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Pauline Vernon

Interim Executive Director

Vice President, Workforce Systems Alignment

Pauline has more than 10 years experience in executive leadership positions in private and public non-profit workforce development agencies in both Tennessee and California.

She has also spent mroe than 12 years in higher education including working as a dean with responsibility for business, industry, and technology programming. Pauline also understands workforce from the employer’s perspective having worked in the aerospace manufacturing industry managing supplier quality improvement initiatives.

Pauline has a B.A. degree in Law and Society from the University of California, Santa Barbara, an M.B.A. from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, and an Ed.S. in Community College Administration from Arkansas State University.


John Churchill

Vice President, Business Services

John started his career in the Navy training Navy Cadets on basic flight instruments.

After 20 years of military service and 24 years working with fortune 500 companies such as Kimberly Clark, Champion Paper, and Nabisco he finished his career with industry as the Corporate Training Manager for Gerdau Ameristeel.

Before coming to the Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce as the Vice President of Business Services he was the Executive Director of Corporate Training and Continuing Education for Southwest Tennessee Community College.



Latanyua Robinson

Business Service Manager

Latanyua is responsible for establishing and maintaining effective communications, relationships, and systemic processes/programs among alliance partners, designated colleges, companies, and sector councils. She works with the Greater Memphis post-secondary institutions to assist the schools in developing custom training programs that will fulfill near-term employer needs.

She brings over twenty years of practical experience in industrial manufacturing from a wide variety of industries. She has held leadership roles in plant operations, engineering, quality, and marketing management. Latanyua earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Arkansas and an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Latanyua’s life motto is “to whom much is given, much is required.”


Katina Williams


Katina has more than 15 years of experience working as an Administrative Assistant in Memphis. She earned a Business Administration degree with a concentration in Office Administration from Mississippi University for Women and Men in Columbus. She has a passion for the City of Memphis.


Gerald Joyner

Manager, Pathways Career Development and Navigation

Born in Memphis and reared in the suburb of Germantown, TN, Gerald Joyner has an innate love for his hometown. Having obtained both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in English Literature from the University of Memphis, as well as an African American Literature Certification and doctoral hours in English Literature, he has utilized his proficiency in composition as a means to alleviate deficiencies in written and oral communication at the collegiate level.  He is the author of two books and several scholarly journal articles that emphasize the importance of human understanding and individual culture.  His professional tenure consists of numerous academic roles such as an instructor of English at the University of Memphis, LeMoyne-Owen College, and ASU Mid-South, as well as creating and implementing English curriculum for the GED examination.  With stints educating traditional and non-traditional students, it is apparent that Joyner is no stranger to positively affecting change in the Memphis and Mid-South area.


Tonya Starks

Manager, Accountability and Administration

Tonya Starks is a native of Earle, AR, but has lived and worked in Texas, Florida, and Ohio. She moved back to the area in 2001, and has a passion to help the surrounding communities to develop skills of self-sufficiency and financial freedom.  Prior to becoming Mgr., Accountability and Administration, she established her own Property Preservation company called Oscar Inspections and worked at Priority Solutions managing pharmaceutical projects.  Tonya received her Bachelor of Science/Business Administration in Management at David N. Myers University and a Masters in Human Resources at University of Phoenix, Memphis, TN.  She is currently work on her Doctorate of Business Administration at NorthCentral University, Prescott Valley, AZ, focusing her research on workforce. It is her belief that education is the most undervalued asset Mid-South communities. If we are able to inform communities of key opportunities and help them in realizing the value Knowledge, we are giving them the pathway out of poverty.


Danielle Schonbaum

Manager of Continuous Improvement and Evaluation

Danielle worked in financial services for over twenty years as a portfolio manager and credit analyst. More recently, she transitioned to the public sector so that she could more directly serve the community.  With her combined experience in the business and non-profit sectors, Danielle is able to view workforce development from both the employers’ and students’ perspectives.  Danielle works with the Greater Memphis Community Colleges and program evaluators to ensure that program progress is being properly documented while striving to enhance the program to better serve all constituencies.

Danielle holds a B.B.A. in Accounting from the University of Memphis and an M.A. in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University.  She is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a Certified Public Account (CPA).