Government Relations Manager | Tupelo, Miss.
I’m the proud mother of two. I’m involved in leadership programs for young girls in Tupelo. I’m helping college-aged women who are interested in a career in politics. And I’m working with local principals and students to identify STEM opportunities. I’m Amy Tate, government relations manager for TVA.
Amy Tate is the kind of person you’d expect to have a lot of friends. She’s easy to talk to, she smiles frequently, she looks you in the eyes, and she conveys an honest urgency when talking about her interests and passions. She’s a natural people person, and that makes her very good at her day job.
As government relations manager in the Mississippi district for TVA, Amy communicates and coordinates with many of the state’s government officials. But she’s not merely interested in maintaining her relationships inside the current political system. In fact, she’s really trying to shake it up.
“We need more female elected officials in the state of Mississippi,” Amy says confidently from a desk in the state’s capitol, Jackson. “I want to expose girls to public service and political careers before college – to plant that seed early.”
According to the Associated Press, women make up 51.4 percent of Mississippi’s total population, yet only 14.4 percent of legislative seats are held by females. One of the factors that Amy and many others feel is contributing to the underrepresentation of women in the state’s government is the lack of structured political opportunities for young girls.
“We felt like boys have scouts and sports and things where they can really learn some leadership traits,” Amy says. “But there weren’t a lot of programs for younger girls to sharpen those leadership skills.” To change the statistics, Amy helped form a leadership academy for fifth grade girls at Lawhon Elementary School in Tupelo, Miss. There, participants can learn about the importance of setting goals, resisting peer pressure, identifying role models and other topics. They also have the opportunity to meet with the governor, legislators, representatives from the chamber of commerce and other community leaders.
Along with encouraging middle school girls toward careers in public offices, Amy is engaged in a number of other activities outside of her responsibilities with TVA. She serves on the board of the local Boys & Girls Clubs, mentors college-aged women through a leadership program and serves on the board of the Association for Excellence in Education, which raises funds that are distributed to public schools via classroom grants.
“The overall TVA mission of service pertains to us on and off the clock,” she says. “Part of that mission is to be good neighbors and take active roles in our communities. I’m proud to work for a company that has service as part of its mission and encourages me to go live that part of the mission every day.”
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