We ARE Tipton County

Left to Right:  The Honorable Gwendolyn Kilpatrick, Chair; Blake Sawyer, Vice-Chair; Colonel Robbie Shears, Secretary; and Connie Fayne, Treasurer.
Hon. Gwendolyn Kilpatrick, Chair

Gwendolyn L. Kilpatrick was born July 27, 1970, in Brighton, Tennessee. Following her 

graduation from Munford High School in 1989, she later received an Associates Degree in 

Applied Science from Anthem Career College in 2012. In 2015, Ms. Kilpatrick earned a 

Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Administration from Strayer University in Memphis, Tennessee, 

graduating cum laude. 


Prior to attending college, Chair Kilpatrick’s ambition was to become a successful entrepreneur. She is 

the founder and CEO of “Helping Hands”, a professional healthcare business, dedicated to promoting 

safety and lifesaving skills to clients throughout West Tennessee. Her commitment to continuing 

education led her to attain professional roles such as American Heart Association CPR Instructor,

Registered Medical Assistant, and Allied Health Instructor. In 2013, the Mayor received her PN Study 

Skills Certification. 

Community service has been Chair Kilpatrick’s passion throughout the years. She volunteers freely to

feed the homeless, and she visits public schools and churches regularly to promote public health 

awareness and the importance of volunteerism. The Chair believes in giving back to the Tipton County 

community where she grew up as a child and matured as a young lady. She is an avid supporter of the 

Tipton County Second Chance and Summer Food programs, along with promoting safe neighborhood 

and economic development initiatives in the Town of Mason. On April 19, 2015, she was awarded the 

Alpha Art Civic and Social Club’s Community Service Award, for her commitment to faithfully serving 

“the people.” 

Gwendolyn L. Kilpatrick was the first African-American female to serve as mayor in Mason, Tennessee, or in Tipton County as a whole. In February, 2015, she succeeded former Mayor David Smith of Mason. She cherishes her professional affiliation with the West Tennessee Mayor’s Association, Tipton County Leadership Network, Covington-Tipton County Chamber of Commerce, Tipton Branch NAACP, Association for the 

Preservation of African-American History & Culture in Tipton County, Tennessee Municipal League, 

Tipton County Democratic Party, and Black Mayors’ Association of Arkansas. 

Chair Kilpatrick proudly pays tribute to her late parents, Willola and Bennie Hall, for her success in life. 


Chair Kilpatrick has four children and ten grandchildren, and is the caregiver for her physically 

challenged sister, for whom she loves dearly. She is a faithful and humble servant of Abyssinian 

Missionary Baptist Church, under the leadership of Pastor Earl J. Fisher. In the words of Maya Angelou, 

“My (Her) mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive: and to do so with some passion, some 

compassion, some humor, and some style.


Ms. Kilpatrick now serves as the Chair of the Tipton County Democratic Party, after election in April of 2019.

Blake Sawyer, Vice-Chair


Our Vice-Chair, Blake Hildner Sawyer was born to William Kerr and Dianne Beaty Sawyer in 1973. She grew up in Memphis, attending the First Assembly Christian School (along with our Secretary). She earned a B.A. in psychology from the College of Wooster in Ohio and married her husband, Tom, 22 years ago. They have two sons and a granddaughter.


Blake's mother has been a life-long resident of Tipton County, in fact, they were one of the founding families.


She is dedicated to the people of Tipton County and our goals as Democrats.

Blake is a life-long Dem, voting for her first time for Bill Clinton in 1992.


Blake now serves as Vice-Chair of the TCDP and is a member of the Junior Auxiliary.

Col. Robbie Shears, Secretary

Col. Robert Eugene Shears II, known as Robbie, was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1976 to R. E. Shears, Sr. (Bobby) and Donna Lee Kendall (Shears), a native of the Kingdom of Sweden. 


As a young child, Robbie was shown to be of exceptional intelligence and IQ tests placed him at above genius level.  He also showed an early and prodigious talent in music.  Robbie was accepted into the world-renown St. Mary’s Boys Choir at the age of six.

Throughout his high school years, Robbie would become involved in music on a daily basis, learning and performing both instrumentally and vocally, winning dozens of awards at state and national levels.  He was mentored by the Worship Leader of a large Charismatic church in Memphis and would go on to become involved with the recording of live “Praise and Worship” albums which featured collections of popular short songs sung by congregations in a modern form of worship.  Robbie would work with well-known personages known in the industry and the Integrity Music’s Hosanna! Music® series.

Robbie graduated from high school in 1994 and then went on to attend The Northeast Mississippi Community College and then the University of Memphis on full scholarships. He was eventually awarded his degree in music business administration.


After college, Robbie started working for Delta Air Lines at the Memphis international Airport and then, years later, decided to go into business for himself. He started several small businesses in Mississippi while raising a family. He  has one son Jordan, 16.

In 2009, Robbie moved back to his home state of Tennessee and became very involved in the local community of Memphis. He volunteered working with homeless teenagers and LGBTQ persons by way of counseling and mentoring.


In 2018, Robbie started working for Watson‘s Appliance: Sales, Service and Installation in Munford, Tennessee after having moved to Tipton County and served as the Chief Operating Officer and Director of Marketing for that expanding firm. 

In 2019, he was elected as Secretary of the Tipton County Democratic Party,   Robbie is involved on a state-wide level in our state’s Democratic Party and politics, working closely with organizations that are near and dear to his heart. Robbie is the founder of the Tipton County Young Democrats Club and has begun a new committee for the Tennessee Equality Project for Tipton, Haywood, and Fayette Counties.  He spends the rest of his time peddling chicken at a local Zaxby's restaurant and reading.  

Connie Fayne, Treasurer
Our Treasurer, Connie is a long-time resident of Tipton County. She is the daughter of Bobbie and Alonzo "Fisher" Fayne.  She has one daughter, Courtney, and two beautiful grandchildren, Averie and Ayden.
Connie has been employed with the Tipton County Circuit Court Clerk's Office for over 33 years where she holds the position of Chief Deputy Clerk.  She is a member of and pianist for Mt. Tipton C.M.E. Church and holds an Associates degree from Dyersburg State Community College and sits on the Executive committee of the Tipton County NAACP.
Connie enjoys spending time with her family, singing, and playing the piano...along with watching The Weather Channel.  
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