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ITNMemphis Mourns Loss of Great Memphis Leader

January 8, 2013

The ITNMemphis Board of Directors is sad to announce the loss of its cherished champion and Executive Director, Mr. Holden Potter.

Mr. Potter, 73, passed away on December 23, 2012, at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis. A respected community leader who lived in Memphis for five decades, Mr. Potter took the helm of the organization in December of 2011 and led the young organization into full affiliation with ITNAmerica. He spearheaded big developments for the organization during 2012 with major announcements including the receipt of several large grants and the much anticipated movement from pre-affiliate to affiliate status. His experience and abilities positioned the organization well to transform transportation options for Memphis seniors and the visually impaired by adapting the successful ITNAmerica national model to meet the unique needs of MidSouth residents.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Jo Lofton Potter and their daughter Holly Nason Potter Gilbey. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, January 8, at Calvary Episcopal Church downtown with reception following. The Board of ITNMemphis will serve as pallbearers at the service.

“Holden Potter stepped into the role of Executive Director for ITNMemphis at a critical time,” shares Dan Murrell, ITNMemphis Board Chair. “Under his leadership, ITNMemphis fully affiliated with the national organization, ITNAmerica, and he was coordinating its first ride. Holden brought his years of experience, a passion for telling stories, and a deep personal commitment to the mission of the ITN. We will all miss him very much.”

The ITNMemphis board has named former Board Secretary, Gayla Schaefer, as Interim Executive Director through March to maintain the leadership legacy started by Mr. Potter. Schaefer, a 2012 MPA graduate of the University of Memphis with 15 years experience in public sector management, will oversee the daily operations and fund development during the search for a permanent Executive Director as the organization prepares to start delivering its first rides to Memphis citizens during the first half of this year.

Mr. Potter was born in New York City and grew up in Packanack Lake, NJ.  A graduate of the University of Iowa, majoring in theatre arts, he did further study at the University of Memphis. Holden and Jo made their home in Memphis where Holden distinguished himself with WKNO TV, Front St. Theatre, Holiday Inns, Geoff Sutton Advertising, Memphis Theological Seminary, Playhouse on the Square, Memphis Humane Society, Christian Brothers University, and as a prominent freelancer for a variety of clients. He helped found the Memphis Iowa Club and was honored as its 2012 outstanding member. He helped establish and present the Memphis Hunter-Jumper Classic Horse Show for a number of years and served on its board. He was a past president of the Memphis Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and president last year of the local chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. Mr. Potter also served on Calvary’s vestry, chaired its Every Member Giving Campaign, and was active in the Cursillo and Disciples of Christ movements and Kairos prison ministry.

In lieu of flowers, the Potter family has requested donations be made to Calvary, 102 N. Second 38103; ITNMemphis, 561 Prescott St., 38111; Playhouse on the Square, 66 S. Cooper 38104; or the Memphis Humane Society, 935 Farm Road 38134.


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