Who's Who

A quick guide to our city's movers, shakers, and other news-makers.


Ten Memphians named to every "Who's Who" since 1984.

Jack Belz

Chairman and CEO of Belz Enterprises, one of the South's largest real estate and development firms. A pioneer in developing and managing factory outlet malls, the firm is among the largest nationally in that arena. Longtime booster, activist, and participant in downtown development. Probably best known for bringing back The Peabody hotel. The driving force behind Peabody Place, a two-million-square-foot mixed-use development stretching for eight blocks downtown and one of the largest historic renovation projects in the U.S. Includes The Peabody and other hotels, the Belz Museum of Asian & Judaic Art, AutoZone corporate headquarters, apartments, offices (including Belz Enterprises' headquarters), shops, and several restaurants. Working with Memphis Housing Authority and Henry Turley Company to develop Uptown, which included demolition of old Hurt Village housing project and redevelopment of Lauderdale Courts housing project, and development of approximately 1,000 new single-family and multifamily units near St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Partner with Turley in Harbor Town, South Bluffs, and other downtown projects. Age 80. Among many other regional and national awards, has received the Leadership Memphis Community Leadership 2000 Award, 2003 Master Entrepreneur Award of the Society of Entrepreneurs and Junior Achievement, the 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Center City Commission, and the Kether Shem Tov Award from the Orthodox Union, one of the highest honors bestowed upon members of the worldwide Jewish community.

William Dunavant

CEO of Dunavant Enterprises, the world's largest private cotton merchant. Widely acknowledged as one of the world's foremost experts on cotton and commodities prices. Founder of The Racquet Club of Memphis and responsible for bringing the annual professional tennis tournament to the club and to Memphis. Avid hunter, sportsman, and financial patron of Ducks Unlimited and the Dunavant Upper School at Memphis University School. Age 75.

Al Green

Lured to Memphis from his native Arkansas by producer Willie Mitchell in the 1970s and racked up seven top-10 soul hits in a three-year stretch. Turned to gospel music after a religious conversion in 1973. Became an ordained preacher and founded the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Whitehaven, where he serves as pastor. Age 62. Multiple Grammy Award winner. Member of the Rock-and-Roll, Gospel, and Songwriters Halls of Fame. In 2003, had albums listed in Rolling Stone's 500 greatest albums of all time and released his first new album of secular music in decades: I Can't Stop, produced by Willie Mitchell. Performed at the White House in 2006. This year, released a new album Lay It Down, with sympathetic production from drummer Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson of the hip-hop band The Roots, that pairs Green in duets with neo-soul stars John Legend and Corrine Bailey Rae.

Willie Herenton

Mayor of Memphis since his epochal 1992 win as the city's first elected black mayor, currently serving his fifth consecutive four-year term after winning a hotly contested 2007 reelection race by plurality over three name opponents. Created a sensation in early 2008 with what seemed to be an announcement of resignation, followed by a semi-public bid to regain the Memphis schools superintendency he had surrendered under fire in 1991. After the school board made clear it was looking elsewhere (eventually hiring Miami educator Kriner Cash), Herenton backed off from both the "resignation" and the job search. Though dogged by continuing fiscal problems and by an upsurge in crime, the 68-year-old Herenton resolved to continue seeking such long-term goals as city/county consolidation. He was pursued by continuing rumors of pending legal problems but denounced both the reports and the failed prosecution of former MLGW head Joseph Lee, a protégé, as stemming from an establishment vendetta against himself.

J.R. "Pitt" Hyde III

Founder of AutoZone and one of Memphis' most famous entrepreneurs. Created Auto-Zone out of the grocery store conglomerate Malone & Hyde and led its public stock offering. Hyde retired as chairman in 1997 shortly after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. With wife, Barbara, is active in philanthropy and civic affairs to an extent rarely seen in Memphis. Hyde, 65, is part owner of the Memphis Grizzlies and was the leader of the pursuit team that brought professional basketball to Memphis. In addition, Hyde has been instrumental in the founding of the Memphis Bioworks Foundation. Other civic pursuits include public education, Memphis Tomorrow, Ballet Memphis, and the National Civil Rights Museum.

Jerry Lee Lewis

Native of Ferriday, Louisiana. Came to Memphis in the 1950s to record for Sun Studios. Shot to fame with blockbuster hits "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" and "Great Balls of Fire." First inductee into Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame. In 2005, received Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammys. Will turn 73 on September 29th. Resides in Nesbit, Mississippi, in a ranch house with a piano-shaped pool. Ventures out for a yearly appearance at the Beale Street Music Festival. Performed with the National Symphony Orchestra at the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol on the Fourth of July 2008.

Ira A. Lipman

Founder and president of Guardsmark, LLC, one of the world's largest security services companies, which operates in 400 cities worldwide with 19,400 employees and annual revenues of more than $560 million. 1996 recipient of American Business Ethics Award. In 1997, founding chairman of Memphis Shelby Crime Commission. Recipient of 2002 Stanley C. Pace Award for Leadership in Ethics, from the Ethics Resource Center. 2002 recipient of Corporate Citizenship Award, presented by the Committee for Economic Development. Age 67. Author of How to Protect Yourself from Crime, in its fourth edition, published by Reader's Digest. First chairman of the ethics committee of the board of governors of United Way of America. Honorary life chairman and former national chairman of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Executive committee member and trustee of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the international human-rights organization. Chairman emeritus of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency and member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Member of the Board of Overseers of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and 2004 recipient of the Wharton School Dean's Medal. Member of Business Executives for National Security and board member of Ligue Internationale des Sociétés de Surveillance.

Jackie Nichols

Founder and executive producer of Playhouse on the Square, Memphis' only resident professional theatre company, now in its 39th season, and Circuit Playhouse, dedicated to producing original and experimental plays. Also created Pay What You Can Night at Playhouse and Circuit, and the new TheatreWorks near Overton Square, a performance space for alternative theatre and dance. Age 61. Helped develop Arts Memphis (formerly the Arts Council) Arts Access Program, which provides food stamp recipients with free tickets to arts events. Started an after-school acting program for children and has had 33,000 students emerge from his numerous outreach programs. Past recipient of the Memphis Rotary Club's Outstanding Community Service Award, the State of Tennessee's Distinguished Achievement Award in Theatre, and the Gordon Holl Outstanding Arts Administrator Award. Playhouse is currently involved in a $12 million capital campaign with construction to begin in the summer of 2008 on a new theatre and arts complex.

Frederick W. Smith

Chairman, president, and CEO of FedEx Corporation, the largest and most important company in the Memphis region. With annual revenues in excess of $25 billion, FedEx is the premier global provider of transportation, e-commerce, and supply-chain management services. Founded by Smith as Federal Express in 1971, the company has approximately 30,000 employees in the Memphis area. Originator of "overnight delivery." Business units operating under the FedEx brand include FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight, FedEx Custom Critical, and FedEx Trade Networks. FedEx also owns the naming rights to FedExForum, home of the Memphis Grizzlies. One of the original financial backers of Alcon Entertainment. Briefly appeared as himself in the 2000 film Cast Away, starring Tom Hanks. Smith is a graduate of Yale and a former Marine Corps officer. Turns 64 August 11th. Rumored as a possible running mate of Republican presidential nominee John McCain.

Pat Kerr Tigrett

Chairman and CEO of PAT KERR, INC., a couture design firm, specializing in bridal couture and baby couture. Spearheaded such civic celebrations as the lighting of the Hernando DeSoto Bridge, the groundbreaking "Big Dig" party for The Pyramid, and the inaugural Northwest/KLM flight to Amsterdam. Founder of The Blues Ball, The Jingle Bell Ball, and The Nutcracker Ball benefiting Memphis music, children, and the arts. Her designs have been featured in prominent New York retail windows and featured on the covers of books and magazines, including Martha Stewart Weddings. Lived in London for 20 years developing an extensive private royal collection containing gowns from Princess Diana, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Queen Victoria, and King George III. Widow of international financier, John Tigrett; mother of Kerr Tigrett. Serves on boards of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Stanford St. Jude Golf Championship, Memphis and Shelby County Music Commission, The University of Memphis, Memphis Rock N Soul Museum, Memphis Film and Tape Commission, NARAS, and is Chairman/CEO of Celebrations!, an upscale lifestyle events company.


A quick guide to our city's movers, shakers, and other news-makers.

David Archer

CEO of Saint Francis Healthcare with responsibility for Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis and Bartlett, as well as the system's surgery center, five sports medicine and rehabilitation centers, nursing home, and senior health-care center. Also serves as president and CEO of Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis. Earned a bachelor's degree in management from Purdue, a master's in business administration from Columbia, and a master's in public health from Columbia. Sits on the boards of the Mid-South e-Health Alliance, the Tennessee Hospital Association, the Church Health Center, and The Hospital Wing (Memphis Medical Center Air Ambulance Service, Inc.). Also serves on the Paragon National Bank Medical Advisory Board. Member of the citywide Blue Ribbon Committee, which is charged to craft a strategic plan for The Med.

