Leadership Chattanooga is a 10-month leadership development program that allows local professionals opportunities to learn more about and engage with the community where they live and work. Leadership Chattanooga has been a launching pad for the careers and civic impact of some of Chattanooga’s most prominent professionals. We’re here to share their stories and catch up on what’s happened since they completed the program.
This month, Marcus Cade-Johnson, Business Lender at Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union, shares insights on the importance of volunteering and supporting your community.
Trend: When did you graduate from Leadership Chattanooga?
Trend: Tell us a little about yourself. What do you do for fun?
Cade-Johnson: Before becoming a parent, I was a bit of a gamer, so I enjoy playing PS5 with my little cousins when I have the opportunity (I lose often). I have a ton of fun coaching youth football for the River City Bills. Now that the pandemic is subsiding, I’ll be able to have my son, who is two years old, on the field with me, so that should make for some fun moments this season. Finally, I enjoy going to amusement parks and playing chess.
Trend: Name one way you have impacted the community in your space.
Cade-Johnson: Our team at TVFCU helped hundreds of small businesses within our thirteen county service areas obtain PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loans. The PPP process was an extremely stressful yet gratifying experience. These loans helped entrepreneurs stay in business and keep people employed during the most challenging times of the global pandemic. I am grateful to have played a role in helping many of our TVFCU members keep their doors open and people employed.
Trend: What drew you to the Leadership Chattanooga program when you applied?
Cade-Johnson: I was drawn to Leadership Chattanooga because I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the interworking's of our community, specifically local government. I also considered LC an opportunity to break out of my little bubble and interact with other professionals I would otherwise not have a chance to meet.
Trend: How has your career been impacted by the program?
Cade-Johnson: I have more awesome people to schedule coffee or lunch with. LOL.
Trend: You're a highly successful contributor to the Chattanooga community. What practices do you follow that help you achieve success?
Cade-Johnson: I grew up with parents who were always working in the community. At a young age, they instilled in me the importance of volunteering. My dad would always say, “take good care of your community so that one day your community will take good care of you.” With that in mind, I try to volunteer my time as much as possible. Whether it's a speaking engagement, serving on boards, volunteering for a committee, mentoring, or community service, I try to be intentional about staying active in our community.
Trend: What advice would you give someone who is looking for ways to become more connected to the community?
Cade-Johnson: Chattanooga has many different organizations serving different groups and purposes, so I would encourage everyone to find an organization they're passionate about and jump in. Don't worry about not having all the answers or a bunch of ideas. You can make a meaningful contribution to your community if you are willing to lend a helping hand.
Trend: Is there anything you would like to add or tell about yourself?
Cade-Johnson: I have a severe case of Arachnophobia, Alaska is one of my favorite places to visit, I am a fan of all Philadelphia sports teams, and I wholeheartedly believe that Leadership Chattanooga Class of 2019 is the BEST CLASS EVER!