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2015 Young Memphis: Jonathan Lyons, Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau

The following is a feature from the previous issue of Memphis Crossroads MagazineClick here to view the full issue.

Young professionals see a future in Memphis – their future. They believe in what Memphis is and what it is becoming. They want to be a part of what others are doing and to offer their talents, energies and dreams to make the city an even better place to live. They talk of loving Memphis, and the ways this city draws them are as diverse as Memphis’ population. Perhaps, in a word, they picked Memphis because of opportunity. Career opportunities. Opportunities to play and relax. Opportunities to connect with family and peers. Opportunities to make a difference.

And making a difference is key, as this generation prioritizes following their passions and leaving the world a better place. Memphis offers plenty of ways to connect with their peers and create transformational change in their community. There’s SoundCheck, the Young Professionals Council of the Greater Memphis Chamber, which connects these YPs with experienced business leaders and involves them in critical issues facing Memphis. There’s also leadership programs like Embark by New Memphis Institute and the FastTrack Program by Leadership Memphis. And that’s only the beginning.

The 10 featured work as entrepreneurs, professionals, nonprofit employees and creative types. But their jobs aren’t the only way they put their mark on the city. They put energy into causes like homelessness, education and civil rights. While sometimes their jobs and what’s dear to their hearts overlap, volunteerism is strong among these young professionals. They look outside of themselves and reach out to help others. While they are making lives for themselves, they are making life better for others. Memphis is in good hands with these young leaders on deck.

Jonathan Lyons loves to show off Memphis. The director of public relations for the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau helps showcase the city by putting itineraries together for visitors, including journalists with big audiences. About 10 million people a year visit the city. What makes Memphis a stand out is “unexpected combinations,” said Lyons, who selects go-to places from the city’s music, art, food, festival, civil rights and outdoor offerings.

“No matter how many times you come here, you will discover something new and different,” he said. And he should know; his team has pitched and landed over 700 positive Memphis travel stories across the world, reaching over 500 million people, including Garden & Gun, The New York Times, USA Today, BET and the BBC. These kinds of successes have made him a leader in the city’s industry, where he serves as President for the Memphis Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

The 30-year-old grew up in Bartlett and studied public relations at the University of Memphis. He worked for the city’s most famous hotel before joining CVB four years ago. While he shows off the city’s flash to visitors, he lives a calm family life in the Marquette Park area. Right now, his personal favorite places to explore are the city’s neighborhoods, like Cooper Young, South Main and Overton Square, “because something new and authentic is always going on.” His favorite thing about Memphis is the ease in getting involved with people and organizations. “It’s a very friendly city,” he said.

Posted: 11/24/2015 7:30:00 AM | with 0 comments
Filed under: &, Bureau, Convention, Crossroads, CVB, Jonathan, Lyons, Memphis, Professionals, Visitors, Young

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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 (