Steve Bares

President and executive director of the Memphis Bioworks Foundation, a broad-based public-private alliance focusing on the growth of biomedical research and commercialization of life-science technologies. Specializes in developing the infrastructure, workforce, and entrepreneurism necessary for a thriving bioscience economy. Spearheading the construction of the UT-Baptist Research Park, which will consist of 1.2 million square feet of laboratory, research, education, and business space. Initiated the formation of Innova, an economic-development-focused preseed investment fund created to encourage new company formation in the region. Previously held executive roles at International Paper, Sparcom, and Hewlett Packard Laser and Printer Group. Holds a Ph.D. and an M.B.A. Has authored nine patents. Co-founded Tennessee's first charter school, the Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering targeting inner-city children in grades 6-12.

Joe Birch

The face of Memphis television, in 2008 celebrating 30 years with local NBC affilliate, WMC-TV Channel 5, where he is the Emmy Award-winning co-anchor of Action News 5. Also produces the weekly "Taking Back Our Neighborhoods" news segments and hosts monthly Smart Medicine program for WKNO-TV Channel 10. Off the air, is known for his civic involvement. In 2008, received Christian Brothers University's Maurelian Medal for service to the community, and named one of city's Humanitarians of the Year by Diversity Memphis. In September 2008, will receive St. Peter the Rock Award for his contributions to St. Peter Villa. Numerous other honors paying tribute to his community activism include the Joe Birch Media Award from MIFA, Citizen of the Year recognition by the Shelby County Optimist Club, and Community Service Award by the Memphis Chapter of UNICO. Birch is co-founder and race director of Gibson Guitar's 5K Run/Walk for St. Patrick Learning Center (now in its 12th year), and emcees the Alzheimer's Association Gala. Also serves on the board of trustees of Christian Brothers University.

Charles "Chuck" Brady

President/CEO of the Memphis Zoo since 2003. Responsible for overseeing all renovations and expansions at the facility since the late 1980s. Recently oversaw construction of the $23 million Northwest Passage exhibit and is heading up plans for the new Teton Trek and Zambezi River Hippo Camp exhibits. Teton exhibit has caused controversy after zoo cut down several acres in Overton's Park's Old Forest to make way for it. Active in conservation efforts for various species and currently serves on the boards of the Giant Panda Conservation Foundation and the Jaguar Conservation Fund. Played a key role in negotiations with the Chinese government that brought a pair of giant pandas — Ya Ya and Le Le — to the zoo in spring 2003. Native of New York City. Holds Ph.D. in zoology from Ohio University.

Craig Brewer

Writer and director of Oscar and Sundance award-winning movie Hustle & Flow, filmed in Memphis, and followed it with Black Snake Moan, starring Samuel L. Jackson, Justin Timberlake, and Christina Ricci. Age 35. First garnered national attention with The Poor & Hungry, which won the Best Digital Feature award at the 2000 Hollywood Film Festival. Received the Governor's Award in 2005 from the Tennessee Film Commission for his contributions to the area's film industry. Currently awaiting production for films Maggie Lynn, Gang Leader for A Day, and will reconnect with Terrence Howard in the lead role of a yet-to-be-titled biopic on Charley Pride. Currently shooting $5 Cover, a group of minisodes for MTV/Viacom's online and new media division centered around the city's rock-and-roll scene, using local talent both in front of and behind the camera.

John Calipari

Head men's basketball coach at the University of Memphis. Coached Tigers to runner-up finish in 2008 NCAA tournament, the program's third consecutive Elite Eight appearance, but first Final Four trip since 1985 and first appearance in title game since 1973. Team finished with record of 38-2, the most wins in a single season in Division I history (and third straight season with more than 30 wins). Tigers spent five weeks ranked number-one in both national polls, only the second time in program's history to achieve such status. Named 2008 winner of Naismith Coach of the Year award. Age 49. Eight-year record at U of M: 219-64 (with two wins, will pass Larry Finch in Tiger record book). Squad will lose at least three starters before start of 2008-09 season, but welcomes Tyreke Evans, a top-five national recruit.

Phil Cannon

Tournament director since December 1999 of Stanford St. Jude Championship. In 2007 the SSJC celebrated the 50th anniversary of the PGA Tour playing in Memphis. Oversaw redesign of Southwind's TPC course; also involved in development of FedEx Cup points system to determine year-end PGA champion. Total purse at 2008 SSJC was $6 million. Age 55. Including days as volunteer, has been part of tournament for more than 40 years. Received 2003 Charles Thornton Distinguished Alumni Award from University of Memphis. Also involved with media relations for U of M football and Memphis Motorsports Park.

Kriner Cash

Named superintendent of Memphis City Schools in the summer of 2008. Formerly head of accountability for the Miami/Dade County Public Schools in Florida. Cash, 53, grew up in Cincinnati and earned degrees from Princeton, Stanford, and the University of Massachusetts. Was superintendent of schools in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, from 1995 to 2004. Unanimously chosen by the school board after a search committee narrowed the list of finalists to five, two of whom subsequently withdrew. Will be expected to raise academic achievement in the 110,000-student Memphis City Schools and polish the image of a system plagued by violence, drop-outs, and failing test scores.

Michael Ching

General and artistic director of Opera Memphis since January 1992. Led the opera's move to its East Memphis headquarters, the Clark Opera Memphis Center, which recently won its second award from the American Institute of Architects. Ching's emphasis on education and outreach has resulted in many partnerships, including a songwriting and music video program with the Memphis City Schools and Arts Memphis. Graduated summa cum laude from Duke University. Age 49. In 2008-2009 will conduct La Traviata starring Kallen Esperian, Scott Joplin and Treemonisha, and Faust. Ching's opera Buoso's Ghost was recently produced at the Lake George Opera Festival in New York.

Steve Cohen

Bearing several high-profile endorsements – from the likes of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who called him "the conscience" of his congressional class, and venerable Chairman John Conyers of the House Judiciary Committee – the 59-year-old first-term congressman faced such old opponents as Nikki Tinker and Jake Ford in his 2008 bid for reelection to Memphis' predominantly African-American 9th District. Cohen's close attention to such district concerns as the future of LeMoyne-Owen College and enduring fame from his sponsorship of the state lottery were among the factors that gave the former longtime state senator an early lead in the polls. After winning a multi-candidate race in 2006 to succeed Harold Ford Jr., who had vacated the seat to make an unsuccessful U.S. Senate race, Cohen quickly made an impact on D.C., the Beltway media, and the YouTube universe for his striking floor statements and his on-point interrogation of Bush administration officials in committee hearings. Member of Transportation and Judiciary committees, both Vanderbilt graduate and well-known booster of U of M Tigers.

Carol Coletta

Founder of Smart City Consulting, a Memphis public-affairs consulting firm and host of the nationally syndicated public radio show, Smart City. Leads CEOs for Cities in Chicago, a national network of mayors, foundation officials, corporate CEOs, and university presidents working to increase urban competitiveness. Has co-authored a number of trend-setting works including the City Vitals, City Advantage, and the ten-city study on the Young and Restless. Has what she calls "dual citizenship" in Memphis and Chicago. Named one of the world's 50 most important urban experts by a leading European think tank. Currently working on a book based on Smart City interviews.

Larry Cox

Since 1985, president of the Memphis and Shelby County Airport Authority operating Memphis International Airport, the world's number-one air-cargo airport and facilitator of $21 billion in economic activity in the Memphis region. Career milestones include initiating Memphis' first nonstop international passenger service to Europe, operated by Northwest and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines; expansion of the World Runway to increase international flights; and a $400 million terminal improvement and expansion project. Age 61. Inducted into the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame in 2005. Past chairman of the 4,000-member American Association of Airport Executives and recipient of FAA's Airport Manager of the Year honor.

Margaret Craddock

Executive director of the Metropolitan Inter- Faith Association (MIFA), a 40-year-old, nonprofit, social services agency. Since 1988, Craddock has worked for MIFA and organizations under its umbrella. Has degrees in urban anthropology and law from the University of Memphis and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama. MIFA sustains the independence of seniors with nutrition, transportation, and in-home companionship services and through trained volunteers who protect the rights of nursing home residents. Craddock has been instrumental in addressing the needs of families in crisis through emergency financial assistance, transitional housing, and life-skills education and leads efforts to equip urban youth for success. Oversees a $9.5 million budget, 170 employees, more than 4,000 volunteers, and actively works with many segments of the community to forge partnerships that can address emerging issues.

