Meet the Candidates

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Due to an overwhelming response for Collierville’s many political candidates we will not be able to publish all of the candidate questionnaires in this week’s edition of the Collierville Herald-Independent. However, we plan to continue our Meet the Candidates coverage for the Nov. 3 municipal election through the month of October. So, stay tuned for more election coverage next week. Candidates who have not yet responded can do so by emailing graham@magicvalleypublishing or lyn@magicvalleypublishing, or by calling 901.433.9138.

Position 3 Alderman

• Name: Harold Curtis Booker
Age: 58
Current Occupation: U.S. Army Retired
Education: BA Business, MA Human Relations
Family: Married to Voresa Booker, three young adults, Victoria, Ashley and Naki
Organizations/Groups/ Activities: Board Member Youth Leadership of Memphis; Big Brothers at Collierville High School, Mental Health Council Board Member, Veteran Affairs Medical Center; Life Member, Disabled American Veterans; Hospitality Leadership Group, Hope Church; Member of United Supreme Council, 33rd Degree

  1. List three significant issues in this election.
    Growth, Education and Public Safety
  2. Specifically, how do you plan to deal with each of these issues, if re-elected?
    Growth – I support growth, but it has to be smart growth. Increasing the number of homes and businesses equate to increasing the number of people in the Town of Collierville. This would mean an increase in public services as well. As an Alderman, I would listen to the developers’ proposed plans, but I would also listen to the desires of the citizens as it relates to growth. The BMA has to be completely transparent with the citizens and explain how growth is going to impact the town as a whole. If we don’t control the rate of growth, we will not only outgrow our brand-new high school, but we will be looking to increase the number of police, firefighters, public works employees, etc. and possibly lose that “small town” feeling. Increasing services and expanding the new high school would also mean an increase in taxes. If that is what the citizens desire, as an elected official, I will vote to accommodate them. The important thing is to educate the citizens before decisions of this magnitude are made. Bottom-line, there must be complete transparency with the taxpayers on how we are spending their tax dollars and how our decisions might cause an increase in taxes.
    Education – Collierville schools have a reputation for being excellent schools. We need to maintain that level by continuing to employ the best and brightest teachers/coaches/staff. Excellent schools bring people; hence more growth. Here is the challenge. Collierville High School is only three years old and we already have 2,893 students in a school with a 3,000-student capacity. Collierville Middle School and Collierville West Middle School are feeders for Collierville High School. As Collierville continues to grow, our student population will eventually exceed our capacity. Expanding the high school will need to be address in the very near future. Collierville Middle School currently has approximately 800 students, but Collierville West Middle School has approximately 1300 students. From the standpoint of School Administrators, ideally a Middle School should have no more than 800 students so the number of students at Collierville West Middle School also needs to be addressed. As an Alderman, I would be available to the school board to assist in anyway needed to ensure all options are addressed in terms of school expansions.
    Public Safety – Police protection is vital and we need to ensure that the police get what they need to perform their duties. The department’s sole mission is to build trust and community partnership with our citizens. As the town of Collierville continues to grow, we must continue to allocate appropriate funding. The CPD is very well versed and I might add even better equipped than many larger cities. The CPD serves 52,000+ people. We have a Canine Unit, Crime Scene Unit, Crisis Intervention Team, Special Weapons & Tactics Team, Strategic Tracking & Recovery Team and a Traffic Unit. As Collierville continues to grow, challenges will come and the BMA needs to be open to the needs of the department.
  3. What do you think is the biggest concern facing our community at this time, and why?
    Our community is facing the same major concern as the rest of the country–COVID-19. Our local economy is experiencing businesses closing and loss of jobs. As a result, town revenue is negatively impacted. Our schools are virtual which is creating more stress for families with school grade children. It has been reported that 2/3 of the States are starting to see a surge in COVID cases so until there is a cure, we will continue to struggle in these challenging times.
  4. What specifically makes you best qualified for the position you are seeking?
    My leadership, experience, formal education, strategic thinking, conflict resolver, and more importantly the “time” to weigh the facts, examine the data and have those important discussions with our city’s leadership team on the issues that affect the lives, property and the well-being of the citizens of Collierville.

