Andrews Institute recognized for impact of its Transit Citizen Leadership Academy

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Lipscomb University’s Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership was recognized for its collaborative Transit Citizen Leadership Academy (TCLA) as it received a 2013 Regional Thinking and Action Award from Cumberland Region Tomorrow on May 1 in a ceremony during the POWER OF TEN Regional Summit in Nashville. The TCLA is a partnership between the Andrews Institute and the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee.

Regional Thinking and Action Award_ICL
Ed Cole, executive director, Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee; and the Andrews Institute's Linda Schacht, executive director; Cathy Cate, director, community leadership programs; and Lydia Lenker, executive-in-residence; accept a 2013 Regional Thinking and Action Award during a special ceremony May 1.

“The Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership is founded upon the belief that great communities are intentional, not accidental and is fulfilling that belief through the Transit Citizen Leadership Academy that we recognize with this award,” said Bridget Jones, executive director of Cumberland Region Tomorrow. “Through education and collaboration, this innovative organization is playing an important role in advancing Middle Tennessee's regional issues of transportation and transit by creating an important cadre of leaders who join other existing regional leadership organizations across Middle Tennessee to understand and support our region's future economic needs and successful implementation actions.”

The Andrews Institute, through its citizen leadership academies, develops citizens to lead the public conversation on community issues and public policy. Responding to a request by the Middle Tennessee Mayors Caucus and the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee, the Alliance and the institute have brought together leaders from across the region. The program was founded in 2011 and is directed by Lydia Lenker, executive-in-residence at the Andrews Institute. To date, more than 70 government, business and nonprofit leaders from 10 Middle Tennessee counties have participated.

“We are honored to join with Ed Cole and the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee to develop the Transit Citizen Leadership Academy as the first signature program of the Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership. We thank Cumberland Region Tomorrow for this award recognizing the work of these academies,” said Linda Schacht, executive director of the Andrews Institute. “This work supports our belief that thriving communities depend on educated and informed citizens from every sector making decisions for the common good. Working with committed leaders of this region has been rewarding and stimulating, and the legacy of our founder Nelson Andrews is alive in the creative ways they strengthen Middle Tennessee.”

Cole was instrumental in forming the partnership between the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee (TAMT) and the Andrews Institute.

“This award recognizes the incredible partnership between the Andrews Institute and the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee,” said Cole, TAMT executive director. “It could not have occurred without the guidance and support of the leaders of the Andrews Institute. It is very appropriate that they are being honored in this way.”

Participants in TCLA say the program has helped them gain a better understanding of regional transportation issues.

“The Transit Citizen Leadership Academy provided me with a wonderful opportunity to learn about regional transportation issues and potential solutions,” said Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto and member of the second TCLA. “Currently, the Institute is aiding Wilson County and its cities with an initiative to create a shared mission statement to further promote a spirit of unity. It is an excellent resource for local governments. We congratulate the Andrews Institute as a recipient of a Regional Thinking and Action Award.”

“Regional collaborative leadership is the soul of the Andrews Institute,” said Debbie Henry, executive director of The TMA Group, based in Franklin, and member of the inaugural TCLA. “Through the institute’s Transit Citizen Leadership Academy, regional leaders are being educated, engaged, and informed concerning the importance of efficient and effective transit solutions for Middle Tennessee. These intentional conversations facilitated by the Academy are vital with the economic growth occurring in our communities. The Regional Thinking and Action Award is a most deserved achievement for outstanding and impactful leadership programs.”

Don Klein, CEO of the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors, a TCLA founding partner, said the program reflects the Institute’s commitment to make a difference in the community.

“What a pleasure it has been to work with the Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership at Lipscomb University on the development of the Transit Citizens Leadership Academy,” said Klein. “Its leadership, professionalism and resources have all been highly valuable as this initiative has developed. It is a credit to both the institute and Lipscomb University that, by investing in this outstanding learning experience, they have truly acted on their belief that successful communities are intentional, not accidental. Their actions have spoken clearly and their commitment to our city and region are certainly appreciated.”

The Awards for Regional Thinking and Action are given annually by Cumberland Region Tomorrow, a collaborative regional partnership for the 10-county Middle Tennessee region, to recognize and reward successful examples of quality growth leadership across the region. Through these awards the region comes together to recognize key private and public sector leaders who have made significant contributions in creating a more economically competitive, livable, and sustainable Middle Tennessee.


About the Nelson and Sue 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 programs to create thriving communities. The institute promotes and showcases government, business and not-for-profit leaders working together for the common good and its programs provide for the study and practice of this collaborative civic leadership model.

The institute is now recruiting its third cohort for its Master’s in Civic Leadership, one of only two in the United States, utilizing the institute’s state of the art facility.

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.

The institute’s additional programs include Citizen Leadership Academies and customized leadership classes and conferences for organizations like CABLE and leadership programs serving counties and cities throughout the state.


About Cumberland Region Tomorrow

Cumberland Region Tomorrow (CRT) brings people together to address regional challenges and opportunities for the future growth and development of Middle Tennessee. The mission is to foster communication, collaboration and action planning for the long-term livability, economic vitality and sustainability of the region. 

CRT is a collaborative regional partnership that works at the local, regional, state and national levels to convene regional leadership on shared issues of regional importance; address our regional issue of land use  and quality growth through tools, resources, and services; and create Tennessee’s first sustainable communities network through regional, state and national partnerships.