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Board of Directors


Tamara Boyer, Board Chair

Tamara Boyer

Title: General Council and VP of Advancement, East Tennessee Foundation
Previous: Wealth Management, US Bank, Senior Vice President of Operations, Citi, Director Leal Department, Citi, General Counsel, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance
Education: Juris Doctorate, Samford University, Cumberland School of Law, Bachelor of Arts& Science, Florida State University
Community involvement: Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians, Executive Board & Chair Board Development; Junior Achievement of Tennessee, Executive Board & Chair Miss Business; Webb School of Knoxville Board of Trustees, Executive Committee, Presidential Search Committee, Chairman Facilities Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, Co-Chair Senior Class PAC Committee; Junior League of Knoxville Sustainer Advisor; McClung Museum, Board of Directors; Second Harvest Food Bank, Volunteer; East Tennessee Children’s Hospital Volunteer; Knoxville Metropolitan Planning Commission Commissioner; Knox County Industrial Development Board Member; Knox County Health, Education, & Housing Facility Board Member; Leadership Knoxville Class of 2016 Graduate & Curriculum Committee Member; University of Tennessee Chancellor’s Associate
Region: East Tennessee

Kathryn Vinson, Chair Elect

Kathryn Vinson

Title: Executive Oncology Specialist, Merck & Co. Inc.
Previous: Analytical Chemist, Dry Branch Kaolin Co.
Education: BS, Chemistry/Physics; Wesleyan College
Community involvement: Bearden Elementary PTSO, Leadership Knoxville Class of 2013, 40 under 40 2014, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society 2017 Women of the Year, American Cancer Society Hope Gala Committee, Junior League Community Advisory Board
Region: East Tennessee

Jennifer Axsom-Adler, Vice Chair

Jennifer Axsom-Adler

Title: Assistant Director, Roan Scholars Leadership Program at ETSU; Adjunct Faculty, Philosophy & History, ETSU; Alderman, City of Kingsport
Previous: : Instructor, Assistant Residential Life Coordinator, and Assistant Research Coordinator, Vanderbilt Programs for Talented Youth; Paralegal, Investment Banking, Bear, Stearns & Co. 
Education: AB, Harvard University; M.A. and Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
Community Involvement: Alderman, City of Kingsport, Board of Directors, Inventor Center, Leadership Committee, Healthy Kingsport, Council, Keep Kingsport Beautiful
Region: Appalachian Highlands

Sybil Topel, Secretary

Sybil Topel

Title: Vice President of Marketing & Communications at Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce                                                                                Previous:  Writer in Residence, Lillian E. Smith Center, Marketing Director Street Dixon Rick Architecture, LLC, Vice President Spaeth Communications, Corporate and External Affairs Manager, AT&T                                 Education: Master of Fine Art’s degree in writing, Savannah College of Art, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, B.S. Communications, University of Tennessee                                                  Community involvement: Board of Directors, Secretary, ARTSBUILD, Committee Member, University of Tennessee Chattanooga, Member, Leadership Chattanooga, Member, Mayoral Arts Award Committee, Member, Association of Writers & Writing Programs. Chair, Marketing Committee, Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute, Member, Rotary International, President, Nashville Cable, President-elect, Cable, Board Member, Cable, Member, Public Relations Society of America                                                         Region: Tennessee Valley & North Georgia 


Julia Bentley, Treasurer

Julia Bentley, Treasurer

Title: VP Investor Relations/Communications Vera Bradley
Previous: Senior VP of Investor Relations and Communications for Saks Fifth Ave, Senior VP and CFO of Proffitt’s and Audit Manager of public accounting firm, Ernst & Youn.
Education: B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee.
Community Involvement: President, Board of Directors, YWCA Knoxville, Board of Directors, Arts & Culture Alliance, Former President, Board of Directors, Botanical Gardens of Knoxville, Graduate of Leadership Knox, Board of Directors, Urban League, Board of Directors Friends of Literacy.
Region: East Tennessee


Rachel Buchanan

Title: President and CEO at Ardour Enterprises, LLC
Previous: Director of Economic Development, Blount Partnership, VP Business Development/industrial Engineer Massey Group, Industrial Engineer, Cherokee Millwright and Mechanical.
Education: BS, University of Tennessee
Community Involvement: Candidate, Leukemia and Lymphoma man and woman of the year campaign. Chair, 2015 Blount County United Way Campaign-Industrial Committee. Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians Board of Directors.
Region: East Tennessee

