VOL. 129 | NO. 40 | Thursday, February 27, 2014
Economic Club Names Tucker Executive Director
By Andy Meek
Just because she took a voluntary buyout from FedEx in December doesn’t mean Laurie Tucker is ready to slow down.
Rather, the marketing veteran – who worked for 35 years at the package delivery giant, most recently as senior vice president of corporate marketing – decided she was finally ready to “spread some entrepreneurial wings and do what I always wanted to do.”
That included cofounding a strategy and marketing consultancy called Calade Partners with two other FedEx marketing veterans that’s now a couple of months old.
Also this week, Tucker was tapped by the Economic Club of Memphis board to serve as the club’s new executive director.
“This is a natural progression for me,” Tucker said, reflecting on a career that’s included leading rebranding initiatives and go-to-market strategies at FedEx.
Starting out in finance at the company, she would later help produce award-winning advertising and secure major sports sponsorships. As senior vice president of corporate marketing, all aspects of customer marketing fell under her purview, including retail and FedEx Office marketing as well as global brand management.
“I’ve got a lot of FedEx in me,” Tucker said about her career.
In 2009 and 2011, Pink magazine honored Tucker as among the “Top Women in Business,” and she has received the Woman of Achievement award from the Women’s Project of New York.
Among her other professional distinctions, she serves on the board for Iron Mountain Inc., the University of Memphis board of visitors, the Fogelman College of Business and Economics executive advisory board and The Blues Foundation.
Economic Club President Michael Drury, chief economist with McVean Trading and Investment, said the club – the city’s premier club for business professionals – was especially pleased to attract someone of Tucker’s caliber from the private sector to lead the next phase of the group’s growth.
“Great cities have great economic clubs,” Tucker said, adding that part of her work will involve bringing in sponsorships. “This club also has a great board and a high-energy group of leaders.”
The club was established in 1973. It’s made up of more than 200 members representing a cross-section of the Memphis business community, and the club meets seven to eight times a year for discussions of economic, political and social issues.
At the Economic Club, Tucker said, she’ll continue its tradition of bringing in “intellectually stimulating speakers” and promoting conversations among members. Those are the kinds of things that attract new members and sponsors, a priority as Tucker and the board focus also on bringing “even more value for our current and future members.”
The club’s current spring series runs through April 17. Guest speakers lined up include former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, Cato Institute senior fellow Dan Mitchell and author Amity Shlaes.
The club’s executive director job is part-time, which fits well with Tucker’s work at Calade Partners. Services Calade provides include strategy and marketing consulting, leadership and team development, customer experience management and communications and media.
“The three of us (at Calade) all worked at FedEx in marketing, and we’re now trying to make ourselves a valuable resource to other companies on the marketing and strategy side,” Tucker said.