Our Founding Board of Directors supports the work of Slingshot Memphis and provides mission-based leadership and strategic governance. It is this distinguished group of leaders whose strategic decision-making and guidance steer the organization.
Ms. Austin is Chief Operating Officer of St. Andrew African Methodist Episcopal Church and the President/CEO of the Works, Inc. There, she oversees the daily operations of the congregational and community outreach/support of the St. Andrew Enterprise, consisting of a charter school, child-care center, farmers’ market, community life center, and gym. Prior to the Works, Inc., Ms. Austin worked as the Operations Service Lead for the HOPE team for GMAC Mortgage, LLC. In that role, she provided job training, coaching, and handled all of the teams’ escalated files. Prior to her role in the corporate world, she served as the Director of the Orange Mound Community Development Corporation, where she developed affordable single-family and multi-family housing. Ms. Austin earned her M.A. in Urban Anthropology at the University of Memphis and her undergraduate degree at Middlebury College. She is currently the Vice Chairman of the Blight Authority of Memphis, appointed by Mayor Jim Strickland. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Explore Bike Share. She was appointed to the Landmarks Commission by Mayor A C Wharton, and she served for fifteen years on the Health, Educational Housing Facilities Board of Memphis, reappointed by two mayors.
Tom is a Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company, where he primarily serves healthcare institutions and governments on a range of strategic, organizational, and operational issues. Tom leads McKinsey's Advanced Analytics practice in North America and founded and leads its Healthcare Analytics group globally. Tom is a member of the Center for Corporate Innovation's Healthcare CEO Roundtable and speaks regularly at healthcare venues; including recently the National Association of Medicaid Directors, AHIP, and the National Governor's Association. Tom also has authored several publications including "The Trillion Dollar Prize: Using Payment to Drive Cost-Reducing Innovations." Tom has helped multiple social institutions on strategic and operational issues, including Habitat for Humanity and the United Way. Tom is also a member of the Board of Directors of Mercy Ships International and advises several social institutions in Memphis, Tennessee, where he lives with his wife and three school-aged children. Tom holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, with highest honors, from the University of Michigan Business School, where he concentrated in finance and computer information systems.
Harriet is a lifelong Memphian who believes Memphis can be a better place for all its citizens. She is a founder of the Children’s Museum of Memphis with the mission of promoting a curiosity in learning through hands on activities and play. Her roles there included board membership, fundraising and directing search committees. Currently she serves on the boards of the Hugo Dixon Foundation, the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, and the Children’s Foundation of Memphis. The Children’s Foundation supports a research center at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital as well as programs in Memphis that affect the health and well-being of children.
Gretchen Wollert McLennon served the Hyde Family Foundations from 2007 to 2017. As Program Director for Authentic Assets, her work focused on managing the arts & culture and innovation portfolios, as well as the leadership programming of the Foundations. The Hyde Family Foundations’ senior staff works closely with grantees to provide ongoing guidance around such areas as strategic and long-range planning, organizational capacity building, project management, and development and fundraising activities. Prior to her work with the Hyde family, Gretchen was a Major Gifts Officer for Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association (MIFA) and a Donor Relations Officer for the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. With over a decade of experience in the non-profit sector, Gretchen regularly presents on panels and at conferences on issues related to city-building, contemporary trends in grantmaking, and equity in the arts. A native Memphian, Gretchen is a graduate of Northwestern (BA) and Wake Forest (MBA) universities.
Will is a principal at NFC Investments, a registered investment advisor that specializes in insurance companies. Will serves on the board of directors of WT Holdings, Inc, a holding company that controls Stillwater Insurance Company, ProAlliance Corporation, and Tri-State Insurance Company. He also serves on the board of directors of Knox Holdings, National Fire and Casualty Company, Corrisoft and the Memphis/Shelby County Sports Authority Board. Will is a CFA charterholder and has a BS in commerce from the University of Virginia.
