Multiplying Good Honors Local Recipients, Selects Winner to Compete in Washington, D.C.

June 25, 2021

Mark Brooks, Juanita Jones, and Todd Swims pose for a photo after her selection as the 2021 Jefferson Awards finalist.

Leaders Credit Union and WBBJ-TV hosted the Annual Multiplying Good press conference for the 2020-2021 West Tenn. recipients on Thurs., June 24, at the Carl Perkins Civic Center. Juanita Jones of “Keep My Hood Good” was selected as the West Tennessee national nominee for the 2021 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Outstanding Service Benefiting Local Communities.

For the fourth year, Leaders Credit Union has partnered with WBBJ-TV to bring Multiplying Good’s Jefferson Award to the West Tennessee community. The Jefferson Awards honors community champions who are “ordinary people doing extraordinary things without expectation of recognition.” The awards are given at both national and local levels. Since May 2018, a new honoree has been selected each month locally. Recipients are nominated by their peers and selected by the Jefferson Awards/Multiplying Good committee members of West Tennessee. Our 2020-2021 West Tennessee winners include:

  • Steve & Donna Smith: Milan, Tenn.
  • Ella Watkins: Jackson, Tenn.
  • Shelley Hayes: Jackson, Tenn.
  • Terry Tatum: Medina, Tenn.
  • Edward Mitchell: Jackson, Tenn.
  • Jackie Utley: Jackson, Tenn.
  • Juanita Jones: Jackson, Tenn.
  • Angela Spann: Lexington, Tenn.<
  • Kennedy Pearson-Rodgers: Jackson, Tenn.
  • Curtis Reichhold: Jackson, Tenn.
  • Jason Moore: Jackson, Tenn.

  • Award recipients are volunteers and champions for numerous charities and causes across West Tennessee, including youth mentorships, community events, veteran service, homeless service, disaster recovery, and beyond. A video package for each recipient can be viewed by visiting the WBBJ-TV website at

    “We are honored to be a small part of bringing our community’s champions into the light for others, and we along with WBBJ have been blessed to hear each genuine story and witness their passion of how they advocate for positive change,” said Todd Swims, President and CEO of Leaders Credit Union. “Their passion in action has and will continue to create lasting change in the lives of those whom they serve and throughout West Tennessee.”

    Jaunita Jones of Jackson, Tenn., was selected as the West Tenn. national nominee for the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award representing the greatest possible service to a local community by a private citizen. The national Jefferson Awards event will occur in September, presented as a one-hour live stream online.

    Jones began “Keep My Hood Good” in 2010 in east Jackson to help break generational poverty cycles in under-served communities. With little resources, Jones began meeting and mentoring teens any place she could. Over time, Jones continued to meet with teens weekly and even created “safe words” for teens to use when they needed assistance in their home environments.

    “Multiplying Good is very honored to partner with Leaders Credit Union and WBBJ-TV to bring the awards to the West Tennessee community and to celebrate the accomplishments and service of local neighbors,” said Brady Tanner, Senior Director, Recognition Programs at Multiplying Good. “We are excited for this year’s national nominee and look forward to celebrating Jaunita through our national event.”

    If you would like to nominate a champion in your community, visit or and follow the prompts.

    Mark Brooks, Teri Jelks, and Todd Swims pose for a photo with the 2021 Jefferson Award honorees. Award honorees pictured, left to right on the back row are Shelley Hayes, Jackie Utley, Jaunita Jones, Terry Tatum, Curtis Reichhold, Kennedy Pearson-Rodgers and Ella Watkins. Edward Mitchell is on the front row.

    About Leaders Credit Union

    Leaders Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative headquartered in Jackson, Tenn. As one of the largest and most stable credit unions in the nation, Leaders exists to serve the needs of its members and lead the way on their behalf. Leaders was awarded the Best Place to Bank by Jackson Sun’s Readers’ Choice and is placed in the top 1% of credit unions nationwide by Leaders is an Equal Housing Lender and is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration. For more information about Leaders Credit Union, visit the website.