-half-week community campaign in the spring, they stood in the lobby for four hours straight each day handing out pledge cards, soliciting donations, and serving as advocates for the YMCA mission. The Gunns also served on the Philanthropy committee year-round and contributed their volunteer support through major gifts fundraising and stewardship initiatives.
—Drew Freeman
Green Hills Family YMCA

Gary Everton

Gary is a volunteer extraordinaire! He has led our annual golf tournament for the past 24 years and has raised significant money to help our Annual Campaign be successful. His larger-than-life personality positively affects all of us. We are so grateful and appreciative of his volunteer service to our Y!
—Laurel Wilson
Margaret Maddox Family YMCA

Vera De Andre

Vera has exemplified integrity and character when interacting with the active older adult community. Vera demonstrates compassion, tenacity and creativity with all those she encounters. For 10 years, Vera has committed her time and resources as a volunteer with our AOA group. She serves those in need of fellowship, assists with learning groups focused on health and well-being, and helps others at hospice and nursing homes. In so many ways, Vera has created a sense of belonging for others. Her love language is serving and doing for others, and for this we are most grateful.
—Judi Winfield-Ferri
Maryland Farms YMCA

Greg Richard

We are honoring Greg for his many years of support and advocacy. He is not only a key financial supporter, but he has also volunteered to help us identify new major donors, offered his home for such events, and shows up to encourage our staff and his fellow members in ways that inspire everyone around him.
—Jodi Schroer
North Rutherford Family YMCA

Hope Fellowship Church
Kent Shingleton

Church leadership and members are dedicated to helping serve our community and use their resources to aid us to do likewise.
—Joey Hassell

Northwest Family YMCA

Dr. Kenyae L. Reese

Kenyae was instrumental in leading our efforts to plan a successful inaugural community event. Jazz on the Lawn included sponsorships, a live band, marketing and community involvement. She also had a direct impact on our 2019 Annual Giving Campaign, raising over $10,000 towards our goal.
—Johari Matthews
Robertson County Family YMCA

Maria Knight

Maria is an incredible volunteer for the Robertson County Y. She’s a superhero—maybe even an Avenger! Maria impacts the community through the Y in multiple areas. She is a Youth Soccer coach, a leader and support system for our “Couch to 5k” program participants, and she is probably our greatest cheerleader on social media. She volunteers with enthusiasm and brings excitement and encouragement to everyone. —David Limpus
School Age Services

Myra Taylor

Myra Taylor has played a pivotal role in the Y’s efforts towards impacting youth in the North Nashville area. As the Executive Principal for Buena Vista Elementary, she has been a fully supportive advocate of the YMCA Fun Company program that operates in her school. In 2019, the YMCA expanded its Anti-Hunger Initiative meal program to include all kids at the school before dismissal (the first ever arrangement with any school). This was a direct result of Ms. Taylor’s leadership and vision to ensure that the needs of her students were being met. —Rico X
Sumner County Family YMCA

Linda Davis & Darlene Hauk

Darlene and Linda are wonderful ambassadors for our ABC program and help the new ladies find hope.
—Kathy Raglin
Camp Widjiwagan

Leslie & John Hooper

Leslie and John both served on the Camp board many years ago. Then, when Jeff was new to Nashville, they decided to come back on board and have served in many different ways. One specific way is their creation of the “Hooper’s Heroes” scholarship, offering opportunities to kids from military families. —Julie Blucker
Donelson-Hermitage Family YMCA

Deloitte LLP
John Doerge

For the last seven to eight years, Deloitte has brought a team of staff volunteers to engage our summer campers and members in creating pieces of art that celebrate community. They bring a team, the materials, and the positive energy. We so appreciate them partnering with us!
—BJ Keener

Brad Blevins

Brad and his company, Blevins, Inc., have shown leadership by supporting at a major gifts level for many years, contributing to the long-term sustainability of our program. He engages on a personal level to support our work with students by also being an active, engaged board member.
—Beverly Revo
2019 H.G. Hill Jr. Philanthropic Award

Gov. Bill and Maria Lee

For 2019, it is the Foundation of the YMCA of Middle Tennessee’s distinct privilege to present its highest volunteer honor, the H.G. Hill Jr. Philanthropic Award, to Governor Bill Lee and his wife, Maria. Inspired by their deep faith, Bill and Maria truly embody the spirit of the award, having tirelessly supported the Y and so many other organizations in our community and abroad.

Bill joined the YMCA of Middle Tennessee board of directors in 2008 and brought with him a passion for the Y’s efforts to help young people in our community overcome obstacles and circumstances to discover their true potential. As a longtime supporter of Y-CAP and the east Nashville youth who take part in its programs, Bill has been a true champion for positive youth development in our community.

Bill’s involvement with the Y only deepened over time, and in 2014, he was named Association Board Chair, taking the helm as our chief volunteer officer at a pivotal time in our YMCA’s history. His Christ-centered leadership was a source of constant strength and resolve during and following the execution of a financial sustainability plan, which included a significant restructuring of our membership and program operations that has further fortified our Y’s ability to continue serving our community for generations to come.

During his tenure as a Y volunteer, Bill met and was inspired by one of our Y-CAP participants at our annual Power Luncheon. Shortly thereafter, he and Maria began getting to know the teen, forging a relationship which continues today. Although their support of this remarkable young man may seem above and beyond the call of duty, it’s a regular occurrence for Bill and Maria, who have devotedly supported not only the Y, but many other organizations as well. The couple are active in Grace Chapel Church and numerous faith-based organizations, which have taken them all over the world to serve people in need, including Africa, Central America and the Middle East.

In addition to her work as first lady and the Tennessee Serves initiative she inspired, Maria also serves on the board of Friend2Friend Book Project, a mission devoted to delivering uplifting literature to children suffering from medical hardships.

Prior to being elected governor, Bill served as president of Lee Company, the business his grandfather founded in 1944. Bill and Maria are the proud parents of four children and eight grandchildren.

It is the Foundation’s distinct privilege to present them with its highest honor.

H.G. Hill Jr. Philanthropic Award PAST RECIPIENTS​

1995 Sis & Dortch Oldham
1996 Margaret & Dan Maddox
1997 Anne Knestrick
1997 Walter Knestrick
1998 Cathy & Bill Turner Jr.
1999 Anna & Bill Wadlington M.D.
2000 Anne & Dick Ragsdale
2001 Florence & Buzz Davis
2002 Honey & Joe Rodgers
2003 Irene & Ridley Wills II
2004 Marshall Polk III
2005 Frank Burkholder
2005 Linda Burkholder
2006 Lolly & Senator Douglas Henry
2007 Bond DeLoache
2008 Kaye & Ron Knox
2009 Mary & Lee Barfield
2010 Barry & Homer Gibbs
2011 Frances Caldwell Jackson
2011 Anne Caldwell Parsons
2011 Wentworth Caldwell Jr.
2012 Bill Wilson
2013 Sandra and Richard Fulton
2014 Ruth and Bob Napier
2015 Cal Turner Jr.
2016 James A. Webb III
2017 Marty & Betty Dickens
2018 Leilani S. Boulware