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VOL. 132 | NO. 93 | Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Hamilton Named Development Director At Wolf River Conservancy

By Kate Simone

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Kelsey Hamilton has been promoted to director of development at the Wolf River Conservancy. Hamilton joined the conservancy in October 2014 as associate director of development.

In her new role, she works to ensure that fundraising goals are met at the conservancy, an accredited land trust that has protected over 16,000 acres of the Wolf River watershed since its founding in 1985. Specifically, she oversees annual giving, membership, corporate giving and events, and works alongside chief development officer Barbara Kabakoff to assist with the capital campaign for the Wolf River Greenway project.

Hometown: Memphis

Experience: I graduated with a major in journalism and public relations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining the conservancy in 2014, I worked as the development director at The ALS Association Jim “Catfish” Hunter Chapter and Easter Seals-UCP in Raleigh, North Carolina.

What talent do you wish you had? Graphic design! I say this almost every day because I think visually it is so important to be able to communicate to donors and supporters.

Who has had the greatest influence on you and why? My parents. Their support and guidance through the years has given me the confidence to pursue my professional and personal goals.

How did you first get involved with the Wolf River Conservancy? I knew about the Wolf River Conservancy growing up in Memphis, and when I was looking for the opportunity to return home, hearing all of the positive work that the conservancy was doing really encouraged me to get involved. I knew that I wanted a job where I could feel connected to the city, and I wanted to be able to work for my hometown.

What are your goals as director of development? To tell the story of the conservancy and why every Memphian should feel invested. As a conservation organization, we are protecting our drinking water, which I know we are all very proud of here in Memphis. I want to be able to expand our base of supporters and showcase the good work that our staff, board, members and supporters are doing.

The Greenway Soirée saw a 25 percent boost in event income in 2016. How does the Conservancy use the funds raised from the Soirée and other events? The Greenway Soirée is the largest fundraiser for the conservancy. Funds raised from the event go to supporting our land conservation practices, educational outreach and recreational programming.

As for the river itself… what are some things Memphians might not know about the Wolf and its impact? Besides the great recreational opportunities that are offered on the Wolf (you have to check out paddling the Ghost River section if you haven’t!), the upper part of the Wolf River and our underground aquifer helps recharge our drinking water. We can all appreciate the importance of access and affordability of our water, and we should all have a vested interest in protecting it.

What do you most enjoy about your work? Our leadership embraces creativity and being more entrepreneurial in our approach to marketing and development. Having the support and confidence from our team to pursue different ways to fundraise for the organization makes my job inspiring and fulfilling. No day is the same.

If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? If there is something that you are passionate about, pursue it. When you are young, you have that opportunity, and many times, if you are doing what you love, success will fall into place. That’s never felt truer to me after being back in Memphis the past 3 years. Our city embraces that culture, and I would encourage everyone to invest in their hometown.


Dr. Aimee Talleur has been named research associate in St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy. Talleur joined St. Jude in 2012 as a clinical fellow in the Department of Oncology, and her appointment to the hospital staff follows a series of one-year fellowships with the Physician Scientist Training Program; the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Program, where she served as chief fellow; and the Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Fellowship. As a full-time faculty member, she will focus her research and clinical work on immunotherapy and cellular therapy.


Donna Gettings, vice president of quality at Adams Keegan, has been selected as a Citation of Merit honoree of the American Payroll Association. The citation recognizes individuals who are steadfast in the APA’s volunteer work, holding an invaluable commitment to providing educational services to the organization’s diverse membership. Gettings was honored for her contributions to the payroll profession through participation of the Hotline Referral Service Committee.

Glen Fenter has been named to the Peer Power Foundation board of directors. Fenter is the incoming superintendent for the Marion School District and most recently served as president of the Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce.


The Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South has elected officers and new directors for 2017. Officers are: Kent Ritchey, chairman; Ron Becker, first vice chairman; Dotty Summerfield Giusti, second vice chairwoman; Reginald Peyton, secretary; and Bruce Doane, treasurer. Newly elected directors are Jake Adams, Gary Dodson, Alexandra Matlock and Michael Purdue.

Memphis Heritage Inc. has elected new officers and board members. New officers are Will McGown, president; Michelle Koeppen, vice president; Chris Bird, treasurer; John Griffin, secretary; and Joey Hagan, past president. Newly elected board members are Preston Battle, Shirley Stagner and McCauley Williams. In addition, Memphis Heritage introduced Margot Ferster, who recently joined the staff as assistant director. Ferster has a master’s degree in historic preservation from Tulane University.

PROPERTY SALES 57 280 1,209
MORTGAGES 55 244 916
BUILDING PERMITS 158 699 2,751