Margaret Norris is the Executive Director for the Municipal Technical Advisory Service, housed in the Institute for Public Service at the University of Tennessee. She has been with MTAS for fourteen years, having spent the first five at the Nashville office before transferring to the Knoxville office. Prior to joining MTAS in 2001, Margaret once worked for the agency as a graduate intern. Her other experience includes work in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Kansas City, Missouri; South Pittsburg Tennessee; and Lumberton, North Carolina. Titles she has held include records manager, post graduate intern, finance director and city manager. Margaret graduated Magna Cum Laude from UTK with dual degrees in Psychology and Spanish and she earned a master of public administration from UTC. She served as the Executive Director of the Tennessee City Management Association from 2004-2008. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Tennessee City Management Association, the National Association of Parliamentarians, and the International City/County Management Association.
Executive Director, MTAS
865.974.9063 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
Margaret Norris is the Executive Director for the Municipal Technical Advisory Service, housed in the Institute for Public Service at the University of Tennessee. She has been with MTAS for fourteen years, having spent the first five at the Nashville office before transferring to the Knoxville office.
Prior to joining MTAS in 2001, Margaret once worked for the agency as a graduate intern. Her other experience includes work in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Kansas City, Missouri; South Pittsburg Tennessee; and Lumberton, North Carolina. Titles she has held include records manager, post graduate intern, finance director and city manager.
Margaret graduated Magna Cum Laude from UTK with dual degrees in Psychology and Spanish and she earned a master of public administration from UTC. She served as the Executive Director of the Tennessee City Management Association from 2004-2008. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Tennessee City Management Association, the National Association of Parliamentarians, and the International City/County Management Association.
Librarian, MTAS865.974.9842 | 1610 University Ave., Knoxville, TN 37921-6741
Frances came to MTAS in 1999 from the Ringling School of Art and Design where she served as the Technical Services Librarian. This position provided many challenges as the library was bringing all operations up to industry standards and Frances's goal was the bring the technical services operations in line with the latest practices and standards.
Prior to that she was the assistant director for technical services for Sarasota County Public Libraries and, for short stint, Frances was a reference librarian at the Tampa Public Library in the business and science reference section. Graduate work experience included creating a system for tracking all legal information related the 1980's break up of the telephone companies for Bell Northern Research and serving as a "do it all" assistant to the librarian for an NGO that served USAID in Africa focusing on family planning practices.
These positions allowed (and expected) lots of exploration and learning related to the growing internet, website creation (yes, programming in HTML, by hand), taking advantage of the burgeoning field of online databases, and ultimately learning that library service would never be the same again with the advent of the internet, email and the web.
Being at MTAS has certainly confirmed those experiences. Everyday is a new adventure in providing the best information, in the best way, to provide the most benefit to our customers -- be it in print or electronic format, via email or the web or some other creative delivery method. Libraries and librarians have been in the epicenter of the explosion of e-information and that is unlikely to change anytime soon. Frances has been in that swift-moving stream of information services for her whole professional career and she continues to welcome new challenges and the opportunity to be of service to all colleagues at IPS.
Master of Science in Information and Library Science, 1989, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Bachelor of Arts, Sociology and Psychology, 1986, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, NC
Stephanie Allen OHara
Legal Program Manager, MTAS865.974.0411 | 1610 University Ave., Knoxville, TN 37921-6741
Stephanie Allen OHara joined MTAS staff in the Knoxville office as a legal consultant on January 1, 2010. Effective November 1, 2013, Stephanie became the Legal Program Manager at MTAS. Stephanie graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a bachelor’s in business administration. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she interned with the U.S. Congress and Philip Morris USA. She received her Doctor of Jurisprudence and Master of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. While in law school, Stephanie interned with Oak Ridge National Labs; Retired Judge James Beckner, Third Judicial District Criminal Court; Chancellor Telford Forgety, Jr., Fourth Judicial District; Judge Benjamin Strand, Jefferson County General Sessions; as well as several law firms. Prior to joining MTAS as a legal consultant, Stephanie served as a judicial clerk to Justice Sharon Lee on the Tennessee Supreme Court and Tennessee Court of Appeals. In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys volunteering with charities and many outdoor activities, including snow skiing, hiking, wakeboarding, and dragon boating.