James M. Davis

Director and chief financial officer of the Stanford Financial Group, a global network of privately held, wholly owned financial service companies providing a wide range of coordinated wealth management and investment advisory services in 102 countries in North and South America, the Caribbean, and Europe. Age 59. Instrumental in designating St. Jude as Stanford Global Charity of Choice, assuming title sponsorship of the Stanford St. Jude Championship golf tournament, underwriting the St. Jude International Outreach Program, and financing the film adaptation of author Jim Stovall's inspirational book The Ultimate Gift. Born in Baldwyn, Mississippi, served in the U.S. Navy, and graduated from Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business.

Michael Detroit

Associate producer at Playhouse on the Square, where he has been a resident company member since 1989. Has worked professionally in theatre since 1985, appearing in California, Maine, Ohio, Nebraska, Michigan, and on two national tours. Recipient of numerous Ostrander Awards for his work. Award-winning credits include Brad in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Milt in Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Anatoly in Chess, Mendel in Falsettos, Jesus in Godspell, and Tateh in Ragtime. Also a director, taking the helm on such productions as Picnic, Tuesdays With Morrie, A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline, Golf With Alan Shepard, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and the award-winning production of A Man of No Importance. Has appeared on-screen in Nothing But the Truth, The People vs. Larry Flynt, The Client, Separated by Murder, and Chasing the Dragon. Has also made hundreds of local, regional, and national voice-overs for television and radio.

Steve Ehrhart

Executive director of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl Football Classic, one of the oldest annual postseason games in college football. Contest features teams representing Conference USA and the Southeastern Conference. Estimates impact of game — and weeklong events leading up to it — at between $17 million and $20 million. For the first time in history, the game will be played after New Year's Day (January 2, 2009), between teams that excelled during the 2008 season. Age 61. Former president of the Colorado Rockies major-league baseball team and former general manager of the Memphis Showboats of the USFL professional football league.

Nathan L. Essex

Became president of Southwest Tennessee Community College, the state's largest community college, after coordinating the merger of Shelby State Community College and State Technical Institute at Memphis in 2000. Graduate of Alabama A&M University. Also holds a Ph.D. from the University of Alabama. Previous experience includes dean of the college of education at the University of Memphis. Was named College President of the Year by Alpha Beta Gamma international honor society and the U of M Society's Educator of the Year. Received Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Keepers of the Dream Award and Educational Freedom Award. Has written six textbooks and numerous publications in national journals. Serves on eight boards representing various organizations in the community. Priorities at Southwest include providing better access to students and meeting business and community needs.

Tyreke Evans

Freshman-to-be at the University of Memphis, and the key recruit in basketball coach John Calipari's efforts to return to the Final Four. Scoring and playmaking ability will help offset the early departures of Chris Douglas-Roberts and Derrick Rose for the NBA. A 6'5" guard, averaged 29 points per game as a senior at American Christian Academy in Pennsylvania. Named MVP of 2008 McDonald's All-American Game. Ranked the sixth-best high school player in class of '08 by Rivals.com. Widely assumed to play one year at U of M before entering NBA draft.

William E. Evans

Director and chief executive officer of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Also holds the St. Jude Professorship and Endowed Chair at the University of Tennessee Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy. For 30 years, Evans' groundbreaking research has focused on the pharmacogenomics of anticancer agents in children, for which he has received three consecutive NIH MERIT Awards from the National Cancer Institute. Received bachelor's and doctoral degrees from the University of Tennessee, Memphis, and spent a sabbatical year at the University of Basel, Switzerland. Has written more than 300 articles and edited several textbooks and scientific journals; recognized by Institute for Scientific Information as a "Highly Cited Scientist" because citations of his publications are among the top one percentile of scientists worldwide in his field. Was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2002.

 Richard Fields

Age 60. Having arrived in Memphis as a youthful activist during the heady period of the early '70s, California native Fields stayed on to get a law degree from the University of Tennessee and became a local pioneer in civil rights cases. An early supporter of Willie Herenton's underdog mayoral campaign in 1991, Fields developed into a major adviser of the city's first elected black mayor. At some point in recent years, though, at a time when Fields had undertaken a new role as arbiter of political campaigns via personal-endorsement letters, the relationship between himself and Herenton weakened, and the two found themselves at odds, with Herenton, mid-way of the 2007 election campaign, accusing his former confidante of complicity in a blackmail plot against him. No charges resulted from the accusation, but the local Democratic executive committee, which had demanded the resignation of Fields, a committee member, in a previous term because of his independent political activities, now did so again.

Shea Flinn

First-term city councilman after 2007 victory in tight multi-candidate race for the Super-District 9, Position 2 seat, the 35-year-old Flynn, a Democrat, forms half of a city/county governmental team of sorts with father George Flinn, a Republican county commissioner. Like the senior Flinn, a once and possibly future candidate for county mayor, the councilman is regarded as a long-term prospect for higher office. An attorney (whose legal briefcase was inherited from the late U.S. Senate legend Richard Russell of Georgia, a great uncle) Rhodes graduate Flinn won his council race after winning plaudits for a highly activist interim term in the state Senate. Carried his innovative habits to the council, where, as chairman of the personnel, intergovernmental, and annexation committee, he was involved in ongoing efforts to revise residency requirements for city police. Also sought to establish a "red-light district" as solution to problem of sexually oriented businesses.

Steve Gaines

Since August 2005, pastor of the nearly 30,000-member Bellevue Baptist Church, one of the largest Southern Baptist congregations in the country. Took a post held for 32 years by the late Adrian Rogers. Most recently served as pastor of First Baptist Church in Gardendale, Alabama. Has held positions with the Southern Baptist Convention, including president of the SBC Pastors' Conference in 2005. Age 50. Received both Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. Publications include Morning Manna, a collection of devotional readings, and When God Comes to Church, released in January 2007. Considered a rising force among Southern Baptists.

Rudy Gay

Star forward for the Memphis Grizzlies. In second season, led team with 20.1 points per game and averaged 6.2 rebounds. Participated in slam-dunk contest at 2008 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans. Provided one of the top highlights in a long season, draining a game-winning three-pointer over San Antonio's Tim Duncan to win game at FedExForum last December. Age 22. Member of 2007 All-Rookie team. Starred in college at Connecticut where Huskies went 30-3 in his sophomore (and final) season. Selected by Houston Rockets with eighth pick in 2006 NBA draft; traded to Memphis for Shane Battier. With trade of Pau Gasol last winter, Gay is centerpiece of Grizzlies' rebuilding efforts.

Bill Gibbons

District attorney general for Shelby County since 1996 and a former member of the Memphis City Council and the Shelby County Commission. Under his leadership, the DA's office has cracked down on gangs, gun crime, and plea bargaining. Gibbons, age 58, has said he will be a candidate for governor of Tennessee in 2010 provided that former U.S. senator Bill Frist does not run. If so, he would be following in the footsteps of one of his political mentors, former Tennessee governor and Vanderbilt alumnus Lamar Alexander, who currently holds one of Tennessee's Senate seats.

 Larry Godwin

Director of Memphis Police Services since 2004. Has pushed for efficient policing through the "Blue C.R.U.S.H." methodology, which focuses on guns, gangs, and drugs. Native of Borger, Texas; raised in Memphis. Vietnam veteran. Established the Hispanic Action Team to address crime and quality of life within the Hispanic community. Created the felony assault unit, the criminal apprehension team. Alumnus of the Leadership Academy and Leadership Memphis. Served as vice-president and president on the board of the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police, and as chairman of the Tennessee Public Safety Coalition. Founding Member of Operation Safe Community. In April 2008, Memphis Police Department unveiled the Real Time Crime Center, a 24-hour-a-day video and digital surveillance system.

Micah Greenstein

Senior rabbi of Temple Israel, Tennessee's largest synagogue. A two-time president of the Memphis Ministers Association and presently sits on the executive board of the National Civil Rights Museum. Greenstein served as president of the Southwest Association of Reform Rabbis and teaches future area ministers at Memphis Theological Seminary. The only rabbi selected as principal speaker for Tennessee Major State Day at the Washington National Cathedral and the first rabbi to preach at the Calvary Lenten Series. A Memphian since 1991, Greenstein has served on the boards of the United Way of the Mid-South, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, St. Mary's Episcopal School, and advisory councils to the Junior League, the Race Relations and Diversity Institute of Memphis, and MLGW. Before entering rabbinical school, he was named a Kennedy Fellow at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he earned a master's degree in public administration.

