Leadership Luncheon 2022

Leadership Luncheon 2022

Young Leaders Council hosted its 2022 Leadership Luncheon on Thursday, November 17th at the Music City Center, welcoming over 300 alumni, corporate partners, and community leaders. The Luncheon featured an inspiring and thought-provoking conversation moderated by Erika Glover (Fox17 News) with Marcus Whitney(Jumpstart Nova), Courtney Ross (Amazon), and Tiffany Kerns (CMA Foundation) on leadership and innovation.

The 2022 recipient of the Young Leader of the Year Award, Gary Gaston, was announced during the event as well as YLC’s Legacy of Leadership Award Winner, Hal Cato. Both Gary and Hal are YLC alumni and highly accomplished leaders who have made an indelible contribution to the growth and prosperity of the Nashville nonprofit community.

The Leadership Luncheon was presented by Asurion and Amazon and received generous sponsorship support from Tractor Supply Company, Jack C. Massey College of Business at Belmont University, The Memorial Foundation, HCA Healthcare / TriStar Health, Turner Construction, people3, LBMC, Pinnacle Financial Partners, Dollar General, and FirstBank.

YLC is truly grateful for everyone that joined us for the Leadership Luncheon and for your continued investment in its mission and programming over the years.

Photos provided by Emanuel Roland with Roland’s Photography and Padrion Scott with P. Scott Photography

YLC Welcomes Fall 2022 Cohorts

Young Leaders Council is thrilled to welcome 79 diverse professionals for the fall 2022 training program. This dynamic group of individuals represent a broad range of business, nonprofit, education, and philanthropic organizations. This semester, training is facilitated through the Nashville Class 79 and Williamson County cohorts. For a total of 11 weeks, participants will convene weekly to expand their knowledge of topics such as nonprofit financials, legal responsibilities of a board, and effective meetings and communications to name a few.

YLC’s fall training began on September 7 with an Opening Session sponsored by Tractor Supply Company and hosted at the company’s beautiful Brentwood, Tennessee location. Derek Young, President and CEO of Young Motivation Group provided a keynote address to inspire and motivate the fall participants as they begin this important journey and develop the skills and knowledge to become successful nonprofit board leaders. 

Williamson Class 2022 | Photos by Roland’s Photography

YLC is grateful for the generous contribution from Tractor Supply Company and for the support from our Annual Presenting Sponsors, Asurion and AmazonTo view a full listing of the 2022 fall participants, please click on links to the respective cohorts below:

 Applications for the spring 2023 program will open on October 15 and will close on February 1. Early application is encouraged. For more information on the YLC program, please visit our website.

Kim James & friends at Tractor Supply | Photos by Roland’s Photography
Derek Young | Photos by Roland’s Photography
Young Leaders Council Announces Spring 2022 Participants

Young Leaders Council Announces Spring 2022 Participants

More than 90 young professionals participate in YLC’s spring Nashville Class 78, Junior League of Nashville, and Belmont-Massey Cohorts 


Young Leaders Council (YLC),  the premier organization for training nonprofit board members in Middle Tennessee, is proud to announce the spring participants in the Nashville Class 78, Junior League of Nashville, and Jack C. Massey College of Business at Belmont University Cohorts, three of five cohorts hosted this year.  YLC will also facilitate board leadership training in the fall through the Nashville and Williamson County Cohorts. Ninety-one young professionals from diverse professional and ethnic backgrounds are represented in the program this spring, which kicked-off officially on March 9 with a celebratory opening session hosted at the new Asurion Gulch Hub location. The opening sessional also featured an inspirational keynote address from Derek Young, YLC alumnus and president/CEO of Young Motivation Group. 

YLC’s mission is to train diverse, committed individuals to effectively participate on the boards of nonprofit organizations and make a difference in the community by replenishing the Nashville volunteer leadership base. Each year, YLC hosts five cohorts for a series of 11 interactive training sessions specifically designed to address fundamental board skills and prepare participants to be successful nonprofit board leaders. Training is facilitated by industry experts and reflects on success indicators deemed crucial for today’s nonprofit leadership. Once training concludes, participants connect with a nonprofit organization where they complete a yearlong internship as a nonvoting member of the board.

“It’s truly inspiring to see such passion and commitment from young professionals seeking to lean into the work of our nonprofit partners and help address the challenges faced within our community,” said Kim James, Young Leaders Council executive director. “YLC’s goal is to help our program participants develop the knowledge and skills necessary to be effective nonprofit board leaders and to do that in a fun and engaging way.” Since 1985, more than 3,000 students have participated in the YLC program, providing highly skilled community servants to support hundreds of nonprofit partners in the Nashville and surrounding area.


To view a full listing of the 2022 spring participants, please click on links to the respective cohorts below:

A Word from YLC’s Board Chair

A Word from YLC’s Board Chair


Our team at HCA Healthcare was recently joined by Shawn Achor, a Harvard researcher on happiness & positivity, to help us explore best practices to increase joy, fulfillment, and resilience using his evidence based best practices. In his book “The Happiness Advantage” he provides fascinating insight into the strategies individuals can use to become more resilient and engaged. Three tips which resonated with me are:  “find something to look forward to – the anticipation of an activity or experience can increase your joy,”  “exercise a signature strength – each time we use a skill, we experience a burst of positivity” and  “practicing gratitude – by writing down three new things you are grateful for each day, it retrains our brains to push out the small annoyance and bring the good and positive into focus.”

