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Meet the SoundCheck Leadership Team

Last summer marked the first anniversary of SoundCheck – the Greater Memphis Chamber’s Young Professional Council. From the beginning, SoundCheck’s purpose was to provide a place where young professionals have access to business leaders, connections and resources to help them truly become the next generation of leaders in Memphis. With more than 200 members and growing, SoundCheck has become a group of young professionals who are serious about moving Memphis forward.
A new year brings the opportunity for new leadership. For the 2015-2016 year, Trey Carter, Olympic Career Training Instittute, has agreed to serve as Chair and Anna Cardona, Ledford Engineering & Planning, as Vice Chair. They are supported by an Executive Committee, which includes: Schuyler Dalton, Roots Memphis Farm Academy; Teddy Gorman, Gorham/Schaffler; Frankie Dakin, New Memphis Institute; Brittney Rowe, Paragon Bank; and Thomas Holmes, NexStar Broadcasting. For this issue of Memphis Crossroads, we’re getting to know this team with a little Q & A.
Brittney Rowe
Bellwether Enterprise
1. Tell us a little about what you do.
I just recently joined Bellwether Enterprise along with Jeremy Chism who opened our Memphis commercial real estate loan production office. We provide financing solutions for commercial and multifamily real estate.

2. What’s the best thing about being a young professional in Memphis?
We essentially have a generation of mentors who are bending over backwards to support us. Our leaders are dedicating their time, talent and money to plant seeds of change right now. The benefits of which will not be reaped by these leaders but by future generations like us.
3. Why should someone join SoundCheck?
To be part of the solution.

4. Native or Newbie?
I'm a Texas native but proud to call myself a Tennessean after 18 years. I moved here with my family when I was 12 years old. I decided to return after college and found an entirely new city in my adult life. Always be a tourist!

5. What's your top piece of advice for YPs?

Don't complain if you don't vote.

Thomas Holmes
Nexstar Broadcasting
1. Tell us a little about what you do.
I am the Creative Services Director for WANT-TV Local 24 and WLMT-TV CW 30 owned by Nexstar Broadcasting. I am also the executive producer of Local Memphis Live, the only non-news lifestyle talk show in Memphis. I am responsible for all station promotions, public relations, on-air creative and community initiatives under Local Cares.
2. Why did you take a leadership position in SoundCheck.
After relocating to Memphis, it occurred to me that few YPs really understood the extraordinary offerings this city has – mostly because they chose not to explore and open their eyes to everything that is happening. By adding another voice via #MEMUP, we are promoting all the good things in Memphis. I am especially passionate about helping newcomers get acclimated to the area by providing all the resources they need professionally, but more importantly, socially.
3. What’s your top piece of advice for YPs?
While you focus on your career path, don’t be so blinded by success that you miss out on the social life here in Memphis. In the long run, it will make you a well rounded and more adjusted professional. Get involved with a charity you are passionate about in an effort to make social relationships. Finally, you have to network! The more connections you make, the better.

4. Who's your "bae" when it comes to Memphis restaurants?
There are just too many to list! But being a Downtowner, I will say for great bar food: Bar Dog. For a nice night on the town: Flight, McEwen's or Majestic Grille.

5. What's your favorite Grizzlies catch phrase?
"Believe Memphis." It's simple and speaks volumes. If everyone in Memphis "believed," imagine the possibilities. The sky is the limit! 
Schuyler Dalton
Roots Memphis Farm Academy
1. Tell us a little about what you do.
As the Director of Sales and Operations for Roots Memphis, I run our food hub, aggregating produce from six student farmers growing cooperatively at Shelby Farms Park. I manage the sales, logistics and execution of our 200+ member Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.
2. Native or newbie? How did you end up in Memphis?
Newbie! After I graduated from college, I was looking for a big adventure. I applied for an opportunity to work at BRIDGES through AmeriCorps. I found my adventure. I also found wonderful friends, a cozy neighborhood and an amazing sense of community.
3. Who’s your “bae” when it comes Memphis restaurants?
Slider Inn nachos, BAE forreal.

4. What's the best thing about being a young professional in Memphis?
The opportunity. Memphis has so much happening each week. There seems to be endless opportunites to get involved in areas that matter to you. From indie music to politics, from local food to rock climbing, there are so many ways to take leadership and make a difference.

5. What's your top piece of advice for YPs?
Show up and get involved.
Teddy Gorman
Gorham/Schaffler, Inc.
1. Tell us a little about what you do.
At Gorham/Schaffler, Inc., my primary task is to serve as a conduit between our seasoned sales engineers and building owners and managers to identify opportunities for HVAC and sustainability matters. We currently represent 35 manufacturers of equipment and digital controls related to mechanical systems and building automation.
2. Why did you take a leadership position in SoundCheck?
I am passionate about this city, and I jumped at the chance to get more involved in helping to write its next chapter. SoundCheck enables me to associate with the citizens, business leaders and cultural contributors of the next generation. Everyone I have met within the organization is passionate about some, if not many, aspects of the city. I love the transfer of enthusiasm and the opportunity to learn even more about individuals and teams moving our community forward.
3. What’s your favorite Grizzlies catch phrase? Why?
I guess I would have to go with “Hammer, Nail, Coffin.” If you hear Pete Pranica utter that phrase, it means another Grizzlies victory. “Whoop that Clip” originally coined by Jen Clarke AKA JenSized is pretty good, too.

