Jack C. Massey Leadership Award
Join us as a sponsor for the 2023 Jack C. Massey Leadership Award Dinner!
November 8, 2023
The Jack C. Massey Leadership Award is presented biannually to honor individuals whose leadership and accomplishments have enriched the quality of life for citizens of our nation. Mental Health America of the MidSouth began partnering with Mr. Massey to give the first Massey Leadership Award in 1986.
This Award is designated for individuals who lift themselves above the accepted level of human achievement to discover and implement new ideas. As leaders, they guide the way as role models leading by example to serve their community. Recipients of the award should reflect a quality of informed leadership that is guided by inspiration and integrity. Their endeavors are not limited to one sphere of influence, but encompass a broad spectrum of community activities and concerns. Their actions have earned for them the respect and admiration of citizens in all walks of life.
A bronze medallion sculpted by noted Nashville artist, Alan LeQuire, commemorates the Jack C. Massey Leadership Award. At the center of the eight-inch medallion is a profile of Mr. Massey in bas-relief. Smaller figures depict Nashville’s replica of the Parthenon, three stars representing the state of Tennessee, and the mental health bell. The first casting was presented to Mr. Massey and the second casting to Ambassador Joe M. Rodgers, the first recipient of the award.
Originally trained as a pharmacist and retail druggist, Mr. Massey founded Massey Surgical Supply in 1930. In 1964, he invested in the Kentucky Fried Chicken Corporation and directed its growth to the world’s largest commercial marketer of prepared foods. Mr. Massey joined with Dr. Thomas Frist, Jr. and others in 1968 to form Hospital Corporation of America. He also established Winners Corporation, and directed the capitalization of Thomas Nelson Publishers, Surgical Care Affiliates and Corrections Corporation of America. As a founder of Baptist Hospital in Nashville, Mr. Massey served for 20 years on their Board of Trustees. During that time, Baptist grew from a small hospital to one of the mid-south’s largest medical centers.
Mr. Massey’s interests extended into many areas of the community. He was a trustee of Montgomery Bell Academy and a founder of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. He contributed to numerous institutions, including Vanderbilt Law School and Meharry Medical College. In 1987, He was elected to Fortune Magazine’s National Business Hall of Fame. Belmont College awarded the first honorary doctoral degree in its history to Mr. Massey in 1975. Today, the institution’s graduate school of business bears his name.
Mr. Massey’s death in 1990 was a significant loss to the Nashville community, but his remarkable vision and accomplishments left a legacy which will be felt and remembered for generations to come.
Founded in 1946, MHA continues to positively impact the community and break down stigma surrounding mental health that builds a barrier to seeking care. Our mission is to improve the lives of persons living with mental health challenges by advocating for improved public policy, educating health service providers, and connecting individuals to the right help at the right time. We believe that mental illness is real and treatable, that every life is worth saving, and that there is no health without mental health. MHA advocates for the rights and needs of persons with mental illness, their families, and promotes mental health through service and education. The agency’s unique, community-focused services include: Suicide Prevention, Caregiver Support, Youth Mental Health Education, Multicultural Outreach, Continuing Education, and more.