I joined The Difference (Sydney) 2 years ago after working with Deloitte building a Design Thinking capability in Adelaide. I'm currently a facilitator and venture lead of our Pursuit Hub, which is a space within PwC dedicated to helping the firm engage more effectively with their clients and account teams to explore opportunities. In my 2 years at The Difference, I've managed to experience a range of different types of sessions but largely from a Solution Designer / Facilitator perspective. My introduction to Knowledge Working was unfortunately quite brief, but in my current role, I have managed to work on my scribing (also particularly interested in this). I'm not great by any means, but continue to learn and explore!
TALENT: valuing, facilitating, callaboration, courage to say hard things, seeing and selling the big picture
Laura Creekmore is the 2014-2015 president of the Junior League of Nashville. Creekmore is a graduate of Leadership Nashville and is on the advisory board of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. She is a member of the District Policy Subcommittee for the PASSAGE Nashville initiative to ensure equity in discipline in Metro Nashville Public Schools. She’s anxious to get back to teaching piano lessons next fall at the W.O. Smith Music School, where she began volunteering in 1990 (but has been on hiatus since 2011 for a master’s degree that she’s nearly finished).
She owns Creek Content, a content strategy consulting firm, and speaks nationwide on effective web content and understanding your audience. She is on the faculty of the Cranky Talk public speaking workshops. Creekmore is also adjunct faculty at Kent State University, teaching content strategy, and she is editor of 2 books in The Content Wrangler content strategy series. She blogs about content strategy at http://lauracreekmore.com and http://creekcontent.com.
Creekmore grew up in Bolivar, TN, and graduated from Vanderbilt. She’s married to Ashby Barnes, and has 3 children. She’s still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up, but hopes her obituary leads with the quality of her dinner and cocktail parties.
Kate’s unique abilities to ask “beautiful” questions in the service of positive change have made her an invaluable asset to a diverse array of public and private organizations. Drawing on more than 30 years of executive management and leadership experience, Kate is able to help her clients bring forth vision, order, and direction from difficult challenges. Prior to founding Richland Horizon, Kate served as a Cabinet member and head of one of the largest agencies in Tennessee state government, as the President/CEO of a large regional organization in east Tennessee, and as corporate Vice President and Executive Director for Children’s Home Society of Florida, one of the nation’s largest not-‐for-‐profits.
Kate currently serves as the CEO for a large child & family services agency in Alabama. In these roles, Kate accesses a broad knowledge base in the areas of organizational performance, systems change, board relations, information technology, data, measurement, human resources, risk management, quality assurance/improvement, ethics, and compliance. She is also a skilled facilitator and presenter.
Kate’s inspiration lies in understanding that life is change, and that change brings unique and irreplaceable opportunities to create increased value for people and the organizations, systems and communities that serve and support them. She enjoys mysteries, Jungian dream analysis, travel, art and cooking. Kate counts herself fortunate to be married to her best friend and to have three amazing children.
TALENTS: systems management, trainer, manager, empowerment, maven, pivots well, manages chaos, communicates expectations, passionate
Jenny Carr is the Programs Director for Centerstone Military Services. She joined the company soon after its inception in 2007. In her first role with the organization she personally interviewed hundreds of veterans, service members, family members and experts ranging from the Korean War to the present day conflicts. Currently, she oversees Centerstone Military Services's online psychoeducational and support groups, in-person support groups, adaptive retreats and 24/7 counseling and crisis line. Jenny has worked and published with Dr. Edward Taub and Dr. Gitendra Uswatte at their Constraint-Induced Therapy (CIT) Clinic at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) to develop real-world measures of physical rehabilitation techniques for both adults and children. She holds a BA in philosophy from Birmingham-Southern College and a BS in psychology from UAB. Jenny lives in Nashville, TN with her husband Kevin and her large, lovable dog Bert.
TALENT: non-profit expertise, practical, conservationist, Nashville Native, institutional knowledge, Practical optimist, designer, emerging leader
Jennifer Tlumak Westerholm is a Nashville native and alumna of Metro Public Schools who graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth College with honors in history. She holds a Master of Public Health in environmental health with honors from Emory University. Her experience includes federal government work at the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. as an energy efficiency analyst and at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia as a climate change research fellow. Jennifer has extensive experience working with nonprofit organizations focused on justice, health, and the environment in Nashville and beyond, both as staff member and Board member. Jennifer worked for five years as a client advocate and paralegal at Tennessee Justice Center, a nonprofit law and advocacy firm in Nashville representing indigent clients in civil cases. As a result of this work, she was honored as a Young Leader of the Year by the Tennessee Alliance for Progress. Her nonprofit experience also includes internships at the Solar Living Institute in Hopland, CA, a site for sustainable living demonstrations and workshops, and at White Earth Land Recovery Project, a Native American-led nonprofit in rural Minnesota focused on food security and renewable energy. In 2006, she was trained as a presenter for the Climate Reality Project. She currently serves as Chair of the Environment Committee for the League of Women Voters of Nashville.
