J. Tomma Battle

J. Tomma Battle

University of Tennessee

Program Coordinator, Relationship Builders

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

What is your vision for Knoxville 10 years from now?

It is my desire that Knoxville would realize the incredible challenges that exist in poverty stricken communities and listen to those communities in a way that begins real improvements as opposed to band aid like solutions that further cripple those most in need.

What is Knoxville’s Best Kept Secret?

The University of Tennessee has vast resources and projects that could serve the entire city if more companies and organizations would tap into them. UTK is a top research school with incredible programs, but many of the programs are known to so few.

What would you do to strengthen Knoxville?

I would find a way to get more people to have meaningful conversations about the issues that plague our city. I would encourage all companies and organizations to invest in their clients and employees in the area of work-life balance and the importance of self-care. I would also make conflict resolution required training for just about everyone.

What is your favorite Knoxville memory?

I have been encouraged by the way that Knoxville comes together in times of crisis.

What is your favorite book or what book is currently on your nightstand?

I ain’t coming to your d%@* church

What is the best advice you have received from a mentor, and who was that mentor?

Look at what you have accomplished and don’t measure yourself by someone else’s ruler. – Cynthia Turner

What advice would you give to your 16 year old self?

Figure out what you are passionate about and make choices based on your passion as opposed to based on other people’s expectations and standards.

J. Tomma Battle