Vision and Relationships 


Ernest Strickland
President and CEO

Ernest D. Strickland, President and CEO of the Black Business Association of Memphis, holds an MBA from Bethel University and a Bachelor of Professional Studies from the University of Memphis. Strickland has led a multitude of successful economic and workforce development projects throughout his career. He recently served as an architect of Memphis’ community-wide workforce development initiative, Upskill 901 – a program aimed at upskilling 10,000 individuals over a three-year timeframe.

Strickland comes to the BBA after a stellar 15-year career with the Greater Memphis Chamber. At the Chamber, his most recent role was Senior Vice President of Workforce & Talent Development. Before this position, he served the Chamber as VP of International, Director of Workforce Development and Public Policy, Existing Business Consultant, and Business Development Associate.

Before working at the Chamber, Ernest owned and managed Investors First Realty. In this capacity, his responsibilities included managing cash flow, driving property acquisitions and sales, and serving as property manager for the firm’s portfolio of real estate owned.

As a native Memphian, Ernest is passionate about growing the CITY. He enjoys investing in his community through civic duties such as serving as former Chairman of the W.E.B. DuBois Charter School Consortium, Board Member of the Memphis Kings Youth Organization, Board member of The Consortium MMT, and New Memphis Institute Board of Trustee. Ernest was recently appointed to serve as a Greater Memphis Local Workforce Development Board of Director. Also, he is Past Chairman of the Downtown Memphis Commission, former board member of Memphis World Trade Club, and Leadership Memphis.

Alisha Williamson
Strategic Projects Administrator

Alisha Williamson, a Memphis, TN native, is a driven, passionate, and experienced community engagement professional. Her success streams from helping companies, nonprofit organizations, and agencies with consumer and brand engagement projects for over 10yrs. Alisha’s background in marketing and communications and her passion for community involvement has helped her spread her creative wings in all areas of brand management, consumer engagement, and digital marketing strategies. She is a woman of many hats, but her favorite is being a mother. She works hard and balances her career as she continues to establish financial security. Alisha’s goal is to empower and educate Black businesses on the value of their worth through an entrepreneur mindset.

Chasisty Jones
Executive Office Manager

Chasisty joined Black Business Association in October 2021.  In her role as Executive Office Manager, she is tasked with adding structure and value to the organization by establishing robust office protocols and accurate accounting activities, such as bookkeeping and managing the membership database. She brings over 20 years of experience in management and leadership to this role. She has held various leadership positions in education and the private sector, from supervisor to director of operations. Prior to joining the BBA, Chasisty was Operations manager for Elwood Staffing.

 A native Memphian, Chasisty, believes in the potential of Memphis.  She received her Bachelors of Management & Organizational Development from Bethel University. She has a passion for volunteering and giving back to her community, she is an active member of the Junior League of Memphis, and The Downtown Neighborhood Association.  She also volunteers for Memphis in May and is a strong supporter and advocate for her high school alma mater, Booker T. Washington.