Mayor-elect John Cooper announces transition and inauguration plans

(l-r) Mayor-elect John Cooper and co-chair of his transition team Councilwoman Brenda Haywood.

Mayor-elect John Cooper has tapped two familiar names for his transition co-chairs: Brenda Haywood and Mary Falls.

“Since Election Day, John Cooper has begun the process of listening and meeting with parents, business people, community leaders, and former Mayors to discuss the transition to the Office of Mayor,” said Cooper’s campaign in a release. “Incorporating the feedback from these conversations, collection of ideas, and understanding of best governing practices, John will be leading the transition with the aid of his two transition co-chairs: Brenda Haywood and Mary Falls.”

John Cooper’s transition website is available at and includes information for those interested in working in Cooper’s administration.

Councilwoman Brenda Haywood, who currently represents District 3 on Metro Council, serves as an associate minister at St. John Missionary Baptist Church and is the founder of Royal Heirs Youth Academy, a youth and family empowerment nonprofit. A Nashville native, Haywood was the first African American student to walk through the doors of Stratford High School in 1963, followed by three others, integrating the school. Haywood later earned her Bachelor’s degree from Tennessee State University and Master’s degree from Vanderbilt University.

A retired Metro Nashville Public School teacher and administrator, now a volunteer chaplain for incarcerated youth, Haywood serves on the Board of Nashville Prevention Partnership and the Homeless Veterans Foundation.

Mary Falls is the founder of Middle Ground Tennessee, a non-partisan community-based non-profit dedicated to finding thoughtful, innovative solutions to challenging public issues and co-founder of Coalition for a Strong Tennessee, which supports bipartisan solutions for comprehensive healthcare coverage in Tennessee. Falls, who earned her Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor degrees from Vanderbilt University, serves on several nonprofit boards and advisory committees, including Alive Hospice, Tennessee Justice Center, Saint Thomas Health. Falls has volunteered with Room in the Inn for three decades. She was previously an attorney with Sherrard & Roe, LLC.

The campaign plans to have its inauguration ceremony on September 28th at Stratford STEM Magnet High School. The swearing-in ceremony begins will begin at 10:00 am. Former Councilmember Brenda Haywood will be on the stage with the Mayor-elect, along with Vice Mayor Jim Shulman. Members of the Metro Council will also be in attendance.

After the swearing-in, Mayor Cooper will attend the Neighbor 2 Neighbor Festival at the Southeast Community Center, located at 5260 Hickory Hollow Pkwy #202, Antioch, TN 37013.