The National and Local Advisory Boards were in May 2009 to assist the University of
Memphis and the Hooks Institute in the strategic development of the Hooks Institute's
mission and to promote the work of the Hooks Institute throughout various communities.
The National and Local Advisory Boards are composed of accomplished individuals including,
attorneys, corporate officials, the clergy, civil rights, and community activists.
Members of this board are as follows:
Hooks Institute Advisory Board Officers
|Logan Meeks is Vice President of Operations at A2H, Inc. – the leading Architectural,
Engineering, and Planning firm in the Mid-South region and serves on the Executive
Committee of the firm as a Partner.
In addition to his service on the Hooks Institute Board of Advisors, Meeks serves
as a board member for the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, is a member of the Community
Foundation of Memphis and the University Club of Memphis. Meeks also is also active
on several technical engineering boards for local and state organizations.
|Janae Pitts-Murdock, originally from Detroit, Michigan, relocated to Memphis to serve
at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church. A graduate of the University of Michigan
– Ann Arbor, Carnegie Mellon University, and United Theological Seminary, Pitts-Murdock
currently enjoys traveling throughout the country preaching and sharing her experience
and expertise as a business and operations consultant for churches and non-profits.
|Minister Cortney Richardson is an associate minister at St. Paul Baptist Church where
he serves as coordinator of collegiate ministry. He served in such organizations
as The U of M Black Student Association, NAACP, Empowered Men of Color (President)
and the Student Government Association. Richardson is employed with The Peer Power
Foundation-a private tutoring/mentoring program. He serves as community liaison, hiring
coordinator, and spokesperson. He owns London’s Event Planning & Decorating Company.
Hooks Institute Board Members
||Ekundayo Bandele is the Executive Director of Hattiloo Theater, Memphis’ black repertory
theater company. In addition to serving on the board of The Hooks Institute, he serves
on the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau Board. For his contributions to Memphis,
he has received visionary awards from the Center City Commission, the United Way of
the Mid-south, J.U.G.S, and Impact Memphis, and he has also received a Congressional
Certificate of Honor. Memphis Business Quarterly named him a "Power Player" (2010),
and in 2008 he was voted one of "12 Who Made a Difference" by the Commercial Appeal.
||Dorothy Cleaves, First Vice President and Relationship Manager in Private Banking
at Paragon National Bank, has more than 25 years of experience in the financial industry.
Prior to joining Paragon, Dorothy worked for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development. Dorothy is a 1975 graduate of Leadership Memphis. In addition to the
Hooks Institute Board, she serves on the boards of the Tennessee Housing Development
Agency, The Crescent Club, and is a Commissioner for Agricenter International.
||Michael Floyd is an attorney practicing in Memphis. He is a member of Avery Chapel
A.M.E. Church, a member of Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity, the Memphis Bar Association,
Memphis Hightailers Bicycle Club, Memphis NAACP, Fayette County NAACP, Prince Hall
Free and Accepted Masons, King Frederick Consistory#38, United Supreme Council, Southern
Jurisdiction, George W. Lee, I.B.P.O.E.W., and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Attorney
Floyd has also served as Grand Attorney for The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand
Lodge of Tennessee, is currently the Assistant Grand Attorney MWPHGL, was a Charter
member and Junior Warden of Benjamin L. Hooks Lodge#229 and is the current Worshipful
Master of Mt.Pisgah Lodge#180.
||Aashish Gahlaut has been with FedEx 17 years, about as long as he has been in Memphis.
He grew up in India, and came to the US for graduate studies. He got his Masters
from the University of Alabama before joining FedEx. He is passionate about making
Memphis a better place each day.
||Patricia Hooks Gray, a Hamilton High School graduate, completed her undergraduate
degree from Fisk University in Nashville, TN and her graduate degree from Xavier University
in Cincinnati, Ohio. The daughter of Dr. Hooks and his wife Francis, her goal for
the Institute is to continue, through service, the vision of the late Dr. Benjamin
L. Hooks to promote civil rights and social change which are vital for a successful
Nov. 2008 to Sept. 2011
|Odell Horton, Jr. was the founding Board Chair of the Hooks Institute Advisory Board.
He practices law with Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs. Horton serves on numerous boards, including
the Pink Palace Family of Museums, Board of Trustees, Immediate Past President and
Former Vice President and General Counsel, the Memphis Urban League, the Downtown
Parking Authority, the Economic Club of Memphis, and the Memphis Chamber of Commerce.
|The Rev. Richard Lawson is the Rector of Grace-St. Luke's Church, located in Midtown
Memphis. He is a graduate of Auburn University (B.A.), General Seminary (M.Div.),
and Sewanee (S.T.M.). Before coming to Memphis, he served as Rector at St. John's
Episcopal Church in Decatur, AL. As Rector, Lawson's primary roles are preaching and
teaching, administration, and interaction with GSL School.
||Harrison D. McIver III has been the Executive Director/CEO of Memphis Area Legal Services
since 1998. McIver has served on various community organization boards and as Chair
of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, member of Tennessee House of Delegates
and the boards of the Memphis Bar Association, local National Bar Association (Ben
F. Jones Chapter) and Latino Memphis.
||Terri Murphy works with Red Rover Sales & Marketing. With a background in television
and radio, and as a published author of over six books, Murphy has mastered the need
to connect with people to help them achieve their best outcomes. In addition to the
Hooks Institute Board, she serves on the St. Jude ALSAC – Memphis Board.
||Anthony Norris is the President and CEO of Worldwide Label and Packaging and is heavily
involved with youth swimming programs, both through Memphis Tigers Swimming and Splash
Mid-south. Norris has been instrumental in connecting the Hooks Institute, the University
of Memphis and the swimming community in advancing the cause of increasing minority
participation in swimming.
Nov. 2011 to Jan. 2014
|Cardell Orrin is a principal in Linx Consulting, and a founding Board member of the
Hooks Institute, and currently serves as Vice Chair. He is also a founding Board
member and current Board Chair of Hattiloo Theater, and is heavily involved in local
Past Immediate Board Chair.
Nov. 2011 to Jan. 2014
Carla Peacher-Ryan is a shareholder in the law office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman,
Caldwell & Berkowitz. She is the past immediate chair of the Hooks Institute’s Local
Advisory Board. She also serves on the Board of the Memphis Center City Revenue Finance
Corp. and as legal counsel to the Rise Foundation, Community L.I.F.T. Corp. and River
City Capital Corp. As the current Hooks Institute Corporate Fellow, Peacher-Ryan will
work with the staff to build program infrastructure and to better connect the Institute
to non-profit, business and legal communities.
||Mark L. Stansbury is a radio personality at WDIA, Memphis’ historic black radio station,
and is retired from the University of Memphis where he served as Assistant to the
President. Stansbury is a founding member of the Hooks Advisory Board and one of the
founders of Diversity Memphis.
||Herman Strickland is a Senior Vice President at First Tennessee Bank, where he has
worked since June, 1981. He is the creator and Manager of First Tennessee Bank’s Mid-South
Diversity Banking Group, a new initiative focused on providing financial services
to the area’s minority community. Strickland has served or is currently serving on
the board of alt.Consulting, the Rise Foundation, the Urban League, River City Capital
||Jonathan Watkins, MPA, FACHE is the Chief Operating Officer at Methodist North Hospital
in Memphis. Watkins is a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt and member of the Tennessee
Center for Performance Excellence Board of Examiners. He holds bachelors and masters
degrees from Tennessee State University. Watkins is a member of the American College
of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and is the President of the Memphis Chapter of the
National Association of Health Service Executives (NAHSE).