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Front Page - Friday, May 26, 2017

Chamber to honor Baumgardner as manager of the year

First Things First President and CEO Julie Baumgardner is the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce Manager of the Year. - Photograph provided

The Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce will honor Julie Baumgardner, president and CEO of First Things First, as the recipient of the 2017 Chattanooga Area Manager of the Year award.

This annual event recognizes an executive manager who has made a significant contribution to the success of the Chattanooga and Hamilton County area.

“Julie Baumgardner possesses the heart of a servant leader and has the knowledge and attributes for mentoring tomorrow’s leaders,” says Carolyn Stringer, chair of the 2017 Manager of the Year event. “It is with great pride that our committee selected Julie as the 2017 Manager of the Year.”

The Chattanooga Area Manager of the Year luncheon will be held Wednesday, June 7, 11:30 a.m., at the Chattanoogan Hotel. Friday, May 26, is the last day to register.

To register: Valerie Gifford (423 634-3563, Valerie.Gifford@tvfcu.com

Baumgardner has advocated for Chattanooga families since the inception of First Things First in 1997, originally as associate director and as head of the organization since 2001.

She leads a staff of 11 and 500 community volunteers. First Things First has raised more than $26,300,000 under her direction.

Two programs created under Baumgardner’s leadership make a significant economic impact, says the Chamber: Dads Making a Difference, a 12-week class for fathers behind on child support payments, and Work Smart, Live Well, a career advancement program for underserved members of the community.

Dads Making a Difference has saved Hamilton County taxpayers nearly $8.5 million in incarceration-related expenses. At the request of employers who previously hired its graduates, Work Smart, Live Well has been rebranded as a worksite-based program which more than 40 area companies have implemented.

In addition to heading First Things First, Baumgardner is a certified family life educator, a certified crisis intervener, a trained prevention and relationship education program facilitator and a graduate of the Chattanooga Chamber’s Leadership Chattanooga and Chattanooga Insight programs.

For 12 years, Baumgardner hosted “First Things First with Julie Baumgardner” on local PBS affiliate station WTCI.

She is currently working on a new show on a digital platform. Additionally, she regularly speaks at community organizations, businesses and churches.

Baumgardner’s community involvement has supported Big Brothers Big Sisters, March of Dimes, Kiwanis Club and more.

Currently, Baumgardner serves on the Chattanooga Rotary Club’s board of directors, as chair of the American Lung Association’s Women of Distinction Awards Luncheon and as a Hamilton County Juvenile Court commission member.

Additionally, she serves on the board of the Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute, as the curriculum chair of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce Leadership Chattanooga program, a committee member for Chattanooga 2.0’s Early Learning Committee and as an elder at Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church.

Source: Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce