VOL. 132 | NO. 147 | Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Milford Joins Chamber As Programming, Events Director
By Kate Simone
Ericka Milford recently joined the Greater Memphis Chamber as director of events and programming, a job in which she’s responsible for planning and executing chamber events and programs and for increasing engagement opportunities for members and the community. Milford’s new role marks her return to the chamber, where she served as events coordinator from 2007 to 2012 before taking a job with HigherVisibility.
Hometown: Kingsport, Tennessee
Experience: I graduated from the University of Memphis and have an extensive background in event planning and marketing. I have also worked with large franchise and enterprise businesses on growth and strategy for a number of businesses in a wide variance of industries, so I feel like that experience adds value to my job. I have also had some wonderful mentors that have really shaped who I am today. That has been the most valuable to my experience as well as being flexible to any and all situations that may not go to plan. Those experiences have shaped me and taught me to be agile.
What talent do you wish you had? I wish I could sing, but it’s just not in the cards.
Who has had the greatest influence on you and why? I think my mom and dad have had the greatest influence on me because they have always taught me to hold myself to the highest standards and reach for the top and never settle. Their support in always believing in me no matter what has been invaluable. Not everyone is that lucky or blessed, I am very blessed to have them.
What drew you back to the Greater Memphis Chamber after spending some time away? The people first and foremost in this great community and at the chamber. I also really enjoy having an impact on our city; I LOVE MEMPHIS and so I feel like I’m home.
The chamber recently hosted a delegation from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. To pull back the curtain a bit, what steps go into planning and producing an event like that, and how long does it take? Obviously, we love to host our friends from other chambers and always appreciate the opportunity to work with them. Planning an event like that takes usually several weeks and good delegation of responsibilities and timing. Logistics also plays a big part of those visits as everyone is not always coming from the same location. Setting an agenda and goal for the visit was key in this case and building the event from there created direction and purpose. Once you understand the key components for the visit, you can order food, hotels, buses, etc. That also saves time with your vendors and your staff time as well. Managing your time for these types of visits is critical.
Are any new events or programming changes in the works? Yes, we will always be looking at change but in meaningful ways. I think my current valuation is to make sure our programming supports our mission as a chamber and also that we really hone in on quality over quantity of events. Appealing to new people and businesses in the community is also always a focus as well and continuing to listen to our members on how we can support their growth and goals through the programming that we do.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? My greatest accomplishments are by far my children.
What do you most enjoy about your work? The team I work with, our members and non-members alike and the feeling of connecting people. I also love to plan, organize and bring new ideas. That adds value to my life personally.
If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? Don’t be afraid to fail. Set yourself apart by recovering from adversity quickly and never make the same mistake twice. Learn from it and use it as power to be better, you’ll never regret it.
John Gillespie has joined Trezevant as grant coordinator, responsible for managing all grant funding opportunities for the nonprofit senior community. Prior to joining Trezevant, Gillespie held various finance-related positions, including serving in mortgage compliance for Evolve Bank & Trust and as a financial representative for First Tennessee Bank.
Trustmark Bank’s board of directors has approved a slate of title promotions in the Memphis region. Promotions at Memphis-area Trustmark branches include:
• Linda Barton was named vice president at the Bartlett branch, where she is the branch manager. Barton has been with Trustmark since February 2017.
• George Sago was named vice president at the Olive Branch branch, where he is the branch manager. Sago has been with Trustmark for three years.
• Mary Ann Grant was promoted to assistant vice president at the Memphis Main branch, where she is the branch manager. Grant has been with Trustmark for 20 years.
• Kimberlee Kee was promoted to assistant vice president at the Collierville branch, where she is the branch manager. Kee has been with Trustmark for 23 years.
• Tina Mitchell was promoted to assistant vice president at the Arlington branch, where she is the branch manager. Mitchell has been with Trustmark for four years.
• Mary Beth Umbarger was promoted to assistant vice president at the Hickory Withe branch, where she is the branch manager. Umbarger has been with Trustmark for 33 years.
Trustmark Bank also made three promotions in its mortgage department:
• Whit Agee was promoted to vice president, mortgage department, where he serves as the mortgage branch manager at Trustmark Centre. Agee has been with Trustmark since April 2016.
• Carrie Cobb was promoted to assistant vice president, mortgage department, where she is a loan originator. Cobb has been with Trustmark for four years.
• Kim Jones was promoted to assistant vice president, mortgage department, where she is a community development specialist. Jones has been with Trustmark since January 2016.
Jenny Howell has joined St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School as director of early childhood education. Howell will oversee the Johnny Davis Early Childhood Center, providing leadership and vision for the school’s 2- through 4-year-old program. She has more than 15 years of experience as an educator and director, most recently serving as a kindergarten teacher at Tara Oaks Elementary School.
Redeemers Group has added five new employees. LaChel Barrett has joined the team as service coordinator, Ryan Phillips as a polylevel technician, Dylan Hausinger as a team leader, Jesse Rhodes as a service technician and Drew Johnson as a crew member.
The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority has promoted Christy Kinard to general counsel. Kinard joined MSCAA in January 2014 as associate airport counsel before being named deputy general counsel. In her new role, she will oversee airport authority legal matters, including litigation, legal advice, claims and risk management.
Ryan Rhoden has been named manager of building products distributor ABC Supply Co. Inc.’s 4365 Winchester Road branch. Rhoden started with ABC Supply’s Tuscaloosa, Alabama, branch in 2013 as an outside sales associate and was named manager of the Oxford, Alabama, branch in 2015.