Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Recommend us on Google+ Watch us on YouTube Join us on LinkedIn NLC on Reddit
New Leaders Council

2014 NLC Fellows: Nashville

Atlanta | Augusta | Baltimore | Boston | Broward | Capital District | Chicago | Cleveland | Des Moines
Jacksonville | Kentucky | Los Angeles | Louisiana | Madison | Miami | Montana | Nashville
New Jersey | New York City | North Carolina | Orange County | Orlando | Philadelphia | Rhode Island Sacramento
San Francisco | Silicon Valley | St. Louis | Tallahassee | Tampa Bay | Washington DC


Carmen April, Owner/Physician-Podiatrist, The Foot And Ankle Healthcare Center, PC

Dr. Carmen April is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine specializing in the medical and surgical treatment of foot and ankle disorders. She is a business savvy professional who started a medical practice, The Foot And Ankle Healthcare Center, at only 30 years old and grew the patient base from 0 to 800 new patients in her first 16 months in this practice.

Dr. April has been recognized as a ñTop Minority Medical Specialist of Middle Tennesseeî, is a 2013 Nashville Emerging Leader Finalist and was named a 2013 “”Top Forty Under 40 Award Winner”" by the Nashville Business Journal.

Dr. April has been featured in print and radio media, speaking on topics related to proper foot health, entrepreneurship, following one’s passions and blogging. She participates in community health fairs, health promotion events and has served on the medical team for numerous races and marathons including the Boston Marathon, Marine Corps Marathon, Detroit Marathon and the Music City Marathon.

She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.-Kappa Lambda Omega chapter and actively serves on numerous committees and initiatives within this chapter including as Co-Chair of the Public Relations Committee.

Dr. April is a member of the The Nashville Junior Chamber where she served as the 2013 Gala Chairman, serves on the Board of Directors of The Breakfast Club of Nashville, The Interdenominational Service Organization of America (ISOA) and on the Jr. Board of Directors of Women in Numbers.

In 2012, Dr. April created a signature philanthropic event program for her practice called ñKnock Your Socks Off: A Back to School Sock Driveî. In 2012 & 2013, this Back-to-school sock drive has collected over 2,300 pair of socks for children in need in the Nashville community!

Dr. April is a member of the American Podiatric Medical Association, the Tennessee Podiatric Medical Association and the National Podiatric Medical Association where she serves on the Membership and Public Relations Committees.

Dr. April is also the Creator and Blogger of Dinner With Nerds, an online Blog that features restaurant spotlights, recipes and interviews with professional, successful people over dinner. The Blog and interviews can be found at .

Jared Barrett, Project Manager / Archaeologist – School Board Member, TRC Environmental Corporation

Mr. Barrett currently is a Project Manager/Archaeologist at TRC Environmental Corporation in their Nashville office where he manages local, state, and Federal cultural resource projects. He is currently serving his first term on the Murfreesboro School Board were he ran on a platform of supporting educators, parents, and especially children. Some of the accomplishments of the Murfreesboro School Board since Mr. Barrett has been elected included making all schools smoke free, all their meetings are now televised, and breakfast in the classroom, which has significantly help reduce tardiness.

In addition to his duties on the Murfreesboro School Board, Mr. Barrett also serves as Chairman of the Rutherford County Beer Board and also serves as an alternate member of the Rutherford County Board of Zoning Appeals. He also serves on the Tennessee Council for Professional Archaeology and is also a member of the Rutherford County Historical Society.

Mr. Barrett is most interested in education and issues related with growth – as those are the two most important issues in his community.

Mr. Barrett holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Archaeological Studies from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse and a Master of Arts in Anthropology from Western Michigan University.
Jared and his wife Amber currently live in Murfreesboro and are expecting twins Annabelle and Olivia in March. During his spare time, Mr. Barrett enjoys bird watching, working in his garden, reading, and spending time with his dog Nathan.

Sara Davis, President, Synergy Farms Inc

 	Sara	Davis	Sara Davis has gained perspectives from her work in international business that have guided her in establishing Synergy Farms Inc., a social enterprise with a vision to conquer poverty. She served as a small business volunteer with the US Peace Corps in Paraguay and Belize; and has traveled South Africa to advise a network of business owners. These experiences have helped shape her commitment to developing small business initiatives in rural communities around the world.

Managing others and working independently in sales have been her primary responsibilities in her professional career with such companies as- Wells Fargo Financial, First Tennessee Bank and State Farm Insurance.

It is with a hand on- lead by example approach that she using in her company to services business owners, along with in-depth knowledge of best business practices. Her attributes are assets to business owners around the world who desire the assistive support of knowledgeable people to help guide them to higher levels of proficiency.

