President & CEO
Nancy Coffee is President & CEO of New Memphis, an organization that works to attract, develop, activate and retain diverse talent for a more vital and prosperous Memphis. She joined New Memphis in 2004 from ArtsMemphis where she was Vice President. Prior to moving to Memphis, Nancy was Program Officer at the Council on Foreign Relations in Chicago. Her work in international affairs landed her on the cover of Newsweek as the face of “Generation Global.” Nancy began her career as an Account Exec at Leo Burnett where she played a lead role in the agency’s innovation initiative and the launch of Tony the Tiger for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes in China.
She received her B.A. in Government from Dartmouth; wrote her undergraduate thesis in political economy at London School of Economics; and received her M.A. with highest distinction from University of Chicago. Nancy was born and raised in Boulder, CO and is an identical twin. Nancy was named to the Memphis Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 and selected for the inaugural class of the Memphis Business Journal’s Superwomen in Business.
She is an active ally for those pushing the city forward and, in addition to leading New Memphis, volunteers her time as a Board member for the Fogelman College of Business and Economics, Greater Memphis Chamber, New Leaders, and PeopleFirst Partnership, as well as serving on the Advisory Board of the Mid-South Minority Business Council Continuum.
Jill leads the Leadership Development Intensive and is New Memphis’ ambassador to HR and talent acquisition professionals, working closely to welcome and retain city newcomers. She joined the organization in 2007 as Director of Development and was elevated to VP in 2011. She returned to Memphis after working for two years as the Mid-Atlantic Region Marketing Manager for Holland & Knight law firm in Washington, DC. Prior to moving to DC, she worked in the marketing department for Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC in Memphis where she focused on event planning and built experience in professional services marketing. Before that she spent eight years in account service with two advertising agencies.
Growing up in the Mississippi Delta included stints in Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana and she ultimately received her degree in Marketing from Mississippi State University. Jill has called Memphis home for more than 15 years and has been a member of the Junior League of Memphis (JLM) since 2002, a tenure that distinguishes her as a Sustainer of the organization. In that time as an active JLM member, she has served in numerous leadership roles for the Membership Council. She especially enjoyed her role as Transfer Chair for the League, which allowed her to welcome newcomers who were transferring to the Junior League of Memphis from other leagues. In 2010, Jill was recognized as the JLM Membership Volunteer of the Year.
Jill is a 2008 graduate of the Leadership Development Intensive and is a member of Leadership Memphis, Class of 2011. In 2011, she was named to the Memphis Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40. Jill loves to travel and watch college football and she enjoys photography and live music.
Vice President of Communications and Strategic Initiatives
Anna leads the organization’s communications strategy and guides innovation as the team launches new projects and programs that will make Memphis magnetic, engage the community in positive ways, and build the city’s talent pool.
A longtime Memphian, Anna came to New Memphis with experience in both non-profit leadership and media. She worked as Editorial Director of Niche Publications for E.W. Scripps, and after leaving print media helped steward the launch of High Ground News in 2014. She currently serves as Publisher of the weekly digital magazine and website focused on what’s next for the city of Memphis.
Anna serves on the Shelby County Mayor’s Young Professional Council, on the Board of the Mid-South Peace & Justice Center, and on the Advisory Team for The Community Foundation’s GiVE 365. She is the Executive Director of TEDxMemphis, where she helps bring local ideas to a global stage.
Director of Development
Jennifer manages New Memphis’ fundraising efforts and funder stewardship. As an accompanying spouse of an AutoZoner, Jennifer brings to Memphis a great outlook and a passion for inspiring philanthropic hearts. A native Texan and graduate of Texas Woman’s University with a B.S. in Computer Science/Business Administration, she has worked extensively in fundraising for private schools and arts organizations. Jennifer was selected to be a part of the inaugural class of the Arts & Science Council’s Lead with Intention Program for up and coming development leaders. She has worked devotedly with diverse organizations as an advocate for elderly and mental health patient care. This summer, Jennifer completed the Essentials of Business for Nonprofit Organization Management Program at Wake Forest University School of Business.
