Second Class Of Leadership Tennessee Next Announced

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Leadership Tennessee, the state’s leadership education organization, Wednesday announced the second class of Leadership Tennessee NEXT, its program to offer mid-career professionals personal and career development while fostering a better understanding of Tennessee. The seven participating from Chattanooga are Molly Blankenship, Amy Donahue, Elizabeth Hammitt, Aletha Jones, Jeana Lee, Joda Thongnopnua and Caroline Walker. 

Leadership Tennessee NEXT is the state’s only statewide leadership program focusing on Tennessee’s existing and emerging leaders that spans geographic and industry boundaries. The second class has 31 members representing Tennessee’s diversity across the three Grand Divisions of Tennessee.

“At Leadership Tennessee we want to build a network of problem solvers and engaged citizens to come together on issues of statewide importance, and Leadership Tennessee NEXT extends that network to the leaders of tomorrow,” Leadership Tennessee Executive Director Cathy Cate said. “Cohort members will be educated, engaged, and inspired to come together across experiences and backgrounds to make Tennessee a better place, and we are incredibly excited about what the second cohort brings to the table as we continue to grow and expand this program.”

The class will meet four times across the state in Greeneville, Memphis, Nashville and Townsend. Each session will feature engagement with Leadership Tennessee Signature Program members, highlight issues and opportunities specific to Tennessee and promote personal skill development.

“Leadership Tennessee NEXT provided an opportunity to connect with future leaders across this great state,” Class I member Bo Wilkes said. “I was honored to be a part of the inaugural class, and I believe Class II will take the next step in developing our future state leaders.”

The second cohort of Leadership Tennessee NEXT includes:

Jennifer Axsom Adler: Assistant Director, Roan Scholars Leadership Program, ETSU; Kingsport
Molly Blankenship: Executive Director, Chattanooga 2.0; Chattanooga
Amy Donahue: Director of Marketing and Communication, River City Company; Chattanooga
Elizabeth Hammitt: Director Environmental Stewardship and Community, EPB; Chattanooga
Althea Jones: Senior Advisor - External Relations, Tennessee Valley Authority; Chattanooga
Jeana Lee: VP, Marketing & Corporate Engagement, United Way of Greater Chattanooga; Chattanooga
Molly Luton: Assist Vice President Marketing, Ballad Health; Johnson City
Jennifer Moralejo: Clinical Director, Family Justice Center; Knoxville
Quineka Moten: Director of Education and Youth Services, Knoxville Area Urban League; Knoxville
Pin-Chia Murphy: Corporate Responsibility & Strategic Partnerships Manager, Eastman and Eastman Foundation; Kingsport
Grant Rosenberg: Vice-President, Denark Construction, Inc.; Knoxville
Lisa Rottmann: VP, Marketing & Strategy, Stowers Machinery Corporation; Knoxville
Joda Thongnopnua: Director of Communications, Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga; Chattanooga
Caroline Walker: Market President, BB&T; Chattanooga

Amanda Adams: Chief Strategy Officer, Tennessee Department of Human Resources; Nashville
Steven Gentile: Chief Fiscal Policy Officer; Tennessee Higher Education Commission; Nashville
John Goetz: Senior Vice President, Bridge Public Affairs; Thompson Station
Derrick Jackson: Community Leader, Music City Riders United; Smyrna
Kirsten Jacobson: Staff Attorney, Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services; Nashville
Clark Milner: Deputy Counsel to the Governor, Office of the Governor; Nashville
Lauren King: Compassion Forward Analyst, Asurion; Nashville
Bryson Leach: Co-owner/Operator, Needle & Grain; Columbia
Lucie Rhoads: Director of Development & Strategic Initiatives, Valor Collegiate Academies; Nashville
Matt Van Epps: Assistant Director, Tennessee Department of Transportation; Nashville

Burton Bridges: Associate Director- Field Development, ASLAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital; Memphis
Claire Brulatour: Community Relations Specialist, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee; Memphis
Rachel Knox: Program Officer-Thriving Arts & Culture, Hyde Family Foundation; Memphis
Dorian Spears-Merriweather: Chief Partnerships Officer, Momentum Nonprofit Partners; Memphis
Jordan Spraggins: Captain, Crockett County Sheriff's Department; Alamo
Jessica Taveau: Chief Brand Officer, Epicenter; Memphis
Ken Taylor: Chief of Staff, Memphis Education Fund; Memphis

In its seventh year, Leadership Tennessee is an initiative of the College of Leadership & Public Service at Lipscomb University to foster collaborative, non-partisan dialogue on issues of statewide importance by crossing over geographic and professional boundaries and connecting a diverse network of problem solvers and engaged citizens. A new class of 40 leaders is selected annually to take part in a leadership study course while visiting different areas of Tennessee, learning best practices and analyzing important issues faced by Tennesseans. To date, 170 leaders in five classes have gone through its Signature Program.

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