Leadership Memphis

2024 Leadership Awards & 45th Anniversary Luncheon


Leadership Memphis is proud to host the 2024 Leadership Awards & 45th Anniversary Luncheon honoring Change Makers, Leadership Awardees, and President Circle Inductees! The luncheon will be held March 5, 2024 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Renasant Convention Center. A special thank you to our event sponsors, Regional One Health and Tennessee Valley Authority!

Each year, we honor community leaders and businesses who exemplify the true meaning of collective impact through our Kate Gooch Leader of the YearDistinguished Alumni of the Year, and Community Champion awards. 

Leadership Memphis also recognizes 10 individuals as Change Makers selected from a list of nominated individuals who are rare and unique forces of positive change. These dynamic individuals come from various backgrounds and organizations but share a passion for bettering the world around them. Each Change Maker’s work has enhanced the community, uplifted others, and made Memphis a better place. Leadership Memphis considers Change Makers a rare species. While they are mere individuals, they nevertheless change the lives of others through their actions. Each impacts our community in a very big and very positive way. Their work helps enhance the quality of life and livelihoods of others and makes Memphis a better place in the process.

To inquire about being a Table Sponsor, please contact Reggie Crenshaw at rcrenshaw@leadershipmemphis.org or call 901-278-0016. 

2024 Leadership Award Winners:

Kate Gooch Leader of the Year Award Winner:
Vernon Stafford, Jr.
Senior EVP/Chief Audit Executive, First Horizon National Corporation

Distinguished Alumnus of the Year:
Rene Bustamante
Executive Vice President & COO/CFO, The University of Memphis

Community Champion:

2024 Change Makers

(From left to right, starting with the top row)

• Dr. Kennard Brown, Consultant for Shelby County, Tennessee Government
• Dr. Telisa Franklin, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Author, Community Advocate
• Lori Humber, Chief Operating Officer for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis
• Carol Jackson, Executive Director of Families Matter Memphis
• D. Bryan Jordan, Chairman, President & CEO of First Horizon Bank Corporation
• Barbara Holden Nixon, Retired Licensed Clinical Social Worker
• Terence Patterson, President & CEO of Memphis Education Fund
• Dr. Roderick Richmond, Executive Director of Student Support Services for Memphis-Shelby County Schools – MSCS
• Mark Russell, Vice President & South Region Editor for Gannett – USA Today Network and Executive Editor for The Commercial Appeal
• Dr. Vijay Surpuriya, Pharmacist for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare & Founder of Germantown International Festival

2023 Award Winners:

2023 Kate Gooch Leader of the Year: Reginald Porter, Jr., Senior Vice President, Development and Corporate Responsibility, ALSAC

2023 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year: David Williams, Regional Director, Vitalant

2023 Community Champion: Greater Memphis Chamber

2023 Change Makers:

  • Sudhir K. Agrawal, CPA, CDFA™, CFP®, Founder and CEO of Ami Financial Group
  • Austin CrowderFounder, Know Your Rights EDU, Commercial Account Executive, Zoom
  • Michalyn Easter-Thomas, Founder, Our Grass Our Roots, Memphis City Councilwoman, District 7
  • Claudia Haltom, CEO, A Step Ahead Foundation
  • David Jordan, President and CEO, Agape Child and Family Services
  • The Rev. Dr. Mark Matheny, President of United Methodist Neighborhood Centers of Memphis (UMNCM)
  • Dr. Bartholomew Orr, Senior Pastor, Brown Missionary Baptist Church
  • Henry Reaves, III, Founder & CEO, Reaves Law Firm
  • Sharon Williams, Executive Director, Starting All Over Outreach Resource Center
  • Shane Young, Co-Founder/Executive Director, Memphis Inner City Rugby

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