Johnston Memorial Hospital | News Article

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Montagues announced as recipients of 2018 Tom Chase Award for behind-the-scenes community impact

John 'Pete' and Sydne Montague of Abingdon, Virginia, are recipients of the 2018 Tom Chase Award.JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – The Mountain States Foundation will recognize John “Pete” and Sydne Montague, longtime members of the Johnston Memorial Hospital Foundation board, as winners of the 2018 Tom Chase Award, given annually to someone whose behind-the-scenes community work has significantly impacted the lives of others.

The couple from Abingdon, Virginia, will receive the award during the foundation’s annual luncheon meeting at The Millennium Centre on Oct. 18.

The Tom Chase Award recognizes those who strongly support the community without necessarily taking a top leadership role, and they demonstrate the values of Mountain States Health Alliance. Winners must exhibit these four qualities:

   1. Integrity

   2. Informal leadership

   3. Working behind the scenes to get things done

   4. A willingness to go the extra mile

“We’re proud to recognize Pete and Sydne with the Tom Chase Award,” said Anthony Keck, senior vice president and chief development officer for Mountain States Health Alliance and president of the Mountain States Foundation. “This couple embodies the spirit of giving and serving others, and they have truly made a difference in people’s lives.”

Both Pete and Sydne are active members of the Johnston Memorial Hospital Foundation’s board and have supported numerous fundraising campaigns and events – assisting with planning, setup and cleanup duties. They are also active in the College of Older Adults at Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, and are involved with ESGR (Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve), an organization that assists veterans in getting hired for jobs after they’ve completed active duty.

Pete has served on the hospital’s board of directors as well, holding many roles including vice-president, chair of the building committee, and member of the bylaws committee, the executive committee, the finance committee, the joint conference committee and the hospital’s quality board. As a member of the Johnston Memorial Hospital board, he was one of the guiding forces behind the hospital’s decision to join Mountain States Health Alliance in 2009 and construct the new facility in 2011.

Pete has served as president of the Washington County, Virginia, Chamber of Commerce, has been an active member of the Civitan Club for many years in several officer roles, and has been active on the Industrial Board and with United Way.

An engineer by trade, Pete worked for Appalachian Electric Power for 33 years, the last 10 as manager of the Abingdon division. He also served in the U.S. Navy from 1953 to 1957 and in the Navy Reserve for six years.

Sydne has worked in administration for tobacco warehouses as well for The Computer Place in Abingdon. She is a very active member of the Johnston Memorial Hospital auxiliary and has served on the Highlands Community Service Board and at the Virginia Highlands Festival.

The Montagues are members of Abingdon United Methodist Church.

“To say they go the extra mile sells them short. They are marathon contributors,” said Brendan McSheehy, a member of the Mountain States Health Alliance board of directors and the Johnston Memorial Hospital board of directors. “The length and breadth of their service is humbling.”

About the Tom Chase Award

The award in Tom Chase’s honor measures how a person has contributed to the community, based not just on accomplishments but also on how he or she has touched lives.

The late Tom Chase impacted lives throughout the region, from his work as a professional storyteller spreading hope and encouragement to serving as a chairperson of the Mountain States Foundation board. He was personally involved in establishing several programs the foundation supports, including Stories for the Soul and parish nursing.

For more information about Mountain States Foundation or the Tom Chase Award, call 423-302-3131 or visit