Fourth & Gill leader earns city’s Good Neighbor award

Betsy PickleInside 640, Our Town Leaders

A Fourth & Gill resident won the Diana Conn Good Neighbor of the Year Award Saturday at the city’s 2019 Neighborhood Conference.

Katy Hawley of Historic Fourth & Gill Neighborhood Association accepts her award from Mayor Madeline Rogero. (Photo by Betsy Pickle)

Mayor Madeline Rogero presented the award to Katy Hawley at a luncheon that followed a morning full of workshops and information exchanges at the Knoxville Convention Center. This was the seventh and final Neighborhood Conference that Rogero has attended as mayor, and the Office of Neighborhoods surprised her with a plaque thanking her for her support of the city’s neighborhoods.

Away from the stage, Rogero said that this was one of her duties that she sadly marked as “the last time.” But she joked that there have been other tasks where she felt relief at “the last time.”

Hawley was one of six Knoxvillians nominated for the Good Neighbor award this year. Diana Conn of the Old Sevier Neighborhood Group was bestowed posthumously with the first such award, and it was named in her honor.

Now president of the Historic Fourth & Gill Neighborhood Organization Board, Hawley was serving as social committee chair at the time of her nomination by fellow board member Brent Waugh. She was applauded for spearheading a campaign that revitalized The Birdhouse, a historic house that serves as the neighborhood center and a gathering place for many local organizations.

Hawley engaged neighbors in clean-ups, renovations and events that helped raise $12,000 toward the cost of building a new, historically accurate porch. (Another board member wrote a grant application that earned funds for the project through the city’s Façade Grant Funding Program.)

“Katy’s hard work, attention to detail and can-do attitude is a huge driver of our neighborhood’s connectedness,” Waugh wrote in the nomination. “Her contribution as event chair takes countless volunteer hours, as well as assertiveness and a diplomatic spirit.”

All of the finalists received proclamations and were honored for their contributions of time, energy and personal funds toward making their neighborhoods better places to live. The other finalists were:

  • Liz Diviesti, Whittle Springs Duplexes
  • Douglas Miller, We Care Neighborhood Watch
  • Donna Teeters, The Highlands Homeowners Association
  • Deborah Thomas, Oakwood Lincoln Park
  • Christine Winton, Mechanicsville Community Association

Several Neighborhood Achievement Awards were also bestowed Saturday. Recipients were Historic Fourth & Gill Neighborhood Organization, Residents of Eastport, RiverHill Gateway Neighborhood Association, South Woodlawn Neighborhood Association, The Highlands HOA, Timbercrest Neighborhood Association, Wesley Neighbors and West Hills Community Association.

The city’s Office of Neighborhoods produces the Neighborhood Conference, which connects residents with area service organizations, elected officials and candidates for office as well as with neighborhood leaders and organizers. Visit the website for more info and to sign up for the weekly email.

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