Board of Directors

Petrick M. Adams, Director of Strategy Planning and Analysis for FedEx Services

Petrick M. Adams is the Director of Strategy Planning and Analysis for FedEx Services.  Adams is responsible for strategy development and execution for FedEx’s information technology division, a multi-billion dollar operation repesenting thousands of team members around the globe, and consisting of numerous applications, data centers and support processes that enable the FedEx mission.  On a day to day basis, Adams is charged with working with the FedEx CIO and the senior officer team to develop strategic technology solutions for FedEx Corporation.

Adams is a graduate of Louisiana State University (BBA, 1997) and Christian Brothers University, Memphis, TN (MBA, 1999).

Kenneth Burnett, Solutions Architect ALSACS/St. Jude Children’s Hospital

Kenneth Burnett is a senior IT professional and veteran with a 20 year track record in both technical and managerial domains with a proven talent for change management including leading re-organizations, policy & procedure development and application of technology to improve business processes.  He currently works as a solution architect at ALSAC / St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with responsibility for the implementation of technology solutions that support the fundraising goals of the organization.  Prior to joining ALSAC, he worked in information technology, strategic business development and marketing at several companies in Memphis and Phoenix, AZ.  Kenneth proudly served his country in the United States Marine Corps where he received a commendation for his tour of duty in Southwest Asia during Operation Desert Storm.

Kenneth is a confident, driving servant leader who reacts quickly to change and has a management belief based on integrity, quality and service.  Along with a positive attitude, Kenneth has an aptitude for strategic thinking and planning, and demonstrated successes in multiple disciplines including technology, finance, leadership and fundraising.  He believes that the best way to achieve success is to motivate given resources with well-defined objectives and empowerment.

In 2002, Kenneth received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award by the Phoenix chapter of the National Black MBA (NBMBA) for outstanding achievement in his local professional networking events. Other honors include being a New Memphis Institute fellow and graduate of Leadership Memphis.

Kenneth is a former vice-president of the Memphis Urban League Young Professionals and founding member and president of the Trezevant High School Alumni Association. He also does volunteer work for the Raleigh Grizzlies Youth Sports Association, where he serves as a mentor to underserved inner city boys and girls.  Kenneth is a staunch advocate of education and often lends his voice and talent in support of those looking to create the best learning environments for all students regardless of socioeconomic status.

Kenneth holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Tennessee at Martin and is currently in pursuit of his MBA from Christian Brothers University in Memphis. He lives in Bartlett, TN with his wife, their two children and one very resilient goldfish. In his free time, Kenneth can often be found in the gym trying to stave off Father Time. He also likes to coach football and track and is an avid photographer who occasionally books a gig or two to justify all of the money he spends on his equipment.

Jamal McCall,  President, Elite Group Solutions


McKinley “Mack” Martin, Jr., Senior Attorney, Business Transactions Group, FedEx Express

McKinley Martin, Jr. is a senior attorney in the Business Transactions Group in the Legal Department of Federal Express Corporation.  Attorney Martin graduated Summa Cum Laude from Texas Southern University (BBA 1985), cum laude from Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University in 1988, and received a Masters in Law (LLM) in American Banking Law from Boston University in 1995.  He has an extensive transactions, banking, general corporate and real estate legal background, practicing exclusively in these areas for over 27 years.  Prior to coming to Federal Express Corporation, Attorney Martin was in-house counsel with AutoZone, Inc. for 10 years.   Attorney Martin’s practice highlights include:

  • Drafting commercial purchase and sale agreements, ground lease, build to suit agreements, shopping center leases;
  • Preparing Airport Agreements;
  • Providing legal expertise to in-house clients concerning transactional and real estate matters;
  • Reviewing title commitments, surveys, and title searches of real property.

In addition to serving on GRAD Academy Memphis Board of Directors, Attorney Martin serves on the Board of Directors of the Memphis and Shelby County Community Redevelopment Agency and is a board member of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law Alumni Board of Directors.

Olliette Murry-Drobot,
Executive Director, Family Safety Center

Olliette Murry-Drobot has 19 years of experience in not-for-profit management.  Currently, Olliette serves as the Executive Director for The Family Safety Center of Memphis and Shelby County. The Family Safety Center (FSC) coordinates civil, criminal, health and social services for domestic violence victims.

