Campus News Archives

WestStar class of 2018 includes 18 West Tennessee counties


Contact 1: Erin Chesnut


MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin WestStar Leadership Program class of 2018 includes 30 participants from 18 West Tennessee counties. The following were selected to participate in this year’s class:

•Tommy Allmon, president of White and Associates and First Citizens Insurance Agency, Dyer County;
•B.W. Beasley, mayor of Milan, Gibson County;
•Leigh Anne Bentley, vice president of marketing, Leaders Credit Union, Madison County;
•Yvette Blue, associate superintendent and chief academic officer, Haywood County Schools, Haywood County;
•Rico Bryson, public education coordinator, Jackson Fire Department, Madison County;
•Joseph Butler, executive consultant, Savant Learning Systems, and executive consultant and director of community engagement, Bethel University, Carroll County;
•Alexander Bynum, owner and principal broker, Wendell Alexander Realty, Weakley County;
•Tony Childress, chancellor of the 29th Judicial District, Dyer County;
•Michael Creasy, mayor of Decatur County, Decatur County;
•Brent Dillahunty, general manager, West Tennessee Public Utility District, Carroll County;
•Ashley Dennis, chief financial officer, The Hardin County Bank, Hardin County;
•Stephanie Fowler, chief financial officer, West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation, Gibson County;
•Richard Griggs, assistant fire chief, Covington Fire Department, Tipton County;
•John Hughey, financial advisor, Edward Jones Investments, Gibson County;
•Brett Lashlee, accountant and business process coordinator, Caterpillar Financial Insurance Services, Benton County;
•Andrew Long, vice president and commercial loan officer, Bancorp South, Madison County;
•Julian McTizic, mayor of Bolivar, Hardeman County;
•Charlie Moore, executive director, Crockett County Chamber of Commerce, Crockett County;
•Jeff Parham, circuit court judge for the 27th Judicial District, Weakley County;
•Theresa Powell, service manager, Northwest Tennessee Economic Development Council, Crockett County
•Rodney Reynolds, general manager, Columbus McKinnon Operations, Henderson County;
•John Rountree, district manager, Safelite AutoGlass, Shelby County;
•Heidi Shafer, chairman, Shelby County Board of Commissions, Shelby County;
•Brandy Stutsman, leadership development manager, Jackson Chamber, Madison County;
•Portis Tanner, chief operating officer, Westan Insurance Group Inc., Obion County;
•Kara Tapp, director, University of Tennessee at Martin Somerville Center, Fayette County;
•Frank Tate, executive director, McKenzie Industrial Development, Carroll County;
•Robert Turner, city administrator, recorder and finance director, town of Somerville, Fayette County;
•Katie Weatherford, director, McNairy County Chamber of Commerce, McNairy County;
•Charles West, business analyst, Paris Board of Public Utilities, Henry County.

The WestStar Leadership Program, created in 1989, is the state’s oldest and largest regional leadership program. Boasting 798 graduates to date, WestStar serves West Tennessee by offering leadership development and education for selected participants.

For more information about WestStar, contact Virginia Grimes, program coordinator, at 731-881-7298 or by email at


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