2017 Hall of Fame Honorees
Together the gifts of these extraordinary individuals exceed $900,000 over the last 22 years. One of every four dollars TJC has ever received from personal donations came from one of these honorees. Their generosity has resulted in thousands of Tennesseans receiving life-saving medical care, and their investment has improved the lives of millions of Tennesseans. We are beyond ecstatic to honor these amazing leaders.
One morning in January 1996, Don Enright, an Emmy-winning television producer, was on-set reading a New York Times he’d snatched away from the director. He happened across a feature about a tiny nonprofit law firm in Tennessee. The article told of the recent founding of the Tennessee Justice Center to serve vulnerable families impacted by congressional restrictions on federally funded Legal Aid. Don is passionate about issues of justice and has a soft spot for scrappy underdogs. He immediately sent a generous donation and quickly became a friend. He has faithfully supported TJC for two decades, not just financially but with notes of inspiration and encouragement in difficult times. Don used to anchor the Los Angeles chapter of the TJC Fan Club. A dual Canadian-US citizen, he now lives with his family and produces films in Victoria, B.C., where he embodies TJC’s international footprint. Don is a reminder of the universality of love and justice that are at the core of TJC’s mission.
Ruth Ann Leach Harnisch
Ruth Ann Harnisch has always been a pioneering champion for justice in both her personal and professional life. Known as Ruth Ann Leach to those who remember her work at WLAC/WTVF-TV, WLAC-AM and WWGM-AM, the Nashville Banner, and the Harpeth Herald, she broke the glass ceiling as Nashville’s first female TV news anchor. As a talk show host and newspaper columnist, she focused public attention on issues of justice for girls and women and for the poor. When TJC opened on a wing and a prayer in 1996, Ruth Ann became the first donor, and she used her newspaper column to urge her readers to support the fledgling organization. After retiring from journalism and moving to New York, Ruth Ann and her husband, Bill Harnisch, founded The Harnisch Foundation, which awarded one of its first grants to TJC. A visionary who promotes the transformative roles of philanthropy and art, Ruth Ann has supported the production of critically acclaimed films that enhance public awareness of issues of social justice.
Ellen Levy & Gregg Horowitz
When Vanderbilt brought Ellen Levy and Gregg Horowitz to Tennessee, they wanted to be strategic in deciding how to give back to their new community. Gregg was among the first members of his family to attend college, and Ellen had lived in Detroit through that city’s tragic decline, so they have a special concern for families and communities that carry extra burdens. The couple sought to invest in organizations where their philanthropy would have the greatest impact on the quality of life and on justice in their new state. Their inquiries led them to TJC. Ellen’s and Gregg’s generosity helped sustain TJC during years of great financial difficulty, enabling TJC to win hundreds of millions of dollars of medical care for vulnerable children and families. They have since moved to New York City to join the faculty of the Pratt Institute, but their sustaining generosity during their years in Tennessee continues to benefit vulnerable families across our state.
Bill & Robin King
Bill and Robin King have long played a pivotal role in the celebration and promotion of social and racial justice. Their generosity and vision led to the development of the Nashville Public Library’s Civil Rights Room and Collection that educates and inspires thousands of visitors annually by preserving and telling the story of the Civil Rights struggle in Nashville and across the South. We are proud and grateful that Bill and Robin’s promotion of justice has long included generous support for TJC’s work. Among their other contributions, Bill and Robin have funded fellowships for recent graduates of Princeton University, Bill’s alma mater, to enable them to work for a year at TJC advocating for policies that will improve the health of Tennessee’s at-risk children. Bill is a Vanderbilt law graduate and successful entrepreneur who serves on many corporate and nonprofit boards. He and Robin are active with a number of community organizations in Tennessee.
Nancy Fraas MacLean has been one of TJC’s earliest and most generous friends. As the author or editor of over a dozen legal treatises and practice manuals relied upon by Tennessee lawyers in diverse areas of practice, Nancy has played an unsung but important role in elevating the quality of justice across Tennessee. A faithful member of the Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women and of Nashville’s Marian Griffin Chapter of the Lawyers Association for Women, she is a fellow of both the Nashville and Tennessee Bar Foundations in recognition of her contributions to justice. We are honored that her dedication to improving justice has included two decades of financial support for TJC and thousands of hours of volunteer service. Nancy has taken on any task, big or small, from recruiting volunteer photographers for our Mother’s Day honorees, to personally catering every event we had for many years, and working to establish a fellowship to honor her friend Charlie Warfield. Many of TJC’s other generous donors were drawn to TJC through their friendship with Nancy and their admiration of her. As TJC’s longest serving board member, she continues to help TJC develop to meet client needs in an increasingly challenging environment
Steve and Jeanne Thomas
Steve and Jeanne Thomas’ support for TJC reflects their shared dedication to compassion and justice. That dedication found early expression in Steve’s work as a counselor of severely disturbed children, and in Jeanne’s pro bono legal work, which began as a Vanderbilt law student representing children in juvenile court. They have continued to generously donate their time and talents to their church and numerous Nashville charities while pursuing highly successful careers in business. Steve is the Chairman of the Board and Co-founder of Thomas & Company, which provides unemployment insurance cost management, employment verification and tax credit services to businesses throughout the country. Jeanne Thomas is Managing Counsel, Labor and Employment, for HCA Healthcare. Within weeks of TJC’s founding, and without waiting to be asked, Steve and Jeanne made their first donation, and they have consistently and generously supported TJC ever since. Steve also volunteers his time and leadership skills as a member of TJC’s Board of Directors.