Leadership Development

Building community advocates and promoting local accountability is critical to our shared goal of increasing graduation rates. Complete Tennessee has developed the Complete Tennessee Leadership Academy (CTLA) to inspire more local higher education champions, foster innovation and promote statewide collaboration.

CTLA helps its future leaders better understand the current postsecondary and workforce development landscape, learn from national and statewide experts, and develop meaningful benchmarks that will help strengthen the state of higher education in Tennessee. 

Above all, CTLA aims to increase cooperation across communities and industries, mobilize new partners and inspire action that will have statewide impact. CTLA is fostering the next generation of Drive to 55 leaders and Complete Tennessee ambassadors.

CTLA is a partnership between Complete Tennessee and Leadership Tennessee.

Complete Tennessee Leadership Academy
Class of 2017

Debbie Adams

Interim President
Chattanooga State Community College


Cathy Cate

Executive Director
Leadership Tennessee

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Troy Grant 

Assistant Executive
Director of P-16 Initiatives Tennessee Higher Education Commission

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Tish Jones

Executive Director


Jan McKeel 

Executive Director
South Central TN Workforce Alliance


Danielle Mezera

Assistant Commissioner, Division of College, Career and Technical Education
Tennessee Department of Education


Karla Coleman García

Policy Manager
Conexión Américas


Jeremy Ross

Chief of Staff
East Tennessee State University

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Ann Thompson

Director of Workforce Development
Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development


Kevin Woods

Executive Director
Workforce Investment Network     

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Keith Carver

UT Martin

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Beth Duffield

Vice President of Workforce Development
Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce     


Lora Jobe

Executive Director
PeopleFirst Partnership


Greg Martz

Plant Manager

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Patrick Meldrim     

Vice President
TN Independent Universities & Colleges

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Deanna Morris-Stacey

Director of Programs & Initiatives in the Office of Community Colleges
Tennessee Board of Regents  

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Susan Rhodes

Scholars Program Director
The Ayers Foundation  

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Graham Thomas

Director of Community Partnerships


Kasey Vatter

Assistant Director
Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Knoxville