Leigh Shockey of Drexel Chemical
photography by Larry Kuzniewski
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Whether she’s on her beloved cattle farm in Rossville, Tennessee, at FedExForum cheering on the Grizzlies, or on President’s Island managing the manufacturing and distribution of more than 500 agricultural chemicals, Leigh Shockey never meets a stranger. Her effervescent personality and wide-ranging knowledge makes her genuinely relatable to nearly everyone she encounters. After graduating from UT Martin, Shockey came back to Memphis to oversee the international endeavors of her father’s (Robert Drexel Shockey’s) company — Drexel Chemical. The unique father/daughter relationship turned out to be a formula for success, and Leigh became CEO nearly 10 years ago. Today, Drexel is a national leader in agribusiness, and Shockey serves as the Chair of the Greater Memphis Chamber.
Memorabilia from Memphis in May:
In 2005, Shockey was the Chair of Memphis in May when it showcased Ireland. “This was a gift that they put together for me. I’m still on the MIM board, and it’s hands down the most fun board on the planet. Last year, we went to Sweden, and that was really a lot of fun. We’re getting ready to do Panama this year, so I’m looking forward to that.”
Export Council Certificate:
“International trade is one of my big deals, and I still try to spend about 50 percent of my time on that side of the business. I actually chaired the District Export Council for the state of Tennessee, so we spend a lot of time promoting export trade to get more people involved. There’s that fear of the unknown where people might export to Mexico or Canada but don’t know how to get past that. The mentality of ‘I’m not selling to Oklahoma, why would I sell to the Caribbean?’ A healthy 15 percent of Drexel’s business is international.”