speropulos presented with award with mountain states foundation

Note: Much of the content of this article originated from Mountain States Health Alliance and the Johnson City Press.

Every year, Mountain States Health Alliance declares a recipient of the Spirit Award at the beginning of each year at the annual Mountain States Foundation Spirit Gala held at the Millennium Centre.

The Spirit award is given to an individual who demonstrates passion for their community, is recognized as a leader in the region, is highly respected among peers and demonstrates support for MSHA’s mission while giving unselfishly of their time and talents. There are thirteen past recipients including Dennis Vonderfecht in 2014 and Scott Niswonger in 2006.

On January 24th, Mountain States Foundation selected John Speropulos as the 2015 Spirit Award recipient.

john speropulos speaking at spirit gala

“John perfectly exemplifies all of the best qualities as demonstrated through his outstanding leadership, character, and giving of himself to others,” said Pat Holtsclaw, President of the Foundation.

She continued, “He is a compassionate, quiet listener, recognizing the needs around him, and he puts his compassion into action. As a lifelong resident of this area, he has made a lasting impact on the community and the organizations that he serves.”

John Speropulos is a trustee and past chairman of the Mountain States Foundation, a member of the finance committee for Mountain States and a member and elder of Redeemer Community Church. He served as chairman of Young Life of Upper East Tennessee and is also a recipient of the Mark Keesecker Humanitarian Award. He is a member of the East Tennessee State University Hall of Fame and was recognized by the Business Journal of the Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia, as one of the region’s top “40 Under Forty”.

A development partner of Mitch Cox Companies and president of Mitch Cox Realtor, Inc., Speropulos has more than 18 years experience in the real estate industry. He earned two Bachelor of Business Administration degrees from ETSU, one with a major in accounting and the other with a major in finance with a concentration in real estate. He has served as director of State of Franklin Savings Bank, chairman of the Advisory Board of Jefferson Federal Tri-City Division and a director of Eastman Credit Union. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and a founding board member and past president of the Tri-Cities chapter of CCIM.

Speropulos is one of the 6 percent of all commercial real estate practitioners in the nation recognized as experts in the disciplines of commercial and investment real estate by the certified Commercial Investment Member Institute. He has also been designated an expert in the office market by the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors.
In keeping with the gala’s 25th anniversary Silver Screen theme, the Hollywood-style gala included a dinner by Master Chef Jean-Claude Seruga, cocktails, music by Big Bang Theory, a solo performance by former Niswonger Children’s Hospital patient Henry Hance, a live auction, a raffle for one of three new Cadillacs or $25,000 cash, and an Encore Party held immediately following the gala. The raffle winner was Sally Cox of Jonesborough.
Spirit gala ad 2015
Speropulos addressed the black-tie attired crowd, thanking the many people who have made a difference in his life. Below are some excerpts from his speech.

“It’s a privilege for us all to have such a world-class health care system right here in our region that really is about changing lives through giving.”


“My Dad (who was the first president of the foundation that preceded Mountain States Foundation, 25 years ago) has always stressed the importance that we need to give back and invest in our community from which we have been blessed. Maybe it’s because I work in the real estate business, but he told me once that community service is the rent one pays for the space he occupies in a community. Be a good tenant, son, and pay your rent on time.”


“I’m thankful for the entire team at Mitch Cox Companies and particularly our founder, Mitch Cox, who has cultivated a mission of creating opportunities for others to succeed, He not only encourages us to serve our clients well, but to serve our community well, by giving back and investing our time and resources that others may be blessed.”


“My great friend said, ‘When you find yourself going to a place to see what you can give, instead of what you can get… you’ll see your life changed.'”

john speropulos making his speech at the msha spirit gala 2015