By UCM on 6/14/2011
The Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee received a $10,000 grant June 14. Receiving the gift are, from left to right, Ralph Schulz, president and CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce; Linda Peek Schacht, executive director of the Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership; Alice Walker, 2011 president of the Greater Nashville Association Realtors; and Ed Cole, Executive Director of the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee.
The Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee received a $10,000 grant Tuesday, June 14 from the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors. The grant will be used to help fund Transit Citizen Leadership Academy, a joint venture of the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee and the Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership at Lipscomb University. The grant was presented at a ceremony at the nearly complete new intersection of I-40 and White Bridge Road, with rush hour traffic as the backdrop to the presentation.
“This is exceptional news and welcome encouragement for the mass transit initiative in this region,” said Ed Cole, Executive Director of the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee. “Having a leading organization like GNAR, with the full support of the National Association of Realtors who provided the funds, is truly exciting and we look forward to having them involved in a variety of ways in the actual academy sessions.”
The Academy will have two full sessions this year and three in 2012. Each session will include seven different meetings:
- Scanning the Landscape: A look at the historical, economic and social impact of transportation in the United States and in Tennessee
- Understanding Current Reality: An exploration of Middle Tennessee’s transit system and the challenges we face
- Identifying Models of Success: An analysis of the successes and failures of other communities facing a transit challenge
- Evaluating the Options: An examination weighing value and cost of options for Middle Tennessee, informed by global best practices
- Creating the Conversation: A design for facilitating conversations on transit options and opportunities
- Engaging the Community: Identification and activation of community resources to support transit conversations
- Moving Transit Options Forward: An individual leadership plan to educate others
The first class will begin meeting in July and will be made up primarily of people nominated by mayors from throughout Middle Tennessee. Sessions will be held both at Lipscomb University
and other locations used to highlight key factors related to the development of a mass transit system for the region.
"This grant comes at a great time as we prepare to launch the inaugural Citizen Leadership Academy,” said Lipscomb President L. Randolph Lowry. “Given our region’s priorities and needs, it’s appropriate that transit is the first issue we address. Lipscomb is honored to partner with the Transit Alliance to lend our experience in leadership development to create productive public conversation on this important community and policy issue."
“GNAR is really pleased that the National Association of Realtors chose to fund this grant,” said Alice Walker, 2011 President of GNAR. “It is a larger amount of money than usual, but will be well worth the investment as leaders in this region learn more about mass transit and how it can be used to help create the best future of the region. We appreciate the opportunity to support this effort and those who are leading it. This region is very fortunate to have visionaries who are so committed to leading us to a better future.”
“This is very welcome news and greatly appreciated,” said Nashville Mayor Karl Dean. “GNAR consistently supports issues important to our city’s future growth and success, and as we plan how we’re going to grow as a region in the decades to come, mass transit is absolutely critical. Educating the public on this issues is step one, and so I commend GNAR for their contribution to the startup of the Citizen Transit Academy.”
“Mass transit is one of the top priorities of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Partnership 20/20 initiative,” said Ralph Schulz, President and CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. “We, along with our friends at GNAR, are very supportive of the work that will be done through the Transit Citizen Leadership Academy and look forward to the results that will come from this initiative.”
“This is just the type of civic engagement by a local Realtors group that the National Association is looking to fund,” said Chris Wilson, a Realtor from Laurel, Mississippi, who is the 2011 Chair of the National Association of Realtors’ Smart Growth Advisory Group. “When we raised the dollar amount of our smart growth grants last year, we wanted to encourage our local associations to get more involved in the important growth issues in their regions. The request from The Greater Nashville Association of Realtors met that charge, and we are pleased to support their leadership on the transit issue.”
The Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS® is one of Middle Tennessee’s largest professional trade associations and serves as the primary voice for Nashville-area property owners. REALTOR® is a registered trademark that may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict code of ethics.