Scripps Networks Interactive’s Cynthia Gibson is 3rd “Lizzie” Recipient

Lizzie Crozier French dedicated her life to improving the standing of women in the world. From her suffragist work to getting women admitted to the University of Tennessee to getting women and men housed separately in the local jail, French sought equality for women on all fronts. This year’s leadership award winner has long used both her Cynthia Gibsonprofessional and personal pursuits to “lift as she climbed.”

The East Tennessee Women’s Leadership Council is proud to announce today, on the 163rd birthday of the award’s namesake that Scripps Networks Interactive’s Cynthia Gibson will become the third recipient of the Lizzie Crozier French Women’s Leadership Award.  She will receive the award on Friday, June 13 at the East Tennessee Women’s Leadership Summit. Gibson, who is executive vice president, chief legal officer, and corporate secretary at the company, leads the way in professional circles and nonprofit realms promoting women.

During the course of her career, Gibson has experienced many “firsts.” Prior to coming to Knoxville, Gibson was the first female attorney and eventually the first woman managing partner in a Cincinnati, Ohio, law firm. She’s now the first female chief legal officer at Scripps Networks.

“Throughout my career there’ve been many times when I was the only woman in the room,” says Gibson. “I quickly learned that fact made it even more important that I speak up and contribute, and to work hard to ensure soon there were other women in the room too. To me that’s the spirit of this award, which I’m honored to be receiving: that we should all strive to help lift others up while we climb ourselves.”

Today, she is involved with Women in Cable Telecommunications and the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications. She recently participated in the Women in Cable Telecommunications Senior Executive Summit. Gibson is a member of the Legacy Society of the Women’s Fund of East Tennessee and she chairs the board of directors of United Way Worldwide’s National Women’s Leadership Council and is a founding member and past chairperson of Knoxville’s Women of Tocqueville for United Way.

As with previous recipients (Mayor Madeline Rogero and Supreme Court Justice Sharon Lee), Gibson is being awarded “The Lizzie” award to acknowledge her ongoing dedication to the principles set out by the award’s namesake.

Chair of the East Tennessee Women’s Leadership Council, Wendy Pitts Reeves says, “Each of the women who have been chosen to receive The Lizzie is a leader, not only in her field, but also in recognizing the importance of raising up women. Cynthia Gibson, like Mayor Rogero and Justice Lee, understands how critical it is to our community and to all of East Tennessee to encourage women in all walks of life to bring the very best of themselves to the table every day.”

Discuss with Us: Make Room for Her

Join us as we prepare for the June Summit by learning more about the powerful message our keynote speaker will bring. The Women’s Leadership Council will be reading Rebecca Shambaugh’s Make Room for Her between March 31st and May 8th. And we want you to join us.

ETWLS-book-clubIn fact, we’re encouraging you to join us by having an open discussion of the book along the way, covering a few chapters each week on our Facebook page. We’ll be taking turns, sharing our own thoughts about what we’re reading and posting comments each week.

Then, on every Thursday night at 7:00 during that period, one of us will be there on Facebook to join you in a live chat about what we are reading.

Why don’t YOU pick up a copy of Make Room for Her and read along with us?

Here’s the schedule we’ve come up with. You’ll can also find it on our Facebook page under the Discuss with Us tab.

Discussion Schedule

  1. Make Room for Her book coverWeek of March 31: Ch 1-4; Summary Part I; Discussion Leader: Susanne Dalton Dupes
  2. Week of April 7: Ch 5-7; Leader: Wendy Pitts Reeves
  3. Week of April 14: Ch 8-9, Summary Part II; Leader: Deb Schmitz
  4. Week of April 21: Ch 10-12; Leader: Debra Poole
  5. Week of April 28: Ch 13-15, Summary of Part III; Leader: Kim Lauth
  6. Week of May 5: Ch 16, Summary Part IV; Leader: Bonnie Hinds
  7. Thursday, May 8: Heads Up!

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Famed Leadership Expert to Keynote 2014 Summit

Rebecca Shambaugh portrait

We are excited to announce that nationally known leadership strategist, author, and Huffington Post columnist Rebecca Shambaugh will bring the keynote “Courage to Lead” message at this year’s East Tennessee Women’s Leadership Summit.

Throughout her career, Shambaugh has coached and worked with top senior executives on timely leadership areas such as crisis and change management, communications strategies, executive presence, culture transformation, and human capital development. 

It's not the glass ceiling book cover

Make Room for Her book cover A thought leader in the industry, Shambaugh is the author of three books titled, Leadership Secrets of Hillary Clinton, It’s Not A Glass Ceiling, It’s A Sticky Floor, and her latest, Make Room for Her.

Shambaugh has been featured in publications such as: The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time Magazine, USA Today, Washington Business Journal, Fortune Magazine, Fast Company, U.S. News & World Report, Pink Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, American Management Association, Computer World and Professional Woman’s Magazine.

Read her full bio and find out more about Shambaugh Leadership at


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