Jennifer and her husband, Jon Beck, enjoy great food, good wine, traveling and nurturing very large dogs.
Director of Fellows
Jon leads the Fellows, a leadership program designed to give emerging talent the tools and experiences needed to become change agents in the city. He joins the New Memphis Institute after working at the University of Memphis since 2007. There, he guided the U of M LEAD program, increasing the scope and variety of leadership development opportunities for students, and he advised a group that raised over $1 million for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in that time.
Jon’s background is in higher education, receiving an M.S. in College Student Personnel from the University of Tennessee, and his experiences have focused on leadership development in that setting. He will continue his connection to college campuses as an educational programming volunteer for his fraternity.
He and his wife, Melissa, have two young daughters, and they love the opportunity to raise them in Memphis.
Read Jon’s Q & A Session!
Director of Embark & Education Initiatives
Karen leads Embark at New Memphis, a program specifically designed to develop, activate, and retain talented twentysomethings in Memphis. She joined New Memphis in January of 2015. Karen brings expertise in developing and facilitating professional development content and curriculum. She has previously worked with Teach for America Memphis in the role of Director of Teacher Leadership Development. Karen began her career as a classroom teacher, serving students in Memphis, TN, Colorado Springs, CO, and Gallup, NM. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing, and Bachelor of Arts in Art History, Native American Studies, and Germanic Studies from Indiana University. Karen also received a Master of Art in Visual Critical Studies from the Art Institute of Chicago.
Manager of Strategic Partnerships
Frankie leads multiple city newcomer programs and events at New Memphis, including the Summer Experience program. He grew up in Millington, Tennessee where he now serves as an elected Alderman. He is a graduate of Rhodes College with a degree in Political Economy and Public Policy. He is also a 2013 Harry S. Truman Scholarship winner, a highly competitive and prestigious federal scholarship granted for demonstrated leadership potential and a commitment to public service. Frankie is passionate about education and economic development has experience in developing and managing programs in those areas. While serving as an intern coordinator for BRIDGES, Frankie helped develop the curriculum for a youth-led, civic internship program known as Bridgebuilder’s Change. He has also worked as a field organizer for The Can Kicks Back, a Washington DC based, millennial-led advocacy organization. In that capacity, Frankie helped organize and carry out a nationwide bus tour. Frankie believes that talent attraction and retention is key to building thriving communities and economies and is grateful to be working in that field.
Didi works closely with the Director of Fellows, manages all office operations, and does various other tasks to keep the organization running smoothly. Originally from Monterey, California, she has lived and traveled all over the world and is fluent in Japanese. Didi is a devoted mother of two and previously worked as a teacher’s assistant at Lausanne Collegiate School in Memphis.
Manager of Operations
Born and raised in Memphis, Stephanie Carney is a third-generation Memphian dedicated to the city. A graduate of the University of Memphis with a degree in History and Political Science, Stephanie went on to work on her Ph.D. at the University of Mississippi in International Relations with an emphasis in intra-state conflict, and terrorism and genocide studies. Stephanie brings a great amount of expertise to the New Memphis team as she has worked in the executive assistant industry for 13 years. Stephanie says that her favorite thing about Memphis is its ability to maintain its southern roots and traditions. In addition, she enjoys the music culture that Memphis brings, and she loves college football.
Alumni Engagement Manager
John Minervini works closely with New Memphis’s more than 2000 alumni, connecting them with great opportunities around the city, including service, professional development, and cultural experiences.
John grew up in Memphis and attended Harvard College, where he graduated with a BA (hons) in English and American Literature and Language. He began his career in Portland, Oregon, where he spent five years writing for a Pulitzer Prize-winning alt weekly newspaper, Willamette Week. There he won an individual award from the Society of Professional Journalism of Oregon-Washington for his coverage of (of all things) vegan bodybuilding.
John returned to Memphis in in 2014 to help care for an ailing family member. Since then, he has developed a freelance relationship with almost every media organization in town: over 15 in all. Before coming to New Memphis, he wrote the food column for The Memphis Flyer and ran digital media for Crosstown Concourse. John has also developed significant relationships with several community-based nonprofits, with whom he has worked as a volunteer and a consultant.