• Name: Gregory Frazier
Age: 65
Current Occupation: Recently retired from FedEx Services
Education: Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science
Family: Wife of 34 years, Valerie Frazier, and three adult children
Organizations/Groups/ Activities: Chairperson of Grants Committee, Collierville Community Fund; Member of the Board of Directors (Founding Member), Collierville Citizen’s Police Association; Member, Collierville Police Chief’s Advisory Board; Member of the Board of Directors, InfraGard (Memphis Chapter); Member, Collierville Crime Stoppers; Member, The Gideons International; Former Member of the Board of Directors and Former Vice Chairman of Government Relations, Collierville Chamber of Commerce; Former Member of the Board of Directors, Page Robbins Adult Day Center; Former Member of the Board of Directors, Bible Museum on the Square; Former President, Former Treasurer, and Former Member, Rotary Club of Collierville; Former Vice Chairman and Former Member, Collierville Planning Commission; Former Member of the Board of Directors and Former Treasurer, Leadership Collierville; FBI Citizens’ Academy Graduate (Class of 2006); Collierville Citizen Police Academy Graduate (Class of 2000); Leadership Collierville Graduate (Class of 1996); Paul Harris Fellow, The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International

  1. List three significant issues in this election.
    While many issues are facing Collierville, the three significant ones I see in this election revolve around economic responsibility, public safety and security, and remaining community focused.
  2. Specifically, how do you plan to deal with each of these issues, if elected?
    To tackle the issues of economic responsibility, I would propose developing creative ways to streamline government and improve services and amenities while properly managing the Town’s growth. This requires re-examining the Town’s current plans and creating ways to provide services and amenities without continually increasing property taxes, creating public/private partnerships that benefit the community as a whole while reducing costs, selectively developing the Town’s commercial base, and properly managing the Town’s growth while continually evaluating the impact on the infrastructure and roads.
    To handle public safety and security, I would want to ensure adequate support and funding of the police and fire departments to remain proactive in the community. Doing this would require making sure that the police and fire departments are fully staffed, fully trained, and have the equipment they need so that they can provide a safe and secure environment. This is the foundation for continuing the small-town atmosphere and quality of life that we love and enjoy. Additionally, we would need to continue to be proactive in educating citizens on issues concerning safety and security.
    To remain community focused, I would concentrate on maintaining the small-town atmosphere while planning for future growth. This requires investing in the Town Square, diversifying the Town’s revenue base, and developing and diversifying the Town’s cultural and recreational amenities. Additionally, this requires town leaders to spend time with residents outside of Town Hall to understand the issues they see facing the Town. Overall, the Town must have responsible growth. Current plans must be re-examined and a holistic approach to decision making must be taken. We cannot continue with the “business as usual” approach to government.
  3. What do you think is the biggest concern facing our community at this time, and why?
    I believe that the biggest concern facing our community, which overshadows the aforementioned issues, is the lack of diversity regarding careers, culture, and experience in the town’s leadership. The current symbiotic relationship of the board directly influences and impacts the decisions being made for the Town thus resulting in tunnel vision decisions.
  4. What specifically makes you best qualified for the position you are seeking?
    I grew up in Michigan. I have been a diligent, hard worker since childhood. Everything I own has been acquired through hard work, not handed to me or inherited. Having lived in Illinois, East Tennessee, Alabama, and now West Tennessee, I have had the privilege of residing in very large cities as well as small towns. This experience has allowed me to appreciate small-town living as well as provided me with an understanding of the challenges faced by large cities. Since receiving a BS in Mathematics, I have worked as both an employee and a consultant for various Fortune 500 companies. These roles have given me the skills to look at issues and come up with comprehensive solutions to address them. This has served me when working with multiple organizations in Collierville over the last 25 years and I believe that if I am elected as Alderman, I can use these skills to advance the Collierville community into the future.

• Name: John Worley
Age: 63
Current Occupation: Builder
Education: High School and College
Family:Wife, Donna, Children: 6, Grandchildren: 9
Organizations: Home Builder’s Association
MidSouth Transplant Foundation

  1. List three significant issues in this election.
    Public Safety
    Fiscal Accountability
    Sustainable Growth
  2. Specifically, how do you plan to deal with each of these issues, if re-elected?
    Public Safety
    Continue to support our police and fire departments by properly funding their needs but
    most importantly, ensure our first responders are taken care of.
    Fiscal Accountability
    Continue to be a good steward of your funds, keeping taxes low and
    constantly monitoring income and expenses to keep the budget balanced.
    Sustainable Growth
    Continue to use the 2040 Land Use Plan and the I-269 Plan as guides for future growth. These plans were created by a diverse group of citizens to help develop a living document for growth.
  3. What do you think is the biggest concern facing our community at this time, and why?
    Public Safety. All our citizens want to be and feel safe. The citizens want our police and fire departments to be fully staffed and with appropriate equipment.
  4. What specifically makes you best qualified for the position you are seeking?
    My experience as a developer and builder, and my understanding of the Town’s infrastructure, have saved the Town hundreds of thousands of dollars by carefully managing costs on projects and by leveraging our engineering department to design projects that are more cost effective.

