Leadership Tennessee this week announced its 2018-19 class, comprised of 45 leaders (including six from the Tri-Cities) who will spend the next year engaging in collaborative, non-partisan dialogue on issues of statewide importance. Leadership Tennessee is an initiative of Lipscomb University’s College of Leadership and Public Service.
The 45 new class members represent each geographic region of the state, including the communities of Bristol, Chattanooga, Clarksville, Jackson, Johnson City, Kingsport, Knoxville, Martin, Memphis, Murfreesboro and Nashville. Professional sectors represented include health care, education, economic development, government, tourism and agriculture. This is the sixth class to participate in the program.
The Tri-Cities’ enrollees are:
Bristol: Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president/general manager, Bristol Motor Speedway; Senator Jon Lundberg, state of Tennessee
Johnson City: Alan Levine, chairman/CEO, Ballad Health
Kingsport: Mayor John Clark, city of Kingsport; Dr. Jeff McCord, vice president, Economic and Workforce Development, Northeast State Community College; Aundrea Wilcox, executive director – KOSBE, Kingsport Chamber of Commerce
“Each Leadership Tennessee class brings its own experience and insight to the table, and we’re especially excited about Class VI and what they bring to the conversation around critical issues in Tennessee,” Leadership Tennessee Executive Director Cathy Cate said. “Each class grows together over the course of the year as they challenge their perspectives on issues in their communities. We’re looking forward to the conversations Class VI will have over the next year as they develop the program around focus areas they highlight as critical to state success.”
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,” recent Class V graduate and Tennessee Charter Schools Center CEO Maya Bugg said.
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 at Lipscomb University in May. It 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 between of health, economic development, and education in building healthier communities, and it held a summit on childhood poverty at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Greeneville in April.