VOL. 132 | NO. 182 | Wednesday, September 13, 2017
MMDC Hires Mitchell to Lead Community Development
By Kate Simone
Memphis native Vonesha Mitchell has joined the Memphis Medical District Collaborative as program manager, community development. Mitchell’s new position rolls together several functions, including recruiting retail for vacant and underutilized storefronts, working with U3 Advisors to launch and administer the Hire Local program, developing assistance package and incentive programs, and engaging current and potential businesses in the district to understand opportunities and concerns.
Experience: Business management consultant and trainer, Communities Unlimited, 2006-2010 and 2014-2017; ministry director, The New Olivet Baptist Church, 2011-2014; learning coach and lead math and science teacher, Memphis City/Shelby County Schools, 2010-2014; part-time instructor and team leader, Kaplan University, 2010-2014; executive director, Dedicated- Refuge Inc., 2000-2006; education specialist, Center for Earthquake Research & Information (CERI), 2002-2004 and 2006.
What talent do you wish you had? I wish I could make people see the good in themselves, others and situations at first glance – make optimism everyone’s default.
Who has had the greatest influence on you and why? My parents. My father, a military man with a true entrepreneur’s spirit, had a strong work ethic and a desire to make the world around him better with his generosity and great attitude. My mother, a doctor of psychiatric nursing, loves learning, and her willingness to challenge herself has always been a great source of inspiration for me.
What attracted you to the Memphis Medical District Collaborative? I love Memphis, and I am passionate about being a part of what continues to make it better. Driving down Union Avenue toward Downtown has always given me such a feeling of pride and excitement. A big stretch of that drive runs right through the Medical District. I want others to feel that same pride and excitement, so I know we have to improve that drive! I feel very fortunate to be a part of the efforts of so many amazing people – entrepreneurs, medical professionals, students, citizens – all making that happen.
Tell us a little about the goals of the Hire Local program and how it will work. The goal of Hire Local is to facilitate the hiring of residents that live in the Medical District and are interested in working for our amazing Medical District anchor institutions in doing just that. These institutions have committed to filling a certain number of jobs with Medical District residents, and we have a network of partners ensuring candidates for those positions are prepared and have opportunities to grow within those institutions.
What other initiatives are in the works to help revitalize the Medical District? We are passionate about growing existing business in the district and recruiting more businesses to the area, so we have several incentive programs coming online soon for business development in the district. We have and will continue to take some creative approaches to incubating businesses in the district with developments for microretail, shipping container infills and really supporting those who have great ideas.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? I consider my greatest accomplishment being known by those who know me as a woman who loves God and His people. I am far from perfect and God loves me, so it is my great honor and a point of pride to be a reflection of that love.
What do you most enjoy about your work? I most enjoy seeing ideas come to life. Everything amazing started as an idea. It brings me such joy to see my ideas come to life and facilitate the ideas of others. It’s magical.
If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? I would encourage young people to dream. KNOW that you can achieve those dreams and be courageous enough to put in the work. Even if you fail you will have grown more than you could ever imagine, and when you’ve done all that, repeat and repeat and repeat again!
Chet Jackson has joined the Memphis Medical District Collaborative as program manager, real estate. In that role, he works on getting buildings and streetscapes ready as part of the Medical District revitalization process. Jackson comes to Memphis from Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he most recently served as executive director of the West Humboldt Park Family & Community Development Council.
Trey Tally has joined Diversified Trust as a senior vice president in the company’s Memphis office, where he is part of the firm’s wealth management team. In that role, he supports clients with trust, estate, tax and business planning. Tally, a certified trust and financial adviser, most recently served as a senior vice president at Pinnacle Financial Partners in Nashville.
Jeff Poulton has been appointed chief financial officer at Indigo, an agriculture company whose commercial and customer service is based in Memphis. Poulton has extensive experience in finance, investor relations and strategy. He comes to Indigo from Shire plc, where he was CFO and a member of both the executive committee and board of directors. In his new role, he will manage Indigo’s financial operations and support its growth aspirations.
Dr. Natalie Person, professor of psychology and chair of educational studies at Rhodes College, has been awarded the college’s 2017 Jameson M. Jones Award for Outstanding Faculty Service. The award honors a current faculty member for their exemplary service and leadership to the Rhodes community. Person joined Rhodes’ psychology department in 1994, served as its chair for a decade and sits on numerous committees. She also co-founded the Tutoring Research Group, a research team at the University of Memphis.
Rhodes College has added 15 new faculty members for the 2017-18 academic year. They are Chanelle Benz, Tisha Brown, Sesha Dassanayake, Ariel Eisenberg, Stephanie Elsky, Stephanie Haddad, Kiren Khan, Tyler Lefevor, Duane Loynes, Jade Planchon, Carolin Purser, Brooke Schedneck, Shana Stoddard, Laura Taylor and Graham Tuttle.
The Baker Ober Health Law Group at Baker Donelson has earned multiple honors from industry publications. Baker Donelson was ranked No. 3 in the 2017 edition of Modern Healthcare's “Largest Healthcare Law Firms,” No. 3 on the American Health Lawyers Association's “AHLA 2017 Top Honors” rankings of health law firms in the U.S., and No. 2 on the American Bar Association's “Fourth Annual Regional Law Firm Recognitions” list of health law firms in the Southeast.