Volunteer Tennessee Announces 2023 GVSA Business Honorees

Wednesday, March 06, 2024 | 02:25pm

Businesses are vital to the success of nonprofit organizations in Tennessee. In addition to monetary donations, many businesses donate their services and encourage their employees to get involved and make a difference. As part of the 2023 Governor’s Volunteer Stars Awards, Volunteer Tennessee recognized a business from each of the state’s Grand Divisions at the awards celebration on Feb. 18, 2024.

The Governor's Volunteer Stars Awards, an initiative from Volunteer Tennessee, encourages and promotes volunteerism by recognizing outstanding volunteers. In addition to the Business and Nonprofit categories, the Governor's Volunteer Stars Awards seeks to recognize individual volunteers from each of Tennessee's 95 counties.

To select the business honorees, Volunteer Tennessee asked the public to submit nominations through its website until December 8, 2023. Independent reviewers then evaluated the nominations and selected the honorees based on the needs addressed, the actions taken, and the impact of their efforts.

“Selecting a winner is very difficult for these awards, because they all are so impressive,” said Jason Scott, Volunteer Tennessee commissioner. “Helping choose the honorees was humbling because each nomination proves how many people are accomplishing great things through volunteerism in Tennessee. Congratulations to the honorees!”

Volunteer Tennessee proudly recognizes the 2023 Governor’s Volunteer Stars Awards Business Honorees!

East Division: Borderland Tees. Borderland Tees spends many hours partnering with South Knoxville Elementary School, working with the school's gardening clubs, picking up trash, sponsoring school events, and being a good steward of our environment. They work all over East Tennessee from Kingsport to Cleveland, selling their shirts at reasonable prices or even donating them to some organizations that cannot afford them. The principal of South Knoxville Elementary calls them for help and knows they will deliver. Borderland Tees is part of the school family and serves as a model for other businesses in small communities.

Middle Division: UBS Financial Services. Early in March 2023, UBS Financial Services took on a massive 92-person service project at the Native American Indian Association (NAIA) to support Middle Tennessee’s only Native American resource center as they work to break ground on their cultural center. Hands On Nashville organized dozens of volunteer projects at NAIA, removing invasive species, building trails, and creating a usable outdoor space so they can enjoy the land and reach their building goals. UBS has been instrumental in these projects and dedicated months to seeing them through. In total, UBS volunteers spent 276 hours clearing 300 feet of trails, building and repairing 20 benches and tables, and mulching several NAIA outdoor meeting areas.

West Division: BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. Ten years ago, Blue Cross BlueShield of Tennessee (BCBST) launched its TeamBlue employee volunteer program out of a commitment to its mission of Providing Peace of Mind Through Better Health. It began as a grassroots effort, focused on the organization’s annual food drive but has evolved into an employee-driven program that takes that passion and sense of ownership to the next level. In 2023, 1,413 employees volunteered 11,494 hours across the state, with 21 percent of BCBST employees being active TeamBlue members. For example, one division volunteered 141 hours over four days at the local food bank to prepare food donations for their neighbors. The emphasis on employee feedback and involvement means that TeamBlue is evolving in ways that best benefit the employees and partner organizations.

The 2024 Governor’s Volunteer Stars Awards Celebration is scheduled for February 16, 2025. If you know a business or nonprofit that does outstanding volunteer and community service work, watch Volunteer Tennessee’s website and social media accounts for the 2024 nominations later this year. To read about all the 2023 honorees, please visit www.volunteertennessee.net.


The mission of Volunteer Tennessee is to encourage volunteerism and community service. Volunteer Tennessee is the 25-member, bipartisan citizen commission appointed by the governor to oversee AmeriCorps programs, manage the Tennessee Serves Network, promote service-learning opportunities, and foster community service initiatives and partnerships in which people of all ages and backgrounds engage in addressing the educational, public safety, disaster preparedness, environmental, and other human needs in the Volunteer State. For more information, visit www.volunteertennessee.net, or visit us on FacebookTwitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.


2/18/24 Governor's Volunteer Stars Awards

East Division Business Honoree - Borderland Tees

2/18/24 Governor's Volunteer Stars Awards

Middle Division Business Honoree - UBS Financial Services

West Tennessee Honoree - BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee

West Division Business Honoree - BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee