Message from NEXUS Director

May 24, 2020 Uncategorized

A YEAR IN REVIEW from Heather Hunt, NEXUS Director

As I write this, we are in the middle of a world pandemic and uncertain of what the future may look like. Throughout this, I have learned to appreciate what’s important, value relationships, and leaders learn to adapt with change. Through the COVID-19 era, I have had the privilege to witness this year’s class lean on each through the relationships they have built over the past ten months. Members of the NEXUS Network offered assistance so the program could move forward and our corporate partners continue to lead our city through uncertain times.

These past few months looked a little different for the Class of 2020, but they continued to be connected with each other through ZOOM, Careerquo, etc. This year’s class had the opportunity to learn from many key leaders that spoke at the monthly sessions, all sharing personal experiences and the underlying principles that motivate them to lead. A few messages that stood out include Emily Callahan, Chief Marketing Officer for ALSAC / St. Jude who encouraged mentors and proteges to “Find Your Voice.” Donald Comer, Staff VP & Operations Analyst for FedEx Corporation asked class participants to “Establish what success looks like on the front end” and Jay Papasan, Author & Executive Speaker challenged the participants to “THINK Big – THINK Specific.” We had many other outstanding speakers this past year who encouraged the Class of 2020.

The NEXUS IN MOTION event continues to grow and represent what NEXUS is about. The event offered direct networking for the Class of 2020, NEXUS Alumni, and NEXUS Partner STS Enterprise students. Round table discussions, led by NEXUS Alumni who are experts in their fields, on selected topics provided valuable face time and personal interaction among members of the NEXUS Network. This year’s event was hosted at Crosstown Concourse in the Church Health’s Community Room and the keynote speaker was Jennie Robbins, Chief Financial Officer for Church Health.

It is so important for NEXUS to continue to engage and equip members of the NEXUS Network through special events offered throughout the year. Each fall, the anticipated NEXUS Night Out event takes place and provides a true nexus for the current class, alumni, and partners to take time to be together, reunite, and connect. Special thanks to Norma and Kem Wilson for hosting this enjoyable event at their home. NEXUS hosted several workshops led by Andrew Geiselmann on the topic of Change and a series of workshops understanding the Enneagram presented by NEXUS Board member Katie West.

No one could have dreamed what would happen this past year. I am thankful that NEXUS will be here when the world gets back to normal and I’m confident we will be stronger together. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for the NEXUS program, recent graduates, members of the NEXUS Network, and future participants as we begin recruitment for the Class of 2021.


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Announcements

  • NEXUS NIGHT OUT

    Members of the NEXUS Network attended the annual NEXUS NIGHT OUT event this spring at the home of NEXUS Alumni Norma and Kem Wilson. The event offered the opportunity to connect and re-connect with fellow members of the NEXUS Network. Special thanks to the Wilsons for hosting the event. Read More
  • Sharing the Success of NEXUS IN MOTION

    Each year NEXUS invites NEXUS Alumni to return and share on timely topics at NEXUS IN MOTION. This year the NEXUS Class of 2022 hosted Sam Coates, Christina Cook, and Cindy Klatt who spoke on important topics which included Stepping Outside of Your Comfort Zone, New Normal Workplace, and Leadership at all Levels. The evening provided messages that impacted those in attendance and an opportunity for several alumni to attend... Read More
  • Celebrating the Class of 2022!

    Congratulations to the NEXUS Class of 2022!! NEXUS successfully provided an engaging and meaningful NEXUS experience this year. NEXUS recently celebrated the Class of 2022 with NEXUS Graduation at the Theatre. This special event was hosted at Theatre Memphis with NEXUS Alumni and Former Memphis Grizzlies Coach Lionel Hollins as the keynote speaker. Special thanks to the mentor and protégé participants for their dedication; Board members and volunteers for their... Read More
  • Indigo Ag’s Barry Knight Shared at NEXUS

    It was an honor to have Barry Knight, Senior Vice President of Indigo Ag speak to the NEXUS Class of 2022 at the March session. Barry spoke on the topic of “Focusing as a Leader” and shared what his mentors have taught him through the years. Read More
  • Tracee Walls Visited NEXUS

    It was an honor to have Tracee Walls, Managing Director, Human Resources – Equity, Inclusion & Engagement for FedEx Ground speak at the NEXUS Class of 2022 February session. Tracee shared on the importance of planning as a diverse leader. Read More
  • Mid-South’s Food Bank Cathy Pope Shared in January

    Due to the surge of Covid cases with the Omicron variant, the January NEXUS Session took place via zoom. After participants shared their 2022 motto, Cathy Pope, President and CEO of the Mid-South Food Bank Cathy spoke on the topic of “Communicating as a Leader”.    The health and safety of the members of the NEXUS Network’s is priority; we will adhere to recommendations made by the Shelby County Health Department. ... Read More
  • International Paper’s Tom Plath Joined NEXUS in a Conversation

    The NEXUS Class of 2022 is having a conversation with Tom Plath, Senior Vice President-Human Resources and Global Citizenship for International Paper visited NEXUS in December and had a conversation around “Visioning and Leadership”. Read More
  • NEXUS Volunteers at the MidSouth Food Bank

    Members of the NEXUS Class of 2022 volunteered at the Mid-South Food Bank. The NEXUS volunteers helped prepare more than 6,500 pounds of food for distribution to those in need. Read More
  • Bill Seely Inspired at NEXUS

    Bill Seely, President and CEO of Varsity Spirit spoke to the NEXUS Class of 2022 at the November session on the topic of “Leading Through Change”. Bill shared his journey and the things he has learned along the way. He was intentional, humble, and honest with his message. Read More
  • Lauren Ready Speaks at NEXUS

