VOL. 131 | NO. 104 | Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Balink Chosen to Lead The Exchange Club Family Center
By Kate Simone
Jennifer Balink has been named executive director of The Exchange Club Family Center, where she’ll begin her duties July 1. In her new role, Balink aims to secure and direct every available resource toward breaking the cycle of child abuse and family violence in the Memphis community.
Experience: I’ve spent the first half of my life studying books and the second half studying people. Along the way I went to Princeton, traveled and worked in just about every industry sector, trying not to make too many irreparable mistakes in the process.
Family: Husband (transplanted from Santa Fe, N.M., by way of Jackson, Wyoming), a high-school-aged son, a middle-school-aged daughter, three overly exuberant rescued dogs, and one often-discontented cat.
Favorite quote: Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.” – Norman Maclean
Favorite movie: “Cinema Paradiso”
The sports team(s) you root for: Whatever teams my children are playing for.
What’s playing on your stereo right now? “A Short History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson (audiobook)
Activities you enjoy outside of work: Reading, writing, sewing, photography, walking dogs, playing tennis, cooking, and learning new things, mostly from my children.
What talent do you wish you had? Juggling.
Who has had the greatest influence on you and why? So many people have helped shape who I am, but top on my list would be my late mother, who taught me always to be curious.
What attracted you to the Exchange Club Family Center? It felt like a perfect match, from our first conversation. There’s no rational way to explain it.
What are your goals in your new position? Right now my goals are to listen and learn what the center did well today, and then to explore how we can do those things even better tomorrow.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? When I worked in Mayor Wharton’s office, when he was Shelby County mayor, we spent a year talking about how to bring the Imagination Library here. Everyone said it was too hard, too expensive, too big. One day Mayor opened his calendar, dropped his finger (without looking) and said, “This is the day; figure out how to get it started by this date.” So I did. It was flawed and messy and fragile, but we created Shelby County Books from Birth and got it started; and it’s still going, 10 years later.
What do you most enjoy about your work? Helping people solve problems they believe to be unsolvable.
If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? Never become intimate, in any way, with someone who doesn’t respect you for who you are.
Audrey Gregory has returned to Memphis and been named Saint Francis Healthcare market CEO, overseeing all areas of operations at Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis and Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett. With more than 20 years of nursing experience, Gregory joined Saint Francis’ owner, Tenet Healthcare, in 2004. She served as chief operating officer of Saint Francis-Memphis from 2011 to 2014 before being promoted to CEO of Placentia-Linda Hospital in Placentia, Calif.
Georgia-Pacific Memphis Cellulose has awarded 2016 Teacher Development Awards to three Farmington Elementary School teachers. Fifth-grade teachers Amy Harrell and Beth Butler are being sponsored to attend the Bill of Rights Institute’s 2016 Founders Fellowship program, and third-grade teacher Danna Lane is being sponsored to attend Keystone Science School’s 2016 Key Issues Institute: Bringing Environmental Issues to the Classroom.
Rhodes College has presented its annual awards for scholarship and service. Graduating senior Heting Hommy Zhu was awarded the Peyton Nalle Rhodes Phi Beta Kappa Prize, the college’s highest academic honor. James Allen Boone Jr., vice president for finance and business affairs, received the Rhodes College Distinguished Service Medal. Graduates Anthony Malak S. Hanna and Catherine T. Miller, and 1977 alumnus Dr. Randall R. Rhea, a family medicine physician in Roanoke, Va., received the 2016 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards. The awards are presented annually to two graduating seniors and one non-student who have given selflessly to others and the college.
The Metal Museum has received 10 awards of excellence and commendation from the Tennessee Association of Museums in areas such as education, publications and exhibitions, among others. In addition, the Metal Museum received special recognition and an education award for its community outreach and educational program Soulsville Metals Collaborative. It also received special recognition for its digitization of the Society of North American Goldsmiths archive.
Memphis Mechanical Services Inc. has been named 2016 Commercial Refrigeration Contractor of the Year by ContractingBusiness.com, an online source of information for HVAC contracting business owners. Memphis Mechanical Services was founded in 2001 by refrigeration expert Richard Luhm.