Big News at New Memphis

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Nancy Coffee handing the reins to Anna Mullins as President and CEO of New Memphis

The Board of Directors of New Memphis announced today that Anna Mullins will succeed Nancy Coffee as president and CEO of the nonprofit that has been developing local leaders since 1979.

Mullins, previously the vice president of communications and strategic initiatives, has been in a leadership role at the organization since 2014.

“New Memphis has always been about supporting and promoting great leaders. This succession plan has been in the works for over a year, and as we continue to build a more prosperous future for our city, and I am pleased the board has chosen Anna as my successor to guide New Memphis into its fifth decade,” says Coffee.

“I believe the work of New Memphis is more essential now than ever before. As our city gains momentum, we are even more dedicated to realizing Memphis’ potential. It has been a privilege to work alongside Nancy and our team, and I am honored to lead us forward from here,” says Mullins. “We have incredible talent in this city – from our college campuses to our corporate boardrooms – and I’m invigorated by the possibilities for New Memphis to connect and leverage those leaders to make positive change.”

Coffee will remain at New Memphis in a president emeritus role, cultivating the resources necessary to fuel the organization’s growth and ability to continue to offer excellent core programs. New Memphis has thrived under Coffee’s leadership for 15 years.

“Building leaders is what we do. New Memphis’ mission is to attract, develop, activate and retain top talent, and that’s exactly what we’re doing by promoting Anna. The Board is very confident in her leadership,” says Calvin Anderson, chair of the New Memphis Board of Trustees. “And it’s a bonus to have the benefit of both Anna and Nancy’s expertise as New Memphis continues to grow and evolve to meet the leadership needs of our city. We’re very fortunate to be in this position.”

During Coffee’s tenure, New Memphis significantly expanded its impact beyond leadership training for top executives. Rebranding the organization from Leadership Academy to New Memphis Institute, she created initiatives and programs to engage mid-career high performers (the Fellows), young professionals (Embark), college students (Summer Experience) and people newly relocated to Memphis. 

“Nancy’s leadership grew this organization to become the city’s talent engine. She understood that to attract and retain the talent pool Memphis needs, we had to look beyond our most senior leaders and begin to offer development and engagement to diverse emerging leaders,” explains Anderson. “Thanks to Nancy’s leadership, New Memphis is now powering our city’s ability to retain young professionals and is creating clear pathways for them to be active community leaders.”

In addition to leading communications and marketing for New Memphis, Mullins has been integral in guiding innovation. Most recently, she has helped pilot “Launch: Campus to Career”, a program that connects under-resourced college students with the networks and professional opportunities to help them launch meaningful careers in Memphis.

“Creating inclusive opportunities for the young people in our city is a top priority. We believe it’s essential to Memphis’ success. ‘Launch: Campus to Career’ was built to provide equitable access to career paths for our collegians,” says Mullins. “Through Launch we’re providing students with internship experiences and a network of established professionals who can help them navigate the path to a first job in the Memphis region.”

While expanding its work with collegians, New Memphis will continue to provide its core leadership development programming as well as engagements to retain young professionals. The organization will also continue its initiatives to welcome and anchor those who are new to the city.

Jill Turner, who has been with New Memphis since 2007, will be promoted to Chief Operations Officer, helping to provide the leadership and management needed to drive programming. Turner was previously serving as Vice President.


About Anna Mullins: A longtime Memphian, Anna came to New Memphis with experience in both nonprofit 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. For the past four years she served as publisher of the digital magazine focused on what’s next for the city of Memphis. Mullins joined New Memphis in 2014 and was most recently the Vice President of Communications and Strategic Initiatives, leading the organization’s communications strategy and guiding innovation as the team launched new projects and programs that make Memphis magnetic, engage the community in positive ways, and build the city’s talent pool. Anna chairs the Advisory Team for The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis’ GiVE 365 and is a leader of TEDxMemphis, where she helps bring local ideas to a global stage.