    “You can be a leader no matter your title or position in a company.” -Lauren Ready The NEXUS Class of 2022 learned from Lauren Ready, Owner & Principal Storyteller of Forever Ready Productions at the October session. Lauren shared from her personal experiences about leading and building. Read More

Upcoming Events

August 18, 2022 - August 18, 2022
NEXUS Class of 2023 Meet & Greet

Mentors and Proteges of the NEXUS Class of 2023 will have an opportunity to meet fellow class members and NEXUS Board of

Read More
August 20, 2022 - August 20, 2022
NEXUS Class of 2023 Orientation

The Class of 2023 will kick-off their NEXUS experience with an Orientation event. The Orientation is a highlight of the

Read More

Partners

Testimonials

  • Amy Beth Dudley, Dir. of Donor Services, Community Foundation of Greater Memphis & NEXUS Board member

    “Mentoring relationships are crucial for both personal and professional growth. Through NEXUS, I have had the honor of both having a mentor and serving as one. A mentor walking alongside you to rejoice in successes and coach you through difficult situations makes all the difference. Serving on the board of NEXUS allows me to provide that connection and opportunity for others in our community.” Amy Beth Dudley, Dir. of Donor Services, Community Foundation of Greater Memphis & NEXUS Board member
  • Mason Massey, Assistant Marketing Manager, AutoZone, NEXUS Class of 2022 Protégé

    “This is a unique opportunity to engage with both, peers and mentors, on current issues facing Memphis and beyond that is difficult to replicate. The relationship with my Mentor is something that I value greatly and will extend beyond the dates of the NEXUS program. It is difficult to put the relationship into words, as it is more of a friendship with someone who has much more life experience and accolades, but it has grown organically without feeling forced and I am very grateful for that.”
  • Jeanette O’Bryant, Development Director, Collage Dance Collective, NEXUS Class of 2022 Mentor

    “This is one of the many great and satisfying programs that Memphis has to further develop and strengthen relationships and support in our community and our careers. I appreciate NEXUS so much for the opportunity and the wonderfully crafted sessions and speakers who graced us often with invaluable knowledge, testimonials and stories that seemed to fit me each month of my personal journey. Jeanette O’Bryant, Development Director, Collage Dance Collective, NEXUS Class of 2022 Mentor
  • Christina Nagy, Human Resources Manager, Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation, NEXUS Class of 2022 Protégé

    “When I started NEXUS, I really didn't know what to expect. However, I am so glad that I jumped right into this opportunity. The mentor/protege relationship was a highlight for me. NEXUS gave me the space and perspective I needed to ensure my decisions align with my values. NEXUS has also allowed me to grow my personal network and hear from leaders in a variety of industries. Christina Nagy, Human Resources Manager, Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation, NEXUS Class of 2022 Protégé
  • Kem Wilson, Jr. Principal, Kemmons Wilson Companies, NEXUS Mentor & NEXUS Board Member

    “My favorite question to ask someone is, “What are you doing TODAY, not what you did yesterday or what you plan to do in the future, but what are you doing TODAY, that will have an influence & impact on the next generation?   That is what we are trying accomplish through NEXUS.”    -Kem Wilson, Jr.  Principal, Kemmons Wilson Companies, NEXUS Mentor & NEXUS Board Member
  • ALANA HU PERKOVIĆ, Regional PR Business Partner, First Horizon Bank, NEXUS Alumni & NEXUS Board Member

    “After participating in NEXUS myself and having a great experience, I wanted to do my part in helping to ensure others have access and the opportunity to be a part of the NEXUS experience as well.”  ALANA HU PERKOVIĆ, Regional PR Business Partner, First Horizon Bank, NEXUS Alumni & NEXUS Board Member
  • Levernese Mell, Supply Chain Manager, International Paper, NEXUS Alumni & NEXUS Program Committee Volunteer

    “Over a decade ago when I was a Protégé, NEXUS helped me craft my vision for the leader I wanted to be.  As a Mentor, it helped me to grow as a leader especially as it involves assisting others in creating a plan to help them achieve their goals.  As a part of the Program Committee, it has given me an opportunity to provide content for our leaders that will broaden/deepen their leadership perspective.”  Levernese Mell, Supply Chain Manager, International Paper, NEXUS Alumni &
  • Lauren Brown, Sr. Liaison, Direct Marketing-Mass Marketing, ALSAC, NEXUS Protégé, Class of 2021

    “NEXUS has been such a wonderful and memorable experience. The networking, paring of the mentors/protégés, volunteer opportunities, and interactive sessions truly exceeded expectations. I feel confident I have grown from this unique experience and the knowledge I have gained from my phenomenal mentor and inspiring presenters is invaluable.” Lauren Brown, Sr. Liaison, Direct Marketing-Mass Marketing, ALSAC, NEXUS Protégé, Class of 2021
  • Steve French, Retired, NEXUS Mentor, Class of 2021

    “NEXUS was an incredible experience. Beyond the opportunity to mentor a very dynamic and up-and-coming individual, I met a diverse group of seasoned and young professionals from a variety of industries which led to several interesting and thought-provoking discussions. The speakers who spoke with us throughout the year were also very enlightening and offered open and honest dialogue about relevant topics ranging from ethics, planning, crisis management, communication, and several other subjects
  • Ally Velderman, Director of Camps and Programs, Service Over Self, NEXUS Protégé, Class of 2021

     “I am so thankful to be doing NEXUS this year. Yes, adapted and different, but hugely valuable. My mentor has been simply a Godsend in a season where a lot was poised to change even before a global pandemic. NEXUS and that relationship is already such an asset; I'm sure it will only grow. Many thanks for working to allow me this opportunity in such a wild context.”  -Ally Velderman, Director of Camps and Programs, Service Over Self, NEXUS Protégé, Class of 2021