Justin founded Slingshot Memphis in 2016 and currently serves as its CEO. Prior to launching Slingshot Memphis, Justin worked as a Giving Strategist for City Leadership, where he helped individuals, families and businesses develop, target and maximize charitable investments. Preceding his work at City Leadership, Justin was a member of the Fixed Income Division at Morgan Keegan/Raymond James. Servicing financial institutions and municipalities, Justin specialized in developing portfolio strategies and executing trades in fixed income securities. Earlier in his career, Justin was an educator at St. George’s Independent School, where he served as Dean of Students, Associate Director of Counseling, Teacher, Coach and Chaplain. Justin holds a Master of Divinity from Emory University and a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Memphis.
Our Impact Council is a diverse group of ambassadors who share a passionate commitment for Slingshot Memphis’s mission to to disrupt poverty. Council members work closely with Slingshot Memphis’s board and staff to spread awareness and accelerate the fight against poverty in Memphis.
Our consultants are experts in their respected fields who serve as trusted advisors to Slingshot's Board of Directors and Team.
Nick is the creator of Core Metrics, the framework Tipping Point utilizes to measure and accelerate poverty fighting methods and organizations. Prior to joining Tipping Point Community, Nick was an Orfalea Fellow at the William J. Clinton Foundation in Harlem, where he worked on domestic programs focused on entrepreneurship and helping individuals gain access to the financial mainstream. He earned his M.P.A. from the University of Southern California and his B.A. in Political Science from Sonoma State University. He has worked as an Analyst at Wildan Financial Services and a Project Coordinator at the Sonoma Economic Development Board. Nick states, “I believe the difference between poverty and a brighter future is usually dependent on the existence of opportunity. I joined the Tipping Point Community because I’m dedicated to helping create more opportunities for individuals in the Bay Area.”
Elena Delavega, PhD, MSW is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Memphis, where she teaches Social Welfare Policy, Advanced Community Practice, and Poverty. Drawing on her strengths in the areas of policy analysis, economics, and statistics, and grounded in the values and ethics of the profession of social work, her work contributes to the overall goal of understanding, addressing, and eliminating poverty and all forms of exclusion from a macro perspective. Some projects include the Hooks African American Male Initiative, the Earned Income Tax Credit project, the mindset of poverty, and collaborative research on LGBT rights and social work, on rural and urban differentials in income and outcomes, and on the effects of housing on extremely poor women infected with HIV. Additionally, she created the Memphis Poverty Fact Sheet, updated every year, which has been cited extensively in local and national media. Dr. Delavega also serves as Associate Director of the Hooks Institute for Social Change.
Liam founded A Better Chicago in 2010 and serves as its CEO. Prior to launching A Better Chicago, he spent ten years in the corporate and nonprofit sectors. Most recently, he was a management consultant at Bain & Company. Prior to Bain, Liam worked at the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, where he was a member of the programs team. Earlier in his career, he worked in the investment banking group of William Blair & Company and in the development office of ACCION USA. Liam has a BA in history from Dartmouth College and an MBA in finance and marketing from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Stinson Liles is a principal in Red Deluxe Brand Development, a national brand strategy and campaign development firm. For more than 20 years, Stinson has consulted with national brands on the development and deployment of positioning that aligns with organizational and audience values. His clients included FedEx, TruGreen, and Progressive Insurance before he began to focus increasingly on non-profits. Since then, Stinson has advised numerous national causes, organizations and associations, including the National League of Cities, the American Lung Association, College for America, No Kid Hungry, and LIVESTRONG. Today, Stinson’s core area of expertise is the analysis and advancement of non-profit brands in the face of internal or external change.
Alongside her work as a co-founder and board member at Lever Fund, Jeannette is President of Woodside Park Strategies in Silver Spring, MD. Jeannette specializes in creating and implementing integrated advocacy and communications campaigns and messages that make complex issues understandable to the public. Jeannette has applied her skills in strategy and mobilization to issues as diverse as health care and children’s health, reproductive rights, employee benefit packages, poverty, child welfare, and workers’ rights. For over two decades Jeannette has worked with non-profits, political campaigns, members of Congress, foundations, and labor unions. Through these groups, she gained the insight and the perspective to speak effectively to key audiences and knowledge of how to most successfully reach them.
