Leadership Blount welcomes Class of 2011

There are many new things on the horizon for the Leadership Blount Class of 2011. Katherine Caputo is new at the helm as executive director, and the new class of 36 educators, administrators, community leaders, sales executives and business managers will join her in learning about their community, its cities, history and government. Leadership training and development will fill their monthly day trips as the class brings community people together to learn, grow and experience the inner-workings of government, education, community service, businesses and service agencies.

Caputo will be assisted by volunteers from Blount’s Junior Service League.

Leadership Blount was founded as an educational organization that would give participants an in-depth look at the Blount community with the goal of establishing a commitment in each participant to give back to their county.

Applicants for the class each year range from 150 to 200, with 36 chosen to represent a diverse cross-section of businesses, organizations, private citizens and community volunteers. Each class chooses a Legacy Project, which have ranged over the years from large fundraisers such as the Big BBQ Bash to a pancake breakfast for Trinity Health Clinic to a Go Green Gala to raise money for teachers to use in environmental education.

Curriculum includes a legislative trip to Nashville, bonding activities, tours of leading industry and educational facilities and visits with non-profits. The classes begin in August, with graduation in May.

Leadership Blount is a private organization that is supported by corporate sponsorships, alumni dues and donations and business partnerships. Leadership Blount also has an alumni group that helps with funding and scholarships. Corporate and Strategic partners include Alcoa, Inc., Massey Electric, Blount Memorial Hospital, First Tennessee Bank, Wal-Mart (Alcoa and Maryville), BankEast, Dancing Bear Lodge, Merchant & Gould, Mountain National Bank, SunTrust Bank, Aubrey's, Alcoa Foundation and Maryville College.

Opening reception for the new class is Tuesday, July 27, at Smithview Pavilion. For more information, contact the Leadership Blount office at 865-984-9368

Members of the Class of 2011 are:

Josh Alexander

Marketing - Hickory Construction

Josh was born and raised in Maryville where he currently resides with his wife and two children. He is a member of the Blount Chamber Facilities Maintenance Board, the Blount County and Knox County Chambers of Commerce, Knox Heritage and USGBC. He enjoys woodworking, outdoor activities and spending as much time as possible with his family.

Dale Baker

Quality Manager - ALCOA, Inc.

Dale was born in Benton, Illinois, but now resides in Maryville with his wife and child. He is a member of the American Society for Quality. He actively volunteers for Habitat for Humanity, Parks and Recreation Basketball, and The Gate. In his spare time, Dale enjoys boating, fishing, hiking and running.

Eric Bellah

Maryville Fund Director - Maryville College

Eric was born in Knoxville but now resides in Maryville with his wife and two children. He actively participates in the Cedar Springs Neighborhood Fellowship and the Downtown Maryville Association. In his spare time, Eric enjoys being with family, reading, running and swimming.

Bob Booker

Senior Manager - DENSO Manufacturing, TN., Inc.

Bob was born in Wrigley, Tenn., but now resides in Maryville. Bob previously served on the Board of Directors for the Little River Watershed Association and the Blount County Chamber of Commerce. He is currently on the Board of Directors of the Richard Williams Leadership Academy and involved with Keep Blount Beautiful and First Baptist Church of Maryville. Bob enjoys golfing, boating and hiking in his spare time.

Jennie Bounds

Director, Public Relations and Marketing - Blount Memorial Hospital

Jennie was born in Knoxville but now resides in Mascot with her husband and child. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the TN Society for Healthcare Marking and Public Relations and was previously on the Blount County Chapter of the American Red Cross. She also is a member of the Alcoa Kiwanis Club. Jennie enjoys sports, cooking, reading and spending time with her family.

Aaron Bussey

Partner - Endocrinology Consultants of East TN

Aaron grew up in Maryville where he currently resides with his wife and two children. He is a medical volunteer for the Good Samaritan Clinic and is on the Education Committee at Blount Memorial Hospital. He is a member of New Providence Presbyterian Church and participates in the Spelling Bee for the Blount County Literacy Council. In his spare time, Aaron enjoys spending time with his family.

Joy Carver

Owner - Dandy Lions Gifts

Joy was born in Maryville where she currently resides with her husband and two children. She is on the Board of Directors of the New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center and actively participates in Young Life of Blount County, Junior Service League, New Providence Presbyterian Church, and the Downtown Maryville Association. Joy enjoys time outdoors, going to UT events with her family and event planning in her spare time.

Vallie Collins

Senior Account Manager - Tapemark Company

Vallie was born in Columbia, Tenn., but now resides in Maryville with her husband and three children. She previously served on the Board of Directors of the Maryville City Schools Foundation and actively participates in the Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee, Primary Players Theatre Group, First Baptist Church of Maryville, and activities at Fort Craig School. Vallie enjoys tennis, running, cooking, scrapbooking and being with family and friends.

Ellen Coppinger

Certified Financial Planner - Quality Financial Concepts

Ellen was born and raised in Maryville where she now resides with her husband and two children. She actively participates in the East TN Chapter of the Financial Planning Association, Financial Planning Association- National, Blount County Chamber of Commerce and was previously on the Board of Directors of Alcoa Kiwanis. Ellen enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, hiking, reading and working at her small business garden center.

