We mean business

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Mayor Strickland and Joann Massey


A special announcement deserves a special email.

Today, I named Joann Massey as the new Director of Minority and Women-Owned Business Development for the City of Memphis. This is a major step forward for city government, so I wanted to tell you more about it.

Our city is 63 percent African-American, but African-American-owned businesses earn less than 1 percent of all business receipts citywide, according to a recent report. That’s a shameful number.

And while city government can’t do everything to change that, we can do our part. In 2015, for instance, only about 12 percent of city spending on contracts went to MWBEs.

I’m thrilled that Joann is joining us. She has more than 15 years of experience as a project manager and economic development consultant, including recent roles at Southwest Tennessee Community College and the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development. More than that, she has a proven track record of directly working with partners to increase MWBE participation in projects. Joann brings a wealth of new ideas and energy to our MWBE focus.

She’ll be leading a MWBE effort that consolidates two existing offices in city government -- the Office of Contract Compliance and the Office of Resources and Enterprise. 

I am serious about Joann’s role and the importance of this job in my administration. Increasing MWBE contracting -- thus helping the city’s economy work for all -- is one of the reasons I ran for mayor.

Simply put: We mean business about minority and women-owned businesses. Please join me in welcoming Joann to her new role.


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