Patti James, Meagan Flippin honored with 2021 ATHENA Awards

Jun 03, 2021 at 02:23 pm by RutherfordCable

2021 Athena Co-chair Lori Cutler, left to right, 2021 Athena recipient Patti James and Athena Co-chair Julie Lewis
2021 Athena Co-chair Lori Cutler, left to right, 2021 Athena recipient Patti James and Athena Co-chair Julie Lewis at the 2021 Rutherford Athena Award ceremony and luncheon held June 3 at Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro.

The 2021 Rutherford Athena Award was presented to Patti James at a luncheon held June 3 at Embassy Suites.

“As a leader, coach, and mentor, James inspired fierce advocacy with her collaborative style in business and the community,” said Julie Lewis, 2021 Rutherford ATHENA chair. “Patti represents the heart of Athena with her years lifting other women who were also working in male-dominated industries.”

The ATHENA Award recognizes an individual who excels in her profession, gives back to the community, and helps raise up other leaders, especially women. 

“I’m the daughter of a preacher and a teacher. For those of you who grew up in families like that, you know it was a life of service,” said James, who was nominated by 100 Women Who Care of Rutherford County.

James’s life of service began more than three decades ago. Throughout her successful career with three global corporations, James led successful strategies for human resources. Her career began with Shell Oil, then with Schlumberger, before joining Bridgestone Americas from 1992-2013. After her years in the automotive industry, James led Leadership Middle Tennessee and now operates PB&J Consulting which focuses on career coaching and development. 

James holds a bachelor’s degree and MBA from Ohio State University and a master’s degree in Civic Leadership from Lipscomb University. She is active in the community and mentors in various programs throughout the country.

“Madeleine Albright has a saying ‘there’s a special place in hell for women who do not help other women.’ From here, I can see that Rutherford County has a great future for the next generation of women,” James said.

James was honored along with the 2021 Athena class: Kenya Adams, Dr. Gloria Bonner, Lee Anne Carmack, Terri Deal, Beth Goodner, Cynthia Harris, April Holland, Kara Kemp, Andrea Loughry, LaTonya Martin, Dr. Lucy Matthews, Jody Powers, Jolene Radnoti and Deborah Thompson.

Rutherford Athena also presented two scholarships, one for $3,000 to Amanda Hawk, an MTSU student who is studying criminal justice and one $1,500 scholarship to Allison Sordelet, a Motlow State Communiy College student, who is completing her general education for later completion of a bachelor’s of nursing at Austin Peay State University. 

Meagan Flippin is the 2021 ATHENA Young Professional recipient

The ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award recipient is Meagan Flippin, president and CEO of the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties.

Like the ATHENA Award, the Young Professional Leadership Award recognizes an emerging leader under 40 years old who exemplifies the ATHENA attributes and serves as a role model for young women.

“I’m honored to be nominated among so many individuals who embody the Athena principles ... I want to thank you for letting me be a part of this community. It’s been my pleasure to give back,” Flippin said.

Flippin is the immediate past president of RUTHERFORD Cable and a past president of the Junior League of Murfreesboro, Murfreesboro Young Professionals, and the Blue Raider Athletic Association. She is active with the Murfreesboro Noon Rotary, Charity Circle of Murfreesboro, and Leadership Middle Tennessee. Flippin serves on United Way’s state association board and the Alpha Delta Pi Foundation Philanthropy Committee. She earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations and a master’s degree in strategic leadership from MTSU and an MBA from Vanderbilt University.

Flippin was joined by 2021 ATHENA Young Professional nominees Courtney Chavez, Katie Schroder Hall, Jamie Morgan Harrington, Aleece McKnight, Dr. Adelle Monteblanco, Tosha Price, Francela Salas, Alicia Stachura, Tiffany Taylor, Essence Threlkeld and Loren Walker.

In addition to founding sponsor RUTHERFORD Cable, the 2021 Rutherford ATHENA Awards are sponsored by:  Pinnacle Financial Partners, First Horizon Bank, Bell Bank, Farrar | Wright, Ellen Slicker, Redstone Federal Credit Union, State Farm, Ascend Federal Credit Union, Deloitte, Holloway Accounting, Titan Web Marketing Solutions, VIP Magazine, Veda’s Flowers and Gifts, Stones River Total Beverages and Franklin’s Printing. 

RUTHERFORD Cable is the premiere leadership organization for women’s professional advancement. The 10-year-old organization of more than 250 members provides professional and personal development, as well as business growth through building long-term relationships, structured networking and referrals. The organization is a chapter of the 40-year-old Nashville Cable. Visit to learn more.

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