The Women’s Leadership Salon has a new time and a new meeting place.

Join us for lunch at the Rothchild Catering & Conference Center for the next in our new interview series;

The Women Who…

Meet and learn from some of East Tennessee’s most powerful women leaders. Network with like-minded women who are interested in growing their leadership skills and potential. The Women’s Leadership Salon is held on the second Thursday of July, September, November, January, and March.

March 14, 2019 ( 11:30 am to 1:00 pm )

The Women Who...Make History

Krissy DeAlejandro, Executive Director of tnAchieves & Julie Ezold Sr. Research and Development Staff at ORNL

Krissy DeAlejandro, Executive Director of tnAchieves

tnAchieves is a scholarship and mentoring program that supports students as they transition from high school through post-secondary. Launched in 2008, tnAchieves currently serves as the partnering organization for Governor Haslam’s Tennessee Promise. Since inception, tnAchieves has worked with nearly 320,000 students and boasts college retention and graduation rates above both state and national averages. The program is responsible for annually recruiting, training and retaining more than 7,500 volunteer mentors to work with its students as the overwhelming majority are the first in their families to attend college. As the leader of the largest college access and success nonprofit in the country, Krissy is deeply committed to increasing the number of Tennessee students with a degree.

Prior to her work with tnAchieves, Krissy served as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Knox County Mayor where she focused on workforce development and higher education initiatives.

Krissy and her husband, Jeffrey, have three children, Oliver, Beatrice and Henry.

Julie Ezold Sr. Research and Development Staff at ORNL

Julie Ezold is a nuclear engineer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) who has championed science education for over 20 years. She has inspired over 100 female students in the state of Tennessee and across the country through her dedicated efforts in the promotion of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Julie has reached out to grade school, high school, and college students in this pursuit and is the co-founder of the Science Club for grade schools in the Knoxville area. She has organized and participated in several Teachers’ Workshops in Knoxville, which are hosted across the country by the American Nuclear Society.

As manager of the ORNL Californium-252 Production Program, a multi-million dollar enterprise, Julie supported the discovery of the new element 117 in the periodic table, which was aptly named Tennessine, in honor of ORNL’s, Vanderbilt University’s, and the University of Tennessee’s contribution to the discovery. Because of her contributions, support, and dedication to this effort, she is listed as one of the co-discoverers of Tennessine.

Our thanks go to our January Salon – Women Who…Speak Up:

Karen Carson, Former Chair, Knox Co. School Board and Phyllis Nichols, CEO, Knoxville Area Urban League

Karen Carson, Former Chair, Knox Co. School Board

Karen Carson is a registered nurse at East TN Children’s Hospital currently working in the sedation/radiology department. Karen has worked with pediatric patients and their families for 38 years in a number of different capacities. She served on the Knox County Board of Education for 12 years between 2004-20016. She also served as Chairman on the Board of Education for 3 terms. Karen has been a member of a number of different community executive boards; currently serving on the YMCA of East Tennessee Board of Directors. Karen was the recipient of the 2017 Lizzie Crozier French Women’s Leadership Award.

Phyllis Nichols, CEO Knoxville Area Urban League

Phyllis Young Nichols is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Knoxville Area Urban League. She has expanded the Urban League to be one of Knoxville’s premier organizations serving over 9,000 individuals and families each year. Phyllis has been recognized as a Senior Fellow by the National Urban League. She has provided extensive service to our community, including being the Immediate past Chair and founding Trustee of the Great Schools Partnership. Phyllis has received numerous awards and recognitions including the Lizzie Crozier French Women’s Leadership Award and the YWCA “Tribute to Women” Humanitarian Award.

Our thanks go to our November Salon – Women Who…Have Served:

Rita Thomas, US Air Force Veteran and Angela Sanders, US Army Reserves

Rita Thomas, US Air Force Veteran

Veteran Rita Thomas served in the Air Force from June 1981 until May 1990, rising through the ranks from Airman to Staff Sergeant. During her time in service, Rita was a crypt logic linguist and a Czechoslovak language specialist. She served two tours in Augsburg, West Germany, working her way up from Senior Operator to Department Chief. Thomas attended the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, gaining four years of college-level language in one year during her initial session and subsequently returned to the Institute for for intensive intermediate level language training.

In addition to her cryptology and linguistic responsibilities, Thomas duties while in service included supervising staff, planning special events, and managing database of classified information. Thomas received Commander’s awards for outstanding performance and the Inspector General’s award for professional actions and appearance.

