Urban and Community Forestry Awards of Excellence

TUFC presents Awards of Excellence for outstanding leadership, education efforts or activities that have made a significant contribution to establishing and maintaining viable community forests in Tennessee.

The award program is sponsored by the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestry.

document Nomination form

Nominations are welcome but must be received by July 31.


  • Builder/Developer Award: Recognizes a company or corporation that has done an outstanding job of protecting and maintaining trees during the project construction process.
  • Citizen Activist Award: Recognizes an individual person not employed in a related Green Industry area whose dedication has made significant and outstanding contributions to urban forestry at the local, regional or state level.
  • Government Employee Award: Recognizes an individual working for a government agency who has made outstanding contributions to the urban forestry effort at the local, regional or state level.
  • Green Industry Award: recognizes a company or organization that shows leadership and dedication to advancing urban forestry efforts at the local, regional or state level.
  • Media Award: Recognizes an electronic or prints media entity that has made a significant contribution to trees and/or urban forestry in its community or region.
  • Private Professional Award: Recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the urban forestry effort at the local, regional or state level. The individual must work for a company whose business is related to urban forestry.
  • Tree Board Award: Recognizes a local board or committee that has made outstanding accomplishments in completing urban forestry projects, provided exemplary leadership, and made significant progress in meeting the goals of their local urban forestry program.

