TN Promise at Motlow my Motlow Academic ProgramsApply Now

Alumni award recipients announced by Motlow College Foundation

Chris Jones

Chris Jones, recipient 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award

Hope Sartain

Hope Sartain, recipient 2017 One to Watch Award

The Motlow College Foundation recently announced the recipients of two alumni awards which will be presented at the 25th Annual Motlow Gala on Saturday, March 25.

The recipient of the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award is Chris Jones of Murfreesboro. Jones is a 1985 graduate of Motlow State, where he received an Associate's Degree in General Studies. After graduating from Motlow, Jones continued his education by obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of Tennessee and a certificate from the Robert Kabat Management Internship Program, part of the School of Business at the University of Wisconsin.

Jones started his career as a radio host for WDFZ in Tullahoma and spent several years in the field of journalism and public relations. Jones has been an active community member in Rutherford County, serving as Vice Chair of Destination Rutherford; Chair of the Rutherford County Economic Development Council, Vice President of the Middle Tennessee Industrial Development Association, and he received the Pinnacle Leadership Rutherford Award in 2016. Currently, Jones is the president and CEO of Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation (MTEMC). In service to Motlow State for years prior to becoming CEO of MTEMC, Jones spoke annually to one of the journalism and communications classes, sharing professional experiences with and answering questions for Motlow students.

The winner of the inaugural One to Watch Award is Hope Sartain of Tullahoma. The One to Watch Award is a new award through the Motlow College Foundation, which recognizes younger alumni who are up and coming in their careers and in service to their community.

Sartain is a 2016 graduate of Motlow State, where she received an Associate's Degree in Science and graduated Magna Cum Laude. Sartain began her career by working in sales for the Exchange Media Group in Tullahoma, and in January of this year accepted a position as the Executive Director for the Tullahoma Area Chamber of Commerce (TACC).

Prior to being an employee of the Tullahoma Chamber, Sartain was a dedicated volunteer at the chamber, serving as president of the TACC Ambassador Program and chair of the New Member Committee. Sartain has also served as president of the Highland Rim Kiwanis Club and has been recognized by that organization and others for contributions to her community. For example, Sartain received the Kiwanian of the Year Award in 2014 and the Women Impacting the Community: Community Service Award in 2016 from the TACC.

Dr. Tony Kinkel, president of Motlow State, said about these recipients, "It is truly our honor to recognize these fine Motlow alumni for their contributions to their professions and their communities. Both are excellent representatives of the outstanding education students can receive at this institution and we are proud to call them our own."

Jones and Sartain will be recognized as the award recipients at the annual Motlow Gala, which will be held at the Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center on Saturday, March 25, from 5:30 - 11 p.m. Tickets to the Gala are available for purchase until the deadline of Friday, March 17, and can be purchased online at