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Think tank deepens regional representation, policy expertise on board of directors with the addition of Tomeka Hart Wigginton, Bridgett Massengill, and Bacarra Mauldin

NASHVILLE – ThinkTennessee, a nonpartisan think tank based in Nashville, has announced the appointment of three new members to the board of directors, bringing the number of members to twelve. Tomeka Hart Wigginton, founder of consulting firm The HarWigg Group, Bridgett Massengill, president and CEO of the Thrive Regional Partnership in Chattanooga, and Bacarra Mauldin, interim CEO of the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA), joined ThinkTennessee’s board in January to lend their expertise in transportation infrastructure, regional economic growth, philanthropy, and strategic partnerships in Memphis and Chattanooga.

“We are excited to add such great policy expertise to our Board of Directors,” said Bob Cooper, ThinkTennessee board chair. “In the few short months since joining the board, they have provided invaluable insight not just in their areas of interest but also on how ThinkTennessee can grow as an organization and strengthen its regional connections and partnerships across the state.”

“Tomeka, Bridgett, and Bacarra bring extensive experience to our board in key issue areas central to ThinkTennessee’s priorities, including transportation and economic security,” said Erin Hafkenschiel, president of ThinkTennessee. “I know their leadership and guidance will be an incredible asset to our organization.”

Tomeka Hart Wigginton has worked to improve education outcomes and increase social and economic mobility at the local, state, and national levels for almost 30 years. Specializing in building and managing strategic partnerships and coalitions, she founded The HarWigg Group in 2023, a consulting firm serving nonprofit, public sector, and philanthropy leaders and organizations. Tomeka has served in multiple roles across the field of education, including as a funder, president and CEO of the Memphis Urban League, and for two terms on the elected school board in Memphis. She also continues to serve the education field through board service for multiple local and national organizations.

“As a native Tennessean who deeply cares about the state of our state, I am beyond excited to join the ThinkTennessee board,” said Tomeka Hart Wigginton. “I am honored to work alongside the talented staff and fellow board members to empower voters and support working families to build a state where all Tennesseans are civically engaged and economically secure.”

Bridgett Massengill serves as the President/CEO of the Thrive Regional Partnership, Inc., an independent nonprofit organization working across the tristate Chattanooga region to ignite responsible and inspired growth for the next forty years. Bridgett has worked throughout her career to promote regional economic growth in East Tennessee, including as principal of her own downtown development consulting firm, executive director of the Johnson City Development Authority in northeast Tennessee, and a legislative budget analysis specialist for both the House and Senate bodies of the Tennessee General Assembly.

“I’m incredibly honored to have a seat on the board of this data and research-driven organization in Tennessee,” said Bridgett Massengill. “I’m excited to work with this talented team and to lend my perspectives to the economic development challenges and opportunities we are facing in the greater Chattanooga region.”

Bacarra Mauldin is the Interim Chief Executive Officer of MATA, where she works to ensure the efficient operation of transit services for the City of Memphis and leads stakeholder and community engagement for the organization across the city, state, and nationally. Bacarra has extensive public sector experience in transportation, having served in leadership roles for the cities of Birmingham, New Orleans, and Savannah and as a member of several transportation-related boards.

“It’s an honor to join the mission and thought partnership sparked by ThinkTennessee,” said Bacarra Mauldin. “This organization’s collective ideation and advocacy efforts are exactly what’s needed to propel our state forward. As the leader of the Memphis Area Transit Authority, I recognize the critical importance of sharing best practices within transportation, philanthropy, economic growth, and beyond, and I look forward to adding my ear, platform, and voice.”

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