Through the establishment of Synergy Farms Inc. Sara combines a host of professional experiences with her greatest passion of serving others.

Crystal deGregory, Executive Editor, HBCUSTORY, Inc.

 	Crystal	deGregory	A native of Freeport, Bahamas, historian Dr. Crystal A. deGregory is an alumna of Fisk University; she received her master’s and doctoral degrees from Vanderbilt University. Entitled: “Raising a Nonviolent Army: Four Nashville Black Colleges and the Century-Long Struggle for Civil Rights, 1830s-1930s,” her dissertation focuses on the role of these colleges and their students in the struggle for equality, justice and civil rights in Nashville, Tennessee. In addition to serving as the founder and executive editor of HBCUSTORY, Inc., she convened the inaugural HBCUSTORY Symposium in April 2013, in partnership with the Nashville Public Library and Nashville Public Library Foundation. A regular contributor to HBCU Digest, her advocacy work includes serving as one of four doctoral-holding African-American female hosts of Black Docs Radio. Dr. deGregory serves on the board of Historic Nashville, Inc. and is also a member of several professional and service groups including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Her published work includes contributions to The Journal of Tennessee State University (2012), Encyclopedia of African American Popular Culture (2011) and Freedom Facts and Firsts: 400 Years of the African American Civil Rights Experience (2009). She serves as editor of Emancipation and the Fight for Freedom (2013), the sixth volume in the 12-part series Tennessee in the Civil War: The Best of the Tennessee Historical Quarterly. Recently published in the book In an Inescapable Network of Mutuality: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Globalization of an Ethical Ideal, her chapter ñThe Relationships of Revolution: Martin Luther King, Jr., the Civil Rights Movement and Political Change in the Bahamasî acclaimed editor Dr. Lewis V. Baldwin, ñbreaks new ground in the scholarship on Martin Luther King, Jr., for no scholar has written in such compelling terms about KingÍs meaning for people in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. As one who has thoroughly researched both the path toward nationhood in the Bahamas and the struggle for civil rights in America, deGregory is eminently qualified to write with authority about these issues. Needless to say, her chapter adds yet another piece to the puzzle that was and is the global King.

Katy Graham, Finance Director & Campaign Consultant, Friends of Megan Barry

 	Katy	Graham	Katy first moved to Nashville in 2004 to attend Vanderbilt University. There she majored in Public Policy Studies with a concentration in Western European Policy and studied abroad in Vienna, Austria and Berlin, Germany. After graduation in 2008, Katy moved to Washington, D.C., where she was closer to her family in Northern Virginia. She began work as a Legal Assistant at Richards, Kibbe & Orbe, LLP, a law firm specializing in securities litigation and compliance. What she found most rewarding, however, was working closely with the firmÍs pro bono clients, often serving as primary liaison between attorney and client.

In spring 2010, Katy was awarded a Field Fellowship with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. She was assigned to work on Roy HerronÍs congressional campaign in West Tennessee. Packing up her Capitol Hill apartment into her little car, Katy drove to Dresden, Tenn., to meet the candidate and start a new adventure. At her own request, she soon transitioned to the campaignÍs finance team and helped develop and execute the campaignÍs $25,000 small donor program.

Nashville called again soon after the campaign. Katy was exactly who the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum was looking for to fill a critical role in its Development Department. Her time there coincided with the beginning stages of the $85 million capital campaign to expand the Museum as part of the development of the Music City Center.

In the spring of 2012, Katy stepped in as Deputy Fundraising Director at the Tennessee Democratic Party, where she was part of a successful team that raised $2.7 million in a 12-month period. Following the November 2012 election, she served as interim Fundraising Director and was later promoted to the position officially. Katy currently works as Finance Director and Campaign Consultant for a prospective candidate for the 2015 Nashville mayoral race.

Outside of work, Katy has a lifelong interest in the visual and performing arts, with a special affinity for ballet, which she studied beginning at age four and continued through college. She is an avid reader and an occasional runner, having run her first 5K last spring. She now lives in the Five Points area of East Nashville.

Craig Holcomb

 	Craig	Holcomb	Born in Marietta, GA to Craig and Winifred Holcomb, Craig spent the majority of his life growing up in Nashville. He attended Franklin Road Academy for High School and went on to play Division I NCAA Football at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). After graduating with a degree in English and minor in Psychology, he moved home to Nashville to pursue a career in sales at DELL. Followng his work at DELL, he traveled around the southeast region for East Coast Molding Distribution (ECMD) as a company representative to Lowe’s Home Improvement stores. After leaving ECMD, Craig decided to follow his passion in politics and became Deputy Campaign Manager for Jason Powell’s State Representative primary and general election campaign. Once the campaign was completed, Craig followed Representative Powell to the State Legislature as his Legislative Assistant, where he researched legislation, dealt with constituent issues, and aided in other policy research. Craig was most recently elected to the Davidson County Young Democrats Executive Board focusing on membership and recruitment. He would like to continue to further his career in issue advocacy, political consulting, and policy.

