Transit Alliance, Andrews Institute launch first Transit Citizen Leadership Academy

By Kim Chaudoin on 8/2/2011



Responding to mass transit needs and options in Middle Tennessee, the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee and Lipscomb University’s Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership will launch its first Transit Citizen Leadership Academy on Wednesday, Aug. 3. Nashville Mayor Karl Dean is scheduled to deliver welcoming remarks to the class.
“Each member of the inaugural class of the Transit Citizen Leadership Academy will join the ranks of Middle Tennessee pioneers who have, are and will make our region an even better place to live, work and relax,” said Ed Cole, executive director of the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee. 
The inaugural class includes 33 private, public and nonprofit leaders representing economic and community development, real estate, construction, government, insurance, health care, banking, retail, sales and marketing, agriculture and utilities. Participants were nominated by mayors and city managers throughout the region.
“If there is a lesson to be learned from the devastating floods of 2010, it’s that our region is at its best when we all pull together as a community. And just as we pulled together as a community to address that natural disaster, we must do the same if we’re going to solve our region’s transportation issues,” said Charles Bone, chairman of the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee and a member of the Leadership Council of the Andrews Institute.
Linda Peek Schacht, executive director of the Andrews Institute said Lipscomb University is honored to partner with the Transit Alliance to focus on the important issue of transit for the first Citizen Leadership Academy. “Thriving communities depend on educated and informed civic leaders working together to make decisions on the complex issues facing communities today. We want to support and encourage that kind of collaborative leadership through this partnership.”
The Transit Citizen Leadership Academy is a seven-session program that will explore a variety of topics including: 
  • 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.

Sessions will be held at the Andrews Institute on the Lipscomb campus and at locations in Middle Tennessee that highlight factors related to the development of a mass transit system for the region.

In June, the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee received a $10,000 grant from the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors to help fund Transit Citizen Leadership Academy.
About the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee

The Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee is a nonprofit organization with the mission of encouraging private sector as well as public sector support for new investments in mass transit in the 10-county region of Middle Tennessee. The Alliance is committed to communicating the value of regional mass transportation needs and options. It fosters education across the region about the economic value of mass transit investments. Through these communication and education efforts, the Alliance will actively participate in the steps necessary to secure dedicated revenues for mass transit investments in the months and years ahead.

About the Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership
Founded in October 2010 to build on the legacy of Nashville leader Nelson Andrews, the Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership engages emerging and current leaders in programs to create thriving communities. The institute promotes and showcases government, business and not-for-profit leaders working together for the common good. Its programs provide for the study and practice of this collaborative civic leadership model. In addition to our community programs, the Andrews Institute offers a master’s program in civic leadership, one of only two in the nation.
Members of the Inaugural Class of the Transit Citizen Leadership Academy

Cheatham County
James Fenton – Cheatham County Director of Economic and Community Development

Davidson County
Jim Forkum – Metro Council Member
Marshall Karr – Karr Commercial, Principal Broker; Greater Nashville Association of Realtors
Kristine LaLonde – Metro Council Member
Betty Nixon – Retired, Asst. Vice Chancellor for Community, Neighborhood and Government Relations; long, esteemed career in Nashville politics and public service
Alice Walker – The Wilson Group; President Greater Nashville Realtors Association

Dickson County
Mike Petty – Dickson Insurance Agency

Maury County
Harvey Church – President, Maury County offices of First Farmers and Merchants Bank
Dr. Eslick Daniel – Retired, orthopedic surgeon

Montgomery County
Clint Camp – County Engineer, Montgomery County
Ed Davis – Retired, Director of Administration for Montgomery County
Charlie Koon – Chief of Staff for Mayor of Clarksville

Robertson County

Ervin Brown – Robertson County Commissioner

Rutherford County

Paula Mansfield – Vice President for Sales Development, First Tennessee Bank
Peter Demos – President and attorney for Demos’ Steak and Spaghetti House, incoming chair of Rutherford County Chamber Board

Sumner County

Sherri Ferguson – Executive Director, Portland Chamber of Commerce
Clay Haynes - Real estate professional and developer – Haynes Realtors & Auction Co.; Cumberland Region Tomorrow Board
Christopher Rhodes – Engineering consultant, Kimley-Horn and Associates
Albert Strawther – Retired, Tennessee Highway Patrol
Lee Zoller – President, Green & Little; City of Gallatin Long Range Planning Committee

Williamson County

Jill Burgin – Brentwood City Commissioner
Debbie Henry – Executive Director, Transportation Management Association (TMA Group)
Gil Hutchinson – Director, UnitedHealth Group
Dan Klatt – Franklin Tomorrow
Michael Matteson- Williamson County Planning Director
Ken Moore – Mayor of Franklin
Alex Noble – Noble Springs Dairy; retired, TDOT
Cindi Parmenter – President/Director, Brentwood Cool Springs Chamber of Commerce

Wilson County
Jack Bell – Jack Bell Builders
Jimmy Comer – Comerica Enterprises
Shannon Joyner – Mt. Juliet Assistant Public Works Director
Randy Robertson – Mt. Juliet City Manager
Sheila Varga – LP Building Products


Contacts for the Transit Citizen Leadership Academy
Linda Peek Schacht
Executive Director



Lydia Lenker
TCLA Director