Andrews Institute announces inaugural Leadership Tennessee class

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Lipscomb University’s Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership today announced the inaugural class for Leadership Tennessee, its latest leadership education program designed to cultivate a network of business, nonprofit, education and government leaders who are committed to addressing the state’s challenges and opportunities.

bell tower 2The class includes 30 business, government, education and nonprofit leaders from across Tennessee.

“We are very pleased with not only the geographic diversity this class represents but also the diversity of professional sectors and interests,” said Cathy Cate, executive director of Leadership Tennessee and director of community leadership programs for the Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership. “By bringing together top leaders in business, education, health care and the nonprofit arena, we hope to not only learn from our differences, but also understand the collaborative nature of conversation and action that will continue to move our state ahead.  I'm honored to work with this inaugural class as they set the tone for the success of Leadership Tennessee for years to come.”

Leadership Tennessee is a 10-month program that will provide collaborative learning and dialogue spanning the state’s three grand divisions, issue-specific education for demonstrated leaders, a diverse representation of participants and opportunities to affect change. It will meet five times in addition to participating in other activities, research and projects throughout the program.

The inaugural class will have its first meeting Aug. 18-19 in Townsend, Tenn., which will include an overview of state history, culture and politics to give participants a framework for “what shapes us? Why do we think the way we do? Why do we act and vote the way we do?” said Cate. Governor Bill Haslam is slated to welcome participants and to outline the critical issues affecting Tennessee, which will help set the agenda for future sessions. The group will learn about these issues as well as discuss collaborative solutions. At the end of the program, the group will produce a plan of action designed to impact the entire state, as well as each region.

Cate said the program is also designed for participants to experience the unique cultures found throughout Tennessee to help foster a “deeper understanding of and appreciation for each other and the context for the issues, challenges and opportunities for building stronger communities.”

“Bringing business, government and nonprofit leaders together for the common good is our mission at the Andrews Institute,” said Linda Peek Schacht, executive director of the Andrews Institute and Leadership Tennessee board member. “Leadership Tennessee extends to the state our vision that great communities are intentional, not accidental, and we look forward to working with these proven civic leaders as they collaborate to build a stronger Tennessee."

The Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership offers a Master of Arts in Civic Leadership, one of only two in the nation. Its signature community programs, produced with local, regional and statewide partners, include citizen leadership academies on critical issues, community leadership programs, customized leadership development and online resources. Leadership Tennessee is the latest of its initiatives designed to develop strong communities.

 For more information about Leadership Tennessee visit or contact Cate at 615.966.5180


Members of the inaugural class of Leadership Tennessee
Chattanooga: Jim Hobson, chief executive officer, Memorial Health Care; Rebecca Hunter, commissioner, Tennessee Department of Human Resources; Todd Womack, chief of staff, Senator Bob Corker

Clarksville: Kim McMillan, mayor, City of Clarksville

Franklin: John Schroer, commissioner, Tennessee Department of Transportation

Knoxville: Joe Armstrong, state representative, Tennessee House of Representatives; president, National Black Caucus of State Legislators; Randy Boyd, president and chief executive officer, Radio Systems Corporation; MaryAnne Carter, president, MAC Research; A. Richard (Rick) Johnson, president and chief executive officer, the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness; Special Assistant to the Governor; Raja Jubran, chief executive officer, Denark Construction, Inc.; Michael T. Strickland, chairman, Bandit Lites; J. Laurens Tullock, president, Cornerstone Foundation of Knoxville; Jamie Woodson, president and chief executive officer, Tennessee State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE)

Memphis: Laura Adams, executive director, Shelby Farms Park Conservancy; Dr. Steven Bares, president and executive director, Memphis Bioworks Foundation; Martha Perine Beard, Memphis regional executive, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Mike Carpenter, executive director. Plough Foundation; Jack Sammons, chair, Memphis and Shelby County Airport Authority; Blair Taylor, president, Memphis Tomorrow

Nashville: Michael Burcham, president & CEO, The Nashville Entrepreneur Center; Karl F. Dean, mayor, Metro Nashville – Davidson County; Stacey A. Garrett, founding member and chairperson, board of directors, Bone McAllester Norton PLLC; vice president for online & professional studies, Cumberland University; Many-Bears Grinder, commissioner, Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs; Dr. Candice McQueen, dean, College of Education, Lipscomb University; Dr. Claude O. Pressnell, president, Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association; Renata Soto, executive director, Conexion Americas

Oak Ridge: Dr. Thom Mason, director, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Parsons: Janet Ayers, president, The Ayers Foundation

Sevierville: David Ogle, president, Five Oaks Development

      Tullahoma: Dr. Mary Lou Apple, president, Motlow State Community College