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CBU and City of Memphis Honor First Graduates of Professional Development Institute

Among the graduates of the PDI Program were Fire Services officials (l-r) Daryl Payton, Michael Jubirt, Gina Sweat, and Dale Lock 

MEMPHIS — The City of Memphis and Christian Brothers University (CBU) hosted a graduation ceremony on March 1 in the Hall of Mayors in City Hall for the first 34 graduates of the Professional Development Institute (PDI) Senior Leadership Program.

CBU’s College of Adult Professional Studies (CAPS) created the program in response to a request from the City of Memphis to develop a training plan to help city officials become better leaders of more effective teams. The program was led by Dr. Bev Vitali, a professor in the CBU School of Business, who served as a subject matter expert and facilitator; Toni Bennett, dean of the College of Adult Professional Studies; and Georgia Creson, director of the CBU Corporate Training Program.

The CBU Corporate Training Program works with businesses and area nonprofits to provide leadership development along with other professional development training and consultation. Aside from The City of Memphis, its clients have also included FedEx and Momentum Partners, Inc. Facilitators and consultants in the program come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and many of them are members of the CBU faculty.

“This program is based on the belief that all good leaders must have a thorough understanding of themselves initially,” Creson stated. “Only from there do participants come to understand the dynamics of their own individual teams in order to lead effectively.”

The City of Memphis graduation ceremony featured remarks by CBU President John Smarrelli Jr., Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, and Alex Smith, the City’s chief human resources officer, along with award presentations.

Graduates of the program, who were recognized, are:

  • Antonio Adams, Director of General Services
  • Della Adams, GIS Program Manager in the Division of Information Services
  • Yolanda Alexander, Deputy Comptroller
  • Debbie Banks, City Auditor
  • Mickey Barker, Parks Administrator
  • Manny Belen, Director of Engineering
  • Tiffany Collins, Special Assistant to COO
  • Mary Daniels, Public Works Administrator
  • Philip Davis, Deputy Director of Public Works
  • Delicia DeGraffreed, City Court Chief Deputy
  • Joseph Eberle, City Court Deputy TVB Chief
  • Shirley Ford, Chief Financial Officer
  • Maria Fuhrmann, Grant Coordinator
  • Cheryl Hearn, Assistant City Attorney
  • Michael Jubirt, Deputy Director of Fire Services
  • Juaness  Keplinger, City Council Administrator
  • Robert Knecht, Public Works Director
  • Dale Lock, Deputy Fire Chief
  • Jill Madajczyk, Senior Assistant City Attorney
  • Joann Massey, Executive Director
  • Deborah Massie, General Services Manager
  • Keenon McCloy, Library Director
  • Maria Munoz-Bianco, Parks Director
  • Brad Parker, Plumbing Supervisor
  • Daryl Payton, Deputy Chief Administrator of Fire Services
  • Sharon Petty, Senior Assistant City Attorney
  • Alexis Pugh, Executive Director
  • Maya Siggers, Assistant City Attorney
  • Valerie Snipes, Deputy Comptroller
  • Gina Sweat, Director of Fire Services
  • Andre Walker, Deputy Finance Director
  • Anthony Woodard, Public Works Operations Administrator
  • Sophia Wordlaw, Assistant City Council Administrator
  • Paul Young, Director of Housing & Community Development

For more information about the program or about corporate training at CBU, please contact Georgia Creson via email at or at (901) 321-3292.

Posted by Cory Dugan at 3:09 PM