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VOL. 128 | NO. 158 | Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Aerotropolis Manager Bowman Completes Delta Leadership Program

By Kate Simone

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Chad Bowman, aerotropolis project manager for the Memphis and Shelby County Division of Planning and Development, has graduated from the Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy, a yearlong Delta Regional Authority program designed to foster collaborative initiatives across the Delta region.

As aerotropolis project manager, Bowman is responsible for the coordination and management of the federally funded aerotropolis master planning process for the 50-mile area surrounding Memphis International Airport.

Hometown: Slidell, La.

Experience: Master of urban and regional planning from Alabama A&M University; 13 years in the field of urban planning, specializing in community and economic development

Family: Married with one beautiful child.

Favorite quote: “There is no chaos in divine order.” – Unknown

Favorite movie: “Remember the Titans”

The sports teams you root for: New Orleans Saints (Who Dat?) and Memphis Grizzlies

What’s playing on your stereo right now? Rebirth Brass Band, “Do Whatcha Wanna!”

Activities you enjoy outside of work: I enjoy spending time with my family, eating great food, working out, traveling, eating great food (LOL) and mentoring.

What talent do you wish you had? I wish I had the talent to play the piano so that I may be able to express myself through song (and play “Big Chief” by Professor Longhair during Mardi Gras).

Who has had the greatest influence on you and why? My father had the greatest influence on me with our many conversations on the benefits of delayed gratification and social responsibility.

What is the purpose of the Delta Leadership Institute? The Delta Leadership Institute provides over 200 hours of executive leadership training to professionals working in government, education, the public sector and the private sector within the eight-state Mississippi Delta region, which is the most socio-economically depressed region of the U.S.

How will the information you learned benefit the Memphis area? During the training process, we were introduced to a number of unique ideas and best practices related to economic and community development. My goal is to implement those ideas relevant to my project and share the additional ideas with the appropriate city leaders or staff responsible for implementation on that particular subject matter.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? My greatest accomplishment is realizing that my accomplishments are nothing unless I have empowered others to accomplish greater things.

What do you most enjoy about your work? I enjoy being able to personally connect with the various neighborhood groups and community residents around the city, because it reinforces the relationship between the actual work and the people that I am working with to make better communities.

If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? Invest your time in your education. It is the only form of stock that will guarantee a no-risk, high rate of return.


George T. “Buck” Lewis, a shareholder with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC, has been awarded a 2013 Presidential Citation from the American Bar Association. Lewis was chosen for his efforts to improve access to justice, including launching the “4All” campaign during his tenure as 2008-2009 president of the Tennessee Bar Association.


Larry Zehnder has joined Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon Inc. as senior parks and recreation planner. Zehnder has more than 40 years’ experience in parks and recreation, and spent three years as senior park planner at Barge Waggoner in the mid-2000s.

Kelli Eason Brignac has been promoted to account manager at Obsidian Public Relations. Brignac joined the firm in 2011, and before that managed marketing and public relations efforts for 18 restaurants in Baton Rouge, La.

Chad M. Giganti and Madeleine L. Harrigan have joined Mercer Capital as financial analysts. Prior to joining Mercer, Giganti taught at Middle College High School in Memphis through the Teach for America program, and Harrigan studied at the University of Antwerp in Antwerp, Belgium, through an exchange program.

Christy Hipsh has been named director of sales for Holiday Inn & Suites Memphis Wolfchase Galleria. Hipsh has 13 years’ experience in the hospitality industry and most recently served as the property’s sales manager. Alice Blackmon has joined the hotel as sales manager. Blackmon most recently worked as part of the opening sales team at the Marriott East hotel in Memphis.


Gold Strike Casino Resort has promoted Ron Hall to regional director of guest experience for MGM Resorts International Mississippi properties. Hall is a longtime MGM Resorts employee, most recently serving as executive director of food and beverage at Beau Rivage. Gold Strike has promoted Lissa Ross to director of human services. Ross joined MGM Resorts in 1999 and most recently served as HR manager/assistant director of human resources.

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