Elevating Neighborhoods. Advancing Memphis.

Meet the Team


Meet the Team

Luther Mercer

Luther Mercer, CEO

Luther Mercer joined Community LIFT as its President & CEO in January of 2022, bringing with him more than 15 years of background and experience working in education, government relations, and policy and more than 20 years’ involvement in state politics. 

His career includes tenure as Director of Development at Whole Child Strategies, the Memphis Advocacy Director for the Tennessee Charter School Center, where he worked with school operators, the Shelby County School Board, the Shelby County Commission, and other community partners to advance policy efforts in alignment with the needs of Tennessee charter schools. 

In addition to receiving degrees from Tennessee Technological University and the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, Mr. Mercer studied International Trade Law, International Criminal Law, and the Islamic Legal System at American University in Cairo, and he has certifications in TEFL Methodology and Mandarin Chinese and Culture from Beijing University, as well as an Instructor’s License in Entrepreneurship Training from the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri.

Contact Luther at [email protected]

Ron Brooks, President, River City Capital

Ron Brooks is an experienced leader dedicated to connecting people to resources. Born in Chicago and raised in Memphis, he grew up as an active athlete, playing basketball and football throughout his childhood and into college. His academic pursuits led him to a career in banking, where he worked for 20 years before joining River City Capital as President in 2021.

Ron currently lives in Memphis with his wife Kimberly and their three daughters, ages 13, 12, and 11. He holds a BBA in Business Economics from the University of Memphis, an MBA in Organizational Leadership from Union University, and a certification from the Community Bankers of Georgia Compliance School in Lending Compliance and CRA.

Since 2002, Ron has proven himself an adept professional with success at Business/Commercial and Retail Administration roles. Today, as President at River City Capital, he works to enact a strategic vision and lead day-to-day operations through lending, technical assistance, fundraising, and more. He strives to maximize the potential of all community members by providing sustainable access to resources.


Click here to learn more about River City Capital
Contact Ron at [email protected]


Nefertiti Orrin, Grants Director

Nefertiti Orrin brings 15 years of experience working in the non-profit sector, including grant-making and capacity-building.  Prior to joining LIFT, Ms. Orrin led the Teach for America Alumni team where she was responsible for stewarding and developing alumni leadership to maximize the reach and impact of those working in schools, districts, corporate and non-profit sectors.  In 2010, Ms. Orrin managed United Way of the Mid-South’s education impact priorities where she led the Volunteer Education Committee responsible for allocating funding to community-based organizations.  She also worked as a leadership coach in the Bay area, building school leaders’ capacity to plan and implement strategies to turn around low-performing schools.

Contact Nefertiti at [email protected]

Christy Bradley, Controller

Christy Bradley is LIFT’s Controller. She joined the team in November 2022 and brings 30 years of diverse experience, including audit and tax work. She transitioned to the private sector, spending 18 years with 2 large non-profit entities.

Christy is a CPA and has her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Accounting from the University of Mississippi.

Contact Christy at [email protected]

Michael Cowan

Michael Cowan, Operations Manager

As the Operations Manager, Michael manages the day-to-day operations of Community LIFT.  Prior to joining LIFT in January 2022, Mr. Cowan served in various roles in the education sector including Instructional Technology Coordinator, Social Media Manager & Web Master, Campus Operations Manager, and the Shelby County Board of Education as Board Clerk.  Michael is an active member of the Memphis community, in part organizing COVID education and vaccination events across the city.

Contact Michael at [email protected]

Hermanda Tinnon, Accountant

As the Accountant, Hermanda handles the financials for Community LIFT. Hermanda
Tinnon joins LIFT in 2021 with over 10 years of accounting experience. Before coming
to Community LIFT Hermanda worked as a commercial real estate accountant at
CBRE. Hermanda also devotes time and donations thought the youth ambassador
program for the city of Memphis. She attended and graduated from Strayer University
with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting.

Contact Hermanda at [email protected]

Meagan O. Jones, Pro Bono Counsel

Meagan O. Jones, Meagan Jones assists corporate and business clients in handling matters related to mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and contract review, securities offerings, and federal and state regulatory filings. Meagan also represents clients in forming and structuring business organizations, such as limited liability companies, partnerships, and joint ventures.

Meagan serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, where she is the head coach of the Duberstein Moot Court Travel Team.

Prior to joining Baker Donelson, Meagan clerked for the Honorable David S. Kennedy, Chief Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Tennessee. Meagan also clerked for the Honorable Robert S. Weiss at the Shelby County Circuit Court while in law school.

Community L.I.F.T. Corp.
© 2022. All Rights Reserved.
1863 Madison Ave. Memphis, TN 38104
(901) 521-4232

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