Footprint Awards

The purpose of the Footprint Awards program is to recognize individuals whose work furthers the foundation’s mission to nurture meaningful and inclusive connections to place in areas impacting the environment, creative culture, or education/learning. By recognizing efforts that contribute to the vibrancy of the community and offer opportunities for public engagement, Footprint seeks to highlight and encourage exemplary service, improve communities, and assist in the retention of local talent.

Award recipients are nominated by an external nominating committee and chosen by the foundation’s selection committee. There is no application process, nor is there any condition on the recipient’s use of the grant funds.

2017 Awardees

JOSIAH GOLSON | 2017 Award Recipient

Josiah Golson is an artist, lawyer, and writer from Chattanooga, Tennessee. He is the founder of the 800 Collective, a diverse group of artists using art as a means of civic engagement and public discourse. Josiah’s work comprises of creative workshops, public art projects, and community development.


BRITTANY HARRIS | 2017 Award Recipient

Brittany Harris is a teacher in the Hamilton County TN public school system.  Brittany was determined to do something about the low literacy scores in her school district, so she and colleague Colleen Ryan put their time and money into transforming an old bus into a mobile classroom named The Passage.  They stocked it with tables, chairs, books, and iPads and now use The Passage to meet parents and students in their neighborhoods to teach them strategies to promote literacy and math.


BRENNA KELLY | 2017 Award Recipient

Brenna Kelly is Executive Director of Southeast Conservation Corps, an organization she started on her own.  She began her conservation career as an AmeriCorps member on a California Conservation Corps, Backcountry Trail crew in 2002. Upon completion of her backcountry season, Brenna’s passions of conservation work and youth development lead her to Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Colorado. She established SECC with the intent to offer the corps experience to youth in the region she was raised.


2016 Awardees

DR. KELLY ARNOLD | 2016 Award Recipient

Kelly Rodney Arnold, M.D. was born in Los Angeles, CA where she was introduced to Latino culture. Her family then relocated to Memphis where she lived for many years, but now she calls Chattanooga home. Dr. Arnold pursued a Spanish major through study and travel and received her medical degree at UTHSC Memphis, TN. Her collective experiences inspired her to open a health clinic for the Latino community of Chattanooga. Clinica Medicos has been her dream. Until the clinic’s opening, this segment of our community had no option for affordable health care.


MELISSA JO BRASSEL | 2016 Award Recipient

By day Melissa Brassel is a guidance counselor for Hamilton County schools.  Outside of school, since 2014, she is the Founder/Executive Director of 22.6 Teen Moms, a non-profit organization that works to provide teen moms throughout the city with parenting education and empowerment skills. She knows firsthand of the challenges of being a teen mom; she struggled to stay in college while caring for her own baby.  Melissa works tirelessly to provide encouragement, education, and empowerment to the women she serves and hopes to enhance the personal growth and curb the high dropout rate of teen moms.


ROBYN CARLTON | 2016 Award Recipient

Robyn Carlton is the CEO of Lookout Mountain Conservancy. In this role, she created a partnership with Howard High School to use conservation as a tool to develop youth leadership, enhance academic and social skills, and provide job skills training. Today, this work is core to the work of LMC and has matured into several programs including use of the outdoors as a ninth grade outdoor environmental science classroom and an Intern & Leadership Program for students to learn critical leadership, academic, social and conservation skills. Robyn’s interpretation of LMC’s mission “to connect people from all walks of life to each other and Lookout Mountain” might be considered unconventional but she has successfully connected urban youth with the outdoor wonderment in their own backyard while also fostering love and support in students’ lives.


RONDELL CRIER | 2016 Award Recipient

Rondell received his Associates of Arts degree from Delgado Community College and studied at Dillard University and the Art Institute of Chicago. He works in a multi-form discipline including graphics, painting, sculpture, and fiber arts. Rondell’s appreciation and passion of practicing art and arts empowerment helps him serve as a professional and creative mentor to both youth and adult artists.  Because Rondell’s priority is people, he sees his artistic process as an experimental collage of invention and investment. Collaboration and heart connections are at the root of Crier’s artistic process and he keeps his studio, Studio Everything, open to neighborhood kids every Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. In doing so, he facilitates relationship building and offers them a loose-knit exposure to possibilities rather than a rigid curriculum.


2015 Awardees

CORTNEY MILD | 2015 Award Recipient

Cortney is being recognized for her volunteer work in Chattanooga, specifically for her efforts to advocate and support Chattanooga’s cycling culture and biking as a mode of transportation. Previously a professional ballet dancer, Cortney is now interested in sustainable transportation with a focus on walking and biking.  She worked as a transportation planning intern for Goudappel Coffeng, a transportation consulting firm in the Netherlands during her time as a University of Oregon graduate student. In her time off, she enjoys competing in triathlons, commuting by bicycle, hiking, skiing, yoga, Pilates, cooking, traveling, listening to live music, and dabbling in the arts.  She is a planner with the Regional Planning Agency.


SHANE MORROW  | 2015 Award Recipient

Shane is cofounder of Jazzanooga, a citywide celebration of jazz. Created in 2011, Jazzanooga not only draws from the cultural relevance and history of Chattanooga and its residents but also provides a festive platform where diverse communities can gather and celebrate the city’s extraordinary jazz heritage. Shane is also a member of the Creative Underground, a community based creative arts performance group.


REBECCA SUTTLES  | 2015 Award Recipient

Rebecca is Scholarship Coordinator at the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga. Her student college graduation rate is consistently higher than the national average (69% vs the national average of 24%) because she builds relationships with students, as many as 400 at a time while they are in school, celebrating their successes along the way and encouraging them when their grades slip.  Rebecca’s community workshops help parents with financial aid literacy and completing financial aid forms. Her goal is to help families minimize the likelihood that students will leave college with the huge loans we read about so often.