Council on Aging Hosts 27th Annual Sage Awards

credit Mickey Bernal Sage Award Winners L to R: Dr. Pramod Wasudev, Dr. Geeta Wasudev, Carrie Hudson, Mary Mills, Dorothy Scarlett, Joe Scarlett, Anna-Gene O’Neal, Dr. Warren McPherson

The Council on Aging (COA) of Middle Tennessee hosted the 27th Annual Sage Awards on Monday, Oct. 29. The luncheon and ceremony was held at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs located at 700 Cool Springs Blvd.

This year’s Sage Awards honorees – Carrie Hudson (Nashville), Mary Mills (Franklin), Joe and Dorothy Scarlett (Nashville) and Drs. Pramod and Geeta Wasudev (Brentwood).

In addition to the individual honorees, COA also honored an organization that has demonstrated a significant impact on the lives of older adults in Middle Tennessee. The 2018 Organization Award will be presented to Alive Hospice.

Alive Hospice is a nonprofit organization that provides loving and compassionate end-of-life care, support to families and service to the community in a spirit of enriching lives. Founded in Middle Tennessee in 1975, Alive Hospice was the first hospice program in the state of Tennessee, the first in the Southeast and the third in the nation. Today, Alive Hospice serves more than 3,600 patients and their families annually and provides grief support services for nearly 600 adults and children in Middle Tennessee.

Carrie Hudson has dedicated her life to the betterment of her community for all—young and old. Hudson has served in several leadership roles for the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc., CABLE, Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc., League of Women Voters, Grace M. Eaton Child Care and Early Learning Center, Edgehill Community Center and Top Teens of America. Hudson has helped older adults with registering to vote, transportation, meals, assistance and companionship. In addition, she served on the Council on Aging’s Community Assessment Committee. She is a member of Mount Bethel Baptist Church where a scholarship is named in her honor.

Mary Mills, a lifelong Williamson County resident, has committed her life to positively impacting the community through her many contributions to education, political leadership, church, historic preservation, economic development and healthcare. Mills spent 39 years in the education field serving as a teacher and as a principal. After retiring from the school system, Mills served her community as Williamson County Commissioner for 17 years. She is an active member of Shorter Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Mills is one of the founders of the African American Heritage Society, helping establish and preserve the first and only African American museum in Williamson County. She has also been affiliated with the Williamson County Chamber of Commerce, Williamson Medical Center and the Williamson County Health Council.

Dorothy Scarlett inspired the creation of the Scarlett Family Foundation, which has opened educational opportunities for thousands of Tennesseans. The Foundation is dedicated to helping students realize their dreams through college scholarships, support of K-12 educational programs and innovation and reform initiatives. Joe Scarlett is the retired chairman and CEO of Tractor Supply Company and currently serves as the vice chairman of The Beacon Center and chairman of the Scarlett Hotel Group. Dorothy is a member of the Herb Society of Nashville, a long-time member of the New Neighbors Garden Club and a member of the International Women’s Club.

Drs. Pramod and Geeta Wasudev founded the Indian Community Seniors Support Services in 2014. The organization works with volunteers to help seniors with transportation, meals, doctor’s visits, social visits and end-of-life and funeral planning. Pramod is currently serving as president, and Geeta is an active member. Both are also active volunteers and leaders with the India Association of Nashville and Loaves and Fishes, helping to cook and serve meals to the homeless population at Holy Name Church. Through the American Red Cross, both provided medical expertise to victims of six natural disasters.

“The Council on Aging believes in recognizing older adults who have devoted their lives to improving their community,” said Grace Smith, COA’s executive director. “The Sage Awards are an important way for us to promote and celebrate positive aging and leaving a legacy.”

Sage Award honorees (couples or individuals) and alternates are selected by the Sage Awards Committee from the nominations received. The committee, which is comprised of past Sage Award recipients, COA board members and community volunteers, may also consider nominations from previous years. Eligibility includes any older adult (age 55 and older) living in the Middle Tennessee area served by COA.

For more information visit