Emerging Leaders United

Leiss and one - Emerging Leaders United
ELU group - Emerging Leaders United

ELU Board

Board Chair:
Celestia Ware

Vice Chair:
Megan Pratt

Patrick McBride

David Kelly

Staff Advisor:
Joy Lehmann

United Way’s Emerging Leaders United (ELU) is a leadership and professional development program that enhances leadership skills through the unique community investment lens of United Way. Developed to augment a professional’s career path, ELU sessions provide insight into the necessary skills for serving on nonprofit boards and exposure to local programs that assist area residents and strengthen our communities. Participants are presented with opportunities to engage and network with other members, community stakeholders, session speakers, and nonprofit leaders.

ELU members expand their network and enhance their skills by interacting with individuals in diverse fields and learning about United Way philanthropic partnerships. Members empower each other to share their time, talent, and resources to affect lasting change in the community. Members are community-minded professionals who want to connect with like-minded peers, serve their community, and become leaders in giving.

To learn more about Emerging Leaders United and how you can join, contact Joy Lehmann or call 615-771-2312.


ELU Race EC Image 300x200 - Emerging Leaders United

Special thanks to all the sponsors, runners, and United Way friends that supported our very first community race– Run for the Health of It! It was a rainy day, but smiles were big and hearts were warm. We look forward to another great race on May 30, 2020. In the meantime, check out our re-cap video and event photos. Stay tuned for event details starting early next year!

Interested in joining the event committee? Contact Joy Lehmann for details.


ELU Mixer – Learn who we are and what we do | Event flyer
Guest Speaker: Kevin Dyson, former Tennessee Titan
Time: 5:30–7:30 pm
Location: Brewhouse South, 1855 Galleria Blvd., Franklin
Door prizes at event.

THE ART OF VOLUNTEERING – What’s in it for you? | Event flyer
Time: 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Guest Speakers: John Mize (SVMIC, President & CEO) and Vicki Smith (Senior Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility)
Location: High Hopes Development Center, 301 High Hopes Court, Franklin
Lunch provided.

MAY 15  / 
THE BOARD – Preparing for strategic board service and development | Event flyer
Time: 7:00 am
Guest speakers: Ross Taubman (PICA, President & Chief Medical Officer), Diane Hayes (Retired Executive Director, Young Leaders Council), and Bryan Doleshel (Williamson, Inc., Chief Community Development Officer)
Location: PICA, 3000 Meridian Blvd #400, Franklin
Light breakfast provided.

AUGUST 21 / 
BOOTS ON THE GROUND – Programs that serve our community | Event flyer
Tour Time: 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Guests will tour the following United Way partner agencies:

  • Boys & Girls Club of Middle Tennessee (Impact areas: youth development, education)
  • Community Child Care Center (Impact areas: Child development, early education)
  • Community Housing Partnership of Williamson County (Impact areas: owner occupied rehabilitation, homelessness)

Location: 129 W Fowlkes St., Franklin, TN 37064 — Enter through the far right entrance by American Red Cross; tour starts in the Hall Conference Room)

Time: 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Location: Jim ‘N Nicks, 3068 Mallory Ln, Franklin, TN 37067
Join ELU and guest speaker Ryan Succop, Tennessee Titans Placekicker, for drinks and BBQ as we share news about our forthcoming events and exciting merger with United Way of Metropolitan Nashville. Appetizers provided. RSVP with Joy Lehmann (jlehmann@uwwc.org or 615-771-2312).

TOCQUEVILLE/ELU MIXER – A holiday leadership gathering*

All sessions dates are tentative. Prospective members are encouraged to attend one session per year. Contact Joy Lehmann to RSVP. *Only open to ELU members.


  • Commitment to attending and participating in scheduled events
  • Receive a Certificate of Program Participation after completing one year of membership
  • Opportunities for public recognition and ELU leadership positions
  • Opportunity to be a founding ELU member

NOTE: There is no membership fee. | Open guidelines.


Local businesses and organizations are invited to sponsor ELU sessions. Benefits include:

  • Acknowledgment on printed ELU materials for the calendar year
  • Speak at the opening of sponsored sessions
  • Provide promotional materials at group events
  • Recognition via website and social media

Open sponsorship guidelines.