Position 4 Alderman

• Name: Missy Marshall
Age: 51
Current Occupation: Executive Director – Keep Tennessee Beautiful (KTnB). Keep Tennessee Beautiful is the state level affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. The mission of the organization is to educate and inspire Tennesseans to take-action every day to improve and beautify their community environment.
Education: B.S. Mass Communications Double Minor; Business Administration & Psychology – Middle Tennessee State University
Currently working on M.A. with major in Public Administration at the University of Memphis
Family: Married to Barry Marshall and they are the parents of four children Alex (26), Blake (25), Addy (18) and Barrett (15). We enjoy spending time together boating and traveling.
Organizations/Groups/ Activities: Keep America Beautiful Board of Directors, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors and the Advisory Board for Shelby Residential & Vocational Services (SRVS). Collierville Planning Commission (January 2020-Present). Collierville Design Review Commission (2018-2019). Collierville Tourism Board 2015-2017). Graduate of LEAD Tennessee ( 2011) and Leadership Collierville (2017-2018). Member of the Collierville Rotary Club (2020). Member of Highpoint Church Collierville.

  1. List three significant issues in this election.
    Public Safety
    Responsible Growth
    Civic Engagement & Servant Leadership
  2. Specifically, how do you plan to deal with each of these issues, if elected?
    The mark of good leadership is the foundation left in place. The former and current leaders of Collierville have done an exceptional job laying a strong foundation both fiscally and culturally. Collierville is one of the most desirable communities in the mid-south to live and work in. I accredit that to strong leadership. If elected, I will work with the Mayor and fellow alderman to ensure that our town employees are provided the resources they need to continue to provide the excellent service our residents have grown accustom to receiving. I will listen to the citizens of Collierville and vote for measures that support public safety, fiscal responsibility, protect the character of our neighborhoods, encourage responsible growth, promote student success and encourage civic engagement.
  3. What do you think is the biggest concern facing our community at this time, and why?
    Growing and developing future leaders is something I see as a major concern facing our community. The downfall of countries, nations, states and local communities is a result of the lack of strong and quality leadership. As we’ve seen with the recent pandemic, local decisions can have a significant impact on our daily lives. Local leaders will be faced with the long-term effects of Covid 19. The closure of local businesses, loss of revenue to various industries and loss of jobs will most likely result in future budget adjustments both at the state and local level. Tax-paying citizens will benefit from having qualified servant leaders making fiscally responsible decisions on our behalf.
  4. What specifically makes you best qualified for the position you are seeking?
    “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” – Theodore Roosevelt. I love our community and I would like to use my 24 years of public service and leadership experience as-well-as my passion for developing future servant leaders to help preserve the quality of life we’ve all grown to love and appreciate here in Collierville.
    During my professional career, I have been blessed with the opportunity to work on the team of three Tennessee Governors, within eight state departments and along-side of nine state Commissioners. I currently serve as the Executive Director for a statewide mission-based community improvement organization and the State Leader for a national affiliate network that includes thirty-three local affiliates. I have served on the Town of Collierville’s Tourism Board, Design Review Commission and I currently serve on the Planning Commission. I am a graduate of LEAD Tennessee and Leadership Collierville. This year, I received the honor of being nominated and selected for the distinguished Keep America Beautiful Professional Leadership Award. I believe both my professional experience and love for our community best qualifies me for the Collierville Alderman Position 4 duties and responsibilities.

