FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Rebecca Terrell to Step Down, Jennifer Pepper to Be Promoted to CHOICES Executive Director
November 5, 2020 – Memphis, TN – CHOICES Board President, Tiffany Futch, announced today that the nonprofit’s Executive Director, Rebecca Terrell, will step down from her position at the end of this year. Ms. Terrell has served in the role for eleven years and under her leadership the once small nonprofit has become one of the leading independent reproductive health clinics in the nation.
Rebecca Terrell, courtesy DeMarcus Bowser Photography
Ms. Futch describes Ms. Terrell’s tenure as one of exponential growth. “Rebecca’s vision and tenacity in expanding the parameters of reproductive health has propelled CHOICES onward over the last decade,” she says. “We have added so many services, quadrupled our budget and recently moved into our new state of the art health center, which due to Rebecca’s unique vision, includes Memphis’ first birthing center.”
Ms. Terrell’s work at CHOICES blended her passions for women’s rights, the arts, and social justice. “Envisioning a new service model for reproductive health care was a personal challenge. The needs of marginalized populations were being ignored, particularly the reproductive and sexual health care needs of women of color and the LGBTQ+ community. It has taken an abortion provider to bring this new midwifery-based model of care to our community and our nation, and of that I am very proud,” says Ms. Terrell.
Ms. Futch also announced that Jennifer Pepper, who currently serves as the organization’s Director of Finance and Operations, will serve as CHOICES’s new Executive Director beginning in 2021. “It’s a great time for a new generation of leaders to take charge,” says Terrell. “I have worked with Ms. Pepper in various professional capacities since I started with CHOICES and I have complete confidence in her ability to lead the organization into the 2020’s with competency, vision, and grace.”
Jennifer Pepper, courtesy DeMarcus Bowser Photography
Ms. Pepper started at CHOICES, then known as the Memphis Center for Reproductive Health, in 2003 as a Patient Educator and Advocate. In 2006 she was promoted to Community Outreach Coordinator and eventually to Deputy Director where she oversaw operations of the then $1.5 million nonprofit health care center with 20 employees.
In 2013, Ms. Pepper left CHOICES to lead the Memphis Ryan White Program with the Shelby County Government. Appointed to the position by Mayor Mark H. Luttrell Jr., Ms. Pepper served as the Mayor’s representative in the administration of the $7.1 million federal Ryan White Part A grant and $4 million in state based grants, providing oversight and management of administrative, fiscal, programmatic, and quality management aspects.
After earning her MBA, and at Ms. Terrell’s invitation, Jennifer returned to CHOICES in 2018 as the Director of Finance and Operations of the $4.3 million nonprofit health center with over 40 employees, serving over 4,000 patients annually, and building a national model by offering abortion and birth services in the same independent facility.
“Just like CHOICES,” says Ms. Pepper, “I envision a world where sexual and reproductive healthcare is recognized as an essential human right. In that world, all people have unfettered access to high quality healthcare that centers their individual sexual and reproductive healthcare needs throughout their lifetime, regardless of where they live, their race and ethnicity, gender identity, education, or income level.”
As part of the leadership transition, Ms. Terrell will serve as Director of Special Projects for six months beginning January 1st, while also doing some nonprofit consulting. “It is such a gift to have Rebecca’s continued support as we move CHOICES into a new era.” says Jennifer Pepper, “Her visionary leadership has gotten us here, and I intend to lead CHOICES is a way that honors and builds on that vision.”
Katy Leopard, Director of External Affairs