Driscoll, Cobbucci selected as ‘New Leaders Council’ Fellows

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New Leaders Council Nashville, the local chapter of the nation’s leading organization for progressive Millennial thought leadership and skills-based training, announced today the selection of Ryan Driscoll and Phil Cobucci of Nashville as a 2018 NLC Fellows.  They will join 20 fellows throughout Tennessee this winter and spring in skills-based trainings to prepare them to be the changemaker of the future.

"New Leaders Council Nashville is thrilled to welcome Ryan and Phil to our growing cohort of local changemakers and community members,” said Brenda Gadd, Co-Director of New Leaders Council Nashville. “All our new fellows are already exemplary members of Tennessee, through the NLC Institute, they will be provided the skills, training and network to focus their efforts on real and systemic change for Tennessee and for our country.”

Ryan Driscoll is a Health Policy Analyst at Vanderbilt University and an experienced community organizer. As a Nashville native, her first foray into organizing was against anti-LGBTQ legislation at the Tennessee state legislature, which was just a short walk away from her high school, Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet School. 

Phil launched BAM! Social Business, a boutique social media and digital marketing agency. Phil also serves as President Emeritus of Nashville Pride, Secretary of Nashville Emerging Leaders Board of Directors, a board member of the Davidson County Foster Care Review Board and is actively involved with charities throughout Nashville in variety of volunteer capacities.

In addition to Driscoll and Cobucci, the Nashville NLC class of 2018 consists of the following: 

Brenda Ayala, Plaza Mariachi
Alandis Brassel, The Arts & Business Council 
Erika Burnett, The Burnett Group, LLC 
Chuck Corra, Cooley Public Strategies
Amber Finlay, State of Tennessee
Kelia Franks,  Tennessee Justice Center
Jyoti Gupta, Vanderbilt University 
Lindsey Krinks, Open Table Nashville 
Giccola Lane, Just City
Jeffrey Lichtentin, University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Casey Miller, Vanderbilt University 
Briana Perry, Healthy & Free Tennessee
Ramon J. Ryan, Genesco Inc. 
Dana Smith, United Campus Workers
JC Torres, Conexion Americas
Thomas Walker, United Campus Workers
Whitney Washington, Black Lives Matter Global Network
Nate Zeitlin, Manuel Zeitlin Architects

Read more about the 2018 NLC NASHVILLE fellows class here.

Ryan and Phil will join the national class of nearly 900 fellows in 50 NLC chapters across the country.  Nationally, the new Fellows class self identified as is the most diverse in the organization’s history with 63 percent non-white, 61 percent female, and 17 percent LGBTQ+.  

“NLC is proud to announce its largest and most diverse cohort yet.  In 50 cities and states, our fellows will be driving change in their communities and their workplaces,” said Mark Riddle, President, New Leaders Council. “These nearly 900 individuals are the future of our country, ensuring a more progressive and prosperous future.”  

The NLC Institute is a six-month training program focused on skills transfer for each cohort on issues such as entrepreneurial goal setting, strategic communications and digital outreach, economics, finance and fundraising, management and coalition building, progressive policy, and diversity and inclusion.

Chosen fellows went through a rigorous, locally-driven selections process including an application with an essay component and an in-person interview. Roughly 25 percent of those who applied to the Institute were accepted nationally. 

NLC Fellows are paired with a mentor who is a professional in their field. Through the mentorship program, Fellows are exposed to successful individuals who are committed to supporting the next generation of progressive leaders. 

NLC Fellows are civic, social, and business entrepreneurs who lead the charge on the ground to solve the most critical challenges facing our communities.  NLC’s Capstone Project, a cornerstone of our Institutes, challenges Fellows to identify a project that captures their passion, fills a need in the community, and leverages the skills NLC provides through the Fellowship in order to come up with a plan to address it head on. This is where NLC’s training effectively comes to life.

New Leaders Council Nashville graduated its first cohort of Fellows in 2013 and has since provided skills-based, leadership training for more than 75 Tennesseans.  NLC Nashville alumni are leaders in business, nonprofit, and government, among others.

Once this class of fellows completes the Institute in June 2018, they will join NLC’s robust alumni network of nearly 6,000 changemakers nationwide.

New Leaders Council (NLC) is a 501(c)(3) and is the leading training program for progressive Millennials. NLC equips our leaders with the skills to run for office, manage campaigns, create starts ups and networks of thought leaders.  NLC leaders take their activism back into their communities and workplaces to impact progressive change. 

NLC has 50 chapters across the country in red and blue states with nearly 6,000 alumni. NLC is a true reflection of the Millennial generation with 57 percent of our NLC community as non-white and 53 percent women.  NLC is one of the few organizations focused on building a new governing coalition.


CORRECTION: an earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Driscoll and Cobucci as the only LGBT-identified Fellows of the 2018 cohort. O&AN regrets the error.