Special thanks to these professional trainers and coaches for giving of their time and talent in the pursuit of CWLI’s mission: To increase the leadership capabilities and influence of women in the Chattanooga community. Thank you for your volunteer leadership!

President and CEO, LaunchPoint Leadership

Marj Flemming is an entrepreneur who focuses her energy and business on the elements of leadership.  She is founder and owner of Launch Point Leadership, a coaching and business consulting firm dedicated to developing individuals as leaders and positioning organizations to take leadership positions.

After successful careers with General Electric in strategic planning, management, and training, and the Tennessee Valley Authority as Human Resources manager, Marj started her business consulting for companies and groups striving to become a presence in their communities or grow a business to a position of leadership in their field.  She is a sought after speaker, facilitator, and trainer on topics related to leadership and mentoring.

Marj has served as the Managing Director for Tennessee Leadership, The Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute, and the Mid-South Sculpture Alliance.  She also serves on the boards of Signal Centers, The Room in the Inn, the Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute (emeritus) and the Independent Business Advisors of North America, as well as the Advisory Committee for Volkswagen’s Advisory Diversity Program and the Advisory Committee for Global Scholars at Chattanooga State Community College.

Marj is the author of two white papers, Authentic Leadership, and The Roadmap to Successful Mentoring.  She is also the author of the book – Leadership Wisdom in a Nutshell and the accompanying workbook Cracking the Shell as well as co-authoring the Mentoring Certification Program.

Director of Integration, Memorial Hospital

Carol Newton has been a financial leader in the healthcare industry for 35 years and currently serves part-time as Director of Integration, Clinical Integrated Network for Memorial Health Care System. In her current role, Carol is responsible for coordination with hospital and medical staff leadership to integrate the strategic priorities of Memorial into health system operations with focus on development of population health models across the continuum to support delivery of improved patient access, greater value and build the capability to manage population health needs.  Previously, Carol served for 12 years as Memorial’s Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer where her role included responsibility for all aspects of strategic planning as well as all financial and business operations for the health system.

Carol obtained a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1982 and earned a CPA Certificate in 1990.  She is an active volunteer in the community, working with a number of not-for-profit organizations on strategic and financial planning. Her current board affiliations include Bright School, Hospice of Chattanooga, Holy Spirit Catholic Church Finance Committee, and Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Inc. Finance Committee.  She previously participated on the board of Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute, serving as board chair in 2013.  Additionally, Carol volunteers as an Associate of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth (SCNA), a 200 year old ministry focused on serving the needs of the most poor and vulnerable people across the country and the world.  The Chattanooga SCNA’s started Promise Packs of Chattanooga which provides weekend food backpacks to children and financial literacy education within Chattanooga Housing Authority communities.

President and CEO, The Ella Clark Group

Ms. Clark resides in Tennessee and is an independent certified coach, speaker, and trainer with The John Maxwell Team. She is dedicated to helping others achieve their highest vision and goals, personally and professionally. She is also a certified Sherpa Executive Coach who leverages her creativity, leadership experience, and business knowledge to connect with leaders, teams and organizations that are seeking to improve their leadership effectiveness.

She is highly experienced with a down to earth, direct and open coaching style. She utilizes a proven process to empower clients to build on their strengths, minimize weaknesses and move forward quickly with her professional coaching and training. She demonstrates a passionate commitment, helping her clients identify opportunities for positive change, personal growth and success. Prior to launching The Clark Group, LLC Coaching, Consulting and Training Practice in 2014, Ella was the manager of supplier and partner initiatives at the Tennessee Valley Authority. She provided coaching, consulting, advocacy and oversight of the agency’s efforts to advance small businesses. She also worked extensively on high-profile projects including the design and implementation of outplacement services programs/workshops during an enterprise-wide cost reduction initiative.

Ella has facilitated workshops and offered coaching services for over 1,000 center clients, 450 attendees and coaching clients. During her professional career of 40+ years she has held increasingly challenging leadership roles in minority economic development, marketing, customer service, sales, training and supplier diversity. You can learn more about Ella and her offerings at www.clarkgroupcoaching.com.

