Lincoln charged with selling Memphis to the world

Memphis Standout profile for The Memphis Daily News

May 24, 2013

There is a surge these days in Memphis boosterism, but there may be no one else with their pulse more on what is new and exciting and worth celebrating in the city than Rashana Lincoln.

As director of community engagement for the New Memphis Institute (formerly the Leadership Academy), Lincoln is charged with selling her greatest passion: Memphis.

Born and raised in Memphis, the White Station High School graduate went on to Clark Atlanta University, a small, historically black college that shares a campus with Spelman College and Morehouse College. She graduated in 1996 with a degree in business marketing.

Lincoln returned home as the Olympics descended upon Atlanta, and became caught up in the campaign for Harold Ford Jr.’s congressional run. She joined the staff as an advance person moving out in front of the campaign team. Lincoln said the experience was “intense, but phenomenal; it really exposed me to every pocket of the 9th District.”

Lincoln enjoyed working with the big-money donors as well as knocking on doors throughout the district and talking to the residents and those most affected by elections and legislation.

“I love people; that’s just my nature,” she said.

It was during the campaign that the importance of voting was instilled in her and it drove her to the University of Tennessee College of Law in Knoxville. Her father had a background in the law and she’d always seen a juris doctorate as “a great vehicle for any number of careers.”

She graduated law school in 2001, and though she never pursued a career in law she said the experience was invaluable. Her mother was ill when she came back to Memphis so Lincoln took over operations and management for the family business, Mayweather Catering … (read more)