• Memphis Workforce Leadership Academy has selected 24 fellows for its inaugural class.
  • Fellows will learn how to improve outcomes for workers and employers in Memphis as Greater Memphis prepares for unprecedented job growth.
  • Greater Memphis Chamber was one of eight organizations chosen earlier this year for a Workforce Leadership Academy by the Aspen Institute.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Monday, 3/27/23) – The Greater Memphis Chamber today announced the 24 fellows that will make up the inaugural class of its Memphis Workforce Leadership Academy, which is a year-long program created in partnership with the Aspen Institute to advance local workforce development.

The nonprofit, government, academic and business leaders selected for the fellowship will learn how to improve outcomes for workers and employers from some of the world’s leading workforce development practitioners in a series of retreats, workshops, and action-learning projects. The program will also help fellows deepen their networks; strengthen their systems leadership skills; apply race, equity, and systems change frameworks to their work; and become familiar with effective strategies and programs.

The Academy launches on March 28 and will culminate with a collaborative capstone project presentation in December.

“Greater Memphis has more jobs, and more on the way, than ever before,” said Amity Schuyler, chief innovation officer and senior vice president of workforce development at the Greater Memphis Chamber. “This is our moment, and the Memphis Workforce Leadership Academy will help us lean into our historic job growth to create new and inclusive pathways to potentially life-changing careers.”

The Workforce Leadership Academy is the first in Memphis and one of eight launched this year by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program with the support of Walmart, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, and The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. Memphis was chosen in a highly competitive process that included applications from 24 states. The program and its partners have established 14 academies in 11 cities in the U.S. and Canada with nearly 250 participants since 2014.

“Collaboration grows at the speed of trust, and today’s workforce development leaders are increasingly being asked to devise solutions through collaboration,” said Sheila Maguire, senior fellow at the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program. “This Academy is a rare opportunity for these local leaders to step back with colleagues from Memphis, reflect on their own organizational challenges, hear from leading practitioners from around the country, and develop the network and trust so essential for success.”

For more about the Memphis Workforce Leadership Academy, visit memphischamber.com/aspen.

The following fellows were selected for the Memphis Workforce Leadership Academy:

  • Jamilica Burke, Chief Strategy and Impact Officer, Seeding Success
  • Roshunda Buchanan, Associate Director of Research and Evaluation, Persevere Now
  • Latasha Harris, Director of Workforce Strategies, Memphis Medical District Collaborative
  • Rhonnie Brewer, CEO, ProGeny Place
  • Roderick Woody, Business Solutions Manager, Equus Workforce Solutions
  • Sheneka Balogun, Chief Administrative Officer, LeMoyne-Owen College
  • Anasa Franklin, Director of Community Impact, Literacy Mid-South
  • Antwoine Clark, Employee Development Manager, Binghampton Development Corporation
  • Courtney Orians, Director, Institute for Regional Workforce Innovation; Dual & Special Enrollment Programs, University of Memphis
  • Jimmie Johnson, Administrator of Group Violence Intervention Program, City of Memphis
  • Summerjoy Scott, Director of Human Development, For The Kingdom
  • Amy Braden, Workforce Coordinator, HopeWorks
  • Jerri Green, Shelby County Government, Office of the Mayor
  • James Moore, Vice President of Workforce Development, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis
  • Shauna Bateman, Senior Vice President, Operations, YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South
  • Binh Doan, Director of Finance and Strategy, Memphis Education Fund
  • Kate Lareau, Director of Grants and Compliance, William R. Moore College of Technology
  • Lindsey Neal, Director of HR & Federal Programs, Millington Municipal Schools
  • JaMeko Williams, Director of Career Pathways, Communities In Schools of Memphis
  • Tamera Maresh-Carver, MD Employee Development, Innovation, and Org Strategies, FedEx Express
  • Shawn Smith, Senior Director of Programs, Memphis Urban League
  • Lydia Rosencrants, Dean, School of Business, Christian Brothers University
  • Amber Covington, Director of Workforce Development, Greater Memphis Chamber
  • Samuel Beyhan, Executive Director, Memphis School of Excellence

The Memphis Workforce Leadership Academy is led by the Greater Memphis Chamber and an advisory board that includes the following members:

  • Jamilica Burke, Seeding Success
  • Penelope Huston, Downtown Commission
  • Tracy Hall, Southwest Tennessee Community College
  • Trevia Chatman, Bank of America
  • Kenneth Robinson, United Way Mid-South
  • Danielle Inez, Shelby County Government
  • Tom Marino, Poplar Foundation
  • Holly Coleman, Hyde Family Foundation
  • David Jordan, Agape
  • Kyla Guyette, Workforce Mid-South
  • Dick Irwin, University of Memphis
  • Alex Smith, City of Memphis
  • Jan Young, Assisi Foundation
  • Shante Avant, Women’s Foundation of Greater Memphis

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.