History 2017-10-25T09:43:11-06:00

Over the Years…

Leadership Donelson-Hermitage was formed in 1998 by community partners who had a vision to mentor the next generation of leaders connected to the community. Business leaders in the Donelson-Hermitage community met to create the program, bylaws, and the foundation for Leadership Donelson-Hermitage.

Leadership Donelson-Hermitage stood as a separate entity and was graciously incubated by the Donelson Hermitage Chamber for three years. Betty Cannon served as executive director with Bryan Dearing, Summit Medical Center, presiding over the board. After combing through applications, the first class was announced and the program kicked off with orientation in August 1998. The first members were the Class of 1999.

That first class consisted of visionaries that were instrumental in critiquing the program and keeping it running, all the while recruiting new members for upcoming classes. In May of 2001, Deann Bradford, Class of 1999 took over the reins. Accomplishments have been many and the organization has moved steadily forward.

Recruiting from leadership and potential leaders in Donelson, Hermitage and Old Hickory, LDH has had the opportunity to touch many lives and organizations. Starting with the Class of 2000, each class was divided into three project teams. Samples of projects include: Start-up of a live music series at a local theatre giving local musicians a new place to play; facilitate a community awareness campaign to establish solid partnerships between an organization and new stakeholders; development of the Youth Leadership Program YELL – Youth Excelling in Learning Leadership in 2002; development of a business plan for a free healthcare clinic in the DH area; and M3 Leadership (Modern, Mature, Motivated) a program for retired or semi-retired folks who live in the community.

Leadership Donelson-Hermitage continues to live true to its vision: developing leaders for a lifetime. The organization now boasts more than 500 graduates from the three thriving programs – all individuals dedicated to supporting the mission of Leadership Donelson-Hermitage.  And that number continues to grow.

First Board of Directors

  • Jeanne Williamson
  • Betty Cannon
  • Bryan Dearing, CEO of Summit Medical Center
  • Tim Campbell, WD Shock Company
  • Phil Ponder, Metro Councilman
  • Pat Mayo, Millenium Communications
  • Linda Miller, Regions Bank
  • Bill LaFollette, Sycamores Terrace Retirement
  • Gene Ward, NES
  • Joe Hobbs, JEH Construction
  • Janet Flanagan, Coldwell Banker Barnes Real Estate
  • Leighton Bush, Bush Insurance Company
  • John Stone, Sr., Bordeaux Hospital
  • Gloria Coles, retired from Summit Medical Center
  • Gene Chambers, retired from DuPont
  • Rudy Caduff, Opryland Hotel, and President of the Donelson-Hermitage Chamber