Inskip Leader Honored as Good Neighbor of the Year

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Inskip Leader Honored as Good Neighbor of the Year

Posted: 03/10/2014
The 2014 Diana Conn Good Neighbor of the Year Award winner is Betty Jo Mahan, president and co-founder of the Inskip Community Association. The award was presented Saturday, March 8th, at the City of Knoxville's Neighborhood Awards and Networking Luncheon.

Mahan, who works as the administrative assistant at the Metropolitan Planning Commission, was one of seven finalists for the Good Neighbor of the Year Award, named in honor of the late Diana Conn of the Old Sevier Community.

The award is presented annually to a Knoxville resident who -- in a spirit of cooperation and with commitment to inclusive community -- has devoted time and talent in service to his or her neighbors and neighborhood.

Mahan was honored for helping to start her neighborhood association and embracing diversity. Her group publishes a dual-language (Spanish and English) newsletter, and it has enthusiastically partnered on such programs in Inskip as Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities; Safe Routes to Schools; and Paint the Pavement. The latter project aims to promote neighborhood identity with Inskip icons while alerting drivers to slow down near Inskip Elementary School.

In addition, Mahan was a key advocate in reducing speed limits on some Inskip streets, installing neighborhood signs at entrances to the community, and planting fruit trees in Inskip Park.

"It's great to see how a diverse group of people can make a difference," Mahan said after Saturday's award ceremony. "It's encouraging."

All seven of the Diana Conn Award finalists have done innovative things to improve their neighborhoods and deserve accolades, said City of Knoxville Neighborhood Coordinator David Massey.

The Diana Conn Good Neighbor of the Year Award finalists were:

Calvin Chappelle, Parkridge Community Organization Kathy Hitchcox, South Woodlawn Neighborhood Association Travetta Johnson, Parkridge Community Organization Betty Jo Mahan, Inskip Community Association (Asociación de la Comunidad de Inskip) Bruce and Tracy Martin, Delrose Drive Neighborhood Watch Gerry Moll, Fourth and Gill, The Bird House

In addition, six neighborhood groups received achievement awards:

Alice Bell Spring Hill Neighborhood Association, for its creativity in negotiating ways to better incorporate a cell phone tower into the neighborhood Lakemoor Hills Homeowners Association, which worked to better utilize modern technology to protect the neighborhood against crime Lyons View Community Club, which created key partnerships to upgrade its community center and playground and increased involvement by neighbors in the organization Parkridge Community Organization, for its support of a butterfly garden, revival of a tour of historic homes, hosting of a street fair and transformation of a freeway underpass into an inviting work of art South Woodlawn Neighborhood Association, for its work creating an outdoor classroom, gaining certification as a community wildlife habitat and starting a program to honor police, fire, postal and other service workers Western Heights Residents Association, which is taking steps to build community pride and is prepared to "take back the neighborhood"

About 300 of Knoxville's community leaders gathered at the Convention Center on Saturday for the Neighborhood Awards and Networking Luncheon, organized by the City's Office of Neighborhoods.

Mayor Madeline Rogero, who praised the hard work of the neighborhood leaders, presented Saturday's awards.