Norma Lester became a Shelby County Election Commissioner in 2011, and serves as Secretary.
Lester holds two Associate’s Degrees, two Bachelor’s Degrees and two Master’s Degrees primarily focusing in Nursing and Health Care Administration. She’s a graduate of the former Southwest Tennessee Community College, the University of Memphis, Union University and University of Tennessee Memphis.
Her career in health care dates back more than 50 years, beginning at the rank-and-file level, and extending to top administration. In 2006, she retired from the State of Tennessee where she held the titles of Director of Total Quality Initiatives and Director of Nursing.
She has a long history of community service, currently serving on the board of Alliance Health Care and the Advisory Committee for Methodist Hospital North. She has held positions of First/Second Vice Chair and Secretary of the Shelby County Democratic Party Executive Committee, where she also chaired the Rules and Bylaws Committee. She is on the Steering Committee of the Germantown Democrat Club and a member of the Memphis Chapter of the League of Women Voters. She also serves as First Vice President of the Democratic Women of Shelby County and has held Governor-appointed positions on the Board of Licensed Nursing Home Administrators and the Tennessee Register of Campaign Finance.
Lester is the recipient of numerous awards, certificates, proclamations and other forms of recognition. She was honored with a Letter of Commendation from the United States Women’s Army Corp, where she served as Sergeant First Class in the Reserves. She says the most rewarding and heartfelt experiences in her life are the birth of her only grandchild, serving as a missionary during the Rwanda crisis in Africa, and being baptized in the river Jordan.
When asked why serving on the Election Commission is important Lester said, “It gives rise to the most basic component of our democracy, maintaining the integrity of the election process.”