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VOL. 129 | NO. 170 | Monday, September 1, 2014

I Choose Memphis: Amy Simpson

Special to The Daily News

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“I Choose Memphis” spotlights Memphians who are passionate about calling this community home. New Memphis Institute provides the profiles.


Name: Amy Simpson

Job Title and Company: Senior director, corporate communications, TruGreen

Length of time living in Memphis: Back in Memphis for nine years

Life history: I spent my childhood in Memphis and am a proud product of Memphis City Schools, from Grahamwood Elementary to White Station High School. After college at the University of Tennessee, I moved to London, England, where I met my wonderful husband and cut my teeth at a PR firm working on brands such as American Express and Burger King. My husband and I now live in Midtown, and I keep busy with our two very active children, my work at TruGreen, my MBA classes at Christian Brothers University, the Fellows Program at New Memphis Institute and my yoga sessions.

Who is your favorite local artist? Charles ‘Lil Buck’ Riley is my favorite Memphis performer. Lil Buck is the godfather of Jookin, which started as modified version of a Gangsta Walk but soon transformed into an amazing amalgamation of ballet and hip-hop. Lil Buck combines the Memphis-style Gangsta Walk with Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” to create a truly beautiful and entirely unique dance movement.

What current local initiative excites you most? I love that Memphis is a driving force in the nation’s tactical urbanism movement. From the revitalization of the Broad Avenue Arts District to the MEMFix events in Crosstown and Soulsville, community-led neighborhood improvements create a culture of social activism that will result in long-term growth for our city.

What would be your ideal Saturday in Memphis? My favorite Saturdays start off with a family breakfast of La Baguette pastries followed by a visit to Overton Park’s Rainbow Lake Playground. Heading downtown, we have a light lunch at Cafe Keough on Main Street and head over to Tennessee Brewery Untapped (if only we still could!) for an afternoon of beer, music and catching up with friends. After finishing off a full slab of ribs at Central BBQ, we cap the night off with a Grizzlies win over the Thunder.

Favorite building in Memphis? Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital is far and away my favorite building in Memphis. As a proud mom, I love that the outside boasts a five-story image of my daughter but the inside is where the magic happens. Recognized among the nation’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report, the incredible team at Le Bonheur saved my daughter’s life when we discovered she was born with a rare heart condition. I cry “joy tears,” as my daughter puts it, every time I walk through its doors.

Favorite “secret” place or hidden gem in Memphis? The upstairs bar at Mollie Fontaine’s in Victorian Village is Memphis’ best kept secret. I recommend going early so you can get a seat at the bar and starting off with a Naughty Apparition cocktail, which will be served alongside unbelievable stories from the bartender. This only-in-Memphis venue is my favorite spot to take out-of-towners and my go-to date night locale when the grandparents are babysitting.

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