From a list of highly qualified and very worthy nominees, Carol Williams and March Egerton have won the awards for the 2013 East Nashvillians of the Year. This annual award is presented by the Historic East Nashville Merchants Association in two categories—citizen and business—in recognition of the contributions made by each to the quality of life and economic vitality of East Nashville.
Nominations are submitted by the general public; the election is open to HENMA members only. There are no responsibilities implied with being elected, however, the award was created because it was believed there was a need to recognize those who have helped both preserve the historic nature of East Nashville and also pave the way forward.
As reflected by our cover illustration, this year’s winners demonstrate the balance needed between development and preservation; too much of either could cause stagnation on the one hand, or, on the other, diminish the spirit and quality of life in our community.
All of the nominees should be recognized as well, for they have, each in their own way, helped shaped the face of the East Side. As Carol Williams makes clear, “Every single person is important in what they do.”
Perhaps the most important thing about this award isn’t the actual winners, it’s what they represent: We all have a responsibility to make our neighborhood a better place.
The East Nashvillian magazine
ArtHouse Gardens | Alan Murdock
Dan Heller | Riverside Village
Meg & Bret MacFadyen | Art & Invention Gallery
BUSINESS AWARD NOMINEESS
March has been key in the redevelopment for many years, owning and remodeling the buildings that house many of our favorite destinations: Margot, Marché, Bongo Java, Ugly Mugs, Jeni’s, Silly Goose, PizzeREAL, 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.
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 & 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.
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 led 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 than 6,500 square feet of restaurant and retail space.
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 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 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.
CITIZEN AWARD NOMINEESS
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! Carole 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.
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.
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, which is now in the planing process (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 more than 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.
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 & Half 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.
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 (and served as president) of both the Nashville and the Tennessee Associations for the Education of Young Children. Neighbors continues to be very involved with Friends of Shelby and the Hot Chicken Festival.
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. Gray 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.