Downtown Jackson Tennessee

Twenty-Eight Business Professionals Graduate From Leadership Jackson Program

Twenty-Eight Business Professionals Graduate From Leadership Jackson Program

Twenty-eight local business professionals graduated from the Greater Jackson Chamber’s 45th Leadership Jackson class on Thursday, December 14, 2023, at the Carl Grant Events Center at Union University. 

Leadership Jackson, the Greater Jackson 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. Class members visited community landmarks, met with area leaders and participated in weekly sessions about topics impacting Jackson-Madison County, including education, healthcare, and government. 

“The 45th Leadership Jackson class really took charge of their experience. Those of us guiding them in their growth and education couldn’t be prouder of what they’ve accomplished,” says Margaret Livingston, Leadership Jackson 2023 chair. “Our community now has twenty-eight individuals who are empowered to make Jackson better for years to come. Being able to see their success and learn from it has been uplifting to me. I’m thankful to have worked with this year’s class alongside Kris Kelley.” 

During the graduation ceremony, class members were recognized for their achievements and received their Leadership Jackson graduate certificate of completion. The class chose Renee Jones, Director of Organizational Development and Communications with the Boys and Girls Club of Jackson, to be its spokesperson and share their reflections on going through the three-month program and how it will influence their lives. The class also selected Kristen Chambers, United Way of West Tennessee, as the class social chair. 

Morgan White, with the Jackson Arts Council, was selected to be vice chair of Leadership Jackson in 2024. She will serve with Kelley, who will assume the chairmanship. 

Five class members were recognized for their commitment and personal growth. Renee Jones, Boys and Girls Club of Jackson received the highest honor – the Diamond Award – for surpassing all requirements in Leadership Jackson. Jewel award recipients were Kyle Barron, Greater Jackson Chamber; Maegan Bayless, Stanley Black & Decker; Ed Jackson, III, United States House of Representatives and Don McCorry, Jackson-Madison County African American Chamber of Commerce. 

Leadership Jackson alumni who were recognized are Christi David, City of Jackson Parks and Recreation Department, class of 2021, the Emerging Leader Award; Ryan Blake, West Tennessee Healthcare Sportsplex, class of 2019, the Community Observance of Personal Excellence (COPE) Award; James (JR) Ross, West Tennessee Healthcare, class of 2001, the Harbert Alexander Award for Servant Leadership. 

“It has been an honor to witness the 2023 class embrace ‘servant leadership’ the past 13 weeks,” said Lauren Saliba, director of leadership development, at the Greater Jackson Chamber. “The more they learn about Jackson-Madison County, the more they invest for the greater good of our community. It will be exciting to see their continued impact in serving others.” 

The Leadership Jackson Class graduates include: 

Kyle Barron, Greater Jackson Chamber of Commerce 

Maegan Bayless, Stanley Black & Decker 

Mike Bryant, Madison County 

Beau Carr, Haven Insurance Partners 

Kristen Chambers, United Way of West Tennessee 

Karen Ellis, West Tennessee Healthcare/Kirkland Cancer Center 

Hannah Garey, Mack Pest Control 

Meredith Gatlin, The Dream Center of Jackson 

Chris Gray, Leaders Credit Union 

Ed Jackson, III, United States House of Representatives 

Renee Jones, Boys & Girls Club of Jackson 

Lauren Kennedy, Union University 

Kevin Kirksey, FSB Insurance 

Kristina Love-Norton, Hilton Garden Inn 

Don McCorry, Jackson Madison County African American Chamber of Commerce 

Jonathan Mullikin, Hiller Heating, Plumbing, Cooling and Electrical 

Whitney Owen, City of Jackson Animal Care Center 

Jonathan Parker, 1st Step Fitness 

Simone Proctor, Vergent Marketing and Consulting Group 

Kane Reeves, Tennessee State University 

Bianca Simmons, Infinite Rehab and Wellness 

Maigan Smith, The Woman's Clinic 

Jared Smith, Jackson Energy Authority 

Blake Taylor, Commercial Bank & Trust 

Mary Wade, The Bank of Jackson 

Denice Walton, RIFA 

Morgan White, Jackson Arts Council 

Josh Wigger, Gerdau 

For more information on Leadership Jackson, visit its website at 

About the Greater Jackson Chamber: The Greater Jackson Chamber was founded in 1905 – seven years prior to the United States Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber consists of a diverse and talented staff, an executive committee, dedicated volunteers, and more than 1,100 business members – all committed to growing the economy and quality of life for everyone in Madison County and the region. 

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