Who's Who 2010
Our annual guide to the Memphis names (and faces) you need to know.
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President of Summitt Management Corporation, an entertainment consulting firm. Owner and limited partner of NBA's Memphis Grizzlies. Age 62. Founder of the annual Southern Heritage Classic, a weekend of events climaxed by the football matchup between Jackson State University and Tennessee State University. Played annually the second Saturday in September at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, the game has averaged more than 50,000 in attendance since first held in 1990. A 1971 graduate of Memphis State University. Recipient of the 2010 Authur S. Holmon Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Memphis.
The face and voice of Memphis tourism. As president and CEO of the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau, directs an $8 million budget, with 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 "50 Years of Soul" into worldwide campaigns. At home, co-founder of the Bridges Kick Off Classic and a key player in keeping the Blues Foundation in Memphis. Memphis native, U of M graduate, and tireless booster of Memphis sports, music, and entertainment. Age 53.
Director of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art since 2008. Holds a bachelor's in fine arts from Harvard University and MBA degree with a concentration in not-for-profit and museum management from the Mason School of Business at The College of William & Mary. A 2008 alumnus of the Getty Museum Leadership Institute and a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors, he served as executive director of the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia from 2002 to 2008. Since Kitchin's arrival, the Brooks has presented such exhibitions as "The Prints of Jacob Lawrence, 1963-2000," "Venice in the Age of Canaletto," and "Who Shot Rock & Roll: 1955-Present," which runs through September 26th.
Eclectic singer, songwriter, and bass player moved to Memphis from Nashville in 1999 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. Last year, released EP, Died of Love. Has appeared on Conan O'Brien and performed at Royal Albert Hall, Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, and other major venues. 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. Re-teamed with Brewer as one of the lead performers in his 2009 MTV series $5 Cover.
Since 1980, chief executive officer of Youth Villages, one of the nation's largest private providers of services to children with emotional and behavioral problems and their families. Serves more than 15,000 children and families across 11 states, employs more than 2,300 counselors and staff, and has annual revenues of more than $130 million. Produces an 80 percent success rate of children living successfully at home two years after completing a Youth Villages program. In 2006, Lawler was named one of "America's Best Leaders" by U.S. News & World Report in conjunction with the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. After a case study in 2009, Harvard Business School began using Youth Villages as part of a course in effective nonprofits. Also in 2009, the White House cited the organization as an example of "effective, innovative nonprofits." In 2010, Youth Villages was named one of the "Top 50 Nonprofits to Work for" by The Nonprofit Times and Best Companies Group. Lawler holds a master's degree in counseling from the University of Memphis.
Native Memphian, appointed executive director of Memphis Housing Authority in February 1999 and director of city's Division of Housing and Community Development in December 1999. In 2010, after five years of negotiations with Bass Pro Shops, Inc., won a 20-year lease agreement (subject to approval by city council) to turn The Pyramid into a huge outdoors retail store. Also led the way in procuring over $200 million in competitive federal grants to help revitalize Memphis' inner city. Developed the city's first strategic housing plan along with several major affordable housing initiatives such as the Housing Trust Fund, the Equity Fund, the Down Payment Assistance Program, and the Housing Resource Center. Created The RISE Foundation and The Renaissance Business Center. The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Small Business Administration have nationally recognized his housing initiatives. Holds a bachelor's degree from LeMoyne-Owen College and a master's from the University of Chicago.
Executive producer of Theatre Memphis since 2004. During her tenure, season and single ticket sales have increased 25 percent. In 2009, two musicals were extended because of sold-out houses. Litch assumed her current role with a long list of nonprofit work behind her. She served on the boards of the Memphis Orchestral Society, Theatre Memphis, and the MIFA Development Board. Prior to Theatre Memphis, she was the director of development for the Brooks Museum. She has degrees in mathematics (Eastern Kentucky University) and guidance counseling (University of Kentucky). Occasionally appears in TM productions herself, sequined and singing away.
Sheriff of Shelby County from 2002 to 2010, became Republican nominee for Shelby County mayor in 2010. Comes from a background and a family tradition in corrections administration at federal and county levels. Fought hard in 2009 against planned budget cuts and won continued commission support for intergovernmental crime-control efforts. As mayoral candidate and as sheriff, the 63-year-old Luttrell has featured a largely non-partisan politics of consensus. Major accomplishment has been getting the Shelby County jail released from federal scrutiny because of substandard conditions. In mayor's race held to middle-of-the-road positions in an effort to maintain the crossover vote he consistently obtained as a sheriff's candidate.
