The Sycamore Institute Launches New Statewide Community Council

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 16, 2024) — The Sycamore Institute announced today the formation of a new advisory group for the organization known as the Community Council. The first 20 members of this group include key public, private, and nonprofit sector leaders from across the state who represent Tennesseans’ wide-ranging experiences and perspectives. Sycamore will convene the council periodically throughout each year to solicit feedback and insights that inform the organization’s work and to foster greater cross-sector collaboration between council members and the entities they represent.   

Current Community Council Members 

Roshun Austin
President & CEO
The Works, Inc. 

Jake Bynum
Weakley County

Mark Cruise
STRONG Accountable Care Community 

Tammy Deiter 
Senior Manager, Government Relations
Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle TN 

Kim Carpenter Drake
Middle Tennessee Donors Forum 

Ryan Egly
President & CEO
Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce 

Steven Gentile
Executive Director
Tennessee Higher Education Commission 

Ardena Garth Hicks
Chattanooga Endeavors 

Michael Hendrix
Policy Director
Office of Governor Bill Lee 

Danielle Inez
Director of Innovation and Performance
Shelby County Government 

Candy Johnson
Urban League of Greater Chattanooga 

Jeff McCord
Northeast State Community College 

Vonda McDaniel
Central Labor Council of Middle TN 

Leslie Meehan
Deputy Commissioner
Tennessee Department of Health 

Amy Nolan
Vice President of Regional Enhancement
Knoxville Chamber of Commerce 

Gini Pupo-Walker
Executive Director
The Education Trust – Tennessee 

Matt Ryerson
President & CEO
United Way of Greater Knoxville 

Haley Simmons
Chief Policy Officer 
City of Memphis 

Josh Spickler
Executive Director
Just City 

Jacy Warrell
Chief Executive Officer
Rural Health Association of Tennessee 

The Sycamore Institute is an independent, nonpartisan organization that helps Tennesseans identify, understand, and solve big challenges with impartial analysis of data and evidence. With leadership and staff from across the political spectrum, Sycamore provides accessible, reliable information in pursuit of sound, sustainable policies that improve the lives of all Tennesseans.


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