Founder and Chairperson, Application Researchers

Merri Mai Williamson, SPHR, is the Founder & Chairperson of Application Researchers – a private investigative agency specializing in backgrounding. A native Chattanoogan, Merri Mai began her career in human resources 28 years ago and has since garnered the distinction of Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), which is designated by the Human Resource Certification Institute for completing credentialing programs that validate mastery in the field of human resource management and the promotion of organizational effectiveness. Application Researchers has likewise been the recipient of recognitions: Small Business of the Year, as well as two awards for excellence in ethics.

Ambassador, India Hicks

Leonora Williamson is an Ambassador for India Hicks and executive coach.   Her work experience is broad, and includes roles at MAC Cosmetics (part of the Estee Lauder Companies), Consultant for the Boston Consulting Group and Investment Banking Analyst for J.P. Morgan.  Raised in a bilingual French/ English household, Leonora speaks English, German, French, Spanish and Russian and has lived in 7 countries, but she currently calls Chattanooga home.  She loves the community and serves Board Chair of the Creative Discovery Museum, a lay-reader and for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, a member of the Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute and is an active volunteer in her children’s schools.  She has also worked in staff development roles at Normal Park Museum Magnet School and St. Peter’s Episcopal School.  Leonora holds a B.A. in Russian Language and Studies from Princeton University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

President and CEO, NGCC

Tangela Johnson is an Organizational Development Consultant and Executive Coach. She is the President of North Georgia Corporate Consulting (NGCC), a professional development boutique, located in Northwest Georgia.  Tangela has successfully worked as a culture and “people” strategist for the past 18 years. Her firm is dedicated to helping businesses create strong leaders and healthy cultures where integrity, accountability, excellence, and teamwork are the norm.

She is a gifted consultant, business woman, dynamic teacher, keynote speaker, and thought leader in the area of professional growth and development. Tangela is also the Founder of Stilettos and Grace Network a network for women that focuses on life, leadership, and business. She taught at Dalton State College for several years as an adjunct professor.

She has a bachelor’s degree from The University of Georgia and a master’s degree from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Tangela is passionate about education and entrepreneurship, and she sees community service as a part of her stewardship as a citizen.  She serves on the following Boards: Appointed by Governor Nathan Deal to Georgia’s Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL), Dalton-Whitfield Library Board Authority, Murray-Whitfield Joint Development Authority, and Co-Lab of Chattanooga. She is a graduate of the prestigious Leadership Georgia Class of 2012. Tangela is a Paul Harris Fellow.

She previously served on the Rotary Club of Dalton’s Board, The Urban League of Chattanooga, Launch of Chattanooga, the Dalton Convention Center Board as Vice-Chair, and she was Vice-Chair of the Dalton-Whitfield Consolidation Commission, and co-authored the Commission’s final report.  She served on Christian Heritage’s School Board.  She and her husband, John, and daughter, Caylor, live in Whitfield County, Georgia.

Retired UTC Professor

Dr. Petzko came to UTC in 1998 to join the Graduate Studies Division of the College of Education as a faculty member in School Leadership. She had been a middle school principal, a high school associate principal and a teacher for over 20 years in the Minneapolis area. Vicki received her Ph.D. in 1990 in Educational Policy and Administration at the University of Minnesota.

Before ‘retiring’, Dr. Petzko chaired the School Leadership programs at UTC and was also on the faculty of the doctorate in Learning and Leadership. She conducted workshops throughout the State on the leadership, Team Building, Change Process, and Legal Issues for Teachers.

From 2010-2015, Dr. Petzko worked as a consultant with the National Association of Secondary School principals, focusing on the development and training of new principals.

As of December 2014, Dr. Petzko retired from her full time position at UTC and is having a wonderful time pursuing other interests and continuing to train people in leadership development.

LaunchPoint Leadership

Ronna-Renee Jackson has more than 20 years experience in Executive Management and Information Technology. As a partner in Launch Point Leadership, she delivers coaching and consulting services in the areas of individual and team leadership development, mentor training and strategic planning. Ronna-Renee blends the real-world experiences gained from working in two large multi-national companies with her strong inter-personal skills to bring to clients the best mix of practical reality and effective tools.

Ms. Jackson is a certified professional coach and serves on numerous volunteer, community and management boards, including the Foundation Board for CHI Memorial Hospital, the Girl Scouts of Southern Appalachian Council and the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. Ronna-Renee is a member of Chattanooga’s downtown Rotary. Among her many accolades is the designation as a 2016 Woman of Distinction. She and her husband, Jeff, have two children and reside in Signal Mountain, Tennessee.