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Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee named one of top agencies in the nation by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

Contact
Brent Waugh, Chief Executive Officer
Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee
865-243-3879
BWaugh@tennesseebig.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

KNOXVILLE, TN (April 23, 2018) – Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee is proud to announce that the Big Brothers Big Sisters Nationwide Leadership Council has identified the agency as a 2017 Pinnacle Award Winner.

The Pinnacle Award recognizes the very best agencies in America for increasing their revenue and growing their overall number of children served, year over year, for two or more consecutive years. In the past year, BBBS-ETN has served 850 children and grown its local services by more than 5 percent.

“The Pinnacle Award recognizes the dedication of Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee’s leadership, staff, board, and volunteers to provide the highest quality programming for the children we serve,” said Brent Waugh, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee. “It’s also a testament to our donors, whose support of our mission is phenomenal, and truly allowed us to reach this milestone.”

In 2017, the agency served nearly 850 children, on track to reach its goal of 1,000 by the organization’s 50th anniversary in 2020. Additional BBBS-ETN highlights in 2017 include:

-Expanding its innovative, technology-enriched Mentor 2.0 program to a second class at South Doyle High School.
-Awarding the first round of BBBS-ETN scholarships, allowing three Littles to be one step closer to making their higher education dreams a reality.
-Inducting the three honorees into the inaugural BBBS-ETN Hall of Fame class: William “Bill” Jolly, Alex “Bo” Shafer, and Al Williams.
-Launching “Bigs in Blue,” a program that connects mentees with public safety professionals who help with social skills, self confidence, and interactions with family and peers.

“This honor shows how strongly our community supports mentoring,” said David Bratcher, BBBS-ETN board president. “It is also a testament to the hard work done by the agency’s staff, who are committed to making sure more children in East Tennessee receive the benefits of mentorship.”

“We are so proud of the growth that Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee has experienced, and we are pleased to recognize that success with the Pinnacle Award,” said Pam Iorio, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. “We thank Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee for its tireless work in service of our mission and commitment to serving more children in the East Tennessee area.”

Out of nearly 300 Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies, BBBS-ETN is one of only ten agencies that will be recognized as Pinnacle Award Winners at the 2018 Big Brothers Big Sisters National Conference in St. Louis, Missouri on June 26.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee
Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee provides at-risk children with strong and enduring, professionally supported one‐to‐one relationships that change lives for the better, forever. BBBS-ETN is in its 47th year of serving area youth through mentorship matches. More information available at tennesseebig.org.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
Big Brothers Big Sisters ensures that the children in its program achieve measurable outcomes, including educational success, avoidance of risky behaviors, higher aspirations, greater confidence, and better relationships. This mission has been the cornerstone of the organization’s 114-year history. With nearly 300 Affiliates across the country, Big Brothers Big Sisters has served more than 2 million children (“Littles”) in the past 10 years. Learn more at bigbrothersbigsisters.org.

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Big Brothers Big Sisters ETN named one of top agencies in nation by BBBSA

Friends,

I have some very BIG news to share!

Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee is excited to announce that we have been named a 2017 Pinnacle Agency by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. This award recognizes the dedication of our leadership, staff, board, and volunteers to provide the highest quality programming for the children we serve. BBBS-ETN is one of 10 affiliates out of 300 nationwide, and the only in the state of Tennessee, to receive this honor!

Pinnacle Agencies met or exceeded the following goals for the last two years:

  • Served a minimum of 150 children and raised $150,000 in revenue. (BBBS-ETN served 850 children last fiscal year, and we’ve set a goal of reaching 1,000 by 2020.)
  • Achieved a community-based 12-month retention rate of more than 73%.
  • Achieved a site-based 12-month retention rate of more than 52%.
  • Showed growth in active matches—in our case, to 670 active matches.
  • Posted a positive net income at the end of last fiscal year.

With you by our side, we look forward to continuing to achieve our goals, further our mission, and transform the East Tennessee community, one match at a time.

Thank you for making this possible.

Best,

Brent Waugh
Chief Executive Officer
Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee

P.S. Stay tuned during the month of April as we announce our Pinnacle Award widely, including on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Remembering Edna Mae Geary Eickman

Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee remembers Edna Mae Geary Eickman, who passed away on March 19, 2018.

For ten years in the 1980s and 1990s, Edna served as Program Director for BBBS-ETN, where she matched hundreds of children with mentors. Edna won countless awards and honors for her dedicated service, including “Advocate of the Year” by the East Tennessee Council on Children and Youth and recognition by “Tennessee Voices for Children.”