• Name: Rick Rout
Age: 54 yrs
Current Occupation: President/CEO/Managing General Agent
Insurance Needs Specialist, llc ( a Collierville small business)
Education: Briarcrest Baptist HS, University of Tennessee, University of Memphis
Organizations/Groups/ Activities:
(former) Board of Directors, West TN Arthritis Foundation
(former) Board of Directors, Tennessee Arthritis Foundation
(former) Board of Directors, Mid-South Fair
(former) Board of Directors, AutoZone Liberty Bowl Foundation with St. Jude
(former) Fundraising Coordinator at FedEx, United Way of Greater Memphis
(former) Commission Member, Collierville Beautification Commission
Head Baseball Coach – Collierville Youth Baseball
Basketball Coach – Incarnation Catholic School
Member – Collierville First Baptist Church
1.) List three significant issues in this election.
A1. Community Safety/Crime/ Police and Fire Protection
A2. Controlling Growth with assistance from Nashville
A3. Diversifying our tax base by attracting new business
2.) Specifically, how do you plan to deal with each of these issues, if elected?
A1. Obviously, Keeping crime low and living in a safe community and safe neighborhoods is always top of the list and top of mind. I am the only candidate to date running for position 4 that has sat down with the new Chief of Police and Spoken with a representative of the Fire Department to find out the current state of the departments and their needs. This should be and will be an on-going dialogue as your alderman with the Chiefs to ensure that the future needs of these great departments are addressed in a proactive manner and, the equipment, training and resources they need to ensure a state of the art department, police and fire, will be made available to them. I also believe that more involvement, communication and dialogue in the form of citizen committees should be formed to have a clearer path of communication from the citizenry to both departments.
A2. I believe in order for Collierville to thrive, Collierville must grow. But, we must control our growth better than we currently are right now. Over the next 10 years Collierville could explode in expansion with our land developers and real estate agent dominated board of aldermen. That could and will cause an unnecessary burden on our tax payers. When a new development goes up, the town of Collierville is responsible for supplying police and fire protection, roads and bridges, and water along with maintaining those roads and infrastructure for the life of the community. The developments alone will not generate enough revenue to sustain what the developers have built and left behind. We must be more proactive as a board and control our growth while building our tax base in other areas. Currently, there is no one on the Board of mayor and alderman that is fighting for the discretionary dollars that we can attain from the State of Tennessee and, if they are, they are doing a very poor job. As your alderman and a former State Committeeman, I will push to have someone in Nashville, whether they be a lobbyist or employee, that will work with me and utilize our contacts in State government to find those discretionary dollars and earmark those funds to Collierville to help build and widen the bridges we will have to build when we annex to the north; that will help widen the intersection and additional roads that we will have; that will help pay for the new fire equipment we will have to buy to service the new annexed area or help pay for the additional police needed to keep our new streets safe. We need someone that will fight with me in Nashville to get those dollars that are currently going to other municipalities to help ease their
tax burden and not ours! Finding alternative means of revenue to help pay for infrastructure and services and maintaining a responsible approach to expansion and growth will keep our town from having to endure years of fixing poor mismanagement and irreversible tax increases.
A3. I truly believe that we can grow the town of Collierville and maintain our small town atmosphere and feel. But, to do so we are going to need help. What attracts medium and large companies to places like Collierville are exactly what we have right now!; Great neighborhoods, strong law enforcement, low taxes, top notch schools and a diverse community. The problem is we have no one that is dedicated to going and recruiting those companies looking to relocate and tell them about our great town. The Chamber of Commerce does a great job at what they do, promoting locally and regionally; We need a specialist that can find those medium and larger companies and promote the great town of Collierville and fill up our over half empty industrial park. Collierville is perfectly positioned near I-40 that runs from coast to coast, east and west and, I-55 and 69 that runs border to border, north and south, Not to mention the FedEx hub, the Mississippi River (transportation barges) and one of the largest cargo train depot stations in America. Why is no one promoting this in our government today!? In order to ease the tax burden on the homeowners, we need to expand our reach and attract those companies that will impact our community and our tax base in a positive manner. By diversifying and increasing our industrial and business tax base, it will afford us the opportunity to keep our property taxes and sales tax low and attractive for our future residents and growth. Yes, having a lobbyist to fight for us in Nashville and finding a relocation specialist will be a budgetary expense but, the potential return on these investments is immense and will have long lasting positive results and returns for the people and the town of Collierville for generations.
3.) What do you think is the biggest concern facing our community at this time, and why?
The biggest concern facing our community today is the disconnect between many of our elected officials and the constituency and businesses. The people of Collierville need a strong voice on the board of Aldermen. Our former alderman, Tom Allen was a a strong voice for the people and always tried to do what was right for Collierville. I will be that strong voice for the people. A very important part of the job of an elected official is to be accessible to the people that elected them. I will commit to holding open quarterly meetings to keep the people of Collierville more informed on the issues and give the people a direct communication line to voice their concerns and questions. We also have a disconnect between the town government and our businesses. We need to get the businesses of Collierville more involved in our community. We have many opportunities around Collierville where we can benefit from local business involvement and interaction; Nursery, landscaping or home improvement stores can assisting in making our parks more colorful and decorative is just one example of a government / business collaborative.
4.) What specifically makes you best qualified for the position you are seeking?
Coming from a ‘service oriented’ family, i learned at an early age the importance of giving back to the community. Throughout my personal life and business career, giving back was instilled in us everyday. By serving on many charitable boards like the Arthritis Foundation, the Mid-South Fair, The AutoZone Liberty Bowl and the United Way of Greater Memphis, I saw first hand the positive impact one can make in the lives of others.
Having been elected as a State Committeeman for the Republican party representing senate district 31, I know the demands and challenges an elected official faces in today’s environment. I have the ability, contacts and problem solving skills to tackle the tough issues an alderman will face.
By owning a small business in Collierville, and spending many years in management at FedEx in Hub operations and corporate, and being a single dad raising two children, I know what it’s like to make a budget and live within a budget in business and at home.
As a Shelby County Sheriff’s officer, you have to possess strong communication skills, mental toughness, and courage to do what is right, even if it isn’t popular and stand by your decision. As your alderman, I will listen to your concerns, I will answer the tough questions and I will stand up for what is right for people of Collierville. I will be your voice on the board of mayor and alderman.

