NashvilleBusiness.Net 100 Leading African Americans 2018 Recipient: Denise D. Bentley

Click Here To Listen Nashville Business 100 Leading African Americans Denise Bentley

Denise Bentley, a native of Nashville, holds a bachelor’s degree from Fisk University and a Juris Doctorate from Vanderbilt University School of Law.

Ms. Bentley is the Executive Director of Tennessee Youth Courts, Inc. (TYC), a nonprofit that focuses on juvenile delinquency prevention and intervention. In addition, Bentley serves as adjunct faculty for Argosy University teaching criminal law-related courses as well as working with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Vanderbilt University. Before coming to TYC, Ms. Bentley was the program director for the Tennessee Youth Court Program, a teen-driven juvenile delinquency prevention/intervention diversion program based on restorative justice. Youth courts have been an initiative of the Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) for over 15 years. Under Bentley’s direction, the program has gone from nine programs in nine counties to twenty-one programs in eighteen counties.

Ms. Bentley came to the Tennessee Bar Association from Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS, as Security Program Manager. In this position, Bentley evaluated, implemented and monitored violence prevention programs for k-12.

Preceding her tenure at MNPS, Ms. Bentley was the project director for the Mills Corporation’s Nashville Jobs Partnership. The Nashville Jobs Partnership was a welfare-to-work initiative of the Mills Corporation coordinated with the construction of Opry Mills Shopping Center.

After law school, Ms. Bentley served in a judicial clerkship with the Hon. Matthew J. Sweeney, III, and later became a member of the faculty of the University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Business Administration.

Community Service:
PASSAGE (Positive and Safe Schools Advancing Greater Equity) – community of stakeholders working together to reduce discipline disparities and promote positive approaches to school discipline (steering committee)
Boy Scouts of America Middle Tennessee Council


Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral: currently a lector; formerly elected to the Vestry
Tennessee Bar Association
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
Hendersonville Area Links
Member of the Nashville Chamber

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