VOL. 130 | NO. 220 | Wednesday, November 11, 2015
I Choose Memphis: Amy Grow
Special to The Daily News
“I Choose Memphis” spotlights Memphians who are passionate about calling this community home. New Memphis Institute provides the profiles.
Name: Amy Grow
Job title and company: International Paper, Communications Department, Meetings & Events
Length of time living in Memphis: I have lived in Memphis for 11 years
Life history: I grew up in St. Louis, and both my parents were St. Louis City public school teachers their entire careers. My father was very active in politics and city government. He was a city councilman, and meetings with residents or other government leaders around our dining room table were commonplace.
Early on, my parents taught me the importance of being involved in your community. Politics struck a chord with me and I volunteered on several congressional and senate campaigns. Later, I went on to major in political science at Hollins University.
I credit it with teaching me I can make a difference and that women can lead. The Hollins alumnae network is one of the strongest I know, and a fellow alum helped me secure an internship at the White House.
My liberal arts degree and experience has allowed me to work in politics, fundraising and development, public relations and meeting planning. I have been lucky to work for many great organizations, including the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and International Paper.
I moved to Memphis in 2004 for my husband’s career in the legal department of FedEx. I am a mom to two active boys, Stuart and Owen. We volunteer regularly with Neighborhood Christian Center and Memphis Union Mission. We have lived in New York, Atlanta and St. Louis, and I have to say many of the important things in life like faith, friends, neighborhoods and careers are as good or better here in Memphis.
I hope through New Memphis Institute I can find ways to serve and be a catalyst for change.
What can you find in Memphis that you can’t find anywhere else? The Grizzlies, Central BBQ, Overton Park, Shelby Farms, FedEx and IP headquarters!
What current local initiative excites you most? There are so many, but I am looking forward to the Crosstown Concourse and how the entire development creates new and exciting opportunities for Memphis. I am especially looking forward to seeing how the Church Health Center grows and develops their new kitchen and event space at the Crosstown Concourse. I believe Memphis has the most actively involved community leaders of anywhere I have lived, and it is very inspiring.
What would be your ideal Saturday in Memphis? A trip to the farmers market, either Downtown or Cooper-Young, watching my sons’ sporting events, lunch at Hog & Hominy, a visit to the National Civil Rights Museum, a cocktail in the lobby of The Peabody or Madison Rooftop followed by dinner with friends in Overton Square.
What do you like most about your job? I love how it is different every day, the people that I get to meet and learn from, and the opportunity to contribute as a part of a team.
What is your favorite local restaurant? So many, Babalu, Local, Second Line, Hog & Hominy, Sweet Grass, Felicia Suzanne’s. The list is so long, but I love everything about Overton Square and so glad we live so close to enjoy the energy of the area.
Fondest memory of Memphis? Watching my sons be the Peabody Duckmasters and attending Grizzlies playoff games. It does not get much better.
Favorite “secret” place or hidden gem in Memphis? The pond in Chickasaw Gardens
What is your favorite outdoor activity? A concert at Botanic Gardens and the Madison rooftop.
Who are your local role models or mentors? Too many to name them all, but I am so impressed with the strong foundation Jim Duncan left at the Botanic Garden, Ephie Ballard-Johnson at the Neighborhood Christian Center, and Gayle Rose and how she turned such grief into so much good is truly amazing.
In your opinion, what can be done to move Memphis forward? Education is key and providing families and kids to basics like food, shelter and role models so they can focus on school and opportunities when presented. It is hard to pay attention at school when you are hungry or need shoes or do not see others around you succeeding.