• Name: Scott R. Rozanski
Age: 58
Current Occupation: Architect
Education: Ball State University 1986, BS Environmental Design Ball State 1986
Family: Married 29 years and counting to Elizabeth. 3 Children: Julia, Abbey, and Matthew
Organizations/Groups/ Activities:
Town of Collierville Plan Commission – Vice Chairman
Town of Collfierville Historic Ditrict Commision – Plan Commision Liason
Main Street Collierville – Member
Church of the Incarnation- parishioner/volunteer
Member of the American Institute of Architecture
Associate Member of the Fraternal Order of Police
Son of the American Legion- Member
International Code Council – Member
Blood Donor- Club Lifeblood

  1. List three significant issues in this election.
    In this election, three significant issues are increasing small business support, monitoring town development, and enhancing community services.
  2. Specifically, how do you plan to deal with each of these issues, if elected?
    Many small businesses have been adversely affected this year; it will be essential to look at streamlining regulations to aid them in rebuilding and looking for other ways to encourage reinvestment from the private sector into Collierville.
    Our town needs to continue to grow and develop. Currently, our population is growing at a sustainable rate at under 2%. As an alderman, we need to pursue thoughtful growth. Taking the information presented from multiple stakeholders and deciding what is best for our town requires experience and knowledge of the communities’ different wants and needs. Growth and development decisions affect revenue, services, budgets, and quality of life.
    Community services include the Parks Department, Public Service Departments, Police Department, Fire Department, and Collierville Schools. The Town of Collierville has outstanding community services, but we cannot stand still. To protect the Collierville brand, we must continue to find ways to improve service quality and increase efficiency. Improvements in services will be required for adjustments to changing needs. I think efficiencies can be gained with technology or changing our approach to some services. Many times great strides are made by asking two questions: why is this our current approach, and can you provide background on how the current process was chosen? By carefully listening to the affected stakeholders and understanding the situation’s history, new paths forward can be identified.
  3. What do you think is the biggest concern facing our community at this time, and why?
    While small business, growth, and public services are all concerns, they hinge on our town’s ability to meet our citizens’ expectations in a fiscally responsible way. With any business, revenue is critical. For our town, the financial concerns on the horizon involve being good stewards of our citizens’ taxes. Public funds are required to maintain the key elements that make the town a place where people want to live and raise their families.
  4. What specifically makes you best qualified for the position you are seeking?
    I feel I am the best candidate for alderman position 4. With over 35 years of business experience and over 17 years of Collierville community service, I have the institutional knowledge to serve Collierville as alderman on day one. I’m ready to get to work for our community.
    Collierville Business Owner & Architect
    Collierville Planning Commission Member for over 15 years.
    Historic District Commission Board Member for over 16 years.
    Leadership Collierville Class of 2004.
    Past President and Board Member of Main Street Collierville.
    Husband of 29 years and counting.
    Father of 3 Collierville School educated children from elementary school through high school.

