Nashville Resident Honored for Career Success, Community Service and Encouragement of Women
Over 500 of Nashville’s business elite cheered Monday night, March 26th, as Mayor Karl Dean announced Ruth E. Johnson as the recipient of the 2012 Nashville ATHENA Award during a gala celebration at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
“Tonight’s nominees,” Ms. Johnson said in a riveting acceptance speech, “represent just a fraction of Nashville’s community of professional women. Each and every one of these women has worked hard to move this city forward and I am extremely proud to be a member of this group. No one woman can create the change that is needed. That work must be done by all of us. It takes all of us to change the way that women are viewed and treated in this society.”
Ruth E. Johnson currently serves as Associate Vice- President for Advancement at Meharry Medical College in Nashville. Previously she was Meharry’s Senior Development Officer for Principal Gifts and the Volunteer Chair of the Board for the former Hubbard Hospital.
Johnson received a B.S. degree with Honors from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and a J.D. degree from Vanderbilt Law School. She began as an Estate Tax attorney for the Internal Revenue Service before serving as a Supervisor with Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. and with Touche Ross & Co. She entered private practice in 1985. In 1994, Johnson became an Adjunct Professor at Fisk University, where she supervised the Title III Grant and taught Business Law I.
Governor Don Sundquist appointed Ms. Johnson Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Revenue in 1995, a position she held until 2003. She also serves on the Boards of First Bank and the Nashville Symphony Association. Previously, she had spent 5 years as a member of the National Advisory Council for Minority Health and Health
Disparities at NIH, served as the National President of the Federation of Tax Administrators, and was on the Executive Committee of the Association of Tax Administrators. Johnson has received many notable awards, including the Association of Government Accountants National Research Achievement Award, the GOAL Award for Best Strategic Planning in State Government and the Meharry Medical College President’s Spirit of Excellence Award. . In 2008, she was one of ten public and private sector leaders invited to submit articles discussing the challenges that the State of Tennessee would face as it moved into the future. Johnson’s comments focused on access to affordable health care for all Tennessean’s.
Ruth Johnson was nominated by the Tennessee Women’s Forum to be one of 29 outstanding candidates for the 2012 ATHENA Award. The Nashville ATHENA Award Program honors business and professional women for their career successes, service to community, and encouragement of women. It seeks to inspire others to achieve excellence in their professional and personal lives.
Jan Maddox, 2012 ATHENA Chair emceed the Award Program Gala, which is held every March to mark Women’s History Month. This year’s celebration began with an original musical composition written especially for the event and performed by Dr. Judy Blackwelder, accompanied by Jaime London and Denise Yurgen.
Before Mayor Dean announced the ATHENA Award, the eight recipients of the ATHENA Scholarship Program were recognized. The winners were presented a laptop computer by Carolyn Loudenslager of Dell. The scholarship winners will also share a record $28,500 in ATHENA financial aid, provided by The ATHENA Alumnae Society, First Tennesee Bank, State Farm Insurance, UPS, Emdeon, Women in Technology of Tennessee (WiTT) and St. Thomas Health.
Before the ceremony adjourned to a lavish reception created by the Schermerhorn, Tina Boone was introduced as the Chair of the 2013 ATHENA Award Program. Ms. Boone noted that work on next year’s ATHENA program had already begun and invited everyone to “Save The Date” of March 25, 2013 for the next ATHENA Award Gala.
The ATHENA Award Program came to Nashville in 1990, through the collaborative effort of local women’s organizations in partnership with local businesses and individual sponsors and is now part of the CABLE Foundation. Since the program’s inception in Lansing, Michigan in 1982, more than 5,000 sculptures have been presented to outstanding women in more than 500 communities in the United States and around the world. For more information, visit www.NashvilleATHENAAward. org.
Nashville CABLE is Tennessee’s largest and most established network of professionals with over 500 members and a 30-year history of helping women reach their full potential. The organization’s mission of “Connecting Women and Opportunity” has shaped its networking programs and advocacy initiatives, and created a forward-thinking infrastructure for future growth. For information about CABLE a , please visit www.nashvillecable.org.