As we look ahead to a new year, I have asked some Memphians who care deeply about their city’s future for their resolutions or reflections for 2024. I am deeply grateful for their thoughtful submissions. 

Today’s resolutions are by Kenya Johnson,  Director of Programs and Operations at Leadership Memphis; Gary Shorb, executive director, The Urban Child Institute and former CEO of Methodist Healthcare; Glen Thomas, director of strategic and communications, Memphis International Airport, and Dennis Lynch, Sierra Club Tennessee Chapter and Sierra Club Chickasaw Group. 

Kenya Johnson, Director of Programs and Operations, Leadership Memphis:

My New Year’s resolution is to dedicate more time and effort to service and volunteering in Memphis communities to make our city a better place for everyone. I intend to commit to at least one volunteer opportunity each month, whether it’s participating in local clean-up initiatives, assisting at a food bank, mentoring students, or contributing to community events. By actively engaging in service activities, I hope to positively impact the lives of those around me and help create a more vibrant and supportive environment for all residents. I believe that by giving back and lending a helping hand, we can collectively foster a stronger, more connected, and thriving community.

Happy New Year! Let’s soar in 2024!


Robert Bain, civic activist: 

Pessimism is the acknowledge opposite of optimism and looking back, it is easy to be pessimistic; yet when there are too many opportunities on the horizon that can make Memphis MemphIS, TN rather than Memphisn’t for the many that struggle here. I’ll insist on being observantly optimistic when appropriate and pessimistic when needed.




Gary Shorb, executive director, The Urban Child Institute and former CEO of Methodist Healthcare:

My hope for our wonderful city is that we join forces to do all we can to improve third grade literacy. We owe it to our children! 




Glen Thomas, director of strategic marketing and communications, Memphis International Airport:

I hope that 2024 brings continued passenger growth to Memphis International Airport and that our staff and tenant partners are able to meet the challenges and needs of this growing population of travelers. Granted, this is a good problem to have! In addition to continuing to relentlessly pursue new air service, MEM is preparing for new construction. 2024 will feature the groundbreaking for our new terminal modernization project, an extensive multi-year effort that will result in the expansion and renovation of our ticketing and baggage areas, additional parking, security checkpoint expansion, and seismic improvements. This will be a massive undertaking and our president Terry Blue likened it to “like living in your home while you renovate the kitchen, bathrooms and living room while replacing the entire roof.” Looking ahead, this will require a lot of planning, patience, flexibility and communication. However, like the modernized concourse, the end result will be a facility that represents the Memphis community and culture and instills pride in our passengers.


Dennis Lynch, transportation chair, Sierra Club Tennessee Chapter and Sierra Club Chickasaw Group:

What do I need? What do I want? What can I do?

Here’s my 3 areas- Self, Community, and Country.
  Working in 3’s.
  -But, I’ve got 3 details for each of my 3.
  -And a 3rd layer for each.

1. Self- Health, Fun, and Family.
  a. Health- Diet, Exercise, Sleep- My path to living longer.
  b. Fun- Creating, Friends, Theater- Let’s go to lunch!
  c. Family- Wife, Son, Daughter- Love each one more than ever.

2. Community- MATA, MLGW, Public
  a. MATA- Budget, Transit Vision Plan, Accountability Task Force- Make a difference
  b. MLGW- Rates, Reliability, Future Plans (Clean Energy), Climate Crisis
  c. Public- TVA’s “Public Power Model” (What do they promise?), Public Involvement!, Community Groups, City & County entities

3. Country- Explore, Elect, Educate
  a. Explore- Local trips, Beautiful scenery, Fun cities
  b. Elect- Not Trump! (We Must prevent!), Work on it, Allies
  c. Educate- Myself, Friends, Public

4. Gone-Remembering- Family, Friends, Individuals, Victims
  (I couldn’t stop at 3.)
  a. Family- Father, Mother, Sister- All made my life better
  b. Friends- Don Richardson, Louis Patrick, Yvonne Fournier, too many others
  c. Individuals- Rodney King (“Why can’t we all just get along?!”), Tyre Nichols, George Floyd, Marvin Booker (Do you remember Marvin?), And again, TOO MANY others!
  d. Victims of Wars & Climate- Gaza, Israel, Ukraine, Wildfires, Storms, Famine & Disease

Can we focus on a positive result for each interaction- “Win-Win” mindset?

Retired? I’m not ready- too much to do!