Elizabeth Carroll

Title: Attorney, Office of General Counsel, TVA
Previous: Executive Director of Harmony Family Center, over the span of 12 years holding a variety of rolls including Attorney, COO and Executive Director
Education: University of Tennessee (College of Social Work ‘95) University of TN (College of Law ’97)
Community Involvement: Knoxville and Memphis Bar Association, Community Legal Center of Shelby County, Knoxville Habitat for Humanity, Rotary Club, Youth Leadership Knoxville, and the East TN Lawyer’s Association for Women. Graduate of the 2013 Introduction Knoxville class, 2015 UT Consortium for Social Enterprise Effectiveness class, 2016 Leadership Knoxville class, 2017 Leadership Law class of the TN Bar Association and the 2018 East TN Regional Leadership class.
Region: East Tennessee

Cynthia Dale

Title: Director of Summer Programs, Silverdale Baptist Academy
Previous: Lead Teacher, Silverdale Baptist Academy, Children’s Ministry Director, Christ United Methodist Church, Marketing, National Seating & Mobility, Inc., Marketing, Tennessee Bankers Association, Shop Director, Bath & Body Works, Inc., Lead Graphic Designer, Lewis Letterworks, Inc.
Education: B.A. Communications, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Community Involvement: Co-Chair “if” Capital Campaign, Silverdale Baptist Academy, Invitations Committee Member, Creative Discovery Museum, AmuseUm 2016, Committee Member, Children’s Advocacy Center of Hamilton County, Outrun Abuse Race 2016, Chairperson, Silverdale Baptist Academy, 2014 Green and Gold Gala, President, Women’s Ministry 2011-2014
Region: Tennessee Valley & North Georgia 

Denise Douglas

Title: Owner-President Maxwell Reed and Ryne, Inc. Realtor, (Keller Williams)
Previous: Manager of Business Development, American Express, Channel Marketing Manager, Verizon Enterprise Solutions, Sales Manager, Verizon.
Education: University of Kentucky, Communication and Media Studies BA
Community Involvement: President of the Board, The Susannah’s House, Secretary of the Board, the AD Foundation, Gals and Glamour Committee, Second Harvest Food Bank of ET. Board Member, ET Technology Access Center, Committee Chair a night in Old Havana and ETTAC Annual Golf Tournament, Board Member, Knoxville Volunteer Rescue, Fundraising Volunteer (Knoxville Heart Gala 2019), American Heart Association, Mentor, TN Achieves, Hardin Valley Business Planning and Development Committee, Committee Member and sits on the task force team, Volunteer, Junior Achievement.
Region: East Tennessee

Keely Goodwin

Title: Director of Corporate Strategy, Eastman Chemical Company
Previous: Global Business Manager, Product Manager, Hydrocarbon Resins, Account Manager and Marketing &Innovation Manager at Eastman Chemical Company
Education: MBA, Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management, BBA, Marketing, East Tennessee State University
Community Involvement: Board Member, Girls on the Run International, Selection Committee, Roan Scholars Leadership Program, Member Board of Directors, Pine Chemicals Association
Region: Appalachian Highlands

Leslye Hartsell

Title: Director of External Relations and Manager and Manager of Communications and Community Relations, Knoxville Utilities Board

Previous:  Health Educator, Knox County Health Department

Education: Masters in Business Management and Leadership Development, Western Governors University; BS Public Health Education, University of Tennessee Knoxville
Community Involvement: Leadership Knoxville, Senior Citizens Home Assistance, United Way, Knoxville Chapter Links Incorporated, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Federal Bureau of Investigations Citizens Advisory Board 
Region: East Tennessee

Randy Jenkins

Title: Chief Financial Officer at Partners Development
Previous: Controller, Providers, Inc., Assistant Controller, US Foodservice
Education: Associates Degree in Applied Science, Accounting, Central Piedmont Community College, BBA, University of Carolina at Charlotte, BS Finance, University of Tennessee- Knoxville
Community Involvement: Introduction Knoxville, Leadership Knoxville, 2014, Board Member and Chair-elect, University of Tennessee-Knoxville College of Nursing, Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair, Knoxville Chamber, Volunteer Basketball Coach and a full-time Girl Dad.
Region: East Tennessee

