Nashville Pride Awards celebrate local leaders, activists, and volunteers

Each year Nashville Pride celebrates those in the community that are integral in helping bring together the massive celebration. This year’s honorees will be awarded at the Curb Records Pre-Party, June 12 at Pour House Burgers.

"As Nashville Pride grows, so does the swell of support from community and business leaders, said Nashville Pride Board Member Joey Leslie.  "While we're certainly kicking off the festival you've all been waiting for at the Curb Records Pre-Pride Party at Pour House Burgers, we'll also recognize the outstanding community, business and political leaders, whose efforts have contributed significantly to the level of success that Nashville Pride will enjoy in 2014." 

This year’s Mark Middleton/Bianca Paige Pride Volunteer Award will be presented to Randall Roop. Randall’s constant dedication to Nashville Pride, as both a former board President and current vital volunteer, embodies Mark Middleton’s passion for and commitment to the LGBT community and Nashville’s annual Pride Festival. Randall currently is the Assistant Director of Sales and Marketing for Millennium Maxwell House Hotel.

Dwayne Jenkins will receive this year’s Mark Manasco Community Service Award. Whether in his near two-decade career at Nashville CARES or as Founder and President of Nashville Black Pride or his role as Executive Director of Brothers United Network, Dwayne matches Manasco’s devotion to community service and LGBT organizations.

This year’s Philanthropic Business Award will recognize both Jack Davis (JD Events and Festivals) and Jenn Garrett (Solve Solutions).

Jack Davis, owner and founder of JD Events and Festivals, serves not only as Festival Director for Nashville Pride but several other area festivals including last month’s Sevier Park Fest. Jack has provided invaluable contributions with his more than decade of service on the Nashville Pride Board.

With more than 20 years of combined real estate and marketing experience, Jenn Garrett, President of Solve, LLC, brings her unique perspective to an impressive public service history that includes Nashville Pride Board and Tennessee Human Right Commission service. As the Managing Partner of Village Property Management and a part of the Village Real Estate Development Services team, Garrett has personally worked with over 200 real estate agents in various marketing and sales capacities. She is also the past President of the Nashville American Marketing Association, a past member of the Middle Tennessee Postal Council, and serves on the Marketing Design team for Nashville Center for SpiritualLiving. 

This year’s Rising Stars Awards will be presented to Gerrard Wesson, Joseph Brownell and Robert “Bobby” Thompson. Each recipient is recognized for their outstanding efforts and dedication to the success of the 2014 festival and Pride's mission to educate and maintain a sense of pride, community and awareness of, about and for LGBT people and culture in Middle Tennessee.

Finally, Nashville Pride will recognize the Metro Council and Vice Mayor Diane Neighbors for their efforts to extend employment benefits to same sex partners of Metro employees with their annual Ally Award. The council members leading this effort include Personnel Committee members Peter Westerholm, Brady Banks, Megan Barry, and Lonnell Matthews, as well as Vice Mayor Diane Neighbors.

Tickets for the Curb Records Pre-Party are $20 and can be purchased at



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