Municipal Management Consultant, MTAS731.425.4783 | 605 Airways Blvd., Suite 109, Jackson, TN 38301
- A.A., Belleville (Illinois) Area College, 1972 (General Studies)
- B.S., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 1974 (American History/Government)
- M.P.A., University of Nebraska at Omaha, 1983 (Public Administration)
- 1975-1976 Illinois Department of Conservation
- 1976-1985 Nebraska Department of Roads
- 1985-1988 City of West Bend, Iowa
- 1988-1994 City of Ste. Genevieve, Missouri
- 1994-2001 City of Maryville, Missouri
- 2001- University of Tennessee, MTAS
Legal Consultant, MTAS865.974.0411 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
Police Management Consultant, MTAS865.974.9837 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
Administrative Specialist II - Training, MTAS865.974.9140 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
Doug has been with MTAS since 2006. Currently an Administrative Specialist in the Training Department, he primarily works with the Municipal Management Academy and the Elected Officials Academy programs.
Doug has an undergraduate degree in Political Science and a Master's degree in Education from the University of Tennessee.
In his spare time Doug likes traveling, sports and food.
Administrative Specialist II - Consulting, MTAS865.974.9851 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
Municipal Management Consultant, MTAS731.425.4782 | 605 Airways Blvd. Suite 109, Jackson, TN 38301
I grew up in the Washington DC. area. After high school I enlisted in the Air Force and served 21 years, living overseas in the Philippines and Germany. After the Air Force I went to work for the City of McKenzie, Tennessee as their City recorder and Finance Director. Before joining the IPS staff in 2010, I served the City of Clifton, Tennessee as their City Manager.
Specialist II, MTAS865.974.9844 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
Municipal Court Specialist, MTAS615.532.6827 | 226 Capitol Blvd. Suite 606, Nashville, TN 37219
Human Resource Consultant, MTAS615.532.2588 | 226 Capitol Blvd Suite 606, Nashville, TN 37219
IPS Consultant III, Legal, MTAS615.532.6827 | 226 Capitol Blvd Suite 606, Nashville, TN 37219
Administrative Specialist II - Consulting, MTAS865.974.9852 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
I have worked at MTAS for over 35 years. My job as an administrative support person is constantly changing and challenging. The MTAS Consultants rely on me to help them help the Tennessee cities. I enjoy talking to city officials and have become friends with many of them through the years. There is probably no administrative job that I have not tackled at one time or another.
Administrative Specialist, MTAS865.974.3632 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
Sherri joined Institute for Public Service, Central Office January 2, 2007 as an Administrative Assistant. She relocated to MTAS November 5, 2012 to provide administrative support in accounts payable. Sherri received a Paralegal Degree in May 2006. Sherri was born in Northern Indiana and in 1969 her family relocated to Ft. Davis, Texas and then later to El Paso, Texas.
Clarence and Sherri married February 17, 1976. The Brown family moved to Knoxville in 1988. Clarence and Sherri have two daughters, (Kimberly and Rebecca), a son-in-law, (Jeffry), two grandsons, (Jacob and Jax), one granddaughter, (Karin).
Sherri enjoys reading, knitting and different kinds of needlework. Disc Golf and bicycling provide her with much needed exercise.
Public Works Consultant, MTAS731.425.4785 | 605 Airways Blvd. Suite 109, Jackson, TN 38301
Jackson IPS Office Manager
Secretary, Tennessee Stormwater Association
Former Education Co-Chair,Tennessee Chapter of the American Public Works Association
Former Branch President, West Tennessee Branch, Tennessee Chapter of the American Public Works Association
B.S., Civil Engineering, Tennessee Technological University, 1983
John Chlarson has over 30 years’ experience in a wide variety of engineering applications, having worked for government, industry, and private consulting. He established and ran a materials testing laboratory approved by the Corps of Engineers and the Department of Energy. He has also been the engineer in responsible charge for engineering offices for firms in both Tennessee and Kentucky. Mr. Chlarson was also a City Engineer, responsible, among other things, for a comprehensive Storm Water Management Program. He has had extensive experience in the design, review, and implementation of storm water control structures and measures.
