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New coalition of African American leaders launch Partnership Tennessee

With the shared goal of elevating and accelerating Black leadership in Tennessee, a coalition of African-American leaders representing a cross-section of business sectors have launched Partnership Tennessee.

“As a founding board member, it is an honor to share the vision of Partnership Tennessee,” said Partnership Tennessee Board Chair Cato Johnson, senior vice president and chief of staff at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare. “We are at an important time in our state, and now more than ever, we must recognize the need to increase diversity in our workforce and top leadership positions.”

The Partnership Tennessee Board of Directors also includes:

  • Keri Floyd-Kelly, director of diversity, equity and inclusion at Nissan Americas
  • Pam Martin, president of Cushion Employer Services
  • Keith McGee, training specialist for the Naifeh Center for Effective Leadership at the University of Tennessee’s Institute for Public Service
  • David McKinney, vice president of human resources and public affairs at AutoZone
  • Alvin Nance, CEO of LHP Development, Inc.

The Partnership Tennessee membership convened for a meeting to discuss priorities and goals for the coming year and hosted the inaugural African American Leadership Summit at Tennessee State University on April 27. 

The African American Leadership Summit brought together African American professionals to engage in meaningful conversation with leaders from some of Tennessee’s largest corporations and employers and discuss why a diverse workforce is essential.

“It was an exciting experience to see a room full of African American leaders from diverse experiences,” said Partnership Tennessee board member Pam Martin. 

Pam Martin

“We had senior level executives sitting alongside college students from Tennessee’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, including Fisk, Meharry, and TSU, hearing about the struggles African-American leaders encountered in their career journeys and providing words of wisdom for the next generation of leaders.”

In the works for Partnership Tennessee is a dashboard designed to monitor key metrics to understand areas that offer room for improvement and how progress is being made in Tennessee. 

(To learn more, visit PartnershipTN.com.)


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