Downtown Memphis Commission chief Terence Patterson has resigned after less than two years on the job.

The commission, Downtown’s redevelopment agency, announced Patterson’s resignation effective Thursday.

“Terence is leaving to pursue other opportunities,” board chairman Carl Person said in a release. 

“The DMC appreciates his service as well as his willingness to work with the organization at our request during its transition into new leadership.We believe the organization is in a great position to build on its positive momentum,” Person said.

Chief financial officer Jennifer Oswalt was named interim president. Oswalt has been with the commission for nearly two years and has overseen strategic planning, finances and human resources.

The release said under Person’s direction, “the board will work to determine next steps in the process of finding a permanent replacement for Patterson. Patterson will continue to serve in an advisory role throughout the transition period.”

Patterson, a native Memphian with a masters of business administration and a law degree, was a unanimous pick in September 2015 to succeed Paul Morris.

Morris left the agency after five years on the job to take an active management role in his family’s business, Jack Morris Auto Glass.

Before Patterson was hired, Patterson had been a volunteer member of the Center City Development Corp. since 2012 and served as treasurer and vice chairman.

Patterson grew up in Southeast Memphis, attended Harvard and Northwestern and was lured back home in 2011 by the foundation formed by the prominent Hyde family, founders of the Memphis-based AutoZone chain. He was education program director, overseeing grant-funded programs to improve K-12 education.

During 15 years away from Memphis, his career stops included executive in Chicago Public Schools; a lawyer whose duties included advising National Football League players on contract matters; and a financial analyst for the Walt Disney Company.

 

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