The Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame recognized TSHF Board Member, Brenda Lawson at the 47th Annual Induction Ceremony last night with the Fred Gregg Award. Lawson has a track record of more than 25 years in successful business development from companies with growth substantial enough to attract acquisition by publicly traded companies. As co-founder of two rent-to-own businesses and a deferred presentment business, Mrs. Lawson managed the financial and organizational growth of companies serving 17 states with more than 1500 employees and revenues exceeding one-hundred million dollars.
Mrs. Lawson is the founder of Brenda Lawson & Associates, LLC, a management company formed for the oversight of businesses in which she is a majority owner.
Today, Mrs. Lawson is an active participant in her community serving as a member of the Bradley/Cleveland Education Foundation and the Cleveland Business Roundtable. She serves on the Board of Directors for United Way of Bradley County and the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland. She is President Cleveland 100 and immediate past president of the Bradley/Cleveland Chamber, continuing to serve on its board of directors. Brenda is a long standing member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. She is also the president of the Cleveland Tennessee chapter of Diaper Love.
Mrs. Lawson is an avid supporter of the University of Tennessee and serves as a member of the UT Development Council and the Executive Committee of the University of Tennessee Alliance for Women Philanthropists. She also co-chairs the Capital Campaign for the University of Tennessee. She is on the UTC Foundation Board of Trustees and the UTC Advisory Board for the College of Business.
In most recent years the University of Tennessee at Knoxville dedicated the Brenda Lawson Court in the new Pratt Pavilion. Several years ago, she constructed a girls softball field on the campus of Cleveland High school and renovated the school library. She continues to support local education through her active participation in the Bradley/Cleveland Education Foundation. Each year, her Creating Christmas Memories Foundation works with local elementary school officials and provides Christmas gifts for those in need. She is founder of the organization and leads hundreds of volunteers that make this event happen each year.
She is a past recipient of the Southern Conference Distinguished Service Award along with the local Junior Achievement Free Enterprise Award. She was the recipient of the 2001 Sertoma Service to Mankind Award and a 2004 UTC College of Business Entrepreneurial Honoree and the 2006 Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2006 she was also awarded Outstanding Philanthropist of the year by the Association of Professional fundraisers. In 2010 she was the recipient of the M.C. Headrick Free Enterprise Award. In 2012 The University of Tennessee awarded Brenda Philanthropist of the Year.