• Name: John E. Stamps
Age: 57
Current Occupation: Real Estate Broker/Owner The Stamps Real Estate Co.
Education: Graduated High School and Attended Memphis State
Family: Wife Kathy, Son Thomas 17 and Brooke 21
Organizations/Groups/Activities: Exercise and swim on a weekly basis, member of the Down Syndrome Assoc. where I once served as a board member, member of the National, State and local Memphis Area Association of Realtors where I presently sit on the Governmental Affairs committee. And I am currently an Alderman for the Town of Collierville.

  1. List three significant issues in this election.
    Managing Safety, Growth and Development and Town expenses.
  2. Specifically, how do you plan to deal with each of these issues, if elected?
    To fully support our police and fire departments, maintain and oversee good quality growth while trying to keep our small town feel and being a good steward of the tax payers’ money.
  3. What specifically makes you best qualified for the position you are seeking?
    I have been an Alderman for the past 6 years and would like the opportunity to continue in that role.

Position 3 Collierville School Board

• Name: Madan Birla
Age: 76
Current Occupation: Educator (Adjunct Prof. of Leadership, Fogelman College of Bus., U of M)
International Author and Strategy Consultant
Education: B.S. Mechanical Engineering, BITS, India
M.S. Industrial Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago
MBA Finance (60% complete) Butler University, Indianapolis
M.S. Counseling and Personnel Services, University of Memphis, Memphis
Family: Married, 2 grown children living and working in New York and Chicago
Organizations/Groups/Activities: Served on the Boards of Literacy Midsouth, Midsouth Reads and The Wings Cancer Foundation. Helped Develop Strategic Plans for Church Health Center, Tipton County Commission on Aging, Friends for Life, and Shelby County Education Association. Volunteer at St. Jude/ALSAC and MILE Program at Fogelman College of Business

  1. List three significant issues in this election.
  2. Provide a safe, orderly and secure environment for students, teachers, and staff
  3. Prepare students for enjoying a successful and fulfilling life in a fast-changing knowledge-driven economy
  4. Active engagement, and collaboration with all families, City Hall, and community members
  5. Specifically, how do you plan to deal with each of these issues, if elected?
  6. Provide a safe, orderly and secure learning environment
    In today’s COVID environment, this becomes the top priority. Per CDC, it will be 6-12 months, before we will be back to pre-COVID environment. I would engage all stakeholders – parents, students, teachers, administration and the medical/public health authorities to continually assess the changing situation and facilitate appropriate decisions guided by science and data. 2. Prepare students for enjoying a successful and fulfilling life in a fast-changing knowledge economy
    For sustained personal and professional success in today’s highly competitive and fast-changing economy students must develop a love for learning while in school and throughout life. Whatever personal and professional success I’ve enjoyed in this great country is the result of my own love of and commitment to life-long learning. I’m sure I could help the board strengthen the district’s commitment to this process.
  7. Active engagement, and collaboration with all families, City Hall, and community members While serving on other boards I found the ‘Servant Leader’ style of leadership, learned at FedEx, to be very effective in engaging stakeholders. Board members are elected not just to represent but serve all the district’s constituencies – its students, parents, teachers, administration and the community-at-large. As an experienced servant leader, I would reach out to all those stakeholders by listening before speaking, by trying to put myself in their place and by acEng on their behalf whenever possible.
  8. What do you think is the biggest concern facing our community at this time, and why? The biggest concern at this time is successfully adapting to the challenges posed by the changing COVID situation to continue to provide quality education, both, online and in-person, in a safe environment. There is no blueprint to follow as this is not something our school district and others have faced before. Flexibility and adaptability will be keys to success.
  9. What specifically makes you best qualified for the position you are seeking?
    A strong passion for education: I am a 25-year resident of Collierville and strong believer in public schools. My son graduated from Germantown H.S. and daughter from Houston H.S. All my work after leaving FedEx has involved promoting education, from being a commencement speaker at a Kindergarten graduation to teaching Executive MBA students how to be effective leaders and serving on non-profit boards.
    Strategic planner and big picture thinker: One of the primary responsibilities of the school board is to provide strategic direction. For nine years as a member of FedEx’s Long-Range Planning Committee I was fortunate to work closely with Fred Smith in developing and implementing FedEx’s global growth strategies. I will employ the skills and attitudes I honed at
    FedEx when I work with other board members to chart a path forward for Collierville’s schools.
    Knowing what it will take for today’s students to succeed in today’s fast paced and interconnected world: In researching the books I wrote on leadership, innovation and life balance since retiring from FedEx, I’ve interviewed business executives around the world. One common theme emerged. Today’s students’ future earning capacity will be determined by their learning capacity and their ability to work with all kinds of people which epitomize my own life.
    Meet the needs of a diverse student population
    One of the main reasons why over 40 nationalities have chosen to live in Collierville and enroll their children in its schools is the superb education they know their children will receive here. My background and the leadership roles I’ve played for FedEx across America and around the world would help me determine and meet the educational needs of its diverse population.

