Thirty Business Professionals Graduate from Leadership Jackson Program

By: Julie Daniels, Communications Coordinato on Dec 11, 2015

Leadership Jackson Class of 2015

 Thirty local business professionals graduated from the Jackson Chamber’s 2015 Leadership Jackson class on Thursday, December 10 at the Carl Grants Events Center at Union University. This class is the 37th class to go through the Leadership Program since its inception in 1979. 

     Leadership Jackson, the chamber’s adult leadership development program, gives business professionals employed with companies that are chamber members the opportunity to better understand the community, the opportunities and the challenges it faces. The three-month program gives class members the chance to visit community landmarks, meet with area leaders and participate in weekly sessions about topics impacting Jackson-Madison County, including education, healthcare and government.

      “The heart and enthusiasm this class has for Jackson, as well as one another, has been an absolute joy to witness,” says Angie Lowery, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, and 2015 Leadership Jackson Chair. “Their reach will extend far beyond the scope of these last three months as they settle in to a greater understanding and appreciation of what it means to be part of this thriving community.”

      “Jackson should be proud of the 2015 Leadership Jackson Class,” states Jon Ewing, Woman’s Clinic, P.A. and 2015 Leadership Jackson Vice Chair. “These leaders have a unique synergy and an unquenched mission to serve this Community. I would encourage you to partner with any of them quickly because their TRAIN is leaving the building and it is STEAMING up the HILLS – I predict there will be no stopping.  I was honored to serve them and be a small part of their awakenings about Jackson!“

     During the graduation ceremony, class members were recognized for their achievements with an award ceremony and all class members received their Leadership Jackson graduate certificate of completion. Class Spokesperson selected by the class to share their reflections and impact of Leadership Jackson was Dr. Dub Oliver, Union University. The class also selected Tori Lester, Tennessee Valley Authority, as the 2015 Class Social Chair. Lester will be responsible for scheduling class meetings and will also coordinate the 2016 Alumni Social. Selected as Class Social Media Chair was Randy Moffett, Kelly Services. 

      Sarah Johnson, The Jackson Clinic, was selected to be Vice Chair of Leadership Jackson in 2016 to serve with Jon Ewing, Woman’s Clinic, P.A., and Vice Chair in 2015 that will assume Chairmanship in 2016.

     Class members were also recognized for their commitment and personal growth with the jewel and diamond awards. Jewel award recipients were Justine Dugger, Jackson Downtown Development Corp.; Rico Bryson, City of Jackson; Lowell Beller, Central Distributors, Inc.; and Marty Dyer, Golden Circle Exterminators Inc. Randy Moffett, Kelly Services received the class’ highest honor – the diamond award, for his commitment in surpassing requirements in all aspects of Leadership Jackson.

     Past alumni of Leadership Jackson were also recognized. A J Massey, Leaders Credit Union Class of 2009, received the Community Observance of Personal Excellence (COPE) Award; Andrew Long, BancorpSouth, Class of 2013, with the Emerging Leader Award; Jeffery Head, BancorpSouth, Class of 2004, with the Harbert Alexander Award for Servant Leadership. Greg Parsons, FirstBank, Class of 2008, received a National Award for Leadership. The Distinguished Leadership Award (DLA) created to recognize exceptional community leadership graduates. Recipients are men and women who have made significant and notable contributions for the betterment of their communities. The Association of Leadership Programs (ALP) is a national association of leadership programs across the country.

   “The 2015 Class has embraced ‘servant leadership’ since the program began in September,” said Ryan Porter, Chief Operating Officer, Jackson Chamber. “The more they learned about our community, the more they invested. Many nonprofit organizations and the clients they serve have been enriched by Leadership Jackson.  It will be exciting to see their continued impact in our community in the future.” 

      The Leadership Jackson Class of 2015 graduates are: Kevin Adelsberger, Adelsberger Marketing; Ricardo Anawate, Gerdau; Jill Austin, TBDN TENNESSEE COMPANY; Lowell Beller, Central Distributors Inc.; Rico Bryson, City of Jackson Fire Department; Mallory Cole, PRA Group; Justine Dugger, Jackson Downtown Development Corp.; Marty Dyer, Golden Circle Exterminators Inc.; Thomas Fisher, Thomas Fisher and Associates; Chris Freeman, Jackson Generals Baseball Club; Gail Gustafson, The Dream Center; Justin Howell, Voya Financial Advisors, Inc.; Sarah Johnson, The Jackson Clinic, P.A.; Tori Lynn Lester, Tennessee Valley Authority; William Lovelady, Fundamental Health Solutions, LLC; Rita McCaslin, Leaders Credit Union; Randy Moffett, Kelly Services; Kristine Nakutis, Jackson State Community College; Adam November, TLM Associates, Inc.; Dub Oliver, Union University; Eddie O’Neill, Jackson Energy Authority; Mike Pace, Pinnacle Foods Group, Inc.; Ross Priddy, First Tennessee Bank; Cheri Spencer, West Tennessee Healthcare; Tamara Stanfill, Alexander Thompson Arnold PLLC; Chip Trammell, FMY Orthodontics, PC; Carolyn Vaughan, VIP Media Group, Inc.; Taylor Walker, Thompson and Smith Insurance, LLC; Christy Whitwell, Carlstar Group; and Michelle Wilson, BancorpSouth.

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