John Michels Joins Greater Memphis Chamber Staff as Greenprint Coordinator

Release date: 4/27/2015

Mid-South Regional Greenprint Plan Receives National Award

Memphis, Tenn—The Greater Memphis Chamber announced that John Michels has joined the Chamber staff as Greenprint Coordinator. 

Michels is responsible for transitioning the Mid-South Regional Greenprint Plan into the implementation phase. The Greenprint Plan this week was the recipient of the American Planning Association Sustainable Communities Division’s Award for “Excellence in Sustainability for a Plan.” Read the full press release here. 

The Greenprint Plan will connect 95% of existing parks and will create 500 miles of off-street greenway trails and create 200 miles of on-street bike lanes. This plan is part of a moon mission the Chamber’s Chairman’s Circle has been partnering on with the Memphis-Shelby County Office of Sustainability. The Office of Sustainability recently completed the Greenprint plan process in partnership with over 80 organizations representing 22 jurisdictions and three states. 

Michels will continue the coordination and education of the Greenprint Plan as well as develop a long-term administration and funding strategy. He will also engage with the Mid-South Regional Greenprint Consortium and keep the public updated on greenprint efforts. 

“With John’s knowledge of what communities across the U.S. are doing with their green spaces, we are excited to have him help us implement a world-class greenprint strategy for this region,” said Kelly Rayne, Sr. Vice President, Community Development, Greater Memphis Chamber. 

Michels previously worked as the Director of Communication & Trail Programs for the American Hiking Society (AHS). During his time there, he led national outreach to Federal and State agencies, trail & recreation clubs, national non-profits and outdoor retailers to host outdoor recreation and stewardship events for National Trails Day. He also helped coordinate the launch of the Families on Foot Initiative and facilitated the National Trails Fund grant program, managing a staff committee and board committee. 

“Memphis not only has great trails, parks and bike lanes, but just as important, this city has incredible leadership with the Chamber and Chairman’s Circle who think strategically about long-term plans like the award-winning Mid-South Regional Greenprint,” said John Michels, Greenprint Coordinator, Greater Memphis Chamber. “I’m looking forward to working closely with the Office of Sustainability to ensure that the results benefit all Memphians.” 

Michels received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Environmental Public Policy from Vanderbilt University.  He is a member of the Wilderness Society, World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy and a supporter of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Michels enjoys hiking, tennis, boxing, basketball as well as playing the piano and guitar. 

The Greater Memphis Chamber is the lead economic development agency for Memphis/Shelby County, and is a private, non-profit, membership-driven organization comprised of 2,300 business enterprises, civic organizations, educational institutions and individuals.