John Chlarson was the lead in MTAS’s role as the prime contractor for the Tennessee Department of Environments and Conservation’s EPA Construction Stormwater Initiative Grant to develop selection criteria and training programs for stormwater Qualified Local Programs. John assisted Robert Haley, (former) Assistant Manager of the Permit Section of the Division of Water Pollution Control, in developing Tennessee’s first Phase II Permit and NOI, and the Annual Report. John also worked with Sidney J. Hemsley, J.D., in co-authoring a statewide Model Stormwater Ordinance and a statewide Model Stormwater Utility Ordinance for municipalities in the State of Tennessee. John has also assisted in the presentation of several previous Phase II classes across the State of Tennessee. He is actively involved in monitoring developments in the NPDES Phase II permit regulations, and is the lead contact on Phase II for the Municipal Technical Advisory Service.
Fire Management Consultant, MTAS615.532.7108 | 226 Capitol Blvd., Suite 606, Nashville, TN 37219
Steven Cross is a Fire Management Consultant with the University of Tennessee Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS). He joined MTAS on July 9, 2017. His duties include providing technical assistance and consulting services for municipal governemnt leaders in all areas of fire department and emergency services management as well as serving as a resource for state-wide professional associations.
Steven joined the fire service as a municipal firefighter in 1986. He served for over 27 years with the Columbia Fire Department, the last 17 years as Columbia’s Deputy Fire Chief and Fire Chief. Prior to joining the University of Tennessee, Steven served in the Tennessee State Fire Marshal's Office's Fire Fighting Personnel Standards and Education Commission.
- Bachelor of Science in Fire Science Administration from Waldorf University in Forrest City, Iowa
- Fire Officer Level IV IFSAC / ProBoard from Alabama Fire College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
PROFESSIONAL ACCREDITATIONS AND AFFILIATIONS
- Chief Fire Officer designation (CFO), Commission on Fire Accreditation International
- Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association
- Tennessee All Hazards Incident Management Team, Assistant State Plan Coordinator
- Public Entity Risk Management, Insurance Institute of America
Utility Finance Consultant, MTAS865.974.9821 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
Senior Library Assistant, MTAS865.974.0411 | 1610 University Ave., Knoxville, TN 37921
Municipal Codes Coordinator, MTAS865.974.9837 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
Kelley joined MTAS (Knoxville) on November 4, 2013, as the Codes Coordinator. Prior to this, she worked as a paralegal in a private litigation law firm, focusing primarily in the areas of insurance defense and plaintiff personal injury/medical malpractice. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from UTK in 1990. To compliment this, she obtained her paralegal certification in 2005, as well as her advanced certification in 2006. She is very active in, and past president of, the Smoky Mountain Paralegal Association, and co-instructs the certified paralegal exam prep course through SMPA.
TMBP Coordinator, MTAS865.974.7441 | 1610 University Ave., Knoxville, TN 37923
Training Program Manager, MTAS865.974.4111 | 226 Capitol Blvd., Suite 606, Nashville, TN 37219
Finance Program Manager III, MTAS731.881.7058 | 476 Clement Hall, UT Martin, Martin, TN 38238
Administrative Support Assistant III, MTAS615.532.6827 | 226 Capitol Blvd Suite 606, Nashville, TN 37219
Utility Operations Consultant, MTAS731.425.4776 | 605 Airways Blvd. Suite 109, Jackson, TN 38301
Steve has a Grade IV Water Treatment License, Grade IV Wastewater Treatment License and a Grade II Distribution License from the State of Tennessee. He has also worked in Natural Gas and Propane supply.
Finance and Accounting Consultant, MTAS615.532.4946 | 226 Capitol Blvd Suite 606, Nashville, TN 37219
Ralph Cross is currently employed with The University of Tennessee’s Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) as Finance and Accounting Consultant. MTAS provides technical assistance to municipal government officials statewide in the areas of municipal management, finance, public works, police and fire services, and legal issues. Ralph has primary responsibility in the finance area for cities in Middle Tennessee and has written numerous publications dealing with finance related topics for distribution to municipal officials statewide. In addition, he has co-developed and taught several finance courses for municipal officials in various educational programs sponsored by the University of Tennessee.
Before coming to MTAS, Ralph served eight years as the Secretary/Treasurer for the City of Lawrenceburg. In 1998, he was named “Clerk of the Year” by the Tennessee Association of Municipal Clerks and Recorders (TAMCAR). His experience prior to employment in the public sector includes general administration and engineering. Ralph is a Certified Government Finance Manager and has an MBA in Finance and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology from the University of Memphis.
Ralph has two daughters, Kathryn Cross and Audrey Keown. He also has one grandson, Liam, the son of Audrey and Grant Keown.
