Mr. Schulz was named president and CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Middle Tennessee's largest business federation, in November 2006. Prior to joining the Chamber, Ralph served seven years as president and CEO of Adventure Science Center-Nashville for which he received the Marvin Runyon Leadership Award for nonprofit turnaround.
His foray in non-profit management began with Junior Achievement Inc. (Nashville chapter) in 1974. He spent a total of 20 years in leadership roles with Junior Achievement, heading chapters in Jackson, Mississippi; Dallas, Texas; and New York City. From 1990 to 1996, he served as national executive vice president for Junior Achievement, based at the education nonprofit’s headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Ralph returned to Nashville in 1996 to become executive vice president of the National Federation of Independent Business Education Foundation. He later served as corporate vice president of marketing and development for the organization.
A passionate public servant with a history of community leadership around education and tourism issues, he is a founding board member of Nashville Alliance for Public Education. He also served on the Metro School Funding Task Force in 2005, Nashville Youth Leadership Advisory Board in 2004 and the Mayor’s Task Force for Student Success in 2008.
In 2003, Ralph chaired Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell’s Working Group on Tourism. He later served as board chairman of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau (2005-2006) and has been an integral part of the leadership of the Music City Center Coalition, responsible for building broad-based community support for the development of the new downtown convention center.
Ralph served on the Nashville Symphony Hall Advisory Committee, as program chair for Rotary Club of Nashville, vice chair of government relations for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the Country Music Association’s Blue Ribbon Committee. He is also a member of the Leadership Nashville Class of 2000-2001.
He currently serves on the boards of Leadership Music, Alignment Nashville and the Center for Nonprofit Management. He is a member of the Mayor’s Youth Master Plan Task Force and the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority Aviation Task Force. He is also a Community Advisory Board member for the Vanderbilt Center for Nashville Studies.
Schulz is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He and his wife, Leeanne, reside in Nashville. They have four grown children—twin daughters, Allison and Sarah, and sons, Michael and Josh, and one grandchild.