Registration is now open for the next session of TVPPA’s diversity, equity and inclusion training program for executives, Leaders First, Culture Second: Inclusion: The Way Forward.

The class will be held on June 21-22 at the TMEPA headquarters in Brentwood, Tennessee.

This two-day, workshop is designed for local power company general managers and senior leaders who want to understand how to build a welcoming and inclusive work environment.  They will be introduced to tools and concepts that help them prepare their culture to attract and retain the workforce of the future.

Emotionally intelligent, self-aware leaders are powerful influencers and agents of change who drive the culture of their organizations. In this course, senior and executive leaders will self-examine and focus on their level of emotional intelligence when comes to their ability to lead inclusion. They will learn how to better communicate with all stakeholders and how to create a strategic framework that will help guide the process for building a more diverse and inclusive culture.

Mark Kimbell, General Manager of Gallatin Department of Electricity, who took the course in February 2022 has already begun to apply lessons learned from the course to strengthen relationships and shape the culture of his organization. “I brought my Human Resources Manager to the course along with me and one of our biggest take-aways was that your organization can be diverse but not inclusive,” said Kimbell. As a result, he and HR manager Jaerica Trout are having sit-down conversations with a diverse group of employees from across GDE to get a better understanding of how they perceive the organization’s culture. “We want to look at ways Gallatin Department of Electricity can be more inclusive,” Kimbell added. “Whether that’s including these ideas in strategic planning, offering scholarships for pre-apprentice training, going to school job fairs or creating other targeted programs, we want to create a culture of belonging.”

Trout noted that attendees benefited from instructor Tangela Johnson’s sharing a history of the mistreatments many minority groups have faced and how many of those harmful actions still occur. “I enjoyed the small-group conversations,” said Trout. “I got to have conversations and hear hard truths I might never have had outside of this class. The class touches on difficult, but passion-filled topics in a way that allows us to progress…it allows leaders to see important truths. We gained knowledge and information and that gives us power to affect change.”

To register for this course, please visit If you have questions or would like more information, please email TVPPA EVP of Strategic Planning and Member Services, Danette Scudder.