Training Consultant, MTAS615.253.6385 | 226 Capitol Blvd Suite 606, Nashville, TN 37219
Kurt Frederick is a training consultant with the University of Tennessee Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS). He has been with MTAS since 1999. Part of his duties include administering the state wide Municipal Administration Program, Municipal Management Academy, Administrative Hearing Officer training program and he also works with curriculum development involving all programs.
Prior to joining UT, Kurt was coordinator of a National Science Foundation multi-disciplinary curriculum development grant for Nashville State Technical Institute. He also worked for the State of Tennessee Department of Finance Administration as an administrative budget analyst and was responsible for the law enforcement, judicial and military budgets. During his tenure with the department of Finance and Administration he administered the Federal Edward Bryne State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance grant program, which assisted in drug eradication.
Kurt has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Memphis State University and his Master of Science in Human Resource Development from the University of Tennessee.
Administrative Specialist II - Codes, MTAS865.974.9846 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
Nancy Gibson has been working at MTAS for eight years in the Municipal Codes Department. She works with cities and consultants regarding municipal codes and charters. Her duties include reviewing ordinances and compiling lists for inclusion in codes, producing new codes (and revisions) and compiling updates of existing municipal codes for cities. This includes markup, proofreading and all correspondence related thereto.
CAP in November 2010
Communications Certification 2011
Customer Service Certification 2011
Supervisory Certification, Level 1 2013
Nancy does invoicing for the Municipal Codes Department and is proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, WordPerfect, Adobe Acrobat (full version), and Adobe Photoshop Pro. She maintains the Municipal Codes Database.
Municipal Program Manager III, MTAS423.854.9882 | 2112 North Roan St., Johnson City, TN 37601
Pat grew up in New Jersey and attended East Tennessee State University earning undergraduate and graduate degrees (in City Management). He worked in the city management profession in Big Spring, Texas and in Blue Earth, Minnesota. Pat came to MTAS in 1989 working as a General Management Consultant in the Nashville office. He spent about 4-5 years there and has been in the Johnson City office since then. Pat is there with Rick Hall from CTAS and Dwaine Raper and Kenny Smith from CIS. He serves the cities in upper East Tennessee as a General Management Consultant and also serves as Program Manager for the General Management Consultant group.
Pat lives in Elizabethton and is married to Bonita Hardy. They have two "great" kids, Frank and Evelyn Esther, and two "superb" grandkids, Liliana Maria and Alex (both pictured at right in 2017). For kicks Pat enjoys building (he recentlyfinished a house he built for his daughter - after 4 1/2 years of work), occasional golf (he claims to be no good), occasional fishing (here too he claims to be no good), camping, and occasional guitar or mandolin playing (you guessed it, he claims to be no good). Pat attends Hopwood Christian Church and trys to stay involved there as much as possible. He is currently taking ballroom dance lessons one night a week with his wife. Again, he claims to be no good but because he gets to dance with his wife for an hour each week, he says "it's great."
All in all Pat loves life, and very much enjoys and appreciates his job and working with the IPS family.
Municipal Management Consultant, MTAS865.974-6621 | 1610 University Ave., Knoxville, TN 37921
Administrative Support Assistant, MTAS865-974-6621 | 1610 University Ave., Knoxville, TN 37921
Finance and Accounting Consultant, MTAS423.775.3577 | 3389 New Union Road, Dayton, TN 37321
Brad came to MTAS in 2012 after 5 years as the Finance Director for the City of Athens, TN. Before that he served as the Finance Director for Rhea County, TN. Previously he worked for CPA firms in the Chattanooga and Tullahoma areas. He has been a CPA since 2000. He is married to the stunningly gorgeous Beth Harris and has two incredible daughters. Hannah is 24 and lives in Pulaski, TN where she operates a video and photography business (yes, she would be happy to do your work). Katie is 12 and attends CHattanooga Christian School currently in the 6th grade. She was recently chosen by the UT College of Agriculture to star in a statewide video promoting 4-H camps. You can view the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5CDzrG2lKs&sns=em
Brad's passion is making a difference in the lives of other people - this is why he came to MTAS. In his spare time, he enjoys singing, and in August of 2014 will be inducted into the Tristate Gospel Music Hall of Fame. He spent several years touring the country singing gospel and some country music, and has performed on the Grand Old Opry and sang with artist such as Ricky Skaggs, Connie Smith, McBride and the Ride and a host of 'Gaither Homecoming' gospel singers. He is now completing a new CD (orders being taken!) and has previously been a part of several other recordings. He can be found on youtube singing with groups, but hell will freeze over before he tells you where to find these less-than-stellar performances (a cell phone 100 ft. from the stage recording a singer... PULEEEZE!) He enjoys golf as well, but realizes that playing 5 times per year is detrimental to breaking '90'.
