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Niswonger Scholars Meet for Winter Leadership Training

Greeneville, Tennessee, January 7, 2010: The Niswonger Foundation conducted its annual Winter Leadership Training for their Niswonger Scholars on December 28-29, 2009 at the General Morgan Inn in Greeneville. The theme for this year’s training was “Becoming a First-Time Manager.” Among those making presentations at this year’s training were Scott M. Niswonger, founder and benefactor of the Niswonger Foundation, Mr. Oliver “Buzz” Thomas, the Foundation’s former Executive Director, and Bradley Brown, an alumnus of the Niswonger Scholars program, who is an investment banking analyst with Goldman Sachs in New York City.

The current Niswonger Scholars are (FRESHMEN): Will Brummett, Jefferson City, Elon University; James Durham, Limestone, Notre Dame University; Johneshia Good, Johnson City, East Tennessee State University; Dakota Grindstaff, Mountain City, East Tennessee State University; Elizabeth Jones, Johnson City, Clemson University; Jason Light, Blountville, University of Tennessee-Knoxville; Kayla Williams, Russellville, University of Tennessee-Knoxville; (SOPHOMORES) Taylor Ashby, Dandridge, East Tennessee State University; Keith Cradic, Church Hill, Tennessee Tech University; Jordan Kim, Morristown, University of Tennessee-Knoxville; Law Loving, Johnson City, Tulane University; Rachel Witt, Mountain City, Vanderbilt University; (JUNIORS) Matt Bible, Mosheim, Tennessee Tech University; Emily Hollingsworth, Sevierville, Belmont University; Lauren Hopson, Unicoi, East Tennessee State University; Sean McCullough, Dandridge, Notre Dame University; Rachel Mixon, Rogersville, Purdue University; Ian Sams, Watauga, University of Alabama; Lauren Williams, Greeneville, East Tennessee State University; (SENIORS) Patrick Brown, Greeneville, Purdue University; Tom Cully, Van Wert, Ohio, Indiana Wesleyan University; Lucas Deloach, Elizabethton, Vanderbilt University; Chelsea Goodson, Greeneville, University of Tennessee-Knoxville; Adriana Penalba, Whitesburg, Georgetown University; Rian Rainey, Van Wert, Ohio, Ohio State University; Trey Reliford, Strawberry Plains, Sewanee University; Todd Skelton, Surgoinsville, University of Tennessee-Knoxville; Jessica Verran-Lingard, Johnson City, Vanderbilt University; and Meredith Wachs, Mountain City, College of William & Mary.

Several Niswonger Scholar Alumni joined this group for a dinner honoring the Foundation’s former Executive Director, Oliver “Buzz” Thomas. Thomas recently resigned as Executive Director after serving eight years in this position. Scholar Alumni attending this event, were Ben Fox, Gray, a graduate of Washington University; Elizabeth Loy, Johnson City, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania; Brandon Reeser, Johnson City, a graduate of Furman University; Cole Seaton, Mosheim, a graduate of Vanderbilt University; Katie Baker, Greeneville, a graduate of Furman University (undergraduate) and University of Alabama-Birmingham (graduate studies); Bradley Brown, Elizabethton, a graduate of M.I.T.; Virginia Hines, Johnson City, a graduate of Boston University; Brandi Ricker, Paulding, Ohio, a graduate of University of Michigan; Joe Watson, Greeneville, a graduate of Furman University (undergraduate) and University of Tennessee-Knoxville (graduate studies); and Katie Williams, Elizabethton a graduate of University of Tennessee-Knoxville. There are a total of 21 Scholar Alumni.

Niswonger Scholars participate in two formal leadership training experiences each year. Scholars are chosen primarily for their leadership potential, commitment to personal excellence and to service in their home communities. Their scholarship provides the opportunity to attend the college or university of choice. In exchange, the Scholars commit to returning to serve in their home communities.

Established in 2001, the Niswonger Foundation was founded by Scott M. Niswonger, the Greeneville businessman and philanthropist who remains the Foundation’s sole benefactor. The mission of the Foundation is: “To create opportunities for individual and community growth through education.”

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