Outside the Lab, Jennifer especially enjoys backpacking (two favorites: Savage Gulf, TN & Yosemite NP, CA), dancing (contra, waltz, and cajun/zydeco), and eating great food. She and her husband, Peter, live in East Nashville.
TALENT: nice, generous, biking, can draw Godzilla
Issac is 8 years old and is in 3rd grade at Lockeland Design Center. He races mountain bikes, plays Minecraft and Plants vs. Zombies, and is a proud daddy to Sodapop, his 9 week old kitty. He does not like spiders and sometimes his older sister.
TALENT: peacemaker, synthesizer, understands human stages of development, private, character, traditional school expertise, public speaking
Following almost three years of service to STEM Prep students and families as Founding Dean of Students and Support Services, Ms. Hillary P. Sims serves as the STEM Prep Middle School Director. Hillary has been educating youth and leading high-performing organizations for nearly two decades. A graduate from both East Tennessee State University and The University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Ms. Sims aspires to be a life-long learner. Having served as a school administrator for more than 10 years as well as actively supporting the charter school movement, state and nation-wide, since 2005, Ms. Sims enthusiastically leads faculty and staff in achieving ambitious outcomes both in and out of the classroom. Ms. Sims has been recently appointed by Governor Haslam to serve on the Advisory Council for Students with Disabilities. Ms. Sims recently served on a committee reviewing potential charters for the State Board of Education.
Hillary has learned that dancing to disco music while cleaning is ridiculously fun. She loves traveling. Hillary golfed on scholarship in college with little experience. She has a weird stupid human trick: she can write forward and backward at the same time- she can write any and all things backward quite quickly.
TALENT: builder, designer, problem solver, system thinker, sees interlocking relations, global thinker, thrives in ambiguity, champion for next generation
Harvey Sperling served as Director of University School of Nashville from 1979 to 1990 and Headmaster of University School of Milwaukee from 1990 to 2000. Subsequently, he was the education program officer at The Frist Foundation and currently is a consultant to the Vanderbilt University Center for Science Outreach and the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt.
TALENTS: fundraiser, connector, sees potential, trainer
As a husband, father, and small business owner, George is committed to our community. George has spent over 23 years living in Nashville and helping youth across our great state from Memphis to Kingsport better realize the promise of a higher education. As an entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of the Education Equal Opportunity Group, George uses his non-profit to connect youth with business executives, government officials, and college educators to create meaningful experiences that deter high school students from dropping out. George believes that avoiding the pitfalls often associated with disparity is a sure way to connect bright talented minds with opportunity. Since starting his organization George has raised over 2 million dollars to help students in our community thrive.
George is a proud alumni of Tennessee State University and a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He currently serves on several boards including the Metropolitan Development Housing Agency, (MDHA) where he serves as the Vice Chair of the Scholarship Committee, Prohealth Rural Healthcare, and is a past board member of the Nashville Urban League of Middle Tennessee. Major newspapers and news channels such as The Tennessean, The Nashville Business Journal (NBJ), Nashville Pride, Tennessee Tribune, TSU meter, and News Channel 5 have recognized the efforts of Thomas and the EEOG.
George has a passion for politics, traveling, roller skating, reading motivational books and public speaking. Recently, George was a 2014 candidate for the Tennessee State Senate in district 19 for the Tennessee General Assembly.
TALENT: taking idea from beginning to completion,organizational, development, breaking down complex/good ideas
Freda Player was born and raised in Harrisburg, Pa. She came to Nashville to attend Fisk University where she was Student Body President. In 2003, she completed her Master’s degree from George Washington University in Political Management.
Freda is the Political Director of the Service Employee International Union (SEIU) Local 205. She is responsible for all lobbying for efforts for SEIU in Nashville, Chattanooga, Memphis, and the State Legislature. Freda is also responsible for the union’s electoral efforts throughout the state.
