Missy Marshall, Executive Director of Keep Tennessee Beautiful Commission and wife, mother and Collierville resident, brought an inspiring message of personal growth and professional development to attendees of the Collierville Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Leadership Network luncheon on Thursday, November 21. The meeting was held at Simply Done Catering off the historic Collierville Town Square.
Tracing her journey from a challenging East Tennessee childhood to college days and into professional ranks of state employment, Marshall delivered an inspiring talk to a packed room of professional women. Going from childhood dreams of being a flight attendant to college days with an idea of “becoming the next Barbara Walters,” Marshall moved into the world of state government and service.
Pursuing passions that aligned with her core values, she worked in a variety of areas for a host of agencies. Admitting that she has always had a place in her heart for single mothers (having been raised in such a home) and special needs individuals, she began her career as a public health educator for the Tennessee Department of Health. Marshall has served as the legislative liaison for eight state departments, nine commissioners and on the team of three governors.
One of her proudest professional accomplishments came when she served on the legislative team that assisted the Tennessee state legislature with the establishment of the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD). Marshall served nine years as Director of Communications and External Affairs for that department before her appointment as Executive Director of Keep Tennessee Beautiful in 2013.
She reminded the audience to focus on the positive by looking for excellent mentors and keeping company with those who “feel like sunlight.” Her talk was peppered with motivational slogans as she used her own experiences to vivify the inspirational words. From regaling attendees about the many excellent mentors and bosses she has had in her career, she encouraged her listeners with “leadership is not about being the best but about making everyone better.” Reflecting her own religious faith, she reminded those in attendance to “become the vessel that God can use.”
Under Marshall’s direction, Keep Tennessee Beautiful has become a model of state beautification programs across the United States and has won several awards for their efforts.
First Horizon sponsored the day’s program. Women’s Leadership Network is just one of many professional development and networking opportunities provided by the Collierville Chamber of Commerce. For more information, contact 901-853-1949.