Twenty-Five Business Professionals graduate from Leadership Jackson program

March 10, 2021

Leadership Jackson Class of 2020.

Twenty-five local business professionals graduated from the Jackson Chamber’s 42nd Leadership Jackson (LJ) class on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at the Carl Grant Events Center at Union University.

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. 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.

“What happened with this year’s 42nd class was special,” says LJ Chair Russ McKelvey, branch manager, Mack Pest Control, Inc. “The difficulties presented over the past year created a unique opportunity for these leaders to embrace traditional challenges from a new perspective. This group was “ALL IN” from the start while sharpening their skills and learning about the needs of Jackson. Our community won big by what the class accomplished and it will be exciting to see what they do in the future. I thank Nick Hayes and Brandy Stutsman for being my teammates through this. It’s a treat to work with such great people.”

“LJ42 has truly owned their experience and embraced being the “Covid Class,” says LJ Vice-Chair Nick Hayes, general manager, Hiller Plumbing • Cooling • Heating • Electrical. “They have utilized their resources to earn funds in an unprecedented manor and their group projects have achieved more than we could have dreamed. Jackson and Madison County is blessed to have this group of 25 individuals taking ownership of our community’s future.”

During the graduation ceremony, class members were recognized for their achievements and received their Leadership Jackson graduate certificate of completion. Matt Marshall, president/CEO of United Way of West Tennessee, was chosen as class spokesperson to share their reflections on the three-month program and how it will influence their lives. The class also selected Tim Dyer, LIFELINE Blood Services, as the class social chair. Dyer will be responsible for scheduling class meetings and coordinating the socials.

David Knack, with Knack Consulting, was selected to be vice chair of Leadership Jackson in 2021. He will serve with Hayes, who will assume the chairmanship.

Five class members were recognized for their commitment and personal growth. Tim Dyer, LIFELINE Blood Services; received the highest honor – the Diamond Award – for surpassing all requirements in Leadership Jackson. Jewel award recipients were Kenneth Cummings, City of Jackson; Ronda Fitzgerald, Christian Brothers Automotive & Conner Real Estate; Matt Marshall, United Way of West Tennessee; and Ginger Williams, Town & Country Realtors.

Leadership Jackson alumni who were recognized are Vadessa Flack, Manpower of the Mid-South, class of 2017, the Emerging Leader Award; Dr. Vicki Lake, West Tennessee Healthcare, class of 2010, the Community Observance of Personal Excellence (COPE) Award; and Doug Roth, BancorpSouth, class of 2003, the Harbert Alexander Award for Servant Leadership.

“To say that the 42nd class of Leadership Jackson had challenges and obstacles to overcome is an understatement,” said Brandy Stutsman, director of leadership development, Jackson Chamber. “I am proud to witness the class members give 100% to the program and be ALL IN this year. Every class member embraced servant leadership during the program. The more the class learns about Jackson, the more they invest for the greater good of our community. It will be exciting to see their continued impact on the community.”

The Leadership Jackson Class graduates include:

Craig Barton, The Hamilton-Ryker Group, Inc.

Clint Beilke, The University of Memphis – Lambuth Campus

Kenneth Cummings, City of Jackson

Chelsie Denevan, AbilisHealth

Tim Dyer, LIFELINE Blood Services

Ronda Fitzgerald, Christian Brothers Automotive-Jackson/Conner Real Estate

Christy Fullington, Nest Realty

Hunter Hawes, State Farm Insurance-Alan Brown

Deb Heard, Hands Up! Preschool

Jenny Higdon, Jackson Energy Authority

Brandon Jones, TLM Associates, Inc. Architects + Engineers

Dr. Ann Keyl, Sacred Heart of Jesus High School

Lindsay Kilburn, Madison County Sheriff’s Department/Crimestoppers

David Knack, Knack Consulting

Matt Marshall, United Way of West Tennessee, Inc.

Caleb Merriweather, Haven Insurance Partners

Dr. Cassandra Owens, Lane College

Dr. Janice Pittman, Union University

Parker Powell, Yukon Outfitters

Allison Rickett, XMC, Excellence in Office Solutions

Drew Shaub, Butts Foods, Inc.

Andy Spence, Mitchell’s Body Shop, Inc.

Kayle Tyner, SERVPRO of Jackson/Crockett County

Ginger Williams, Town & Country Realtors

Rema Wilson, Association of Infant Mental Health in Tennessee (AIMHiTN)

For more information on Leadership Jackson, visit its website at

Tim Dyer

Tim Dyer, Diamond Award winner

Kenneth Cummings

Kenneth Cummings, Jewel award recipient

Ronda Fitzgerald

Ronda Fitzgerald, Jewel award recipient

Matt Marshall

Matt Marshall, Jewel award recipient

Ginger Williams

Ginger Williams, Jewel award recipient

Vadessa Flack

Vadessa Flack, class of 2017, Emerging Leader Award winner

Dr. Vicki Lake

Dr. Vicki Lake, class of 2010, Community Observance of Personal Excellence (COPE) Award

Doug Roth

Doug Roth, class of 2003, Harbert Alexander Award for Servant Leadership winner