ChangeMakers Podcast: Beverly Robertson, President and CEO of The Greater Memphis Chamber – Creating Economic Prosperity Through Opportunity, Equity and Inclusion
Host Jeremy C. Park talks with Beverly Robertson, President and CEO of The Greater Memphis Chamber, who shares some of her personal story of growing up in the Orange Mound community of Memphis, Tennessee, and how those experiences shaped her perspective of opportunity, equity and inclusion.
During the interview, Beverly talks about her time with Holiday Inn Worldwide and how it paved the way for her to grow into her role as a corporate executive, sharpening her skills for marketing, branding, communication, and leadership training and development. She talks about becoming an entrepreneur and small business owner with her husband, and then her stepping into the role of President of The National Civil Rights Museum, where she raised $43M during her tenure, which included the completion of an expansion of the Museum ($11M) and capital and endowment campaign ($32M). This capital campaign elevated the museum to world class status.
She then talks about stepping into the role as President and CEO of The Greater Memphis Chamber, at a pivotal point in the organization, and how she immediately focused on alignment around creating a positive environment for business and community growth, economic development, and workforce development and readiness.
She shares some of the important lessons learned from her experience with “From Protest to Progress” and advice for business leaders in embracing diversity and becoming more of a proactive force to power the GOOD. Beverly also talks about the importance of workforce readiness initiatives and supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs, and then wraps up with a lightning round of personal favorite spots, inspiring quotes and more.
Visit www.memphischamber.com to learn more and connect with Beverly Robertson.
NOTE: Beverly Robertson recently announced she will be transitioning her role as President and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber to Ted Townsend in December, so she can return to the business she started with her husband years ago. We recorded the interview about a month ago, and it’s a perfect opportunity now to celebrate her efforts, so we hope you enjoy it and learn more about how she has made a resounding difference in and for our community!
About Beverly Robertson: Named one of the USA TODAY’s “Women of the Century” in 2020, Beverly Robertson is the president and chief executive officer of the Greater Memphis Chamber since 2019. At head of the lead economic development organization for the region, she has championed shared prosperity, secured a historic number of jobs and investments, and raised funds to put the Chamber in its best financial position ever. Before joining the Chamber, Robertson served as president of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis from 1997 to 2014. During her tenure, she led the museum in raising $43 million to fund a massive renovation that turned the museum and the attached Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, into an internationally known destination.
She also built the museum’s annual Freedom Awards into a nationally and internationally recognized ceremony, even personally persuading former president of South Africa Nelson Mandela to come to Memphis to receive the award.
A graduate of the University of Memphis, Robertson started her career in education before spending 19 years at Holiday Inn Worldwide, becoming acting vice president of marketing communications. A graduate of the Wharton School of Business’ Leadership and Management Certificate program at the University of Pennsylvania and has competed the prestigious Getty Museum Leadership Institute in Los Angeles, Robertson serves on several local and national boards. She and husband Howard also own and operate TrusT Marketing. Together, they have three adult children and are also grandparents.