Cammy Kromer

Title: Sr. Director Sales, Dollar, Vend, Food Service& Theater, Ferrara Candy Company
Previous: Ferrara Candy Company, Director of Sales, Value & Vend, Team Lead supporting Dollar General, Fred’s Pharmacy, & 99 cent store only, Area Sales Manager Supporting C-Store, President, Junior League of Knoxville, Director of Category Strategy and Insights (Senior Manager), The Hershey Company, Team Lead/Account Executive for Dollar General, The Hershey Company
Education: Business Administration, Furman University
Community Involvement: Board of Directors, Junior League of Knoxville, Foster, Adopt a Golden of Knoxville, Board of Directors, Girl Talk, Cup of Hope Committee, Salvation Army, Member, Junior League of Knoxville, Advisor, Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, Fundraising, Farragut Primary School
Region: East Tennessee

Kim Leffew

Title: Director of Auxiliary Programs at Girls Preparatory School
Previous: Summer Camp Director, Girls Preparatory School, Physical Education Teacher, Girls Preparatory School,
Education: Tusculum College, University of Tennessee Chattanooga
Community Involvement: Heart Ball Auction Committee Member, American Heart Association, Style-Works Co-chair 2018, Siskin Children’s Institute. Board Member, Downside up Inc., President, Alpha Delta Kappa, Tennessee Chapter, Co-chair of WAMS Luncheon, National MS Society, Mid-South Chapter, Co-chair of Witches and Wine for MS, National MS Society, Mid-South Chapter, Run Aid Station Captain, IRONMAN, President-Elect, Alpha Delta Kappa, Sorority, Zeta Chapter
Region: Tennessee Valley & North Georgia 

Paula Masters

Title: Vice President for Health Programs in the Department of Population Health for Ballad Health.
Previous: Assistant Dean of Student Services and Director of the Tennessee Public Health Training Center-LIFEPATH at East Tennessee State University for seven years. She is also Co-founder of the Center for Rural and Appalachian Health at ETSU, former employee Tennessee Department of Health.
Education: Doctorate in Community and Behavioral Health, Masters of Public Health in Health Services Management and Policy, graduate certification in Health Care Management.
Community Involvement: Active member of the Tennessee Public Health Association, where for the past 16 years she has served as both a member and chair of many committees and served as President in 2014. She currently serves on the board of the Virginia Health Catalyst and Appalachian Mountain Project Access.
Region: Appalachian Highlands

Ginny Morrow

Title: Retired as SVP Philanthropy at Covenant Health
Education: BS Accounting, University of Alabama
Community Involvement: Board Member, Knoxville Leadership Foundation, Headed $10M Capital Campaign for First Presbyterian Church, Knoxville, Member, Rotary Club of Knoxville
Region: East Tennessee

Karen Officer-Bell

Title: Senior Project Manager, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
Education: Electrical Engineering degree, Tennessee State University, Master of Business Administration, Belmont University, International Project Management Professional Certification and currently working to complete the MIT Sloan Executive Certificate in Management and Leadership
Community Involvement: Co-Developer of a mentoring partnership program between TVA and Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy, Beautillion XII Chair: The making of a Gentleman with the Chattanooga Chapter of the Links, Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Chattanooga CARATS, Inc., and RiverCity Tennis Association.
Region: Tennessee Valley & North Georgia 

Cecilia Petersen

Title: Central Region Finance Manager, Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions
Previous: Financial and Operations Consulting, Financial Management Consultant, Chief Financial Officer, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, Chief Operating Office/CFO, RIVR Media, Vice President Finance & Operations, Knoxville Area Chamber Partnership.
Education: BA with High Distinction, Economics and Spanish, University of Virginia
Community Involvement: Board of Directors- Treasure and Audit Committee Chair, Girl Scouts of Southern Appalachians, President Board of Directors, Mental Health Association of East Tennessee, Board of Directors- Secretary & Finance Committee, President Board of Directors, Bluff Point HOA, Class of 2012 Leadership Knoxville, Inc., Career Transition Program Mentor, University of Tennessee, Outcome based Investment Committee Chair, United Way of Greater Knoxville
Region: East Tennessee