• Name: Paul Childers
Age: 51
Current Occupation: Region Manager for Goodman/Daikin Corporation
Education: Collierville High School 1987, B.A. University of Memphis, M.B.A. University of Miami
Family: Wife Jamie (Collierville Class of 1995, Daughter Olivia )Freshman at Collierville High School, Son Beau (Special Needs Program at Collierville Elementary)
Organizations/Groups/Activities: Collierville Town Beautiful Commission, Elementary Dad’s Club Volunteer, Middle School Youth Ministry Volunteer, AMP (Accelerated Management Program) Mentor

  1. List three significant issues in this election.
  2. Getting the middle school and high school kids back in school 5 days a week
  3. Potential Budget Shortfalls in School Budget
  4. Future Focus on Strengthening the Virtual Platform for Collierville Schools
  5. Specifically, how do you plan to deal with each of these issues, if elected?
    The COVID discussion is certainly a passionate one around our community. There’s a majority that would like to see kids back in school 5 days as quickly as possible including me. I have a daughter that’s a freshman at the high school and she learns best in person. There is no doubt these kids should be in school. That said, I do believe the current school board is operating within their authority and doing the best they can with what they have to work with. The two bodies that can help us get our kids back in school 5 days are the Governor of Tennessee and the Shelby County Health Department. The Governor’s extension of Executive Order 59 didn’t help our situation although I have seen quite a bit of pushback from Nashville on the “local health department” issue. The community as a whole is looking for some stability, it’s important we get there soon.
    One of the main jobs of the school board is approving budgets and that money has to come from somewhere. We’ll have to see what COVID emergency funds are available at the state and federal levels to make sure we get our fair share to lessen the impact of any shortfalls.
    As with any challenge, you have to learn from it. We need to take this opportunity to innovate. Our virtual platform is critical to the overall long term success of Collierville Schools. We’ve got to drive that to being the best virtual platform in the state. There will be a day when we’ll have to encounter this type scenario again. A solid, continually advancing virtual platform will be a huge benefit for all of us.
  6. What do you think is the biggest concern facing our community at this time, and why?
    Getting back to the lives we were living prior to COVID. Our kids and our community are ready to move forward. This School System is extremely important to the overall economic success of this town. It’s a huge reason why people move here and why we have continually positive trends in property values. We need to get back to normal, whatever that’s going to look like.
  7. What specifically makes you best qualified for the position you are seeking?
    I have deep roots in this community. I was raised in Collierville. I am a Collierville Dragon. I have two children in the school system as mentioned earlier. The budget for Collierville Schools is $93M, one of the largest in the state. I currently manage a $150M Region with 82 employees. I believe my education as well as personal and professional managerial experience provides me the right skillset to be a great complement to the existing school board.

• Name: Kristina Kelly White
Age: 30
Current Occupation: Surgical Device Specialist, Medtronic
Education: University of Memphis, Bachelor of Arts & Sciences
Family: Husband, Andrew. Children: David, 6 and Evelyn, 4
Organizations/Groups/ Activities: high school youth leader, ASPIRE women’s network- Medtronic, St. Jude partner