Rinaldo "Ronnie" Grisanti

Master chef. Owner of eponymous Italian restaurant and member of family that has been a part of city's dining establishment for more than a century. Opened first restaurant in 1978; moved to current location at 2855 Poplar Avenue in 1989. Age 68. Grandson of family patriarch, Rinaldo; family arrived in Memphis from Italy in 1903. Has been named best Italian restaurant in Memphis readers poll for 12 straight years. Named UNICO's 1998 Italian-American Man of the Year. Has served on boards of The Orpheum and Liberty Bowl and is a member of the Christian Brothers Hall of Fame.

Pat Halloran

President of the Memphis Development Foundation, which has restored and operates The Orpheum Theatre. Two-time Tony Award recipient for Thoroughly Modern Millie (2002) and Spamalot (2005). Also president of the Independent Presenter Network, a consortium of Broadway theater executives and producers controlling more than 70 theater markets in North America and Japan. Named Outstanding Theatre Executive in 1999 by the League of American Theatres and Producers. Served on the Memphis City Council 1975-79. Founded Big Brothers of Memphis in 1972. Currently serves on the board of directors of Leadership Memphis. Halloran, 65, is author of The Orpheum!: Where Broadway Meets Beale.

My Harrison

My Harrison is the special agent in charge of the Memphis field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the first woman and the first African American to hold that rank. Native of Tampa, where she graduated from the University of South Florida, then served in the county sheriff's department as an undercover narcotics officer and internal affairs auditor. Arrived in Memphis in 2005 after 20 years with the bureau in Shreveport, Los Angeles, Houston, and Newark. Supervised sting operations Tennessee Waltz, Tarnished Blue, and Main Street Sweeper. Recognized as 2006 communicator of the year by the Public Relations Society of America.

 Tomeka Hart

Appointed in January 2007, Tomeka Hart is the president and CEO of the Memphis Urban League, Inc. She is the fifth person and first female to hold this position in the 65-year history of the organization. A native Memphian, she earned a B.S. degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. While teaching middle and high school in Cobb County, Georgia, earned her M.B.A. degree from Kennesaw State University. Hart returned to Memphis to attend the University of Memphis School of Law, earning her J.D. degree in 2002. Maintained a labor and employment law practice with Ford & Harrison, LLP, prior to joining the Memphis Urban League. In 2004 Hart was elected to the Board of Commissioners of the Memphis City Schools.  She serves as the 2008 board president, and chaired the search for MCS new superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash.

Isaac Hayes

Songwriter, musician, producer, and actor. His soundtrack to 2000's movie Shaft debuted at No. 22 on Billboard charts. Born in Covington, Tennessee. Moved to Memphis at age 5. Found his way to fame at Stax Recording Studio in 1964. Will turn 66 August 20th. Inducted into the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Winner of three Grammys, a Golden Globe, and an Oscar. Was the voice of Chef in Comedy Central's South Park. Founded the Isaac Hayes Foundation in 1999 to promote literacy and music education for children. In summer 2000, opened a school in Ghana (through his Isaac Hayes Foundation) designed to link children in Africa with those in American inner cities via the Internet. Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in June 2005. A practicing Scientologist since the mid-1990s. Suffered a stroke and became a new father again in recent years. Still performs worldwide.

Benjamin Hooks

Local and national civil rights pioneer. Pastor of Greater Middle Baptist Church and president of the National Civil Rights Museum. Native Memphian; graduated from LeMoyne-Owen College. Became a Criminal Court judge in 1965 and was the first black judge of a court of record in the South since Reconstruction. Served on the Federal Communications Commission and as head of the national NAACP. In 2004, wrote a well-received book about his life, The March of Civil Rights: The Benjamin Hooks Story. Has struggled through health problems in recent years and has seen nephew and grand-nephew indicted in the Tennessee Waltz scandal, but stood triumphantly on the balcony of the National Civil Rights Museum as the host of President George W. Bush and the Japanese prime minister during their June 2006 visit to Memphis. Recently honored by having Central Library renamed the Benjamin Hooks Library. Age 83.

Carissa Hussong

Executive director of the National Ornamental Metal Museum since February 2008, replacing the museum's founder, Jim Wallace, who oversaw the organization since 1979. Prior to joining the museum, Hussong served as executive director of the UrbanArt Commission since its inception in 1997, overseeing public art projects including the Cooper-Young Trestle and the artwork at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library and Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. Age 37. Previously worked at The Dixon Gallery and Gardens as associate curator and as a curatorial fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Holds a bachelor's degree from Boston University and a bachelor's degree in art history from the University of Washington. Recipient of the 2005 Ellida Fri Leadership Award presented by the YWCA of Greater Memphis, in 2003 named one of "50 Women Who Make A Difference" by Memphis Woman magazine, a 2002 recipient of the Center City Commission's Vision Award, and one of the 2001 Memphis Business Journal's "Top 40 Under 40."

Barbara Hyde

President of the J.R. Hyde III Family Foundation and the director of the J.R. Hyde Sr. Foundation, both dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Memphis area. Age 46. Known for her advocacy and involvement in public education reform, she has led numerous efforts to bring innovative education initiatives to Memphis, most notably KIPP Academy, Teach for America, and New Leaders for New Schools. Born in California and raised in Atlanta. As a founding member of the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy, she is leading the master planning efforts to transform Shelby Farms into a world-class park for the twenty-first century. Other philanthropic efforts include serving as a trustee for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Women's Foundation of Greater Memphis, the Leadership Academy, and St. Mary's Episcopal School.

Richard Janikowski

Directs the Center for Community Criminology and Research at the University of Memphis. Architect of Operation Blue C.R.U.S.H., the Memphis Police Department's model of data-driven crime fighting. Received the U of M's 2007 Excellence in Engaged Scholarship Award, and the Arts & Sciences W. Russell Smith Award for Teaching Excellence. Co-authored Legality and Illegality, and is completing a book on constitutional criminal procedure, focusing on collaborations among local, state, and federal criminal justice agencies to reduce violent and gang crime. Leading the development of the Gang Reduction Strategy for Operation Safe Community and with Dr. Phyllis Betts is coordinating a new pilot project addressing crime in apartment complexes in Southeast Memphis. Their work on the re-concentration and clustering of poverty and crime in Memphis was recently featured in The Atlantic. He continues as the principal investigator for the Memphis Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative.

Fred Jones

President of Summitt Management Cor-poration, an entertainment consulting firm. Owner and limited partner of NBA's Memphis Grizzlies. Age 60. Founder of the annual Southern Heritage Classic, a weekend of events climaxed by the football matchup between historically black colleges Jackson State and Tennessee State. Played in September at the Liberty Bowl, the Classic has averaged more than 50,000 in attendance since first held in 1990. Began entertainment career as a tour manager for Isaac Hayes. Recipient of the 2002 Memphis City Schools Alumni Hall of Fame. A 1971 graduate of the University of Memphis.

Kevin Kane

The face and voice of Memphis tourism. As president and CEO of the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau, directs an $8 million budget, offices in Memphis, Washington, D.C., and London, and three visitor centers in Shelby County. Dedicated to promoting Memphis' international reputation in the travel industry. Developed "50 Years of Rock 'N' Roll" and last year's "50 Years of Soul" into worldwide campaigns. Co-founder of the Bridges Kick Off Classic and a key player in keeping the Blues Foundation in Memphis. Memphis native, University of Memphis graduate, and tireless booster of Memphis sports, music, and entertainment. Age 51.

Amy LaVere

Eclectic singer, songwriter, and bass player moved to Memphis from Nashville 11 years ago as one half of the country/rockabilly duo The Gabe & Amy Show. Went solo in 2006 with debut album The World Is Not My Home on local label Archer Records. Followed it up in 2007 with the critically acclaimed Anchors & Anvils, recorded with legendary local producer Jim Dickinson at his Zebra Ranch Studio. Also enjoying a burgeoning film career, appearing as rockabilly pioneer Wanda Jackson in the filmed-in-Memphis Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line and garnering a speaking role in Memphis filmmaker Craig Brewer's Black Snake Moan. In 2008, wowed crowds at Austin's South by Southwest music festival and the Bonaroo Music and Arts Festival. Named "one to watch" in this year's Esquire magazine music issue, described as "like Norah Jones but too sultry for Starbucks."

 Mark Luttrell

Sheriff of Shelby County since 2002. Comes from a background in corrections administration at federal and county levels. If there is a community forum on crime or a press conference about a crime sweep, Luttrell is likely to be there. The 61-year-old Republican, a savvy politician with plenty of experience with tight budgets, is often mentioned as a candidate for another political office at some point. One of his major accomplishments has been getting the Shelby County jail released from federal scrutiny because of substandard conditions. But with crime on the rise and public pressure for longer prison sentences, Luttrell has been reminding lawmakers that the county will need a new and bigger jail sooner or later.

