The need to encourage and equip the next generation of community leaders in Memphis is obvious to those who know our city best. To meet this demand, our young leaders need a place where they can learn proven leadership skills in a mutually challenging environment from top-flight coaches and mentors. Such a place is called NEXUS: A Proven Experience in Leadership.

NEXUS was founded in 2003 as a vehicle for the development and improvement of leadership skills, as well as a means for participants to make valuable connections with leaders in the Memphis community. Relationship is the key component of the NEXUS experience. NEXUS is unique in that it seeks to duplicate the experienced leader and develop the young, emerging leader through mentorship and relationship.

“We are looking for protégés who are emerging leaders who have not emerged in their organization. We are looking for mentors who are making a difference in Memphis and we would like to replicate their leadership skills,” says Pastor Sandy Willson, NEXUS Co-Founder.

This initiative creates a forum for interaction across religious, racial, and gender lines based on the common interests of leadership development and community improvement.

Now within over 850 principle-centered leaders trained NEXUS continues with the same vision and mission of building a stronger Memphis through the duplication and multiplication of principle-centered leaders.

The mentor / protege relationship is the unique part of NEXUS. The mentors and proteges have individual monthly meetings taking place as their schedule permits. Discussion at these meetings surround the goals of the protege and the monthly assignments. Presently nine monthly sessions are led by proven key-leaders speaking on a series of topics that NEXUS feels every leader must master.

  • A mentor-driven program, whereby the mentors commit to participate in the monthly sessions, to be trained in leadership alongside their protégé and to meet with their protégé once per month informally outside of the monthly sessions, arranged at the convenience of both.
  • Protégé recruitment takes place through the NEXUS Network-alumni and current participants.
  • Attend the opening retreat which focuses on “Your Leadership Strengths.” The opening retreat is said to be a highlight of the program and gives participants an opportunity to meet and connect.
  • Nine monthly interactive teaching sessions led by local key-leaders.  Both mentors and protégés are required to attend at least seven of the nine monthly sessions.
  • Service Projects which offer participants an opportunity to make a difference and learn more about non-profits in Memphis.
  • A reasonable cost, subsidized by corporate sponsors and private donations. The program fee is $500 for mentors and protégés, and includes an opening retreat, curriculum materials and monthly dinner sessions. Scholarships are available through the Kemmons Wilson Foundation Scholarship Fund.
  • A proven curriculum, which usually includes several books, timely articles, and assessments.  The speakers teach on leadership topics NEXUS thinks every leader must master including: Asking, Building, Communicating, Dreaming, Ethical Decision Making, Focusing, Funding, Growing, Leading Through Change, Mentoring, Motivating and Planning.


"NEXUS has been an awesome experience for me due to the fact that I was perfectly matched with my mentor. It is evident that the matching process was intentional because of how much I've been able to learn from and relate to my mentor. This has been true for m...
Kierra Warren, NEXUS Protégé, Class of 2018 -
“Given family, running my own business, and having several volunteer focuses, I was not looking for opportunities of involvement. After being asked to be a NEXUS mentor I weighed the ramifications and felt like it was a worthwhile investment. Venturing into ...
Joey Bland, NEXUS Mentor, Class of 2018 -
“The NEXUS program has helped me by exposing me to new leaders in the Memphis community, business world, and in my generation. The lessons that I've learned over the past nine months I'll carry with me for the rest of my life and I couldn't be more grateful ...
Kanesha Hines, NEXUS Protégé, Class of 2018 -
View More

Become a Mentor or Nominate a Mentor

Become a Protege or Nominate a Protege