We will be presenting the 2017 Distinguished Service Award to Harry "Hap" Harwell, Jr. Ticket's for this year's luncheon can be purchased for $40/person or $320/table of 8. For more information about purchasing a ticket or table, please contact us at 267-6568 or email@example.com.
Official Nomination from this year's Distinguished Service Award Committee:
The Distinguished Service Committee’s Awardee is not a Chattanooga native; as a matter of fact, he was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, attended the United States Naval Academy, and graduated from the University of Tennessee. After graduation he and his late wife moved to North Carolina where he went to work for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and became the first supervisor in that organization to manage a desegregated production line—which, by the way, would become the most productive line in the company at that time. While in North Carolina, management of that organization recognized Hap’s leadership ability and recommended him to the United Way. At the age of 23, he became chair of that city’s United Way Allocations Committee. Hap and Linda’s son, Marc, was born there in 1964.
In 1965, he moved his family to Mobile, Alabama to work for Bell South to manage and integrate its Residential Division. While in Mobile, he served as President of the Industrial Management Association; President of the Sertoma Club; an Officer in the Chamber of Commerce; and as an Elder of the First Christian Church. Their son, Glenn, was born there in 1970.
In 1970, Hap and his family moved to Chattanooga and has been here since. He began work with Blue Cross Blue Shield Tennessee and within three years, was promoted to Corporate Vice President of the company. As a right-hand man of the CEO, Robert McGuff, he was directly involved with promoting many women and minorities. In 1973, Governor Winfield Dunn appointed Hap to the TN/GA Health Care Commission to address regional health care issues, and he served that Commission until 1978. He also served as Chair of the Health Care Committee for the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce.
Our awardee chaired Chattanooga’s first American Heart Association Heart Walk. To help insure the “Walk’s” success, he enlisted the assistance of Olympic Gold Medalist Ralph Boston to raise public support across the city for the event which for 2 years in a row was among the top 10 largest heart walk fund raisers among all cities in the US. He later served as Chair of the Board of the Heart Association.
Hap has served on numerous Boards throughout our city. He served on the Red Cross Board, Goodwill’s Board, Chamber of Commerce, United Way, and many others. He Chaired the Goodwill Board for two years. As Chair he recognized that were numerous people—not just those traditionally served by Goodwill--who could not afford expensive medical devices/equipment and that Medicare and insurance would often not supply those needs without onerous costs to a patient. He worked with Dennis Brice and the Goodwill’s Board and Staff to build a cache of medical equipment to meet that need. Through his insight, Goodwill’s HELP Program was born— a medical equipment give-away/return program that allowed the neediest to have instant access to all sorts of medical equipment—from bed pans, to beds, to lifts, to motorized seats-you name it—a signature venture for GOODWILL OF CHATTANOOGA. He also worked with a group of professional Physical Therapists to set up an evaluation and recommendation system that allowed patients an instant analysis and recommendation to meet their immediate care needs.
From 1995 – 2015, he worked in various roles for the Partnership for Families, Children, and Adults formerly known as Family and Children Services. For 2 years, he served as Chair of the Board of Directors. During those years his wife, Linda, of 45 years passed away, and he married Linda Galbraith Todd who was also a Partnership Board Member and subsequent Chair.
Hap also served this Kiwanis club as our president. During his term he began the Kiwanis Komandoes and worked with Carter Paden to establish the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP) Chattanooga-- an ongoing “ministry” that this club is still involved in and that works to facilitate the rehabilitation of both the victims of crime and more importantly helps rehabilitate the juvenile criminal.
For many years, he has been an active member of the Church of the Good Shepherd (Episcopal), vestry member and, for some 20 years, a teacher/mentor for the Education for Ministry (EFM) program of the University of the South, School of Theology (Sewanee).
It has been my privilege to call this man friend for quite a while, and I know that many of the blessings of his life come when he and one of his ‘golden girls’—Daisy from 1998 til 2012 and Lexi since 2010 walk through the halls of Children’s Hospital every Friday spreading his smile, his love, and his good humor and Lexi’s “wet kisses and wagging tail” to the children and their parents who look so forward to man and dog being there—so much so that the halls buzz with excitement as soon as they enter the hospital floor.