Southwest Tennessee Community College

For Immediate Release

Date November 2, 2007

For More Information:Robert G. Miller (901) 333-4368/ Fax (901) 333-4503
E-mail: rgmiller1@southwest.tn.edu


New Leadership is Unveiled for the
Southwest Tennessee Community College Board of Advisors

Two prominent Memphis business and civic leaders have been tapped for top leadership positions with the Southwest Tennessee Community College Board of Advisors.

It was recently announced that Cato Johnson, senior vice president of Corporate Affairs at Methodist Healthcare, will serve as Chair and Mary McDaniel, vice president of Material and Corporate Sourcing for FedEx Express, will assume the role of Vice Chair.

The primary role of the Board of Advisors is to provide advice, guidance, support and advocacy to position Southwest within Memphis, Shelby and Fayette counties for enhanced image, excellence, growth and development. The Board of Advisors will include the Southwest Foundation Board of Trustees and the two boards, while being separate entities, will have the same officers. Members of the Board of Advisors will be appointed by the president of the college. Tom Deutsch, vice president of Investments for Raymond James & Associates in Memphis, will continue to serve as treasurer of the Foundation.

Southwest Tennessee Community College is the comprehensive, multicultural, public, open-access college whose mission is to anticipate and respond to the educational needs of students, employers and communities in Shelby and Fayette counties, and the surrounding Mid-South region. Through its multiple locations, Southwest provides citizens with an effective teaching and learning environment designed to raise educational levels, enhance economic development and enrich personal lives. Southwest is the largest community college in the state and is a Tennessee Board of Regents institution.

The new Board of Advisors’ Chair Cato Johnson has an exemplary track record of corporate and community service success. As a leader on numerous boards and civic activities, Johnson has served with distinction as Chair of the Committee Studying the Future of the Mid-South Fairgrounds; past Co-Chair of Memphis 2005, an economic development initiative of the Memphis Regional Chamber of Commerce; and Co-Chair of the Shelby County Schools Education Foundation. The University of Memphis graduate has achieved many awards including the Kate Gooch Community Service Award from Leadership Memphis in 1994. Cato Johnson is fond of quoting scripture from the Book of Matthew citing, “Let your light shine so they may see your good works.” According to Johnson, “Southwest Tennessee Community College is a beacon in this community and does tremendous work. I am extremely proud to be associated with this true community treasure.” Regarding his plan of action as Chair of the Board of Advisors, “my vision is for Southwest Tennessee Community College to continue to grow and serve this community in a variety of capacities, and for the college to continue to develop new partnerships, and expand existing partnerships in the Memphis community,” said Johnson.

As an alumna of Southwest Tennessee Community College, Mary McDaniel says she is honored to serve as Vice Chair of the Board of Advisors. McDaniel often takes time from her challenging corporate commitments to give back to her community. She has served on the Board of Directors for CAPS Research, the International Association of Women in Aviation, and the Mid-South Minority Business Council, just to name a few of her civic endeavors. McDaniel has received numerous FedEx awards for leadership and innovation, including three coveted Five Star Awards and The President’s Club 2005 Award. “As Vice Chair, I am committed to doing all that I can to help build on the outstanding Southwest legacy of learning, teaching and giving. It is also imperative that we continue making significant strides in reclaiming more of our alumni and preparing current students for their roles as future alumni,” remarked McDaniel. She quoted Winston Churchill, who once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” McDaniel added, “Southwest is a vibrant educational anchor that has long embraced and nurtured the broader Mid-South community and our nation. I am extremely proud of our past and present accomplishments, and I enthusiastically look forward to the good work that lies ahead.”

Southwest President Nathan Essex is excited to work with both corporate and civic leaders on the Board of Advisors. “We are delighted to have Cato Johnson and Mary McDaniel assume significant leadership roles on our board. Both are extraordinary professionals who are well known and highly respected in our community. We look forward to outstanding accomplishments for Southwest under their leadership,” stated President Essex.

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