Five Groups of Promising Professionals Graduate from Leadership Chattanooga Program
Chattanooga, Tenn. (May 23, 2012) – Thirty-nine of the city’s emerging leaders capped off 10 months of skill-building, leadership education and community project implementation today at the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Community Leadership Luncheon.
Each of the five 2011-2012 Leadership Chattanooga teams summarized their civic projects, which ranged from protecting wildlife on Stringer’s Ridge to improving thrift store processes at the Northside Neighborhood House, during the graduation celebration which honored the participants for completing the program. The event was held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Chattanooga Convention Center.
About the 2011-2012 Teams and Projects
In partnership with Family Promise of Greater Chattanooga, the Chattanooga Promise team launched an awareness campaign to increase annual funding for the nonprofit and recruit a board/committee member to assist the organization in carrying out its mission to end family homelessness.
After a comprehensive investigation of the organization and opportunities to open funding streams, Chattanooga Promise created an awareness video to familiarize the public with Family Promise’s goals and encourage potential donors to invest in the cause. This crucial tool eventually became a centerpiece for volunteers, who solicited contributions from Family Promise affiliate congregations during a November “Week of Giving.”
In addition to the awareness video, Chattanooga Promise team members secured a three-year $5,000 commitment from Independent Health Care Properties, as well as a $3,000 contribution from Dale Buchanan & Associates, who also elected a company representative to serve as a Family Promise board member. Chattanooga Promise also recruited The Johnson Group to redesign the organization’s brochure pro-bono and worked with Web Designer and Family Promise Board Member Tony Giannasi to improve strategies for the Family Promise website.
Chattanooga Promise team members say they were honored to work with Family Promise and that their involvement with the organization has made them lifelong supporters of the nonprofit’s mission to end family homelessness.
Members of the Chattanooga Promise team include Sarah Denton of Joseph Decosimo and Company, PLLC; Dwight Kilbourne of First-Centenary United Methodist Church; Marie Levi of Keller Williams - East Brainerd; Mwango Mainda of Dale Buchanan & Associates; Brett Matthews of CARTA; David Roddy of the Chattanooga Police Department; Carlene Vital of Independent Healthcare Properties and Jim Williamson of River City Company.
Extreme Makeover – Thrift Store Edition
Members of the Extreme Makeover – Thrift Store Edition team worked with the Northside Neighborhood House (NNH) to renovate the facilities and improve the store’s processes for accepting and sorting donations. The team also facilitated conversations with high schoolers at Baylor and GPS about volunteer opportunities at the NNH.
In identifying improvements to the NNH’s processes, the Extreme Makeover team held a focus group with the organization’s employees and volunteers to discuss workflow optimization opportunities. The information gathered through that study guided the team’s recommendations, which ultimately materialized as a coordination between the NNH’s two locations, whereby the Signal Mountain site would serve as a drop-off and sorting venue and the North Chattanooga site would receive and display the pre-hung racks of clothing.
Since the Extreme Makeover team renovated the organization’s facilities, the NNH has enjoyed a substantial increase in sales, raising total revenues 25 percent from first quarter earnings last year.
Extreme Makeover – Thrift Store Edition group members include Will Clegg of Henderson, Hutcherson & McCullough, PLLC; Jade Dodds of Miller & Martin, PLLC; Zack Kassebaum of the University of Phoenix; Laura Ketcham of Husch Blackwell, LLP; Shelley Prevost of The Lamp Post Group; Guru Shah of Hamilton Plastics, Inc; Christy Viens of Lattimore Black Morgan & Cain and Chris Welch of Excalibur Integrated Systems, Inc.
Leaders 4 Stringers
In collaboration with the City of Chattanooga, Trust for Public Land (TPL) and the Tennessee River Gorge Trust (TRGT), the seven-member Leaders 4 Stringers team developed and implemented a “Friends of Stringers Ridge” group to protect and maintain the 92-acre urban wildlife space on Stringers Ridge. This group will be responsible for managing the existing and planned trail system located within the acreage.