Chris Davis

Executive Director - American Red Cross, Blount County Chapter

Chris was born in Roanoke, but now resides in Knoxville with his wife and two children. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Children's Center of Knoxville and is actively involved in the Public Relations Society of America, United Way of Greater Knoxville, and FISH food pantry. Chris enjoys spending time with his family.

Marty Deschenes

Director - Denso Manufacturing TN, Inc.

Marty was born and raised in Maryville where he currently resides with his wife and two children. He has been an active volunteer with Parks & Recreation as a soccer coach, Community Food Connection, Haiti Committee of Our Lady of Fatima, Family Promise of Blount County, and the Coffee and Donuts Ministry at his church. Marty also enjoys reading and running in his spare time.

John Elder

Partner - Paine, Tarwater, and Bickers, LLP

John was born and raised in Maryville where he currently resides with his wife and two children. He is actively involved in Legal Aid of East Tennessee’s Blount County Saturday Bar, Wesley Day School, First United Methodist Church, TN Bar Association's Leadership Law Class of 2010, and the Knoxville Bar Association. John enjoys golfing, riding horses and spending time with his family.

Keith Elrod

Owner - K&M Gallery, LLC

Keith was born in Athens, Ga., but now resides in Maryville with his wife and two children. He is actively involved in the Professional Picture Frames Association, Boy Scouts, Maryville Business Share, Fine Arts Blount, Foothills Fall Festival, and serving as the resident lighting designer at the Clayton Center for the Arts. In his spare time, Keith enjoys photography, golf and spending time with his family.

Barry Ferguson

Executive Pharmacy Team Leader - Target Corporation

Barry was born in Morehead, Ky., but now resides in Maryville with his family. He actively participates in the University of Tennessee Co-Pharmacy Preceptor and the Hageman Foundation and has previously served with Knox Flight Training Center and the Angel Flight Organization. Barry also enjoys piloting, triathlon training, snow skiing and mentoring University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy students.

Lois Gregory

Foothills Elementary School, Teacher - Maryville City Schools

Lois was born in Shelbyville, but now resides in Maryville with her husband and child. She previously served as a Maryville College liaison to the Literacy Board and actively participates in school service projects and East Maryville Baptist Church. She is an affiliate broker at a local real estate office and teaches group fitness at the Wellness Center and Ladies Total Fitness. In her spare time, Lois enjoys running half-marathons and spending time with her family.

Amy Habart

Columnist - The Daily Times

Amy was born and raised in Maryville where she now lives with her husband and two children. She actively participates in the American Cancer Society, Junior Service League, Fairview United Methodist Church, and Foothills Fall Festival. In her spare time, Amy enjoys event planning.

Pam Hathcock

Global Manufacturing Analyst - Alcoa, Inc.

Pam was born in Maryville and now resides in Seymour with her husband and two children. She is the co-lead for the Alcoa Women's Network and actively participates in coaching Upward cheerleading, the campus ambassador program for UT Knoxville, the PTO at Porter Elementary School, and the Maryville-Alcoa Flying Dolphins swim team. Pam also enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, sports and watching movies.

Diane Hicks

Attorney - Goddard & Gamble Attorneys

Diane was born and raised in Miami, but now resides in Maryville and has two children. She actively participates in the Blount County Bar Association, New Providence Presbyterian Church, Blount County Humane Society, and Maryville College International Student Program. Diane enjoys fostering animals, singing, gardening and teaching English and Spanish.

Mark King

Partner - Lattimore, Black, Morgan & Cain, P.C.

Mark was born and raised in Maryville where he currently resides with his wife. He actively participates in A Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee, Rotary Club of Knoxville, New Providence Presbyterian Church, TN Society of CPAs and was previously on the Board of Directors of the Tennesses State Board of Accountancy. In his spare time, Mark enjoys running a cow-calf operation on his family farm.

Michael Kull

Government Business Coordinator - Impact Associates, Inc.

Michael was born in Maryville but now resides in Rockford with his wife. He has been involved in the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, Church of the Good Shepherd, United Way of Greater Chattanooga, Rotary International, and the Hamilton County Red Cross. Michael enjoys singing and writing poetry in his spare time.

Chermera McGhee - Community Volunteer

Chermera was born and raised in Norfolk, but now resides in Maryville with her husband and child. She is on the Board of Directors for the Joshua Resource Center and actively participates in the National Coalition of 100 Black Women and Foster Chapel Baptist Church. In Chermera's spare time, she enjoys reading, shopping, traveling and spending time with her family.

Lisa McGinley

Maryville Middle School, Principal - Maryville City Schools

Lisa was born and raised in Louisville, Tenn., where she currently resides with her husband and three children. She actively participates in Advance Ed, Tennessee Association of Secondary School Principals, National Association of Secondary School Principals, TN Association for Administrators in Special Education, and Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Lisa enjoys boating, hiking and swimming in her spare time.

