Tennessee Business & Civic Leaders Join Engage Cuba To End Cuban Embargo

This fall, Engage Cuba announced it was taking its fight to the states. Our primary goal with our councils is to work on the ground in states to ensure elected officials in Washington know where their constituents stand. With the latest Atlantic Council poll conducted by prominent GOP pollster Glen Bolger, we could do just that in Tennessee. The poll found that a majority of Americans, including Tennesseans from both parties, support lifting the trade embargo and travel restrictions and endorse the restoration of diplomatic relations.

This week we are proud to announce 16 members of our first state council in Tennessee who have joined together to support an end to the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba. These Tennessee business and community leaders represent a wide array of sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, business and the arts.

  • Bradley Jackson, Vice President, Tennessee Manufacturers Association
  • Buddy Teaster, President and CEO, Souls for Souls
  • Catherine Glover, President, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry
  • Darek Bell, Owner, Corsair Distillery and Bell Construction
  • David Williams II, Vice Chancellor for Athletics and University Affairs and Athletics Director, Vanderbilt University
  • Geoff Macdonald, Women’s Tennis Coach, Vanderbilt University
  • Jessica Bookstaff Doppelt, Founder & CEO, Pigeon Forge Tourism
  • Joshua Smith, Owner, Standard Club of Nashville
  • Kealie Williams, Vice President, Hands on Nashville
  • Kent Merritt, President, Thunder Road Distillery
  • Lisa Janke, Founder and President of Short Bark Industries
  • Louis Buck, Development Specialist, Tennessee Department of Agriculture
  • Dr. Manny Sethi, Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Stacy Widelitz, Board of Directors, Nashville Opera, Past President of the Nashville Film Festival
  • Tom Negri, former officer and board member of the Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association
  • José Angel Rodríguez Fernández, Emerging Markets Development and Strategy

The Engage Cuba Tennessee State Council is the first of many state councils being organized by Engage Cuba to show the grassroots support among community leaders across the nation who believe it is time for significant policy changes to the United States’ relationship with Cuba.