For Immediate Release - Southwest Tennessee Community College

Date: April 17, 2013

President/CEO Carolyn Hardy Will Address the Southwest Tennessee Community College Graduating Class of 2013

Carolyn Hardy will deliver the commencement address to Southwest Tennessee Community College's Class of 2013 on May 4, at 10:30 a.m. at the Landers Center in Southaven, MS.

Hardy is the seventh of sixteen children, which positioned her to grow up to become an extremely competitive individual. She was challenged by her parents to be number one and unique. She has demonstrated her perseverance by mastering many disciplines personally and professionally.

Hardy is a native Memphian, graduate of Melrose High School, and the University of Memphis, receiving both her BBA and MBA and is a certified public accountant (CPA). In addition, she has been recognized by numerous organizations such as 2013 Women's Foundation of Greater Memphis Legend's award, 2012 Women of Achievement-Determination, 2012 University of Memphis 100 years 100 Women, 2011 State of Tennessee Women in Economic Development, 2011 University of Memphis Alumnus of the Year, and many others.

In addition, she is on the board on many organizations such as chairperson of Soulsville (Stax), chairman of Shelby County Workforce Development Human Capital Work Group, University of Memphis Trustee/BOV, FCBE Advisory Board, U of M Crews Venture Lab, Women's Foundation, Memphis Athletic Ministries, Founding member of Philanthropic Black Women, Memphis Regional Chamber of Commerce, Trust One Bank, River Front Development, and New Memphis Institute. She is one of the founders of Southwest 'Industrial Readiness Training' and participates in its expansion to manufacturers in Memphis and Shelby County.

Hardy's career accomplishments highlight her role as a trailblazer in many non-traditional jobs. She started her career at the J. M. Smucker Company where she successfully managed Finance, Quality, and Human Resource before becoming the first African-American female plant manager. As plant manager, she was responsible for manufacturing and distributions supporting the southeastern U.S. as well as export shipments. After a successful career at Smuckers, she served as vice president of Services, responsible for national software implementations for Honeywell-POMS Corporation. After, Honeywell, she joined Coors Brewing Company, becoming the first African-American female vice president/GM of a major brewery. In this role, she was responsible for serving the southeastern U.S., 100 percent of international distribution and military bases around the world.

Effective September 1, 2006, she began Hardy Bottling, the first African-American female owned major brewery with the ability to manufacture over 100 million cases. Additionally, in 2007, Hardy started her intermodal business with the first terminal in Memphis. On May 2, 2011, she sold her brewery assets to City Brewing while focusing her career and investments in the intermodal/supply chain sector. Hardy's goal is to continue to grow her intermodal business by leveraging transportation evolution and the railroad expansion.

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Photo caption: Carolyn Hardy

For more information contact: Brenda J. Rayner, (901) 333-4247, bjrayner@southwest.tn.edu, Farris Bldg., Room 1002, 5983 Macon Cove, Memphis, TN 38134