L’Evate created the Heart of the Community award in the fall of 2010 to recognize excellence in community leadership as demonstrated by a long-standing commitment to the advancement of the Donelson, Hermitage, Old Hickory and adjacent communities. The first award was given to Gloria Coles in December of 2010 in recognition of her many accomplishments and dedication to our community. Every year, we continue to honor Gloria’s leadership and community spirit by presenting the award at the annual luncheon to a leader making a difference in our area.

If you would like to nominate someone for the Heart of the Community Award, send an email to deann@levate.org.

Criteria for Nominees

  • Demonstrates commitment and ongoing support of broad-based community service
  • Promotes volunteerism
  • Actively participates in community activities and events
  • Displays characteristics of L’Evate program tenets
  • Exhibits effective mentorship/development of others


  • Graduate of L’Evate
  • Alumni in good standing
  • Shows a continued support of the community for a minimum of 10 years

Past Recipients

2018 – Paula Milton
2017 – Jan Maddox
2016 – John Doerge
2015 – Phyllis Williams
2014 – Floyd Shechter
2013 – Willie McDonald
2012 – Phil Ponder
2011 – Larry Keeton
2010 – Gloria Coles