Deidre Malone

Member of Shelby County Commission (and chairman for 2008-09); likely candidate for county mayor in 2010. Came to fore of commission in 2007 as chairman of budget committee and chief proponent of controversial move to create a second Juvenile Court Judgeship. Former television news producer and vice president of marketing development for ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Served on boards of the Memphis Housing Authority, Memphis in May International Festival, Ronald McDonald House, and as chair of the Shelby County 911 Emergency Management System. 1999 graduate of Leadership Memphis and president of the Leadership Memphis Alumni Association.

Rick Masson

Executive director of the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy since July 2008, a nonprofit organization that manages Shelby Farms Park and stewards the master planning process for the property. Former executive director of the Plough Foundation. Former chief administrative officer and finance director for the City of Memphis. A lifelong Memphian, Masson earned a master of science degree in accounting and a bachelor of arts degree in economics from the University of Memphis. Serves as a commissioner of Memphis Light, Gas and Water. Founding director of Triumph Bank.

Scott McCormick

The 2008 chairman of the 13-member Memphis City Council. A graduate of White Station High School and the University of Memphis, was elected to the council in 2003 and reelected in 2007. Age 48. He represents one of the council's two "super districts," and because of unusually large turnover in 2007, is one of the council's senior members. McCormick has been in the printing business since 1983 and is director of business development for Central Imaging and Printing. Inadvertently made news in March 2008 when Mayor Willie Herenton stunned Memphis by announcing plans to resign by the end of July, which would have made McCormick, as council chairman, interim mayor for a short period. Herenton informed McCormick of his plans at a lunch meeting but later changed his mind.

John Moore

President and CEO of the Memphis Regional Chamber since 2005. Under his leadership, the Chamber has assisted in doubling the number of Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Memphis. In 2006, the Chamber relocated 31 companies to Memphis, including Nucor Steel and the world headquarters of ServiceMaster. Generated more than $1 billion in capital investment and helped create more than 3,500 new jobs. Represents the Memphis business community nationally by participating on the Committee of 100 for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and in the innovative program CEO for Cities. Earned a business degree from the University of Missouri in St. Louis with a double major in marketing and finance.

Dr. Scott Morris

Founder and executive director of the Church Health Center, which opened in 1987 to provide quality, affordable health care for working, uninsured people and their families. Age 54. Master of divinity degree from Yale University, M.D. from Emory University, board-certified family practitioner, and ordained United Methodist minister. Thanks to a broad base of financial support from the faith community, and the volunteer help of doctors, nurses, dentists, and others, the Center has grown to become the largest faith-based clinic of its type in the country. Currently, the Center cares for more than 50,000 patients of record without relying on government funding.

 Jeffrey Nesin

Originally from New York City, became tenth president of Memphis College of Art in 1991. Under his direction, MCA has seen unprecedented growth in undergraduate and graduate enrollment, and most recently the addition of two new graduate art education programs. Through his leadership the college has gained regional and national visibility, expanded faculty and curriculum, quadrupled the endowment and the campus footprint, including an award-winning Graduate Center and Metz Hall, a model art student residence. An advocate of creative cooperation in higher education, he helped found the Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design, works with the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and is immediate past chair of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association. Serves on the Shelby Farms Master Planning Committee, the UrbanArt Commission, and is also member of the Joint Advisory Board of the Qatar Foundation, overseeing design education there.

Dr. William Novick

Founder and medical director of the International Children's Heart Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the care of children with congenital heart defects in destitute countries. Since founding the organization in 1994, has taken surgical teams to 22 countries and operated on more than 3,100 children. In 1998, performed the first open-heart surgery in Bosnia, and in 1999, was operating in Belgrade when NATO bombing began during the Kosovo conflict. Has been awarded three presidential medals since 2002 and in 2007 he was awarded the Frederique Constant Passion Award. Featured in the Oscar-winning documentary Chernobyl Heart, and invited to speak to the General Assembly of the United Nations about the effects of the Chernobyl radiation disaster. Age 54. Professor of surgery at the University of Tennessee, Memphis. Received cardiac training from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Chris Peck

Since 2003, editor of The Commercial Appeal, the largest newspaper in the Mid-South. In 2006, he and new publisher, Joe Pepe, introduced a new era of community-focused journalism at the daily by publishing five "zoned" editions to emphasize local news and advertising to targeted areas of their readership. In 2001, retired as editor of the Spokane, Washington, Spokesman-Review, cited by the Columbia Journalism Review as one of the 25 best newspapers in the U.S. Past president of the Associated Press Managing Editors and currently on the board of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Has lectured at the Poynter Center for Media Studies and is currently working on a project to develop a new economic and staffing model for news-gathering organizations through a group called Journalism That Matters. Has served twice as a nominating juror for the Pulitzer Prize. Age 58. Graduate of Stanford University. Got his start in journalism at age 11 by working as a janitor at his family's newspaper in Wyoming.

Arnold Perl

Attorney and partner of the Memphis office of Ford & Harrison, LLP, a national labor and employment law firm. A founder of Young & Perl, PLC, a Memphis-based law firm that ended its 30-year practice in 2006. Named in Best Lawyers in America each year it has been published. Chairman emeritus of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the Tennessee Bar Association and the Memphis Regional Chamber's Regional Logistics Council for 2006-2007. Has served as chairman of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority for ten years and a member of its board for more than 25 years. In 1997, elected by authority board members to serve as chairman of the board for a five-year term, then re-elected by the board and is currently serving in his third term through December 31, 2011 as chairman. Other public service includes chairman emeritus of Commissioners Committee, Airport Council International; chairman of New Memphis Arena Public Building Authority, overseeing the construction of FedExForum; and secretary and counsel for Memphis Regional Chamber. Inducted into the Airport Minority Advisory Council's Hall of Fame in 2006. Recipient of the 2006 Diversity Memphis Humanitarian Award. In 2007, recognized by Japan with the Order of the Rising Sun for his efforts to strengthen Tennessee's business ties to Japan, co-founding the Japan-Tennessee Society, and organizing the Japan-America Society of Tennessee. Co-author with Tom Schmitt of FedEx of the management book Simple Solutions: Harness the Power of Passion and Simplicity To Get Results.

Stephen Pike

Director of the Pink Palace Family of Museums, which includes Memphis Pink Palace Museum, Sharpe Planetarium, Lichterman Nature Center, Magevney House, Mallory-Neely House in Victorian Village, and Coon Creek Science Center. Reopened Sharpe Planetarium in April. Expects to reopen Mallory-Neely and Magevney historic houses soon. New strategic plan will bring full-dome video to planetarium and a science and technology center focused on health, fitness, nutrition, and wellness to Memphis area. Former executive director of the Virginia Museum of Natural History. Previously assistant director, Smithsonian National Associates Program in Washington, D.C. Age 60. Graduated from Marian University in Indianapolis; awarded a doctoral fellowship in English at Temple University.

David Porter

Record producer, songwriter, music publisher, and Grammy winner. First staff writer for Stax Records, later joined with Isaac Hayes to form one of the most successful writing/producing teams of their era, with such hits as "Soul Man," "I Thank You," and "Hold on, I'm Coming." Owns production and publishing companies, media production office, and artist development complex — all divisions of David Porter Enterprises — and is a joint-owner in International Pocket Records (IPR). Age 66. Serves on various boards, including Youth Villages and the Soulsville Foundation. In 2004, was given Outstanding Achievement Award at AXA Liberty Bowl President's Gala. Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005.

Dorothy Gunther Pugh

Founder and artistic director of Ballet Memphis, which celebrates its 22nd season this year with a nationally acclaimed company of 17 professional dancers. Graduate of Vanderbilt University. Under her leadership, Ballet Memphis has achieved national prominence, cited by the Ford Foundation as an "exemplary arts institution" and "national treasure." Company has performed to glowing reviews in New York and Paris, and recently lauded as an example of innovation by the Ford Foundation Monograph and the Stanford Social Innovation Review for its Memphis Project series. Honored as a Woman of Achievement and an Outstanding Arts Administrator by the Tennessee Art Commission, and recipient of a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to explore initiatives for redefining mid-size ballet companies in the nation. Recently received arts administrator's fellowship to the Stanford Graduate School of Business. The combined programs of Ballet Memphis — dance company, ballet school, educational enrichment, and Pilates Centre — serve 75,000 people annually.

 Shirley Raines

President of the University of Memphis since July 2001, the eleventh in the school's history and the first woman to hold the position. Member of Memphis Tomorrow and the NCAA Board of Directors. A past chair of the board of directors of the Memphis Regional Chamber, and the first woman to hold that title. West Tennessee native returned to Memphis from the University of Kentucky, where she was vice chancellor for academic services and dean of the college of education. An expert in teacher education, having written or co-written 14 books and numerous journal articles. Past president of the Association for Childhood Education International. Her strengths in development, fund-raising, and government affairs have led to interdisciplinary research and building of corporate partnerships, as reflected in the FedEx Technology Institute, a world-class research facility on the U of M campus.