Anne Sherman is Vice President, Nonprofit Strategy at Growth Philanthropy Network. Before GPN, she was Director of Strategy at TCC Group, a consultancy that assists nonprofits, foundations, and corporate community involvement programs. Prior to TCC Group, she was community initiatives manager at Minneapolis Way To Grow, a citywide school-readiness initiative. Sherman holds a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota Hubert H. Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs. Her volunteer work includes serving as chair of the governing body of the Center for Family Life in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and as a member of the board of SCO Family of Services. She also serves on the selection committee of the New York Community Trust-New York Magazine Nonprofit Excellence Awards. Sherman is the co-author of “Building Nonprofit Capacity: A Guide to Managing Change Through Organizational Lifecycles,” published in 2011 by Jossey-Bass.
Prior to joining Slingshot in December 2016, Yoan worked on international development programs to alleviate poverty and to accelerate the growth and diversification of Sub-Saharan African economies through the advancement of science, technology, and engineering education. He began his professional career at the World Bank where he contributed to the establishment of the Nelson Mandela Institution and the African Institute of Science and Technology. He then went on to found his own nonprofit organization, ACTE, in Gabon to help address local education challenges by leveraging innovations in technology with a focus on improving science and mathematics education. Yoan has degrees in computer science and electrical engineering from MIT, as well as a Masters of Education from Harvard and an MBA from Yale. He serves as an honorary member in several international organizations including the Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering, and Technology (PASET).
Doug joined the Slingshot team in December 2016. Having spent most of his career as an academic economist, most recently at the University of Memphis, where he was also Director of the Center for Economic Education, Doug brings to the team years of experience in research, consulting, data management and development, community engagement, and non-profit administration. He is also a talented educator and excels in explaining economics to a variety of audiences. While at the University of Memphis, he won nearly every teaching award the University had to offer, and was the inaugural winner of the SPARK Award in the Educator category, in 2014. He has a Ph.D. in economics from Georgia State University and a BBA in Economics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Prior to joining Slingshot in December 2017, Dr. Cynthia Lamy served as the Manager of Metrics at Robin Hood. Among other responsibilities, Dr. Lamy developed the content and methods for a system of metrics used to determine estimated benefits for a variety of social programs. Prior to her work at Robin Hood she directed several longitudinal studies, including a seven-year study of Head Start families and children. While at the National Institute for Early Education Research (Rutgers University), she directed landmark studies on the effects of early education on children's academic success, including evaluations of several state preschool systems across the country. Dr. Lamy is a developmental and educational psychologist whose research and writing focuses primarily on children at risk of school failure due to the many influences of poverty. Dr. Lamy is author of American Children in Chronic Poverty.
A former counselor and teacher turned institutional investment broker, Justin Miller, Founder of Slingshot Memphis, felt increasingly pulled to step into the yawning gap that separates so many Memphians from the opportunities of a full quality of life.
While working as a Giving Strategist, helping donors target and maximize their charitable investments, Justin became increasingly frustrated with two opposing realities (1) Memphis is one of the most charitable cities in America. (2) Memphis is one of the most impoverished cities in America.
While researching methods to help solve this problem, Justin came across Robin Hood, New York's largest poverty-fighting organization. Pioneered by investor, and native Memphian, Paul Tudor Jones, Robin Hood has accelerated hundreds of high-performing poverty-fighting organizations since 1988.
With the knowledge that Robin Hood’s playbook had been successfully adapted in other cities (i.e. San Francisco, Chicago, D.C.), Justin began talking with local non-profit leaders and potential investors about the idea creating a venture philanthropy platform in the Bluff City. In less than a year, Slingshot Memphis was born.
“We owe it to our city. And we owe it to our families and ourselves, because helping others reach their full potential is the only way to reach our own - individually and collectively,” Justin says. “I cannot stop dreaming about what might happen if Memphians - non-profits and donors (individuals, families, businesses, faith-based organizations, government, etc.) - begin working in unison to double-down on poverty alleviating solutions that have the highest impact per dollar of costs.”