Public Service

No city can thrive without the support of a vibrant public service community. From feeding the hungry to promoting diversity to establishing and preserving green spaces in the city, public service keeps us moving toward a better tomorrow. The following people represent active organizations and waves of folks volunteering their time, money, and expertise for the good of the community. They work hard everyday to aid those in need by providing essential services, solve and prevent serious problems, help ensure our safety, and advance the common good. Their efforts drive the inspiration in all of us to make a difference, and we have a better Memphis to show for it.

Executive Director, Shelby Farms Park Conservancy. B.A., George Washington University. Oversees programs, services, amenities at Shelby Farms Park, as well as implementation of the Park Master Plan vision, including Shelby Farms Greenline, Wolf River Pedestrian Bridge, and Woodland Discovery Playground. Volunteer of the Year Award, Volunteer Memphis Board. Who’s Who, Memphis magazine, Member, Urban Land Institute, City Parks Alliance, Diversity Memphis, Leadership Memphis, and Coalition for a Better Memphis.

President and CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Memphis. B.A., Mass Communications, Stephens College. Began as Executive Director of the organization in 1995. Former Chair, Memphis in May Children’s International Festival. Former Community Relations/Volunteer Coordinator, Memphis Food Bank. Local Community Hero Torchbearer for the U.S. Olympic Torch Relay. Delegate, “President’s Summit for America’s Future.” Husband is founder of the National Civil Rights Museum.

Founder and Executive Director, Streets Ministries. B.S., Education; M.S., Counseling, University of Memphis. Former therapist, Alcohol and Drug Unit at Mid-South Hospital Eastwood Hospital. Received Thomas W. Briggs Community Service Award, East Memphis Rotary Citizen of the Year, Memphis Theological Seminary’s Humanitarian Award, and Lyndhurst Prize. Member, Urban Youth Initiative management team. Board Member, New Hope Christian Academy. 2011 University of Memphis Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.

President, BRIDGES. B.A., Vanderbilt University. Master of Divinity, InterMet Seminary. Organization builds a community of leaders to advance racial, economic, educational, and environmental justice. Received United Way of the Mid-South G. Bradley Wanzer Jr. Award for Excellence, Thomas W. Briggs Community Service Award, AFP Crystal Award for Outstanding Executive Leader. Member, Association of Fundraising Professionals. Part of the organizing team for 2010’s Gather at the River Conference.

President and Chief Executive Officer, The Urban Child Institute. B.S., Business Administration, Auburn University; M.S., Technology of Management, American University. Former President and CEO, Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center. Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives. Past Board Member, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Memphis, National Association for Children and Related Institutions, and Methodist Healthcare. Recipient of L.M. Graves Award, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare Foundation Living Award.

President, Meritan. B.A., David Lipscomb University; Master’s, University of Alabama. Programs include home healthcare and foster care for medically fragile children and adults. Past President, Memphis Rotary Club, a double Paul Harris Fellow, and served as District Conference Chairman. President, United Way Executives Association. Named to “50 Women Who Make a Difference in Memphis,” Memphis Woman. Received John W. Hines Award for Administrative Excellence, Tennessee Association for Home Care. 

Executive Director, Memphis Jewish Federation. B.A., University of Pittsburgh; M.S.W., University of Maryland. Received FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award; Leadership Award Association of United Way Executives; and United Jewish Communities Sapir Award. Member, Executive Committee, United Jewish Communities. Chair, Executive Directors, Intermediate City Size Federation. Board Member, Association of Jewish Community Organization Professionals and Chairman, Edel Award Committee.

President, United Way of the Mid-South. Human Services Executive Management Program, Harvard University; B.B.A., Central Washington University. With United Way for 39 years. Has increased annual amount raised from $10 million in 1983 to $25.7 million; number of charitable organizations funded in the Mid-South increased from 44 to 115. Chairman of the Board, United Ways of Tennessee. Past President of Kiwanis Club of Memphis. Supports Leadership Memphis and Task Force on Homelessness.

