The Tribute to Women Awards banquet for 2020 has been postponed until 2021.

Congratulations to Our 2020 Recipients!


Jennifer Adler is a mentor, professor and public official. She empowers others to think independently while exposing them to new and different ideas.  Jennifer’s story empowers young women in our region who don’t have familial models of academic achievement.  In Jennifer they see themselves-that they, too, can be a professor, a public official, and a champion for others.

Lori Hamilton, RN has been recognized with many achievements including Health Care Hero Award and 2018 March of Dimes Nurse of the Year in Public Health.  She has developed a comprehensive program that benefits Food City’s associates, customers, and community partners.  Lori is a strong advocate for health and wellness, and her strong commitment to serving others is evident to all.

As a patrol officer Debbie Richmond became a role model for women interested in law enforcement.  She was later assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division, where, guided by her unique blend of strength and kindness, she became a trusted advocate in the Bristol community, for the most vulnerable victims.  Her overwhelming desire to serve victims has been especially meaningful to our community.


Linda Shepherd is a dynamic nursing professional and accomplished healthcare executive.  She has a vision and optimism for the nursing profession, and particularly for nursing in Southwest Virginia.  Linda has and continues to demonstrate skill development and growth in transforming not only herself professionally, but also in those she leads through her involvement in many organizations.

Katy Ford Sikorski consistently leads by example through her willingness to work, positive attitude, and dedication to service.  As president of the Rotary Club she guided the club’s many community and international initiatives.  .  She currently provides oversight, coordinates and manages clinical deliveries for drug trials.  Katy is currently responsible for an international study with 110 sites in 11 countries and a domestic study in 58 US cities.

Jamie Swift plays a significant role in the safety of people throughout the region, as well as within the system’s 21 hospitals and many other facilities as the director of infection prevention at Ballad Health.  She is one of the primary experts in the region on infectious diseases, and her guidance in the community on how to prepare and react to the threat of these diseases is crucial.


Becca Davis is the co-founder and executive director of ReFrame Association, which supports affordable housing rehabilitation and repairs for low-income people throughout the United States, ensuring homes are safe, healthy, and more livable for residents.  She empowers nonprofits by identifying and sharing their best practices, educating them in sustainable repair methods and techniques for improved volunteer recruitment and retention.

Dr. Shelley Koch ‘s teaching philosophy at Emory and Henry College has been shaped by her personal journey, with one foot in the world of ideas and one in the world of work life.  Shelley is a powerhouse in Southwest Virginia and has served on the board of Appalachian Sustainable Development and Appalachian Peace Education Center.  She has also published books and articles focusing on food and society.

Dr. Rene Rodgers played an integral role in the development of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum while adhering to the high standards of the Smithsonian.  She is also works with other organizations to help make the community stronger. Rene personifies grace under pressure and inspires others through her tireless work ethic and methodical approach to problem solving