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Carroll Countians Participate in 2024 WestStar Leadership Program


MARTIN, Tenn. – (Feb. 6, 2024) – – Ryan Griffin, Nina Smothers and LaShonda Williams, all of Carroll County, are participating in the University of Tennessee at Martin WestStar Leadership Program Class of 2024.


Griffin is the mayor of the City of McKenzie. He is the data specialist for the executive vice president of Bethel University and is on the ACT II Committee for the City of McKenzie. He also serves as a Bethel University Student Government Association advisor.


Smothers is the mayor for the city of Huntingdon. She has served on the UT Alumni Association of Carroll County, the Huntingdon Business and Professional Women’s Club, Tennessee Board of Pharmacy and was an officer in the Tennessee Society of Health System Pharmacists. She is a Leadership Carroll County graduate. She received the 2002 Distinguished Service Award given by Baptist Carroll County, 1981 Woman of the Year by Huntingdon Business and Professional Women, 2016 Pharmacist of the Year by Tennessee Pharmacists Association and 1996 Innovative Pharmacy Practice by Tennessee Society of Health System Pharmacists.


Williams is the owner of Lakeway Nutrition. She serves as board chairman of the McKenzie Special School District, is a Henry County Chamber Board member, West Tennessee PBS Board member and Miss Tennessee Volunteer Pageant Board member and judges chairperson. She has served as Northwest Tennessee Head Start vice chair and chairperson, McKenzie Middle School Parent Advisory president and Community Pre-K Advisory Council member. She is a Leadership Henry County graduate. She has been the recipient of Small Business of the Year, recognized in the media for Black History Month.

Participants attend sessions held throughout June focusing on economic development, public policy, education, and technology. The program equips regional leaders with new skills and knowledge designed to impact the educational, economic and social development of West Tennessee. For more information about the WestStar Leadership Program, contact Virginia Grimes, assistant director, at 731-881-7787.