2021 In Charge – Nonprofits

Each year, our In Charge list brings together business, political and civic leaders from all corners of the Middle Tennessee landscape. This year's list is our 12th iteration and features roughly 500 people driving change across the region. We thank our friends and colleagues at the Scene and Nfocus for their help in creating it.


Jane Allen — CEO, Entrepreneur Center: Appointed in 2019 to lead organization which has provided assistance to 10,000-plus entrepreneurs, helped create more than 1,300 jobs and raised $208 million in capital.

Tatum Hauck Allsep — Founder and CEO, Music Health Alliance: Launched in 2013 to provide access to health care and insurance for music community. Has served more than 11,000 clients and secured over $50 million in cost savings.

Janet and Jim Ayers — Co-Founders, The Ayers Foundation: Founded organization in 1999 to improve quality of life for Tennesseans through health, education and social welfare programs. Foundation has awarded more than 4,300 college scholarships.

Bari Beasley — CEO, Heritage Foundation of Williamson County: In 2017 named historic preservation entity’s first-ever CEO. Oversaw purchase of former O’More College of Design campus, renaming it Franklin Grove Estate & Gardens. Has raised over $15 million in corporate and individual giving.

Pete Bird — President and CEO, Frist Foundation: Has served as foundation head since 2002 and been with entity since 1983. Oversees more than $390 million in foundation assets.

Barbara Bovender — Tennessee Region Chair, American Red Cross Tiffany Circle: Founding member of Nashville chapter of Tiffany Circle, female donors to Red Cross who pledge to donate $10,000 or more annually. Serves on Tiffany Circle National Council.

Agenia Clark — CEO, Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee: Dynamic leader of organization that serves more than 20,000 girls and volunteers in 39 Middle Tennessee counties.

Glenn Cranfield — President and CEO, Nashville Rescue Mission: Oversees operation that serves more than 7,000 men, women and children annually. Mission facility property in SoBro is being engulfed by nearby development.

Tina Doniger — Executive Director, Community Resource Center: Stepped into role in 2019 for organization that facilitates donations for 100-plus nonprofits. In 2020, oversaw massive donation drive for tornado and COVID-19 relief efforts.

Rasheedat Fetuga — President and CEO, Gideon’s Army: Founded the grassroots activist organization in 2010 to serve North Nashville community. In 2020, mobilized volunteer and tornado relief efforts across the neighborhood.

Rachel Freeman — President, Sexual Assault Center: Named to position in 2018 after 17 years on staff at only agency in Middle Tennessee whose primary purpose is to provide support to survivors of sexual assault and to end sexual violence.

Pete Griffin — President and CEO, Musicians on Call: Instrumental in growth of charity providing live and recorded performances to patients in hospitals to 90 programs in 20 major markets and serving more than 775,000 patients, families and caregivers.

Jenny Hannon — Executive Director, Friends of Warner Parks: Appointed to position in 2019. Oversees nonprofit arm of citywide parks system, dedicated to preservation and conservation. Major projects include the restoration of the Allée at Belle Meade Boulevard entrance of Percy Warner Park and a seven-year plan to remove invasive species from parks’ 1,930 acres.

Danny Herron — President and CEO, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville: Has served in the position since 2010. Leads organization that, since 1985, has built more than 1,300 new homes and served 3,200-plus individuals.

Tari Hughes — President and CEO, Center for Nonprofit Management: In December 2016, named fourth president and CEO of organization that serves more than 800 Middle Tennessee nonprofits. Previously served as president of Nashville Public Library Foundation for 12 years.

Sallie Hussey — Executive Director, Fifty Forward: Named to position in 2019. Seasoned nonprofit professional oversees numerous programs benefiting adults over 50 through its seven learning centers in Nashville and Williamson County.

Nancy Keil — President and CEO, Second Harvest Food Bank: Named to position in 2019 after five years as chief development and marketing officer. Runs organization fighting hunger with 490 partner agencies working in 46 Middle and West Tennessee counties.

Kay Kretsch — Interim CEO, Dismas House: Former board chair who took over last year from Gerald Brown, who had for four years led organization that provides housing and social support programs for formerly incarcerated men. Dismas last spring opened four-story residential facility.

Ellen Lehman — Founder and President, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee: Oversees entity that manages more than $1 billion in charitable donations in approximately 1,350 separate funds. In 2020, distributed nearly $2.4 million in grants to 350 nonprofits and oversaw fundraising of $12 million in tornado relief funds.

Liz McLaurin — President and CEO, The Land Trust for Tennessee: Named president in July 2015 and assumed CEO office in May 2016. Since 1999, conservation nonprofit has protected almost 130,000 acres of public and private land statewide through more than 400 projects. In 2020, organization was awarded National Land Trust Excellence Award.

Juliana Ospina Cano — Executive Director, Conexión Américas: In July 2019, succeeded co-founder and executive director Renata Soto to run comprehensive programs that assist region’s Latino families. In 2020, organization distributed more than $1 million in economic assistance and more than 50,000 meals.

Sharon Roberson — President and CEO, YWCA Nashville and Middle Tennessee: Oversees organization with more than $10 million in assets. Programs for women and girls include the Family Learning Center and the state’s largest domestic violence shelter.

Lori Shinton — President and CEO, Hands on Nashville: Has led, since 2016, organization that connects thousands of volunteers to 300-plus service projects each month. In 2020, mobilized 40,000 new volunteers to aid in tornado relief and staff COVID-19 testing facilities.

Becca Stevens — Founder and President, Thistle Farms: Episcopal priest, author and entrepreneur whose nonprofit works with women recovering from prostitution, trafficking and addiction. Two-year residential program and social enterprises employ residents who, with graduates, manufacture all-natural beauty products sold nationwide and work in its cafe. Serves as model for 70 organizations nationwide.

John Tumminello — Executive Director, Centennial Park Conservancy: Appointed to position in 2019 after eight years with organization. Oversees nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of the Parthenon and Centennial Park.

Steve Turner — Chairman, James Stephen Turner Family Foundation: Credited for philanthropic efforts and helping jumpstart downtown Nashville development in 1980s. Supports, among others, Nashville Symphony and Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Holly Whaley — President and CEO, Nashville Wine Auction: Leads nation’s oldest charity wine auction, which has raised more than $26 million for cancer research since 1980.