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Memphis Imports

Making Moves In Memphis

Article by Margaret Ledbetter

Photography by Sarah Bell, Sélavie Photography, Kim Thomas

Originally published in River City Lifestyle

The unique characteristics and culture of the River City have attracted talent from all over the world in various capacities. In honor of Father’s Day, we contacted some of Memphis’ greatest gentleman “imports” who are making a positive contribution to the community. 

David Lusk

Founder the David Lusk Gallery

A Missouri native and graduate of Rhodes College, David Lusk fell in love with Memphis riding his bike about town as a student and never looked back. “There was art everywhere,” he recalls, and he was inspired to build on that tradition.

Lusk opened his first gallery in 1995 in Memphis. Since then, he has launched some of the finest regional artists, including Maysey Craddock, Greely Myatt and Tad Lauritzen Wright. With a dedicated client base in Memphis and Nashville, Lusk continues to put a lot of effort into promoting his artists locally and beyond, taking their work to art fairs across the country. 

Lusk attributes the depth of talent in the River City area to the great institutions like the Memphis College of Art, Rhodes and the University of Memphis as well as “something about the big rolling river.” The unique climate nurtures creativity and “not just landscapes,” he insists. He is always looking for something original and interesting and regularly hosts exhibitions of alluring art in a variety of medium and concept. He is inspired by educating and stretching clients’ art sensibilities. “It’s about acceptance of art and growing with it and living with it,” he says. 

David Lusk raised his two girls in Memphis and his wife, Carissa Hussong, also an art lover and promoter is the Director of the Metal Museum.
 

Phil Chamberlain

Director of Tennis at the Dunavant Wellford Tennis Center, Head Coach for Memphis University School and Hutchison

Originally from Perth, Australia, Coach Phil Chamberlain has forever changed the tennis landscape in Memphis over the past 50 years. Recruited to play for the University of Memphis, he would be their number one singles player and lead the team to multiple titles. He would eventually coach, build a world class junior program, manage the Racquet Club of Memphis and serve as Director of the Memphis Open Tennis Tournament. He saw an opportunity to put Memphis on the international tennis stage, and with his unique formula of coaching and attracting talent has been enormously successful.

He has coached three different junior players to the number one ranking in the U.S. and continues to grow the sport in Memphis and share his love of the game with future generations. A true legend, Coach Phil was inducted into the Memphis Open Hall of Fame and the Tennessee Tennis Hall of Fame.

He and his wife raised three children in Memphis and while he has done “everything there is to do in tennis” he still aspires to bring the sport to underserved communities in the future.

Troy B. Parkes

Director of Business Development, Greater Memphis Chamber

A Canadian import, Troy Parkes brings a bright-eyed enthusiasm to the River City with a clear vision for the future. Director of Business Development for the Greater Memphis Chamber, he recently secured a grant to launch the groundbreaking initiative, Digital Delta, and put Memphis in the running for the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge, which could result in the city getting tens of millions of dollars to jumpstart the project. “The idea is to make Memphis the hub of one of the most technologically connected and equity driven regions in the nation,” says Parkes. 

He anticipates improvements including “future ready infrastructure” which includes electrification, charging networks, STEM education and applied recruitment in high-growth fields, including agribusiness and food, medical device and health care, supply chain and logistics, and music and digital music technology. 

Parkes met his wife, a Memphis native, as a teenager in Disney World and relocated here to start a family and make a difference in the community. “The culture of Memphis is unmatched,” he says. “Memphis never asks you to fit in. We value authenticity and diversity.” Troy is photographed in front of the new Greater Memphis Chamber Headquarters at The Tower at Peabody Place. They will move in September 2022.

Brad Sewell 

Head of School at Presbyterian Day School

The 13th Head of PDS, Brad Sewell, most recently of Houston, TX, brings a vast amount of experience in education and social work as well as a master’s degree in philosophy that informs his leadership. Working closely with the PDS Board, he continues to provide the highest level of academics and character building for boys from two years old to 6th grade but is also thinking long term, leveraging PDS’ international reputation for excellent all boy’s education.

“We want to keep building on the strong tradition of our alumni doing great things for the city of Memphis,” says Sewell. One of his first initiatives is the Cultural Expeditions Program which builds travel and real-life experience into the boys’ curriculum preparing them to be global citizens while instilling the desire to give back to their own community. “We have the benefit of spending some of the best years, and some of the most formative years helping set values and establishing what a boy will care about,” he adds.

Sewell relocated to Memphis in 2021 with his wife and two young sons and has embraced the River City. “Memphis is the most sociable city,” says Sewell, “a proper Southern town.” 

“Something special is happening in Memphis.” Troy Parkes


PLEASE INCLUDE somehow: Troy Parkes is photographed in front of the new Greater Memphis Chamber Headquarters at The Tower at Peabody Place. They will move in September 1, 2022.

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