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West Tennessee All-Star Basketball Game – WBBJ TV

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Tennessee

Leadership Tennessee announces 2024-2025 Signature Program participants

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Leadership Tennessee announces 2024-2025 Signature Program participants


Leadership Tennessee announced the participants in the 11th class of its yearly program, which brings together leaders from around the state to address concerns Tennessee faces.

Leadership Tennessee is a nonprofit organization dedicated to rallying leaders from throughout the state to address critical issues and in a constructive and nonpartisan way. The 2024-2025 Signature Program Class XI consists of 48 people from 14 different counties across Tennessee, each representing distinct organizations and professional experiences.

The cohort will spend 10 months traveling the state to study the challenges Tennessee faces and work together to identify the best solutions and opportunities to improve.

“We are proud to challenge our cohorts to think critically about advancing our state in a variety of areas,” Alfred Degrafinreid II, president and CEO of Leadership Tennessee, said in a news release. “This class in particular will experience the program at the height of this year’s election. This will no doubt lead to even deeper and more thoughtful dialogue as state and federal discourse will be spiking in this moment.”

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Leadership Tennessee’s 2024-2025 Signature Program Class XI participants

The following are listed alphabetically by county.

Davidson County

  • Jill Ayers, Judge, Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
  • Monty Burks, Deputy Director of Governors Faith Based and Community Initiative, Office of the Governor
  • Clay Bright, CEO, Megasite Authority of West Tennessee
  • Nikki Burdine, News Anchor, WKRN
  • Brooxie Carlton, Assistant Commissioner, Community and Rural Development, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
  • Joe Carrico, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Kate Chinn, Partner, MP&F
  • Natalie Cooper, President and CEO, Wellpoint TN
  • Steven Gentile, Executive Director, Tennessee Higher Education Commission
  • Erin Hafkenschiel, President, ThinkTennessee
  • Johari Matthews, Vice President and Executive Director, ONE Community and Titans Foundation, Tennessee Titans
  • Bert McCarter, Attorney, McCarter East PLLC
  • Martesha Johnson Moore, Chief Public Defender, Metropolitan Nashville Public Defender’s Office
  • Karl Sprules, Chief Operating Officer, AllianceBernstein
  • Carey Whitworth, Vice President of Government Relations and Advocacy, University of Tennessee System
  • Russell Ziecker, Executive Vice President, Head of Global TV Music, LIONSGATE and STARZ

Gibson County

  • Tina Prescott, Chief Operating Officer, West Tennessee Healthcare

Hamilton County

  • Casey Dungan, President and CEO, BlueCare Tennessee
  • Evann Freeman, Vice President, Government and Community Relations, EPB Chattanooga
  • Ian Leavy, Assistant General Counsel, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
  • Joe Riley, Founder/Owner, Patriot Family Homes and Quail Run Farm
  • Mina Sartipi, Professor, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Knox County

  • Ben Bentley, CEO, Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation
  • Jan Brown, VP, Talent and Culture, Tennessee Valley Authority
  • Clarice Phelps, Engineer, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Grant Rosenberg, Chief Operating Officer, City of Knoxville
  • Tammy White, President/CEO, Leadership Knoxville

Madison County

  • Monte Cooper, President and CEO, Jackson Energy Authority
  • Carol Rothstein, President, Jackson State Community College

Montgomery County

  • Lee Harrell, Chief of Staff, Montgomery County
  • Kimberly Wiggins, County Trustee, Montgomery County Government

Roane County

  • Bob Eby, Chairman, Tennessee State Board of Education

Robertson County

  • Zane Seals, Chief Financial Officer, Division of TennCare

Rutherford County

  • Dawn White, District 13 State Senator, Tennessee General Assembly

Shelby County

  • Kemp Conrad, Principal, Cushman & Wakefield Commercial Advisors, LLC
  • Michalyn Easter-Thomas, Memphis City Councilwoman, City of Memphis
  • Michael Fulton, Director of Government Affairs and Business Diversity Development, Memphis Shelby County Airport Authority
  • Tiffany Legington Graham, Chief Marketing and Development Officer, National Civil Rights Museum
  • Phillip May, President (Memphis), Pinnacle Financial Partners
  • Johnny Moore, Jr., Tennessee Regional President, Truist Financial
  • Chandell Ryan, President and CEO, Downtown Memphis Commission
  • Paul Young, Mayor, City of Memphis