Jennifer Podhajsky

Title: Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop, Corporate Team-Marketing Director
Previous: Vice President at The Hershey Company, Sales and Marketing at Kraft Foods, Managed the Tufts Club, a non-profit, alumni organization with two club sites and 75 events annually. She was also a cook aboard Schooner American Eagle- baking and cooking for passengers and crew along the Maine coast.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in social psychology from Tufts University and MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Management (Northwestern University)
Community Involvement: Board of Directors of King Arthur Flour, a 100% employee-owned company based in Norwich, VT. Jennifer is currently working with Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop, a local Knoxville pie shop that is in early stages of franchising.
Region: East Tennessee

Karen Rowell

Title: Principle at Rowell Consulting
Previous: Chief Improvement Officer at Holston Medical Group, Health, Safety, Environment, Security and Global Quality at Eastman Chemical Company’s flagship location in Kingsport, TN.
Education: BS in Chemical Engineering from Auburn University. While at Eastman she completed extensive MBA level continuing education coursework.
Community Involvement: Senior member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers and the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers. She has served as the leader of the local Workforce Investment Board Youth Council, Junior Achievement and Goodwill Industries. She serves on the Northeast State Community College Foundation Board and the Auburn University College of Engineering Alumni Advisory Council. Karen is a Master Gardner and leads the local Master Gardener organization.
Region: Appalachian Highlands

Kim Shumpert

Title: Executive Director, Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute
Previous: Director of Development, Bethel Bible Village, Director of Business Development, Baldwin& Shell Construction Co., Executive Director, City Youth Ministries, Coordinator of Community Development, e-Stem Public Charter School, Executive Assistant, Little Rock Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director, PACES
Education: Arkansas University, University of Arkansas Little Rock, Harding University
Community Involvement: Board Member Southeastern Chapter AFP, Board Member Rotary Club, Board Member Craighead County Community Foundation, Board Member Arkansas Nonprofit Alliance, Board Member JETS
Region: Tennessee Valley & North Georgia 

Kayla Smith

Title: Development Director, American Heart Association
Previous: Regional Director, Governor’s Foundation for Health & Wellness, Marketing Manager for Economic Development, Marketing Coordinator and Membership Services Intern at Knoxville Chamber
Education: Graduate of the University of Tennessee with a major in Public Relations and a minor in Business
Community Involvement: Board of Directors, Girl Scouts of Southern Appalachians, Leaders for Readers, Great Schools Partnership, Young Leaders Society, United Way of Greater Knoxville, Mentor, TN Achieves, Knoxville Chamber Campaign Manager, United Way of Knoxville
Region: East Tennessee

Elaine Washington

Title: Director, Benefits, Finance and Investments, Eastman Chemical Co.
Previous: Treasury Resolute Forest Products, Treasury Lee Corporation and FMC Corporation and various accounting positions for the International College of Surgeons.
Education: Elaine obtained B.A. with a major in Business Administration and concentrations in Finance and Accounting from Loyola University, and her M.B.A. with a major in Finance and concentration in International Business from Loyola’s Quinlan School of Business. She has a Certified Treasury Professional designation and a Beta Gamma Sigma, Business Honors Society member.
Community Involvement: Board of Directors, Girl Scouts of Southern Appalachians, Member of Eastman’s Connect Employee Resource Group supporting the core value of inclusion and diversity and is a member of Eastman’s Black History Planning Committee. Member of the First Tennessee Bank Advisory Board, Northeast State Foundation Board, Symphony of the Mountains Board, South-Central Kingsport Community Development Board. She has also held various positions with the Kingsport Chamber Foundation Board. Core to Elaine’s activities she is involved in various church-related and ministry initiatives. Graduate of the 2017 Leadership Kingsport class.
Region: Appalachian Highlands

Lindy White

Title: President of Kingsport Operations, Ballad Health
Previous: CEO of Providence Northeast Hospital in Columbia SC, CEO at Franklin Woods Community Hospital, Woodridge Hospital, MSHA
Education: BS Accounting/Economics, Emory and Henry, MBA, Old Dominion
Community Involvement: United Way of Washington County, American College of Health Care Executives
Region: Appalachian Highlands

Lynne Lawson Fugate, CEO (ex efficio member)

Title: CEO, Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians
Previous: Knoxville Market Executive, Smart Bank
Education: BS Finance, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Community Involvement: Knoxville Rotary Club: Executive Women’s Association; Leadership Knoxville; East Tennessee Regional Leadership; Junior League of Knoxville, and Akima Club
Region: East Tennessee