First Class to Open in March 2017 In Organization’s Mission of Recruiting, Training and Inspiring Democratic Women to Run for All Levels of Office

NASHVILLE — Emerge Tennessee, an affiliate of Emerge America, today announces its first Board of Directors with 15 members from across the state. Last week Emerge Tennessee posted the position seeking its first Executive Director, and the organization plans its first training program to open in March.

“We believe that if families, women and children are to succeed in Tennessee, then we must start by electing Democratic women to focus on the critical policies like education, healthcare, transportation, jobs, affordable housing and equity,” said Carol Brown Andrews, a founding member and board member. “Our mission is to recruit, train and empower Democratic women to run for office on every level to make our communities stronger from the grassroots up.”

Emerge Tennessee’s inaugural Board of Directors:

Carol Brown Andrews, Vice President and Senior Editor of Grindstone Research, Nashville. Carol was named best opposition researcher in America in two categories by Republican, Independent and Democratic peers in the American Association of Political Consultants in 2016. She has worked in hundreds of Democratic campaigns on all levels across the country as a strategist, researcher and communications expert for more than 25 years. Just this year, she helped elect the first woman and person of color to Congress from the state of Delaware. A former newspaper reporter, native Tennessean and University of Tennessee graduate, she also served as Communications Director for former Gov. Jim Doyle of Wisconsin and as Press Secretary for Gov. Chris Gregoire of Washington State.

Andrea Campbell, a nonprofit professional, Nashville. Dedicated to advancement of women in leadership, Campbell is the Nashville facilitator of LeadHer, an international women’s organization that challenges women to grow in their faith, leadership and relationships. Andrea also serves on the Executive Board of Advocates for Women’s and as Education Director of Kid’s Equality (AWAKE). She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Fisk University and is pursuing a Masters of Divinity.

Brenda Gadd, a veteran government affairs expert of Nashville. Brenda has more than 15 years of experience in Tennessee campaigns. She managed the successful, nationally watched Tennessee Supreme Court Retention Campaign, including protection of two women Justices. An outspoken advocate for women’s, children’s and minority issues, Brenda leads workshops and trainings on both grassroots and grassroots leadership.

Sky Gallegos, a senior political advisor to NextGen Climate founder Tom Steyer, Nashville. Sky’s career in national Democratic politics spans 20 years. She has held senior positions in Presidential campaigns, statewide campaigns, national advocacy organizations and served in both the Clinton and Obama Administrations. She currently advises Tom Steyer, the San Francisco philanthropist who founded NextGen Climate, an organization that acts politically to prevent climate disaster and promote prosperity for every American.

Gloria Johnson, an educator, of Knoxville. Gloria taught Special Education for 27 years. After serving four years as Chair of the Knox County Democratic Party, she decided to run for State House 13 and was elected in 2012, serving through 2014. She was carried to victory by tapping grassroots support for education, women’s healthcare, and good paying jobs with equal pay for equal work.

Holly McCall of Franklin. Holly has more than 25 years of experience as a communications strategist, newspaper reporter, and campaign operative at the local, state, and national levels. Most recently, she was the Democratic nominee for the Tennessee House of Representatives in Williamson County’s District 65.

Deidre Malone, President and CEO of The Carter Malone Group, LLC, Memphis. Deidre is the Vice President of Communications for the National Women’s Political Caucus, President of the NAACP Memphis branch, and former Shelby County Commissioner. She managed or played major roles and campaigns for Mayor, County Commission, City Council and School Board.

Enora “Nori” Moss, radio and television personality and women’s advocate, Chattanooga. The Chattanooga native is a professional speaker, community coordinator and consultant. Nori is currently working on a guide for young women, The Young Ladies Advocate: Integrity, Intelligence and Lifestyle. The booklet will be coupled with a program to inspire young women’s self-esteem. She is the founder of Nori Cares, a nonprofit for people in need. She is a recipient of the Neighborhood Trailblazer award from the City of Chattanooga Neighborhood Leadership Institute and was a nominee for the Civic Impact award from the Young Professional Association of Chattanooga for her work with nonprofits. Nori is the Communications Coordinator for the City of Chattanooga Department of Youth & Family Development.

Olliette Murray-Drobot, Executive Director of The Family Safety Center of Memphis and Shelby County. Olliette has 20 years of experience in not-for-profit management. The Family Safety Center (FSC) coordinates civil, criminal, health and social services for domestic violence victims. A member of the Memphis/Shelby Crime Commission Board of Directors, she is also a board member of the Memphis/Shelby County Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Council.

