Innovate Memphis Names Jessica Lotz Executive Director

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August 30, 2022

Lotz brings more than a decade of project management, strategic planning experience to the nonprofit

Innovate Memphis, a nonprofit organization focused on delivering civic solutions, today announced that Jessica Lotz has been appointed as its new executive director. Lotz succeeds Justin Entzminger, who previously led the organization for six years.

Lotz comes to Innovate Memphis from Memphis-Shelby County Schools as the Director of Research and Performance Management. For the past six years, she was responsible for expanding and scaling data analytics resources for school and district leaders, program evaluation, continuous improvement coaching, and strategic planning.

“Jessica’s commitment to collaboration, extensive experience in research and program development, and dedication to making Memphis better are only a few reasons why she stood out as the ideal candidate for this role,” said Susan Dalton, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Innovate Memphis. “Under her leadership, Innovate Memphis will continue to incubate new programs that are driven by the needs of our city.”

A member of the Playhouse on the Square Board of Directors since 2014, Lotz currently serves as Board President for the organization. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Rhodes College and a master’s degree in Public Policy from Duke University.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity and tools to empower more Memphians crossing racial and socio-economic boundaries in search of equity and access,” said Lotz. “I look forward to taking on this role and leveraging my background in data analysis to improve processes and create efficiencies for individuals, businesses, and the Greater Memphis community.”

Previous Executive Director Justin Entzminger has accepted a new role as Innovation Practice Director for the Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation at Johns Hopkins University. When Innovate Memphis was founded in 2011, Memphis was one of the first five Pioneer Cities to implement the Bloomberg Philanthropies innovation team model, which is now active in more than 30 cities around the globe.

About Innovate Memphis

Innovate Memphis develops initiatives, nurtures partnerships and incubates solutions to move Memphis forward. We serve the City of Memphis and work with diverse stakeholders to collaborate across public, private and non-profit sectors to develop and deliver bold solutions to pressing urban challenges and deliver impactful, sustained change. The organization currently works in four main priority areas: City Innovation Projects, Reimagining the Civic Commons, Transportation and Mobility, and Civic Data. We serve as the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership partner for the region, delivering data resources, analysis, and capacity-building to local place-based organizations. Simply, we connect the dots between sectors, create tactical strategies and collaborative opportunities, and seek ways to improve our city and region. Visit to learn more.

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Beth Wilson