Memphis is a city full of proud residents who are passionate about calling this community home! New Memphis Institute partners with The Commercial Appeal to feature members of our community who are proud to say “I Choose Memphis.”
I am from North Carolina and was recruited to come to the University of Memphis for graduate school where I received my Masters in Applied Medical and Urban Anthropology. Over the last 16 years I’ve taken an active role in the community both professionally and as a volunteer. My business partner Brian Stephens and I formed Caissa Public Strategy two years ago to address a need for community engagement and advocacy work across the public, nonprofit and private sectors. I am a member of the Health Education and Housing Facilities Board, serve as an adjunct faculty member for the University Of Memphis Department Of Anthropology, a founding member of Hattiloo Theater, and am an alumni adviser for the New Memphis Institute Fellows Advisory Board.
Q: What can you find in Memphis that you can’t find anywhere else?
A: Pancho’s cheese dip. As a non-Memphian it took a while for me to understand it but now I love it.
Q: What current local initiative excites you most?
A: GIVE 365. For a $1 a day you can give back to our community in a unique and fun way.
Q: What would be your ideal Saturday in Memphis?
A: An early morning trip to the zoo, lunch at A&R (Bar-B-Que) on Bellevue (Elvis Presley Boulevard), a leisurely afternoon on the porch at home, cocktails and dinner at the bar at Bari with night cap at Boscos.
Q: What is your favorite local festival?
A: I am a die-hard Cooper-Young resident so I have to say the Cooper-Young Festival. The Cooper-Young Festival highlights the year-round welcoming nature of the CY neighborhood. It is the perfect way for CY residents and businesses to share what we love about our neighborhood; it gives our community the opportunity to experience one of Memphis’ unique and vibrant places.
Q: Favorite hidden gem in Memphis?
A: The art collection at Le Bonheur Children’s hospital is definitely a hidden gem.
I love the fact that so much of the art was created by local students, it is interactive and whimsical and comes together in a way that makes you smile. It is a wonderful blessing for the patients and families to be able to experience art in a setting that is often stressful and overwhelming.