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Roane Alliance Annual Gala Fundraiser Held April 28, 2023
ROANE COUNTY, TN – On April 28, the Roane Alliance held its Annual Roane Alliance Gala at the Barn at Maple Creek with close to 500 guests. The night included a reception, dinner, business awards, live auction, and for the second year in a row, the announcement of a new Hall of Fame recipient.
The Annual Chamber’s Business Awards were presented, along with the Roane County Industrial Development Board’s Industry of the Year, making this a night of celebration and
recognition for Roane County’s top leaders and businesses. Along with a few of the comments from their nominations, the 2023 Annual Business Award recipients were:
• DWK Life Sciences - Industry of the Year; “DWK Life Sciences is one of Roane County’s leading employers with an employee headcount of 300. They consistently participate each year in Career and Job Fairs, numerous tours of their facility for Students & Educators in the Workplace, and Adult & Youth Leadership Classes.”
• Ron Woody - Paul Cowell Distinguished Service; “Ron has devoted much of his career to the Roane County Government, where he started as the Administrative Assistant to the Roane County Executive in 1983. Ron continues to serve Roane County as a Consultant at the East Tennessee Development District.”
• Tennessee’s Finest Awards & Frameworks - Business of the Year; “Mike & Rena Dishman became the new owners of Tennessee’s Finest Awards & Frameworks. The business has continued to grow and thrive under the new ownership, and they are looking forward to how their store will continue to expand its reach and evolve to better serve their community and beyond.”
• Dr. Silvia Mende, Tennessee Eye Care - Woman of the Year; “She became a partner in the Tennessee Eye Care practice in 2001 and has spent the last 22 years taking care of the eyes of her community members. Highlights of her community work include leading the Remote Area Medical events with Leadership Roane County in years past, an active mentorship program for young people exploring careers in healthcare, and
teaching the children at her church.”
• Roane County Anti-Drug Coalition - Non-Profit of the Year; ” The mission of the RCADC is to reduce youth substance use; to educate and raise awareness of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug issues; to promote community involvement; and to strengthen community partnerships and prevention strategies.”
• Courtney Briley, Michael Dunn Center- Paul E. Goldberg Young Professional; Courtney has worked with the Chamber in many capacities, first as Chamber Manager, then as an Ambassador (for which she is the current team Chair.) She has been involved with many community organizations and events.”
• Ashely Freeberg, Roane County Anti-Drug Coalition - Ambassador of the Year; “Ashley has served as a Chamber Ambassador for 5 years, and held the Youth Chair position for 3 years. She is very active in her community through professional work, volunteerism, and Boards that she serves on.”
The Roane Alliance inducted a member into their Hall of Fame for the second consecutive year – Ken Yager. This award is given to an individual who is highly respected and has given generously to education, municipalities, chambers of commerce, non-profit organizations, and many others.
Ken’s hard work and dedication have helped to build and strengthen The Roane Alliance, our County, and The State of Tennessee. Jim Henry presented the award, recounting Mr. Yager’s monumental career and giving along with the success of the Roane Alliance. The Hall of Fame recognition recognizes those who have been instrumental in the creation and success of the Roane Alliance through the years. Other Hall of Fame recipients include Steve Kirkham (2005), Jim Henry (2006), Jerry Duncan (2007), Jerry Stephens (2014), George Ed Wilson (2014), David Webb (2016), and Dr. Julian Ahler (2022).
The Roane Alliance Gala is an annual fundraiser, providing nearly 50% of the total annual Roane Alliance budget. As Roane County’s official economic development organization, the funds raised go directly to economic development programs and efforts specifically to benefit Roane County and increase economic prosperity for its businesses and citizens.
Sponsors for this event are vital for making sure economic development efforts continue and Roane County continues to grow. The Roane Alliance is extremely thankful for their support. Title Sponsors: Coldwell Banker, Jim Henry & Associates with Jim Henry Event Center, EnergySolutions, Griffin Insurance Agency with Auto-Owners Insurance and ORUD Natural Gas; and Silver Sponsors: CNS Y-12, One Bank, Owings, Wilson & Coleman, Roane Central Utility District, Roane Medical Center, Roane State Community College, Teijin Carbon America, TVA Kingston Fossil Plant, and UCOR; and Bronze Sponsors: American Green Fuels, Barger Precast, Bryan Insurance Group, City of Harriman, City of Oak Ridge, City of Rockwood, CROET, Russell Johnson, District Attorney, Eddie’s Body Shop, Enrichment Federal Credit Union, Graphic Creations, Harriman Utility Board, Duncan Family Automotive, Kidzcare Pediatrics, Kim Bell MedSpa, Lawler Wood, Life Choices, MCLinc, Perma-Fix, Roane County Anti-Drug Coalition, Roane Specialized Services, Rockwood Marina & RV Resort, Summit Medical, Dr. Bhavana Vora and Unstoppable Auto.
"The amount of community support for this year’s Gala was overwhelming,” said President Justin Snow, Roane Alliance. “Table Sponsorships were up 52% and the total amount of fundraising from the event increased 23% year over year. Both sponsorships and the funding raised were all-time highs compared to any previous Gala. And although expenses were up 6% year over year, the net profit from the event was up 33% year over year. I can’t thank everyone enough who generously supported this year’s Gala. It truly was an amazing night bringing everyone together to celebrate Roane County.”
Thank you to our special sponsors: Bobcat of Knoxville, Auctioneer Sponsor; Holston Gas, Beer Sponsor; Gateway Liquor & Spirits, Wine Sponsor; Daycab Company, Liquor Sponsor; Sean Hensley, Wheelbarrow Sponsor; Engineering Services Group, Photo Booth Sponsor; Knoxville Logistics Center, Business Awards Sponsor; and Blue Bell Creameries, Desert Sponsor.
And a special thank you to our volunteers and helpers, who without them we could not hold such a successful event: WIVK radio personality Kent Stephens, AGA; auctioneer Craig Bacon; Sonny Hunter, Diana and Bruce Knobloch, Walker Malone, Abby and Kaylee Wilson and Jamie Poland, spouses of the Alliance staff: Matt Brown, Buffy Snow, David Jester, Ben Wilson, and Erin Parten; the Gala Committee: Chair Sharon Templeton, Lynn Farnham, Lindsey Stevens, Sasha Benjamin, Sean Hensley, Kent Stephens, and Scott Stout; our celebrity live auction spotters Joe Caldwell, Joe Heckman, Ben Wilson; and Congressman Chuck Fleischman for the invocation.
In addition, the companies who worked to make this event special included Gateway Liquor, Daycab Company, Ashley Ruppe Photography, M&M Productions, Ladd Golf Carts, Knoxville Photobooth, and Joe & Toni Haba and the team at Barn at Maple Creek.
There were generous donors who donated items for the live auction: Action Heating and Cooling; Kim Bell MedSpa; Bryan Insurance Group; Bunch Marine; CCMSI; County Executive Wade Creswell; Dolly Parton; Elite Builders; E-Jay Thermo; Congressman Chuck Fleischman; Mackley Jewelers; Matlock Tires; Old Castle APG; ORUD Natural Gas; Sauter Timber; Kent Stephens; WIVK; Senator Ken Yager and UT Athletics.
For links to Gala photos and additional information, including a list of donors for the online auction held in February, visit RoaneAlliance.org/Annual-Gala. Please make plans to attend next year’s Gala on Friday, April 26, 2024, at The Barn at Maple Creek.