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Motlow’s Deaton-Owens and Hutchins Honored as TACL Award Recipients

November 11, 2022

Assistant Vice Present for Corporate and Foundation Services for the Motlow College Foundation, J. Mark Hutchins, left, and Associate Professor of Sociology and Psychology Dayron Deaton-Owens with their TACL awards.Two Motlow faculty and staff members were honored with awards at the 2022 statewide Tennessee Association of Community Leadership (TACL) Conference in October.

The WestStar Leadership Program presented the Robert M. Smith Outstanding TN Leadership Educator award to Motlow’s Associate Professor of Sociology and Psychology Dayron Deaton-Owens.

This award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to the advancement of leadership education, either by a significant achievement within the past year or over several years through dedication and service to leadership development within Tennessee.

Deaton-Owens has dedicated herself to the success of her community’s leadership programs and to whatever is needed to make them successful. She stepped up to serve on the Board, and as a Division Chair, she realized more funding was needed and started writing grants to fund the programs and coordinating events. Not only is Deaton-Owens working a full-time job on top of chairing the adult and youth leadership programs, she also sets monthly schedules, coordinates visits on program days, and ensures breakfast and lunch are provided and funded by recruiting sponsors. COVID did not stop her. During 2019-2021, she arranged schedules to ensure the classes could complete their Leadership curriculum.

“Being involved with Leadership McMinnville has been a great honor. I love watching class members grow and develop their skills. Not only have I learned about myself throughout this journey, but I hope members of this program walk out as better workers, more engaged in their communities, and stronger leaders, all while learning and having fun,” said Deaton-Owens.

“Leadership development programs are critical to every community. TACL is excited to be able to recognize key leaders, volunteers, and programs going above and beyond through our Annual TACL Awards,” stated Judy Renshaw, TACL Executive Director. 

Additionally, Assistant Vice Present for Corporate and Foundation Services for the Motlow College Foundation, J. Mark Hutchins, was awarded the TACL Servant Leadership Award. Hutchins serves as the Volunteer Board Chair of IMPACT Leadership. He received the award for his dedication and service in the community and to IMPACT Leadership.

Hutchins has spent more than thirty years in management and consulting positions that have raised millions of dollars for higher education institutions, religious organizations, and civic groups. Currently, he serves as the VP for Foundation and Corporate Relations with Motlow State Community College; and Chief Regulatory Officer of EKAMOR, one of the first true waste-to-product recycling companies. He also is the President and CEO of Hutchins Strategies and is a John C. Maxwell Coach, Trainer, and Speaker and certified in Myers-Briggs and Gallup’s Clifton StrengthsFinder assessments. Hutchins is Chairman of the Board of the IMPACT Leadership program, serves on the Tullahoma Area Chamber of Commerce Board, serves on the Public Building Authority and the Public Housing Authority for Putnam County, and volunteers in many roles at the local PBS station, WCTE PBS, where his wife, Avery, is President and CEO.

“Leadership is the key ingredient to growth and prosperity for any community,” said Hutchins. “I am driven to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to develop their skills as a leader. I’m also very humbled by this gracious award from TACL, and I will continue to serve this cause in any way I can.”

“We extend our congratulations to Mark, who has made major contributions through his leadership with IMPACT Leadership, as well as his community. He exemplifies a community trustee/servant leader, investing back to make a positive difference,” said Renshaw.

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