Mayor A C Wharton Jr. is among six "City Changemakers" tapped for honors by CEOs for Cities, a national group that will host the 2013 salute in Grand Rapids, Mich. on Oct. 1.
The awards denote innovative leadership in American cities. CEOs for Cities is designed to connect urban leaders with each other and with "the smartest ideas for city success."
In addition to Wharton, this year's winners are: Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Mark Rosenberg, president of Florida International University, Olga Stella of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, and Jim Walker, founder of Big Car, an arts and culture organization in Indianapolis.
"We are very pleased to honor these 6 extraordinary leaders for their innovative leadership in making their cities more vibrant, sustainable, and economically competitive," said Lee Fisher, president and CEO of CEOs for Cities. "Each was enthusiastically nominated by community leaders in their cities."
Here's what CEOs for Cities cites about Wharton:
A C Wharton has been Mayor of Memphis since 2009, and is leading the transformation of Memphis by focusing on four strategic priorities: creating safe and vibrant neighborhoods, growing prosperity and opportunity for all, investing in young people, and advancing a culture of excellence in government.
Mayor Wharton will be honored for achievements like the creation of the Mayor's Innovation Delivery Team, 25 Square blight eradication strategy, small and minority business development and expansion programs and the Office of Talent and Human Capital – the only one of its kind in city government. He is a strong advocate for creating bike lanes, new green space and connecting communities across the region through projects such as the Main Street to Main Street Multimodal Connector Project.
Mayor Wharton said, "I am constantly looking for ways to make my city more competitive economically, safer and more livable for families, and more interesting and fun for the many visitors who come every year from around the world to experience Memphis music, food, history and culture. I am honored that my passion for and commitment to my city is recognized with this award. "
The theme of the 2013 National Meeting is "The Art of the Collaborative City," and will explore the role of the private, public, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors at the intersection of art, design, talent, and place. Over 250 leaders from more than 60 cities are expected to attend.