The Spark Awards



A video message from Jeremy Park, host of The Spark, about the Spark Awards:

Starting this fall, the Mid-South is going to have an annual televised award show, The SPARK Awards. The SPARK Awards will be produced in partnership with WKNO-TV, the Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club (LPBC), Media Source, and The Rotary Club of Memphis. It will recognize and honor individuals, nonprofits, corporations, and schools, in 13 different categories, who are igniting change and making a positive impact in the Greater Memphis community. Nominations will come from the public and may be made from 8:00am on August 15, 2014 to 5:00pm on Monday, September 15, 2014 at

The SPARK Awards is an extension of the WKNO-TV series, The SPARK. The SPARK is a monthly 30-minute show, hosted by LPBC president Jeremy Park, about business and community leaders who are fueling change and giving back to the Mid-South. A co-production of WKNO with the Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club, and Media Source, The SPARK airs the third Thursday of each month at 9pm on WKNO/Channel 10. Major funding for The SPARK is provided by Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance, Data Facts, and State Systems, Inc., with additional funding from Baptist Memorial Health Care and Christian Brothers University.

Individuals, organizations, and businesses may be nominated for a SPARK Award in one of the following categories: 


  • 100 employees or fewer
  • 101-499 employees
  • 500+ employees


  • Budget under $1 million 
  • $1 million to $5 million 
  • Greater than $5 million 


  • Youth- any one person under the age of 18 
  • Collegiate- any one person between the ages of 18 and 24 who is currently enrolled in a college or university 
  • Adult- any one person 18 years of age or older who is not a full-time student at a college or university 


  • School- any one elementary school, middle school, high school, college or university 
  • Educator- any one faculty or staff member in an elementary school, middle school, high school, college or university 
  • Leadership- any one person serving in a senior leadership role (i.e. Principal, Headmaster, Dean, etc.) within a school, college or university 


  • Honoring one person who has served others and the community throughout his or her lifetime and has created a positive legacy in Memphis.

Nominees will be evaluated based on their philanthropic leadership, volunteerism, and activation/impact within the Memphis Metro Area (defined as a five-county area consisting of Fayette, Shelby, and Tipton counties in Tennessee; DeSoto County in Mississippi; and Crittenden County in Arkansas) from January 1, 2012 to August 15, 2014. Anyone in the Mid-South may submit a free nomination and may submit multiple nominations, as long as a separate entry is made for each nominee. 

Nominations for The SPARK Awards 2014 will be open and accepted from 8:00am on August 15, 2014 to 5:00pm on Monday, September 15, 2014. Nominations may be submitted online at or can be downloaded in order to email or mail it in, per the listed instructions. Regardless of the submission method, the form must be received by the closing date and time of 5:00pm CDT on Monday, September 15, 2014. Once the nomination deadline of 5:00pm on Monday, September 15, 2014 has closed, each of the submitted nominations for The SPARK Awards will be reviewed by a selection committee formed by and comprised of members of The Rotary Club of Memphis. 

The Rotary Club of Memphis will ultimately select 3 finalists per category (only 1 finalist/honoree will be selected to receive The Legacy SPARK), who will each be contacted and confirmed for their approval in participation of The SPARK Awards. The Finalists in each category will be chosen based on the following criteria: 1. residence or corporate presence in the Memphis Metro Area, as defined on page 1 of the rules & guidelines; 2. forms and materials are submitted correctly and by the September 15, 2014 deadline; and 3. subjective evaluation by the selection committee based on measurable evidence of the validity of the nominee’s philanthropic leadership, volunteerism and activism/impact per the set judging criterion. 

All finalists will be invited to attend The SPARK Award Show luncheon on November 21, 2014. That luncheon will be free to all finalists and staged and filmed to air as a televised special, The SPARK Awards, on WKNO-TV. The SPARK Awards are scheduled to air on WKNO-TV Wednesday, November 26, 2014. 

Major funding for The SPARK Awards is provided by American Residential Services and Conway Services, B&P Enterprises, Pickering, T-shirtChampions (formerly Champion Awards & Apparel), Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance, and The Rotary Club of Memphis. Additional funding is provided by current underwriters of The SPARK series. Other promotional partners for The SPARK Awards include The Commercial Appeal, Mahaffey Tent & Party Rentals, Nolan Audio Video Solution, Memphis Botanic Garden, Angela Mazanti Events, Creation Studios Photography, and Simply Delicious Caterings.