Legal Consultant, MTAS865.974.0411 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
Fire Management Consultant, MTAS615.532.7108 | 226 Anne Dallas Dudley Blvd., Suite 606, Nashville, TN 37219
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.
- 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
Director of Organizational Improvement, IPS865.974.9830 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
Dr. Macel Ely serves as the Director of Organizational Improvement for the Institute for Public Service. Most recently he served as Executive Director of the Naifeh Center for Effective Leadership (NCEL) at the University of Tennessee’s Institute for Public Service. The purpose of the NCEL is to provide training and professional growth to leaders at all levels, from the emerging supervisor to the experienced senior executive. Prior to coming to serve in this role, Dr. Macel Ely, served as training manager for the University of Tennessee’s Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS). During that time, Dr. Ely oversaw multiple training programs including the Municipal Court Clerk Program, Elected Officials Academy, Municipal Management Academy, Municipal Administration Program and the Certified Municipal Finance Officer programs.
Dr. Ely has earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Lee University and Kentucky Wesleyan College and a master’s degree in public administration and a doctoral degree in educational leadership from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He has earned the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) certification through the Association for Talent Development (ATD) and also has professional certificates in the areas of coaching, leadership program development and training management. Recently awarded the 2015 Robert S. Hutchison Outstanding Public Service Professional Award, Dr. Ely has also authored a book entitled Ain’t No Grave which has been featured in such media outlets as CNN Headline News, National Public Radio, and the British Broadcasting Corporation. This literary work was nominated for best historical research by the Association of Recorded Sound Collections. Dr. Macel Ely also serves on charitable boards across the country. He and his wife, Jamie, reside in Walland with their son, Silas and daughter, Elizabeth.
Training Coordinator, NCEL865.974.6624 | 1610 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921
Patrick Mills serves as Coordinator of the Naifeh Center for Effective Leadership (NCEL) at the University of Tennessee’s Institute of Public Service. Before coming to NCEL, Patrick Mills served as Training Coordinator for University of Tennessee’s Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS). While at MTAS, Mills coordinated events statewide for the many programs MTAS offers. Mills has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Tennessee. He is an active member of the Association for Talent Development (ATD). Patrick Mills is from Maryville, Tennessee; he is an active member in the community and in his free time, loves being outdoors, traveling and playing golf.
Stephanie Allen OHara
Legal Consultant, 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. 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.
Executive Director, TLC615-741-7579 | 220 French Landing Drive, Suite B, Nashville, TN 37243
Dr. Janice Snow Rodríguez is the Executive Director of the TN Language Center (formerly the TN Foreign Language Institute). She holds a Ph.D. in Public Administration and M.A. in Spanish Literature. Dr. Rodríguez has been employed by TLC (formerly TFLI) since 1999, and is credited with researching and recommending a certification program for court interpreters for the State of Tennessee, adopted by the TN Administrative Office of the Courts. She is the Title VI Coordinator for the Institute, works on the TN Supreme Court's Access to Justice Committee for Interpreter Issues, and is a board member for the Metro Nashville Police Department's El Protector Program, and recently completed a six-year commitment as a Commissioner and Chair for the Metro Nashville Human Relations Commission.
Holding a certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University and certified as a Cross-Cultural Health Care Program Trainer, she has conducted numerous cultural awareness and diversity seminars for social services, medical and law enforcement agencies. She also serves as adjunct faculty for Tennessee State University's (TSU) College of Public Service and Urban Affairs, teaching Human Resources, Organization Theory & Assessment, and Employment Law. She serves on TSU's advisory committee for International Education.
She is member of or professionally affiliated with a variety of organizations and associations including Sister Cities Nashville, the Japan-America Society of Tennessee, TN Latin American Chamber, Nashville Hispanic Chamber, Global Nashville Project, the Global Chamber of Nashville, Williamson County Chamber and the Nashville Chamber of Commerce.
Previous professional experience includes serving as an Information Specialist with the Voice of America's Radio Marti Program in Washington, DC; Information Services Director with an intellectual property law firm in Alexandria, VA; software support for a legal business software company in Brentwood, TN, and adjunct Spanish faculty for Lipscomb University.
A native Nashvillian, she has two children, Javier and Claudia, and resides in North Nashville. She enjoys traveling, gardening, pottery classes, singing, and listening to live music. She speaks Spanish and Portuguese and has studied Italian and Arabic.
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.