CLASS VII - 2020

Leadership Tennessee today announced its 46 Class VII 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 seventh year, Leadership Tennessee selects a new class of leaders annually to take part in a statewide study course while visiting different areas of Tennessee, learning best practices and analyzing important issues faced by Tennesseans. To date, Leadership Tennessee has built a network of 246 leaders across the state.

The new class members represent each Grand Division, cities from Athens to Dyersburg to Memphis to Nashville. See below for the extended list of Class VII members.

“Tennessee has a lot of momentum right now, but Tennesseans continue to face significant challenges that require new and innovative partnerships to overcome them. Each class brings its own unique perspective and insight to the conversation, and we’re excited about Class VII joining the Leadership Tennessee network,” Leadership Tennessee Executive Director Cathy Cate said. “Each class comes together during the course of the year, having difficult conversations that challenge their points of view on issues in their communities, and we’re looking forward to Class VII and developing our seventh cohort around their chosen focus areas.”

In April Leadership Tennessee announced it would lead “Vote Tennessee,” a statewide effort to increase voter registration. More information on Vote Tennessee can be found at votetennessee.org. And in January Leadership Tennessee announced the first class of Leadership Tennessee NEXT, its program offering early-to-mid career professionals in-depth personal and career development while fostering a better understanding of Tennessee.

The seventh cohort of Leadership Tennessee will meet for the first time in August and includes:

Athens

  • C. Seth Sumner, City Manager, City of Athens

Blountville

  • Bethany Flora, President, Northeast State Community College

Brentwood

  • Damon T. Hininger, President/CEO, CoreCivic

Chattanooga

  • Dr. Kelly Arnold, Founder and Medical Director, Clínica Medicas

  • Dr. Rebecca Ashford, President, Chattanooga State Community College

  • Christy Gillenwater, President/CEO, Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce

  • Dr. Bryan Johnson, Superintendent, Hamilton County Schools

  • Scott Pierce, EVP & Chief Operating Officer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee

  • Marcus K. Shaw, CEO, CO.LAB
    Britt Tabor, EVP & CFO/Treasurer, Erlanger Health System

Columbia

  • Mayor Chaz Molder, City of Columbia

Cookeville

  • Kevin Christopher, Principal, Rockridge Venture Law

Crossville

  • State Representative Cameron Sexton, Tennessee General Assembly

Dyersburg

  • Chad Davis, Owner, Davis Wealth Services

Jackson

  • Ryan Porter, COO & General Counsel, Jackson Chamber of Commerce

Johnson City

  • Eric Deaton, Senior VP for Market & Hospital Operations, Ballad Health

  • Lottie Ryans, Director, Workforce & Literacy Initiatives, First Tennessee Development District

  • Dr. Randy Wykoff, Dean, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University

Kingsport

  • Heath Guinn, Founder, Sync Space

Knoxville

  • Dr. Jerry Askew, President, Alliance for Better Nonprofits

  • David Brace, Deputy to the Mayor and COO, City of Knoxville

  • Senator Richard Briggs, Tennessee General Assembly

  • Claudia Caballero, Executive Director, Centro Hispano

  • Tyvi Small, Interim Vice Chancellor Diversity and Inclusion, University of Tennessee Knoxville

  • Avice Evans Reid, Senior Director, Knoxville City Government
    Patrick Wilson, President, Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority

Maryville

  • Tammy Wilson, Vice President, Treasurer & Chief Risk Officer, TVA

Memphis

  • Jason Farmer, Founder/CEO, Black Lens Productions

  • Mike Keeney, Attorney, Lewis Thomason

  • Justice Holly Kirby, Tennessee Supreme Court

  • Commissioner Mickell Lowery, Shelby County Government

  • Billy Orgel, President, Tower Ventures

  • Lauren Taylor, Vice President of Programs and Learning, Hyde Family Foundation

  • Amy Weirich, District Attorney General, 30th Judicial District

Nashville

  • Jessica Bliss, Storytelling Columnist, The Tennessean

  • Michelle Gaskin Brown, Manager, Public Policy, Amazon

  • Commissioner Beth DeBauche, Ohio Valley Conference

  • Alfred Degrafinreid II, Associate Vice Chancellor for Community Relations, Vanderbilt University

  • Margaret Dolan, President/CEO, Launch Tennessee

  • Bradley Jackson, President/CEO, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry

  • Commissioner Julie McPeak, TN Department of Commerce & Insurance

  • Hugh Queener, Chief Administrative Officer & EVP, Pinnacle Financial Partners, Inc.

  • Dr. Sharon Roberts, Chief K-12 Impact Officer, TN State Collaborative on Reforming Education

  • Patrick Sheehan, Director, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency

  • Stephen Smith, Deputy Director/Chief of Staff, TennCare

  • Commissioner Marie Williams, TN Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services

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