Brad is an accomplished cook, once having co-owned a reestaurant with his sister (probably the most fun I have ever had in a job... before MTAS, of course!). He enjoys his 'Big Green Egg' and you are welcome to come over for a meal at any time.
Brad also works as a minister of music at the Wolf Creek Baptist Church in Spring City, TN. He has served in that capacity since 2001, and previously served in that role for three other churches. He sings tenor (like a full grown woman someone once said!) and enjoys singing with his wife Beth who is an incredible singer as well.
Municipal Management Consultant, MTAS615.253.4814 | 226 Capitol Blvd Suite 606, Nashville, TN 37219
Gary is a Management Consultant based out of the Nashville office. He works with 44 cities, mostly in upper Middle Tennessee including cities in Stewart, Houston, Montgomery, Dickson, Cheatham, Robertson, Sumner, Wilson, Trousdale, Macon and Smith Counties, along with the City of Columbia. Gary came to work for MTAS in September, 1999 and has lived in Hendersonville more than 14 years. Prior to coming to MTAS Gary worked in Illinois cities for nearly 14 years, moving from the Chicago suburbs of Elmhurst to Streamwood as an Assistant to City Managers; to Forsyth and Dwight where he was the Village Administrator. Prior to entering the City Management profession Gary spent four years in the private sector.
Gary has both his Bachelors in Political Science and Masters in Public Administration from Northern Illinois University. Until retiring recently Gary spent many hours and years as a youth and High School Wrestling coach. Being a youth coach allowed Gary to develop a skill set for coaching and facilitating meetings with elected officials.
Municipal Management Consultant, MTAS901.412.2121 | 7777 Walnut Grove Road, Suite A-1, Box 14, Memphis, TN 38120-2130
Ronnie Neill has been a Management Consultant with the University of Tennessee Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) in West Tennessee since 1993. The cities that he serves in West Tennessee are in Tipton, Shelby, Hardeman, McNairy, and Hardin counties. In addition to his role as a management consultant, he also serves as the Secretary of the Tennessee Public Risk Management Association, a statewide association of city and county public risk managers.
Ronnie's career began in Fayette County as a Youth Services officer for the Fayette County Juvenile Court. In1978 he was elected City Recorder for the City of Somerville where he served as full-time administrative officer, Treasurer, and City Judge. He later served as County Manager/ Loan Officer for First Tennessee Production Credit Association where he managed the Fayette County Office with a volume of 14 million dollars in agricultural loans. He was owner and broker for West Tennessee Realty for 10 years prior to joining MTAS.
In 1984, he won election as an Alderman for the Town of Somerville, where he served on the Public Works Committee, the Budget/Finance Committee and the Public Safety Committee. Ronnie was elected Mayor of Somerville in 1986 and reelected in 1988. He currently serves on the Somerville Board of Mayor and Alderman as the Vice-mayor.
Ronnie has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Tennessee, Martin.
Municipal Management Consultant, MTAS865.974.9839 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
Warren Nevad has over 25 years’ experience in municipal management in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. Since 1999 he has served as a Municipal Management Consultant for the University of Tennessee Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS). He provides technical assistance to 48 cities in Tennessee. Warren received his master’s degree in public administration from Florida Atlantic University in 1992. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Georgia in 1987. Prior to coming to MTAS he served as City Manager in Sugar Hill (Gwinnett County) Georgia, Assistant Village Manager for Golf, Florida and Finance Director in Pahokee, Florida. In 2008, he cofounded the Tennessee Renewable Energy & Economic Development Council (TREEDC) along with the University of Tennessee President Emeritus Dr. Joe Johnson and mayors from Ducktown, Crossville, Gainesboro, Graysville, Tennessee. He also is creating a similar renewable energy network in the Philippines. He is a frequent speaker and presenter at renewable energy conferences and workshops Warren Nevad has over 25 years’ experience in municipal management in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. Since 1999 he has served as a Municipal Management Consultant for the University of Tennessee Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS). He provides technical assistance to 45 cities in Tennessee. Warren received his master’s degree in public administration from Florida Atlantic University in 1992. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Georgia in 1987. Prior to coming to MTAS he served as City Manager in Sugar Hill (Gwinnett County) Georgia, Assistant Village Manager for Golf, Florida and Finance Director in Pahokee, Florida. In 2008, he cofounded the Tennessee Renewable Energy & Economic Development Council (TREEDC) along with the University of Tennessee President Emeritus Dr. Joe Johnson and mayors from Ducktown, Crossville, Gainesboro, Graysville, Tennessee. He also is creating a similar renewable energy network in the Philippines. He is a frequent speaker and presenter at renewable energy conferences and workshops.
