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Leadership Tennessee announces second class

Kim Chaudoin | 615.966.6494  | 

Lipscomb University’s Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership today announced the 2014-15 class for Leadership Tennessee, 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, the class includes 31 members from across Tennessee.

State Capitol “By bringing together top leaders in the business, education, health care and the nonprofit arenas, Leadership Tennessee introduces participants to different perspectives while also helping them understand the collaborative nature of conversation and action that will continue to move our state ahead,” said Cathy Cate, executive director of Leadership Tennessee and director of community leadership programs for the Andrews Institute.

Leadership Tennessee is a 10-month program that provides 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 several times as a group in addition to participating in other activities, research and projects throughout the program.

The program was launched in August 2013. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said he believes the program is beneficial to the state.

“I strongly believe that this experience will help the participants personally and will help make our state stronger,” he said. “When we learn more about other parts of the state, we understand issues more fully and can make more collaborative, informed decisions. I also appreciate the thought leadership of this group. This is a great program for Tennessee.”

The inaugural class focused on three main issues—education, government efficiency and health and wellness. During the course of the program, the group produced a plan of action designed to impact the entire state, as well as each region. The program took participants to Chattanooga, Memphis and Knoxville among other locations in Tennessee. The 2014-15 Leadership Tennessee class will also meet throughout the state and examine important issues facing Tennessee. The class will begin the program with a retreat in August.

“One of the biggest benefits to me has been learning about other areas of the state,” said Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, a member of the inaugural Leadership Tennessee class. “I have also met a great group of leaders from across Tennessee and the relationships we are building are very valuable. Leadership Tennessee has broadened my horizons and has helped me fully realize what a great state we live in.”

J. Laurens Tullock, president of Cornerstone Foundation of Knoxville, agrees.

“It has been an incredible opportunity to meet folks from across the state,” said Tullock. “We’ve gotten to see places across the state in new ways. It’s great that is was more than just networking through the projects we worked on. This really has the opportunity to be meaningful long term.”

Finding common ground has been another benefit for participants in the first class.

“We are getting acquainted over the issues that are common to us across the state,” said Blair Taylor, president of Memphis Tomorrow. “This program raises awareness and plugs us in to what is going on across the state. It helps us leverage our opportunities better. This program is a great way to help us to that.”

Members of the 2014-15 Leadership Tennessee class

Chattanooga: Sarah Morgan, president, Benwood Foundation

Collierville: Carolyn Chism Hardy, CEO, Chism Hardy Investments LLC

Greeneville: Nancy B. Moody, president, Tusculum College

Knoxville: Doug Banister, pastor, All Souls Church; Joan Cronan, women’s athletic director emeritus, University of Tennessee; Joe DiPietro, president, University of Tennessee; Carol Evans, executive director, Legacy Parks Foundation; Jim McIntyre, superintendent, Knox County Schools; Madeline Rogero, mayor, City of Knoxville

Memphis: Calvin Anderson, senior vice president of corporate affairs, BlueCross BlueShield Tennessee; Darrell Cobbins, president/principal broker, Universal Commercial Real Estate; Dorothy Gunther Pugh, CEO/founding artistic director, Ballet Memphis; Teresa Sloyan, executive director, Hyde Family Foundations; Michael Ugwueke, president/COO, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare; AC Wharton, mayor, City of Memphis

Nashville: Charles Robert Bone, Bone McAllester Norton PLLC; Bo Campbell, attorney, Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP; Mark Cate, chief of staff to the governor, State of Tennessee; Jen Cole, executive director, Metro Nashville Arts Commission; Jaynee Day, president/CEO, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee; Jose Gonzalez, finance director/instructor of management and entrepreneurship, Conexion Americas/Belmont University; Tre Hargett, secretary of state, State of Tennessee; Beth Harwell, speaker of the House, Tennessee General Assembly; Henry Hicks, president/CEO, The NMAAM (Nashville Museum of African American Music); Bob Higgins, president/CEO, Barge Waggoner Sumner and Cannon; John Lowry, vice president of external affairs, Lipscomb University; Robert J. Martineau Jr., commissioner, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation; Joelle Phillips, president, AT&T Tennessee; Michael Skipper, executive director, Nashville Area MPO; Remziya Suleyman, director of policy and administration, American Center for Outreach

Pulaski: Ted Brown, president, Martin Methodist College

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

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 organizations, 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.