MTAS Staff

MTAS STAFF

Margaret Norris : Executive Director, MTAS

Margaret Norris

Executive Director, MTAS

865.974.9063 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
margaret.norris@tennessee.edu

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 since 2001. She served as a municipal management consultant for 16 years before becoming the executive director in 2017.

Prior to joining MTAS, 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. 

 


Frances Adams-OBrien' : Information Resources Manager, MTAS

Frances Adams-OBrien'

Information Resources Manager, MTAS

865.974.9842 | 1610 University Ave., Knoxville, TN 37921-6741
frances.adams-obrien@tennessee.edu

I am always looking to connect people with the information and assistance they need.

Whether it is people inside MTAS or Tennessee city staff or elected officials, I am here to assist through research, reference, and knowledge management.  

_________________________

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

Melissa Ashburn : Legal Consultant, MTAS

Melissa Ashburn

Legal Consultant, MTAS

865.974.0411 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921

 

 

Rex Barton : Police Management Consultant, MTAS

Rex Barton

Police Management Consultant, MTAS

865.974.9837 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
rex.barton@tennessee.edu

 

 

Doug Brown : Administrative Specialist II - Training, MTAS

Doug Brown

Administrative Specialist II - Training, MTAS

865.974.9140 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
doug.brown@tennessee.edu

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.

Sherri Brown : Administrative Specialist, MTAS

Sherri Brown

Administrative Specialist, MTAS

865.974.3632 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
sherri.brown@tennessee.edu

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.

Michelle Buckner : Administrative Specialist II - Consulting, MTAS

Michelle Buckner

Administrative Specialist II - Consulting, MTAS

865.974.9851 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
michelle.buckner@tennessee.edu
Angie Carrier : Program Manager, MTAS

Angie Carrier

Program Manager, MTAS

865.974-6621 | 1610 University Ave., Knoxville, TN 37921
angie.carrier@tennessee.edu
John Chlarson : Public Works Consultant, MTAS

John Chlarson

Public Works Consultant, MTAS

731.425.4785 | 605 Airways Blvd. Suite 109, Jackson, TN 38301
john.chlarson@tennessee.edu

Jackson IPS Office Manager (former)

Secretary, Tennessee Chapter of the American Public Works Association

Secretary (ad-hoc), Tennessee Stormwater Association

Former Fleet Chair, Tennessee Chapter of the American Public Works 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

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.

Steven Cross : Fire Management Consultant, MTAS

Steven Cross

Fire Management Consultant, MTAS

615.532.7108 | 226 Anne Dallas Dudley Blvd., Suite 606, Nashville, TN 37219
steven.cross@tennessee.edu

Steven Cross is a Fire Management Consultant with the University of Tennessee Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS).  After serving more than 30-years in local and state government, he joined MTAS on July 9, 2017.  His duties include providing technical assistance and consulting services for municipal, county, and state governemnt leaders in areas of leadership and fire rescue 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. 

EDUCATION

  • Bachelor of Science in Fire Science Administration from Waldorf University in Forrest City, Iowa
  • Associate of Science in Fire Science Administration from Columbia Southern University in Orange Beach, Alabama
  • Technical Certificate in Fire Science from Volunteer State Community College in Gallating, Tennessee
  • Emergency Medical Responder from the State of Tennessee
  • 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
  • Internationsl Association of Fire Chiefs
  • Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association
  • Tennessee All Hazards Incident Management Team
  • Public Entity Risk Management, Insurance Institute of America
 

 

Betsy Cunningham : HR Consultant, MTAS

Betsy Cunningham

HR Consultant, MTAS

865.974-6621 | 1610 University Ave., Knoxville, TN 37921
betsy.cunningham@tennessee.edu
Sarah Curtis : Training Consultant, MTAS

Sarah Curtis

Training Consultant, MTAS

| 226 Anne Dallas Dudley Blvd., Suite 606, Nashville, TN 37219
sarah.curtis@tennessee.edu
Dana Deem : Municipal Management Consultant, MTAS

Dana Deem

Municipal Management Consultant, MTAS

731.881-7567 | 474 Clement Hall, 210 Hurt St., Martin, TN 38238
dana.deem@tennessee.edu

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.