Stephen Reynolds

Since 1994, president and CEO of Baptist Memorial Health Care, employer of more than 8,000 workers in the Memphis area alone. Chair of the Healthcare Institute, a national think tank of leading health-care CEOs. Also serves on the boards of The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, University of Memphis, Memphis Bioworks Foundation, University of Tennessee Development Council, and Memphis Tomorrow, and is the national secretary for Ducks Unlimited, Inc. Has served as chair of the National Committee of Quality Health Care, the Tennessee Hospital Association, and the Memphis chapter of the American Heart Association, among other organizations. Received the B'nai B'rith International Health Leadership Award and the Tennessee Hospital Association Distinguished Service Award and was named a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow. Earned a B.S. from Arkansas State University and a master of health administration degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and was named Distinguished Alumni by both institutions.

Jason Rittenberry

Vice president and general manager of Memphis Motorsports Park, owned by Dover Motorsports, Inc. Age 33. The 400-acre complex north of Memphis features three tracks, including a 3/4-mile paved oval that hosts NASCAR twice each year in June and October. MMP offers more than 200 race days each year, with an estimated annual attendance of over 550,000. Honored by Memphis Business Journal in 2000 with "Top 40 Under 40" award. Native of Clarksville, Tennessee. Graduate of University of Memphis. Serves on Memphis Regional Chamber board of advisors and Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau board of directors. Deacon at Faith Baptist Church in Bartlett.

Beverly Robertson

President of the National Civil Rights Museum since 1997 and a principal at Trust Marketing and Communications Consortium since 1992. In 2007 the museum was featured in National Geographic's Young Explorer magazine, and recognized in Budget Travel as one of the top 15 "Places Every Kid in America Should Visit Before Turning 15." Formerly served as marketing communications director for Holiday Inn Worldwide, beginning her 19-year career there as a reservations agent. University of Memphis graduate; studied executive development training program at University of Pennsylvania. Has been featured in Essence, The New York Times, Ebony, Black Enterprise, Dollars & Sense, and Redbook. The national spotlight shined on the museum in April for the fortieth anniversary of the assasination of Martin Luther King Jr.

Gayle Rose

Founder and chair of Rose Family Foundations private charity, and CEO and principal owner of Electronic Vaulting Services Corporation, a leading data-storage service provider. Consistently works to improve the quality of life in Memphis — especially for women and children living in poverty — through business and economic development, sports, politics, and advocacy projects. Graduate of Harvard University; named a Littauer Fellow for academic achievement and leadership potential. Previously president and CEO of the Chopra Companies, spearheading publishing, television, and telecommunications ventures of author/physician Dr. Deepak Chopra. Was cofounder and chair of the Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis. In 2005, named one of Tennessee's 100 Most Powerful People by Business Tennessee magazine. In 2007, was awarded the "Changing the Face of Philanthropy Award," a prestigious international honor given to only two women each year by the International Women's Funding Network. Recipient of 2008 Humanitarian Award by Diversity Memphis.

Jeff Sanford

President of the Center City Commission since 1998, an organization that promotes the redevelopment and economic growth of downtown. Working with local government and the private sector, Sanford has led the CCC through a period of unprecedented growth with development currently valued at approximately $3 billion. Former chairman of the Memphis City Council, past president of Memphis in May and the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau. Immediate past chairman of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra board, and International Downtown Association, an organization of downtown revitalization professionals. Current member of the Memphis Aerotropolis Steering Committee, the MemphisED Advisory Committee, and the Riverfront Development Corporation board.

Susan H. Sanford

Since 1991, executive director of the Memphis Food Bank, which in its 27-year history has distributed more than 210 million pounds of food and grocery items to needy people in 31 Mid-South counties. Also operates four Kids Cafes, which serve after-school meals to more than 500 children each week; has launched 11 Food for Kids backpack programs, which provide nutritious foods to children for the weekend. Graduate of the University of Wisconsin. Previously held leadership roles with Memphis Arts Council and Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Has been the only female chairperson of the board of United Way of the Mid-South and the second female president of Memphis Rotary. Board member of the local Federal Emergency Management Agency, founding member of the Safety Net Collaborative, and was vice chairman of the board of America's Second Harvest — The Nation's Food Bank Network. Received the 2007 Ellida Sadler Fri Leadership Award from YWCA of Greater Memphis. A DVD, produced by Fox 13 and featuring Sanford and Food Bank programs, won a regional Emmy for Community Service in 2008.

Susan M. Schadt

President and CEO of ArtsMemphis (formerly Greater Memphis Arts Council) since 2002. Native Memphian whose priorities include increased funding to arts groups and broadening arts education and outreach in the community. Her most significant accomplishment is the historic "Memphis for the Arts" campaign, which raised $27.6 million. In 2007, spearheaded the successful rebrand of ArtsMemphis, which has increased the organization's presence as the premier fund-raiser for the local arts. Also launched an ongoing audience development initiative in partnership with the Assisi Foundation for some 40 nonprofit cultural organizations, culminating in the community-wide interactive arts calendar. In 2005, partnered with Ducks Unlimited to launch the ongoing "Conservation Through Art" initiative, raising over $2 million thus far to support wildlife conservation, local arts groups, and free community events. Serves on the Riverfront Development Corporation board and the Americans for the Arts Leadership Council for United Arts Funds.

Kevin Sharp

In 2007 was named director of The Dixon Gallery and Gardens. Started his career in 1988 at the Art Institute of Chicago, where, with a team of international scholars, he organized the Redon retrospective with the van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, and the Royal Academy, London. Studied in Germany, then returned to the Art Institute to organize the Mary Cassatt retrospective with the MFA Boston and the NGA, Washington. In 1998, became curator of American Art at the Norton Museum in West Palm Beach and added 100 works to the collection in less than five years. In 2003, was appointed director of visual arts at Cedarhurst in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, where he organized 42 exhibitions and operated a 90-acre sculpture park. He has contributed to 14 books on American and French art history, and is currently writing about American art during the Civil War.

Harry Shaw

President of United Way of the Mid-South since 1988, active with the United Way organization for 39 years. In 2006, the United Way distributed over $37 million in funds and other goods to charitable programs in the local community. Co-founder and first chairman of the board for the Grant Center, founded the "Operation Feed" campaign for the Memphis Food Bank, first board chairman for United Housing, Inc., which has helped more than 1,000 low-income people buy a home, and a founding member of the Planned Giving Council of Greater Memphis. Past chairman of the United Ways of Tennessee state organization; a member of United Way of America's "50 Largest Markets Committee," and past chairman of the national United Way President's Roundtable. Has served on United Way of America's National Professional Advisory Council.

Gary Shorb

President and CEO of Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare since 2001. Company consists of six adult hospitals and LeBonheur Children's Medical Center, employing more than 10,000 in the Memphis region. Prior to joining Methodist in 1990 as executive vice president, served as president of the Regional Medical Center at Memphis. Currently sits on the boards of Memphis Tomorrow (current chairman), National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis Bioworks Foundation, and the University of Memphis Board of Visitors. Served as the 2005 board chairman of the Memphis Regional Chamber. Received the Corporate Leadership Award from Memphis' Corporate Volunteer Council in 2004 and the Alexis de Tocqueville Leadership Award from the United Way of the Mid-South in 2005.

Linn Sitler

Beginning her 22nd year in 2009 as Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commissioner. Ranked as one of the top five senior film commissioners in the world, according to the Association of Film Commissioners International. Feature film client Kar Wai Wong's My Blueberry Nights was selected to the opening slot of the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. Television client MTV's Adventures in Hollyhood, starring Three 6 Mafia, opened the new year to controversy back home. In 2007, moved Memphis to number-seven slot on Moviemaker Magazine's "Top 10 Best American Cities to Live, Work and Make Movies." Was Memphis' first PM Magazine female co-host/producer. Continues at Fox 13 with weekly movie reviews. Earned bachelor's from University of Tennessee, master's in broadcasting and film from University of Memphis.

Maxine Smith

Civil rights pioneer who served as executive secretary of the Memphis branch of the NAACP from 1962 until her retirement in 1995. Refused admission to then-Memphis State University because of her race and later led successful charge to open the school to black enrollment. Received bachelor's degree from Spelman College and master's from Middlebury College. Taught French at the university level. While heading the local NAACP, she coordinated the sit-in movement that helped open all private and public facilities to blacks, and served on the coordinating committee of the 1968 sanitation strike and 1969 school boycotts. Led charge for a black superintendent for Memphis City Schools and served six four-year terms on the Memphis Board of Education. Has received more than 160 awards and serves on numerous boards, including the National Civil Rights Museum, Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis, Partners in Public Education, the Tennessee Board of Regents, and the National Board of Directors NAACP. Is subject of 2007 authorized biography by Sherry L. Hoppe and Bruce W. Speck titled Maxine Smith's Unwilling Pupils: Lessons Learned in Memphis's Civil Rights Classroom.

