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Pauline Vernon

Interim Executive Director, GMACWorkforce

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

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

Ms. Vernon earned her Bachelor of Arts in Law and Society from the University of California, Santa Barbara, a Master of Business Administration from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, and an Ed.S. in Community College Administration from Arkansas State University.


John Churchill

Vice President, Business Services

Mr. Churchill began 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 GMACWorkforce as the Vice President of Business Services, he was the Executive Director of Corporate Training and Continuing Education for Southwest Tennessee Community College.


Anna Blocker

Director, MemphisWorks Client Management

Mrs. Blocker has an extensive background in sales and marketing, with specific expertise in business-to-business sales, pharmaceutical sales, and medical device sales.  She also spent a large portion of her career in the non-profit sector, working in various marketing capacities for ALSAC/St. Jude and Ronald McDonald House Charities. 

At the GMACWorkforce, Mrs. Blocker leads the MemphisWorks initiative, building connections between corporations, job-seeking individuals, and partners in education.  She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee.


Cassandra Brown

Project Accountability Manager

Ms. Brown provides support to partners of GMACWorkforce's MOVE-HIRE program in an effort to enhance services offered and ensure program compliance that progress is appropriately captured and documented. 

Ms. Brown earned a Bachelor of Science in Educational Psychology from Mississippi State University and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from Ashford University.    


Alan Gumbel

Director, Grants and Special Initiatives

Mr. Gumbel comes to his role as GMACWorkforce's Director of Grants and Special Initiatives GMACWorkforce with extensive experience planning, developing, managing and evaluating workforce and community economic development programs in the Mid-South and across the nation. Mr. Gumbel spent his early years establishing a technology transfer program for the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority before moving to Memphis and working as a policy analyst for the Lower Mississippi Delta Development Commission.  Mr. Gumbel earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Emporia State University in Kansas.


Jerry Johnson

Director, Finance and Administration

Mr. Johnson is responsible for managing the contracts and financial management reporting system of GMACWorkforce and serves as the primary liaison to external auditors and the finance committee of the Board of Directors. He has an extensive background in corporate finance and accounting. 

Mr. Johnson earned a Bachelor of Business Administration - Accounting from Tennessee State University.  He is also a graduate of The New Memphis Institute Fellows program, City of Memphis Emerging Leaders Program, and Harvard Business School Summer Venture in Management Program.  


Gerald Joyner

Manager, Pathways Career Development and Navigation

Mr. Joyner has served in several academic roles such as an instructor of English at the University of Memphis, LeMoyne-Owen College, and Arkansas State University - MidSouth.  He helped to create and implement English curriculum for the GED examination. 

Mr. Joyner earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in English Literature from the University of Memphis, as well as African American Literature Certification and doctoral hours in English Literature.  He is the author of two books and several scholarly journal articles that emphasize the importance of human understanding and individual culture.  


Danielle Schonbaum

Manager of Continuous Improvement and Evaluation

Ms. Schonbaum 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. Prior to joining Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce, she worked in financial services for more than twenty years as a portfolio manager and credit analyst.  With her combined experience in the business and non-profit sectors, Ms. Schonbaum is able to view workforce development from both the employers’ and students’ perspectives.

Ms. Schonbaum earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Memphis and Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University.  She is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a Certified Public Account (CPA).


Tonya Starks

Manager, Accountability and Administration

Ms. Starks received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Management at David N. Myers University and a Master of Arts in Human Resources at University of Phoenix, Memphis, TN.  She is working towards earning a Doctorate of Business Administration at North Central 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 of knowledge, we are giving them the pathway out of poverty.


Katina Williams


Ms. Williams has more than 15 years of experience working as an Administrative Assistant in Memphis. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Office Administration from Mississippi University for Women and Men in Columbus, MS.