MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Tuesday, 5/4/23) – The Greater Memphis Chamber today announced the leadership of its Chairman’s Circle, a diverse group of about 170 C-suite business leaders focused on spurring economic growth, developing human capital, and improving the business climate throughout the region.
Michael Scarbrough, CEO of Optum at Home (previously known as Prospero Health), will succeed Regions Bank executive David May as chair of the Chairman’s Circle. Bill Dunavant III, president, CEO, and chair of Dunavant Enterprises, will succeed Scarbrough as vice chair. Four new co-chairs also joined the Chairman’s Circle leadership team: Andy Davis of Turner Construction, Mike Keeney of Orgill, Carlos Manning of The J.M. Smucker Company, and Monica Wharton of Methodist University Hospital.
“When I joined the Chairman’s Circle, it was kind of an ‘ah ha’ moment to see so many business leaders united by our love of Memphis and our desire to see our region prosper,” said incoming Chair of the Chairman’s Circle Michael Scarbrough. “As the Chairman’s Circle enters its 10th year, there’s zero interest in resting on our laurels. Over the past decade, we’ve narrowed our focus to the work that will have the highest impact on our community’s growth: more jobs that pay higher wages, more access to accelerated workforce skills training in high-demand industries, and a growth-friendly business climate.”
The Chairman’s Circle, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, was founded in 2013 to make the Chamber financially independent of government funding and to help spur the region’s growth. Today, much of the work being done by Chairman’s Circle investors is channeled through its Economic Development Task Force, Workforce Task Force, and Business Climate Task Force, which help steer the Chamber as it works to build a greater and more prosperous Memphis for all.
One of the primary projects of the Chairman’s Circle this year is to set up an accelerated skills training center in Memphis that will allow adults to receive industry certifications in high-demand careers within 8-24 weeks. The project is still in the planning phases but is tentatively scheduled to open in 2024.
“Greater Memphis is already seeing historic job growth but that doesn’t even begin to compare to the demand we expect to see in the future,” said Ted Townsend, president & CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber. “We are the Digital Delta, a tri-state region that is focused not only on attracting advanced companies and building future-ready infrastructure but on making good jobs accessible to all. The Chairman’s Circle is leading those efforts from the front, from mapping out skills for industry certifications to standing up a rapid skills training center that will be the first of its kind in Memphis.”
2023 Leadership of the Greater Memphis Chamber Chairman’s Circle
- Chair Michael Scarbrough, Optum at Home
- Vice Chair Bill Dunavant, III, Dunavant Enterprises
- Immediate Past Chair David May, Regions Bank
- Co-Chair Jim McMahon American Residential Services
- Co-Chair Paulo Teixeira, The Juice Plus+ Company
- Co-Chair Andy Davis, Turner Construction
- Co-Chair Mike Keeney, Orgill
- Co-Chair Carlos Manning, The J.M. Smucker Company
- Co-Chair Monica Wharton, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare
“The co-chairs of the Chairman’s Circle are some of the top business minds not only of our region but of any region, and their love of Memphis is unrivaled,” said Nancy Coffee, senior vice president of the Greater Memphis Chamber Chairman’s Circle. “The work of the Chairman’s Circle over the past decade has really brought Memphis to this historic moment, but we’re already thinking about the next decade.”
The chair and vice chair of the Chairman’s Circle typically serve one-year terms while their co-chairs typically serve two-year terms.
The Chamber would also like to thank the following co-chairs, who recently ended their terms:
- Ben Adams, Baker Donelson
- Jason Berger, Olymbec USA LLC
- Chance Carlisle, Carlisle LLC
- Laura Whitsitt, Smith & Nephew (retired)
- Kevin Woods, BlueCross Blue Shield of Tennessee
About the Chairman’s Circle: The Greater Memphis Chamber Chairman’s Circle is a diverse group of about 170 C-suite business leaders working to spur economic growth, develop the workforce, and improve the business climate throughout the region. Learn more about the group and its task forces here and follow the Chairman’s Circle on LinkedIn.
About the Greater Memphis Chamber: One of Memphis’ oldest institutions, dating back to 1838, the Greater Memphis Chamber is a privately funded nonprofit that serves as the region’s lead economic development organization and the “Voice of Memphis Business” on local, state, and national issues. The Chamber’s mission is to relentlessly pursue prosperity for all — through economic and workforce development, pro-growth advocacy, and by providing support and resources to its investors, which include many of the region’s largest employers. For more information about the Chamber, visit memphischamber.com and memphismoves.com. Also, follow the Chamber on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, and sign up for its weekly newsletter, Memphis Fourword.