Jerry Maynard works hard to help Nashville be as much of an “It City” for its African American residents and visitors as it seems to be for its mainstream residents and visitors. He has been a Metro Nashville Councilman for two full terms (the maximum) and is the CEO and founder of The Maynard Group. As CEO of the Maynard Group, he leads a group of dedicated professionals who help Nashville to be the kind of city with opportunities for African Americans that many have long seen Atlanta as being, the kind of city where African Americans can prosper and participate in the economic boom. Much of this article is his own words.
“I want people to have contracts and jobs who are African American. I want TSU to be the best it can be, I want Fisk to be the best it can be, I want Meharry to be the best it can be.” Maynard’s passion for Meharry is solid and was strengthened by an experience he had in 2009.
“I had a stroke and I went to General Hospital and they took great care of me… General Hospital is not a black hospital, it is not a poor people’s hospital, it’s not a Meharry hospital, General Hospital is the city’s hospital.” He explained that “It’s the one place you can go and get healthcare regardless of your ability to pay.”
Recognizing a need for it, the CEO of General Hospital, Dr. Joseph Webb, brought him and his team on board to help General Hospital to tell their story. Maynard helped Metro employees understand that they can get all of their medical treatment 100% covered there, potentially saving each of them thousands of dollars. He works so that those who would not have health care, those who would not have medicine can know that they can get this at General Hospital.
“There are individuals who have cancer who have survived because they went to General Hospital who had no insurance… in other words, if there were no General they would not be here today.”
“Nashville is an economic booming city.” He wants African Americans to lead the way for Latinos and women to also participate fully in that boom. “We need some millionaires who are 35 years old and 40 years old… it’s not just about the money, it’s about contracts, jobs and economic success in this city.” Nothing against pro athletes, to succeed we “don’t have to be just an artist or an athlete” to make it.
He thanked Davita Taylor and the Airport Authority for working with him to help get the word out about the opportunities for minorities to get in the pipeline early there, helping reach out to 1,000 small businesses for the $1 billion in new construction expansion at the airport
“Metro Nashville Public Schools spends $600 million per year in contracts — what percentage is going to African Americans? We make up 50% of the school system.” He referenced; millions in spending at MTA for expanded routes and services; and millions at MDHA with Envision Edgehill and Envision Casey… “the city hires lawyers, the city hires investors, that’s your tax dollars that are being invested.”
“How do we get African Americans to get more higher level jobs, executive jobs contracts with these companies? What we found out is that in Nashville it’s all about relationships… we have to find ways to come together and fellowship, so we can do business together.” Along with Lee Mollette and Kate Herman he organized a quarterly luncheon program called 20 for 20, bringing together 20 white CEOs of large companies in Nashville with 20 African American CEOs, hosted by the Board Chair of the of HCA at their new headquarters.
“Everything I do is ministry… ministry is when you go to the needs of the people where they are”… giving hope to people by creating an environment free of discrimination, free of obstacles and barriers… a pathway to success. “Ministry to me is dealing with education, healthcare, economic development, and then…creating an environment where all of us can succeed.”
For eight years on the Metro Council, he and the Maynard Group were able to help get funding for TSU, Fisk, and support both Meharry Medical College and General Hospital by securing funding for General to keep the hospital open to serve the city and to continue to be a teaching hospital for Meharry. His other accomplishments on the Metro Council have included an affordable housing incentive plan in 2009, helping bring a new baseball stadium to North Nashville, creating a small business incentive plan with $50,000 grants that are still available.
“The Maynard Group is positioned to help us, both businesses and individuals, that if you’re looking to say ‘how do I get contracts with Metro government, how do I get contracts in the private sector, how do I position myself to make my company a success?’ Come see me at the Maynard Group so we can help. We’ve been working in this city for over 20 years and we think we have the experience, the know-how, the relationships, and we can provide wisdom and counsel and strategy to help businesses succeed.”
Maynard was educated at Indiana University where he earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree after completing his Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.