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U of M Will Honor Cato Johnson with Authur S. Holmon Lifetime Achievement Award

For release: January 4, 2013
For press information, contact Curt Guenther, 901-678-2843

Cato Johnson
Cato Johnson

The University of Memphis will present the Authur S. Holmon Lifetime Achievement Award to Cato Johnson during the opening reception for Black History Month.  The reception will begin at 7 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Rose Theatre on the U of M campus.  Sponsored by the Black Student Association and the Office of Multicultural Affairs, it is free and open to the public.

Johnson, a native Memphian, has been senior vice president of corporate affairs at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare since 1985.  Previously, he was vice president of corporate affairs at the Regional Medical Center at Memphis. 

 Active in public policy for more than 35years, he is a former member of the original Governor’s TennCare Roundtable.  He was named by the governor to serve on the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, where he currently serves as vice-chair.  He was vice-chair of the State Health Planning and Advisory Board, chair of the TennCare Medical Care Advisory Committee, and a member of the Tennessee Hospital Association Bylaws Committee, the Tennessee Hospital Association Council on Diversity, the Governor’s Healthy Wellness Task Force and the Tennessee Hospital Association Council on Government Affairs.

He has served as chair of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton’s Transition team and co-chair of Mayor Wharton’s Advisory Council on Education and as a member of Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell’s Advisory Council.

Johnson received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis). He has served on the Board of Trustees of the University of Memphis Foundation, as president of the U of M Alumni Association, as chair of the University’s Athletic Department Community Advisory Committee, and as a member of the Athletic Advisory Board of Directors.

Currently he is chair of the Fairgrounds Redevelopment Committee on the Sports, Recreation and Entertainment Venue Committee for the Pyramid and Fairgrounds, vice-chair of the Needs Assessment Committee (funding of capital needs for Shelby County and Memphis City Schools), member (and former chair) of the Southwest Tennessee Community College Foundation Board, chair of the MIAA Athletic Development Committee, member of the MPACT Memphis Advisory Board, and member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Board.

Additionally, he has served as the Board of Trustees chair for Leadership Memphis, executive committee member of the Memphis and Shelby County Sports Authority, member of the Memphis and Shelby County Public Building Authority, member of the Memphis and Shelby County Growth Alliance, member of the YMCA of Mid-South board of directors, and chair of the Cordova YMCA board of directors. He is a member of Cross of Calvary Lutheran Church, where he is a Sunday school instructor.

He has received numerous awards and accolades throughout his career including inductions into the Inaugural Hall of Fame for the University of Memphis College of Education, Health and Human Sciences; the Black Business Directory Inaugural African American Hall of Fame; and Memphis City Schools Alumni Hall of Fame.

He has also received the Tennessee Hospital Association Meritorious Service Award, the University of Memphis Dr. C.C. Humphreys Golden Tiger Award, the Southwest Tennessee Community College Distinguished Service Award, the Tri-State Defender Man of Excellence Award, and the St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church Keeper of the Dream Award.

Johnson and his wife, the former Georgette Alexander, are the parents of Cato Johnson III.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 1991 to honor Memphians whose lives exemplify outstanding dedication to the Memphis community and who are a constant reminder to today’s students that hard work and dedication are true keys to success. In 1996, the award was renamed the Authur S. Holmon Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of the longtime University of Memphis administrator.

For more information, call Linda Hall at 901-678-2054.


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