VOL. 130 | NO. 242 | Monday, December 14, 2015
A List of Mayor-Elect Jim Strickland’s Appointments So Far
By Bill Dries
Memphis Mayor elect Jim Strickland still has some appointments to make, but he is methodically filling key positions in his administration ahead of taking office Jan. 1.
Here is a look (alphabetically) at who has been appointed to what so far:
General services director
Was appointed to head the division in 2014 by Wharton after serving as deputy director of the division.
Interim Memphis Police director
The youngest Memphis Police director to come from the ranks when Wharton tapped him in 2011 to head the MPD. He joined the force in 1989 after serving in the U.S. Army. Before the 2015 campaign season, Armstrong filed his paperwork to retire in 2017. Strickland has said Armstrong will serve while there is a national search for a new police director. He will report directly to Strickland.
Chief financial officer
Collins spent more than 20 years in banking at First Horizon National, Citigroup and JP Morgan before becoming Wharton’s finance director. Collins reports directly to Strickland.
Special counsel to the mayor
Leaves his interim city council appointment Jan. 1 to join Strickland’s inner circle. Crone is an attorney, a founding member of the Crone & McEvoy PLC law firm and a former chairman of the Shelby County Republican Party. He also served as chief counsel for the Tennessee Department of Employment Security during the administration of Tennessee Gov. Don Sundquist.
Chief of staff
After spending 27 years on City Hall’s fifth floor, Geater, the veteran administrator of the Memphis City Council office, moves to the 7th floor.
Special assistant to the mayor for Youth
Comes to the post from being an electronic media instructor at Hamilton High School. Griffith, who has run for local office several times, campaigned door to door as part of Strickland’s campaign team.
Public works director
Had been serving as interim director of Public Works since the departure of Dwan Gilliom earlier this year, who left to take the public works director’s position in Shreveport, Louisiana. Knecht comes to the position on a permanent basis from being deputy director.
Chief communications officer
An Action News 5 reporter and anchor, working for the television station for more than 20 years. In her new job, she reports directly to Strickland.
Came to City Hall with Mayor Willie Herenton in 1992 serving in various positions most notably as public services and neighborhoods director before being appointed by Herenton in 2008 to head the library system.
Chief operating officer
The head of the Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team under A C Wharton, as well as coordinator of the city’s sexual assault task force, who quickly became a troubleshooter during Wharton’s tenure. Now he holds one of six positions that report directly to Mayor Strickland. Shortly after Wharton took office in 2009, he appointed McGowen to lead the innovation delivery team, which was funded by grants from the Bloomberg Foundation. McGowen came to that assignment after retiring from the U.S. Navy as commanding officer of the Millington Naval Support Activity base.
City attorney and chief legal officer
Comes to City Hall from being a shareholder at the Baker Donelson law firm. He reports directly to Strickland. McMullen has concentrated his practice in the area of municipal law as well as health care litigation, tort liability, commercial litigation and class action defense.
Special assistant to the mayor for Community Affairs
Former city Public Services director during the administration of Mayor Willie Herenton and a former University of Memphis basketball player. Moody too has run for local office and was co-chair of Strickland’s mayoral campaign.
Information services director
Appointed chief information officer by Wharton in 2010 after five months as the city’s deputy chief information officer. Before City Hall, Nair’s resume includes being CIO at Wunderlich Securities, business application adviser at FedEx Services, regional manager at First Tennessee Bank and senior systems administrator at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Chief human resources officer
A human resources professional who most recently held that position at Brightstar Device Protection and also has HR management experience at Target Corp. and Microsoft Corp. She reports directly to Strickland.
Memphis Fire Department director
A 23-year firefighter veteran becomes the city's first female fire director. Sweat has been the department's acting deputy director.
Deputy Chief Operating Officer
Thomas comes to the position from being deputy Public Works director for neighborhood improvement. Before that she was the city's comptroller for 10 years, responsible for managing all accounting and financial reports from the city.
Former Commercial Appeal politics and government team leader who will work in communications for the new administration.
Workforce Investment Network executive director
A Shelby County Schools board member and former chairman of the school board. Toward the end of Wharton’s tenure, he became director of WIN, a regional agency funded by state and federal grant money.
Housing and Community Development director
Young comes to City Hall from being Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell's director of legislative affairs, lobbying for the administration's position at the federal, state and local level including regional bodies. Young's resume includes serving as administrator for the Memphis and Shelby County Office of Sustainability.