Prior to BBBS-ETN, Edna served as a counselor in the Child Welfare Division of Contra Costa County Social Services, was a member of the National Probation and Parole Association, and the first female to visit San Quentin Penitentiary as the liaison for children in placement, incarcerated parents, and family rehabilitation.

In 1965 and 1967 she and her husband decided to adopt two children, and at that point, she became a stay-at-home mom. During that time, she was very active in the PTA and served as Volunteer Coordinator for the Lafayette School District in Lafayette, CA. After her husband James accepted a position with Knoxville TVA in 1980, the family moved to Knoxville, where she continued on to become the PTA president of Farragut High School.  After putting her life on hold to take care of their children, Edna returned to the workforce as Program Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee.

Edna enjoyed traveling, spending time with her family, and most importantly assisting children and families in any way she could. She retired at the age of 85 and passed at the age of 88. Her life and works will always be remembered and honored at BBBS-ETN and beyond.

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of East TN names new CDO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

KNOXVILLE, TN (Feb 12, 2018) — Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee has named Tyler Boldin as its Chief Development Officer.

“We are excited to bring Tyler on board to lead our development efforts,” Chief Executive Officer Brent Waugh said. “Tyler’s experience in both the banking and non-profit sectors has prepared him well to secure diverse funding and fulfill the agency’s mission of providing marginalized children with a caring, adult mentor.”

Boldin moved to the non-profit sector in 2016 after 10 years of consumer and commercial banking experience. As the manager of major gifts and leadership giving at The United Way of Greater Knoxville, Boldin identified and built relationships with numerous supporters across the region.

“I am grateful to join the Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee team,” Boldin said. “The greatest investment one can make is to invest in another person, and our programming gives supporters the means to do just that. I look forward to creating lasting change in the lives of young people throughout East Tennessee.”

A University of Tennessee-Knoxville alumnus, Boldin has served as the board president of Character Counts of Knoxville and Knox County since 2015.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee
Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee provides at-risk children with strong and enduring, professionally supported one‐to‐one relationships that change lives for the better, forever. More information is available at tennesseebig.org.

Contact
Alli Damas, Marketing Coordinator
Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee
865-523-9455
development@tennesseebig.org

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee Names New CEO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

KNOXVILLE, TN (January 23, 2018) — Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee (BBBS-ETN) has named Brent Waugh as its Chief Executive Officer.

Waugh, who joined the agency in 2017 as Chief Development Officer, takes over for Doug Kose, who led the organization from 2013 through January 2018.

“We are thrilled to promote Brent to the role of CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee,” said David Bratcher, board president. “Brent brings a wealth of fundraising and marketing experience in both the higher education and non-profit arenas, and I’m excited to see him continue to apply that expertise to our programs.”

From 2013 until joining BBBS-ETN in 2017, Waugh worked at Northwestern University as director of marketing and communications in the division of Alumni Relations and Development. Prior to Northwestern, Waugh worked in fundraising Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.

“I believe in this agency and I couldn’t be more honored to serve as its CEO,” Waugh said. “As a Big Brother, I have seen first-hand the change Big Brothers Big Sisters makes in the lives of area youth and the transformational impact the agency makes on this community. I look forward to continuing the momentum established by Doug Kose and by all the organization’s leaders before him.”

In addition to his work at BBBS-ETN, Waugh is a member of the Knoxville Track Club and the Tennessee Technological University Alumni Advisory Board. He also volunteers for many area organizations, including Keep Knoxville Beautiful and the Fourth and Gill Neighborhood Association.

Waugh earned an M.S. in Journalism and Electronic Media from the University of Tennessee Knoxville and a B.S. in Psychology from Tennessee Technological University.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee
Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee provides at-risk children with strong and enduring, professionally supported one‐to‐one relationships that change lives for the better, forever. More information available at tennesseebig.org.

Contact
Alli Damas, Marketing Coordinator
Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee
865-523-9455
development@tennesseebig.org

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BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF ETN NAMES MENTORS, MATCH OF THE YEAR

Sabrina Childs, Brent Crabtree, Stephanie Smith receive agency’s top honors for volunteers

KNOXVILLE, TN (Jan. 8, 2017) – Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee has named its Bigs and Match of the Year in conjunction with the agency’s celebration of National Mentoring Month.

Big Sister of the Year: Sabrina Childs

Sabrina Childs is the 2017 Big Sister of the Year. Childs and her Little Brother De’Aries were matched in December of 2011.