Information Technology Consultant, MTAS865.974.0628 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
Municipal Management Consultant, MTAS423.425-4239 | Political Science and Public Service, Dept. 6256, Pfeiffer 302, Chattanooga, TN 37403
Honna Rogers grew up in Northeast Georgia. She graduated from Piedmont College in Demorest, GA with a Bachelors of History degree and from the University of Tennessee with a Masters in Public Administration. She previously worked for the City of Sevierville and as a Post Graduate Management Fellow with UT-MTAS. While at MTAS she worked with the cities of Cleveland, Athens, East Ridge, and Signal Mountain and the SE TN Development District and the Athens Utility Board. Honna spent five years as the Town Manager of Signal Mountain, TN before returning to UT-MTAS. Honna and her husband, Joshua, reside in Signal Mountain with their two children.
Program Manager III, MTAS865.974.0416 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
- Master of Science in Environmental Engineering, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, N.C.
- Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, VA
PROFESSIONAL REGISTRATIONS AND AFFILIATIONS
- Registered Professional Engineer in Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia
- Member American Public Works Association (APWA)
- Secretary of TN Chapter APWA since 2003
Technical Consulting Program Manager: Manage MTAS’ eight technical consultants responsible for delivering fire, police, information technology, human resources, public works and utility services throughout the state.
Consulting: Work with municipal officials, consulting engineers and state and federal agencies to solve public works, water and wastewater problems; prepare request for qualifications for engineering services; conduct management studies; advise on system operations, maintenance and compliance issues; evaluate financing options for infrastructure projects; and develop standard operating policies and procedures for municipal utility and public works operations. Service area includes one-half of the cities in Tennessee.
Teaching: Develop and teach courses on public works issues for municipal elected officials and staff.
Publication Development: Authored numerous publications for MTAS and EPA; author of articles for technical journals. Five publications for EPA have been distributed nationally.
Consultant III, MTAS865.974.9822 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
Lisa Shipley serves as the IT manager for the Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS). She holds both a B.S. and M.S. degree as well as a graduate certificate in Online Teaching and Learning from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Lisa has worked in the information technology profession for more than 20 years and has implemented many changes in applied technology within the fields of higher education, publishing, marketing, and legal. Ask her about writing DOS batch files and implementing one of the first Novell networks in a publishing environment.
Prior to joining MTAS, Lisa held positions of network administrator, security analyst, software manager, and IT support manager. She currently specializes in cyber security, database & systems development, project management, and IT training.
Grants and Training Specialist, MTAS865.974.8964 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
Chris Shults is a grants and training specialist at MTAS. Chris joined MTAS in the Knoxville office as the Tennessee Municipal Benchmarking Project Coordinator on September 2, 2014. Chris graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a BA in political science in 2008. After completing his bachelor’s degree Chris continued his education and graduated with a Master’s degree in Public Administration in 2010, and received a PhD in Political Science in 2014 from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Chris’ time at UTK has allowed him to participate in both the practitioner and the academic side of political science and public administration. His academic experience includes teaching various courses at the collegiate level both in the classroom and online, participating in academic conferences and working on research projects with the goal of publishing in refereed journals. His practitioner experience has consisted of gathering, organizing and analyzing data, generating state and local policy reports, and evaluating policy implementations.
Both paths have been rewarding and, as the grants and training specialist, Chris draws on both his academic and practitioner experience to develop grant proposals and develop and deliver municipal training courses.
Human Resource Consultant/Office Manager, MTAS615.532.4956 | 226 Capitol Blvd Suite 606, Nashville, TN 37219
I joined the staff of The University of Tennessee - Municipal Technical Advisory Service in 1986 as a Municipal Human Resources Consultant. As an HR consultant, I provide technical HR assistance, training and support to city officials across the state on a wide range of HR issues. I have written numerous HR articles and technical publications, publish an annual salary and fringe benefit survey of Tennessee municipalities and developed sample policies and forms for city governments.
