Tom Cervone and Susan Creswell welcome Leadership Knoxville alum to the homecoming event at the zoo.
One of the keys to the success of the Leadership Knoxville program — now in its 28th year — is the continued involvement of the more than 1,000 alumni of the program. To that end, once a year, all past participants are invited back to a “homecoming” evening — basically a cocktail party in a fun setting. Last week that meant the Knoxville Zoo.
Amid an upscale safari theme, we gathered in the big plaza at the front entrance to the zoo and caught up with one another. I’m sure the animals were not very amused, as the noise level was substantial at a time I’m guessing they were ready to turn in for the night. With a program that was minimalist — just a few announcements — the homecoming showcased what some say is the most important thing about Leadership Knoxville — the bonds that are formed among participants.
The members of the host committee were the ones wearing safari attire.
Another great Leadership Knoxville program — to which the public also is invited — is the series of “Behind the Scenes” events. Last year, participants went behind the scenes to learn the inside secrets of Clayton Sales School (click here to read about that), Scripps Networks Interactive (click here) and Blackberry Farm (click here). The upcoming “Behind the Scenes series” will feature peeks at little-known aspects of DeRoyal Industries, PetSafe and the Richard Jolley exhibit at the Knoxville Museum of Art. The DeRoyal event will be November 13 at the beautiful North Knoxville home of Pete and Cindi DeBusk. Keep an eye on the Leadership Knoxville website for more information.
Michael Combs plays percussion in the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, so his choice of props was appropriate.
Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Vice Mayor Nick Pavlis were on hand.
Tim Young, left, and Jeff Cupp. Tim is the current board chair of Leadership Knoxville.
Chris and Bob Kahn
Here's how the bar was labeled! Ha.
It was a perfect evening.
Janet Testerman and event photographer Justin Fee. His company is called "Photografee!" Ha.
Mintha and Jon Roach
Judy and John Griess
Gay Lyons and Carson Hughes
Jennifer Holder, left, Alan Carmichael and Tammy White, the executive director of Leadership Knoxville
Peyton and Tanya Hairston, left, with Peter Acly and Ellen Robinson
Mark Walker, left, with Patsy and Charlie Daniel and Bill Elmore, right.
From left, David and Sandy Martin, Karen Pershing, Chuck Morris
City Councilwoman Brenda Palmer, left, with Bill Lyons, center, and Don Bosch
Dr. Susan Dodd, left, with Betsy Child, center and Sue Cange
Richard Cate and Amy Nolan
Everyone simmered down for a few minutes of announcements.
Leadership Knoxville Board Chair Tim Young knows how to read a crowd and keep his remarks brief and to the point! Yay, Tim!
Janet Testerman with Jerry Kruse, owner of The Pour Guys, an excellent bartending service.
From left, Judith Foltz, Rosa Mar and Gay Lyons
Dr. Martha Buchanan, left, with Nancy Young
One of our favorite bands, the Johnson Swingtet, provided tunes.
Stephanie Welch, left, with Kathy Brown
Bruce Anderson, left, with Tom Cervone
Ed and Cile Mathews
Mike and Debbie Magill
Wes Stowers, left, with Lindsay Hammill and H.E. Bittle
Robyn Ulrich, left, with Scripps Networks colleague Janet Testerman
As we left the party, we passed my favorite car in Knoxille: Jennifer Holder's Thunderbird convertible. She bought it on eBay!