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7:53 a.m. May 7, 2013
East Tennessee Justice awarded “The Lizzie” Leadership Award

justice sharon lee
Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Sharon Lee will receive the Lizzie Crozier French Women's Leadership Award on Friday, June 14, 2013 at the East Tennessee Women's Leadership Summit in Knoxville.

KNOXVILLE – Knoxvillian Lizzie Crozier French is noted for several firsts in her fight for women’s suffrage, including being the first woman to address the Tennessee Bar Association and the Tennessee General Assembly, and the first to run for Knoxville City Council. The winner of this year’s leadership award named in her honor is also a groundbreaker.

Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Sharon Lee will be presented the Lizzie Crozier French Women’s Leadership Award on Friday, June 14th at the East Tennessee Women’s Leadership Summit. Justice Lee was the first woman to serve as judge on the Eastern Section of the Tennessee Court of Appeals in its 79-year history. She has worked diligently to advance women within her profession, having served as president of the East Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women, and as a board member of the Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women.

Just like last year's inaugural recipient, Mayor Madeline Rogero, Justice Lee is being awarded “The Lizzie” at this year's Summit in recognition of her ongoing dedication to the principles so strongly demonstrated by the award’s namesake. The recipient of the Lizzie Crozier French Women's Leadership Award must demonstrate four leadership characteristics that were so much a part of the life of Lizzie Crozier French.

She must be an outspoken leader who:
• Publicly supports the advancement of women.
• Demonstrates unwavering courage in the face of difficulty.
• Works boldly and consistently towards positive and lasting change.
• Supports and empowers other women through her work.

As one who has repeatedly broken new ground for women in her profession, Justice Lee’s work in the community has previously been recognized by YWCA of Knoxville with their Tribute to Women Award and by the Woman of Achievement Award from the Girls Scouts of the Appalachian Council.

Chair Wendy Pitts Reeves says, “Lizzie Crozier French was a courageous woman who broke new ground, fought the good fight, and made history for the women of East Tennessee. Today, it is a treat to recognize a woman who has risen from the halls of the county courthouse to the halls of the state supreme court. We are honored to recognize Justice Sharon G. Lee.”

Registration for the full day of the Summit is $75 until May 31st; $90 until June 7th; $125 at the door. To register, or to find more information about the conference go to

Sponsored by WVLT-TV, B97.5, the Knoxville News Sentinel, Denso, and Wal-Mart, the Summit is a volunteer effort of the East Tennessee Women’s Leadership Council and is chaired by Wendy Pitts Reeves and co-chaired by Sharon Hannum. The event is an outgrowth of the work of the Tennessee Economic Council on Women.

Published May 7, 2013

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