Leadership Tennessee has announced its 45 Signature Program Class IX members, leaders from rural and urban communities across Tennessee who will spend the next year engaging in collaborative, non-partisan dialogue on issues of statewide importance.
Entering its ninth class year, Leadership Tennessee selects a new class of leaders annually to take part in statewide study while visiting different areas of Tennessee, learning best practices and analyzing important issues faced by Tennesseans.
Class IX represents each Grand Division. The anonymous selection committee, chaired this year by Class VII members Christy Gillenwater, president and CEO of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, and Mike Keeney, lawyer with Lewis Thomason in Memphis, built the class from over 300 nominations and 100 applications.
“Each year, we are amazed by the caliber of leaders applying for the Signature Program,” Keeney said.
“Our goal is to fill the class with a diversity of professional roles and geographic locations,” Gillenwater added. “Class IX is truly representative of the state of Tennessee, and we look forward to participating in critical conversations with them as they learn more about the state.”
Amongst the class are Williamson Countians Jeff Ballard, LaMel Bandy-Neal, Dave Briggs, Liz McLaurin, Ken Moore and Tess Stovall.
Since 2013, Leadership Tennessee has developed a network of nearly 450 members, including its Signature Program and Leadership Tennessee NEXT program for emerging leaders, which announced its fifth cohort last week.
The ninth cohort of Leadership Tennessee’s Signature Program will meet for the first time in August under the leadership of newly announced President and CEO Alfred Degrafinreid II.
The full class includes:
Bryan Coker, President, Maryville College
Laurel Graefe, Regional Executive & Senior Officer, Federal Reserve Bank – Nashville
Blake Harris, President, Leverage Public Strategies
Erin Merrick, Deputy Counsel to the Governor, State of Tennessee
Mary Cypress Metz, Vice President of Strategy, SCORE
Clifton Peay, Director, Customer Focused Government, State of Tennessee
Terry Vo, External Affairs Manager, Comcast
Candy Johnson, President/CEO, Urban League of Greater Chattanooga
Sharon Law, Business Development Manager, Thompson Engineering, Inc.
James McKissic, President, ArtsBuild
Dan Pratt, Sr. Vice President/Regional Relations, Tennessee Valley Authority
Shannon Burger Stephenson, CEO, Cempa Community Care
Tamara Steward, Chief Equity Officer, City of Chattanooga
Nicole Watson, Partner/Attorney, Waller Law
Dalya Qualls White, SVP & Chief Communications Officer, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
Charles Wood, VP, Economic & Talent Development, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce
Kimberly Ciukowski, Senior Vice President, Pinnacle Financial Partners
Indya Kincannon, Mayor, City of Knoxville
Matt Ryerson, President/CEO, United Way of Greater Knoxville
Joshua Smith, Founder/CEO, Fourth Purpose Foundation
Mark Mamantov, Member, Bass, Berry & Sims, PLC
Les Dolente, Deputy Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Safety
Jen Andrews, CEO, Shelby Farms Park Conservancy
Karen Camper, State Representative, Tennessee General Assembly
Ursula Madden, Chief Communications Officer, City of Memphis
David McKinney, VP Communications & Public Affairs, AutoZone
Demar Roberts, SVP & Chief Growth Officer, First Choice Sales & Marketing Group Inc.
Kandace Stewart, Sr. Director of External Affairs & Business Operations, Memphis Grizzlies
Rory Thomas, President, Memphis Medical District Collaborative
Russ Wiggington, President/CEO, National Civil Rights Museum
Vanessa Bennett, Executive Director Operations & Talent Development, Kingsport Chamber
James Pond, President, Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation
Paula Bulcao, Director, Global Public Affairs and Executive Director, Eastman Foundation
Steve Darden, Managing Partner/Attorney, Hunter, Smith & Davis LLC
Stephen Dixon, Senior Vice President, Bank of Tennessee
Andy Dietrich, Owner/VP, Champion Chevrolet Cadillac
Kimberly McCorkle, Provost/Senior VP, East Tennessee State University
Melinda Goode, Executive Director, Northwest Tennessee Development District & Human Resource Agency
Jeff Ballard, President, Delta Dental of Tennessee
LaMel Bandy-Neal, Sr. Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Meharry Medical College
Dave Briggs, Tennessee Regional President, Fifth Third Bank
Liz McLaurin, President/CEO, The Land Trust of Tennessee
Ken Moore, Mayor, City of Franklin
Tess Stovall, Executive Director, Tennessee Public Charter School Commission
Kimberly McCormick, Executive Vice Chancellor for External Affairs, Tennessee Board of Regents