MUG: Lisa Hood Skinner

Lisa Hood Skinner

A video that captured the nuances of employment and life enrichment of persons with intellectual disabilities at the not-for-profit Sertoma Center of Knoxville is officially a winner.

The six-minute production won two first places at the Golden Golden Press Card Awards from the East Tennessee Chapter of Society of Professional Journalists.

“A Nightingale & A Ninja” won first place in the categories of both Best Use of Video Online, and Documentary/Public Affairs Programming. The Golden Press Card Awards annually honor regional excellence in journalism and are judged by out-of-state SPJ chapters for fairness and transparency. The awards dinner was held at the Crowne Plaza hotel in downtown Knoxville.

Lisa Hood Skinner, a Blount Countian who is an independent strategic writing consultant, won a first place for script conceptualization and writing. Videotaped by Jerry Owens, WBIR-TV Channel 10, and voiced by the television station’s Russ Biven, the video followed two Sertoma clients who work at paid positions in the community, but who also have volunteered at other non-profits, such as Random Acts of Flowers and Mobile Meals.

Skinner is a founding member of the new Women in Entrepreneurship Blount that meets monthly at Vienna Coffeehouse, is a Blount Chamber of Commerce member and former board director, has served as a Maryville Kiwanis board director and has co-emceed for the Maryville Daily Times-sponsored Athena Awards at Clayton Center for the Arts for the last six years, since its Blount County inception.

“We filmed ‘a day in the life’ of two adult clients: Christy Hoyer, our ‘nightingale’ so named because she was inspired by her workplace’s Red Cross heroine Clara Barton and stories of Florence Nightingale; and Eric Peacock, the ‘ninja’ (that’s the name of one of the sports teams he plays for),” Skinner explained about the video.

She said the video was written to inspire local businesses to place Sertoma’s higher-functioning clients in jobs within normal workplace settings.

“It gently shows that while these clients may have intellectual and physical disabilities (ranging from autism to cerebral palsy), they are capable of receiving a paycheck for performing basic work functions in a variety of settings,” Skinner added.

Sertoma’s clients have worked in various Blount County nonprofits and offices over the years, including Second Harvest and the Red Cross.

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