Bishop J. Terry Steib

Installed in May 1993 as fourth Bishop of Memphis. Has played active role with Committee on Evangelization, Committee on Conciliation & Arbitration, and the Catholic Extension Society. Spearheaded Jubilee program that renovated and reopened several local Catholic schools, with a mission to educate and invigorate the underprivileged, regardless of religious affiliation. A native of Vacherie, Louisiana, received theological degree from Divine Word Seminary in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. In 1984, ordained Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Missouri, and Titular Bishop of Fallaba in St. Louis.

Gil Stoball

Former Ridgeway High standout who will participate in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Secured a spot on the U.S team after finishing second in the 200-meter butterfly in July 2008 at the Omaha trials. Swam the final 50 meters in under 30 seconds. Age 22, native Memphian and University of Georgia graduate. As a senior at Georgia, won the 2008 NCAA championship and broke a 17-year-old record in the 200-yard butterfly in March. At Ridgeway won three state titles and set state records in the 200-freestyle and 100-butterfly. Starred for the Memphis Tigers Swim Team as a teenager. Comes from a family of competitive swimmers and has been called by other Olympic winners "the future of American swimming." Training for Olympic team, the 5-8, 150-pound Stovall swims 65,000 to 70,000 meters — more than 40 miles — per week.

Three 6 Mafia

Longtime local rap group revolving around the duo of Jordan "Juicy J" Houston and Paul "DJ Paul" Beauregard. Started selling homemade mix tapes and now own an Oscar and have placed multiple albums in the Billboard Top 10. Career highlight has probably been winning the 2006 Academy Award for Best Original Song for "It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp," from Memphis director Craig Brewer's Hustle & Flow, becoming the first rap group to perform on the Oscar telecast. The next year, the group scored its biggest radio hit with the smash single "Stay Fly" and parlayed its post-Oscar fame into the short-lived MTV reality series Adventures in Hollyhood. Returned this year with the album Last 2 Walk.

Dr. Rolando Toyos

World-renowned ophthalmologist. Medical director and founder of the Toyos Clinic. Grew up in California, was educated at University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, and University of Illinois Medical School. Opened the Toyos Clinic in 1998. Has completed over 30,000 cataract surgeries. Lectures internationally on surgical techniques, medications, and new technologies, and has authored several books, including The Insider's Guide to Medical School Admissions. Currently president of the Sports Ophthalmology Society of America. Team ophthalmologist for the Grizzlies and Redbirds. Received the Jazz Foundation of America's humanitarian award for operating on musicians displaced by Hurricane Katrina pro bono.

Phil Trenary

President and CEO of Memphis-based Pinnacle Airlines since 1997. Company provides regional airline service for Continental, Delta, Northwest, United, and USAirways, collectively, operating over 1,000 daily non-stops and transporting more than 10 million customers annually. Directed the development of Pinnacle Airlines into one of the nation's fastest growing carriers. Named Regional Airline Executive of the Year in 2000. In 2002, Pinnacle was named Regional Airline of the Year by Professional Pilot magazine. In 2004, Aviation Week named Pinnacle one of the Top Performing Small Airlines in the World, and Aviation Business Magazine awarded Trenary the 2004 Regional Airline Strategist of the Year Award. Resides in Memphis and is active in civic and industry affairs such as the Federal Reserve Bank, Transportation Industry Council, Memphis Music Foundation, and the Memphis Regional Chamber.

William E. Troutt

President of Rhodes College since 1999. Has established a strategic vision for the liberal arts college focused on student access and student learning both in the classroom and through student research, work, service, internship, and study-abroad opportunities. During his tenure, the college has renovated several buildings, constructed a new residence hall, and built the nationally recognized Paul Barret Jr. Library. Most recently he established the Mike Curb Institute for Music at Rhodes. Has chaired the American Council on Education and the National Commission on the Cost of Higher Education. A native of Bolivar, Tennessee, named one of the nation's most effective college presidents by the Exxon Foundation and received the college's largest gift of $35.5 million to build the Paul Barret Jr. Library.

 Peggy Troy

Chief operating officer of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare System. Responsible for daily operations of a six-hospital system with more than 10,000 employees, a medical staff of some 2,000 physicians, and patient revenue of $1.2 billion annually. Received undergraduate nursing degree from Marquette University, master's degree from Depaul University. Was president of Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas. Closely involved with Methodist Le Bonheur expansion downtown and in suburbs. In 2008, groundbreakings were held for the new $327 million pediatric hospital downtown and a $124 million expansion for a women's and infants' pavilion in Germantown. Troy is a recruiter, fund-raiser, long-range planner, and the "face" of the hospital system at high-profile events.

Henry Turley

The best-known downtown Memphis real estate developer. With partner Jack Belz, developed Harbor Town on Mud Island, Uptown, and South Bluffs. Age 67. Chosen in 2008 as codeveloper of the Mid-South Fairgrounds, which he envisions as a sports and recreation complex with retail stores, a public school, housing, and other amenities. Turley is chairman of the board of Contemporary Media Inc., the parent company of Memphis and the Memphis Flyer. A native Memphian and graduate of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Turley is known as much for his creativity, unfailing downtown support, and political skills as he is for his real estate projects, and he is often quoted in the local and national media about urban issues and suburban sprawl.

 Johnnie Turner

Executive director, Memphis Branch NAACP, the second largest NAACP branch in the nation (second to Detroit.) Former teacher and administrator in the Memphis City Schools. Chief goal is to implement the NAACP's strategic plan to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of all persons, and to fulfill the organization's mission to eliminate racial hatred and discrimination. Describes her organization as "the biggest, baddest, boldest, oldest, most feared and most revered civil rights organization in the world." Serves on the boards of the Public Building Authority, Leadership Memphis Alumni Association, and the Health, Educational, Housing, and Facilities Board of Shelby County as vice chairman. Holds bachelor's degree from LeMoyne-Owen College and master's degree from University of Memphis.

Dr. Hershel P. Wall

Appointed interim chancellor of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) and vice president for health affairs at the University of Tennessee in April 2007. Confirmed as chancellor by UT Board of Trustees in February 2008. Responsible for planning and executing the strategic direction of the statewide academic health-care system with campuses in Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Memphis (main campus). Oversees an ambitious five-year master plan for six colleges and a capital campaign to renovate and expand clinical, research, and educational facilities. In 2008 has hosted legislative tours of the campus to increase awareness of UTHSC's importance to the community and its need for state funding. Age 73. A 1960 graduate of the UT College of Medicine, with a residency in pediatrics, he is a longtime member of the faculty and administration and has received numerous teaching, professional, public service, and alumni awards.

Bobby Webb

Superintendent of the 48,000-student Shelby County school system. Oversees 51 schools and a $330 million budget for the fourth-largest school district in Tennessee, which includes all public schools in Shelby County outside of Memphis. Budget includes a new contract for Webb with a 32 percent salary increase, which, at press time, some County Commission members are opposing. The contract is based on the average compensation of superintendents from Tennessee's four largest school systems.Webb holds a B.S. in music education and an M.S. in educational administration and supervision, both from the University of Tennessee in Martin. Also holds a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Memphis. Only school superintendent in Tennessee twice to be named Superintendent of the Year. District consistently earns A's on annual report card and is growing by about 1,000 students a year.

Tommy West

Head football coach at University of Memphis. Led team to fourth bowl appearance in five seasons in 2007, finishing with record of 7-6 after loss in New Orleans Bowl. Seven-year record at U of M: 41-44 (win total is fourth in program history). Tigers finished with 6-2 record in Conference USA, most wins since joining league in 1996. U of M beat Southern Miss and UAB in same season for first time. Age 54. Has coached 17 players to first-team all-conference honors. Previously coached five seasons at Clemson. Played football and baseball at University of Tennessee.

Kirk Whalum

World-renowned jazz saxophonist. Returned to his hometown last year as the Stax Music Academy artist-in-residence, and will remain for a second year in that position. Age 50. Attended Texas Southern University, where he composed his first music. He opened a show for pianist Bob James in 1984, and was invited to play on James' next album, which led to a record contract with Columbia Records. In 1998, recorded his first gospel album, Gospel According To Jazz, Chapter One, influenced by the spiritual depth of the music of his childhood. That same year he made For You, an album of covers, which soared to the top of the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart. Most recent album, Kirk Whalum Plays the Babyface Songbook, was released in October 2005. Has received seven Grammy nominations, and one Stellar Award for Best Gospel Instrumental Album.

