The SPARK Awards 2015 :cityCurrent

The SPARK Awards 2015


Watch The SPARK Awards 2015

Congratulations to The SPARK Awards 2015 Winners!

Pictured from left to right:
(back row) Dennis Rutledge, Individual-Adult winner; J. Ross Peters from St. George’s Independent School, Education-School winner; Lloyd Phelps with Phelps Security, Corporate 100-499 Employees winner; Karl Schledwitz with Monogram Foods, Corporate 500+ employees winner;

(second row) Nikkia Brown, Individual-Youth winner; Angela Hamblen and Katie Graffam with Camp Good Grief, Nonprofit Under $1m winner; Rodney Rowan, Education-Leadership winner;

(front row) Jeremy C. Park, cityCURRENT President and The SPARK TV Show host; Gregory Snook, Individual-Collegiate 18-24 winner; Catherine Collins, Ph.D with The Exchange Club Family Center, Nonprofit $1-$5m winner; Daphne Large with Data Facts, Corporate with 100 or Fewer Employees winner; Barbara King with Exchange Club Family Center, Legacy Award winner; Blair Trotz, Education-Educator award; Sally Heinz with MIFA, Nonprofit with Budget Greater than $5m winner; and SPARK Awards 2015 host, Tom Prestigiacomo.

Corporate - 100 or fewer employees: Data Facts, Daphne Large, CEO
By faithfully supporting organizations like Make-A-Wish and Youth Villages, and donating 10% of every new customer’s bill back to a nonprofit of their choice, giving back is part of the DNA at Data Facts.

Corporate - 100 - 499: Phelps Security, Lloyd Phelps, President
Through a strong connection with local law enforcement, Phelps Security created and organization, B.I.G for Memphis, that brings businesses and law enforcement together to be a part of the solution. Phelps Security is also a strong supporter of COMEC, CrimeStoppers, and the Fallen Officer Memorial.

Corporate - 500+: Monogram Foods, Karl Schledwitz, Chairman and CEO
Monogram is devoted to helping youth through the Monogram Loves Kids Foundation. To celebrate 10 years in business Monogram created the IMPACT10 giving campaign, which selected ten publicly nominated charities to receive $1,500 each year for 10 years. Monogram also has an annual gala “Meat Me in Memphis,” where party goers help to raise funds for children’s charities.

Nonprofit with budget under $1m: Camp Good Grief: Kemmons Wilson Family Center for Good Grief
Camp Good Grief is a safe place for children, teens and adults to explore and express their feelings about the death of a loved one. More importantly, it's a place where they can learn to thrive in a world without that special person. Camp Good Grief has over 3,000 people visit the grief center annually.

Nonprofit $1m-$5m: Exchange Club Family Center
For over 30 years, The Exchange Club Family Center has interrupted the cycle of family violence including domestic violence among intimate partners and the risk of child abuse. Through its various programs, Exchange Club Family Center has helped thousands of local families develop a safe, secure, and nurturing environment.

Nonprofit over $5m: (MIFA) Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association  Founded on the life principles of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, MIFA supports the independence of vulnerable seniors and families in crisis. Their programs keep families and seniors in their homes including Meals On Wheels, as well as a host of family programs that are designed to prevent homelessness.

Individual, under 18: Nikkia Brown
By fostering a lifestyle of doing good, Nikkia Brown, of Power Center Academy, has raised over $1,000 and spearheaded a successful book donation program to help children from Power Center Elementary, KIPP, Crump Elementary, and Shelby County summer reading programs.

Individual, collegiate 18-24: Gregory Snook
Marine Corps Veteran, Gregory Snook, is a graduate of The University of Memphis and is on the Advisory Board of the Student Veterans Business Association, living a life of service beyond the call of duty even at a young age.

Individual, adult: Dennis Rutledge
Exemplifying the ideals of service through the volunteer work at the Calvary Rescue Mission, Dennis Rutledge is the epitome of how one spark ignites a flame of passion and perseverance. After a mission trip to Guatemala, Dennis wanted his son to see the impact of service locally by preparing meals for local children. This Christmas, they will serve over 600 local children.

Education - school: St. George's Independent School
St. George’s Independent School functions on a unique model and culture of excellence and service, providing unmatched community engagement and volunteerism throughout the school grades and creating an indelible mark on the Memphis community.

Education - educator: Blair Trotz, Shelby County Schools CLUE Program
A devoted educator and extraordinary creative problem solver, Blair Trotz teaches gifted students at Grahamwood Elementary. Beyond the academics, Blair created a book club to spark imagination and conversation through reading which has proven to be successful.

Education - leadership: Rodney Rowan, Principal, Cherokee Elementary School, SCS I-Zone School
Through Principal Rowan’s exquisite leadership, his school, Cherokee Elementary, had the highest science gains throughout the SCS school system this past year. Additionally, they’ve turned an underperforming school into a community-wide learning haven by focusing on love and ‘heart’ work.

Legacy: Barbara King, Executive Director, Exchange Club Family Center
A legacy in something you create over your lifetime. And in turn, leave for others to build upon. For 22 years, Barbara King has built a legacy of hope and help for children and families in crisis through her leadership role at The Exchange Club Family Center.


"It is actually hard to put into words the feeling I had meeting and joining with the Memphis 'giving' community at the LPBC Signature Breakfast hosted by Smith & Nephew and in partnership with The Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence in August, 2014. To see living embodiments of real and true compassion and caring for others, all gathered in one place gave me some sense of the astounding range, depth and sustained good works the business community in Memphis is doing. It was clear to me
John Hunter, Award-Winning Educator , former guest speaker, and focus of the documentary, "World Peace and Other Fourth-Grade Achievements"
Thank you for taking the time to teach me some new ideas about storytelling in the digital world! I am excited to implement your tips and best practices. Thank you for all you do to support local nonprofits and their good words by providing this valuable training.
Glenda Gurley , Maddox Foundation
"It was very revealing. I had no idea of the broad range of community outreach initiatives involved by the sponsoring members. This is the most positive movement that I have seen in Memphis in a long time and is surely needed. I really enjoyed my visit."
Bill Morris , Former Memphis Mayor
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