Founder and producing artistic director of the Tennessee Shakespeare Company, which this past season produced A Midsummer Night's Dream and the all-female Julius Caesar. TSC's third season will include Othello in the fall, the Dream concert with IRIS in February, and Romeo & Juliet in the spring. Spent 15 years with Shakespeare & Company in Massachusetts, where he served as associate artistic director and director of communications. Has performed in and directed more than 200 plays, musicals, films, and commercials. A published poet, also teaches Shakespeare master classes around the country. Honored by the Germantown Arts Alliance with its 2009 Distinguished Arts and Humanities Medal for Performing Arts. Age 43. Graduate of Germantown High School and Temple University.
President and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber, our community's leading economic development organization. In 2008, in spite of the economic downturn, the Chamber generated more than $500 million in capital investments and helped create close to 3,000 new jobs. The Chamber also assisted with 43 relocation and expansion projects in Memphis and Shelby County. Moore 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. On behalf of the Chamber, Moore recently accepted three Gold Addy Awards, one Silver Addy Award, and two Judges' Choice Addy Awards. He also led the Chamber to receive the 2009 Diversity Memphis Award of Excellence. Earned a business degree from the University of Missouri in St. Louis.
Unanimously chosen by the Center City Commission's board of directors to serve as the organization's new president (replacing Jeff Sanford, who retired) in May. Served as chairman of the CCC board from 2007 to 2009. Received law degree from Vanderbilt, served on A C Wharton's transition team, and is a stockholder at Martin, Tate, Morrow & Marston, PC. Age 36. Native Memphian, graduate of Memphis University School.
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 56. Master of divinity degree from Yale University, M.D. from Emory University. Board-certified family practitioner and ordained United Methodist minister. Thanks to 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 55,000 patients of record without relying on government funding. Author of Relief for the Body, Renewal for the Soul and editor of two books of sermons.
University of Memphis law professor and member of the Shelby County Commission since 2006, the multitasking, limerick-fancying Mulroy has been an advocate of numerous electoral reforms ranging from voting-machine upgrades to instant runoff voting. An artful debater, Mulroy provides the body's Democrats with a swing vote and with lucid commentary based on his legal background. In mid-2009 launched the initiative that led to the first anti-discrimination resolution in local government history covering gays, lesbians, and the transgendered. Brokered sale of "Zippin' Pippin" ride to Green Bay, Wisconsin. His 2010 confrontation with an aggressive panhandler became a YouTube staple. Native of Brooklyn and a former attorney with the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, Mulroy, 46, is considered a likely future candidate for higher office.
PATRICK AND GINA NEELY
Hosts of television hits Down Home with the Neelys and Road Tasted with the Neelys on the Food Network, co-owners of Neely's Bar-B-Que (two locations in Memphis and one in Nashville), and authors of the bestselling cookbook Down Home with the Neelys. Their flagship show — the Food Network's highest-rated series debut when it aired in February 2008 — is filmed in the Neelys' Memphis home and now airs seven days a week. In addition to their restaurants, the Neelys sell barbecue and other products online and in grocery stores across the U.S. Pat is a board member of the Greater Memphis Chamber and the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy, is a former chairman of the board of the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, and was named 2007 Restaurateur of the Year by the Memphis Restaurant Association (MRA). Gina is on the steering committee for the Women's Empowerment Summit for the Memphis Housing Authority, and is a member of MRA and the Dreamers Club for the National Civil Rights Museum.
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 1994. Has taken surgical teams to 23 countries and operated on more than 4,000 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 was awarded the Frederique Constant Passion Award in 2007. Featured in the 2003 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 55. Endowed Professor of Surgery and International Child Health at the University of Tennessee — Memphis. Received cardiac training from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Head men's basketball coach at University of Memphis. At age 33, sixth-youngest coach in NCAA Division I. Led Tigers to record of 24-10 in his first year at the helm; Tigers lost to Ole Miss in second round of NIT. Served one season as assistant to John Calipari after cutting teeth over six years under Hall of Famer Lute Olson at University of Arizona. Known as a tireless recruiter, will welcome one of the top freshman classes in the country for 2010-11 season, one that includes three top-15 recruits (Jelan Kendrick, Will Barton, and White Station High School alum Joe Jackson). Member of Arizona's 1997 national championship team.