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Leadership Tennessee Names Mark Stevans to Next Program

Leadership Tennessee, a collective with a mission to foster non-partisan dialogue on issues of state importance, this week announced 32 individuals named to the Leadership Tennessee NEXT program, the ninth class to participate. Mark Stevans, Director of Communications, Special Projects & WIOA for the First Tennessee Development District is among this group of rising leaders.

Leadership Tennessee NEXT is the state’s only statewide leadership program focusing on Tennessee’s existing and emerging leaders and spanning geographic and industry boundaries.

“The individuals selected for the year’s class are exceptionally intelligent and talented, chosen for their many strengths and unique contributions,” said Alfred Degrafinreid II, president and CEO, Leadership Tennessee. “As a collective, the LT NEXT class is expected to be a powerful force, capable of collaborating in innovative ways. Their diverse skill sets will be instrumental in driving progress and addressing the challenges that Tennessee is facing.”

This year’s class includes representatives from 11 Tennessee counties with diverse professional experience in a wide range of sectors and industries.

During each class session, members will be able to engage with those from the Signature Program, learn about issues and opportunities specific to Tennessee, and engage in personal skill development.

Mark Stevans, Director of Communications, Special Projects & WIOA

Lottie Ryans, a Leadership Tennessee alumni and the Director of Workforce & Literacy Initiatives shared her thoughts, "I am thrilled to have Mark as part of the upcoming cohort.  His natural ability to collaborate, see the big picture and recognize ways to improve our region will be enhanced by networking across the state through LT Next". Ryans added that " as an ARC Leadership Fellow, I witnessed his ability to bring strong program ideas and make connections to enhance the work we are doing at the FTDD."

"I am humbled and honored to be in this cohort," shared Stevans, "I count myself lucky to be included among so many outstanding leaders. I can't wait to gather with Cohort IX and share ideas and learn with them."

Candidates are selected by an anonymous selection committee and evaluated based on the following criteria: professionals who excel in their fields, are engaged in service to their various communities and are dedicated to improving the lives of Tennesseans.

Since Leadership Tennessee’s founding, more than 600 members have graduated from both Leadership Tennessee NEXT and the organization’s Signature Program.

The cohort’s work will begin in August and run through November 2024. For a complete list of TN NEXT Class IX, click here.

About Leadership Tennessee

Leadership Tennessee was founded in 2013 as an initiative of the College of Leadership and Public Service at Lipscomb University, and in 2021, it launched as an independent 501(c)(3). The program fosters collaborative, non-partisan dialogue on issues of state importance, connecting a network of diverse leaders and engaged citizens. Citizens with demonstrated community and professional leadership from every region of the state bring their diverse backgrounds and experiences to an in-depth exploration of the complex issues facing Tennessee, with a focus on how leaders can collaborate to effectively address those issues.

For questions about this or other District News, please contact Mark Stevans,

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