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.
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
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.
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.
IPS Consultant III, Legal, MTAS615.532.6827 | 226 Capitol Blvd Suite 606, Nashville, TN 37219
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.
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
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.
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.
Executive Director, MTAS865.974.9063 | 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.
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.
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.
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).
Assistant Vice President, IPS865.974.9609 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921-6741
Steve Thompson is Assistant Vice President with the Institute for Public Service with the University of Tennessee.
Steve joined the University as Executive Director of the Municipal Technical Advisory Service in July of 2010. A former city manager in cities in South Carolina, Virginia and Florida, Steve has extensive experience in a wide range of services and projects impacting small to large local governments, and has emphasized success with development, financial management and community partnerships. Steve is also a former member of the Governmental Accounting Standards Advisory Council, the national advisory board to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).
Steve is a Certified Local Government Manager of ICMA, a graduate of the Senior Executive Institute with the University of Virginia, and a graduate of the Menninger Institute for Local Government Managers in Topeka, Kansas.
Steve is enrolled in the doctoral program in political science at the University of Tennessee, and holds a master's degree in public administration (MPA) from the University of South Carolina. Steve also earned a bachelor's degree (BA) in political science from the College of Charleston, SC.
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.