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VOL. 132 | NO. 18 | Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Ernest Strickland Takes On Workforce Role at Chamber

By Kate Simone

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Ernest Strickland

The Greater Memphis Chamber has promoted Ernest Strickland to senior vice president of workforce development, a newly created role. Strickland, who has worked at the chamber since 2006, previously served as vice president of international and business partnerships.
In his new position, he is responsible for creating and implementing the chamber’s workforce development strategy. His department serves as a liaison, working directly with existing and prospective businesses to ensure they are able to attract and retain a qualified workforce today and in the future.

Hometown: Memphis

Experience: I joined the chamber in 2006. Most recently, I served as VP of international business. I have a bachelor’s degree from the University of Memphis and a master’s degree from Bethel University, McKenzie, Tennessee.  

Who has had the greatest influence on you and why? Becoming a father has had the greatest influence on me. My children are my world and they make me a better person. They keep me going regardless of success or failure, and I know that I owe them my very best effort.

You’re the Greater Memphis Chamber’s first senior vice president of workforce development. What prompted the creation of this new role? The role of workforce development leader is critical to the chamber’s mission of growing the economy through job creation. We have always had a strong focus on workforce development and elevating the role further demonstrates our commitment, allowing us to dedicate additional resources to figuring out the last pieces to a complex puzzle of connecting people, training and jobs.

What’s your take on the city’s current workforce? Memphis has a tremendous pool of talent and a large working-age population. Social woes often impact urban areas, presenting collateral challenges. Nevertheless, our workforce ecosystem operates in a collaborative manner and we have an active and engaged business community, all of which are ingredients for success.

What are your goals going forward? My goal is to work with partners and stakeholders to make sure there are training and retraining opportunities available to Memphians that match the skill requirements of companies seeking a qualified workforce. I will also work to advance cultural changes within the labor market through innovative corporate education and transformational strategies. 

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? I believe my greatest accomplishment is just beyond the horizon and the path to achievement lies in helping others reach their dreams.

What do you most enjoy about your work? I enjoy playing a part in helping my fellow Memphians obtain meaningful jobs and propelling the city from good to great.

If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? See the world in 10-year tranches, set goals and work daily towards the realization thereof. Time is a precious, yet fleeting, commodity. Use your youth to your advantage.

Jennifer Hamby

Data Facts Inc. has named Jennifer Hamby customer success manager, a newly created position on the lending division sales team. Hamby has worked in the financial sector since 1996. She joined Data Facts in 2007 and previously served in sales, operations and marketing roles. In her new job, she’ll be responsible for current client growth and satisfaction in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.

Alisha Tillery has been promoted to director of KQ Communications’ Memphis office. Tillery joined KQ in 2012 and previously served as account executive and senior account executive. In her new role, she will oversee the public relations and marketing team and projects. 

John Baertels

John Baertels and Jason Savage have joined Pinnacle Financial Partners’ Memphis mortgage team as senior vice presidents and mortgage advisers, and Mabel Kellum has joined as mortgage adviser assistant. Baertels most recently served as a vice president and mortgage loan officer at Patriot Bank in Millington. Savage also comes to Pinnacle from Patriot Bank. Kellum’s most recent experience is working to support Baertels and Savage as mortgage financial advisers.

Reynolds, Bone & Griesbeck PLC, Certified Public Accountants and Advisors, has promoted Amy Albert, Charles Bennett, Mary Tayloe and Jeree Wheat to audit senior managers. Albert and Tayloe joined RBG in 2006; Bennett joined in 2008 and Wheat in 2014.

The Memphis Area Association of Realtors has installed its 2017 officers and directors. The new officers are: Tommie Criswell, Crye-Leike Inc., president; Lee McWaters, McWaters & Associates, vice president; Kent Anderson, Crye-Leike, secretary-treasurer; and Lauren Wiuff, Marx-Bensdorf, president-elect. Directors are Jeff Burress of Crye-Leike, Nancy Cunningham of Coldwell Banker Collins-Maury, Bryan Evans of NAI Saig Co., Kathryn Garland of Garland Co. Real Estate, Brenda Hampton of Crye-Leike, Mark Jenkins of Commercial Advisors Asset Services, Cheryl Muhammad of Assured Real Estate Services, Bill Stewart of RE/MAX Real Estate Experts and Sally Summerlin of Summerlin & Associates.

The city of Memphis has been ranked No. 10 on MovieMaker Magazine’s latest Top 15 U.S. Movie Cities List. It is Memphis’ fourth consecutive year to make the list. The city won this year’s ranking based on a written presentation submitted by The Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission, a city/county agency.

PROPERTY SALES 57 94 2,713
MORTGAGES 16 37 1,820
BUILDING PERMITS 303 621 6,322
BANKRUPTCIES 138 138 1,115