David Jones, Associate Attorney, The Law Office of V.A. Melton, Jr.

 	David	Jones	David is a native of Nashville, TN. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Memphis in 2007, where he double-majored in Political Science and African and African-American Studies. In 2006, he was named Mr. University of Memphis for involvement and campus leadership. He then earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2011. One of his proudest moments was serving as a Field Organizer for the 2012 Barack Obama Presidential Campaign in Iowa. David currently works as an associate attorney at a small law firm in Nashville. In his spare time, he enjoys serving as the Youth Director at Roger Heights Baptist Church and volunteering in his community.

Jotrone Marable, Special Education Teacher, Wilson County Schools

 	Jotrone	Marable	Jotrone R. Marable was raised in Murfreesboro, TN and grew up in a great Christian family with strong faith and beliefs. He teaches Special Education in Wilson County and feels that he is having a significant, positive impact on his students both academically and personally. Jotrone has worked in Education for only a short amount of time but knows that educating others is his calling in life. Jotrone has held positions in State Government and the Private Sector but Education has a special place in his heart.

Jotrone was educated at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN and received his Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Political Science and Public Administration in 2002. He also received a Masters of Educational Leadership and Specialists in Education, both with concentrations in Administration & Supervision in 2008 and 2011 respectively. Jotrone bleeds Blue and is a true Blue Raider. He also received his Masters of Arts in Teaching from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN the spring of 2013.

Jotrone has a strong desire for public service and the ability to serve others with a willing dedication and commitment. He believes in the ability and capability of others and the commitment to help them see their potential.

Jotrone believes that one’s life is not to be wasted but used for greatness to inspire others to greatness. He lives by the philosophy that if you have knowledge to share, then it should be shared with others who are willing to receive it. Jotrone’s success is based upon his family and friends, which is the cornerstone for success in life and academics.

Jotrone and his wife April currently reside in Nashville, TN.

Christophe Ringer, Pastor, Howard Congregational UCC

 	Christophe	Ringer	Rev. Christophe D. Ringer is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Religion, Ethics and Society in the Department of Religion at Vanderbilt University. He serves as the pastor of the historic Howard Congregational UCC in North Nashville. Howard recently celebrated its 137th anniversary, and under Ringer’s leadership this congregation continues to experience renewal as it seeks to relate faith to the spiritual and social needs of its community. The congregation has been active in addressing homelessness, incarceration, and education. Ringer’s commitment to progressive social change was nurtured through at Second Baptist Church under the leadership of his stepfather, the Rev. Dr. Hycel B. Taylor, and his mother Phyllis Ringer-Taylor, an attorney and 20-year veteran as a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools.

Ringer’s academic research has prepared him for his vocation as a public theologian that discerns the relevance of faith for the ongoing pursuit of a just society that values all personhood. He has presented he research nationally at the American Academy of Religion, the Children’s Defense Fund and abroad at the Political Theology Agenda Symposium at the Centre for the Individual and Society (SCIS) in Bogis-Bossey, Switzerland, and the Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change at the University of Manchester. In addition, his writing on faith and public life will be featured in the upcoming series Feasting On the Gospels form Westminster John Knox Press.
Ringer’s professional experience includes both banking and community development finance during his tenure at the American National Bank and Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF). At CCLF, a community development financial institution, Ringer worked with numerous community and faith-based organizations to provide capital to underserved communities to finance affordable housing, social services and community facilities. CCLF offered invaluable exposure to a wide range of public policy issues critical to community empowerment.

In addition, Ringer completed an internship at Riverbend Maximum Security Prison (R.M.S.I.) where he served as a counselor with Behavioral Treatment Providers (BTP), one of only two licensed organizations in Tennessee able to provide group therapy for domestic violence offenders. Ringer has served as an Instructor at American Baptist College, New Brunswick Theological Seminary, and serves on the board of Janus Justice. He is married to Minister Kimberly Peeler-Ringer.

Sam Rutherford

 	Sam	Rutherford	A lifelong resident of Nashville, Sam attended TSU in pursuit of a degree in English, which he received in 2012. Now, he is studying public administration there, a course of study that has proven to be very stimulating. With the help of the NLC program, he looks to enhance future efforts toward progressive causes.

