Legacy Award Dinner celebrates three community leaders

The Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance’s Legacy Week celebrates the accomplishments, power, strength, and courage of leaders in the community. Left, J.C. III, Karen and J.C. Pritchett

BY J.A. JONES, Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG — The Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance (IMA) of Florida hosted its annual Legacy Awards Dinner on Saturday, Feb. 4, honoring Lisa Brody, Theresa Jones and Will Lawson.

Held at the St. Petersburg Museum of History, the event was hosted by IMA’s Director Rev. J.C. Pritchett II and his wife Karen Davis-Pritchett, vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion at Empath Health.

Each February for the past eight years, IMA has honored local Black history, culture, and achievements, and this year was no different.

Karen Jones of the Rays/Rowdies presented Theresa Jones with the Community Champion Award. Theresa Jones, who recently retired from the City of St. Petersburg for the second time, spent nearly 40 years as a dedicated public service.

Her last role at the city was as Veterans Homeless and Social Services Planning manager in the Community and Neighborhood Affairs Administration. She also held positions as the city’s Community Affairs director and Minority Business Enterprise coordinator.

Theresa Jones also had staff oversight and responsibility for the city’s Summer Youth Intern Program and Workforce Development Program. Although she has retired, don’t expect her to go off into the sunset, for she will be joining the front office team in a volunteer position with her “beloved” Tampa Bay Rays.

Attorney Lisa Brody received the Public Service Award from City Council Vice-Chair Deborah Figgs-Sanders. She is the assistant deputy director for Bay Area Legal Services and sits on USF St. Petersburg’s campus Advisory Board.

She has served as an adjunct professor in the paralegal studies program at St. Petersburg College since 2013, is a licensed Florida attorney and a Florida Bar and St. Petersburg Bar member.  

Brody is a Fred G. Minnis Bar Association member and chair of the St. Petersburg Bar Association Diversity Committee. She is a Leadership Tampa Bay graduate with an extensive community involvement history.

When Pritchett presented the Public Service Award to Pinellas County Sheriff’s Deputy Will Lawson, he spoke of the country’s difficulties regarding policing and brutality.

Pritchett noted that while the United States is getting to a place where law enforcement is being looked at “a certain kind of way,” Lawson exemplified what a man in his role should be.  

Lawson acknowledged the job has “challenges” during these times and acknowledged his family’s many prayers and support as getting him through this period. He remains steadfastly dedicated to doing his job in a manner that brings pride to his family, community and citizens he has served for close to 17 years.

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