30th Annual Awards will be presented on Oct. 3, recognizing community leaders across region

NASHVILLE, TN — Longtime community leaders Mercedes Lytle, Vanita Lytle-Sherrill and Novella Page today were named winners of the 30th annual Sage Awards, presented by  AgeWell Middle Tennessee, the area’s trusted resource and catalyst for solutions for older adults and family caregivers.

The Sage Award honors lifelong leaders who improve our communities, and organizations that significantly impact the lives of older adults across the region. The awards will be presented on Monday, Oct. 3, during the Sage Awards Ceremony & Fundraiser at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs, 700 Cool Springs Blvd., in Franklin, Tenn.  Sage Award sponsorships are available on the AgeWell website. 

Lytle spent 27 years working with talented minority youth and corporations at INROADS before becoming an Assistant Commissioner of Human Resources at the State of Tennessee. She has served on the boards of many nonprofits, including Insight Counseling Centers, the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and Leadership Nashville Alumni Association. She has been a volunteer leader with FiftyForward, serving in many capacities and as president of the board of directors. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Over the decades, she has volunteered with the YWCA, United Way, Nashville CARES and Hope Station, Inc. A former Fisk University Jubilee Singer while in college, Lytle is a longtime member of St. John African Methodist Episcopal Church.  

Vanita Lytle-Sherrill

Sherrill is a lifelong resident of Nashville and a graduate of Fisk University. She served as a professor of Sociology and Human Services and Dean of Social Science and Education at Volunteer State Community College where she founded the “Volunteers in Action” program, which impacted the lives of hundreds of young adults. She has served on the boards for many nonprofits, including The West End Home Foundation, Westminster Home Connection, Peabody College Alumni Board, Alive Hospice, the R. H. Boyd Family Endowment Fund and the Leadership Nashville Alumni board, among many others. She is a charter member of The Temple Church and an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.  

Novella Page

Page was an active participant in the nonviolent civil rights sit-ins of the 1960s. A photo of her sitting at the counter at Woolworth’s is on display at the Tennessee State Museum and at the Muhammad Ali Civil Rights Museum. She is a lifetime member of Greater Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church where she teaches the adult Sunday school class and has coordinated the Meals on Wheels outreach ministry for more than 25 years. She has been an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. for more than 60 years. She has volunteered for organizations focusing on education and counseling and served on the boards of the Metro Nashville Education Association and Metro Housing Authority. 

Sage Award honorees (couples, individuals and organizations) are selected by the Sage Awards Committee from nominations received from the community. The committee, which is comprised of past Sage Award recipients, AgeWell board members and volunteers, may also consider nominations from previous years. Eligibility includes older adults (age 55 and older) living in the 13-county region served by AgeWell Middle Tennessee, and organizations who have made a significant impact on the lives of older adults.