Over the last few weeks we’ve been sharing some of the public nominations that were submitted for our cityCURRENT and WKNO televised awards show, The SPARK Awards. Once again, these are all current nominees for the show, which honors organizations and individuals who are making a difference in the Mid-South; and we’re sharing their stories to inspire each of us with the GOOD taking place in our city.
“SweetBio (Memphis-based biotech startup) is the epitome of what a great company should be through siblings Dr. Isaac Rodriguez's and Kayla Graff's involvement in the Latino and young adult community. Isaac was named Top 40 Under 40 by Memphis Business Journal, advises the Latino Memphis CAMINOS program, Mayor Luttrell's Young Professionals Council, Bill Gates Millennium Scholars, and serves on the Board for New Memphis Institute and PeopleFirst Seeding Success. Kayla was named Top 20 Under 30 by the Memphis Flyer, mentors rising female entrepreneurs, helps lead StartCo's women-focused entrepreneurship accelerator, advises Mayor Luttrell's Young Professionals Council, and served on the Board for the Young Professionals of The American Cancer Society. Isaac and Kayla are also redefining what it means to be a young entrepreneur and the role that minority entrepreneurs can play in our local economy. They are empowering the next generation of Latino leaders and making Memphis a place that millennials want to move to due to their volunteerism and company's early success of raising $2 million and being awarded Inside Memphis Business' 2016 Innovation Award.”
“Melissa Dison is heading up a revolutionary idea here in Memphis. The work that they do with Memphis Tilth is absolutely amazing, to say the least. Memphis Tilth has multiple avenues to help people, and improve lives all around. Community outreach through fresh vegetables is the base of operations. On site growing sets the pace for all other locations. The organization utilizes vacant land to produce healthy vegetables. The produce is then shipped to people in need. The volunteer part of the organization is very impressive as well. Countless hours of dirty hands and food preparation allow them to share the food and purpose.”
“Vincent Astor is a committed volunteer for the many organizations to which he gives his talent and time, and that list includes nonprofit, historic Elmwood Cemetery. He is invested in the community of Memphis as a historian, a tour guide, an advocate, a writer, and more. Vincent has long volunteered at Elmwood Cemetery as a tour guide and a costumed actor, and his performances during the annual Costume Twilight Tour have delighted thousands of visitors to Elmwood. Vincent has been involved with many projects over the course of his involvement with Elmwood and the cemetery has benefited from his activity here...”