KUDOS: Memphis Business Journal honors Southwest leaders as “Women Who Lead”

By Diana Fedinec

President Tracy D. Hall
President Tracy D. Hall

The Memphis Business Journal’s editorial team chose Southwest President Tracy D. Hall for 2021 Women Who Lead in Education annual recognition. The honor singled out top educational leaders at Memphis’ key institutions representing both K-12 and higher education. These women are known for their game-changing leadership--from propelling their institutions forward to navigating the challenges of the pandemic. 
MBJ wrote: “At Southwest, her team’s big, audacious goal involved a redesign of the student experience — from recruitment to completion — seeing significant success in the endeavor. “Because of our bold collective impact work, we have been recognized nationally with prestigious honors, including winning [in 2021] the coveted national community college Bellwether Award in the Planning, Finance, and Governance category,” she said.”
Dr. Hall was quoted in the publication: "The pandemic has allowed higher education to see the possibilities as it relates to online/virtual education. This crisis has resulted in renewed efforts to expand the use of technology to increase efficiency, to address the digital divide facing underserved communities, and to increase the social and emotional wraparound support services for students.”
Read the article online at https://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/news/2021/10/27/women-who-lead-hall-weddle-west-chisholm-burns.html 
Congratulations, Dr. Hall! 

AVP Daphne Thomas
AVP Daphne Thomas

MBJ recognizes AVP Thomas for marketing leadership
The MBJ editorial team selected Associate Vice President of Communications, Marketing, and Community Relations Daphne Thomas a woman marketing leader who is making her mark in Memphis. 
“I am thrilled Daphne has received this recognition,” said Southwest president Tracy D. Hall. “Since her arrival at Southwest just four years ago, Daphne has strategically transformed our marketing and communications efforts and elevated our College to greater prominence. Our Southwest community is proud of her esteemed honor.” 
The Memphis Business Journal wrote of Thomas: “The transformation of the marketing and communication efforts at Southwest has been the highlight of her 25-year career in the industry. Noting her team essentially operates as a full-service, in-house advertising agency for the college, the entire focus of their work changed with the pandemic. Much of that work became crisis communications, especially now. “I am proud of and awestruck by the work we have executed during the pandemic. It’s been a heavy lift, but exceptionally rewarding,” she said.”
MBJ quoted Thomas: “Reputation management is more important than ever as society continues to debate, evaluate, and embrace the inherent value of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Thanks to social media, everyone has a voice that can be amplified instantly. Reputations that have been carefully crafted can be severely damaged or even destroyed with a viral post. Perception can become reality regardless of veracity. The ability to respond sensitively, swiftly, and effectively is paramount.”
Read the article online at https://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/news/2021/10/04/women-who-lead-marketing-daphne-thomas.html
Congratulations, Daphne!