Leadership Development.


Nashville Emerging Leaders (NEL) is an 11-week leadership training program designed for young professionals in Nashville. Each year, approximately 30 individuals are chosen through a rigorous selection process. NEL members participate in a series of weekly sessions facilitated by Strategy and Leadership.

The weekly sessions feature interactive exercises, issue exploration, self-assessments, community participation, group projects and in-depth discussions with Middle Tennessee’s top community and business leaders. Past speakers have included Charlie Strobel, Ralph Schulz, Janet Miller, Howard Gentry and many others. The issues discussed have included personal values, Nashville politics, diversity, education and non-profits.

The sessions are designed to accomplish the following:

  • Educate NEL participants on their personal styles, values and strengths so they can grow as leaders, motivate others, and impact change in their organizations and communities.
  • Engage NEL participants in issues important to the broader Nashville community and engage them in shaping the future of our city.

NEL is the first leadership training program of its kind in Nashville. It was founded in 2002 by Adam Small and a cadre of motivated and passionate young professionals to create an organization dedicated to the ongoing development, advancement, and interaction of emerging leaders in our community.

Regarded as the premier organization dedicated to developing and molding the young emergent leaders in the Nashville community. Serving as a catalyst to congregate, engage and advance future leaders through personal development, mentorship and access to senior leadership. Recognized for our passion of learning and community stewardship, NEL’s resources, energies and skills are focused in building the foundation of leaders to forge the Nashville of tomorrow.

Additional Details
There is no fee to apply to the program. If selected, participants are required to pay (or have their employer pay) a $550 participation fee. The fee includes the cost of dinner each week and vegetarian options are available.  The location for the weekly sessions has not yet been determined for 2019.



Our Guides


Liz Allen Fey 


Liz Allen Fey is CEO of Strategy and Leadership, LLC, located in Nashville, Tennessee. Her work with corporations, organizations and communities builds on her 20 years of being a manager and leader as well as her 19 years of consulting and coaching work in construction, associations, health care, music, hospitality, finance, manufacturing, food service, education, government, retail, technology, non-profits, as well as with communities.

Her work ranges from helping organizations create sound strategy through good assessment and planning to coaching both established and emerging leaders, along with providing skill development in leadership areas. Liz has helped hundreds of companies and organizations create and implement strategic plans.

She understands process, the human side of companies and the need to have actionable plans. She has coached hundreds of leaders to become stronger leaders and managers. She brings her sense of humor and sound facilitation and coaching skills to every engagement. Her formal training is in social work and she received her BA in Sociology from Miami University in Oxford, OH and her Masters in Social Work from the University of Tennessee. She is a mentor trainer in the facilitation tools from the Institute of Cultural Affairs and is a certified NLP coach.

Liz serves on the board of The Girl Scouts and is a past Trustee of the United Way of Nashville. She is a past President of All About Women and of Book EM!. She serves on the board of the Nashville Downtown Rotary, the Advisory Board of First Tennessee Bank and the Middle Tennessee Workforce Investment Board. She was a member of the 2005 class of Leadership Nashville and is a founder of Nashville Emerging Leaders and still facilitates that annual program. She was given the inaugural Sage Award of the Nashville Emerging Leader Awards from the Young Professionals of Nashville.



Rachel Moore-Beard


Nashville native Rachel Moore-Beard graduated from University of Tennessee, Chattanooga with a degree in Theatre & Speech.

She began working for Strategy and Leadership, LLC in 2006 as office manager. Over the years, her role has grown and shifted to include a variety of responsibilities, including content creation, materials development/design, and assisting in facilitation work.

In 2007, Rachel joined Nashville Emerging Leaders, where she has provided support and program administration for 11 years. Additionally, she has worked with Alignment Nashville in the America’s Promise expansion initiative and Academies of Nashville launch. She also works as the Culture Creator at Made In Network, where she guides and supports the start-up in building a strong foundation for staff.

Rachel is currently pursuing a Coaching Certification from Coach Academy International. She is a member of the Center for Nonprofit Management’s inaugural Collective Impact Learning Community.  In her free time, she enjoys all Nashville has to offer with her musician husband, Brady and son, JM.