New Memphis is an organization known for forward-thinking. We often say that it's our job to bring people together to dream big for our city's future. The word "new is right htere in our title, so it's no wonder we are constantly asking leaders to collectively wonder "what is next?" for this community. Though our roots stretch back to 1979, the emphasis on leadership and community acton are still hallmarks of our organization. Much has changed since then, but developing and empowering leaders is still the underpinning of everything we do. We are building networks of people who beleive in Memphis' potential and feel deeply responsible for shaping our city's future for the better.


The roots of the New Memphis reach back to the Memphis Jobs Conference. Called by then Tennessee Governor Lamar Alexander, the Jobs Conference is credited with rebooting Memphis’ economy and launching an era of exciting leadership.


The Jobs Conference gave birth to New Memphis' predecessor Goals for Memphis (GFM), an organization that convened leaders across sectors to unify around common goals. The emphasis on leadership and community action are still hallmarks of New Memphis today.


Literacy Foundation launched by GFM.


Mid-South Minority Purchasing Council (later known as the Mid-South Minority Business Council and now known as the MMBC Continuum) formed by GFM.


Partners In Public Education launched by GFM as part of Memphis 2000, a community-wide educational effort. GFM raises $1 million and launches the Memphis Diversity Institute to enhance race relations in the business community through training and education.


Plan for Downtown Development designed by GFM results in the revitalization of the Center City Commission and a Downtown Leadership Council (now known as the Downtown Memphis Commission).


Leadership Summit convened by GFM. Participants include Governor Don Sundquist, Mayors Willie Herenton and Jim Rout, Jack Belz, Greg Duckett, Bill Dunavant, Barbara and Pitt Hyde, Mike Rose and Fred Smith. GFM launches the Leadership Development Intensive, a new executive leadership training program in partnership with the internationally known Center for Creative Leadership, marking the beginning of GFM’s focus on leadership.


Goals for Memphis becomes The Leadership Academy, a one-stop-shop for comprehensive leadership development. The Leadership Academy launches the Fellows program for high-potential, emerging leaders.


Nationally recognized by the Center for Creative Leadership for the Fellows program’s unique community action component.


Launches an on-going Speak Out campaign to promote livable communities, public safety and education efforts in Memphis.


Launch of Memphis: The Summer Experience, a program that engages collegians to help them choose to launch their careers in Memphis.


The Leadership Academy re-brands to formally become the New Memphis Institute (aka New Memphis), our city’s talent engine.


Launch of Embark, developed to equip promising 20-somethings with the training to set a course for their career and the opportunity to network with others ready to make a difference in the community.


New Memphis began to focus on teacher engagement and retention as a key priority to our work. 


Beginning in 2018 New Memphis expanded its work to support college students with year-round programming focusing on connecting students to the networks and professional opportunities that will inspire them to launch meaningful careers in Memphis.