Meet the 2017-18 Leadership Connect Cohort


Our newest small business program, Leadership Connect, is a six-month cohort training program that will bring 10 small business owners together to learn the skills necessary to excel as business and community leaders. 

Our 2017 cohort will meet with top area CEOs, and each other, to discuss the issues most important to Nashville businesses. In March, the cohort will travel to Seattle as part of the Leadership Study Mission 2018 delegation. Their unique perspectives will help Leadership Study Mission participants bring back valuable lessons from the Seattle business community.

Choosing the first cohort was difficult as the application process was competitive and many small business owners applied. We are proud to introduce the inaugural Leadership Connect cohort.

Phil Cobucci, Bam! Social Business

Phil is the owner and Chief Strategist at BAM! Social Business, a digital marketing agency that specializes in social and digital marketing communications for businesses of all sizes.

What Phil hopes to learn from Leadership Connect:

I have a passion to always continue learning from those around me and I believe that everyone has something to learn. As someone who is passionate for our community and a dedicated small business owner, I am thrilled at the opportunity to learn how my leadership skills in business and my passion for the community will allow me to help Nashville move forward.”


Ashley Segroves, Ashley Segroves Photography

Ashley Segroves is the owner of Ashley Segroves Photography as well as three other small businesses: Bombshell Creative, Studio 208, and an art subscription company.

What does Ashley most want to contribute to the Nashville community?

“I hope to be a voice for the creative community and see projects come to fruition hiring local artists. After 17 years of living in Nashville, I look forward to having an impact in the next 17 years as we evolve into an A-class city with a thriving, creative, diverse, inclusive and healthy community.”


Courtney Hale, Knowledge Bank Solutions, LLC

Courtney Hale is the founder and Executive Director of Knowledge Bank Solutions LLC, a social enterprise committed to improving the financial literacy of youth.

What is Courtney’s mission?

“My personal mission is to lead and inspire the pursuit of freedom, harmony and opportunity through entrepreneurship and service. This mission drives what I will contribute to Leadership Connect. I will create pipelines to opportunity for underrepresented communities and add a perspective on business that is rooted in the belief that social responsibility and profitability can coexist within all company structures.”


DJ Wootson, Titus Young Real Estate

DJ Wootson is co-owner of Titus Young, a multifaceted real estate company located in Nashville, TN. They currently offer brokerage, property management, and residential construction services, with a primary emphasis on new project development.

What does DJ hope to gain from his participation in the program?

“I believe I represent someone who is on the front line of urban redevelopment, as I seek to continue to bring goods and services to the under-served north side of Nashville. I represent one of few African Americans doing large scale real estate development projects with the platform to produce more. An experience like this could allow me to glean from, and share with, other business leaders and stakeholders as I work towards this end.”


LeShane Greenhill, Sagents

Sagents is cloud-based supply chain software that automates the small business certification process and tracks the economic impact of mid-tier companies. LeShane Greenhill serves as Founder and CEO.

What is LeShane’s goal?

“My goal is to be a voice for the underrepresented. I always seek to provide the prospective of individuals who may not have a seat at the table. I believe my participation could bring unidentified or overlooked resources into conversations that need diverse interactions and ideas.”


Ashley Northington, DENOR Brands & Public Relations

Ashley Northington is the Agency Director for DENOR Brands & Public Relations. Their team is committed to finding new and exciting ways to communicate on behalf of people, brands, organizations and companies.

What does Ashley hope to contribute to the Nashville community?

“I believe I will contribute significantly to the educational landscape in Nashville. I will continue my work with schools, districts and nonprofits to help serve students on a volunteer basis and help these groups advocate for smart policies that will ultimately push the needle of positivity forward so that more students and their families are positioned to thrive.”


Amr El-Husseini, Lodestone Advisory Group

Amr El-Husseini is CEO at Lodestone Advisory Group, a boutique strategic investments and management consulting firm based in Nashville and operating globally. Lodestone has invested in and advised on a number of global innovation initiatives that are transforming and shaping the future of industries such healthcare, technology, and financial services.

What does Amr hope to bring to the Leadership Connect cohort?

“The program certainly gives me the opportunity to share some of my diverse experiences with colleagues in the program and help them look at business opportunities from a global perspective rather than a local one.”


Chris Redhage, ProviderTrust

As co-founder of ProviderTrust, Chris oversees their work of helping healthcare organizations reach 100% compliance with the OIG exclusion list and other federal and state exclusion lists. They protect healthcare companies from the high risk of employing an excluded provider and ensuring that all their employees are properly licensed.

What does Chris want to take away from his experience in the cohort?

“I want to be a resource for other leaders and I want to learn from their successes and failures. I have been in Nashville for 9+ years now, and while I believe I have a strong network, I want to position myself and ProviderTrust as a go-to source for community leadership in a variety of arenas, whether that’s community development, health care expertise or simply as an involved stakeholder.”


Tonya Lewis, The Post East

Tonya Lewis is the owner and co-founder of The Post East, a cafe that specializes in scratch-made gluten-free and vegan foods, raw food smoothies and cold-press juice made with organic and local ingredients.

What impact does Tonya hope to make on the Nashville community?

“I want to engage with civic and business leaders to address the issues of sustainable and affordable housing in our city. I am a fighter for the “underdog” and I believe everyone should have access to housing and environments that are clean, healthy, and safe.”


Harry Allen, Studio Bank

Harry L. Allen is the co-founder and Chief Relationship Officer of Studio Bank (In Organization). Studio Bank will be a hyper-local, creative, boutique bank for Nashville’s creators- whether they are creating companies, crafting songs, writing code or orchestrating social change. As Chief Relationship Officer, Harry serves as the Bank’s lead business development officer and will manage the Bank’s involvement and investment in community efforts.

What does Harry want to take away from his experience in the cohort?

“Nashville is the only place I’ve chosen to call home. I have become involved in many community initiatives and have a vested interest in the continued progress of our city.  I look forward to building relationships with other Nashville leaders and engaging them in conversation regarding Nashville’s sustained prosperity and broadened access to prosperity.”


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