2022 Moskol Leadership Award Recipient: Ann Cranford
Ann Cranford is the type of person who, if you are fortunate enough to know, brings a smile to your face by simply hearing her name brought up in conversation. If you’ve been to enough 3RNET conferences, you know her warmth from how she welcomed you one of many registration tables throughout the years, because Ann and her genuine kindness are impossible to forget.
Ann’s history of service to 3RNET and the State of Tennessee are impressive, but not surprising. Ann grew up in the small community of Normandy (Bedford County), just outside of Nashville. Her family showed her from a young age to value hard work, dedication, and service. Ann simply needed a job and was looking for something with stability, yet flexibility. A trained typist, she landed a position with the Tennessee Department of Education. Her goal was to stay two years. 2022 marks 40 years working for the State of Tennessee—where employees can retire after 30 years of service—in a few different departments. Ann has been with the Department of Health for 26 years, and in her current position about 20 years.
Ann started serving as the 3RNET Tennessee Network Coordinator and J1 Coordinator in 2003. She shared it’s easy to remember because around the same time, she started dating her husband. Throughout her tenure as the trusted resource for her home state, Ann has served two terms on the 3RNET Board, where she held the position of Board Secretary. She hosted the 2016 3RNET Annual Conference in Nashville, and of course, has staffed the registration table at the conference many times.
Ann shared, “I’m a talker! So being able to meet people, make sure new people felt welcome, and help ensure the conference ran as smoothly as possible was something I really enjoyed.”
Ann also received the Kennedy-Kafer Service Award, chosen by 3RNET staff, in 2017 in recognition of her service and dedication to 3RNET.
Like many professionals who end up in the recruitment space, Ann shared that when she started, she was not familiar with recruitment. The relationships she was able to make with other states through 3RNET helped her figure things out the most.
Ann said, “You can pick up the phone and reach another 3RNET Network Coordinator and know they are going to go out of their way to help you in any way they can.” She has fond memories of many 3RNET mentors, and she’s grown to mentor many Network Coordinators herself.
“The simple acts of people saying: here’s how I do this, here’s what works for me, what other questions do you have? To know that I could pick up the phone or send an email through the listserv and reach somebody in another state, that’s one of the best things about the organization,” she added.
“That’s the willingness of the 3RNET family. And we are family. We’re different from all other organizations. It’s not about how much we get paid; it’s about how we are each helping the communities which are the hardest areas to recruit.”
What an honor to be considered family by Ann Cranford. What an honor to present her with the 2022 Frederic Moskol Leadership Award, which is presented to a person who possesses outstanding leadership abilities, supports the mission of 3RNET, responds compassionately to the healthcare needs of rural and underserved populations, and does so with a collaborative and compassionate spirit. 3RNET didn’t create this description around Ann but may as well have. She fits the description perfectly.
Congratulations, Ann! From your entire 3RNET family, we thank you for everything you’ve done over the years. Mostly, though, we thank you for sharing your positive spirit, kindness, and compassion with us.