Verlinda Henning, a lifelong Memphian, is busy sun up to sun down most days. She describes herself many ways, but was shocked to find out about her Remarkable Women nomination.

“That’s not the way I think of myself,” she said. “I just do what I can do and I just try to live every day to the fullest and see things that need to be done. And I just step up and do it and I do things that I have fun with. I enjoy my life.”

The retired human resources manager is anything but retired. Her roadmap for how she lives each day changed when her husband suddenly passed away.

“That was a wakeup call to me because I was doing things. I was involved, but I said I need to do more. I want to get everything out of life I can and give back to things that make a difference in this community,” she said.

She started her own hr consulting company, at first helping faith-based organizations manage their staff. The business then blossomed to include other companies.

“I did this workshop for Porter Leath, I also did it for National Guard products,” she said.

Verlinda runs her own business and also finds time to mentor students at her alma mater, the University of Memphis.

“You multitask. You do as much as you can do on each one, but you keep all the balls in the air and you keep it going. And again, that’s energizing to me,” she said.

She reaches back while reaching out to her community and neighborhood. She still lives in the East Buntyn home where she grew up with her mother, an immigrant from England, and her father, a World War II veteran.

“I love Memphis. I’m a champion for Memphis. I’ve lived here all my life and there is so much good here. And there’s so much challenge and struggle here as well,” she said.

She manages the Facebook group and Nextdoor accounts for the East Buntyn Neighborhood Association. She’s past president and serves as current president of the University District Neighborhood Association, which includes nine neighborhoods surrounding the U of M.

She’s often at the forefront of those events that bring the neighborhoods together, like feeding police and firefighters on holidays.

She helped start community garden after lobbying for the abandoned house that once stood here to be torn down so something good could grow in its place.

“It’s growing community. It’s growing connections. It’s growing friendship and relationships,” she said.

It’s not all work for Verlinda. She carves out plenty of time for fun.

The woman who earned a bachelor’s degree and two masters from the University of Memphis is a huge Tiger basketball fan. She cheers on the Lady Tigers and is a season ticket holder for the men’s basketball team.

“It makes me feel so good when that Tiger fight song starts and they run out on the court. Man, if you could see me at a game. Man, I go crazy,” she said.

The fun doesn’t stop there and neither do her attempts to showcase to the world the good that Memphis has to offer.

When it comes to trivia contests, Verlinda competes with the best of them.

Her 2021 appearance on “Jeopardy!” made her hometown proud by winning big money on the popular TV game show.

“I wasn’t nervous. I wasn’t scared. I was having fun. I said I got here. This is like trivia nirvana. Trivia mecca. I got here. So I was buzzing and buzzing, buzzing and I beat the defending champ,” she said.

Her winning streak continues past the show. Verlinda still plays the local memphis trivia circuit, moderating some area contests to raise money for charity.

“The guy who got me started playing, he swears I go home and read the almanac at night. I promise you that’s the last thing I do,” she said.

Just as much as verlinda enjoys taking home the prize, she enjoys seeing others win, too.

Helping her neighborhood and city stay vibrant while always cheering on the home team is why Verlinda Henning is one remarkable woman.