This year, Young Leaders Council will provide you with a multitude of ways to practice these tips – offering fun and positive opportunities for us all to engage.

What can you anticipate? This year we have engaged a new staff member to focus on increasing connection and engagement within our alumni. You can anticipate more opportunities to socialize (hopefully in person), grow your own skills and expand relationships with fellow alumni. We will continue our partnership to support the Middle Tennessee nonprofit community with professional development opportunities to ensure you have education around the most critical skills organizations need from their board members. This year we will launch our inaugural YLC Legacy Council. Don’t forget to save November 17th on your calendar for the annual Leadership Luncheon! Our newest program participants can look forward to a refreshed version of the YLC curriculum with the first ever “blended (in-person and virtual)” experience.

How can you exercise your signature strengths? YLC launched our Impact Study in November 2021. This year we are going to dig into the results, with assistance from our partners at Belmont University Massey Graduate School of Business, to synthesize your feedback, and understand our collective strengths. The results will feed into the development of a robust Strategic Plan for YLC to guide our work for the next three years. We will be reaching out to you to help increase the visibility of the work of YLC, and we will increase the visibility of non-profits searching for board members through our YLC network. Stay tuned to our social media channels and newsletters so you can see how to best connect and engage.

What are you grateful for? I am grateful for each of you. For your participation, support, and love of YLC. We could not continue our mission to train diverse, committed individuals to effectively participate on the boards of nonprofit organizations and make a difference in the community by replenishing the volunteer leadership base, without your advocacy and support. I want to give a special thank you to HCA Healthcare Foundation and the Frist Foundation for their unwavering support of YLC since they co-founded us in 1985. Their support, along with that of Asurion, Amazon, LBMC, Belmont University, the Memorial Foundation and our other sponsors, foundation partners, and individual donors, has enabled YLC to graduate more than 3,000 exceptionally trained leaders to serve our community. As an HCA Healthcare colleague, our teams are always focused on the care and improvement of human life. The work of YLC embodies that commitment.

It is easy in the fast moving, COVID riddled, pressure filled, noisy world we live in to move so quickly we forget to take a breath, be thankful, plan and anticipate what brings us joy and share our strengths and talents with others. I hope this year you can reconnect with YLC and join us for some fun!

Young Leaders Council Announces Fall 2021 Participants

Young Leaders Council Announces Fall 2021 Participants


Young Leaders Council is proud to announce the fall participants in the Nashville Class 77 and Williamson County Cohorts, two of five cohorts hosted this year. YLC also facilitates board leadership training in the spring through the Nashville, Junior League of Nashville, and the Jack C. Massey College of Business at Belmont University Cohorts. Seventy-nine young professionals from diverse professional and ethnic backgrounds are represented in the program this fall, which kicked-off officially on September 8 with a celebratory opening session and inspirational keynote address from Derek Young, YLC alumnus and president/CEO of Young Motivation Group.

Meet The

2021  Fall Cohorts

Reflections: A Conversation with Diane Hayes

Reflections: A Conversation with Diane Hayes

Recently, Kim James, Executive Director of the Young Leaders Council, sat down for lunch with Diane Hayes, the  beloved former YLC Executive Director for more than 25 years. Their conversation covered numerous topics, including Diane’s legacy at YLC, challenges faced as a nonprofit leader, opportunities to advance YLC’s mission for the future, the many perks of retirement life, and what’s next on Diane’s to do list.

Kim James: Diane!  I am so excited to have this conversation and reflect with you!  Thank you for joining me today.  Having had the opportunity to work with you during my time in the program, I never realized all that it took to keep things running smoothly at YLC – now I’m aware!  Leading an organization for 25 years is no small feat.  What are you most proud of accomplishing in your time with YLC?

Diane Hayes: I’m so proud of how we worked hard to build the name recognition and respect for Young Leaders Council. When we first started, so many people didn’t know who we were or what we did. So as people started understanding more about our mission and the value of YLC’s training, that helped spur growth for the organization. The growth helped us reach more young professionals who benefited from training and moved on to serve as leaders on nonprofit boards. Ultimately all of this was great for the community.

Kim: After investing so many years in the growth and success of YLC, what’s your biggest hope for the future of this great organization?

Diane: My biggest hope is that the organization will continue to grow and that more companies will realize just how important community service and leadership is for their employees. And with that more young professionals will see how impactful it is for their personal lives to be involved as leaders within the nonprofit community.

Thankfully YLC managed to survive during the most difficult season of the pandemic, and I’m even more hopeful at how the organization will continue to impact the community as a whole as things continue to improve.

Kim:  What was the most difficult part of serving as the Executive Director for YLC?

Diane: I think most nonprofit executives would agree that the never-ending need for funding to support your work is the toughest part. With so many organizations doing great work, the resources are limited and that often makes it difficult to fundraise.

Kim:  I can certainly identify with that.  How are you enjoying your retirement?

Diane:  Well, I don’t have to worry about deadlines anymore!  I have just been enjoying the lighter load and less responsibility. I really enjoy traveling and spending quality time with my granddaughter!

Kim:  You’re living the dream, Diane!  I’m happy for you and so very grateful that you continue to support YLC and me in this capacity. Thank you so much for sharing your time and wisdom with me today! 

What a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with one of Nashville’s treasured nonprofit leaders!  It was such a pleasure to catch up with Diane and hear her reflect on her time with YLC. I was also excited to learn that Diane is currently focusing on a new professional journey as a nonprofit consultant!  To learn more about Diane’s company and the services offered, please email her directly.