Freda is involved in various non-profit organizations. She currently served on the following boards:
- Chair of the Tennessee Health Care Campaign
- Co-chair of Nashville New Leaders Council
- Secretary of Tennessee Citizen Action
- Membership Chair of the League of Women Voters
- Steering Committee of A.W.A.K.E.
She loves to play tennis at Hadley Park. Freda’s personal goal for 2015 is to walk every greenway in Metro.
Elissa Kim manages Teach For America’s Recruitment and Admissions teams, and recently assumed responsibility for overseeing our Growth, Development and Partnerships team. Since 1999, she has produced a 26% compound annual growth rate in applications. Last year, Elissa and her team attracted over 48,000 applicants—a record for Teach For America; out of those applicants, her team selected 5,800 corps members. In her expanded role, Elissa will apply her many years of experience and insight towards managing TFA's fundraising and development efforts. Elissa joined Teach For America's staff after teaching ninth and tenth grade English for three years as part of the 1996 Greater New Orleans corps. In August 2012, Elissa was elected to the Metro Nashville Public School's Board of Education, representing its 5th district. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she majored in history and religion and played varsity tennis.
TALENT: energetic, motivational, policy minded, leadership management, consensus building
As the current president of the League of Women Voters of Nashville, Debby Gould is a passionate advocate for engaging and informing members of the community so that all citizens can be active participants in our democracy and that, in turn, government can be responsive to the needs of the community.
She has more than 30 years of experience as an advocate for quality public education and a safety-net of social services in Tennessee. Her past experiences include work in emergency food services and developing innovative partnerships that expand educational opportunities for children in Tennessee. She served as the long-time Executive Director for the Nashville Public Education Foundation, Program Director for PENCIL Foundation, and an Educational Research Coordinator at Peabody Research Institute of Vanderbilt University. As an educational consultant, she has worked on state-wide projects for United Ways of Tennessee.
She holds an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University as well as a Masters in the Sociology of Education from the University of Manitoba and a Masters in Public Administration from MTSU.
As an adult learner she continues to strive for a mastery of Spanish, time to travel to all the places on her wish list, and a plan to outsmart squirrels from eating the best tomatoes.
TALENT: grass roots, organizing, strategic planning, versatile, flexible, PR writing, social media strategy
Daynise Joseph is a long time Nashville resident. She attended Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools and has been an active member of the community for many years. Daynise’s educational background is in Management and Organizational Development. She specializes in community organizing; strategic planning; leadership development; organizational development; program planning; small group dynamics; and nonprofit management. She attended Bethel University and is currently serving on the board of directors for the Center for Nonprofit Management, Urban Housing Solutions, the Nashville Zoo, and Community Shares. She is an alumni of Leadership Nashville and MyCity Academy.
Currently, she is the Executive Director of a grassroots neighborhood organization whose population is largely minority and economically challenged. Current organizing efforts focus on healthy food access, education, crime and safety, gentrification, and other issues as generated by the community. Daynise has worked for many years in coalition with other organizations to build leadership from within communities of affected people. She has developed and offered various trainings on the basics of community organizing and other aspects of organizational development for social justice groups.
Daynise is the mother of two sons and is a very active parent. Her oldest son is a graduate of Metro Nashville Public Schools and her youngest son is currently enrolled. She is a strong and vocal advocate for the economically challenged student population as well as with students who have exceptional needs.
In addition, she also serves on the Community Engagement Committee for Nashville Next which is the 2040 Nashville General Plan Update Process out of the Metro Planning Department and serves as a community contact (MOON Captain) for the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods.
Daynise also works in the entertainment industry as a freelance writer, print model, radio personality, and broadcast professional.
TALENT: leadership management, team building, concensus building, entrepreneur, storyteller
Curt Hahn was born and raised in New England. He discovered architecture as a student at Phillips Exeter Academy and enrolled in architecture school at Washington University. Filmmaking was his other passion and he was awarded a full scholarship to film school at the Disney-endowed California Institute of the Arts.
After CalArts, Curt moved to Nashville and founded Film House. Film House is the largest film production company in Tennessee, based in its 40,000 square foot studios. As CEO, Curt leads a team that produces hundreds of films and TV spots annually. He's directed such performers as Candice Bergen, Teri Garr, Garth Brooks, Amy Grant, Isaac Hayes, Reba McEntire and Shania Twain. Curt's a long-time member of the select International Quorum of Motion Picture Producers (IQ) and served as IQ President for two terms. Curt was a member of the 2011 class of Leadership Nashville.
