Annual Partnership Luncheon

Each fall, the Greater Nashville Regional Council hosts its Annual Partnership Luncheon to serve as a platform to spotlight the impact of the agency’s programs and services in supporting communities across the region and the collaboration among its member governments. In addition to celebrating the agency's accomplishments, the luncheon provides an opportunity to honor those who have gone above and beyond in their service to our region through GNRC's Annual Awards. 

Annual Award Recipients 

Excellence in Intergovernmental Coordination Award

This award is named after Marshall S. Stuart, who served as the first executive director of GNRC after a long career as Mayor of Burns and Dickson County Judge. Marshall was an early champion of working across county lines. The award honors an individual or organization with a strong commitment or innovative approach to improving intergovernmental coordination.

  • 2023 Recipient: Mayor Mary Esther Reed for convening local, state, and federal government partners to formulate strategies for accelerating improvements to the region’s transportation system as chair of the GNRC Project Delivery Task Force.

Excellence in Leadership Award

This award is named after Maynard Pate, GNRC’s longest-serving executive director, who helped establish the organization as a strong forum for regional collaboration on various issues. The award honors an individual or organization with exceptional leadership in advancing a regional initiative.

  • 2023 Recipient: TennCare for spearheading a multi-sectoral approach to developing the state’s most comprehensive plan yet to address the needs of older Tennesseans.

Excellence in Achievement Award

This award is named after R. J. “Hank” Thompson, who served as the City of Hendersonville Mayor and Sumner County Executive. Hank was a two-time GNRC president and was known for his strong-willed persistence and perseverance. The award honors someone who has demonstrated personal, professional, or political integrity in championing a regional priority.

  • 2023 Recipient: Commissioner Butch Eley, with the Tennessee Department of Transportation for championing the Transportation Modernization Act to usher in new and innovative methods for improving Tennessee’s transportation system.

Pillar of the Region Legacy Award

In 2023 members of the Regional Council honored former mayors with the first Pillar of the Region Legacy Award. This prestigious honor was presented to former Metro Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and former Rutherford County Mayor Ernest Burgess. The award, presented on behalf of current and former mayors, agency staff, and organizational partners, recognizes their enduring contributions to Middle Tennessee's prosperity through their unwavering commitment to regionalism.

2023 Award Recipients and MayorsL-R: Mayor Joe Pitts, Mayor Randall Hutto, Mayor Rogers Anderson, Commissioner Butch Eley, former Mayor Karl Dean, former Mayor Ernest Burgess, Mayor Mary Esther Reed, and Mayor Bob Rial.

Photos from the 2023 Annual Partnership Luncheon