Emily Passini is a Partner at Greenlight Media Strategies – a woman owned and operated direct mail firm with offices in Nashville, Brooklyn and Washington D.C. The Nashville resident was named a 2016 “Top 40 Under 40” by the American Association of Political Consultants. She directed media efforts in 11 states as Senior Strategist at Hopkins + Sacks during the 2014 election cycle ­– including independent expenditure programs in three targeted U.S. Senate races. In 2010, she served as a Political Director at the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee where she oversaw the strategic and spending decisions in 13 states across the country.

Freda Player, political director of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 205, Nashville. Freda began her political career on the Gore Presidential Campaign. She was later Voter Outreach Coordinator and the Political Director at the Tennessee Democratic Party. At SEIU, she is responsible for all lobbying, advocacy and electoral efforts for Local 205 in Nashville, Chattanooga, and Memphis. Freda chairs the Tennessee Health Care Campaign Board of Directors, serves as Treasurer of Tennessee Citizen Action, sits on the Advisory Board of Nashville New Leaders Council, and is At-Large board member for the League of Women Voters of Tennessee.

Cortney Piper, President of Piper Communications, Knoxville. Cortney provides commentary on current news and events in East Tennessee on WATE-TV’s Tennessee This Week, a weekly political roundtable. She started her public relations firm in 2008 at the height of the recession with a focus on energy, technology and getting results. Her firm has worked on some of the most innovative energy and technology initiatives in the state, region and country. In 2011, she had the privilege of attending the White House Business Leaders’ Forum on Jobs and Economic Competitiveness where she met with senior Administration officials to discuss efforts to spur economic growth and Administration priorities. Cortney has been recognized for her business leadership as a 2014 inductee to the Greater Knoxville Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty and recipient of the Postma Young Professional Medal. Cortney serves on the board of the East Tennessee Economic Council, the University of Tennessee Political Science Department’s Board of Advisors and chairs the Visit Knoxville Board of Directors. She is a 2013 graduate of Leadership Knoxville and 2009 graduate of Leadership Oak Ridge.

Stacy Richardson currently serves as Chief of Staff to Mayor Andy Berke in Chattanooga. Stacy leads a team of 15 senior government officials who oversee the development and implementation of the Mayor’s agenda. She has overseen the drafting and passage of the City’s first open data policy, lead the development of the City’s early childhood education agenda, and coordinated efforts with area Universities to limit sexual assault on college campuses. Stacy previously worked at the crossroads of politics and policy — either in her capacity as a researcher or working on political campaigns. She graduated with highest honors from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and is currently pursuing her masters degree at the Sol Price School of Public Policy. Stacy also serves on the board of the Chattanooga Urban Design Studio and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga College of Arts & Sciences.

Maura Black Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer of the City of Chattanooga. Maura runs the day-to-day operations of Chattanooga’s city government, directing and coordinating the administration with the policies of Mayor Andy Berke and the City Council. Prior to joining Mayor Berke’s staff, Sullivan was Deputy Chief Administrative Officer in the Chief Administrative Office for the City of Memphis, reporting directly to Mayor A C Wharton. Maura was also Deputy Division Director in the Division of Planning and Development in Memphis and Shelby County, and Assistant Superintendent, Planning and Student Services, Shelby County Schools. Earlier in her career, Maura launched her own public affairs and public relations consultancy and served as special assistant to former Congressman Harold E. Ford, Jr.

Jennifer Buck Wallace, Director for Together Tennessee, of Nashville. She graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2000. After working as a producer for Country Music Television for 5 years, Jennifer left her career in television to become the Tennessee State Field Organizer for Obama for America in 2007. Post-election, Jennifer went to work for the Tennessee Democratic Party as the Executive Director in 2009, and then became the Director of Development and Tennessee Senior Advisor for Organizing for Action in 2013. Jennifer and her husband Billy live in Germantown are the parents of a young son, Buck.

Founded in 2016, Emerge Tennessee will be the premier political leadership training organization for Democratic women in Tennessee. Our mission is to recruit, train, and inspire Democratic women to pursue public office at the local, state and national levels through our multi-month campaign-training program. Emerge Tennessee is an affiliate of Emerge America, a national organization currently working in 17 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.