MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The Greater Memphis Chamber has named a new interim president and CEO.
Beverly Robertson will take over the position following the death of Phil Trenary, who was shot and killed last month.
Robertson served as National Civil Rights Museum president for 17 years.
“I love my city and I believe that Memphis’ best days are ahead,” Robertson said. “I am honored to work with the strong leadership team that Phil put in place at the Chamber and I look forward to working in collaboration with our business and government leaders, helping to retain and attract good jobs and to help The Chamber realize one of its primary goals of opportunity for all.”
She won’t officially step into the position until January. She plans to spend the time until then to get up to speed on the challenges and opportunities.
“I’m a person who does not shy away from challenges,” Robertson said.
Robertson is the first female to serve as Greater Memphis Chamber president.
“I think it’s really really important to open the gates of opportunity,” she said.
Robertson wants the chamber to focus on vocational training, and plans to build on the legacy of Trenary by developing more mentorship programs.
“I knew his spirit. I knew his intentions and they were great and they were moving the chamber in the absolute right direction,” Robertson said of Trenary.
She said while his death is tragic, it’s important to fix the root of the cause.
“There are folks out here who are hurting and who are suffering and all of us need to be able to come together to address some of the factors that created what happened.,” she said.
Robertson did not say if she was interested in the position permanently. She said she plans to re-evaluate after six months and again after a year.
She said there are also several talented people in the chamber who may also be interested.