Middle Tennessee community leaders will be meeting over the next two months to learn about regional transit needs and options as the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee and Lipscomb University’s Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership launch the fifth Transit Citizen Leadership Academy (TCLA).
Nashville Mayor Karl Dean opened the new session of the TCLA Feb. 5, stressing the importance of a regional discussion of transportation issues as well as the need for long-range planning due to projected population growth in Nashville in the next two decades.
“One of the key items that we need to discuss as a city and a region is transportation,” said Mayor Karl Dean. “It is a regional discussion and we are slowly moving forward. The population of Middle Tennessee is projected to grow by one million people in the next 20 years. It is crucial that we prepare for this growth. We need real transit solutions now, and academy participants can help lead the way.”
Dean used Denver as an example of a city that has grown rapidly, and has planned for that growth.
“In 20 years we will likely be the size of Denver,” said Dean, who has proposed a full-service 7.1-mile bus transit system that is being planned for one of Nashville’s major corridors. “It is a good example of a city that strategically planned for a population growth and proactively invested in transportation to prepare for that growth.”
The academy will help foster discussion of regional issues.
“An outstanding group of Middle Tennessee community and regional leaders have come together as the newest class of the Transit Citizen Leadership Academy,” said Ed Cole, Executive Director of the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee. “These leaders represent all sectors of our region and will be strong advocates in the future as we select and implement new transit options across Middle Tennessee. The work of this class will be truly exciting.”
The class includes 24 government, business and nonprofit leaders and one student from Lipscomb University. Participants were nominated by local mayors, community leaders and former TCLA students.
"We commend our new academy members for making this commitment to their communities," said Lydia Lenker, Managing Director of the Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute and Director of the Transit Citizen Leadership Academy. "The discussion of transit - like any regional public policy - issue needs everyone at the table to find collaborative solutions."
The Transit Citizen Leadership Academy is a seven-session program that features state and local speakers, as well as transit officials from across the nation, who share best practices and lessons learned.
The Transit Citizen Leadership Academy received a 2013 Regional Thinking and Action Award from Cumberland Region Tomorrow during the POWER OF TEN Regional Summit in Nashville. The Andrews Institute, through its citizen leadership academies, develops citizens to address community issues and public policy. To date, more than 100 Middle Tennesseans have completed the TCLA.
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 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 transit investments. Through these communication and education efforts, the Alliance will actively participate in the steps necessary to secure dedicated revenues for transit investments in the months and years ahead.
Members of the Fifth Class of the Transit Citizen Leadership Academy
Cheatham County: Ann Thompson—Executive Director, Cheatham County Chamber of Commerce
Davidson County: Janey Camp—Research Assistant Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Principal/Owner, Camp Construction and Engineering, LLC; Jay Everett—Registered Landscape Architect / Certified Planner, Lose & Associates; David Harris—Operation Supervisor, Davidson Transit Organization; Mike Nichols—Managing Broker, Benchmark Realty, LLC; Annie Passino—Attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center; Pete Wooten—Executive Vice President, Commercial Bank Group Executive, Avenue Bank
Montgomery County: William Harpel—Chief of Administration, City of Clarksville; Brian Trotter—Regional Manager, ICA Engineering
Robertson County: Philip Klober—President, Klober Engineering Services
Rutherford County: Meagan Flippin—President & CEO, United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties
Williamson County: Kelly Dannenfelser—AICP Principal Planner PT, City of Franklin; Jay Evans—Assistant City Manager, City of Brentwood; Mike Hathaway—Senior Vice President of Architectural Design, Southern Land LLC; Robbie Hayes—Environmental Planner, ICA Engineering; Diane Thorne—Regional Transportation Director, The TMA Group
Wilson County: Ken Davis—Retired, BellSouth Corporation; Brice Rochelle—Associate Attorney, Rochelle, McCulloch & Aulds, PLLC; Steven Smartt—Associate Dean for Academic Services / Assistant Provost for Research, Vanderbilt University
Sumner County: Kori Langford—Chief Brand Officer, Restaurant Acquisitions, I; Matt Lawson—Senior Integrated Marketing Consultant, Comcast Spotlight; Bill McCord—City Planner, City of Gallatin; Reginald Mudd—Owner, Mudd Properties
Lipscomb University Student: Brandon Shaw