Effective in the spring, local resident Tonya Hinch will join the internationally recognized Aspen Institute in Washington, DC. Assuming the role of managing director of the Henry Crown Fellowship Program, she will be responsible for arguably the most prestigious fellowship program in the United States. When asked to describe her role, "It's the job of my dreams — when I moved back home in 2004 I never imagined leaving. This opportunity allows me to keep a foot in Crossville, TN, where I've devoted so much time and energy to the community over the past 10 years."
The Henry Crown Fellowship was established in 1997 by the Crown family from Chicago to honor the memory of Henry Crown, a great industrialist business and civic leader. Each year a class of 20 leaders is chosen to engage in a thought-provoking journey of personal exploration — to move beyond success to a place of growing significance in the world. The fellowship challenges each individual to learn and to teach, and to stretch themselves further than they ever thought possible.
Each class of 20 Henry Crown Fellows is chosen from a wide pool of accomplished entrepreneurial leaders (between the ages of 25 and 45). These fellows have already achieved considerable success in the private or public sector and are at an inflection point in their lives or careers — looking toward the broader role they might take on in their communities or globally. The two-year program comprises a structured series of four seminars under the guidance of skilled senior moderators of the Aspen Institute along with a required leadership project of each fellows' own design and choosing.
Upon graduation from the two-year program, Henry Crown Fellows are invited to continue their engagement with members of their class, with other Henry Crown Fellows, with members of the Aspen Global Leadership Network and with various other aspects of the Aspen Institute. Individuals cannot apply for the Henry Crown Fellowship Program. They must be nominated by recognized leaders of the business and professional communities or by fellows, senior mentors, and members of the Henry Crown Fellowship Board of Overseers or the Aspen Institute Board of Trustees.
Notable Henry Crown Fellows include Reed Hastings, founder & CEO of Netflix; Deval L. Patrick, governor of Massachusetts; David Ebersman, CFO of Facebook; Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education; Cory Booker, US Senator from New Jersey; Jack Markell, governor of Delaware; Scott Heiferman, co-founder of Meetup; and Suzanne Malveaux, anchor for CNN.
Hinch was nominated to be a Henry Crown Fellow in 2007 by former Secretary of the Navy, Richard Danzig. After graduation, she participated within The Aspen Institute by attending events and activities, including The Emerging China Seminar. "I've been so impressed with the goals of The Aspen Institute to truly generate and encourage enlightened dialogue about difficult and thorny issues facing the world. I hope to play a part in making a difference at the international level," commented Hinch.
Although moving to Washington, DC, Hinch will maintain her residence in downtown Crossville and serve as a consulting partner within her family business, Hinch & Associates. Longtime business partner Melissa Kerley will assume responsibility as managing partner with the assistance of Jeanne Geib, the newest member of the team. Hinch & Associates will relocate from the old Hotel Taylor into the ground floor of Hinch's home on 31 W. Fifth Street. Asked about her upcoming move, Hinch laughed about the reaction from community members. "Most people are genuinely happy for me, but the most common question is about the English Bulldogs. I assure people that the infamous Butler will not be moving to DC. Butler will move to the new office and continue to welcome all visitors."