Transcendent, a subsidiary of Film House, produces independent feature films. Current projects are “Jubilee”, based on the remarkable true story of the original Fisk Jubilee Singers who introduced the Negro Spirituals to the world, and “Deadline”, which was released in theaters nationwide. “Deadline” stars Academy Award nominee Eric Roberts as a reporter investigating the murder of an African American youth in rural Alabama.
Curt wrote and directed Transcendent's first feature, “No Regrets” starring Janine Turner and Kate Jackson. “No Regrets” has been a worldwide success, with repeated airings on HBO and Lifetime and in dozens of other countries around the world. Next, Transcendent co-produced “Two Weeks” starring two time Academy Award winner Sally Field. Transcendent produces inspiring, uplifting films; meaningful stories that speak to the heart.
Catherine Self joined the Baptist Healing Trust as Senior Vice-President in 2007, and was named President and CEO in 2010. With thirty-five years’ experience in the health care field, Cathy has provided direct care as a physical therapist and as an organizational leader through a number of roles including her previous service as Vice President for Organizational Learning with Saint Thomas Health Services in Nashville, TN. Cathy has a particular interest in leadership development and organizational culture change, adopting a walk-alongside coaching relationship to help leaders and organizations live into their highest calling in meeting the needs of those being served. She was awarded a Masters in Leadership from Trinity Western University with an emphasis on servant leadership in 2003 and a PhD in Organizational Learning from Regent University in 2009.
TALENTS: relationship builder, communicator
Since 2002, Cabot has served as the Executive Director for the Dugas/Turner Family Foundations. The Turners are the founding family of Dollar General, and two generations of Dugas and Turners govern five foundations serving local communities in three different states.
Cabot was a Williamson County Schools Ambassador during 2014, and a member of the first MNPS “Blue Ribbon Teacher of the Year” Award selection Committee. Cabot co-chaired the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce “Report Card Committee” in 2010 and 2011, and he is a current member of the Nashville Chamber CEO Champions. Cabot serves on the Government Affairs Committee for the Southeastern Council of Foundations. He is a past member of the board of The Housing Fund in Nashville, Tennessee, and an alum of Leadership Nashville (contending he was a member of the “best class ever!”).
A 1979 graduate of Vanderbilt University, Cabot received an MBA from Southern Methodist University. His work experience includes tenures at Vanderbilt University, Dye, Van Mol & Lawrence Public Relations, and Dollar General.
Cabot and his wife, Deborah, have two children, Jesse a sophomore at Baylor University, and Charlie a freshman at Western Kentucky University. He and Deborah reside in Nashville.
As a bassist in Music City USA, your job can demand many different styles and timbres. Brook Sutton has found his pocket as an in demand live and session bassist for many of Nashville's finest. Brook maintains a steady tour schedule in addition to receiving weekly freelance calls for live and studio performance. He performs with international recording artist and powerhouse jazz vocalist, Jaimee Paul and is part of the power trio Medicine King alongside Dave Isaacs and Robert Crawford. Recently, Sutton's Medicine King trio has released their debut album and is receiving excellent review with the single Homegrown Medicinals.
In addition to playing bass, Sutton also remains active in music education. With degrees in music production and a Masters in Music Education, Brook teaches recording classes and bass at area universities as well as Master Class engagements locally and nationally. Hailing from New Orleans, LA, Brook has worked a wide range of artists not only as a bassist but as a recording engineer. Sutton has worked with George Porter Jr., Henry Butler, Johnny Vidocovich, Josh Garrett, James Singleton, Denver and the Mile High Orchestra, The Gypsy Hombres, Tom House, Michael Pallera, Joe Krown, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and many others.
Brent Poulton is currently an education consultant, working with various organizations on educational and leadership issues. He formerly served as Executive Director of Tennessee’s State Board of Education, coordinated Metro School’s staff development programs, and was the first Executive Director of the PENCIL Foundation. He directed the Center for Community Education at the University of Tennessee-Nashville and at Tennessee State University.
Poulton was the Founding Program Chairman of the inaugural Leadership Nashville program in 1976-77. He has been part of the program planning process for all succeeding programs. He remains active in the Leadership Nashville Alumni Association.
Poulton and his wife Anita live in Goodlettsville, where they have been since he completed his PhD at Michigan State University in 1975. Both are from Utah and have also lived in Montana and Michigan. They have two grown children and two grandchildren. He amuses himself with his attempts at golf, plays a pretty good accordion, harmonica and tuba, and enjoys chasing two grandkids.