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40 under 40

Posted by on Monday, April 23, 2018 in Roberts Blog.

Executive Director

40 Under 40 list highlights diverse experiences, influx of perspectives

It was incredible honor to be selected to Nashville Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 list, and I’m humbled to be included among some of this city’s brightest luminaries – change agents, thought leaders and influential decision makers who gathered from across Nashville this week to be recognized.

What impressed me most was the diversity of experiences that led to each person being honored. There were educators, leaders of nonprofit organizations, entrepreneurs and professionals from all fields. They truly demonstrated our city’s growth and the influx of fresh perspectives we’re enjoying right now that will shape our future.

Each honoree was highlighted in a one-minute video. Here are just a handful that grabbed my attention:

  • Terry Vo, who uses her external affairs position at Comcast to bring greater STEM education opportunities to K-12 youth through a partnership with the Nashville Tech Council.
  • Will Alexander, who helped bring Major League Soccer to Nashville, making it an even more desirable destination for both visitors and professionals looking to relocate.
  • Chip Howorth, who using venture philanthropy and community organizing through the Phoenix Club of Nashville, drives grassroots community efforts to help young people.
  • DJ Wootson, who is revitalizing North Nashville through the creation of mixed use and residential communities that empower the community.
  • Nekasha Pratt, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development’s marketing director, who uses the power of storytelling to drive even greater interest and awareness in Nashville, creating over $1.7 billion in state tax revenue.

This is just a short list, but it gives you an idea of the breadth of young professionals making a difference in Nashville. All of them have challenging jobs but also take time to help the community around them. It’s not just an annual walk-a-thon or holiday fundraising drive they’re managing – though these marquee events are certainly welcomed – but it’s their day-to-day, ongoing efforts that really make an impact.

At the end of the day, I think it’s important that all of us on the list continue to build up this city, providing opportunities for everyone in Nashville to achieve greater success.


Robert Grajewski
Evans Family Executive Director of the Wond’ry