Every year, Inside Memphis Business honors four CEOs who have proven to be exemplary in their fields, leading their companies to success on local, regional, national, and international stages.

Nominations for the 2020 CEO of the Year awards are open. Memphis is graced with tremendously talented, inspiring executives in charge of their companies and organizations, and we want to hear from you about the best in the business. Email your nomination to [email protected] and include the CEO’s resume and a description of why he or she should get the award: vision, achievements, business philosophy, employee relations, management style, special qualities.

We give out four awards in categories according to the number of employees in the companies: 1-50, 50-200, 200-1,000, and 1,000 and up, so please include that information as well. The deadline for CEO of the Year is next Friday, November 22nd. When the nominations are in, an impartial panel will consider the nominees and pick one for each category. Each will be notified and interviewed in the IMB section of February’s Memphis magazine. A breakfast early in the year will honor the four CEOs.


– In a new study, SmartAsset uncovered the U.S. cities where rent is becoming less affordable relative to income, and Memphis ranks in the fourth spot. Monthly fair market rent increased 12.74 percent or about $100, on average, in Memphis between 2015 and 2018. Meanwhile, median annual household incomes increased by almost $300, or just 0.79 percent. As a result, rent as a percentage of income increased from 27.51 percent to 30.78 percent over the four years. The full report, including the methodology and rankings, can be found here.

– To help military veterans find the best places in which to settle down roots based on their status, WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 20 key indicators of livability, affordability and veteran-friendliness. They range from share of military skill-related jobs to veteran income growth to availability of VA health facilities. Memphis, unfortunately, ranks 97th, just above Jersey City and Newark, New Jersey, and Detroit, Michigan. Memphis’ employment ranking is 85 out of 100, the economy rank is 43, quality of life rank is 92, and health ranking is 95. Read more about the survey here.

– For the 23rd consecutive year, Southern College of Optometry has a zero percent cohort default rate among its graduates. According to fiscal year 2016 figures released by the Federal Department of Education, the average national cohort default rate is 10.1 percent, down from 10.8 percent the year before. The cohort rate is the percentage of a school’s borrowers who default on their student loans.

– The Nike Community Impact Fund is giving a total of $100,000 to eligible schools and community organizations in the Greater Memphis area that are helping kids reach their potential through play and sport. Applications are being accepted now through Dec. 16, 2019 at


– The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis has launched Live Give MidSouth, a new website packed with data that nonprofits, donors, and any good citizen can find useful. Read Toby Sells’ story in the Memphis Flyer here.

– $1.1 billion Pinch District project would continue to reshape Downtown. Read Wayne Risher’s story in the Daily Memphian here.

– Bahrain company acquires 14 local warehouses. Read Jacob Steimer’s story in the Memphis Business Journal here.

– Building permit for likely Amazon facility OK’d in Raleigh. Read the story in The Commercial Appeal here.


– Holiday Spirits Winter Cocktail Fest, 6-9 p.m. Friday, November 22 at Overton Square. Stroll through Overton Square sipping cocktails, listening to music and waving to Santa. Info is here.

– Need to know what to do this weekend? Check out Memphis Magazine’s Five Things To Do This Weekend here.


Who’s getting promoted? Who’s closing big deals? Who’s getting awards? Inside Memphis Business magazine’s Hot Sheet has the latest on milestones in Memphis.

– Slingshot Memphis identified Agape Child & Family Services as a high impact poverty-fighting nonprofit, citing the organization’s two-generation work targeting both parents and children in neighborhoods like Hickory Hill, Whitehaven, and Frayser.

– Ormonde Landry Payne (pictured) joined Adelman Law Firm as a senior associate.

– Joshua N. Corman has joined the law firm of Shea Moskovitz & McGhee as attorney.

– Al Bright has joined Bass, Berry & Sims in Memphis as a member of its Corporate & Securities Practice Group. Prior to joining Bass, Berry & Sims, Bright was a partner in the Memphis office of Waller, Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP.

– Playhouse on the Square’s 2019 [email protected] Playwriting Competition announced this year’s finalists: Ivanka vs Reality by Lucy Wright and William Downs; A Story About A Girl by Jacquelyn Reingold; Seeing Eye by Nick Malakhow; The Goodbye Levee by Mike Solomonson; Stacks by Anthony Toohey; Tweet by Charles Zito.


Inside Memphis Business magazine publishes a list of local Power Players every year. These are the movers and shakers in more than 30 categories who get things done in their respective fields. IMB’s April issue has the complete list. We also publish individual categories in other issues throughout the year, and we feature individual Power Players in our weekly Tip Sheet.

This week’s Power Player is Mark ForresterCEO, Regions Insurance of Tennessee. B.B.A., Insurance and Risk Management, U of M. Responsible for company operations in Memphis and Nashville with focus on property, casualty, employee benefits, executive life, HR, risk management consulting. Senior vice president, Regions Insurance Group. Former president, Insurors of Memphis, Greater Memphis Insurance Council. Former state director, Insurors of Tennessee. National Advisory Board member, AIG, Zurich Insurance.

For the complete list of Inside Memphis Business Power Players, go here.

“To the extent that the problems are informed by data and the better access people have to the data, the more willing they are to step up and get involved: volunteer, or write a check, or serve on a board. Data informs everything, directly or indirectly.“
—Community Foundation of Greater Memphis CEO Bob Fockler on CFGM’s new website Read about it here.