• Samuel H. Howard (66-67) 2010 John W. Gardner Legacy of Leadership Award

    The White House Fellows Foundation and Association
    2010 John W. Gardner Legacy of Leadership Award
    is presented to
    Samuel H. Howard
    White House Fellow 1966-67

    Samuel H. Howard exemplifies John Gardner’s charge to White House Fellows to commit to a lifetime of pubic service, return to our communities and become agents of change and renewal while working to strengthen the White House Fellows Program. Sam has had two extraordinarily successful careers in business and public service in the Nashville Tennessee region as well as nationally.

    Professional Achievement and Leadership: Armed with a B.S. degree from Oklahoma State University and a M.A. degree from Stanford University, Sam joined General Electric in 1963 as a computer programmer for the company’s nuclear electronics products. Selected for GE’s Business Training Course – the company’s premier financial management program – this launched his outstanding career as a business man. Selected as a White House Fellow in 1966, he served in New York City as the Special Assistant to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Arthur Goldberg. After serving as Vice President-Finance, Secretary and Treasurer with TAW International Leasing, he founded Phoenix Communications Group in 1972. In 1973, Sam was selected as a Vice President at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, the first step of his very successful career in financial leadership in the healthcare sector, Nashville’s number one industry. Sam served as a Vice President of four companies, CEO of four others, and founded three companies in the healthcare and broadcasting arenas. Since 1989, he has spent a majority of his professional time leading those endeavors, most notably Phoenix Holdings. Noteworthy of these leadership efforts, he authored a visionary plan which he called the Healthcare Options Plan Entitlement, or HOPE, that demonstrated that privatizing Medicare and Medicaid programs could save enough money to cover all the uninsured in America. In 1993, the state of Tennessee implemented a Sam’s exceptional efforts in the businesses of health care led to two President’s Achievement Awards from the Federation of American Hospitals for providing competition in the American health care system in 1980 and for serving on the Schweiker 1982 Advisory Council on Social Security. He was named Distinguished Businessman of the Year by the University of Tennessee in 1985, Small Business Executive of the Year by the Nashville Business Journal in 1995, and the Greater Nashville 100 Leadership Award in 1997. In addition to his long-term service with the Federation of American Health Systems, Sam was also appointed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1998 to the National Bi-partisan Commission on the Future of Medicare.

    Dedication to Public Service: Sam’s leadership has never stopped in the corporate boardroom. His lifelong commitment to public service demonstrates a deep obligation to making a positive difference in the nation and his community through leadership in many associations and civic ventures, to include: National Chairman (2000-2003) and currently a Director of the National Easter Seals, Inc; Trustee, National Director, and Co-chair of the National Conference on Christians and Jews, Inc; Founder (1982) and currently Director, 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee; currently Director and Secretary of the Leadership Nashville Foundation; Chairman, Metropolitan Nashville Convention Center; and Director and Chairman of the Urban League of Middle Tennessee. Sam’s work as a Director with the Nashville Chamber of Commerce started in the early 1980s, culminating as Chairman in the late 1990s. During his tenure, he helped attract a National Football League team and a Dell Computer manufacturing site to Nashville, established the North Nashville Community Development Corporation, and aided in the settlement of Nashville’s public schools desegregation lawsuit. Sam’s numerous awards for his exceptional philanthropic involvement include: Philanthropist of the Year in 1997 by the National Society of Fundraising Executives, Nashvillian of the Year in 1998 by the Easter Seals Society of Tennessee, and The Forerunner Award in 2008 by the 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee.

    Support for the White House Fellows Community: Sam knows that all of his professional achievements, leadership opportunities, and public service are a direct result of being a White House Fellow. He acknowledges that the WHF program taught him to see business as an opportunity to make a difference and in his words, “as result of my experience as a White House Fellow, I was able to move easily between cultures…’ demonstrating over time the ability to effectively move between corporate leadership and public service to his community. Accordingly, he has been a supporter of the White House Fellows program from his selection to the present time. In the late 1960s, he served on a White House Fellowship Regional Selection Panel and most recently served as an elected Director of the White House Fellows Foundation and Association from 2003 to 2007. During this service, his leadership, counsel, and experience helped immensely as the Board of Directors tackled tough issues of future financial strength and organizational structure. Sam provided valuable input on the direction of the program and helped conduct analyses which were instrumental in the decision to combine the Foundation and Association into one unified organization.

    The White House Fellows Foundation and Association is pleased and proud to salute Samuel H. Howard with the 2010 John W. Gardner Legacy of Leadership Award.

    posted: March 31, 2010
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