September 07, 2017

Complete Tennessee Announces Second Annual Leadership Institute

Program helps rising leaders understand challenges facing TN higher education system

NASHVILLE, TN – Complete Tennessee today announced the second cohort of the Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute will begin on September 18 in Nashville. This year’s class includes representatives from state and local governments, business and industry, foundations and nonprofits, and education advocacy groups and institutions.
The Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute (CTLI) brings together a diverse group of community stakeholders for several months of regional programming that explores the challenges and opportunities facing Tennessee’s higher education system.
“There’s no doubt our postsecondary system must improve to address significant completion and equity gaps. Cultivating new education advocates is critical to our work to raise higher education attainment in Tennessee,” Complete Tennessee Executive Director Dr. Kenyatta Lovett said.
“To better understand the very real challenges confronting students, communities and institutions, the Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute will travel across the state engaging with state and national experts, learning about best practices and exploring innovative solutions for higher education improvement,” Dr. Lovett continued. “We hope the ensuing discussions and experiences will guide participants’ work to lead local Drive to 55 efforts and help raise postsecondary outcomes across the state.”
From September to April, CTLI will convene five working sessions in Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Memphis and Sewanee that will examine the local, state and national higher education landscape. Participants will gain a better understanding of the unique challenges facing today’s college students, and explore innovative programs designed to support Tennessee postsecondary students.
“The insights gained and connections made through the Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute have already proven highly valuable to our local initiatives,” said Beth Duffield, Senior Vice President of Education & Workforce Development at Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, who participated in the inaugural 2016-2017 cohort of the program. “Tennessee’s higher education system must cater to an incredibly diverse student body, and there is some great work being done resulting in positive gains in retention and completion rates across the state. We still have a long way to go to meet the Drive to 55 goals, but the Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute is arming key stakeholders with the knowledge and information necessary to help encourage meaningful change from the ground up.”
To learn more about the leadership institute experience, visit Complete Tennessee’s blog.
The 2017-2018 CTLI members are:

  • Leigh Bagwell, State Coordinator of School Counseling, Tennessee Department of Education
  • Amanda Bolden, Senior Director of Communications, tnAchieves 
  • Dan Caldwell, Senior Manager of Technical Training, US Manufacturing, Nissan North America, Inc.
  • Dan Eldridge, Mayor of Washington County, Tennessee 
  • Mark Farley, Executive Director, Upper Cumberland Development District
  • Jacqueline Faulkner, Vice President of Student Affairs, Southwest Tennessee Community College
  • Gwyn Fisher, Greater Memphis Regional Director, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
  • Lindsay Frilling, Chief Executive Officer, Obion County Joint Economic Development Council
  • Brian Gann, Vice President of Student Services, Jackson State Community College
  • Brett Gipson, Deputy General Counsel, Tennessee Higher Education Commission
  • Samantha Gutter, Education Policy Analyst, Office of Governor Bill Haslam
  • Millard House, II, Director of Schools, Clarksville-Montgomery County School System
  • Bradley Jackson, President & CEO, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Tennessee Manufacturers Association
  • Dr. Shanna Jackson, Associate Vice President, Williamson Campus, Columbia State Community College
  • Leslie Lemus, College Success Coach, Conexión Américas 
  • Stacy Lightfoot, Vice President of College and Career Success, Public Education Foundation
  • Mike Meadows, Director of Postsecondary Success, The Ayers Foundation
  • Jeremy Meredith, Policy and Research Analyst, State Collaborative on Reforming Education
  • Dr. Hilary Miller, Director of the Daniels Center, Middle Tennessee State University
  • Amy New, Assistant Commissioner for Rural Development, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
  • Mae Perry, President, Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Hartsville
  • Dr. Carol Puryear, Vice Chancellor for Economic and Community Development, Tennessee Board of Regents
  • Tom Witherspoon, Mayor of Gibson County, Tennessee 
  • Jerry Young, President, Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Morristown

To stay up-to-date on the Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute, make sure to follow Complete Tennessee on Twitter and Facebook.

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