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Team Members

Eric Robertson - President

Eric Robertson is President of Community LIFT and Project Leader for Greater Memphis Neighborhoods (GMN).  Mr. Robertson has over 15 years of experience in the fields of Economic and Community Development.  Most recently, he served as the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the Center City Commission. Before joining the CCC, Mr. Robertson led housing and economic development programs at Lemoyne-Owen College Community Development Corporation. Mr. Robertson is a graduate of Neighborworks America & Harvard’s Kennedy School of Excellence. In 2015 Mr. Robertson was appointed to the St. Louis Branch of the Federal Reserve’s Community Development Advisory Council. Contact Eric at 

Linda Jones - Finance Director 

Linda Jones is LIFT’s Finance Director. Prior to joining the team in June 2015, Ms. Jones worked at the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority where she worked for 25 years, last serving as Director of Accounting. Ms. Jones received her Bachelor of Science with an area in Business Administration and major emphasis in Accounting from Murray State University in 1979.  Contact Linda at



 Amelia Crowley - Operations Manager

As the Operations Manager, Amelia manages the day-to-day operations of Community LIFT.  Prior to joining LIFT in January 2016, Ms. Crowley served for five years as Managing Clerk for McDermott Will & Emery LLP, a corporate law firm in New York City.  She has a B.A. in Urban Studies and a minor in Business Administration from Fordham University.  Ms. Crowley is an active member of the Junior League of Memphis. Contact Amelia at



 Leni Stoeva - Creative Placemaking Coordinator

Leni Stoeva, born Elena Stoeva (junior) is a visual artist and the Creative Placemaking Coordinator for the Soulsville USA neighborhood through Community LIFT. She is a Young Arts Patron, a Salzburg Young Contemporary Innovator of 2016, and an ArtsMemphis Fellow. Ms. Stoeva was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and grew up in Memphis, TN.  Ms. Stoeva has led arts and culture based programming and events in Soulsville for the past three years. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Memphis College of Art and a Master of Fine Arts in Digital Media from University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Contact Leni at



Nefertiti Orrin - Grants Director 

Nefertiti Orrin brings 15 years of experience working in the non-profit sector, including grant-making and capacity building. Prior to joining LIFT, Ms. Orrin led the Teach for America Alumni team where she was responsible for stewarding and developing alumni leadership to maximize the reach and impact of those working in schools, districts, corporate and non-profit sectors. In 2010, Ms. Orrin managed United Way of the Mid-South’s education impact priorities where she led the volunteer Education Committee responsible for allocating funding to community-based organizations. She also worked as a leadership coach in the Bay area building school leaders’ capacity to plan and implement strategies to turn-around low-performing schools. Contact Nefertiti at


Anthony Young Economic Development Director (RCC) 

Anthony Young is the Economic Development Director at River City Capital, where he leads the organization's strategies to support economic development in distressed Memphis neighborhoods. Mr. Young is an alumnus of the University of Mississippi, where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Managerial Finance.  He has an extensive background in commercial lending, cash flow analysis, and strategic management.  Prior to joining River City Capital, Mr. Young worked in the banking industry for 10 years, where he most recently served as Branch Manager for Regions Bank.  During his time at Regions, he served as the leader of multiple Strategic Planning Committees, and was nominated as the Desoto County partnership leader.  From 2012 to 2015, Mr. Young received the Chairman’s Club Award, which is the bank’s highest honor, and is a graduate of the Emerging Leaders Program. Contact Anthony at

 Ivy Hall Emechete Business Development Director (RCC) 

Ivy Hall Emechete is originally from Greenville, MS.  She graduated with her Journalism degree from Mississippi Valley State University.  She has worked with both major news stations in her hometown WXVT and WABG.  Ivy also wrote and directed "Visions for Life" a life coach television show created to inspire healthy living.  Ms. Emechete's career in banking and finance quickly took off once she relocated to the Memphis area 2007 and by 2009 she had climbed the ranks to branch manager.   Over the years,  Ivy has developed the financial acumen and business savvy to establish a solidified track record of success.  She loves to volunteer and teach financial literacy courses in an effort to reduce the poverty level in Memphis, TN.



Ms. Carla Peacher-Ryan, Attorney, Baker, Donelson PC (Pro Bono)

Dr. Charles Santo, University of Memphis, MMM Consultant

Community LIFT Board of Directors

Mr. Josh Poag, Chairman and President, Poag Shopping Centers

Mr. Jay Cofield, Treasurer and Vice President of Global Revenue, FedEx

Ms. Desi Franklin, Secretary and Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, First Tennessee

Ms. Patrice Thomas, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, City of Memphis

Ms. Cassandra Harris, Executive Director, Power Center CDC

Ms. Sarah Tucker-Ray, Associate Partner, McKinsey & Company

Mr. Alex Turley, Vice President of Real Estate, Henry Turley Company

Mr. John Paul Shaffer, Executive Director, BLDG Memphis (non-voting)

Mr. Luther Mercer, Director of Development, Whole Child Strategies, Inc.

Ms. Sheila Jordan Cunningham, Neighborhood Preservation, Inc.

Ms. Katie Tobin, Senior Brand Strategist, Archer Malmo


River City Capital Investment Board of Directors

Mr. Mark Yates, Chairman and President, Life Enhancement Services

Mr. William Stemmler, Vice Chairman and Senior Vice President, Iberia Bank

Mr. Phillip May, Treasurer and President, Memphis & West Tennessee, Renasant Bank

Mr. Herman Strickland, Secretary and Senior Vice President, Pinnacle Financial Partners

Ms. Gwyn Fisher, Regional Director, TN Department of Economic & Community Development

Mr. John Lawrence, Senior Economic Development Specialist, Economic Development Growth Engine

Mr. Matthew Prince, Senior Vice President, Loeb Properties

Ms. Whitney Hardy, Chism Hardy Investments