Last week mayors and county executives from across Middle Tennessee came together to honor local governments in the mid-state for excellence in public service at the annual awards ceremony of the Greater Nashville Regional Council (GNRC or Regional Council). Wilson County Government was recognized for excellence in three separate categories: Communications, Parks and Recreation, and Social Services.
The Regional Council, which is composed of 65 mayors and executives, two members of the TN General Assembly, and 26 mayoral appointments, provides a forum for collaboration among communities in the greater Nashville metropolitan area.
Each year, GNRC honors its membership and partners with two types of awards. Grand awards, named after influential leaders throughout GNRC’s history, are presented to individuals or organizations for demonstrated leadership on a regional scale. The Excellence in Local Government awards recognize county governments and municipalities for projects or initiatives that serve as a model for peers across the region. This year, GNRC presented 14 local government awards.
For Communications, the county was recognized for the tourism initiative, Wilco on the Go!, a Facebook/YouTube series that highlights the best of the best in Wilson County. In each segment, Wilson County Tourism Director Amy Nichols teams with various guests to check out different locales in the county. The segment visits new businesses, local attractions, shops, and everything in between, a great way to engage the public and entice folks to visit Wilson County.
For Parks and Recreation, the new Wilson County Veterans Museum received the award. The $2.2 million project several years in the making, is a state of the art museum featuring artifacts from nine different conflicts in American history, from the War of 1812 to Operation Iraqi Freedom, each dedicated with an interactive screen for viewers to select options that educate and inform them of the conflict through photos, artifacts, uniforms and other self-guided information.
Wilson County was also recognized for the establishment of its Homelessness Coalition. This coalition was started in an effort to bring together the existing resources in Wilson County under one roof to share ideas and information to help address homelessness among the senior population in the county. Although there is an abundance of resources and non-profit organizations within the county borders that supply the homeless with essentials, the increasing number of senior citizens requiring a unique level of care entering into the homeless population has become alarming. The solution has come from the Homelessness Coalition, a group of local non-profits, police and EMS personnel seeking answers to address this growing concern.
“Wilson County leadership continues to invest time and talent in projects and programs to improve the quality of life for its residents,” said Michael Skipper, executive director for GNRC. “It is an honor for GNRC to highlight these three projects and share these best practices with the rest of the region.”