Rayne Named Vice President at Chamber

By Amos Maki

Changes at the Greater Memphis Chamber keep coming.

Shelby County Attorney Kelly Rayne is joining the chamber to serve as vice president of public policy, where she will focus on policy issues as they relate to the Memphis business community. Rayne will begin her new role Monday, Jan. 13.

“Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to work on transformative projects that make Memphis and Shelby County a great place to live, work and play,” said Rayne in a statement. “Now, as part of the chamber team, I will be able to continue that work and further develop my relationships to benefit the Memphis business community.”

Rayne joins the chamber as it prepares to select a new president following the upcoming departure of John Moore and as the business group prepares to launch an ambitious civic and business campaign.

Leading that effort will be a group called the “Chairman’s Circle,” which will consist of local business executives willing to each donate $25,000 every year, around $2.5 million annually, to pursue transformative projects.

“Kelly has the knowledge and the know-how to get things done,” said incoming chamber chairwoman Leigh Shockey.

Rayne has deep experience in local economic development efforts, including serving as interim economic development director for Memphis and Shelby County and as an adviser to the Industrial Development Board.

“The chamber team has worked with (Rayne) for a number of years in economic development and public policy matters,” said Moore. “Her depth of experience and exceptional abilities will be valuable assets for the Greater Memphis community."

Rayne began her career in the Shelby County Public Defender’s Office in 1994. In 1996, she joined the Shelby County Attorney’s office, where she served as executive assistant attorney. Rayne then served as legislative adviser and special counsel to former Shelby County Mayors Jim Rout and A C Wharton Jr. Rayne also served as public policy adviser to Wharton and as deputy chief administrative officer for the City of Memphis after Wharton became Memphis mayor. In September 2010, Rayne was appointed by Shelby County Mayor Luttrell to serve as county attorney.

“Kelly has been a dedicated public servant,” Luttrell said. “She has assisted with many complex legal issues during her three years of service as Shelby County attorney. She has been one of the brightest and hardest-working county attorneys that has ever held that post. We will miss her talents and strong work ethic. Kelly will be a great asset in her new role at the Greater Memphis Chamber.”