Norman M. Lipman Award Recipient: About Holly Hearn Whaley

Each year, the Norman M. Lipman award is presented in Lipman’s memory and in recognition of individuals who have embraced the humanitarian qualities of wisdom, courage, optimism, commitment, and integrity in their personal and professional lives.

In 2022, we honor Holly Hearn Whaley for Passionate Stewardship. Holly Hearn Whaley spent more than three decades creating successful and significant special events with passion and purpose. The Nashville Wine Auction was fortunate to have a decade with Holly as CEO, where she guided the organization through some difficult times and built an incredible team as well as a network of wine-loving patrons and donors. Under her leadership, annual revenue grew, awards were won, and new and exciting events were created.

Holly was driven not only by a passion for wine but also for the cause. She worked tirelessly to fund those working to find a cure for cancer. Like many people, Holly’s life has been negatively impacted by cancer, including losing both her mother and brother to the horrible disease. She has repeatedly expressed her pride for the impact the work of the Nashville Wine Auction has had on its beneficiaries.

Holly’s love of fine wine led her to travel to wine regions all over the world, and her experience in producing world-class wine events and tastings developed into well-rounded and respected knowledge of wine culture. She is a current member of the Commanderie de Bordeaux and serves as the Educatuer for the Nashville Chapter. Additionally, Holly was named in Nashville Post’s prestigious “In Charge” list of top Nashville nonprofit leaders in 2018 and in 2019. Holly was also honored as Gilda’s Club’s Inaugural Red Door Champion in 2018.

Robert Lipman, David Morgan, Ann Eaden and Terry Murray with Holly

Twenty years ago, Holly’s father, Billy Ray Hearn was awarded the Norman M. Lipman award for Passionate Enthusiasm.  We can think of no greater description to honor Holly than to recognize her for her Passionate Stewardship.

Holly resides in Nashville with her husband, Dr. Mark B. Whaley. She has one son, Trevor, a pilot, a daughter-in-law, Lane, and two grandsons, Huck and Ben.

Holly with Billy Ray Hearn