Executive Director, MIFA. B.A., Rhodes College; Master’s, American Studies, University of Texas. Joined senior staff in 2007 as Vice President of development. Former Director of Development, Memphis Brooks Museum from. Former Director of Marketing and Vice President of Publications, Robert F. Sharpe Company, Inc. Former Director of Alumni, Director of Publications, and acting Director of Communications, Rhodes College. Former Executive Director, Memphis Heritage.

CEO, Youth Villages. B.A. and M.A., University of Memphis. Provider of services to troubled children and their families. In 2006, he was recognized as one of “America’s Best Leaders” by U.S. News &World Report. In 2010 and 2011 Youth Villages was named one of the 50 Best Nonprofits to Work For, Nonprofit Times. Member of St. Francis Hospital Board of Directors in Bartlett, the Bank of Bartlett, and Chairman of the Review Board of the Memphis Catholic Diocese. Has been head of organization since its founding in 1986.

President and CEO, Memphis Goodwill, Inc. Attended the University of Memphis. The nonprofit is a donated-goods operation providing employment to persons with disabilities and other significant barriers to employment, contract services through government partnerships providing employment to persons with disabilities, vocational rehabilitation services for the severely disabled through partnership with the state of Tennessee. Member, Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Center for Non-Profit Management, and the Memphis Rotary Club.

President and CEO, Mid-South Food Bank. B.A. and M.A., Communications, University of Memphis. Has been with Food Bank since 1996. Started the Food Bank’s Kids Cafes, Food for Kids BackPack Programs, and the Mobile Pantry. Organization serves hungry and needy people in 31 Mid-South counties through a network of 325 charitable feeding programs. Recently elected to the Feeding America National Council. Named one of  “50 Women Who Make A Difference,” Memphis Woman. Memphis Leadership Academy, Class of 2006.

Founder and Executive Director, Church Health Center. B.A., University of Virginia; M.Div., Yale; M.D., Emory University. Board of Directors, LeMoyne-Owen College and New Pathways. Chairman, Memphis and Shelby County Medical Society Ethics Committee. Carnival Memphis’ Cook Halle Award in 2009. American Medical Association Foundation’s Excellence in Medicine’s Pride in the Profession Award in 2008. Award for Excellence in Community Service, Yale Divinity School, in 1998.

President and CEO, ArtsMemphis. B.A., University of South Carolina. Raises funds for arts organizations in the Memphis community. Programs include the Audience Development Initiative, a multifaceted series with workshops, seminars, promotional events, and a website. Has developed partnership with Ducks Unlimited for Conservation Through Art. Served on the Americans for the Arts Leadership Council for United Arts Fund. Board Member, Riverfront Development Corporation.

CEO, ALSAC. B.A., Marquette University; J.D., Loyola University. Fund-raising organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In 2010, ALSAC raised $692 million, making it the second-largest healthcare charity, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy. More than 1 million volunteers work on fund-raising events each year. Key fund-raising programs include the FedEx St. Jude Classic, Hoops for St. Jude, the Dream Home Giveaway, and Thanks and Giving. Member, Greater Memphis Chamber and Memphis Bioworks Foundation.

Executive Director, Memphis Branch NAACP. B.S., Simmons College; M.S., Cornell University. NAACP’s mission is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of all citizens. Has worked for NAACP for 20 years. Memphis Branch is second largest in U.S. Has served on boards of the Jessie Mahan Day Care Center, Girls, Inc., and Girl Scouts Heart of the South. Received Community Service Award from FBI. Has worked for years with the Shelby County Links Beautillion for young men and the Leadership Academy.

Executive Director, Christ Community Health Services. B.S., University of Tennessee-Knoxville; M.H.A., Washington University. Organization focuses on fulfilling the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of the poor, the uninsured, and the homeless in Memphis, serving thousands each year. Has been in the position since 1998. Former president and CEO of the Regional Medical Center. Forty years’ experience in medical administration. Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Executive Director, Memphis Heritage. B.F.A., University of Arkansas. The mission of Memphis Heritage is to educate and coordinate groups to save, improve, reuse, and maintain architecturally and historically significant buildings, streets, parks, and cultural artifacts. Graduate of Leadership Memphis. Member, National Trust for Historic Preservation and Tennessee Preservation Trust. Currently working to preserve Memphis Slim’s home and Aretha Franklin’s birth home in the Soulsville area.

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