Tennessee First Lady Andrea Conte
Tennessee First Lady Andrea Conte will be the guest speaker for the seventh annual WBRY Career Women's Luncheon, set for May 19. "We're thrilled that the First Lady was able to accept our invitation," said Douglas Combs, station owner. "And we're expecting a record crowd this year."
Each year, three local women are honored at the event. Awards are given to the Career Woman of the Year, the Community Activist of the Year, presented by Stones River Hospital and the Secretary of the Year presented by First National Bank. Nominations are now being accepted for all three awards, and each must explain why the nominee should be recognized. Nominations can be submitted three ways: to email@example.com, to WBRY's mailing address, P. O. Box 7, Woodbury, TN 37190, or by fax at 615.563.6229.
The WBRY Career Women's Luncheon presented by Woodbury Insurance Agency will take place in Rigsby Hall of the Cannon Senior Center. Reservations for the luncheon can be made by calling WBRY at 563-2313 or email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Andrea Conte, First Lady of Tennessee, is committed to raising awareness around crime victimization and prevention issues. She is founder and President of You Have the Power…Know How to Use It, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to raising awareness about crime and justice issues, preventing violent crime and reducing victimization.
When she became First Lady of Tennessee, Conte identified three key initiatives as her priorities. The first of these was to help establish a Child Advocacy Center in each of the 31 judicial districts across the state. Child Advocacy Centers are child-friendly places where various agencies collaborate to investigate allegations of child abuse and provide counseling and other services to these children and their families. In 2003, there were 25 Child Advocacy Centers in the state. Now, there are 32 centers statewide with plans to expand.
In September 2004, Conte launched a walk across the state to promote public awareness of child abuse and raise support for these nonprofit facilities. Her journey took her more than 600 miles from Memphis to Bristol and raised more than one million dollars for child advocacy efforts. Conte continues walks annually to benefit local Child Advocacy Centers and raise awareness about child abuse statewide.
A second major initiative was the creation of a statewide Commission on Crime Victims Assistance. The citizen Commission, established in August 2003, is responsible for providing recommendations and advice on benefits and other issues associated with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund.
In April 2008, Conte received the National Crime Victim Service Award from U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey for her work in victim advocacy. The award recognized Conte’s “extraordinary efforts in direct services to crime victims.”
In addition to her work on crime and justice issues, the First Lady’s third initiative was to embark on a campaign to restore and preserve Tennessee’s Executive Residence. She worked with state and private architects to develop a long-range restoration and preservation plan, and formed a statewide, bi-partisan Finance Committee to secure private contributions to help fund the project. The restoration of the Residence reached completion in spring 2008, mixing traditional and “green” methods to preserve the integrity of the home with minimal impact on the surrounding environment.
Conte’s early career as a registered nurse included work in Boston and California. She later held management roles, with the former Hospital Corporation of America and the former accounting firm of Ernst & Whinney. Other experience included owning and operating Conte Philips, a retail shop and cooking school, and establishing the Rosalie Conte Foundation, which grants college scholarships to students pursuing higher education.
Conte was born in Massachusetts and attended public schools. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from University of Washington at Seattle, and an MBA from Tennessee State University in Nashville. She and Governor Phil Bredesen have one son.