D. Bryan Jordan

D. Bryan Jordan is chairman, president and CEO of First Horizon National Corp.

In Phil Trenary’s memory let’s redouble our efforts to move our city forward

By Published: October 17, 2018 11:37 AM CT

This morning I rode my bike east on the Greenline and through Shelby Farms thinking about how perfect the fall morning is and what a great asset we have in our bike paths, parks and recreational areas.

I was also thinking about what has occupied a lot of my thoughts since Thursday night. The great loss that Memphis and Memphians, especially the Trenary family, suffered with Phil Trenary's senseless death.

Phil was not only a colleague and but also a friend. He was a unique individual who had a love of life and a deep commitment to the success of our community. Phil always saw the glass as half full. He, like many, believed deeply in Memphis and that our better days are still ahead. He was not a Memphian by birth, but Memphis was in his soul.

I had the opportunity to work with Phil many times over the past 10 years. He was constantly rallying engagement and support to advance our community. Whether with the legislature in Nashville or the City Council or County Commission he always represented our city well.

Phil also worked behind the scenes to move us forward as well. He never cared about who received the credit, just that we did the right thing for Memphis. His tireless work to improve our schools and healthcare might have been missed because of all he was doing to help attract jobs to our city. Ironically, Phil was also relentlessly focused on reducing crime in Memphis.

Phil and his leadership team built a world class Chamber of Commerce. He was a great leader who was able to attract an experienced and talented team that will no doubt carry on its mission to drive our collective economic success.

Phil was a great friend to me. He was always supportive and encouraging. Some of my best conversations with Phil were while I was trying to keep up with him biking around Horseshoe Lake Circle in Arkansas. We talked about Memphis, jobs, education, crime, healthcare, and the excitement he had about our community’s shared future. We also talked about family.

In my view, the only thing Phil loved more than working to make Memphis better was his family. Phil and Bridget have raised three great adult children. They were also recently blessed with a second grandson that caused Phil’s face to light up every time Lawson’s name came up.

Over the years seeing Phil as a husband and father I cannot imagine the pain his family is enduring right now. I especially remember the special relationship that Phil had with his youngest son Pearce. Seeing the two of them together on a rafting trip we took several years ago was something I’ll never forget.

Earlier, I wrote that Phil always saw the glass as half full. He was an optimist who saw the best in our city and in its people. He was always there to offer a hand or an encouraging word. While it would be easy to focus on our collective loss, Phil would not want that. He lived with a mission and I believe that he would encourage us to pick up that mission and carry it forward in his name.

We have lost one of our greatest assets. In Phil Trenary’s memory let’s redouble our efforts to move our city forward by creating jobs and opportunity for everyone, continue to improve our educational opportunities and reduce crime. Like Phil, I believe our better days are ahead.

I will miss Phil. Over the years we talked a lot about life, work and family. My only regret, that I didn’t know Phil long enough.

D. Bryan Jordan is chairman, president and CEO of First Horizon National Corp.


Phil Trenary Greater Memphis Chamber D. Bryan Jordan First Horizon National Corp.

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