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VOL. 131 | NO. 129 | Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Chamber Names Simmons Director of Public Policy

By Kate Simone

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Haley Simmons has joined the Greater Memphis Chamber as the director of public policy, a new position in the chamber’s community development department. In this role, Simmons will be focused on enhancing the chamber’s advocacy efforts to inform and engage its members on important policy issues, and he’ll also be responsible for growing the chamber’s role in education initiatives.


Hometown: Martin, Tenn. 

Experience: In my previous experiences, I interned for U.S. Sen. Bill Frist and served on the staff of U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer. Additionally, I served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Republic of Moldova. Most recently, I worked in both the Wharton and Strickland mayoral administrations in a public policy analysis capacity. I have a B.S. from UT Martin, where I majored in political science and minored in philosophy. I acquired a Master of Public Policy from The American University and a J.D. from University of Illinois College of Law. 

Family: Olivia Prince-Griffin and our son, Thomas Grady Simmons 

Favorite quote: “… [T]he arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Favorite movie: It’s a tie between Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” and Aaron Sorkin’s “Steve Jobs.” 

What talent do you wish you had? I wish I could play an instrument such as the blues guitar. 

Who has had the greatest influence on you and why? My parents had the greatest influence on me, because they have nurtured me on my path to accomplishing my dreams.

What attracted you to the Greater Memphis Chamber? Working with the Greater Memphis Chamber provides me with the perfect nexus for working on issues of great importance and responsibility, including developing public policy proposals, working with business leaders on a daily basis and advocating for solutions that help the local economy thrive. 

What are your goals in your new position? One of my goals is to advance the Chairman’s Circle’s moon mission of providing high-quality pre-K education for all children in the city, because it will not only contribute to lifting people out of poverty but it will also enhance efforts to build a highly skilled workforce that is essential for businesses to flourish. 

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? Working on a community development project to upgrade a school library, while speaking a foreign language, as a community and organizational volunteer in the Peace Corps in the Republic of Moldova.

What do you most enjoy about your work? I love that every day I get up and go to work to make this city a better place by helping to solve some of the city’s most pressing problems. 

If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? Dream big, knowing that accomplishing that dream requires commitment, discipline and time, and never, ever let anyone discourage you from accomplishing that dream.


The Greater Memphis Chamber has added Tasha Livingston as business development manager, a newly created position. Livingston previously worked as the vice president of operations for Pillar Hotels & Resorts in Texas and was responsible for the opening of all new hotels. 

Robert Kenyon, president and CEO of Bartlett-based Titan Medical Manufacturing LLC, has been named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce. Kenyon and his business partners began Titan Medical in 2009 and moved into Bartlett from a nearby industrial park in 2014. The company has grown to 68 employees and is approaching $20 million in sales.



Jeff Weintraub, managing partner of Fisher Phillips’ Memphis office, has received a Top 20 ranking on Human Resource Executive magazine's list of The Nation's Most Powerful Employment Attorneys - Labor. The list was compiled on the basis of curriculum-vitae analyses, evaluations by clients and peers, and reporting by the staff of media company and networking site Lawdragon.

Vanessa Boyd has joined Crye-Leike Realtors’ Germantown-Forest Hill Irene branch office. Boyd has more than 11 years of real estate sales experience, previously affiliated with Assist 2 Sell Keystone Realty in York, Pa. She specializes in residential real estate as well as investment properties, first-time homebuyers, and condominium and townhomes.

Seven Memphians are among 40 business, government, education and nonprofit leaders statewide selected for the 2016-17 class of Leadership Tennessee, a program through Lipscomb University’s College of Leadership & Public Service. They are: Greg Duckett, senior vice president and chief legal officer, Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp.; Cato Johnson, senior vice president, Public Policy & Regulatory Affairs, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare; Estella Mayhue-Greer, president and CEO, Mid-South Food Bank; state Sen. Mark Norris; Terence Patterson, president, Downtown Memphis Commission; Phil Trenary, president and CEO, Greater Memphis Chamber; and state Rep. Mark White.

PROPERTY SALES 23 23 1,365
MORTGAGES 21 21 1,068
BUILDING PERMITS 117 117 3,173