News

EYF President/CEO Named to Leadership Tennessee

June 13, 2016 -- Steve Diggs, Emerald Youth Foundation President/CEO, was named today to the Leadership Tennessee class of 2016-2017.

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Lipscomb University’s College of Leadership & Public Service today announced the 2016-17 class for Leadership Tennessee, a 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 40 business, government, education and nonprofit leaders from across Tennessee.

“Since the kickoff in 2013, Leadership Tennessee has brought together influential thought leaders from diverse backgrounds to not only learn more about the rich cultural heritage of our state, but also tackle tough issues that affect our state's success. Through dialogue and an expanding network, Leadership Tennessee members are taking what they see and learn on a statewide level and putting it into action in their own communities,” said Cathy Cate, executive director of Leadership Tennessee.

Cate said the program is quickly making an impact on Tennessee.

“With the announcement of its fourth class, Leadership Tennessee has proven the level of experience and leadership and the diversity of thought, perspective and regional and professional sector representation can be sustained. The quality and number of applicants continues to grow each year and we are excited to invite this next group of Leadership Tennessee members to a network of leaders around the state who are committed to the idea that we must all work together to create a stronger Tennessee.”

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.  Last year, Leadership Tennessee received a $750,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to expand the program’s offerings, scope and impact on Tennessee.

Members of the 2016-17 Leadership Tennessee class

Alamo: Judge Brandon Gibson, Tennessee Court of Appeals

Chattanooga: Steven Angle, chancellor, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; Valoria Armstrong, president, Tennessee American Water; Alexis Bogo, executive director, Hamico Inc.; Bruce Hartmann, president, Chattanooga Times Free Press; JD Hickey, president and CEO, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee; Jill Levine, chief academic officer, Hamilton County Department of Education; Maura Sullivan, chief operating officer, City of Chattanooga

Franklin: Mendy Mazzo, vice president, Skanska; Jerry Stump, president and COO, Volkert, Inc.

Gallatin: Congressman Diane Black, United States Congress

Jackson: Kyle Spurgeon, president and CEO, Jackson Chamber

Kingsport: CeeGee McCord, director, Global Public Affairs and Corporate Responsibility, Eastman; Commissioner Kevin Triplett, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development

Knoxville: Christi Branscom, deputy to the mayor/COO, City of Knoxville; Krissy DeAlejandro, executive director, tnAchieves; Steve Diggs, president and CEO, Emerald Youth Foundation; Justin Maierhofer, vice president, government relations, Tennessee Valley Authority; Steve Mangum, Dean & Stokely Leadership Foundation Chair, Haslam College of Business, University of Tennessee Knoxville; Frank Rothermel, president, Denark Construction; Anthony Wise, president, Pellissippi State Community College

Lookout Mountain: Miller Wellborn, chairman, SmartBank and SmartFinancial, Inc.

Memphis: Greg Duckett, senior vice president and chief legal officer, Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation; Cato Johnson, senior vice president, Public Policy & Regulatory Affairs, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare; Estella Mayhue-Greer, president and CEO, Mid-South Food Bank; Senator Mark Norris, Tennessee General Assembly; Terence Patterson, president, Downtown Memphis Commission; Phil Trenary, president and CEO, Greater Memphis Chamber; Representative Mark White, Tennessee General Assembly

Milligan College: Bill Greer, president, Milligan College

Nashville: Michael Anastasi, vice president of news, USA Today Network – Tennessee; Executive Editor, TheTennessean; Laura Berlind, executive director, The Sycamore Institute; Harold Carpenter, executive vice president and CFO, Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc.; Trish Holliday, assistant commissioner and chief learning officer, State of Tennessee Department of Human Resources; David Mansouri, president, State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE); Pam Brooks Martin, president, Cushion Employer Services; Patricia Shea, CEO, YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee; Dwight Tarwater, counsel to the governor, Governor Bill Haslam, State of Tennessee; LoLita Toney, director of development, National Museum of African American Music; Senator Jeff Yarbro, Tennessee General Assembly

“In my view, Leadership Tennessee has set the national standard in public service leadership development,” said Steve Joiner, dean of the College of Leadership & Public Service. “Since the programs inception, more than 100 highly influential leaders have completed the program and they are shaping the future of Tennessee, in no small part because of their experience with the team, past members and funders around the state. Leadership Tennessee models the mission of the College of Leadership & Public Service through ‘theory-to-practice’ education and development.”

Past classes have focused on key issues impacting the state including education, government efficiency and health and wellness. During the course of the program, each class participates in learning and conversation designed to give them a greater understanding of the complex issues affecting the success of the state. The 2016-17 Leadership Tennessee class will commence with a retreat in August.

Program participants said they have gained new perspective through Leadership Tennessee

“Leadership Tennessee has been a tremendously valuable and special experience,” said Lucia Folk, vice president for public affairs at Country Music Television (CMT) in Nashville and 2015-16 participant. “I’ve loved the opportunity to learn so much from my classmates about each region’s specific opportunities and challenges. The best part has been building new friendships and the fact that we all have the same goal—making Tennessee the best place to live in the world.”

“Everything I expected to gain from Leadership Tennessee I did but even more so. Though I had traveled our state extensively before, I discovered amazing people and places I didn’t know existed,” said Randy Boyd, Tennessee Commissioner for Community and Economic Development and member of the program’s inaugural class. “I hoped to get acquainted with others across the state, but underestimated the close and lasting friendships that would be made. And, I learned that while we often talk about the ‘grand divisions,’ far better it is to think of us a grand alliance. There is incredible strength in the diversity of our state and when we work together, anything is possible. All this and so much more I gained from my Leadership Tennessee experience.”

“But the benefits of Leadership Tennessee begin with graduation,” Boyd continued. “Since graduating, whether serving on the TICUA board, acting as chairman of United Way in my hometown or now serving in Governor Haslam’s cabinet or numerous other boards, there is one if not more of my classmates by my side. The deep and lasting friendships that are made will benefit me personally for the rest of my life, and if we put them to good use in our service to the state, they will hopefully be a benefit to our state as well.”

Mauricio Calvo, executive director of Latino Memphis Inc., has been a Memphis resident for 22 years. He said the program has “made me a proud Tennessean.”

“Leadership Tennessee has allowed me to get a much better and deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities of our state,” said Calvo, a 2015-16 participant. “We have a lot of work to do ahead of us, yet so many great resources. Leadership Tennessee is bringing light and connecting people. I have been to places, met people and had conversations that I otherwise I wouldn't have had. It is now upon me, and each one of my classmates, to act on it. That's what leaders do.”

“Leadership Tennessee is playing a catalytic role in helping our state build on its many successes and solve some of its most challenging problems,” said David Golden, vice president, chief legal officer and corporate secretary at Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport, Tennessee, and 2015-16 participant. “Leadership Tennessee helps build innovative partnerships, deepen understanding, foster communication and reveal insight. Participating in Leadership Tennessee has been a deeply inspirational, educational and enjoyable experience for me.”

For more information about Leadership Tennessee visit www.leadershiptennessee.org or contact Cate at 615.966.5180 catherine.cate@lipscomb.edu.