(Memphis, TN) – Junior Achievement of Memphis and the Mid-South recently named the following business and community leaders to the nonprofit’s board of directors:

*Dr. Gregory W. Boller is Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Research at the University of Memphis Fogelman College of Business and Economics and serves as Co-Director of the Center for Arts Integration in Business Performance and Associate Professor of Marketing. He holds BS, MS and PhD degrees in marketing from Penn State University. In addition, his training includes psycholinguistics, rhetoric, and poetics. Dr. Boller has been at the University of Memphis since 1988. His teaching and training specialties include Creative Marketing Communications, Acting Tradecraft for Leadership and Professional Speaking, Improvisation for Ideation, Art of Movement for Professional Speaking, and Emotional Intelligence. In addition to his academic responsibilities, Greg is a working actor, a published poet and plays bass guitar and a variety of rhythm instruments.

*Katie McCrary is the Director of People and Culture at McCrary-West Construction in Columbus, MS. In her role, she oversees safety measures, employee relations, and recruitment efforts to ensure a positive and productive work environment. Katie also takes pride in recognizing and nurturing the talents of her employees, aiming to create a fulfilling work experience for everyone. Her workforce recruitment specialties include the areas of second chance hires and immigration. Katie has been an active member of the management board for Global Connections since 2009. She collaborates with the organization’s Kenyan partners on various initiatives including budgeting for partner programs, managing monthly expenses, and promoting socially responsible investing on a global scale. Katie is dedicated to workforce development for marginalized populations, striving to create opportunities for those who have been oppressed. She is also involved in small business development and sustainable humanitarian aid initiatives. As a Commission Member for the Create Foundation and a committee member for the State of Mississippi’s Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation Fund, she is actively involved in important causes. Furthermore, Katie is a founding member of the FORGE Foundation, which focuses on empowering individuals and communities through education and support. Katie has been happily married for 21 years to her husband, Lu. Traveling as a family brings them immense joy and allows them to create lasting memories with their two boys.

*Gabe Franceschi has more than 20 years of experience in utility in a variety of roles including positions in nuclear, power operations, technology and innovation, and financial services, managing business operations, major projects, performance improvement, risk and assurance functions. Gabe has a Bachelor of Science degree in General Management and Human Resources and an MBA from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He earned several certifications including a Nuclear Senior Reactor Operator Certification, a Project Management Professional Certification, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and Prosci Change Management Certification. He is currently the Director of Government and Community Relation of the West Region for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and is responsible for local and state governmental affairs and preserving the public power model. However, what Gabe is most proud of is Comelia, his amazing wife of 20 years and their two sons, Gabe II and Brooks.

*Tiffannie Hedin, corporate communications manager for Toyota, is responsible for managing all press, media, and external communications including community engagement, local government and the Toyota Mississippi Experience Center operations and staff. Tiffannie joined Toyota in 2017 as a corporate communications analyst at Toyota Indiana. There, she oversaw the plant’s philanthropic program, community partnerships and outreach, and the company’s volunteerism and giving platform: Toyota4Good. Tiffannie was also part of the founding team to Toyota’s 4T Academy—a paid, hands-on high school learning program that began at Toyota Indiana and has since spread nationally throughout the manufacturing sites. Hedin has close to 20 years of experience in marketing and communications. She serves on the Union County Development Association board, the CREATE Foundation board of directors and the CREATE Foundation Toyota Wellspring Fund Committee, AccelerateMS Regional Table of Leaders, and was recently accepted into the Community Development Foundation of Tupelo’s Jim Ingram Community Leadership Institute class of 2025. Tiffannie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Journalism from Augusta State University. She resides in Tupelo, Mississippi with her husband Alex and two children, Augustus and Pennelopie.

“As business and community leaders, these board members have a deep understanding of skills needed to fill the workforce pipeline across the 71-county area we serve in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas,” says Leigh Mansberg, JA president and CEO. “The time, talent and treasure they are willing to share with us will undoubtedly benefit K-12 students throughout the Mid-South region today and in their bright futures.”

About Junior Achievement of Memphis and the Mid-South

Junior Achievement of Memphis and the Mid-South empowers children to be world ready and engaged members of their communities so that they may lead independent lives. This local nonprofit focuses on experiential learning opportunities centered around financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship for K-12 students across the Mid-South region. For more information on JA, visit www.jamemphis.org or call 901.366.7800.