Yolanda Dillard : Training Consultant, MTAS

Yolanda Dillard

Training Consultant, MTAS

901.410-5386 | 7777 Walnut Grove Road, Suite 3, Memphis, TN 38120-2130
yolanda.dillard@tennessee.edu
Chuck Downham : Management Consultant, MTAS

Chuck Downham

Management Consultant, MTAS

615.532.6827 | 226 Anne Dallas Dudley Blvd., Suite 606, Nashville, TN 37219-1804
chuck.downham@tennessee.edu
Cyndy Edmonds : Specialist II, MTAS

Cyndy Edmonds

Specialist II, MTAS

865.974.9844 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
cyndy.edmonds@tennessee.edu
 
 
 
John Eskew : Municipal Court Specialist, MTAS

John Eskew

Municipal Court Specialist, MTAS

615.532.6827 | 226 Anne Dallas Dudley Blvd., Suite 606, Nashville, TN 37219
john.eskew@tennessee.edu
Wes Fernandez : Business Manager, MTAS

Wes Fernandez

Business Manager, MTAS

865.974.9812 | 1610 University Ave., Knoxville, TN 37921
wes.fernandez@tennessee.edu
Nancy Gibson : Administrative Specialist II - Codes, MTAS

Nancy Gibson

Administrative Specialist II - Codes, MTAS

865.974.9846 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
nancy.gibson@tennessee.edu

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.

Certifications include:

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.

 

 

 

 

Emily Godwin : Municipal Finance Training Specialist, MTAS

Emily Godwin

Municipal Finance Training Specialist, MTAS

615.532-4950 | 226 Anne Dallas Dudley Blvd., Suite 606, Nashville, TN 37219
emily.godwin@tennessee.edu
John Grubbs : Hr Consultant, MTAS

John Grubbs

Hr Consultant, MTAS

615.532.6827 | 226 Anne Dallas Dudley Blvd., Suite 606, Nashville, TN 37219
john.grubbs@tennessee.edu

John is the Human Resource Management Consultant for cities and towns in the Middle TN grand division.  He holds a bachelor’s in management from Trevecca Nazarene University and a master’s in human resource management from the University of Connecticut, as well as senior level certifications from IPMA-HR, SHRM and HRCI. 

John has over 30 years of experience in management and human resources, with over a decade in local government in Tennessee.  He has also worked in the transportation, automotive manufacturing, defense manufacturing, and consulting industries.  Prior to joining MTAS, John served as the Human Resources Director for Portland, TN and White House, TN.

 

Pat Hardy : Municipal Program Management Consultant, MTAS

Pat Hardy

Municipal Program Management Consultant, MTAS

423.854.9882 | 2112 North Roan St., Johnson City, TN 37601
pat.hardy@tennessee.edu

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.

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 (pictured at right on a bike ride). For kicks Pat enjoys building (he built a house 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 occasionally takes ballroom dance lessons 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.

Brad Harris : Finance and Accounting Consultant, MTAS

Brad Harris

Finance and Accounting Consultant, MTAS

423.775.3577 | 3389 New Union Road, Dayton, TN 37321
brad.harris@tennessee.edu

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. 

Elisha Hodge : IPS Consultant III, Legal, MTAS

Elisha Hodge

IPS Consultant III, Legal, MTAS

615.532.6827 | 226 Ann Dallas Dudley, Suite 606, Nashville, TN 37219
Gary Jaeckel : Municipal Management Consultant, MTAS

Gary Jaeckel

Municipal Management Consultant, MTAS

615.253.4814 | 226 Capitol Blvd Suite 606, Nashville, TN 37219
gary.jaeckel@tennessee.edu

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.      

