Awards of Excellence

Click here to Register for the Nov 14, 2019 Awards of Excellence Luncheon

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.

TUFC Awards of Excellence Winners

Nominations are welcome but must be received by October 4.


  • 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.

2018 Winners

Citizen Activist: Eartha Reeves

Citizen Activist: Jim Gregory and Will Worrall

Jim and Will founded the Nashville Tree Task Force to address the tree canopy decline in Nashville.  The discovered the Tree Code Implementation and its enforcement was not being implemented and developed a flyer to explain the complex city laws on trees. They currently have 900 members that help organize and educate citizens, city officials and the business community to make better decisions regarding trees in Nashville.

Government Employee: Randall Lantz

Government Employee: Tim Roberts

Tim is the Agricenter Director of Education and Extension Agent.  He is a certified trainer for Project Learning Tree and has organized the 4-H Forestry Judging Workshop for the past few years.  He has helped the 4-H Forestry teams obtain state and national awards. He developed and conducts a “Discover the Forest” field trip for 4th-6th graders that introduces trees to children in the city who have not had the exposure to this environment.  There is a Nature Hike for 7th-12thgraders also.  This year Tim has worked with 28 different school groups and instructed over 1,600 students and their teachers.

Green Industry: Carol Ashworth

Green Industry: The Compost Fairy

Accepting: Mike Larrivee

The Compost Fairy is a non-profit soil building and community compost initiative.  They compost materials across the city, even having a curb side pick-up service.  They divert hundreds of pounds of food waste away from landfills every week.

Media Award: Peter Richards

Media Award: Chris Cooper

Dr. Cooper is the host of the PBS program The Family Plot, Gardening in the Mid-South.  This show educates the public on a wide range of home and garden topics which includes trees and their care.  Chris’s vivacious personality and enthusiasm have helped make the show a success.  The show is seen each week across the state of Tennessee and also into MS, AR, KY, AL and GA.  The U-tube show clips have been seen in 47 countries throughout the world.  He has helped educate people not only in TN, but all over the world about trees.

Media Award: Peter Richards

Tree Board Award: Memphis Tree Board

Accepting:  Mark Follis Chairman and Board member Wes Hopper

The Tree Boards mission is “to advocate for the health, safety and sustainability of public trees.  To raise awareness of the contributions trees make to our quality of life in Memphis, TN.” The Board is getting a City Forester, published a street tree list, and produced Emerald Ash Borer and Crapemyrtle Bark Scale pamphlets.

Private Professional: Scott Woods

President's Award: Dean Caula Beyl

Award Winners

  • 2018
    Citizen Activist: Jim Gregory and Will Worrall, Nashville
    Government Employee: Tim Roberts, Memphis
    Green Industry: The Compost Fairy, Memphis
    Media: Chris Cooper, Memphis
    Tree Board: Memphis Tree Board
    President’s Award: Dean Caula Beyl, Knoxville
  • 2017
    Citizen Activist: Eartha Reaves, Memphis
    Government Employee: Randall Lantz, Nashville
    Green Industry: Carol Ashworth, Nashville
    Media: Peter Richards, Memphis
    Private Professional: Scott Woods, Memphis
  • 2016
    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
  • 2015
    Citizen Activist: Weida Ringley, Memphis
    Utility Forester: Jeff Fitzpatrick, Cookeville
    Government Employee: Janet P. Hooks, Memphis
    Tree Board: Rogersville
  • 2014
    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
View Past Winners
  • 2013
    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
  • 2012
    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, Jon Nessle
  • 2011
    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
  • 2010
    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
  • 2009
    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
  • 2008
    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
  • >2007
    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
  • 2006
    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
  • 2005
    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
  • 2004
    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
  • 2003
    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
  • 2002
    Government: Gary Tuttle, Clarksville
    Tree Board: Tullahoma Tree Board
    Citizen Activist: Tracy Jackson, Clarksville
  • 2001
    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
  • 2000
    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
  • 1999
    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
  • 1998
    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
  • 1997
    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
  • 1996
    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
  • 1995
    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
  • 1994
    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
  • 1993
    Citizen Activist: John Huckaba, Signal Mountain