Earl McMahan

Heritage High School, Principal - Blount County Schools

Earl was raised in Hollywood, Fla., but has been a long-time resident of Maryville where he resides with his two children. He actively participates in the National Association of Secondary School Principals, Maryville College Alumni Association and has coached for Eagleton Little League and Pee Wee football. In Earl’s spare time, he enjoys sports and outdoor activities.

Vergil Metts

President and CEO - Impact Associates, Inc.

Vergil was born in Birmingham, Ala., but now resides in Rockford with his wife. He actively participates in the United Way, Rotary Club of Knoxville, Great Smoky Mountains National Park VIP program, Maryville City Schools Foundation, and Family Business Institute of East Tennessee. Vergil also enjoys traveling, hiking, golfing, music and scuba diving.

Jeff Mitchell

President - Benefit Consulting Services, Inc.

Jeff was born in Bradford, Tenn., but now resides in Maryville with his wife and three children. Jeff was previously on the Board of Directors for the Jackson-Madison County Chamber of Commerce, CHS Hospital, Jackson Family YMCA, American Heart Association, and was a finance chair for Calvary Baptist Church. In Jeff's spare time, he enjoys boating, hunting and fitness.

Billy Newton

Director, Center for Strong Communities - Maryville College

Billy is originally from Atlanta but currently resides in Maryville with his wife and two children. Billy actively participates in Maryville College activities, Earth Roundup, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of East Tennessee, Community Economic Development Network and is on the Board of Directors of the Nonprofit Community Collaboration. In Billy’s spare time, he enjoys backyard beekeeping and gardening.

Sherry Paul

Sales - SYSCO

Sherry was born and raised in Maryville where she currently resides with her husband. She actively participates in First Baptist Concord Church, Junior Service League, Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity, New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center, and Knoxville Area Rescue Ministry. In Sherry’s spare time, she enjoys traveling, exercising and spending time with family and friends.

Ron Parker

Market General Manager - Rural/ Metro Corp.

Ron was born in Middlesboro, Ky., but now resides in Maryville with his wife and child. He actively participates in the Tennessee Region 2 EMS Directors Association, Blount Special Operations Team, Local Emergency Planning Committee, and the Blount County Relay for Life. Ron enjoys fly fishing, camping, hiking and spending time with his family.

Leigh Sterling

Knoxville Regional Coordinator - CareSpark

Leigh was born and raised in Maryville where she resides with her three children. She actively participates in the Innovation Valley Health Information Network, Maryville Kiwanis, Blount County Habitat for Humanity, Blount County Relay for Life, and with Maryville High School activities. In Leigh’s spare time, she enjoys yoga, walking, reading and spending time with her family.

Susan Stout

Account Executive - Blount Today

Susan was born and raised in Maryville where she currently resides with her husband and three children. She is involved with the BCEF Executive Committee, School Supply Committee and is on the Board of Directors of the Blount County Education Foundation. She has also been involved with Maryville Little League. She is an affiliate broker with a local real estate office. In Susan’s spare time, she enjoys outdoor activities, reading and spending time with her friends and family.

Stephanie Trost

Assistant Vice President Branch Manager - SunTrust

Stephanie was born and raised in Maryville where she currently resides with her husband. She actively participates in Alcoa Middle School activities, SunTrust Multicultural Committee, Big Brothers Big Sisters, $10 Club, and Manna Food Pantry. In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys farming, gardening, camping and photography.

Michel Walker

Senior Administrative Coordinator - Newell Rubbermaid

Michel was born and raised in Friendsville, where she currently resides with her husband and two children. She actively participates in the Blount County Relay for Life, United Way of Blount County, Blount County Education Foundation, Farm Bureau Women's Board, and Friendsville Optimist Club. Michel also enjoys spending time with her family and friends, boating, tennis, watching movies and reading.

Ashley Watkins

Manager, Strategy & Communications - B&W Y-12, LLC

Ashley was born and raised in Alcoa where she currently resides with her husband and child. She actively participates in the East Tennessee Economic Council, Blount County Relay for Life, United Way of Blount County, and the Energy, Technology, and Environmental Business Association. Ashley enjoys the fine arts, learning about Hispanic culture and traveling.

Matt Webb

ITS Business Partner - Kimberly-Clark

Matt was born and raised in Maryville where he currently resides with his wife and three children. He is on the Board of Directors for Good Neighbors of Blount County and the Adult Education Foundation and actively participates in the Blount County Relay for Life and United Way of Blount County. In Matt’s spare time, he enjoys antiques, auctions, gardening and spending time with his family.

Chris Wilkes

Director, Human Resources - Blount Memorial Hospital

Chris was born and raised in Knoxville where he resides with his wife and two children. He has served with the Blount Education Initiative, United Way of Blount County, Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce, and Coordinated Health Care Services. Chris enjoys sports, church, health initiatives and spending time with his family.

Amanda Womac

Executive Director - The Hearing and Speech Foundation

Amanda was born in Maryville but now resides in Knoxville with her husband. She actively participates in the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists, Hellbender Press, Foundation for Global Sustainability, Sustainability Education Program, and Society of Environmental Journalists. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys gardening, playing guitar, cooking and reading.

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