Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Recognized for Dedication Eve Awards Honor Women Leaders

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Recognized for Dedication Eve Awards Honor Women Leaders

Article excerpt

A tearful Eleanor Ashby was honored yesterday with the Arnolta

Johnston "Mama" Williams Lifetime Achievement Award during The

Florida TimesUnion's 1998 EVE Awards ceremony at the Prime

Osborn Convention Center.

Since 1969, the EVE Awards have honored three women annually,

one in each of the categories of education, volunteer service

and employment, as well as occasionally honoring special

achievement through the Williams award.

Times-Union publisher Carl Cannon introduced video profiles of

the 12 nominees and presided over the noontime awards ceremony.

"They're obviously all winners," Cannon said of the nominees.

This year's Golden Apples were given to Stuart Evans,

employment; Cheryl Fountain, education; and Mary Ellen Smith,

volunteer service, as well as Ashby's special award.

Ashby, who retired in April as executive director of Leadership

Jacksonville, trained hundreds of adult and youth leaders

during her two decades as head of the agency she developed.

"I have had such a wonderful time doing all that I've done and

it's been a blessing to have the chance to work with all the

community trustees," she said after the ceremony.

Evans, president of the Cultural Council of Greater

Jacksonville, won for her work as a leader in Jacksonville's

arts community.

After her supporters gave her a standing ovation, Evans joked,

"I know my staff is glad I'm not doing a Cuba Gooding rendition"

-- a reference to the actor's exuberant Oscar acceptance speech.

After the ceremony, Evans called the EVE Awards a catalyst that

helped to motivate a new generation of women leaders.

Smith was honored in the volunteer category for her work as

president of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. She expressed

her gratitude to symphony staff and volunteers, as well as

volunteers in other service areas. "All the people in

Jacksonville who volunteer and give and give -- this is their

trophy," she said.

The award for education went to Fountain, associate provost at

the University of North Florida, who led the Jacksonville Urban

Educational Partnership and served as a staff member of the New

Century Commission on Education. …

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