The Community Builder City Innovation Director & Chief of Staff at Innovate Memphis

Courtney McNeal is a native Memphian who has experienced many barriers that impact her fellow citizens’ quality of life. She is the City Innovation Director and Chief of Staff at Innovate Memphis, where she oversees the organization’s City of Memphis project portfolio and manages all things HR and DEI. Her work at Innovate Memphis enables her to focus on social equity while carrying out her mission of helping and loving the people of her amazing hometown. 

Courtney has a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Memphis, where she was also a graduate fellow in the Housing and Community Development Research Program. She is certified in Nonprofit Management and Leadership by the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance of Kansas City and has a graduate certificate in Philanthropy Leadership at the University of Memphis. Courtney’s focus areas include community outreach and development, educational equity, and special events. 

She is big on giving back, and in her spare time, Courtney volunteers with her church and the Junior League of Memphis, where she holds the leadership role of Annual Fund Chair. She also puts on free community events! The most current one is Fitness Under the Stars, an annual free fitness series at the River Garden and Tom Lee Park in partnership with the Memphis River Parks Partnership and Downtown Memphis Commission. 

The overall objective of Fitness Under the Stars is to promote community health through fitness. Courtney understands that affordability can often be a barrier for some people interested in trying various gyms and studios. She strongly feels that everyone should have access to resources and opportunities as the more privileged people in the city may have. Even if it is just a one-time experience, she loves the idea of someone trying something new where cost is eliminated from the equation. 

By Lucy Modzelewski 

Photo by Avery Amstutz 

Memphis Health + Fitness Magazine is proud to spotlight rising stars in the 901 fitness and wellness community in our inaugural 20 Under 40 issue. We received many amazing applications and handpicked a variety of individuals from different backgrounds and areas of expertise to showcase some of the best and brightest up-and-comers in our industry. We’re excited to present you with the honorees for the Memphis Health + Fitness 20 Under 40 Issue!