Andrews Institute brings leaders together for Transit Citizen Leadership Academy

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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 fourth Transit Citizen Leadership Academy (TCLA).

Transit Citizen Leadership Academy Class 4Nashville Mayor Karl Dean opened the new session of the TCLA June 12, stressing the importance of a regional approach to this course of study.

“This session of the Transit Academy could not come at a better time,” Mayor Karl Dean said. “The population of Middle Tennessee is growing at an incredible rate, and traffic congestion is increasing along with it. We need real transit solutions now, and Academy participants can help lead the way.”

“The leaders from across Middle Tennessee who are a part of the fourth Transit Citizen Leadership Academy class are joining a growing group of citizens and elected officials who are committed to the development of new transit options across our region. Their willingness to spend valuable time as a part of the Academy is a gift that our children and grandchildren will share in the years to come,” said Ed Cole, Executive Director of the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee. 

The class includes 27 government, business and nonprofit leaders representing economic and community development, the military, finance, real estate, construction, government, technology, health care, banking, sales and marketing, agriculture and utilities. Participants were nominated by local mayors and former TCLA students.

“Transit is certainly the regional hot topic and we’re excited to again collaborate with the Transit Alliance to educate citizens to lead the public conversation,” said Lydia Lenker, Managing Director of the Andrews Institute and Director of the Transit Citizen Leadership Academy.            “We welcome our newest class of leaders and appreciate their commitment to their communities.

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 with the class via teleconferencing.

Last month, 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 May 2. The Andrews Institute, through its citizen leadership academies, develops citizens to address community issues and public policy. To date, more than 70 Middle Tennesseans have completed the TCLA.

Transit Citizen Leadership Academy Class 4About 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 ten-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.

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 current and emerging leaders in academic and community programs to create thriving communities. These include a Master’s in Civic Leadership, one of only two in the nation; Citizen Leadership Academies and customized leadership classes serving counties and cities statewide. The institute’s newest initiative is Leadership Tennessee, the only statewide leadership education program in Tennessee created to cultivate a network of business, nonprofit, education and government leaders committed to addressing the state’s challenges and opportunities.

Transit Citizen Leadership Academy Class 4Members of the Fourth Class of the Transit Citizen Leadership Academy
Cheatham County: Daryl Phillips—Director of Economic & Community Development, Cheatham County Joint Economic and Community Development Board

Davidson County: Gwen Parker —Staff Attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center; Mary Pat Teague —Associate Director, Community, Neighborhood and Government Relations Office, Vanderbilt University; Arthur Tek—Retired; Scott Troxel —Residential Realtor, Keller Williams Realty; Deborah Varallo—President, Varallo Public Relations

Montgomery County: Jill Hall —Transportation Planner, Clarksville Metropolitan Planning Organization; Paul Nelson —Transportation Planner, Clarksville Transit System; Jennifer Rawls—Director of Communications & Public Information Officer, City of Clarksville

Robertson County: Howard Bradley—Robertson County Mayor and Karen Couts—Assistant Vice President/Credit Support & Marketing, Old Hickory Credit Union

Rutherford County: Warren Gill —Director, Middle Tennessee State University’s School of Agribusiness and Agriscience; Brian Hercules—Vice President of Economic Development, Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce; Stan King—Principal, Florence & Hutcheson Inc.; Brian Robertson—Chief Information Officer, Rutherford County; Damian Skelton—Vice President, Facilities & Real Estate, Saint Thomas Health; Terri Sterling—Owner & Principal, Sterling Communications

Sumner County: Warren Bennett—Retired; L.K. Lannom—Retired; Steve Laughter —Vice President & Private Financial Advisor, SunTrust Investments

Williamson County: Kirk Bednar—City Manager, City of Brentwood; Kevin Comstock—Traffic/ITS Project Manager, City of Franklin; Jonathan Duda—Vice President, Design and Consulting Services, NFP Executive Benefits; Kelly Gilfillan —Co-founder/Managing Partner, BrentWord Communications LLC; Will Reid —Senior Transportation Manager, Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon Inc.

Wilson County: John Goodman—Regional President, Wilson Bank & Trust; Paul Stumb—Dean and professor, Labry School of Science, Technology and Business, Cumberland University