AFP Memphis Crystal Awards

AFP Memphis Crystal Awards
Friday, November 17, 2023
5:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Memphis Botanic Garden

750 Cherry Rd
Memphis, TN 38117

Immediately following our annual conference. All conference admissions include admissions to The Crystal Awards. You can also purchase tickets to the Crystal Awards only.

Register to Attend

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Get ready to ignite your passion for philanthropy in our vibrant community! Join us for an unforgettable evening of celebration. You will have the chance to personally connect with true community heroes. Together we will give a standing ovation to honor their remarkable contributions to propel philanthropy forward right here in Memphis.

But that's not all! We are turning up the excitement with a special selection of wines and spirits to tantalize your taste buds. And let's not forget the pièce de résistance: an array of delectable dishes prepared by the culinary genius, Chef Tanocha, and her culinary wizards at Big Momma's & Granny's Catering. Your taste buds are in for an electrifying journey of flavors!

And if that wasn't enough to get your heart racing, brace yourself for an evening filled with exhilarating live entertainment, setting the mood for an enjoyable evening.

Don't miss out on this extraordinary event that promises an unforgettable evening of celebration, gratitude, and inspiration. Secure your tickets now and be a part of 2023's incredible Crystal Award Ceremony!

Official Press Release for the 2023 Crystal Awards

Award Winners & Categories

Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser - Lawson Arney 
Recognizes a person who provides exceptional leadership in coordinating fundraising projects or activities for a charitable organization or cause, with a preference for community work that has direct impact in Memphis and the Mid-South. The recipient must demonstrate outstanding leadership skills and the ability to motivate volunteers. By giving generously of his/her time and talents, this person makes a measurable impact on community philanthropy.

Outstanding Philanthropist - Tommie Dunavant 
Recognizes an individual or family for exceptional generosity and commitment demonstrated by significant financial contributions to charitable organizations. The recipient's personal generosity and community leadership should motivate others to give and to become involved in philanthropy.

Outstanding Emerging Philanthropist - Michael Zepatos
Recognizes an individual 40 and under for exceptional generosity and civic responsibility demonstrated through financial contributions and volunteerism to charitable organizations.

Outstanding Philanthropic Organization - Southern Security Credit Union
Recognizes a philanthropic corporation, foundation, or organization (e.g. civic groups, volunteer organizations, etc.) whose grant programs, gifts, and charitable activities enrich the community. This organization should be a role model of philanthropic activity serving many segments of the community.

Outstanding Fundraising Executive - Zach Pretzer
Recognizes a fundraising executive whose actions and leadership exemplify ethical and effective professional practice and whose performance has enhanced the financial resources and recognition of the organization(s) for which he/she works. Nominees must demonstrate a strong commitment to philanthropy, volunteerism, and continuing education and have actively worked as a professional fundraiser for at least five years prior to this nomination.

AFP Community Partner of the Year - Porter-Leath
Recognizes a person or organization who demonstrates extraordinary generosity towards their AFP Memphis community. This person or organization should work for the thriving of our local chapter and fundraisers.

Our Hosts

Jared "Jay B." Boyd, WYXR 91.7 FM

Jared "Jay B." Boyd is a Memphis-based multimedia journalist, DJ, and on-air personality. He is the program manager for WYXR 91.7 FM and a former columnist for The Daily Memphian. Boyd has written extensively about Memphis' musical history and its momentum forward, interviewing the likes of Anita Ward, Don Bryant, Booker T. Jones, and Shirley Brown, along with other emerging and legacy artists from the region. Since 2019, Boyd has served as the writer and co-host of the internationally syndicated NPR program "Beale St. Caravan," presenting the sound of the Mid-South's live music scene to audiences across the planet. In 2020, Boyd contributed liner notes to Craft Records' 3-LP vinyl release The Gospel Truth: The Complete Singles Collection. The following year he composed a listening guide companion to the Vinyl Me, Please limited reissue of Frederick Knight's Stax Records debut I've Been Lonely For So Long. He is also a record collector and DJ committed to preserving the music of the past by introducing dusty grooves to dance floors, in lounges, and on the airwaves.

Ena Esco, Verbally Effective Podcast

Ena Esco has been in the radio business for over two decades and has worked in various roles such as producer, voice-over talent, morning show co-host, mid-day and weekend talent. She has graced the microphone for media powerhouses such as Cumulus, Citadel and iHeartMedia. In October of 2020, Ena joined the programming at WYXR 91.7FM on Tuesdays from 12-1p with Verbally Effective Podcast. Most recently, Ena Esco has rejoined iHeart Media as co-host on the Mike Evans Memphis Morning Show on V101FM from 6a-10am starting October 31st, 2023. 

Through her gift of communication, Ena created a platform to spotlight the people and stories of those who are at the forefront of ushering in a new era in Memphis. In January of 2018, Ena started Verbally Effective which is a topical, interview-style podcast that intersects art, culture, politics and entertainment. Each week she is joined by a featured artist, entertainer, elected official or young professional with roots in Memphis. Verbally Effective delves into each guest’s personal journey
to uncover the incredible stories fueling their purpose, the highs and lows of their pursuits, and how through their passion they are moving the culture forward.

Known for its forward-thinking, high-quality production, as well as its reach and influence, Ena is the founder of Ivy Multimedia LLC. The company launched a quarterly event coined “PodBox” where local MidSouth podcasters build community, learn from multimedia experts and share best practices. Ena recently partnered with her alma mater, LeMoyne Owen College, to conduct multimedia MasterClasses with the students to teach the inner workings of podcasting, radio/tv and social media strategy. Ena was chosen as one of the Memphis Grizzlies HBCU Empowerment Awardees for 2023 as a result of her commitment and passion for her alma mater and the Memphis community. She is currently the Innovator in Residence at the historic Cossitt Library located in Downtown Memphis curating podcast programming which includes workshops, live podcasts, one one-on-one sessions and the Inaugural PodBox Memphis Festival.


4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Meet & Greet Crystal Award Honorees, Guests Arrive

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Crystal Awards Presentation

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Crystal Awards Reception and Celebration

Our Generous Sponsors

Bronze Community Sponsors

Copper Supporting Sponsors

In-Kind Sponsors

2023 National Philanthropy Day Conference & Crystal Awards Chair
Jessie Wiley