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.

  • 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 Class of 2019 Speaker Sessions
August 25, 2018 / OPENING RETREAT / MENTORING / For the Kingdom Camp
September 6, 2018 / James Armfield / Director / NEXUS CONNECT & Larry Jensen / President & CEO / Commercial Advisors, LLC / MEMPHIS
October 4, 2018 / Tom Cleves / Vice President / Global Citizenship / International Paper / FOCUSING
November 1, 2018 / Dr. Marjorie Hass / President / Rhodes College / PLANNING
December 6, 2018 / Shannon Brown / SVP / Chief HR & Diversity Officer / FedEx Express / BUILDING
January 3, 2019 / Rabbi Micah D. Greenstein / Senior Rabbi / Temple Israel / ETHICAL DECISION MAKING
February 2, 2019 / NEXUS IN MOTION / Terri Lee Freeman / President / National Civil Rights Museum / LEADING THROUGH CHANGE
March 7, 2019 / Richard Shadyac / CEO / ALSAC / St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital / FOCUSING
April 4, 2019 / Joanna Crangle / Market President & Publisher / Memphis Business Journal / COMMUNICATING
May 2, 2019 / GRADUATION / Bill Rhodes / President & CEO / AutoZone / MOTIVATING


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The newest NEXUS program, CONNECT. The purpose of CONNECT is to engage NEXUS alumni and other individuals in the importance of mentoring and connecting outside of the existing NEXUS program. CONNECT is designed to foster mentoring and coaching connections over the various stages of an individual’s professional career, as those relationships could last a lifetime. CONNECT will also support these relationships by providing the necessary training and connectivity to NEXUS mentors and protégés, NEXUS alumni, and the mentoring relationships that develop outside of NEXUS. To learn more about CONNECT contact James Armfield, Director of NEXUS CONNECT at or 901-461-6260.

Nexus Engage

An ongoing goal is to keep members of the NEXUS Network engage within the NEXUS Program and our city.  NEXUS Alumni and current participants are key leaders within the community who want to continue to have a pulse of the needs of our city, the Memphis leadership community, and young emerging leaders of the next generation.

NEXUS creates opportunities for current participants and alumni to engage, learn, connect, and network together through many special events throughout the year.  Alumni are always invited to the monthly speaker sessions to hear a motivating message from a local key leader around a specific leadership topic.

Among the more than 25 special event opportunities provided to members of the NEXUS Network includes our quarterly Lunch Series focused on a NEXUS Alumni making a difference in our community; Workshops that provide learning opportunities around interests, the annual NEXUS Leadership Luncheon for the community focused on Mentoring with the Memphis Mentoring awards; our annual NEXUS Night Out event held each fall; and NEXUS IN MOTION, an event that provides table discussions led by members of the NEXUS Network on timely topics that affect our city and leaders, combined with a keynote speaker.

Opportunities are always evolving for the NEXUS Network to engage depending on the need and climate of our community.


  • 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
  • NEXUS Learns About All Things Memphis

    James Armfield did an excellent job providing a better understanding of our city at the September NEXUS Session. You must know our city to lead our city. Memphis has many moments that matter for each of us. The Class of 2022 listened to a presentation about the history of Memphis and the positive attributes of our city. Participants were motivated about Memphis and challenged to lead within our city. Read More
  • New NEXUS Class – Class of 2022

    The Class of 2022 began their NEXUS experience on August 21 with an in-person NEXUS Orientation event. The successful event provided an opportunity for Mentors and Proteges to come together in a safe meeting environment. The Class of 2022 connected with fellow class participants, learned about individual strengths, and participated in mentor training. The impact of the Mentor/Protégé relationship and the interactive, teaching lessons from key Memphis leaders paired with... Read More
  • 1000 NEXUS Leaders

    NEXUS has now trained over 1000 principle-centered leaders equipped to lead our city. In May, the NEXUS Class of 2021 graduated; NEXUS was successful in providing an engaging and meaningful experience amidst a pandemic. Read More
  • Committed NEXUS Board of Directors

    The NEXUS Board of Directors recently hosted their annual Board Retreat. The leaders of NEXUS are more committed than ever. With COVID-19 changing the way NEXUS has looked this past year; Board members discussed and planned for upcoming NEXUS classes. Read More
  • Learning About LinkedIN

    NEXUS recently hosted a Workshop focused on “All Things LinkedIn”. This workshop included how to build your personal brand, networking tips, and we heard how corporations utilize LinkedIn for recruiting. We are that Gracie Leathers, Senior Executive Assistant at Mahaffey USA; Tracie Montgomery, Division Lead, Talent Partner, Talent Acquisition and Talent Advancement, US Electrification Business ABB, Inc; and Kerra Saine, Business Talent Partner, US Supply Chain and Procurement for Smith... Read More
  • NEXUS volunteers with Advance Memphis

    Members of the NEXUS Class of 2021 volunteered at the Advance Memphis warehouse. Volunteers helped paint, organize, and clean the warehouse to help maximize their daily operations. Read More
  • NEXUS has a Candid Conversation About D&I in Memphis

    In October, the NEXUS Class of 2021 hosted a panel of Memphis leaders that had a candid conversation about “Diversity and Inclusion in Memphis”. The Panelist included Corbin Carpenter, Owner & Managing Member, Carpenter Law; Leslie Coleman, Global Director, Diversity and Inclusion, International Paper; Terri Lee Freeman, President of the National Civil Rights Museum, George Robertson, Senior Pastor at Second Presbyterian Church and Jose Velasquez, Co-Founder and Managing Member at... Read More

Upcoming Events

December 31, 2021 - December 31, 2021
Support NEXUS in 2021!

Support NEXUS with a donation in 2021!  Celebrate your NEXUS Mentor or NEXUS Protégé by honoring them with a one-time

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December 2, 2021 - December 2, 2021
Talking with International Paper’s Tom Plath in December

The NEXUS Class of 2022 is having a conversation with Tom Plath, Senior Vice President-Human Resources and Global

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January 6, 2022 - January 6, 2022
Mid-South’s Food Bank President Cathy Pope to Speak in January

President and CEO of the Mid-South Food Bank Cathy Pope will speak at the January 6, 2022 NEXUS Session.  Cathy will be

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  • 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

  • Levernese Mell, Supply Chain Manager, International Paper, NEXUS Alumni & NEXUS Program Committee Volunteer

  • Lauren Brown, Sr. Liaison, Direct Marketing-Mass Marketing, ALSAC, NEXUS Protégé, Class of 2021

  • Steve French, Retired, NEXUS Mentor, Class of 2021

  • Ally Velderman, Director of Camps and Programs, Service Over Self, NEXUS Protégé, Class of 2021

  • Mario Cole, Assistant Project Manager, Nickson General Contractors, NEXUS Protégé, Class of 2021

  • Hanna Oysel, NEXUS Protégé, Class of 2020, Adams Keegan, Inc., Client Service Manager

  • Warren Ramson, NEXUS Protégé, Class of 2020, Absolute Storage Management, Inc., Property Account

  • Caroline Keubler, NEXUS Mentor, Class of 2020, Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, Director of Development