A C Wharton

Mayor of Shelby County since 2002. Often mentioned as a "wish list" candidate for city mayor if his friend Willie Herenton ever relinquishes the job. Wharton supporters tried to persuade him to run for city mayor in 2007, but the effort failed at the 11th hour and Herenton was reelected. Unfailingly courteous and thoughtful, the 64-year-old lawyer is still at the top of his political game, and six years of dealing with tight budgets and special-interest groups have sharpened his focus and, sometimes, his words. He has become an outspoken advocate of new sources of revenue to supplement the property tax and sales tax. Also a spokesman for "smart growth" in Shelby County.

Marc Willis

President and CEO of the Soulsville Foundation, nonprofit organization that operates the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Stax Music Academy, and The Soulsville Charter School. Also a freelance composer, songwriter, media producer, and designer, he holds a bachelor's of music degree in film scoring and music composition from Berklee College of Music in Boston, and two master's degrees (music technology and new media) from Indiana University/Purdue University in Indianapolis. A former instructor of music at Indiana University and LeMoyne-Owen College, Willis currently serves on the boards of directors for the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau, Success for Public Charter Schools, and the board of trustees for Memphis College of Art.


Kathy Bates

Began her acting career at White Station High School. Age 60. Made her film debut in 1971's Taking Off. Had a successful career on Broadway and in the 1990s, began her career as a Hollywood director. Winner of 1991 Best Actress Oscar for her role as deranged fan in Stephen King's Misery. Played "Unsinkable" Molly Brown in Titanic. Received Oscar nomination for supporting role in Primary Colors; nominated for both Oscar and Golden Globe for supporting role in About Schmidt. Emmy nomination for the role of Bettina in the HBO series Six Feet Under (2003). Also known for her role in Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) and The Waterboy (1998). Recent work includes animated movies such as Charlotte's Web and Jerry Seinfeld's Bee Movie. Latest project is co-starring with her Titanic castmates Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in Revolutionary Road, scheduled for 2008 release.

Cary Fowler

Executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, in Norway, dedicated to collecting and preserving samples of every variety of crop plant in the world in the interest of food security. Seeds will be stored in a vault designed to hold 4.5 million seeds for hundreds of years. First seeds were sealed in the vault in January 2008. Fowler's career spans 30 years in international environment and biodiversity studies. In the 1990s he helped produce the UN's first-ever global assessment of the state of the world's plant genetic resources, and served as special assistant to the Secretary General of the World Food Summit. Age 58. Grew up in Memphis, graduated from White Station High School, attended Southwestern (now Rhodes College), and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Uppsala in Sweden. Has been profiled by CBS' 60 Minutes and The New Yorker, and is the author of several books and more than 75 articles on the subject of plant genetic resources.

Mayhill Fowler

Born and raised in Memphis. Granddaughter of two-time Memphis Mayor Watkins Overton and graduate of the Hutchison School. Has lived most of her adult life in Northern California. Drawing national attention covering the 2008 presidential campaign as a "citizen journalist," or blogger, for the leading liberal online news/commentary website, Huffington Post's "Off the Bus." Holds bachelor's degree from Vassar College and a master's in English literature from the University of California at Berkeley. Has no training in journalism but was invited to be one of Arianna Huffington's 12 conservative-turned-liberal bloggers in 2007. Her scoops include candidate Barack Obama's comments about Pennsylvania voters who "cling to guns or religion"; comments were later used in attack ads and probably cost Obama that state's primary. Fowler is part of an explosive new school of political journalism that emphasizes aggressive advocacy. Age 61.

Morgan Freeman

One of Hollywood's most acclaimed actors (and voices). Born in Memphis and raised in Clarksville, Mississippi. Age 71. Made his acting debut at age 8 in a school play, and also won a drama competition in junior high, but didn't hit the stage again until the 1964 New York World's Fair, where he performed as a dancer. Multifaceted early career included stints with singing groups, touring companies, and guest roles on soap operas. First major role was as chauffeur Hoke in Driving Miss Daisy (1989). Has appeared in almost 50 major films since, earning both an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Million Dollar Baby (2004). Distinctive voice has made him a popular choice for narration, including the Academy Award-winning 2005 documentary March of the Penguins. Co-owner of Madidi restaurant and Ground Zero blues club in Clarksville. Opened second Ground Zero in downtown Memphis in April 2008.

Ginnifer Goodwin

Memphis-born actress, age 30. Recently completed the second season of Big Love, a Golden-Globe and Emmy-nominated HBO drama about polygamists in Utah, playing the third wife of Bill Paxton, along with Jeanne Tripplehorn and Chloe Sevigny. Played Johnny Cash's first wife, Vivian, in Walk the Line, a biopic filmed in Memphis that earned Academy Award honors for lead Reese Witherspoon. In 2004, had supporting roles in the movies Mona Lisa Smile, starring Julia Roberts, and Win a Date with Tad Hamilton. Most recently, wrapped production of He's Just Not That Into You, along with Jennifer Aniston and Scarlett Johansson, to be released in 2009. Attended St. Mary's Episcopal School and Lausanne Collegiate School. With a bachelor of fine arts degree from Boston University, she studied in London at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, the Shakespeare Institute, and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. Received the Excellence in Acting Professional Promise Award in New York from the Bette Davis Foundation. Currently lives in Beverly Hills.

Michael Heidingsfield

Former president of Memphis Shelby County Crime Commission. Accepted position as sergeant-at-arms for U.S. Senate in June. Spent more than a year in Iraq, training police for the U.S. State Department. Member of a 20-person team that evaluated and reported progress on Iraqi police forces to Senate in fall of 2007. Age 57. Prior to his appointment in Memphis (2000), served seven years as chief of police and director of public safety in Scottsdale, Arizona. Expected to coordinate law-enforcement efforts at 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver and Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota.

B.B. King

Universally known as the King of the Blues, with more than 100 albums. Came to Memphis in 1947 from Itta Bena, Mississippi, and landed a job with radio station WDIA. Turns 83 September 16th. Currently lives in Las Vegas, maintains a rigorous touring schedule. Awarded 14 Grammys, the most recent for Best Traditional Blues Album for B.B. King & Friends — 80. In 2006, inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for his Live at the Regal album. Between 1951 and 1985, wrote 74 songs that made the Billboard R&B charts. Recently purchased Club Ebony, a juke joint in his hometown of Indianola, Mississippi, where King plays his annual summer homecoming concert. Member of the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame. Winner of the Kennedy Center lifetime achievement award. The B.B. King club is scheduled to open in Indianola in 2010.

Sarah Morris

Currently filming the third season of the Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated show Brothers & Sisters. The hit show stars an all-star cast including Sally Field, Rob Lowe, Danny Glover, Rachel Griffiths, Balthazar Getty, and Calista Flockhart. Brothers & Sisters also took home two GLAAD Awards for "Outstanding Drama Series." Previous television credits include recurring roles on Windfall, Felicity, and Boston Public, as well as guest appearances on Cold Case, Ed, Dark Angel, and Judd Apatow's Undeclared. Film credits include roles in Coyote Ugly and Underclassmen. Member of the Echo Theater Company, a group of actors, writers, directors, and producers dedicated to developing and presenting the work of playwrights on all levels. Resides in Los Angeles.

Cybill Shepherd

Actress best known for TV series Moonlighting and Cybill, which was awarded four Golden Globes and four People's Choice awards. In 2007 signed on to join the cast of The L Word, a Showtime drama entering its fifth season, and scheduled to make recurring appearances on hit series Psych. Recently portrayed Martha Stewart in two made-for-television movies: Martha, Inc.: The Story of Martha Stewart and Martha: Behind Bars. Got her start in acting while attending East High School. Was named Miss Teenage Memphis in 1966. Her 1971 breakout role: Jacy in The Last Picture Show. A cabaret singer with five albums to her credit, the most recent titled At Home with Cybill, released in 2004. Age 58. Lives in California but often returns to her home in Downtown's South Bluffs. In the past has been a spokesperson for the American Lung Association.

 Andrew VanWyngarden

The son of Memphis Flyer editor Bruce VanWyngarden, White Station High School graduate Andrew VanWyngarden became one of pop music's breakout stars in 2008 as the singer/songwriter/guitarist for the Brooklyn-based rock band MGMT. The band formed at Wesleyan College as a partnership between VanWyngarden and classmate Ben Goldwasser. After landing a multi-album deal with Sony/Columbia, the duo released its debut album, Oracular Spectacular, early this year, scoring an international hit with their single "Time to Pretend." Named an "Artist to Watch" for 2008 by Rolling Stone magazine, the band later appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman and played a sold-out showcase at the South By Southwest Music Festival. Has landed songs on the soundtracks to the films 21 and American Teen.

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