The 2021 Distinguished Young Alumna Award will be presented to Melissa Duong (’13) at the Bell Tower Gala on October 9 at the Peabody Hotel.

Melissa is a first-generation American and native Memphian whose family migrated from Vietnam in 1979. As a student at CBU, majoring in Business Administration and concentrating in Marketing, she was also active on campus, serving as a leader in Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority and Delta Sigma Pi, the nation’s largest and first co-ed professional business fraternity. She also received on-campus experience in marketing as a student, interning with the School of Business and writing feature articles about students and alumni in the CBU Connection, the School of Business Newsletter, and social media. Melissa interned with First Horizon Bank during her senior year — where she has remained, first in communications and community investment for the First Horizon Foundation, and rising to her current role as Vice President of Community Development & Public Relations.

Melissa met fellow CBU alumnus Yuki Namba (Mechanical Engineering ‘15) when they were students at Germantown High School. They married in 2017 and currently live in Asheville, North Carolina.

In her corporate position at First Horizon Bank, she actively lives our Lasallian mission by merging the worlds of financial services with social services to promote community reinvestment and financial literacy to improve affordable housing to underserved communities and break down socio-economic barriers. She serves on the board and chairs the capital campaign committee of Homeward Bound of Western North Carolina (a community leader in best practices to end homelessness through the Housing First model), is a committee member of WomanUp (an initiative of the Asheville Chamber of Commerce focused on women in business), and is the East Tennessee Vice Chair of the Tennessee Affordable Housing Coalition. She previously served on the credit committee for Mountain BizWorks (a Community Development Financial Institution that works with minority, women, immigrant entrepreneurs and businesses unable to access financing from banks and other traditional sources). Before leaving Memphis, she served on the board of Overton Park Conservancy and was the Annual Campaign Chair and board member for the Church Health YMCA.

Melissa continues to support her alma mater as an active advocate and resource for CBU Career Services by connecting positions with First Horizon Bank to CBU alumni, donating professional attire for the CBU Career Closet, and participating in career panels for current students. She was the first recipient of the CBU Career Services Rising Star Award in 2013, received Presidential Recognition for her achievements and service while attending CBU, was recognized as Memphis magazine’s Next Gen in 2014, and is a graduate of the New Memphis Institute Embark Program.

Bell Tower Gala • September 24 at the Peabody Hotel Please join us at the Bell Tower Gala to celebrate Distinguished Young Alumna Melissa Duong (’13)!