Former Councilman Lonnell Matthews, Jr. will lead the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods and Community Engagement
Former Councilman Lonnell Matthews, Jr. will serve as the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods and Community Engagement, focused on giving the residents of Nashville a stronger voice in their local communities and the government which serves them. The addition of “Community Engagement” to the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods reflects the mayor’s desire to ensure that traditionally underserved populations in Nashville have a more prominent role in the administration so that our government reflects the diversity of our great city.
“I worked with Lonnell for eight years on the Metro Council and found him to be smart, engaging and committed to public service,” said Mayor Barry. “I know that he is the right person to help strengthen the office of neighborhoods while also engaging more parts of the community in the governing process.”
Matthews was the youngest African-American ever elected to the Metro Council, serving District 1 for two terms from 2007 to 2015, where he led as President Pro Tempore (2014), Minority Caucus President (2009), and served as Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee (2012), Parks Committee (2010), and Education Committee (2011). Prior to accepting his position in Mayor Barry's administration, Matthews served as District Executive Director of the YMCA Community Action Project and Urban Services Youth Development Center for the YMCA of Middle TN.
Ron Thompson will serve as a community engagement assistant with the Office of Neighborhoods and Community Engagement to improve the public’s access to the Mayor’s Office. Thompson worked on the Charles Robert Bone for Mayor Campaign prior to joining the Barry Campaign as the mayor’s personal aide in August. He has an undergraduate degree from Tennessee State University and an MBA from Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee.
Erin Williams will continue to serve in the new Office of Neighborhoods and Community Engagement as neighborhood liaison.
“I’m excited to bring a talented and diverse group of Nashvillians into the Mayor’s Office to help improve the quality of services offered by our Metro government,” said Barry. “These new additions bring us ever closer to our goal of having a fully-staffed Mayor’s Office ready to move forward on the goals and priorities of my administration.”
Thompson started working with the administration on October 7, Hamilton will begin on October 26, and Matthews will assume his role on November 12.