Thirty Business Professionals Graduate from Leadership Jackson Program

By: Julie Daniels, Communications Coordinator on Dec 16, 2014

Program Graduates 36th Class Since Inception in 1979

JACKSON, TN [Thursday, December 11] – Thirty local business professionals graduated from the Jackson Chamber’s 2014 Leadership Jackson class on Thursday, December 11th at the Carl Grants Events Center at Union University. This class is the 36th 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.

“Leadership Jackson is an incredible asset for the City of Jackson and for those who wish to further their knowledge in everything from leadership, local politics, education, economic development, and quality of life, all the way to Jackson’s rich history and promising future.” said Paul Taylor, Director of Construction & Engineer/Architectural Designer for Gary A. Taylor Investment Company and member of the 2014 graduating class. “It personally has given me the platform to ask questions that challenge our existing local leadership and to express my ideas and vision for the future of this community in a setting where I’m surrounded by others who share an optimistic outlook on Jackson-Madison County as we continue to move forward.”

Josh Clarke, Union University, and 2014 Leadership Jackson Chair, states, “I am sure that the best and brightest days for Jackson are ahead with this class helping to lead the way.”

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 Mark Benton, Jackson Christian School. The class also selected Jenny Anne Hayes, St. Johns Community Services, as the 2015 Class Social Chair, and Andrea Winchester, Jackson State Community College, as the Vice Chair. Hayes and Winchester will be responsible for scheduling class meetings and will also coordinate the 2015 Alumni Social.  Also, selected as Class Social Media Chair was Cassandra Fuller, Jackson Energy Authority and Vice Chair, Jinny Ballard, Bancorp South Mortgage.

John Ewing, Woman’s Clinic, P.A., was selected to be Vice Chair of Leadership Jackson in 2015 to serve with Angie Lowery, Merrill Lynch, Vice Chair in 2014 who will assume Chairmanship in 2015. Angie Lowery, Merrill Lynch, was recognized for her outstanding leadership as Vice Chair of Leadership Jackson in 2014.

Class members were also recognized for their commitment and personal growth with the jewel and diamond awards. Jewel award recipients were Paul Taylor, Gary A. Taylor Investments.; Cassandra Fuller, Jackson Energy Authority; Kimberli Moore, West TN Hearing and Speech Center. Michael Overbey, Central Distributors, Inc. 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. Greg Parsons, FirstBank, Class of 2008, received the Community Observance of Personal Excellence (COPE) Award; Amy Dove, Workcare Resources, Class of 2011, with the Emerging Leader Award; Ginger A. French, TLM Associates Inc., Class of 2002, with the Harbert Alexander Award for Servant Leadership. John Myers, Commercial Bank and Trust, and Class of 2007 graduate, 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 2014 Class has embraced ‘servant leadership’ since the program began in September,” said Judy Renshaw, Executive Director, Leadership Jackson. “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 2014 graduates are: Donna Agnew, Hands Up! Preschool; Jinny Culpepper Ballard, BancorpSouth Mortgage; Mark Benton, Jackson Christian; Bryan Lee Bird, Byrd Implement Company, Inc.; Clay Crockett, Horne LLP; Robert P. Curlin, Pinpoint Ideas & Solutions, Inc.; Randall T. Dyer, Jr., Gerdau; Jon R. Ewing, Woman’s Clinic, P.A.; Cassandra Fuller, Jackson Energy Authority; Lauren Katherine Hale, Town & Country Realtors; Dr. Jenny Anne Hayes, St. Johns’ Community Services; Shelley Renee Hayes, Northwestern Mutual; Tina Hernandez, Regional Inter-Faith Association (RIFA); Dennis Allen Hornsby, Robert’s Jewelers; Thomas James (TJ) King, Madison County Sheriff’s Office; Carrie Ann Knox, Kirkland Cancer Center-West Tennessee Healthcare; Jon Marco Laser; Deputy Chief Barry Alan Michael, Jackson Police Department; Kimberli Moore, West Tennessee Hearing & Speech Center; Brittney Jo North, General Cable; Kenneth Michael Overbey, Jr., Central Distributors, Inc.; Vanessa C. Patrick, West Tennessee Healthcare; Bria P. Pittman, Madison County CASA; Joseph Wayne Ross, The Bank of Jackson; Gregory Joseph Saliba, MG Construction; Paul Hayes Taylor, Gary A. Taylor Investment Company; Joseph E. Vaughan III, Vaughan Associates Architects, Inc.; Lisa A. Warmath, University of Memphis, Lambuth Campus; Andrea Michelle Winchester, Jackson State Community College; and Matthew Aaron Wood, Alexander Thompson Arnold, PLLC.

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