Smith County

  • Bryan Wright, Executive Vice President, Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation

Sullivan County

  • Carla Karst, Principal and Founder, Landstar and Workforce Homes Foundation
  • Frank Lett, President and Chief Tourism Officer, Visit Kingsport

Sumner County

  • Chassen Haynes, Regional Manager, U.S. State and Local Government Affairs, Ford Motor Company

Williamson County

  • Matt Largen, President and CEO, Williamson, Inc.
  • Mia McNeil, State Director, AARP Tennessee



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Tennessee senator announces ouster plan for DA Mulroy

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Tennessee senator announces ouster plan for DA Mulroy


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – Senator Brent Taylor laid out his plan to oust the Shelby County District Attorney from his position on Monday.

This comes after Taylor and Tennessee Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton expressed concerns about a diversion program DA Steve Mulroy announced last week.

Mulroy walked back on that plan Monday. According to him, the program would have used a rehabilitative approach for nonviolent offenders charged with possession of a firearm.

Objections to Mulroy’s way of handling criminals are not new, but after the announcement of the diversion program, lawmakers shared more of their opposition to the Shelby County DA.

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Speaker Sexton said, “His actions will make Memphis even more unsafe.”

Taylor said the program is not only “nonsensical, but it is dangerous.”

Although he has since rescinded the idea, Sen. Taylor and Speaker Sexton say they are still considering ways to remove Mulroy from his position as district attorney.

“This ouster resolution was never about the diversion program, about whether or not convicted felons should have access to firearms, it was never about that,” said Sen. Taylor. “It was about the DA’s attempt to redefine what crime and punishment is in this state.”

Although the program is no more according to Mulroy, Taylor said he still plans to file an ouster resolution in November, immediately after the November election. He said he has to wait because resolutions cannot be filed for the next General Assembly until then.

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Taylor said it would take 22 votes in the Senate and 66 votes in the House of Representatives to remove Mulroy from office.

“There will be committee hearings. DA Mulroy will have due process. He will have an opportunity to come to the General Assembly and answer the charges that will be in the resolution and to defend himself,” he said in a press conference Monday afternoon.

If he is removed, the governor will appoint a replacement who will serve until the next election.

Senate Minority Leader Senator Raumesh Akbari and Senate Democratic Caucus Chairwoman Senator London Lamar condemned the ouster resolution.

Both said in a joint statement, “This unconstitutional attack on Shelby County’s district attorney sets a dangerous precedent. It looks like every local official is now on notice not to cross powerful, state politicians — or else.”

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The senators went on to say “Crime did not start with the new Shelby County district attorney, and it is beneath the legislature to threaten local officials over a policy debate.”

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Lance Heard Listed as Breakout Candidate

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Lance Heard Listed as Breakout Candidate


Tennessee football offensive lineman Lance Heard listed as a second-year breakout candidate in college football.

The Tennessee Volunteers will have some new faces on offense following this year’s offseason. Most will look at the quarterback position as Joe Milton is in the NFL now, but they will have some changes upfront as well. Specifically at the tackle position and one of the Volunteer’s options could have a breakout year.

Offensive tackle Lance Heard was amongst the list of college football second-year breakout candidates according to CBS. Heard played for the LSU Tigers last season and was selected to the 2023 All-SEC Freshman team after playing in all 12 games a season ago. He then elected to transfer to LSU this offseason and will look to make an impact in year one.

“Heard, the No. 3 offensive tackle in the Class of 2023, initially signed with LSU and spent his freshman season as one of the Tigers’ top reserves. Given the loaded depth chart ahead of him in Baton Rouge, which was filled with young starting options, Heard transferred to Tennessee as one of the top offensive linemen in the portal. He’ll start at left tackle immediately for the Vols, tasked with guarding new starting quarterback and former five-star Nico Iamaleava’s blindside,” CBS wrote.

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Tennessee’s offensive line will need to keep Iamaleava upright this season if they plan on improving upon their record from a season ago. If they accomplish that, Heard will likely play a major role in that in his first year as a Volunteer.

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