New Memphis

We are forging a prosperous and vital New Memphis by developing, activating and retaining talent.


Now more than ever, Memphis needs talent. Our businesses need talent to thrive, our government needs talent to solve problems, our schools need talent to educate our youth, our communities need talent to innovate and work for a better future. We are forging a prosperous and vital new Memphis by attracting, developing, activating and retaining talent.

Our History


The roots of the New Memphis Institute reach back to the Memphis Jobs Conference. Called by then Tennessee Governor Lamar Alexander, the Jobs Conference is credited with rebooting Memphis’ economy and launching an era of exciting leadership.


The Jobs Conference gave birth to New Memphis Institute’s predecessor Goals for Memphis (GFM). The emphasis on leadership and community action are still hallmarks of New Memphis Institute today.


Literacy Foundation launched by GFM.


Mid-South Minority Purchasing Council (now known as the Mid-South Minority Business Council) formed by GFM.


Partners In Public Education launched by GFM as part of Memphis 2000, a community-wide educational effort. GFM raises $1 million and launches the Memphis Diversity Institute to enhance race relations in the business community through training and education.


Plan for Downtown Development designed by GFM results in the revitalization of the Center City Commission and a Downtown Leadership Council.


Leadership Summit convened by GFM. Participants include Governor Don Sundquist, Mayors Willie Herenton and Jim Rout, Jack Belz, Greg Duckett, Bill Dunavant, Barbara and Pitt Hyde, Mike Rose and Fred Smith. GFM launches the Leadership Development Intensive, a new executive leadership training program in partnership with the internationally known Center for Creative Leadership, marking the beginning of GFM’s focus on leadership.


Goals for Memphis becomes The Leadership Academy, a one-stop-shop for comprehensive leadership development. The Leadership Academy launches the Fellows program for high-potential, emerging leaders.


Nationally recognized by the Center for Creative Leadership for the Fellows program’s unique community action component.


Launches an on-going Speak Out campaign to promote livable communities, public safety and education efforts in Memphis.


Launch of Memphis: The Summer Experience, a program that engages collegians to help them choose to launch their careers in Memphis.


The Leadership Academy re-brands to become the New Memphis Institute, our city’s talent engine.


Launch of Embark, developed to equip promising 20-somethings with the training to set a course for their career and the opportunity to network with others ready to make a difference in the community.

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