Armintha Loveday : Administrative Specialist II - Consulting, MTAS

Armintha Loveday

Administrative Specialist II - Consulting, MTAS

865.974.9852 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
armintha.loveday@tennessee.edu

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. 

Al Major : Utility Finance Consultant, MTAS

Al Major

Utility Finance Consultant, MTAS

865.974.9821 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
alan.major@tennessee.edu
Dawn McMillen : Senior Library Assistant, MTAS

Dawn McMillen

Senior Library Assistant, MTAS

865.974.0411 | 1610 University Ave., Knoxville, TN 37921
dawn.mcmillen@tennessee.edu
David Moore : Police Management Consultant, MTAS

David Moore

Police Management Consultant, MTAS

731-881-7057 | 474 Clement Hall, 210 Hurt St., Martin, TN 38238
david.moore@tennessee.edu
Kelley Myers : Municipal Codes Coordinator, MTAS

Kelley Myers

Municipal Codes Coordinator, MTAS

865.974.0425 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
kelley.myers@tennessee.edu

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.

Ronnie Neill : Municipal Management Consultant, MTAS

Ronnie Neill

Municipal Management Consultant, MTAS

901.412.2121 | 7777 Walnut Grove Road, Suite A-1, Box 14, Memphis, TN 38120-2130
ronnie.neill@tennessee.edu

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.

Warren Nevad : Municipal Management Consultant, MTAS

Warren Nevad

Municipal Management Consultant, MTAS

865.974.9839 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
warren.nevad@tennessee.edu

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.

Justin OHara : Information Technology Consultant, MTAS

Justin OHara

Information Technology Consultant, MTAS

865.974.0628 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
justin.ohara@tennessee.edu
Justin O’Hara is the Information Technology consultant for MTAS.  He has been with MTAS for 10 years.  Justin is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and has 20 years of experience in the technology profession.  He has worked in higher education, banking, retail, and various small businesses.  He specializes in network administration, network security, and infrastructure design.  Recent projects include implementation of software installation using Microsoft Active Directory Group Policy, Microsoft Office 2016 implementation along with training, and has recently started rolling out Windows 10 to MTAS computers.  He uses Microsoft Intune for PC management as well as Bomgar as a remote connection tool.   
 
Justin is able to assist your TN municipalities with IT policy revisions/creations, IT security, networking, technology work reviews, technology integration, new technology evaluations, email system evaluations or Information Technology assessments.
 
Stephanie Allen OHara : Legal Consultant, MTAS

Stephanie Allen OHara

Legal Consultant, MTAS

865.974.0411 | 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. 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; Former 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. 

Abb Olgesby : Training Program Manager, MTAS

Abb Olgesby

Training Program Manager, MTAS

865.974.4111 | 226 Anne Dallas Dudley Blvd., Suite 606, Nashville, TN 37219
abner.oglesby@tennessee.edu
Johanna Owenby : Training Consultant, MTAS

Johanna Owenby

Training Consultant, MTAS

865-974-9858 | 1610 University Ave., Knoxville, TN 37921
johanna.owenby@tennessee.edu

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™.

Joy Riddle : Administrative Support Assistant II, MTAS

Joy Riddle

Administrative Support Assistant II, MTAS

865-974-4401 | 1610 University Ave., Knoxville, TN 37921
joy.riddle@tennessee.edu
Honna Rogers : Municipal Management Consultant, MTAS

Honna Rogers

Municipal Management Consultant, MTAS

423.425-4239 | Political Science and Public Service, Dept. 6256, Pfeiffer 302, Chattanooga, TN 37403
honna.rogers@tennessee.edu

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.

Sharon Rollins : Program Manager III, MTAS

Sharon Rollins

Program Manager III, MTAS

865.974.0416 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
sharon.rollins@tennessee.edu

EDUCATION

  • 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 (inactive) and Virginia (inactive)
  • Member American Public Works Association (APWA)

MTAS EMPLOYMENT

Legal & Technical Consulting Program Manager: Manage MTAS’ three legal and ten technical consultants responsible for delivering legal, fire, police, 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.   

