Volunteer with Memphis in May
Thank you for considering sharing your time and talents with Memphis in May and helping us produce the Beale Street Music Festival, the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, the AutoZone Sunset Symphony and the International Salute!
Signups for 2016 Memphis in May events will begin later this year.
The enormous effort of each and every volunteer makes Memphis in May International Festival one of the best celebrations in North America. Not only will you have the opportunity to be a respected ambassador for our organization and the great city of Memphis, but you will also become a vital member of the Memphis in May family and meet people and make new friends, not only locally but from across the country and around the world.
The Memphis in May Volunteer Program is consistently rated as one of the best festival-based volunteer programs in the country. Our program has won local and national awards including the following:
- 2015, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006 and 2004 IFEA Gold Pinnacle Award for Best Volunteer Program
- 2005 IFEA Volunteer of the Year, Lisa Collins
- 2003 Volunteer Memphis Spirit of Giving Award for Agency of the Year
2015 Debut Award Winners
Irby Bilsky , Communications
Nadia Chamberland , Festival Services
John Quay, Production
Tabitha Stiel , BBQ Contestants
James “Hunter” Gooch , Transportation
Chris Mason , BBQ Programming
Nevada Gates, International Programming
Terry Davenport, BBQ Judging
Christopher Taylor, Education
Keith Snider, Recycling
John Quay, Logistics
Lia Wiley, Hospitality
Jeannie Whitley, Office Resources
Xavier Graves, BBQ Administration
Shonnase Woods, Volunteer Services
Ehlana Lingerfelt, Volunteer Services
2015 "Best Of" Award Winners
Carole Cornell, International Programming
Beverly Boyland, Office Resources
Rita Richardson, Communications
Lara Brumback, Education
Nick Montroy, Recycling
Lucille Price, Volunteer Services
Don Roberts, Production
Charlotte Lackey, BBQ Judging
Ernest Harper, Hospitality
Patrice Hughes, BBQ Programming
Mike & Teri Collier, BBQ Administration
Lisa Casey, BBQ Contestants
Robert Johnson, Festival Services
David Ising, Transportation
Jay Caughman, Logistics
Chef Edward Nowakowski, Honored Nationals
Stacy Hildebrand Johnson, Festival Services
2015 Sylvia Bradshaw “Chair of the Year” Nominees
Dwight Haley, International Programming
Lenoir Owens, Office Resources
Larry Gruner, Communications
Dr. Audrey Elion, Education
Heather Coolican, Recycling
Bob Buck, Volunteer Services
Stephen Dean, Production
Lori Dixon, BBQ Judging
Michael Ciaramitaro, Hospitality
Charles Thompson, BBQ Programming
Ann Capatino, BBQ Administration
Dell Stokes, BBQ Contsetants
Brigid Whalen, Festival Services
James Dettman, Transportation
Bill Woods, Logistics
Dr. Jacek Dutkiewicz, Honored Nationals
2015 Bradshaw Award Winner: Larry Gruner, Communications
2015 Lawrence Blackmon “Volunteer of the Year” Nominees
Bob Beauvais, Communications
Dave Hanisco, Festival Services
Dave Reeve, Production
Vitterio Vosley, BBQ Contestants
Michael Znaniecki, Transportation
Lyle Beck, BBQ Programming
Deana Windham, International Programming
Claire Gentry, BBQ Judging
Nevada Gates, Education
Rose Bryant, Recycling
Steve Shotts, Logistics
Jean Marie Harrison, Hospitality
Beverly Garrett, Office Resources
Brittney Forsyth, BBQ Administration
Linda Rainey, Volunteer Services
Aga Przetak Santisteban, Honored Nationals
2015 Lawrence Blackmon “Volunteer of the Year” Award Winner: Dave Hanisco, Festival Services
2015 President's Award Winner: Bob Buck, Hospitality
I don't live in the Memphis area, can I still volunteer?
We have volunteers from many states, most of whom are long term volunteers who have moved out of Memphis and come back in May to volunteer.
must commit the time necessary to learn and perform the tasks by attending
committee meetings for training and orientation. All volunteers must attend the
committee’s Volunteer Orientation (1st meeting for every committee).
Additional meetings (generally 3 to 4) will follow for more detailed training
with your committee and attendance of at least 2 of these meetings is required.
How much time would I be expected to commit?
We ask volunteers to contribute a total of sixteen hours of volunteer time. In addition, there are training and orientation requirements for each committee. We understand how valuable your time is and we promise to do our very best to make sure the time you give us is worthwhile and enjoyable.
How can I stay up to date and involved?
We will notify you of important information by email or (by request) USPS mail. Check back on our website from time to time for Monthly Updates. Once you are assigned to a committee, your chairperson may be contacting you directly. Be sure to ask your chairperson what is the best way they wish to be reached, as they will be your link to the on goings of that specific committee.
Do I have to attend meetings for my committees?
Yes. Our volunteer committees have such an in-depth involvement with the Festival that your participation is vital to the success of not only the committee but also the event itself. The committee meetings are carefully designed to offer several things.
- Communicating important information and training specific to that committee.
- Signing up for and confirming shifts.
- Social and personal interaction with other committee members- a chance to make friends!
If you cannot attend a committee meeting but still want to be involved, please contact your chairperson directly.
Where do I park?
While volunteering for events at Tom Lee Park, you will have access to free parking and a shuttle to Volunteer Check-in. A parking pass is required to access the volunteer parking lot. Parking passes will be distributed prior to the events. More information will be available on our 'Event Day Tips' page of the website.
Can I be on more than one committee?
Absolutely! Many of our volunteers serve on multiple committees, but usually no more than TWO. If you are a new volunteer, we recommend one committee. Be sure when you are signing up for your shifts that you do not schedule yourself to be in two places at once. Regarding BBQ committees, we suggest that you serve on only one as the shifts for these committees do overlap.
What if I want to volunteer with a friend?
Make sure you and your friend sign up for the same committee. Be sure to attend the committee meeting and tell your chairperson you would both like to work the same shift's. This can almost always be accommodated.