The CYCA Board of Directors

Mark Morrison

Mark Morrison – President and Beerfest Committee Chair

Mark is a native Memphian who grew up in the suburbs and then moved to Knoxville to attend The University of Tennessee.  After living in Knoxville for 10 years, brief stints living in Ireland and Japan, and completing a Ph.D., a job offer from Smith & Nephew brought him back to Memphis. He and his wife, Leslie, knew they wanted to live in the city and quickly zeroed in on Cooper-Young because of the great location in Midtown, the historic housing stock and the lively, walkable commercial center that remained in the neighborhood.  Since buying their house in Cooper-Young in 2005, their initial attraction has only grown stronger due to the sense of community, the involvement of the residents and the fantastic events and projects sponsored by the CYCA. Mark has been involved in the Festival 4-miler race, the Cooper-Young festival and, more recently, the Cooper-Young Beerfest prior to joining the CYCA board in 2012. When not involved with the CYCA, Mark enjoys traveling, kayaking and photography.

Liz Royer – Vice President and Code & Blight Awareness Chair

Liz Royer grew up in the suburbs of Memphis but always wanted to live in a bungalow in Cooper-Young. After several years in Georgia and Virginia, she and her husband moved back in 2011 and bought a house on Cox, where they live with several rescue dogs, a cat, ducks and a rabbit. Liz is the claims coordinator for Midtown insurance agency, Lipscomb & Pitts. She is passionate about preserving the historic architecture, character and cool neighborhood vibe of Cooper-Young.
Debbie Sowell

Debbie Sowell – Volunteer Coordinator Chair

Debbie, her husband Chris McHaney and son Owen, have had roots in the CY Community for some time. Chris grew up in CY from a young boy and they are now working on their 3rd home in Cooper Young. Debbie has a degree in Interior Design and is a local real estate agent. She first became involved with CYCA at a Mulch to Members Giveaway and has been rolling up her sleeves ever since. “This neighborhood is my home”, Debbie says “and I will always have an active role in making it better”.

Mike Larrivee – Beautification Committee Chair

A Cooper Young resident, Mike and his girlfriend, Sanne (she’s Dutch) currently own a craftsman bungalow on Nelson near McLean. He graduated from the University of Memphis in 2010 with a Master’s degree in Earth Sciences and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in Science in 2011-2012 to further The Giant Hogweed Project, a study on the impact of invasive plants on the landscape. Presently employed as an Environmental Scientist by SEMS, Inc. Mike joined the CYCA board member in late 2014 and agreed to chair the Beautification Committee as a means of contributing his skills and resources to a community that he genuinely believes in. Mike is an outdoorsman, a tree hugger, an advocate of sustainability, and a voracious upcycler. He is also a veteran, and his hobbies include farming, raising fruits, veggies, chickens, bloodhounds, standards for male grooming, and is fond of sunshine, well-made beer, shenanigans, language, and progress.

John Condon – At Large Board Member

John is a Memphis native and grew up in the suburbs of the Bartlett/Lakeland area. He attended the University of Memphis and graduated in 2008 with a degree in Exercise Sports Science. After pursing a career in his love of exercise and sports, he turned his commitments towards the City of Memphis. With a background in law enforcement, John hopes to bring some insight to the safety concerns of the Cooper Young Community. John has lived in Cooper-Young since 2012 with his wife, Amanda, who has been a resident since 2009, and his son, Jack. They both enjoy getting out-and-about in the neighborhood to all the local bars, restaurants, and businesses that the community has to offer. John is an HUGE Tiger fan and loves tailgating at Tiger Lane for the football games. GO TIGERS!

 Caroline Smart – Treasurer

Caroline loves people, puppies, sunshine, & crafting new cocktails and thinks Cooper-Young is the perfect spot for all of the above. She sees the CYCA as an important part of making the community thrive and is interested to help keep CY continue growing in a positive direction. The Smart’s are new transplants to the Bluff City, but are quickly growing roots and love for their new hometown. Caroline’s husband, Blake, is the Men’s Golf Coach at the University of Memphis. Go Tigers Go! Caroline grew up in Greenville, SC, and graduated from Berry College in Rome, GA. In the 9-5 world, Caroline has run her own company helping small businesses with their finances, business strategy, and community engagement, as well as launching new ventures. She took that entrepreneurial spirit to corporate America, as an analyst at Chesapeake Energy & in large account sales at Paycom. Now, she fights for a cure everyday with the American Cancer Society in midtown Memphis. After hours, you can catch her on a run around CY or grabbing drinks at Next Door.


June Hurt, Board President

June Hurt – Communications Chair, and Building Chair

A lifelong Memphian, June has lived in the Cooper-Young area on and off since 1993.  She now lives in a bungalow on Evelyn purchased in 2000, and has a stepson, Tyler.  Since the day she came home and discovered her front porch decorated with potted plants, placed there by a neighbor concerned about her porch’s “lack of fabulousness,” she knew that she was never leaving.  The Memphis State graduate worked her way through college in the food and service industry, sang with local bands, and is now the marketing services manager at a regional commercial real estate firm.  Her favorite things about Cooper-Young are the diversity of the people here and the strong sense of family shared by her neighbors.  June chairs the Communications Committee, represents the CYCA on the Lick Creek Storm Water Coalition, and heads a committee that addresses sinkhole and flooding issues.

Patrick Jones – At Large Board Member

A born-and-raised Memphian, Patrick has been a Midtowner since 2004, graduating from Christian Brothers University in 2008. He became a full-time Cooper-Young resident in January, 2014 and can’t imagine living anywhere else. Patrick was attracted to Cooper-Young in no small part due for the artistic, walkable, and bikeable nature of the neighborhood and the sense of place, vibrancy, and community such an environment promotes. In addition to the CYCA, he involves himself on boards or committees for other midtown institutions like CBU and DeNeuville Learning Center, and supports as many civic initiatives he can find and have the time to do. In warmer months, you are likely to find him cycling around Midtown, playing pick-up soccer at Overton Park, or tinkering with power tools on his front porch on Elzey, trying to figure out how to build or repair “something cool.” Patrick joined the CYCA Board as an at-large member in November, 2015.

Cheryl Bledsoe – At Large Board Member

Cheryl has lived in Midtown since the early 90′s and in Cooper-Young since 2005. She loves her neighborhood and feels that it is one of the coolest places to live in Memphis. Cheryl has been involved with the CYCA since 2007 by serving on the Safety Committee, being a Block Captain, participating in the Cooper-Young Festival, and volunteering with the Art Auction. She is excited about being on the board because there are so many things happening in Cooper-Young. She lives on Cooper with her two beautiful cats, Mimi and Oliver. A native Memphian, Cheryl is an alumni of the University of Memphis, works with the Variety Children’s Charity of Memphis, and is a local artist, working as the Art Department Manager for Drexel Chemical Company. She says: “Cooper-Young rocks!”


Membership Sponsors

CYCA Mail Sign-up