Today, Thomas is employed full-time at Functional Pathways as an engagement liaison. She is also a highly successful freelance photographer. Thomas cares for her aging mother who suffers with Alzheimer’s and is the mother of two adult children, a daughter and son, and has four grandchildren.

Angela Sanders, US Army Reserves

Angela Sanders is currently serving in the US Army Reserves with 2-398th Cavalry Regiment in Madisonville, KY as a Company Commander and Officer-In-Charge of the Battalion S1 staff section. She began her military career as a physical therapist in March 2010 with the 4203rd US Army Hospital in Nashville, TN. In late 2011, she was mobilized to Ft. Jackson, SC for a year to perform duties as a staff physical therapist. Upon returning to her position with the 4203rd, she had additional duties of Company Training Officer, Battalion Officer-In-Charge of the S3 staff section, and Company Commander. Throughout her career, she has received multiple Commendations for performance, leadership, and professionalism, and she was recently promoted to Major.

Angela works for Brookdale Healthcare Services as a Healthcare Services Manager. She is responsible for the management, growth, and success of the physical, occupational, and speech therapy programs at four assisted living facilities in East TN. She currently lives in Chattanooga, TN with her family. She enjoys hiking, reading, and raising her 11-year-old son, William.

Our thanks go to our September Salon – Women Who…Bring Justice:

US District Court Judge Pamela Reeves & Chief of Police, KPD, Eve Thomas

United States District Judge Pamela Reeves

Hon. Pamela L. Reeves is a U.S. District Judge in the Eastern District of Tennessee. Prior to being confirmed in 2014, she practiced law and mediated cases in Knoxville with the firm of Reeves, Herbert & Anderson, P.A.

Judge Reeves has served as President of the Tennessee Bar Association, President of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators, Chair of the Knox County Election Commission and has held many other bar and community leadership positions.

For 15 years, she wrote a monthly column on legal issues for the Knoxville News Sentinel. Judge Reeves was the 2008 recipient of the Knoxville Bar Association’s Governors’ Award.

Chief of Police, KPD, Eve Thomas

Eve Thomas was named Knoxville Police Department’s Chief of Police in June 2018, becoming the first woman to lead the KPD.  Prior to taking the head post with KPD, as deputy chief Thomas commanded the Criminal Investigations Division and before that the Internal Affairs Unit. Thomas has worked with KPD for 25 years. Chief Thomas has a Master’s Degree from Long Island University’s Homeland Security Master’s Institute and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

She is a member of the Salvation Army Board, is immediate Past-Chair of the Knox County Community Health Council, Leadership Knoxville 2013 class, and the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police, the IACP, PERF, the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE), and works with the Tennessee Women in Criminal Justice Steering Committee.  She has been married to her husband, Karl, for 30 years and has two teenage boys.

Our thanks go to our July Salon – Women Who…Make Change:

Kimberly Peterson & Caroline Mann

Organizers of the Knoxville Women’s March for sharing their challenges & lessons learned.

Caroline Mann

Caroline is a Knoxville native who has returned to Tennessee to work, study, and raise her three children and their various pets. She was inspired to join the Women’s March movement in January 2017 and has helped to organize both the inaugural March in Knoxville in 2017 and its successor in 2018. She has since joined with colleagues and fellow-March organizers to form the Women’s March Coalition of East Tennessee, and with other organizations to form the East Tennessee Community Labs.

Caroline recently earned her MS in Information Sciences from the University of Tennessee, where she also works in the Office of Institutional Research. She also has an MBA from the College of William and Mary, and a BA in German from Wake Forest University. She is happy to talk data to you, or to wax poetic in German over a good German beverage.

Kimberly Peterson

Kimberly Peterson currently serves as the Spokesperson for the Women’s March Coalition of East Tennessee.  Her previous career experience as a Development Director with non-profit organizations such as United Way and American Cancer Society gave her a strong foundation for organizing special events.  As a longtime activist, she also serves as a Community Outreach Lead for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

Kimberly is a “military brat” who grew up living throughout the United States and abroad but whose heart has always remained in East Tennessee. She is currently pursuing her MA degree in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville.  She has a BA in Cultural Anthropology from James Madison University.  She is the mother of four children who enjoys working on social justice issues, as well as traveling, camping, and indulging her love of documentary films.

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