Costin Shamble , Environmental Justice/Title VI Manager , Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation

 	Costin	Shamble	A native of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, Costin Shamble graduated magna cum laude from Spelman College with a B.A. in political science. She earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Vanderbilt University Law School. She began her professional career as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones (ret.), U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit.

Costin is an active member of Temple Church. In her spare time, she enjoys participating in 5k races, going to concerts, traveling and spending time with family and friends.

Corey Strong, Lieutenant Commander, US Navy Reserves

 	Corey	Strong	Corey Strong is Memphis native, a 2003 graduate of the United States Naval Academy (B.S., History) and a 2010 graduate of San Diego State University (M.B.A.) where he focused in entrepreneurship.

During an 8 year active duty career, he earned his Surface Warfare Designation and was certified as a Master Training Specialist. He served on three ships and participated in deployments to South America and the Middle East in support of OEF/OIF. He also deployed to Kabul in support of NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan, acting as an adviser to the Commander, Afghan National Army Recruiting Command. He now serves in the Naval Reserves on staff of the Chief of Naval Personnel Command.

He is currently a 3L at University of Memphis Law where he serves as Executive Director, Student Bar Association and is active in pro bono work through the Public Action Law Society. He is the inaugural recipient of the Benjamin Hooks Law Scholarship. The scholarship included a 2 year clerkship at Wyatt, Tarrant, & Combs LLP where he worked on various litigation, transnational, and probate matters. He received the 2010 Student Achievement Award from National Bar Association, Ben F. Jones Chapter and is an active member of the Leo Bearman Sr. American Inn of Court.

He is passionate about education and civic engagement which lead to co-founding the Memphis Collegiate Vote initiative. The initiative helped over 1,500 college students, at 9 Memphis-area schools, register to vote or cast absentee ballots in the 2012 election.

Ashley Warbington, Financial Counseling Specialist, United Way of Metropolitan Nashville

 	Ashley	Warbington	Ashley Warbington is a Nashville native. She received her B.A. in Spanish with a minor in Business from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2000 and her Master’s in Public Administration from Tennessee State University in 2010, where she also worked as a graduate assistant.

Ashley fell in love with the Spanish language in college and began traveling and learning about other cultures. She lived in Spain, Mexico and Nicaragua after finishing her undergraduate degree. She has also traveled to France, Portugal, Morocco, Costa Rica and China. Ashley has both worked and volunteered in the nonprofit sector off and on for the last 13 years. She also spent 7 years working as a legal assistant and translator at a small, family owned plaintiff’s law firm.

Ashley currently works for the United Way of Metropolitan Nashville as a bilingual financial counseling specialist in the Nashville Financial Empowerment Center. Her office is located in the beautiful Casa Azafrán building where her clients are from all over the world. She greatly enjoys helping others, fighting against injustices, and educating immigrants on the financial system in the United States.

In her free time, Ashley enjoys cooking, yoga, rock climbing and salsa dancing.

Samantha Yeargin, Online Media Manager, Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee

Samantha Yeargin As online media manager for Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Samantha Yeargin is responsible for overseeing the agency’s digital marketing efforts. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications and an MBA, both from the University of Tennessee at Martin. Currently, she is serving as chair of the Website/Technology Committee for the Nashville American Marketing Association, on the board of the newly-formed Nashville Region UT Martin Alumni chapter of the UT Alumni Association, and in her provisional year in the Junior League of Nashville.

Samantha has previously served as chair of the Nonprofit Special Interest Group of the Nashville chapter of the American Marketing Association, chief information officer for the Davidson County UT Alumni Association chapter, treasurer for the Davidson County Young Democrats, and the Davidson County Democratic Party Executive Committeewoman for District 6 (East Nashville).

Atlanta - Augusta - Austin - Boston - Broward - Capital District NY - Chicago - Cincinnati - Cleveland - Connecticut - Dallas - Denver - Des Moines
Detroit - Houston - Kentucky - Los Angeles - Louisiana - Madison - Maine - Maryland - Miami - Montana - Nashville - New Hampshre - New Jersey - New York City
North Carolina - Oakland - Omaha - Orlando - Palm Beach - Philadelphia - Pittsburgh - Rhode Island - Sacramento - San Antonio - San Francisco - Silicon Valley

New Leaders Council is a 501 (c) (3) public charity dedicated to educating a new generation of leaders and to providing those leaders with the tools they need to succeed. NLC does not engage in political or legislative activities of any kind, does not support or oppose any candidate for public office, and serves only as an educational leadership training ground.