I earned a B.A. in Sociology and General Science from Grinnell College in Grinnell, IA and a M.S. in Guidance and Personnel Services from The University of Memphis (formerly Memphis State University), Memphis, TN.
I am a Past President of the International Public Management Association for Human Resource (IPMA-HR) and IPMA-HR-Southern Region (SRIPMA-HR). I am the Executive Director of the TN Chapter of IPMA-HR.
I am certified by the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) as a “Senior Certified Professional” (IPMA-SCP). I am also certified by the Society for Human Resource Management as a "Certified Professional" and by the Human Resource Certification Institute as a “Professional in Human Resources” (PHR).
Utility Operations Consultant, MTAS865.974.9853 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
Brett received a BS in Agriculture from UT in 1979. He spent 15 years farming in Loudon and Monroe Counties, 8 of those years owning and operating a Grade A dairy farm. Brett's agricultural experience uniquely qualifies him for providing biosolids land application assistance to Tennessee Cities and Counties.
Brett holds Tennessee Grade 4 certifications in Wastewater and Water Treatment and Grade 2 Collection System certification. Additional a Level 2 Certification in Industrial Pretreatment from the KY-TN Water Environment Association.
Areas of expertise include Industrial Pretreatment, biosolids land application, wastewater laboratory, wastewater treatment troubleshooting and optimization, filament identification, wastewater energy management, collection system management including infiltration and inflow investigation.
Brett has worked at MTAS 18 years and before that was wastewater plant operator a Sweetwater Utilities Board.
Assistant Director, MTAS865.974.9853 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
Rick Whitehead is the assistant director for MTAS and works in the Knoxville office. Before being appointed to the assistant director position in November 2012, Rick served as a municipal management consultant for MTAS. As a field consultant, he worked an assigned territory in southwest Tennessee that included all of the cities located in Chester, Hardeman, Haywood, Fayette, Humphreys, Perry, Shelby, and Wayne Counties. Rick has been with MTAS since February of 2004.
Prior to joining MTAS, Rick served as a city manager in Tennessee and as a city attorney and city manager in Alabama. In addition to his experience in municipal government, Rick has professional degrees in public administration and law from Auburn University and the University of Alabama. He is a member in good standing of the Alabama State Bar and is currently licensed to practice law in Tennessee.
Fire Management Consultant, MTAS901.579.9247 | 7777 Walnut Grove Road, Box 14, Memphis, TN 38120-2130
Dennis Wolf is the fire management consultant for MTAS. He joined MTAS on August 1, 2011. Dennis joined the fire service as a volunteer firefighter in 1974. Before coming to MTAS, he served for over 34 years with the Germantown Fire Department, the last 15 years as Germantown’s fire chief and emergency management director.
- Master of Science in Fire Service Leadership from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ
- Bachelor of Professional Studies in Fire Administration from the University of Memphis, Memphis, TN
- Executive Fire Officer Program, National Fire Academy, Emmitsburg, MD
PROFESSIONAL ACCREDITATIONS AND AFFILIATIONS
- Chief Fire Officer designation (CFO), Commission on Fire Accreditation International
- Chief EMS Officer (CEMSO) designation, Commission on Fire Accreditation International
- Member (MIFireE), Institution of Fire Engineers
- International Association of Fire Chiefs – Member
- Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association – Member and past president
- Mid-South Fire Chiefs Association - Member and past president
Training Consultant, MTAS865-974-6621 | 1610 University Ave., Knoxville, TN 37921
Johanna joined the University of Tennessee’s Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) in June 2018 as a training consultant. She is responsible for the Municipal Management Academy in East Tennessee and the Elected Officials Academy across the state. She joined MTAS after spending 10 years with UT System Human Resources in Employee & Organizational Development, where she held several positions including learning manager and trainer. In those positions, Johanna was responsible for managing a small staff of trainers and administrative staff; developing and delivering courses and program curricula; coordinating multiple conferences; and developing and overseeing a statewide training delivery plan. In addition to her time at UT, she worked as an adjunct instructor at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville.
Johanna holds a master’s degree in adult education and a bachelor’s in psychology, both earned at UT Knoxville. She is certified to administer and interpret the LIFO Life Orientations® and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® instruments. She also holds certifications to deliver FranklinCovey’s Leading at the Speed of Trust™ and The 5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity™.