Mountain States Foundation names Clem Wilkes 2012 Spirit Award winner


Clem Wilkes, Jr.,

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – The Mountain States Foundation announced this week that Clem Wilkes, Jr., has been chosen as the 2012 Spirit Award winner. The award will be presented at the Foundation’s 23rd annual Spirit Gala to be held at the Millennium Centre on January 26.

With more than 28 years of financial leadership experience and a dedication to giving back to the community, Wilkes has lent his expertise and leadership to so many local organizations that it is safe to say that anyone living in Northeast Tennessee has been impacted by his volunteer service in some way.

Wilkes, co-manager of Citizens Investment Services, a subsidiary of Citizens Bank Tri-Cities, has served on the Mountain States Health Alliance Board of Directors for the last 13 years where his tenure has included leadership as board chairman and chair of the finance and investment committees. As a member of the Tennessee Hospital Association Trustee Board since 2004, he was instrumental in designing a trustee certification process for hospital boards in the state of Tennessee. The Mountain States board of directors was the first hospital board in Tennessee to have every board member achieve this certification.

“Clem’s vision, expertise and personal integrity have helped to shape Mountain States Health Alliance as the organization has grown throughout the years. Much of what we are today can be tied back to his influence and leadership,” said Dennis Vonderfecht, president and CEO of Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA). “A more deserving person could not be selected for this year’s Spirit Award.”

Wilkes also currently leads the Johnson City Parks & Recreation Advisory Board as director and current chair, and is a member of the East Tennessee State University Foundation and the Johnson City Lion’s Club where he has served as past president.  He spent five years as a board member of ETSU Buccaneer Athletic Scholarship Association.

The Johnson City Lion’s Club named Wilkes Lion of the Year in 1984 and Lion of the Decade in 1991. In 2004, he became a Johnson City Parks & Recreation Wall of Fame Member and received the Leader in Christian Service Award from Milligan College.  As an investment professional, Wilkes was included in the Top 20 Program Managers list by Bank Investment Consultant magazine.

“As both a businessman and volunteer, Clem is an inspiration and an example of what it means to truly serve others,” said Pat Holtsclaw, president of Mountain States Foundation.

The Spirit Award criteria call for someone who has passion for the community, is recognized as a leader in the region, is highly respected among peers and has demonstrated support for MSHA’s mission while giving unselfishly of time and talents.  Wilkes has proven himself to be a pillar in the community who is willing to serve at any level of need. As a 20-year member of St. John’s Episcopal Church he continues to serve as lay eucharistic minister and visitor and junior warden of the vestry, and as a volunteer reader at Southside Elementary School. 

He and his wife, Tonya, have two grown children, Elizabeth and Bo, and have one grandchild.

Wilkes will be honored at Fire & Ice, the Mountain States Foundation Spirit Gala black-tie event.  Tickets to Prelude, the Spirit Gala auction event on January 17, and for the Champion Chevrolet raffle are still available. All proceeds will benefit oncology services at Johnson City Medical Center. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 423-302-3131.

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