Leadership, Action, Impact
The Chairman’s Circle is a group of visionaries — civic-minded C-Suite executives working to spur economic growth, develop the workforce, and improve the business climate throughout the region. Launched in 2013, their investment empowers the Chamber to be the independent voice for business and work for a GREATER Memphis.
Since its inception, the Chairman’s Circle has helped generate more than 32,000 new jobs for our citizens and helped to retain more than 33,000 existing jobs that we were at risk of losing. That’s more than 65,000 lives our business leaders have impacted in our community. 65,000 Memphians who can make a difference in the lives of their families. Driven by their commitment to build a GREATER Memphis, Chairman’s Circle investors have helped the Chamber attract more than $12 billion of new capital investment to our market.
“As I look back at the past decade, it’s with a sense of gratitude for the strides our Chairman’s Circle has made. Our thriving city needs successful businesses, but more importantly, our businesses need a thriving city. By coming together as a group, we have not only supported but also influenced our elected officials for the greater good. Our collective voice, representing numerous employees across a host of companies, amplifies the concerns and aspirations of our community. Here’s to continuing our journey, breaking barriers, and shaping the future of our city.” – Duncan Williams, Duncan Williams Asset Management .
Co-Chairs: Duncan Williams, SouthState|DuncanWilliams Securities Corp.; Richard Smith, FedEx
Who Can Serve: Chairman’s Circle Investors
The Economic Development Task Force is an opportunity to stay up to date on the Chamber’s ED work and the research that is powering our recruitment. Task Force members help shape how we market the market and share their insight into targets we are pursuing for relocation/expansion. Investors may also be asked to serve as subject matter experts who inform industry reports generated by the Greater Memphis Economic Research Group (GMERG.)
Co-Chairs: John Webb, Cigna; Greg Spillyards, Cushman & Wakefield
Who Can Serve: Chairman’s Circle investors and company representatives
The Workforce Task Force ensures business is leading from the front to create the talent pipeline our region needs. This is a great place to stay connected to what your peers are doing in talent recruitment, retention, and preparation. Investors have the opportunity to direct the Chamber’s efforts – supported by their investment – to create a high-functioning, speed-of-need workforce in the Memphis region.
Co-Chairs: Ben Adams, Chairman Emeritus, Baker Donelson; Sylvester Tate, Tate Computer Systems
Who Can Serve: Chairman’s Circle investors
The Business Climate Task Force focuses on the local, state and tri-state governmental ecosystem, from public safety to utilities to transportation infrastructure and everything in between.
To address public safety concerns, we created the Public Safety Accountability Committee as a subcommittee of the Business Climate Task Force. The subcommittee is chaired by Chairman’s Circle investors Mike Keeney, Orgill and Jason Gillum, Millennium Search, and meets on a regular cadence with the Memphis Police Department, Shelby County District Attorney’s Office, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Shelby County Juvenile Court, and other relevant bodies, not to create policy, but to take inventory of elected leaders’ specific, written public safety plans and offer pressure and support to realize those plans.
In addition to the task forces, there are many other Chairman’s Circle gatherings, including the Chairman’s Circle’s bi-annual Brain Trust meeting which brings our investors together around issues of pressing concern to our region; meetings with local, state, and federal political leaders; and presentations on issues important to business from key leaders and stakeholders.
Chairman’s Circle investors also can participate in Leadership Mission trips each year, including trips to Nashville and Washington, D.C., to advocate for policies that will positively impact our workforce and business climate.
Investors who want to interact with fellow business leaders in smaller groups may opt to attend a Chairman’s Circle Small Group lunch, led by a fellow investor.
Chairman’s Circle investors also lead from the front by:
– Hosting a Summer Teacher Extern
– Hosting Educator and Youth Leaders Tour of your facility to share career opportunities
– Hosting college students to encourage them to choose Memphis to launch their careers
– Mentoring a member of the Young Professionals Council during a Speed Mentoring session
Each Chairman’s Circle investor company gets 10 complimentary memberships in Young Professionals Council (YPC). YPC holds networking and leadership development events throughout the year. You can read more here. Your employees up to age 40 are welcome to join. Share this link with your team. When they complete the application, guide them to select the “Chairman’s Circle Membership” option to bypass payment.
Investors are encouraged to tap women on their team to join the Women’s Business Council (WBC). WBC is a hub for women to share ideas and information, offering training webinars and in-person breakfasts and lunches. If your team members contact Patricia McKinney she will ensure they receive future invitations to WBC events.
You may also tap someone on your team to sign up for the Chamber’s Ambassador program. Ambassadors volunteer their time for member events and ribbon cuttings, workshops, tours, and ground breakings. Employees who serve as Ambassadors can build your business’ brand and network. Your team members can learn more here. If you have employees who want to sign up, contact Terri Bosby.