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Cato Johnson, chief of staff, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, was among six honorees to receive a Distinguished Alumni Award during the 39th annual Distinguished Alumni Awards held by the University of Memphis Alumni Association.
“My parents taught me the value of an education and the importance of giving back,” said Johnson. “I am deeply honored and humbled to receive this award from my alma mater.”
The Distinguished Alumni Awards recognize alumni for distinguished personal and career accomplishments and for exemplary contributions to society that bring credit to the University of Memphis.
“This is definitely a well-deserved recognition for Cato, who is a leader in our community and very well respected by all. He has the ability to connect with people of all races and persuasions and is always looking for more ways to serve our city and state,” said Michael Ugwueke, president and CEO, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare. “We continue to be inspired by him, and are proud to have him as a longstanding member of our Methodist family.”
Since earning both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in education from Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis), Johnson has been an ardent supporter of his alma mater. He currently serves on the Executive Committee for the University of Memphis Board of Trustees. He has also chaired the University of Memphis Athletic Department Community Advisory Committee and is former president of the University of Memphis Alumni Association.
Johnson is engaged with a number of other community organizations. He is chair of the TennCare Medical Advisory Committee, co-chair of Mayor Strickland’s Community Engagement Committee, is a member of South City Executive Committee and the YMCA Cordova Executive Board, as well as a lifetime member of Leadership Tennessee.
Over the years, Johnson has served on numerous boards. He was vice-chair for the Shelby County Schools Needs Assessment Committee, a member of the Coalition for a Better Memphis, served on the Shelby Schools Foundation, Memphis City Schools Youth Education Through Sports, Shelby County Schools Athletic Committee, Tennessee Hospital Association Council on Government Affairs, Tennessee Higher Education Commission, and the Tennessee State Board of Education.