A Deep Dive into Economic Development and a Conversation with Wanda Lyle - Here's What Our 2020 Leadership Connect Class Learned This Month

The Leadership Connect class of 2020 held its first two class days of the program year on January 21, 2020, and February 4, 2020. The first day was a panel focused on economic development in the Middle Tennessee region. The purpose of this discussion was to better understand why economic development is intrinsic to community stability and prosperity of the Nashville region. The panel was moderated by Courtney Ross, the Chamber’s Chief Economic Development Officer. Ross was joined by Lyndi Berrones with the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development (TNECD), and Neil MacDonald with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The three panelists discussed the roles they play in helping businesses relocate or expand within the 10-county Nashville region. In addition, the group emphasized the importance of protecting local small businesses from the effects of large businesses who move into the region. TNECD and TVA are vital partners of the Nashville Chamber's economic development team and help ensure the Nashville region is growing in a healthy and prosperous way. To learn more about the Chamber's role in economic development across the Middle Tennessee region, please click here

The Leadership Connect class also met with Wanda Lyle, Managing Director and General Manager, at the UBS Business Solutions Center in Nashville. Lyle discussed her background in financial services and her experience in climbing the corporate ladder. She emphasized the important lessons she learned from being involved in a variety of different roles in the financial services industry. One piece of advice Lyle provided to the group was having a strong understanding of what you are motivated by in order to succeed in a role that aligns with your passion.

Lyle also discussed her interest and involvement in public education. The group examined the variety of factors that affect a child's success in education. Lyle explained her specific interest in minority or low-income students and the limited access kids have to school counselors. Lyle currently serves as Immediate Past Chair of the Nashville Public Education Foundation and also sits on the Board of Directors for the Tennessee College Access and Success Network.

During a question and answer session, the class asked Lyle how she balances the demand of her job alongside her community involvement. Lyle replied, “If I can’t show up, I don’t sign up.” She said it is important to only involve yourself in projects that you time for. This is a best practice Lyle incorporates in all aspects of her life and attributes it to her ongoing success as a business woman.

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