In addition to establishing Friends of Stringers Ridge, Leaders 4 Stringers recruited a committee to oversee the group and its related activities. In conjunction with this effort, the team developed and executed a marketing plan the TRGT used to promote the group and conduct a membership drive. Leaders 4 Stringers also assisted the TRGT in developing a policies and procedures handbook outlining roles and responsibilities for the committee and volunteers.
To launch the Friends of Stringers Ridge group, Leaders 4 Stringers hosted a private kick-off event for key stakeholder groups, allowing them the opportunity to view the planned trail system and observation deck prior to the tentatively scheduled public opening later this year.
Leaders 4 Stringers group members include Barret Albritton of Leitner of Williams, Dooley & Napolitan, PLLC; Denise Black of Hamilton County Juvenile Court; Rob Bradham of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce; Nicole Brown of UTC; Vince Butler of Moriah Group, Inc.; Amy Culton of the Department of Justice and Beth Lyon of Unum.
PinWHEELS in Motion
The PinWHEELS in Motion team partnered with the Children’s Advocacy Center of Hamilton County (CACHC) to develop a child abuse awareness campaign that would garner community support for the organization’s mission and attract the funds necessary to carry it out.
With National Child Abuse Prevention Month held in April, team members centered their campaign around Pinwheel Day, CACHC’s annual tribute to the national awareness drive. Building on CACHC’s past effort to display one pinwheel on its office lawn per child served, the PinWHEELS in Motion team secured a highly visible site on Ross’s Landing to install 430 pinwheels on April 30 – reaching a greater number of community members with the message than was previously possible with the smaller-scale display featured on CACHC’s office lawn. Through a coordinated media outreach effort, the team generated TV and print publicity for the CACHC in connection with the new display.
In addition to relocating the display and recruiting volunteers to implement it, members of the PinWHEELS in Motion team developed embroidered pinwheel lapel pins and sent them to major employers in downtown Chattanooga to solicit their support for the effort. As a result, the team generated more than $1,700 in pinwheel sales, covering the cost of production and providing the organization with an inventory of pins that will support an even larger fundraiser next year.
The PinWHEELS in Motion team also worked with Hamilton County Elementary Schools’ After School Child Care Programs to provide child abuse education to approximately 3,000 students. The team also began developing a mobile education and resource booth, which could be used at the Chattanooga Market, Normal Palooza and similar venues when complete.
PinWHEELS in Motion group members include John Agan of Hamilton County Government; Scott Cochran of Krystal Company; Jennifer Mingola of Warehouse Row; Shannon Minninger of Lifetouch Publishing; Chris Palmer of TVA; Joan Rose of First Volunteer Bank; Kurt Schaffer of episode49, LLC and Emma Williams of Shaw Industries Group, Inc.
Stake N Burger
The Stake N Burger team partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of Chattanooga to promote the organization’s annual Stake N Burger fundraising event, which honors 12 Outstanding Leaders of the Month and one Outstanding Youth of Year, and garners a large portion of the contributions needed to support its programs and initiatives throughout the year.
In an effort to raise awareness and increase attendance at the event, members of the Stake N Burger team launched a comprehensive publicity campaign that provided support in areas ranging from graphic design and social media to public speaking. As part of the team’s public outreach initiatives, Stake N Burger members developed a press release and shared it with more than 10 local media sources. The group also carried out their efforts through social media and established a local poster presence detailing the event.
The Stake N Burger team bolstered those traditional outreach efforts with a campaign to raise awareness about the organization’s programs among the local Hispanic population. To carry out this campaign, team members worked with the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce’s International Business Council.
The promotional campaign successfully culminated at the April 17th event, where the Boys and Girls Club of Chattanooga raised $70,000 more than the previous year.
Stake N Burger group members include Dennis Culver of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee; Jeremy Fisher of TVA; Stephanie Hall of ERMC; Lisa King of Open Arms Care; Gladys Pineda-Loher of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce; Dave Santucci of the Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Bureau; Carolyn Viens of First Tennessee and Weston Wamp of Wamp Strategy.