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VOL. 132 | NO. 73 | Wednesday, April 12, 2017




Royston Joins Planned Parenthood To Lead Volunteer Training Efforts

By Kate Simone

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Nikeisha Royston recently joined Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region as community manager, a role in which she identifies individuals interested in supporting women’s rights, then trains them to advocate for themselves and others and to be involved in the legislative process.
Royston says volunteers throughout Memphis and the Mid-South use skills learned through the training process to share vital, accurate information about the services provided by Planned Parenthood.

NIKEISHA ROYSTON

Hometown: Memphis 

Experience: Graduated from Trezevant High School and later attended and graduated from the University of Memphis with a Bachelor and Master of Arts. I have more than four years of experience in community organizing and several years of work in social services and helping to serve our communities in Memphis. 

Who has had the greatest influence on you and why? My mother. She has always guided me in the right direction, taught me right from wrong, and shown me unconditional love. If I need advice or someone to talk, she is who I turn to. She also taught me how to stand up and speak up for myself and others – leading me to choose the career path that I chose and positions that I have held.

What attracted you to Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region? I am an advocate at heart and I enjoy teaching people how they can advocate for what they believe in. I am an advocate for women’s rights to make decisions about their own bodies and their own health and health care. I am an advocate for all people to have access to quality health care. I am an advocate for all women to have access to affordable birth control, safe abortions and education and information about how to protect oneself from STIs, including testing and treatment.
Planned Parenthood allows me to give back to the community by helping people to understand the power that they possess within them to speak up on their behalf. I help to empower people to be the change that they seek in making our communities a better place and also speaking up for those who either can’t or won’t.

Planned Parenthood has been in the spotlight in recent months – both with the national health care debate and, closer to home, with the Shelby County Commission’s recent debate over a grant to fund free condom distribution (which ultimately was approved 7-5). Do controversial issues affect volunteer recruitment/engagement efforts, either positively or negatively? Controversial issues can and do affect volunteer recruitment and engagement. The media attention to this fight has moved people to get involved. It has energized peoples’ desire to become active, get up and stand for their beliefs, to not allow anyone to erode the rights we currently have in place. People who support Planned Parenthood have been re-engaged, and new supporters are continually getting involved.
On the other hand, I am not aware of anyone that may have shied away from volunteering due to all of the media attention. Volunteers that I work with every day are hardworking, committed individuals that believe in the mission of Planned Parenthood and the services offered by our organization.

What are your goals in your new role? My goals include educating people about how to advocate for themselves, how to be a powerful voice and bring it to the table to be heard. I hope people begin to understand how being an advocate can change community.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? My greatest accomplishment is graduating from college with a master’s degree and staying in Memphis working to help improve life for citizens of Memphis through various professional positions that I have held that help make positive changes within our communities.

What do you most enjoy about your work? I enjoy the opportunity to meet and talk with people and help them to realize the power they hold within themselves. 

If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? Pay attention. Be proactive. Give back. 

Shea Sisk Wellford, a shareholder and director with the Memphis-based law firm Martin, Tate, Morrow & Marston, P.C., has become a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Wellford has acted as counsel on behalf of large and small business and individuals in cases involving business disputes, construction issues, breach of contract, business torts, franchise disputes and trade secrets, among other things.

Stephanie Lovins has been appointed regional general agent by American Income Life Insurance Co.-Altig. Lovins joined AIL-Altig in April 2015.

Taylor McCormick has been promoted to account specialist at Obsidian Public Relations. McCormick joined Obsidian in March 2016 and previously served as an account assistant. In addition, Christina Babu has joined Obsidian as an account executive. Babu most recently served as the marketing and communications specialist for A2H Architects and Engineers. 

JOE BROWN

American Residential Services has promoted Joe Brown to vice president-Texas Division. Brown, a Germantown resident, joined ARS in July 2011 as the director of internal audit and most recently served as operations manager for the Texas Division.

Marx-Bensdorf Realtors has received several Member Achievement Awards from Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, a selective global community of independent real estate firms. Marx-Bensdorf’s awards, which were presented during the organization’s conference week, include the Crown of Excellence, Outgoing Sales Production, Momentum Club, Million Dollar Club Awards and Website Quality Certification.

Firestone Industrial Products’ Dyersburg manufacturing facility has received its third Volunteer STAR (Safety Through Accountability and Recognition) award from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Patterned after the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration Voluntary Protection Program, the Volunteer STAR award is the state’s highest honor for workplace safety and health.

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