Business with Purpose Awards recognize local leaders for dedication to corporate governance, integrity

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On Tuesday, Sept. 12, nearly 400 local executives gathered at Nashville’s Music City Center to honor purpose-driven business leaders including Lifetime Leadership Award recipients Joe Scarlett, Jim Wright and Greg Sandfort of Tractor Supply Company, as part of Lipscomb University’s seventh annual Business with Purpose Awards luncheon.

Hosted by the Hilton & Sallie Dean Institute for Corporate Governance & Integrity, which is housed in Lipscomb’s College of Business, the Business with Purpose Awards honors Nashville businesses for their commitment to corporate governance, ethical leadership, community outreach and corporate social responsibility.

“Since 2010, Lipscomb’s Dean Institute has recognized local companies and individuals who have distinguished themselves as leaders with high integrity and a dedication to corporate governance through our annual Business with Purpose event; and this year is no exception,” said Turney Stevens, director of the institute and dean emeritus of Lipscomb’s College of Business. “Tractor Supply Company has had one of the nation’s most remarkable records of sustained growth, and it is an honor to recognize three of its living CEOs, all of whom have led the company from the bottom, rather than the top, of the company’s organization chart.”

2017_BWP_Side1Founded in 1938 as a Midwest mail order company supplying replacement tractor parts, Tractor Supply Company has $6.8 billion in annual revenues, 1,630 stores in 49 states, 26,000 team members, today.

In addition to receiving the Lifetime Leadership Award, Tractor Supply Company was also presented with “Upside Down: The Amazing Story of How One Innovative Company Turned its Culture Upside Down and Became One of NASDAQ’s Top Stocks,” a book that Stevens, along with Steve Williford, wrote specifically for and unveiled at the Business with Purpose Awards event. The book, which tells the story of Tractor Supply’s success, servant leadership and dedication to a culture of integrity, will be available to the public through Amazon this October.

During the event, The Bakery Company received the Private Company Award; Pinnacle Financial Holdings won the Public Company award; Butler Snow, LLP was given the Professional Service Firm Award; Tennessee Department of Human Resources won the Nonprofit Award; and James W. Phillips, CEO of XMi received the Leader with Purpose Award.

“It is truly a privilege to honor companies and individuals from the Nashville community who have distinguished themselves as leaders who have achieved both financial success as well as great cultures of service and integrity,” Stevens continued. “Each is making a profound difference in their businesses, communities and in the world.”

A special honor was also given to HCA Healthcare, who was recently named one of 124 companies to make Ethisphere’s 2017 World’s Most Ethical Company list, and a memoriam tribute recognized the late Spencer Hayes, a Nashville and New York businessman and former chair of Southwestern, Athlon Media Group and Tom James Clothiers.

2017_BWP_Side2Tokens, a radio-style variety show founded by Lee Camp, a professor of theology and ethics at Lipscomb, provided entertainment at the awards luncheon, and Camp served as the master of ceremonies.

Presented by NASBA and Connor, award recipients were chosen by an independent committee, which was chaired by Alfonzo Alexander, president of NASBA’s Center for the Public Trust. Nominations were accepted from the community at large, and the committee then researched each nominee in order to determine the finalists and award winners.

Other event sponsors included Tractor Supply Company, Ingram Industries, Jackson National Life Insurance Company, Deloitte, Waller, Sarah Cannon Research Institute, Regions, Kraft CPAs, Bass Berry Sims, LP Building Products, Churchill Mortgage, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, Ernst & Young LLP and Donnelley Financial Solutions.  

The proceeds of the seventh annual Business with Purpose luncheon will help fund student scholarships at Lipscomb University as well as support the Student Center for the Public Trust and its Ethics in Action video contest, and the work of the Dean Institute.

For more information on the Dean Institute for Corporate Governance & Integrity visit:

- Photos by Kristi Jones