Olliette is a member of the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission Board of Directors and a co-strategy leader for Operation Safe Community Goal: Reducing Violence in the Home.  Olliette is a board member of the Memphis/Shelby County Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Council and Grad Academy Memphis.  Olliette serves on the Shelby County Schools Pre-K Advisory Council, Tennessee Citizen Review Panel, and Trauma Informed Practices in Public Schools working group. Olliette holds a Bachelor of Arts from Rhodes College, Master of Arts from the University of Memphis, and Master of Business Administration from Belhaven University.   She is an American Leadership Forum Senior Fellow. She is a graduate of the Leadership Academy Fellows Program and graduate of the Delta Leadership Institute.  She is also a graduate of the 2012 Leadership Memphis Executive Program. Olliette received the 2016 Loretta Ross Award from SisterReach for her contributions and dedication to enriching the lives of women, girls and their families in Memphis. Olliette is committed to the ideas of equity, dignity, and respect for all individuals.

Jeff Smith,
Partner, Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP

Jeff Smith is a partner with Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP, a full-service law firm with more than 225 attorneys across the Southeast. Jeff’s legal career focuses on assisting clients in the resolution of commercial, construction and employment disputes, and he works extensively with companies in the manufacturing, healthcare, construction and agriculture industries. He also provides advice and counsel to schools formation through operations.

Jeff has been recognized as a “Power Player” in Employment Law by Memphis Business Quarterly every year since 2010. In 2011, he was named Pro Bono Attorney of the Year by the Tennessee Justice Center for establishing a partnership between his former law firm, the University of Memphis School of Law, and the Tennessee Justice Center to serve low income families on TennCare. He is a 1993 graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law, and he earned his B.B.A. in 1990 from the University of Mississippi. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of Grad Academy Memphis, Jeff is a member of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Justice Center, and he serves as a Lector and Eucharistic Minister at St. Peter Catholic Church. He is an alumnus of the Leadership Memphis Executive Program, Class of 2011-2012, and he is a former member of the Board of Advisors of the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce.

Charles Stout, Global R&D Manager,  Thomas & Betts – ABB

Dr. Charles Stout was born in Memphis, TN to a single mother who relocated to Chicago when he was very young. Throughout his early learning years in school, he received numerous awards including an award from the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers for participation in the Math counts competition. Charles attended Kenwood Academy in preparation for college. Throughout his high school and early college years he volunteered at the New City YMCA with the youth sports staff.

He decided to attend The University of Memphis which gave the opportunity to leave home and also be close to extended family. He was extremely involved on the Memphis campus in engineering based organizations such as the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) where he was Chapter President and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) where he was the Chapter Liaison.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering in 2000, he went to work as a HVAC design engineer. In 2002, he returned to the University of Memphis to complete the degree that he promised himself when he graduated high school, the Master of Science in mechanical engineering. He was a graduate student teacher of mechanical engineering courses and a researcher at The University of Memphis Flow Research Center where he researched delaying the transition between laminar and turbulent flow by induction of a plasma field. Upon coaxing from various faculty members and being awarded a PhD fellowship, he studied for his doctorate degree in mechanical engineering during which time he worked at Florida State’s High Magnetic Field Laboratory researching ways to cool superconducting magnets.

In June 2006, he accepted an offer to join the Boeing Environmental Control Systems (ECS) team, where he worked air quality research and development. In that capacity Charles worked on groundbreaking system designs and research. This airplane improvement debuted on Boeing’s new 787 airplane models.

In August of 2010 Dr. Stout accepted the offer to become Mueller Industries Director of Research and Development. Charles led the company’s product development efforts in order to compete for the dominant market positioning in pipe, tube and fitting products.

After 5 years at Mueller, Dr. Stout wanted a new challenge and accepted the role of Global R&D Manager for ABB. In this role Charles leads all R&D in the metal framing business unit global. He has employees all over the world supporting the business unit’s growth initiatives for new product development.

Charles volunteers his time in support of the technical community member of various technical committees within ASME and the American Society of Refrigeration Engineers (ASHRAE). With his commitment to career he has not neglected his community. He also enjoys volunteering with children to get them interested in science and engineering. Dr. Stout has continued to help and steer youth into higher education. Now as a resident of Memphis Charles continues to volunteer his time through efforts like EMBODI, the New Memphis Institute and as Board Chair of GRAD Academy Memphis.