  1. List three significant issues in this election.
  • enhanced and increased communication from our leadership
  • provide every family the option that works for them. Ex: in person 5 day, virtual
    -increase technological support for virtual families and reduce online class teacher to student ratios
  1. Specifically, how do you plan to deal with each of these issues, if elected?
  • Candid Conversations (released October 2) was created after I pitched the idea of a weekly video update (to Dr. Lilly and Mario Hogue Sept. 28) after each SCHD meeting, keeping our families up to date. This way, we can hold our administration accountable for the updates and changes as they come down the pipeline. The answer to any problem is never stifling communication. Our families deserve to know what is going on behind closed doors so they can better understand why certain decisions are (or are not) being made.
  • We have got to get creative with our schools and administrators to find ways that will allow any student wishing to be in-person, 5 days that option. We have principals ready and willing to do whatever it takes to see every student wishing to return have that option. Now, we need partnership from our leaders to make this happen.
  • Within the first week of school starting back, I was flooded with calls, emails, and messages from parents in need of technical assistance with our virtual platforms. Thanks to the selfless act of a local Collierville parent who happens to be an IT Specialist, IT Mom Collierville was created. This forum allowed parents, students, and teachers to ask for technical assistance at any time and receive personal help from someone who could solve their technical issues. This was a huge win for many of our families. After taking that action, I told Dr. Lilly at a board work session that what our families really needed was a technical support hotline because so many were struggling and resulting in their kids missing class, assignments, etc. Shortly after, our administration released just that- a technical support hotline. Now, what we need is to improve engagement for virtual users. The best way to do that is to decrease the amount of students per teacher per class. Right now, some of our virtual students are in a class of as many as 39. As you can imagine, that is very difficult on the teachers and the students. If we can start phasing in students who want to be 5 day in-person, this would provide tremendous relief to both our students and teachers across our virtual platforms.
  1. What do you think is the biggest concern facing our community at this time, and why?
    Clearly the biggest concern is our current pandemic and how to handle it within our schools safely. We need to partner with surrounding schools who have successfully opened 5 days, and stayed open. We need to learn from them, adopt some of their protocols and safety measures, and start getting our own students back 5 days before we lose even more of our student population to other schools.
  2. What specifically makes you best qualified for the position you are seeking?
    There is one thing that puts every school board candidate in this race on an even playing field. It doesn’t matter how old you are. It doesn’t care about how long you’ve lived here. “It” is this pandemic. This has got to be one of the most dire times in Collierville schools history. What sets me apart and makes me the best qualified for this role, is the active and tangible actions I’ve taken for our students and families during this difficult time. I have done more to support Collierville schools families in this time of need since July than my opponents who have been here for decades. Collierville deserves someone who is not only willing, but unafraid, to go to bat for them when needed. Collierville deserves someone who takes the time to listen to their needs, but then also takes the action to help solve their issues. Collierville deserves someone who will speak up and represent Collierville families on the board with an unmatched level of trust and transparency. Collierville deserves someone who will fight for what is right, even if it is not what is popular. I am ready, I am willing, and I would be honored to serve as that person for our incredible families.

• Name: Rachelle Maier
Age: 39
Current Occupation: Community Relations
Education: BA from Tulane University and MBA from Union University
Family: Married to Eddie Maier of 15 years. We have four children, two sets of twins in the 4th grade at Crosswind Elementary School and 8th Grade at West Collierville Middle School.
Organizations/Groups/ Activities:
I have been an active and engaged member of this community for last 17 years. I have had the opportunity to serve Collierville and our community in so many ways.
I currently serve with the following organizations: West Collierville Middle School PTA Board, Collierville Rotary Club, Collierville Arts Council Board Member, Collierville Chamber of Commerce Member and the Town of Collierville Tourism Commission Board Member.
I am an active supporter and have served on the Collierville Education Foundation Board. I have served as Crosswind Elementary PTA President, Collierville Literacy Council Tutor, Town of Collierville Parks Recreation and Arts Commission Board and on the Collierville Town Beautiful Commission Board.

  1. List three significant issues in this election.
    The three significant issues in this election include quality of our children’s education, communication and transparency.
  2. Specifically, how do you plan to deal with each of these issues, if elected?
    Walt Disney famously said “Of all the things I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating the talents of those who work for us and pointing them toward a certain goal.” The responsibility of the Collierville School Board is to ensure that our school district is responsive to the values, beliefs and priorities of our community. As a school board member I plan to honor that role by bringing my experience and insights to the table and working cohesively with the board as a whole. Each one of these issues requires extensive knowledge of our community, along with the perspective and voice of families. I will be that voice, and I will ensure our school board understands and considers that perspective as we work together to address each of these issues.
  3. What do you think is the biggest concern facing our community at this time, and why?
    At this time, I believe that we have an opportunity in our community to improve communication to our citizenry at all levels.
  4. What specifically makes you best qualified for the position you are seeking?
    I am the best qualified for this position because I have spent my entire adult life dedicated to the community of Collierville. I have been an active member of our community, watching us grow and evolve, and I have participated at every stage. I have been involved with the school system, as a parent and volunteer, through the development of Collierville Schools from the very beginning. My time as a Collierville Schools PTA board member, serving on the Collierville Education Foundation and working with the Collierville Literacy Council have all provided me the unique insight to truly understand where are community is and where we are going.