Award winners

Citizen Activist: Vicki Turner, Nashville
Government Employee: Joellen Diamond, Memphis
Green Industry: The Compost Company, Ashland City
Private Professional: Tony Larkins, Nashville
Tree Board: Chattanooga Tree Commission
President's Award: Chris Armour
Citizen Activist: Weida Ringley, Memphis
Utility Forester: Jeff Fitzpatrick, Cookeville
Government Employee: Janet P. Hooks, Memphis
Tree Board: Rogersville
Builder/Developer: Southeast Venture, Nashville
Citizen Activist: Randy Allen, White House
Government Employee: Karna Levitt, Chattanooga
Green Industry: Nashville Tree Foundation
Media: Louise Zepp, Tennessee Conservationist
Private Professional: Mariah C. Prescott, Dalton
Builder/Developer: Henry Turley, Memphis
Career Achievement: Eleanor Willis, Friends of Warner Parks, Nashville
Citizen Activist: Eileen Elliott and Marlene Wilson, Trenton
Government Employee Award: Burk Renner, Memphis
Media: Danny Jones, Trenton
Private Professional Award: Dr. Mark Follis, Memphis
President’s Award: Laurie Williams, Memphis
Tree Board: Knoxville Tree Board
Green Industry: Wolf River Conservancy
Private Professional: Wes Hopper, Certified Arborist
Citizen Activist: Debbi Molloy
Government Employee: Richard Beckwith, City of Memphis
Media: Chris Gang
President's Award: Jimmy Ferrell, John Nessle
Citizen Activist: Don Richardson, Memphis
Tree Board: Metro Nashville Tree Advisory Committee
Government Employee: Shawn Posey, West Tennessee Regional Urban Forester
President's Award: Patrick Haller, Sparta
Private Professional: Jennifer Smith, Nashville
Green Industry: Shelby Farms Park Conservancy, Memphis
Builder/Developer: Lawrence Brothers LLC and Design Resource, Nashville (joint winners)
Government Employee: Nick Bridgeman, City of Lakeland
Private Professional: Parke Brown, The Parke Company, Nashville
Citizen Activist: Jan Castillo, Master Gardener, Memphis
Tree Board: Cleveland Shade Tree Board
Green Industry: Newport Utilities
Media: Emily Adams Keplinger, The Commercial Appeal, Memphis
TUFC President's Award: Chris Clark, Clark and Associates, Nashville
Private Professional: Frank Abbott, Morristown
Green Industry: Askew, Hargraves, Harcourt & Associates, Inc., Lakeland
Media: The Citizen Tribune, Morristown
Builder/Developer: Maple Grove, GP, Lakeland
President's Award: Liz Didier, Knoxville
Government Employee: Laurie Williams, Memphis
Tree Board: Chattanooga Tree Commission, Chattanooga
Citizen Activist: Jim Volgas, Memphis
Private Professional: Scott Winningham, Cookeville
Green Industry: Jimmy Ferrell, Memphis
Builder/Developer: Dalhoff Thomas Daws LLC, Sam Henry, Landscape Architect, Collierville
President's Award: Dr. Douglas Airhart, Cookeville
Government Employee: Eric Bridges, Lakeland
Tree Board: Bristol, Nancy Estes, Chairman
Citizen Activist: Barbara Garrett, Morristown
Citizen Activist: Sharon Burch, Memphis
Private Professional: Scott Winningham, Cookeville
Green Industry: Cortese Tree Specialists, Inc., Knoxville
Builder/Developer: Doug Dickens, Boyle Investment Co., Memphis
President's Award: Tom Simpson, Knoxville
Government Employee: Dr. Chris Catanzaro, Nashville
Tree Board: City of Morristown Tree Board
Citizen Activist: Christine Bock, Chattanooga
Private Professional: Tracy Jackson, Clarksville
Green Industry: Derrick Lynch, Middle TN Electric, Murfreesboro
Media: Commercial-Appeal, Memphis
Builder/Developer: Schmid & Rhodes Construction, Knoxville
President's Award: Bruce Webster, Nashville
Government Employee: Eric Bridges, Lakeland
Tree Board: Clarksville
Citizen Activist: R. B. Morris, Knoxville
Private Professional: Parke Brown, Nashville
Green Industry: Wolf Tree Experts, Knoxville
UT Master Gardeners of Northeast Tennessee, Appalachian Fair Association, Johnson City Power Board
Media: Pulaski Publishing
Builder/Developer: Bobby Kirby, Fred Hoover, Jewell Hale, Dr. Oscar Spivey, Dr. R.P. Sabo, McMinnville
Council Member: Wes Hopper, Memphis
Government Employee: David Vandergriff, Knoxville
Tree Board: Kingsport Tree Board
Citizen Activist: Bob Santore, Knoxville
Private Professional: Jerry Roberts, Chattanooga
Green Industry: (Trees for Power Lines collaborative project)
UT Master Gardeners of Northeast Tennessee, Appalachian Fair Association, Johnson City Power Board
Media: Southern Standard, McMinnville
Builder/Developer: Nisus Corporation, Rockford
Council Member: Jerry Jeansonne, Chattanooga
Government Employee: Christy Pepper, Memphis
Tree Board: Crossville Tree Board (Charles Daugherty, Chair)
Citizen Activist: Harold Childress, Kingsport
Private Professional: Sam Adams, Cortese Tree Specialists, Knoxville
Green Industry: Chattanooga Association of Landscape Professionals, Chattanooga
Media: 91.3 WCPI Public Radio, McMinnville
Builder/Developer: Life Care Centers of America, Cleveland
Council Member: Patrick Haller, Sparta
Government Employee: Nick Kuhn, McMinnville
Citizen Activist: Dr. Randall Smith, Tullahoma
Government: Gary Tuttle, Clarksville
Tree Board: Tullahoma Tree Board
Citizen Activist: Tracy Jackson, Clarksville
Private Professional: Dr. Don Williams, Knoxville
Green Industry: Wolfe Tree Expert Inc., Knoxville
Media: WBIR-TV, Knoxville
Builder/Developer: Knoxville Community Development Corp.
Council Member: Douglas Airhart, Cookeville
Government: Tom Simpson, Regional Forester, Knoxville
Tree Board: Johnson City Tree & Appearance Board
Citizen Activist: Rory Reese, Cleveland
Private Professional: Jim Cortese, Cortese Tree Specialist, Knoxville
Green Industry: TNLA, Roger Spivey McMinnville
Media: The Tennessean, Nashville
Builder/Developer: Clark & Clark, Memphis
Council Member: Gene Hyde, Urban Forester, Chattanooga
Government: Kay Fermann, Asst. Urban Forester, Dept. of Ag. Division of Forestry
Tree Board: Clarksville Tree Board
Citizen Activist: Dottie Mann, Clarksville Tree Board Chairman
Private Professional: Ruel Jones, Quality Tree Surgery, Nashville
Media: Cookeville Cablevision, Cookeville
Builder/Developer: Mid America Apartment Communities
Council Member: Brett Smith, Landscape Architect, Nashville
Government: Jack Golio, Dyersburg Electric Department, Dyersburg
Tree Board: Nashville
Citizen Activist: Dr. Alva Pendergrass, UT Martin, Martin
Private Professional: Carl Absher, Power & Light, Chattanooga
Media: Cookeville Cablevision, Cookeville
Builder/Developer: Hines Development,
Council Member: Cynthia Holloway, Murfreesboro
Government: Ann Chapman, Nashville
Tree Board: Nashville
Citizen Activist: Jenny Maffett, Cookeville Tree Board, Cookeville
Private Professional: Steve Clark, Steve Clark & Associates, Inc., Nashville
Media: WCTE-TV, PBS Channel 22, Cookeville
Builder/Developer: Testerman Construction
Council Member: Guy Zimmerman, Area Forester, Cookeville
Government: Michael Bouton, City Arborist, Murfreesboro
Tree Board: Tullahoma
Citizen Activist: Maria Compere, Knoxville
Private Professional: Jim Cortese, Cortese Tree Specialists, Knoxville
Builder/Developer: Franklin Development, Franklin
Council Member: Shawn Bible, Metro Beautification, Nashville
Government: Mike Williams, Seymour
Tree Board: Chattanooga
Citizen Activist: Mary Pepper Fort, Shelbyville
Private Professional: Fred Morgan, Consulting Arborist, Memphis
Council Member: Guy Zimmerman, Area Forester, Cookeville
Government: Victor Ashe, Mayor, Knoxville
Tree Board: Sevierville
Citizen Activist: Kim Hawkins, Nashville
Private Professional: Kim Cross, Southern Tree Specialists, Brentwood
Council Member: Jim Cortese, Cortese Tree Specialists, Knoxville
Government: Dale White, Kingsport
Tree Board: Norris and Bristol
Citizen Activist: Allan Jones, Cleveland
Citizen Activist: John Huckaba, Signal Mountain