2020 Paragon Award Recipients

The Junior League of Nashville is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019-2020 Paragon Awards! Please join us in congratulating the following outstanding women.

Outstanding Community Service of the Year Award

The Outstanding Community Service of the Year Award is presented to a nonmember of the Junior League who has demonstrated the ideals of Junior League volunteer service, leadership, and dedication to improving our community.

Erica Mitchell

Erica Mitchell is the Chief Community Impact Officer for United Way of Metropolitan Nashville. She is a native East Tennessean, growing up in the Knoxville area and has lived in Nashville for more than 20 years. Erica holds a bachelor degree in Business Management from North Carolina State University and a Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) in Education Policy from Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development. Erica’s experience includes management of a multi-million-dollar community investment portfolio, business strategy and development, resource development and community relations.

Her passion is working to accomplish transformational life outcomes – changing the story – for those who have the odds stacked against them. Erica is a wife and mother of three who in her spare time, enjoys volunteering, cooking, and “planting stuff” in her family garden.

Click here to watch Erica’s statement.


Outstanding Sustainer of the Year Service Award

The Outstanding Sustainer of the Year Service Award is presented to the Sustainer who best exemplifies how to lead a life of voluntarism, who has translated her volunteer education, and is committed to promoting voluntarism and training into community commitment and involvement.

Terri Major

Terri Major originally hails from San Diego, and has been a member of the San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Pasadena, and Nashville leagues.  When in Pasadena, Terri was a member of the Sustainer Board for six years and a member of the Huntington Hospital Board of Directors.

Terri, a health law attorney, recently retired from the practice of law and currently  serves as a Board Member of the Boy Scouts of America, Middle Tennessee Council.

Terri tells us that the Junior League has played a significant role in her most valued lifetime personal and professional relationships, and feels passionately about her desire to create that experience for all League members.  She credits these relationships with her desire to bring Nashville Sustaining members together in a more meaningful way than membership alone.

A little over one year ago, Terri used her League-learned event and organizational skills to co-found and organize the Sustainers Social Society, more popularly known as S3.  With the help of many other Sustainers, including S3 co-founder Amy Atkinson, and the strong support of JLN, the Facebook group has grown to over 340 Sustainer members and spurred the reinstatement of more than 50 former Sustainers. S3 has held over 50 events in the past year, each and every one open to all JLN Sustainers, including those who sustained many years ago and new Sustainers, as well as those Sustainers who have transferred to the Nashville area from other leagues.

For many years, the Sustainers of JLN have expressed the desire for a social network and series of events that the Sustainers Social Society now provides, thanks to Terri’s leadership and vision. Through numerous S3 experiences of various types, Terri’s work has helped strengthen and create new relationships amongst its hundreds of Sustainers. This strengthens the connection these women have with JLN, each other, AND the larger community as a whole. Terri’s vision of helping her fellow Sustainers create valuable relationships through S3 has certainly already become a reality, even in such a short time.

Outstanding Active of the Year Service Award

The Outstanding Active of the Year Service Award is presented to the member who best exemplifies the purpose of the Junior League of Nashville and is committed to promoting voluntarism and improving our community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

Emmy Banks

Emmy joined the Junior League of Nashville in Fall 2017. She participated in the Young Leaders Training program during her Provisional year, and was quickly eager to grow her role within the League. Her first Active year was spent serving Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, as a Surgery Waiting Room volunteer. She spent her hours crafting and playing board games with children awaiting surgery, or with siblings of children in surgery to pass the time. During her second Active year, Emmy joined the Training and Development Committee as the chair-elect, excited to grow our training program into a larger avenue for member participation. When the slated chair took a job in Texas, Emmy found herself leading the committee and with a tremendous opportunity to shape its future. With the help of several incredible women on the committee, this year has been a huge success with a wider array of offerings and more consistent opportunities to partake.

Outside of the League, Emmy works as a tax accountant at Ernst & Young. She is a Nashville-native, having attended Father Ryan high school and with family currently in Franklin. She attended Washington and Lee University and double-majored in Physics Engineering and Public Accounting. She enjoys spending time with her husband, Will, a biomedical engineer at Vanderbilt, and with her two dachshund mutts. She is an avid Nashville Predators fan, a volunteer with Best Buddies of Tennessee, and serves as a United Way Ambassador for Ernst & Young. Emmy credits her incredible provisional year and training through YLC with her current passion for serving the Nashville community and our wonderful Junior League members.

Click here to watch Emmy’s statement.