Gregg K. Jones, co-publisher of The Greeneville Sun and president and CEO of Jones Media, Inc., was one of two persons honored Oct. 26 with the Significant Sig award: the Sigma Chi Fraternity's national-level recognition for outstanding achievement and service.
Jones received the award in a ceremony at Hampden-Sydney College, Farmville, Va., where he was a 1972 graduate and a member of the Sigma Sigma Chapter of Sigma Chi.
He said this week that he "was greatly surprised and deeply complimented to have been nominated as a Significant Sig, much less chosen. And, I feel sure it also came as a shock to those who were in college with me at the time!
"My heartfelt gratitude to all concerned, and to Sigma Chi, for honoring me with the fraternity's highest award."
Also receiving the Significant Sig honor at the ceremony was Matthew Eversmann, of Maryland, a retired U.S. Army Ranger with a distinguished military record who played a key leadership role in what has become known as the Battle of Mogadishu in August 1993.
According to the Internet website of the national fraternity, the Significant Sig award was established in 1935 to recognize "impressive professional achievements that have brought honor and prestige to the Fraternity."
The awards to Jones and Eversmann were presented by Dennis R. Santoli, Esq., of Vienna, Va., 67th Grand Consul of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.
LEADERSHIP ROLES CITED
Jones had been nominated for the award, without his knowledge, by Greene County General Sessions Court and Juvenile Court Judge Kenneth Bailey Jr., a graduate of East Tennessee State University and an alumnus of the Sigma Chi Chapter on that campus.
The citation accompanying the award noted Jones' top leadership responsibilities with The Greeneville Sun and Jones Media, Inc., as well as with state, regional and national media organizations and associations.
The citation gave particular emphasis to Jones' numerous leadership roles in the Tennessee Press Association, including his service as a former president of the association, his current role as president of the Tennessee Press Association Foundation, and his service in past years in the association's efforts related to recycling and literacy.
Among those present for the ceremony at Hampden-Sydney was Jones' brother, Alex S. Jones, of Cambridge, Mass.
HEROIC ROLE IN SOMALIA
Eversmann retired from the U.S. armed forces with the rank of First Sergeant after receiving many honors and holding numerous operational leadership positions and teaching positions over the course of a 20-year career.
The extremely intense battle in which he played a crucial role is the one described in both the 1999 best-selling book, Black Hawk Down, by journalist and writer Mark Bowden, and the 2001 film adaptation by the same title.
In 2004, Eversmann authored a separate book about the experience, titled The Battle of Mogadishu.
He attended Hampden-Sydney College but interrupted his education there before graduating. In August 2000, he was awarded an honorary bachelor's degree from Hampden-Sydney in recognition of meritorious service to the nation.
He is the founder and president of Freeman Phillips LLC, a leadership development company in Towson, Md., whose Internet website states that the company's goal is to inject values-based leadership ideals into every facet of American enterprise.