Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute (CWLI) is excited to announce that Marlena Palmer has been hired as the new Director of Development. Mrs. Palmer returns to CWLI in a new role after having served previously as Programs Manager.  

Mrs. Palmer attended Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Psychology.  Upon graduation, Mrs. Palmer moved to Chattanooga to begin her career in the sales department with the Read House Hotel. She has held multiple positions in operations and administrative roles over the course of her career. Over the last two years, she  pursued the entrepreneurial path, working as a Personal Project Manager, assisting individuals and small businesses with administrative structure, systems, and strategy so that they could be more productive and efficient. 

Mrs. Palmer serves on the boards of The House Campus Ministries and GirlStance, as well as the committee chair for CWLI’s mentoring program, Game ChangeHer. She is a community organizer who is passionate about transforming systems that elevate women. As Development Director she will assist in cultivating processes and relationships that align partners’ passion with the CWLI mission of increasing the leadership capabilities and influence of women. 

Kim Shumpert, CWLI CEO, understands that this new position will grow the team’s capacity to successfully continue to elevate women. “We are delighted to have Marlena re-join our team in this new role. We believe she brings the knowledge and expertise needed to help CWLI achieve the next level of impact within our community,” said Shumpert. 

Mrs. Palmer will oversee partnership development, alumni cultivation, and assist in growing CWLI’s ability to serve more women. Palmer is excited to elevate women to seek their full potential. “CWLI is leading in creating social and economic cultures in which women are recognized and sought after decision makers. This is work that I want to be a part of and a movement that I want to help drive,” said Palmer. 

CWLI offers women across multiple industries more than 40 annual opportunities to grow personally and professionally. Mrs. Palmer began her new position with CWLI on May 3rd, 2021. She and her husband, Daniel, plan to welcome their first child, Oakland James, later this year.