Courtney McNeal Appointed as Innovate Memphis’ Chief of Staff

Innovation Delivery Team

Innovate Memphis is pleased to announce the appointment of Courtney McNeal to a newly created Chief of Staff position. Her new duties are effective as of February 2023, and will run concurrently with her City Innovation Director role. 

McNeal joined Innovate over five years ago overseeing community engagement activities and working on the City’s Memphis 3.0 Transit Vision initiative. Since then, she has assumed several other positions of increasing responsibility.  As Chief of Staff, McNeal will oversee HR processes, culture and team-building and employee development, as well as leading new diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies and practices.  One of her main goals is to ensure that Innovate’s workplace culture and community partnerships reflect inclusion and cultivate an environment that celebrates the unique values and perspectives provided by all stakeholders. She is already active in community groups that promote training and education in this area.

Executive Director Jessica Lotz had this to say about the appointment: “We are so fortunate to have Courtney’s leadership at Innovate Memphis. She doesn’t shy away from tough challenges, gets results and was instrumental in keeping the organization stable and staff supported during our leadership transition last year. I have no doubt Courtney will represent Innovate extremely well as a trusted community partner and as a champion for staff so that we can maintain our reputation as a talent incubator and a great place to work.”

McNeal is particularly looking forward to launching an audit of current DEI practices, developing a subsequent action plan with policies for implementation.  

“I am excited to work with the Innovate Memphis team to help create and cultivate a more DEI-driven culture that will show up internally as well as externally while working with partners and residents of Memphis,” she said of her role. “The Innovate team has grown over the past year, and as it continues to grow, this couldn’t be a better time to implement a supportive role for our growth. I also look forward to focusing on streamlining the organization’s hiring and human resources practices.”

McNeal is a certified non-profit professional and holds a Master of Public Administration degree (MPA) with a concentration in non-profit leadership. She was also recently selected as on of the Memphis Business Journal’s 40 Under 40.  

Photo credit: Aleks Antonío Photography for MBJ

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