Monterey native among latest Leadership Tennessee class

NASHVILLE – Leadership Tennessee today announced its 45 Class VI members, leaders from rural and urban communities across Tennessee who will spend the next year engaging in collaborative, non-partisan dialogue on issues of statewide importance.

Amy New. Photo courtesy of

The 45 new class members represent each geographic region of the state, including the communities of Memphis, Martin, Jackson, Nashville, Clarksville, Murfreesboro, Knoxville, Kingsport, Johnson City and Chattanooga. Professional sectors represented include healthcare, education, economic development, government, tourism and agriculture.

The new members will spend the next year engaging in collaborative, non-partisan dialogue on issues of statewide importance. TNECD‘s own Assistant Commissioner of Community and Rural Development and Monterey native Amy New was one of the 45 members chosen to join Class VI.


Adamsville: Commissioner Jai Templeton, Tennessee Department of Agriculture

Brentwood: Valerie Hayes, Managing Director, Deloitte

Bristol: Jerry Caldwell, Executive Vice President/General Manager, Bristol Motor Speedway; Senator Jon Lundberg, State of Tennessee

Columbia: Jeff Aiken, President, Tennessee Farm Bureau

Chattanooga: Jared T. Bigham, Executive Director, Chattanooga 2.0; Stacy Goodwin Lightfoot, Vice President College and Career Success, Public Education Foundation; Hodgen Mainda, Vice President Community Development, Electric Power Board – Chattanooga; David Steele, Director of Civic Engagement & Assistant Professor of Practice, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; Dakasha Winton, Chief Government Relations Officer/Senior Vice President, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee

Clarksville: Charlie Koon, VP Corporate & Military Business Development, F&M Bank

Dresden: Mayor Jake Bynum, Weakley County

Franklin: Brigadier General Kurt Winstead, Director of Joint Staff, Tennessee National Guard

Jackson: Logan Hampton, President, Lane College; Justice Roger Page, Tennessee Supreme Court; Lisa Piercy, MD, Executive Vice President, West Tennessee Healthcare

Johnson City: Alan Levine, Chairman/CEO, Ballad Health

Kingsport: Mayor John Clark, City of Kingsport; Dr. Jeff McCord, Vice President, Economic and Workforce Development, Northeast State Community College; Aundrea Wilcox, Executive Director – KOSBE, Kingsport Chamber of Commerce

Knoxville: Pastor Daryl Arnold, Overcoming Believers Church; Robyn Jarvis Askew, Shareholder/Attorney, Lewis, Thomason, King, Krieg & Waldrop P.C.; Cynthia Gibson, Chief Legal & Business Affairs Officer (former), Scripps Networks Interactive; Dr. Victoria Neiderhauser, Dean and Professor, University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Nursing

Martin: Keith Carver, Chancellor, University of Tennessee at Martin

Maryville: Bryan Daniels, President & CEO, Blount Partnership

Memphis: Rob Clark, Chief Government Affairs Officer, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; Tosha Downey, Advocacy Director, Memphis Education Fund; Mike Dunavant, US Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, US Department of Justice; Mitch Graves, President/CEO, HealthChoice LLC; Leslie Lynn Smith, President and CEO, EpiCenter Memphis; Tish Towns, Senior Vice President/Chief Administrative Officer, Regional One Health

Murfreesboro: Dan Caldwell, Senior Manager, Training, US Manufacturing, Nissan Group of North America; Beth Duffield, Senior Vice President of Education & Workforce Development, Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce

Nashville: Shanna Singh Hughey, President, Think Tennessee; Paige Kisber, President and CEO, Hospital Alliance of Tennessee; Amy New, Assistant Commissioner, Community and Rural Development, State of Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development; Toks Omishakin, Deputy Commissioner/Chief of Planning and Environment, Tennessee Department of Transportation; Ann Jarvis Pruitt, Executive Director, Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services; Emily Reynolds, Vice Chairman, Tennessee Board of Regents; Gabe Roberts, Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer, TennCare; Tara Scarlett, President/CEO, Scarlett Family Foundation; Todd Skelton, Deputy Counsel to Governor Bill Haslam, State of Tennessee; Deborah Taylor Tate, Director, Administrative Office of the Courts, Tennessee Supreme Court;

Union City: Lindsay Frilling, CEcD, CEO, Obion County Joint Economic Development Council;

“Each Leadership Tennessee class brings its own experience and insight to the table, and we’re especially excited about Class VI and what they bring to the conversation around critical issues in Tennessee,” Leadership Tennessee Executive Director Cathy Cate said. “Each class grows together over the course of the year as they challenge their perspectives on issues in their communities. We’re looking forward to the conversations Class VI  will have over the next year as they develop the program around focus areas they highlight as critical to state success.”

Entering its sixth year, Leadership Tennessee selects a new class of leaders annually to visit different regions and communities of Tennessee, learning best practices and analyzing important issues faced by Tennesseans. To date, Leadership Tennessee has built a network of 175 leaders across the state.

“Leadership Tennessee helps you build relationships across multiple industries and sectors, public and private, but more importantly it builds opportunities for partnerships,” recent Class V graduate and Tennessee Charter Schools Center CEO Maya Bugg said.

In conjunction with its fifth-year celebration, Leadership Tennessee brought Pulitzer Prize-winning author Thomas Friedman to tour the state and hosted its first gubernatorial forum at Lipscomb University in May. It also launched its Volunteer State of Mind initiative to spotlight Tennesseans’ propensity to selflessly serve and volunteer.

Earlier this year, Leadership Tennessee cohosted panels focused on the relationship between of health, economic development, and education in building healthier communities, and it held a summit on childhood poverty in Northeast Tennessee in April.

Leadership Tennessee, an initiative of the College of Leadership & Public Service at Lipscomb University, fosters collaborative, non-partisan dialogue on issues of state importance, connecting a network of diverse leaders and engaged citizens.

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