Before joining the staff at New Memphis, John was a member of the A16 Fellows cohort, so it’s fair to say that he is “drinking the Kool-Aid.” He believes fervently in the power of engaged young people to change cities and is continually inspired by the creativity, diligence, and drive of the men and women of New Memphis. John practices yoga and is an opera enthusiast; he is an active member of Temple Israel, Memphis Speakers Club, and the Friends of the Fairgrounds.
Ariel is a Lebanese-American graphic designer and illustrator with a passion for culture and community. Born in Chicago, raised in Miami, educated in New York at the School of Visual Arts — Ariel has been living, loving, and working in Memphis for almost three years now.
Post-graduation, she worked for an indie record label called Beggar’s Group, a slew of luxury eyeglass retailers, and two large advertising agencies — McCann Erickson and Momentum Worldwide; she finally decided to seek inspiration from the non-profit sector. With enough motivation and an enticing opportunity, Ariel moved south to be a designer for Memphis’ own St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. While St. Jude’s mission is still very dear to her heart, she realized she wanted to impact change faster and on a more intimate team; she was led to New Memphis Institute.
Ariel manages the creation and updating of the digital, print, and social worlds here and hopes to help visually communicate the impact we have on “building a new Memphis.” She currently lives in midtown with her dog, Thin Lizzy and is a big advocate of traveling, activism in the community, cooking, and music.
Laney works closely with the Director of Development and other key staff to provide administrative support for fund development. She grew up in Birmingham, AL and is a graduate of the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality Management. After graduating from Ole Miss, Laney moved back to Birmingham where she worked as the Recruiting Coordinator and Pro Bono Administrative Assistant for Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell, & Berkowitz, PC. There, she focused on the management and direction of law student recruiting and the Firm’s summer associate program. After two successful years with Baker Donelson, Laney moved to Memphis to become the Stewardship and Grants Coordinator for the Chi Omega Foundation where she focused on fundraising efforts for the Foundation. Now a proud Memphian, Laney lives in Midtown and loves to explore all that the Bluff City has to offer, including its robust social and culinary scenes.
Calinda works alongside the Embark team to ensure the program’s continued success. A native Memphian, she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism at the University of Memphis, with a concentration in Public Relations. She has previously worked with and devoted time to various local non-profits such as ArtsMemphis, Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, Opera Memphis and GiVE365. As a newcomer, she brings a fresh perspective to New Memphis’ mission and vision. She believes that empowering the city with knowledge and resources is at the heart of her dedication to Memphis. A die-hard sports fan, Calinda never misses a chance to cheer on her beloved Memphis Tigers.
Megan focuses on Marketing and Events at New Memphis. Originally from Pennsylvania, Megan moved to Memphis to study at the University of Memphis. There she received her degree in Music Business and got her start in events through music festivals. Post college, she began her non-profit career at the Church Health Center where she coordinated their major events, Walking as One and Rock for Love.
Outside of regular working hours, Megan likes to perform her own music, work with local bands, and sample every local coffee shop. Megan’s favorite things about Memphis include its rich musical history, welcoming people, current music scene, and wonderful food found on every corner. Megan is excited to be at New Memphis and show how awesome the city is.
Chutney organizes the Summer Experience and 1st Friend programs alongside the manager of Strategic Partnerships. She is a proud native of the natural state of Arkansas where she graduated from Osceola High School and went on to earned her Bachelors of Science Degree in Community Health Education from the University of Central Arkansas. Her passion for the community and human welfare drives her philanthropic efforts that greatly impact the city of Memphis. Chutney currently sits on the Board of Directors for Birthright Memphis, a pregnancy support center for under privileged females, she serves as the chair of the Embark Alumni Community Engagement Committee and she’s an active member of Young Women Philanthropist of the Woman’s Foundation. Chutney’s mottos in life are to JUST BE your effortless self and to always seek understanding.