Innovate Memphis Names Jessica Lotz Executive Director


Innovate Memphis today announced that Jessica Lotz has been appointed as its new executive director. Lotz succeeds Justin Entzminger, who previously led the organization for six years.

Lotz comes to Innovate Memphis from Memphis-Shelby County Schools as the Director of Research and Performance Management. For the past six years, she was responsible for expanding and scaling data analytics resources for school and district leaders, program evaluation, continuous improvement coaching, and strategic planning.

“Jessica’s commitment to collaboration, extensive experience in research and program development, and dedication to making Memphis better are only a few reasons why she stood out as the ideal candidate for this role,” said Susan Dalton, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Innovate Memphis. “Under her leadership, Innovate Memphis will continue to incubate new programs that are driven by the needs of our city.”

A member of the Playhouse on the Square Board of Directors since 2014, Lotz currently serves as Board President for the organization. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Rhodes College and a master’s degree in Public Policy from Duke University.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity and tools to empower more Memphians crossing racial and socio-economic boundaries in search of equity and access,” said Lotz. “I look forward to taking on this role and leveraging my background in data analysis to improve processes and create efficiencies for individuals, businesses, and the Greater Memphis community.”

Previous Executive Director Justin Entzminger has accepted a new role as Innovation Practice Director for the Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation at Johns Hopkins University. When Innovate Memphis was founded in 2011, Memphis was one of the first five Pioneer Cities to implement the Bloomberg Philanthropies innovation team model, which is now active in more than 30 cities around the globe.

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