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 also chairs the Art Auction Committee, serves on the Communications Committee, represents the CYCA on the Lick Creek Storm Water Coalition & heads a committee that addresses sinkhole and flooding issues.
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.
Kevin Ritz has lived in Cooper-Young since 2009 and in midtown since 2005. Kevin grew up in East Memphis and graduated from White Station High School. After receiving undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Virginia and a master’s from Georgetown, Kevin moved back home and now serves as an Assistant United States Attorney and Adjunct Professor at the University of Memphis Law School. He volunteers as a Deacon at Idlewild Presbyterian Church and as a programmer on WEVL (“The Jukebox Graduate,” Tuesday mornings 6-8 AM). Kevin and Anna love walking the neighborhood with yellow lab rescue Sandy and visiting friends and Cooper-Young businesses along the way.
Knowing that nowhere but Midtown Memphis would do, Renée Massey and her husband Scott moved to the Cooper-Young neighborhood in 2006. Renée is a native Memphian and has a mathematics degree from the University of Memphis. Cooper-Young attracted the Massey family with its walkable mixture of residential and commercial property, socially active community of neighbors, and appreciation for all things artistic. The Masseys have volunteered at numerous CY events including several years at the Art for Art’s Sake Auction and the Festival 4-Miler race. Renée joined the CYCA Board of Directors in 2011 and also chairs the CYCA Membership Committee.
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”.
Demetrius has lived in Cooper-Young for seven years with her son, and wouldn’t have it any other way. She confesses that Central Gardens would be a close second, but the fact that her home is walking distance from all her favorite restaurants made Cooper-Young the obvious choice. A native of Denver, Colorado, she grew tried of the banking system and wanted a change from cold weather. When she made the decision to move to Memphis, she was drawn to Cooper-Young because it’s a walking neighborhood, has great historic homes with plenty of amenities, has great neighborhood schools and lots of local foods, arts, and shopping. Demetrius thinks that this community is full of amazing people that are always willing to help in a time of need. She feels that she is a steward of the world and wants to express that desire by making Cooper-Young be all that it can be by helping her fellow board members! The best is yet to come!
Patrick Miller has lived in Cooper-Young for the past 5 years. After moving to Memphis in 1988 to study Classical Guitar at then Memphis State, he quickly realized that the Cooper-Young neighborhood was the place for him, but it wasn’t until after moving to northern California for 5 years that he returned to live here. Now he’s totally fulfilled!
Patrick works in the Interactive/Tech industry for a local firm, and his skill set there has enabled him to find a unique place to support the CYCA through helping to redesign and maintain the online presence of the Association and the LampLighter newspaper. He loves to walk, run, bike and hang out in the neighborhood and you can find him trying out plants that are way out of his league in his front yard, oogling the real food at the farmer’s markets on Cooper, or sampling beers and eats at any of the local bars and restaurants. Patrick supports his music addiction by playing in a local Memphis band, the Candy Company.
Libby grew up in Memphis, graduated from University of Notre Dame, and lived in New York City for 6 years working in the music industry managing top 40 artists. In 2009, Libby and her husband Jonathan moved back to Memphis and were immediately drawn to Cooper Young. Being able to walk to dinner and the character of the old houses made CY an easy choice. Having an active neighborhood association was a pleasant surprise. Another bonus is running through CY’s beautiful streets or taking her dog, Tater, for a walk and seeing familiar faces. Libby is proud to be part of this neighborhood and looks forward to an exciting year on the board and the best 4-Miler yet!
Jeff Williams – At-Large Board Member, Safety Committee
Jeff Williams has been a Midtown resident for over 15 years and has lived in the Cooper Young community since 2010. He was born in the Philippines at Clarke Air Force base then later moved to the United States where he lived in Miami, Florida and McGuire Air Force base in New Jersey. Jeff and his family finally settled in the suburbs of Memphis, Tennessee in 1987. Jeff’s love for art and music landed him in Midtown Memphis in the 1990’s where he felt most at home. Currently Jeff is an Industrial Technician working for an international company handling high voltage electrical storage systems and environmentally friendly electric vehicles in multiple distribution facilities across the tri-state area. He is also a local electronic music record label producer and owner as well as a volunteer at the Humane Society. He is studying Natural Sciences at Southwest Community College during the evenings to obtain a Biology degree which he hopes will lead to a job with the Environmental Protection Agency. Jeff knew right away that the Cooper Young area was where he wanted to be. He enjoys the sense of community and the diversity of the neighborhood as well as the art and restaurants. On the weekends, Jeff likes to hike, camp, cook, travel, create music, and spend time with animals. He is also on the CYCA Safety Committee.
Wes Williamson – Safety Committee Chair
Bio coming soon!