Local Human Resources Research and Consulting Firm Expands Capabilities with Scarlett Leadership Institute Merger

April 17, 2017 - Press Release

FRANKLIN, Tenn., April 17, 2017 – Work Institute, a leader in workforce intelligence, research and consulting, today announced a merger with Scarlett Leadership Institute, a Nashville-based leadership development and education organization. Moving forward under the Work Institute brand, the merger expands upon the company’s core services, providing clients a full-service partner for managing human capital, from workforce research to solving the identified issues to create better workplaces.

“Organizations are increasingly looking for partners that use an evidence-based approach to identify and solve problems in their workforce,” said Danny Nelms, president of Work Institute. “Adding Scarlett Leadership Institute’s expertise to our brand allows us to not only identify and recommend strategies for clients, but to directly provide the solutions to help transform their companies into preferred employers.”

Mary Fink, CEO of Scarlett Leadership Institute, will serve as vice president for learning and development for the Work Institute. Fink will oversee leadership programs, including executive and management education programs, custom training and meeting facilitation. 

“Work Institute has a strong client roster of today’s leading organizations and is great at identifying when they need specific solutions to influence change and improve employee outcomes,” said Fink. “Our ability to provide the solutions that produce positive change for companies is a natural fit for the brand.”

Scarlett Leadership Institute was founded in 2006 by Joe Scarlett, retired Chairman and CEO of Tractor Supply Company, to leverage the knowledge of today's best business leaders to counsel and teach the next generation with custom programs and courses aimed at mid- and senior-level executives. Prior to joining the Scarlett Leadership Institute in 2006, Fink served as director of Belmont University’s Center for Professional Development, and vice president of operations at Williamson Medical Center. For more information about Scarlett Leadership Institute, visit

About Work Institute Work Institute is a leading authority in workforce intelligence, utilizing evidence-based research methods to capture the employee voice and deliver deep insights that uncover “the why” behind employee thoughts, feelings and behaviors to confidently build and implement successful workplace transformation strategies. Key products and solutions include: exit interviews, stay interviews, engagement studies, onboarding studies, recruitment studies, and custom consulting. Partnering with multiple Fortune 500 clients as well as organizations of all sizes, Work Institute helps companies that seek to purposefully improve retention and engagement. For more information about Work Institute, please visit 


Leadership Institute still going strong

By Joe Scarlett, Guest Columnist

January 10, 2014 - Nashville Business Journal

Early last year in one of my NBJ columns, I announced that we would be winding down the Scarlett Leadership Institute after seven years of operation. Today, I officially eat my words. We are now open for business ” and stronger than ever.

Shortly after we made the closing announcement, customers began calling and writing to us about the value our programs have added to their organizations. We heard story after story from former students as well as supervisors and associates about how our teachings positively impacted leadership skills.

What began as a few inquiries turned into a flood of requests to keep the Scarlett Leadership Institute programs going. Customers asked us about continuing programs for specific individuals and companies, as well as customized programs to meet particular organizational needs. Even new customers who had never heard about us winding down knocked on the door wanting to sign up new students at new companies. We got so excited that we decided emphatically to stay open for business. In fact, we never actually closed.

Mary Fink, my longtime associate, will continue running the institute as she has productively for many years. Our top-quality, well-known national and local base of instructors will remain the same while our course offerings will actually expand. Key programs include Signature Executive (17 days/1 year), Emerging Leaders (8 days/8 months) and customized courses. In addition, there are full-day skill classes every month, as well as regular, free one-hour skill-building conference calls.

I will stay intimately involved with the Scarlett Leadership Institute classes. After 50 years in leadership roles, I take great pride in teaching and coaching up-and-coming business leaders. My personal goal is to do all I can to help young managers and leaders excel by sharing personal experiences with the hope that they might avoid some of my mistakes over the years ” and perhaps learn something from my humble successes.

Joe Scarlett is the retired CEO of Tractor Supply Co. He can be reached at

Special Announcement

From Mary Fink, Chief Executive Officer

October 15, 2013

We are excited to announce that the Scarlett Leadership Institute will continue to provide outstanding leadership development programs into the future.  Mary Fink is transitioning into the leadership role for the Institute with the support and involvement of Joe Scarlett.  Joe will continue to make presentations and share his tremendous business experience with developing business leaders.

The Institute will offer the following programs going forward:

  • Signature Executive Program
  • Emerging Leaders Program
  • Custom Programs
  • A Series of One-Day Open-Enrollment Classes
  • Monthly Conference Calls

We are thrilled that all of our instructors have committed to the Institute, making it possible to continue to provide the same superior level of instruction for our students.

Look for announcements in the next few weeks with course descriptions and schedules for the Signature Executive Program and the Emerging Leaders Program for 2014.

We appreciate your support in the past and look forward to developing your leaders, both now and in the future.