Lisa Shipley : Consultant III, MTAS

Lisa Shipley

Consultant III, MTAS

865.974.9822 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
lisa.shipley@tennessee.edu

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. 

Chris Shults : Grants and Training Specialist, MTAS

Chris Shults

Grants and Training Specialist, MTAS

865.974.8964 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
cshults1@utk.edu

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.

Eric Spencer : Finance and Accounting Consultant, MTAS

Eric Spencer

Finance and Accounting Consultant, MTAS

731-881-7568 | 474 Clement Hall, 210 Hurt St., Martin, TN 38238
eric.spencer@tennessee.edu
Kay Stegall : Finance and Accounting Consultant, MTAS

Kay Stegall

Finance and Accounting Consultant, MTAS

731.881.7058 | 476 Clement Hall, UT Martin, Martin, TN 38238
kay.stegall@tennessee.edu

Kay graduated from the University of Tennessee at Martin in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting. She has been licensed as a certified public accountant since 1993 and a certified government financial manager since 1996.  Kay earned her Master of Business Administration in 2010 from the University of Tennessee at Martin.

Kay has over 30 years of experience in the government accounting, auditing, and financial reporting industry.  She has worked at the Comptroller’s Office of State Audit, Metro Nashville/Davidson Co. Internal Audit, Alexander Thompson Arnold PLLC public accounting firm and currently is consulting municipal finance officials for MTAS.

Kay has been married to Richard for over 30 years and they have two daughters, Rachel and Alyssa.  Rachel graduated from UT Martin’s vet tech program with a Bachelor of Science degree and is a Licensed Veterinary Technologist.  Alyssa graduated from UT Martin with a degree in health and human performance.  Alyssa is pursuing a career as a physical therapy assistant.

Peter Voss : HR Consultant, MTAS

Peter Voss

HR Consultant, MTAS

731.423.3710 | 605 Airways Blvd., Suite 109, Jackson, TN 38301
peter.voss@tennessee.edu
Brett Ward : Utility Operations Consultant, MTAS

Brett Ward

Utility Operations Consultant, MTAS

865.974.9853 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
brett.ward@tennessee.edu

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.

Rick Whitehead : Assistant Director, MTAS

Rick Whitehead

Assistant Director, MTAS

865.974.9853 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
rick.whitehead@tennessee.edu

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.

 

Dennis Wolf : Fire Management Consultant, MTAS

Dennis Wolf

Fire Management Consultant, MTAS

901.579.9247 | 7777 Walnut Grove Road, Box 14, Memphis, TN 38120-2130
dennis.wolf@tennessee.edu

Dennis Wolf is a fire management consultant for MTAS.  He joined MTAS on August 1, 2011.  Dennis entered 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.

EDUCATION

  • 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, 2003
  • Chief EMS Officer (CEMSO) designation, Commission on Fire Accreditation International, 2008
  • Member (MIFireE), Institution of Fire Engineers, 2003
  • International Association of Fire Chiefs – Member
  • Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association – Member and past president
  • Mid-South Fire Chiefs Association - Member and past president
Steve Wyatt : Utility Operations Consultant, MTAS

Steve Wyatt

Utility Operations Consultant, MTAS

731.425.4776 | 605 Airways Blvd. Suite 109, Jackson, TN 38301
steve.wyatt@tennessee.edu

Steve has a Grade IV Water Treatment License, Grade IV Wastewater Treatment License and a Grade II Distribution License from the State of Tennessee.  Prior to being employed at MTAS, Steve worked 17+ years for the Jackson Energy Autority in Water Treatment, Wastewater Treatment and Natural Gas Supply Acquistion and Managment. He started working for MTAS September 1, 1998 and is based in West Tennessee but serves the entire state.

His Bachelor of Science is from the University of Memphis with a dual major. ()Vertebrate Zoology and Chemistry)