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UT Martin chancellor among West Tennessee leaders selected for Leadership Tennessee class


Contact 1: Bud Grimes


MARTIN, Tenn. — University of Tennessee at Martin Chancellor Keith Carver is one of 45 Tennessee leaders chosen from rural and urban communities across Tennessee to participate in the sixth Leadership Tennessee class. Class members will spend the next year engaging in collaborative, non-partisan dialogue on issues of statewide importance. The 45 new class members represent each geographic region of the state and come from health care, education, economic development, government, tourism and agriculture. Leadership Tennessee is an initiative of the Lipscomb University College of Leadership and Public Service in Nashville.

Other class members from West Tennessee outside of Memphis include Jake Bynum, Weakley County mayor; Commissioner Jai Templeton, Tennessee Department of Agriculture; Dr. Logan Hampton, president, Lane College; Justice Roger Page, Tennessee Supreme Court; Dr. Lisa Piercey, executive vice president, West Tennessee Healthcare; and Lindsay Frilling, certified economic developer and CEO, Obion County Joint Economic Development Council. Carver, Templeton, Bynum, Piercy and Frilling are all graduates of the UT Martin WestStar Leadership Program, which is in its 29th year of leadership development in West Tennessee and has graduated 798 class members since the program began.

“It’s an honor to be selected to the 2018-19 class of Leadership Tennessee,” Carver said. “I look forward to working with community, industry, governmental and educational leaders from all across the state. I’m excited to represent rural West Tennessee and UT Martin in this statewide initiative.”

“With the selection of Leadership Tennessee Class VI, we’re excited to welcome another group of outstanding Tennesseans to the network of leaders who are committed to finding solutions to some of the state’s most pressing issues,” said Cathy Cate, Leadership Tennessee executive director. “Chancellor Carver’s perspective as a post-secondary leader and a member of a rural, West Tennessee community will enhance the voices of this representative group of Tennesseans. We look forward to learning more about UT Martin’s role in the post-secondary landscape, the importance of the region in the state’s success and learning from Chancellor Carver’s experiences.”

Newly selected Leadership Tennessee class members are:

•Adamsville: Commissioner Jai Templeton, Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

•Brentwood: Valerie Hayes, managing director, Deloitte.

•Bristol: Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager, Bristol Motor Speedway; State Sen. Jon Lundberg (R-Bristol), representing District 4.

•Columbia: Jeff Aiken, president, Tennessee Farm Bureau.

•Chattanooga: Jared T. Bigham, executive director, Chattanooga 2.0; Stacy Goodwin Lightfoot, vice president of college and career success, Public Education Foundation; Hodgen Mainda, vice president of community development, Electric Power Board, Chattanooga; David Steel, director of civic engagement and assistant professor of practice, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; Dakasha Winton, senior vice president and chief government relations officer, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee.

•Clarksville: Charlie Koon, vice president of corporate and military business development, F&M Bank.

•Dresden: Jake Bynum, Weakley County mayor.

•Franklin: Brig. Gen. Kurt Winstead, director of joint staff, Tennessee National Guard.

•Jackson: Dr. Logan Hampton, president, Lane College; Justice Roger Page, Tennessee Supreme Court; Dr. Lisa Piercey, executive vice president, West Tennessee Healthcare.

•Johnson City: Alan Levine, chairman and CEO, Ballard Health.

•Kingsport: John Clark, mayor, city of Kingsport; Dr. Jeff McCord, vice president, economic and workforce development, Northeast State Community College; Aundrea Wilcox, executive director, Kingsport Office of Small Business Development and Entrepreneurship, Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce.

•Knoxville: Daryl Arnold, senior pastor, Overcoming Believers Church; Robyn Jarvis Askew, shareholder/attorney, Lewis, Thomason, King, Krieg & Waldrop, P.C.; Cynthia Gibson, former chief legal and business affairs officer, Scripps Networks Interactive; Dr. Victoria Neiderhauser, dean and professor, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Nursing.

•Martin: Dr. Keith Carver, chancellor, the University of Tennessee at Martin.

•Maryville: Bryan Daniels, president and CEO, Blount Partnership.

•Memphis: Rob Clark, chief government affairs officer, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; Tosha Downey, advocacy director, Memphis Education Fund; Mike Dunavant, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, U.S. Department of Justice; Mitch Graves, president and CEO, HealthChoice, LLC; Leslie Lynn Smith, president and CEO, EpiCenter Memphis; Tish Towns, senior vice president and chief administrative officer, Regional One Health.

•Murfreesboro: Dan Caldwell, senior manager, training, U.S. Manufacturing, Nissan Group of North America; Beth Duffield, senior vice president of education and workforce development, Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce.

•Nashville: Shanna Singh Hughey, president, Think Tennessee; Paige Kisber, president and CEO, Hospital Alliance of Tennessee; Amy New, assistant commissioner, community and rural development, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development; Toks Omishakin, deputy commissioner and chief of environment and planning, Tennessee Department of Transportation; Ann Jarvis Pruitt, executive director, Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services; Emily Reynolds, vice chair, Tennessee Board of Regents; Gabe Roberts, deputy director and chief operating officer, TennCare; Tara Scarlett, president and CEO, Scarlett Family Foundation; Todd Skelton, deputy counsel to Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; Deborah Taylor Tate, director, Administrative Office of the Courts, Tennessee Supreme Court.

•Union City: Lindsay Frilling, certified economic developer and CEO, Obion County Joint Economic Development Council.

Entering its sixth year, Leadership Tennessee selects a new class of leaders annually to visit different regions and communities of Tennessee, learning best practices and analyzing important issues faced by Tennesseans. To date, Leadership Tennessee has built a network of 175 leaders across the state.

“Leadership Tennessee helps you build relationships across multiple industries and sectors, public and private, but more importantly it builds opportunities for partnerships,” said Maya Bugg, recent Class V graduate and CEO, Tennessee Charter School Center.

In conjunction with its fifth-year celebration, Leadership Tennessee brought Pulitzer Prize-winning author Thomas Friedman to tour the state and hosted its first gubernatorial forum in May at Lipscomb University. The program also launched its Volunteer State of Mind initiative to spotlight Tennesseans’ propensity to selflessly serve and volunteer.

Earlier this year, Leadership Tennessee cohosted panels focused on the relationship of health, economic development and education in building healthier communities, and the program held a summit on childhood poverty in April in Northeast Tennessee.


PHOTO ID – UT Martin Chancellor Keith Carver.

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