4. Native or Newbie?
Fifteen years ago, I took a chance on a silly dream and moved to Memphis to wrestle for a WWE (then WWF) developmental territory. We produced three events a week, including the live TV show at WMC Channel 5 studios and a taped show on WLMT, Channel 30. Shortly after I arrived, the organization lost its contract with WWE, and I decided to stay in town. It's been the best decision I could have made.

5. Why should someone join SoundCheck?
It's an easy way to connect with a group of like-minded, yet diverse, individuals looking to plug into all the city and greater metropolitan ahve to offer, sharing their knowledge, experience and expertise in the ways of Memphis.

Anna Cardona
Ledford Engineering & Planning
1. Tell us a little about what you do.
I work as a designer and marketing director for Ledford Engineering and Planning. We do planning, civil engineering, architecture and interior design.
2. What’s the best thing about being a young professional in Memphis?
Our city is on the verge of a renaissance and everyone can sense the exciting potential. The best thing about being a young professional is the endless opportunities to become a part of this “rebirth.”
3. What’s your top piece of advice for YPs?
Listen more than you talk. Everyone from the CEO to the custodian has something to teach.

4. Native or Newbie?
I'm proudly native. My family has been here for generations!

5. What's your favorite Grizzlies catch phrase?
"We don't bluff!" because puns are funny.
Frankie Dakin
New Memphis Institute
1. Tell us a little about what you do.
I have the pleasure of wearing two hats everyday- which I hope is more stylish than it sounds- one as the Welcome Coordinator of the New Memphis Institute and one as an elected Alderman in Millington. In my full-time gig at New Memphis I am tasked with designing and delivering quality programs for greater Memphis newcomers- as part of our greater mission to forge a prosperous and vital new Memphis by attracting, developing and activating talent. In Millington, I serve as one of seven Aldermen responsible for the legislative function of the city. Whichever hat I’m wearing, I’m privileged to play a role in moving my community forward.
2. Native or newbie?
Native. I grew up and live in Millington, but if you claim Justin Timberlake, then you have to claim me. When I was three, my dad got stationed at Naval Support Activity Mid-South, Millington. He ended up choosing to retire in Millington, so I was an “Army Brat” who was lucky enough grow up in one place. I graduated from Millington Central, went on to attend Rhodes College, and haven’t left yet. I love Millington, I love Memphis, and like my father before me- when/ if I retire- I will choose 901.
3. What’s your favorite Grizzlies catch phrase? Why?
We Don’t Bluff. #GNG hits home, but we don’t bluff is real. Memphians find pride in being real and authentic. I see newcomers become genuine Memphians so quickly, and I think that’s because there isn’t any nuance to it. Memphis is a city that accepts you for you, and if you can accept that – you’re in the club. We don’t bluff.

4. What's the best thing about being a young professional in Memphis?
Access. The city is affordable, and you can enjoy life here on a millennial's budget, whereas my friends in larger cities are pinching pennies. But also you have access to making a change. Here if you want to do something, there are people that want to help you. 

5. What's your top piece of advice for YPs?
Find a mentor and listen up. We love to think that our generation has all the answers, but I've learned the most from people who are both much older and think much differently.
Trey Carter
Olympic Career Training Institute
1. Tell us a little about what you do.
I own Olympic Career Training Institute, which is a higher-education vocational training school focused on logistics. We give individuals the skills necessary to be competitive in the workforce.
2. Who’s your “bae” when it comes to Memphis restaurants?
My bae is Cozy Corner BBQ. They’ve had my heart since I was 7.
3. Why should someone join SoundCheck?
Before anyone starts to speak on the microphone, they have a SoundCheck to make sure the audience hears you. The same is true about our organization. Before you step out into Memphis to make your imprint, you have to come to SoundCheck and make sure you’re heard.

4. Native or newbie?
Even though I'm a native Memphian, I attended Florida A&M's School of Business and Industry. Upon graduation, I was eager to come back to Memphis to start my journey as a young professional.

5. What's the best thing about being a young professional in Memphis?
As a young professional in Memphis, we are given a unique opportunity to shapre the future we have imagined from the ground floor. Whether it's entertainment and activities or climbing the corporate ladder and entrepreneurship, Memphis offers young professionals the keys to success.

Interested in joining SoundCheck? Click here for more information!

Photos by: Troy Glasgow

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The latest news from the Greater Memphis Chamber. For more information, contact Director of Communications Christina Meek at (901) 543-3504 ( or Communications Specialist Jenny C. Fish at (901) 543-3558 (