Childs chose to mentor a boy after finding out how many boys were on the BBBS-ETN waiting list. Childs and De’Aries enjoy cheering on the Vols, going out to eat, rock climbing, and woodworking.

“I was in a state of shock when I received this award,” Childs said. “I love being a Big Sister to De’Aries—seeing him grow, overcome fears, and accomplish goals. I do hope that more men become involved in this phenomenal program so that fewer boys are waiting for a Big Brother.”

Childs is not only a Big Sister, she’s a member of the Board of Directors and a donor to the BBBS-ETN Creating Big Futures campaign. She also serves on the BBBS-ETN Golf Classic Committee and participates in the agency’s Bowl for Kids’ Sake event.

Big Brother of the Year: Brent Crabtree

Brent Crabtree has been named the 2017 Big Brother of the Year. He met his Little Brother, Deontae, just over three years ago.

Crabtree and Deontae enjoy throwing football, riding bikes, and participating in community service activities together.

Crabtree says he was surprised and excited to be given the Big Brother of the Year award.

“Being named Big Brother of the Year was quite overwhelming, and I think it’s a testament to an amazing organization—Big Brothers Big Sisters—that is truly changing lives,” Crabtree said. “To anyone out there considering being a mentor, I’d say ‘do it.’ Being a Big Brother has affected me in ways I cannot express.”

In addition to volunteering as a Big Brother, Crabtree serves on the BBBS-ETN Fund Development Committee and supports the agency’s Creating Big Futures fundraising campaign.

Match of the Year: Stephanie Smith and Josie

Big Sister Stephanie Smith and her Little Sister Josie are the first-ever BBBS-ETN Match of the Year. Smith and Josie met in March of 2015.

Smith works with her Little Sister to set goals for her life, and says she’s been pleased with how Josie has grown into a responsible and mature youth.

The two love crafting together, and both Smith and Josie say they can talk about anything.

“I am surprised and blessed that Josie and I have been named Match of the Year,” Smith said.  “Josie has and is overcoming so many life challenges, and I consider it an honor to help her navigate this world.”

Recipients of the Big and Match of the Year awards were honored at a private event in December 2017.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee (BBBS-ETN)
Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change lives for the better, forever. Find out more at tennesseebig.org.

About National Mentoring Month
Launched in 2002 by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, National Mentoring Month focuses national attention on the need for mentors, as well as how each of us—individuals, businesses, government agencies, schools, faith communities and nonprofits—can work together to increase the number of mentors to help ensure positive outcomes for our young people.

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Contact
Brent Waugh, Chief Development Officer
Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee
(865) 243-3880 | bwaugh@tennesseebig.org

 

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Mentoring Agency Reaches Goal of Recruiting 100 Mentors in 100 Days

Big Brothers Big Sisters of East TN recruits 100 new mentors, and with its success, decides to extend campaign to recruit additional mentors specifically for Mentor 2.0 Program.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Knoxville, TN. (July 31, 2017) – Big Brothers Big Sisters of East TN (BBBSETN), along with the Save Our Sons organization, is pleased to announce that it has met its goal of recruiting 100 Mentors in 100 Days. By gaining 100 new mentors, the wait time for children on the waiting list will decrease and a majority of the children will be matched with a Big Brother or a Big Sister.

“The City of Knoxville’s Save Our Sons Initiative celebrates the success of our partner’s ‘100 Mentors in 100 Days’ campaign. Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee contributes to positive outcomes for young men and boys of color on a daily basis and their efforts to secure mentors for 100 additional youth highlight their commitment to serving the community,” said City of Knoxville Community Relations Director, Avice Reid. “Statistics show that youth participating in mentoring programs are more likely to stay in school; perform better in school; are less likely to participate in gangs; and are less likely to be involved with drugs, delinquency and the justice system. Mentoring is a strategy that makes sense and SOS looks forward to a long and beneficial partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters that exposes young men to the right kind of adult role models.”

Because of its success, BBBSETN has decided to extend the campaign to recruit additional mentors specifically for its Mentor 2.0 Program. Mentor 2.0 is a technology-enhanced one-to-one mentoring program that provides trans-formative college access support for low-income and first generation high school students. This program makes it easier than ever to become a Big through weekly online communication and monthly in-person meetings.

“The agency is in need of 75 volunteers to mentor the incoming Freshman class at South-Doyle High School starting this Fall. Mentors play a vital role in the lives of these students as they work towards college and career success,” said Whitney Baker, BBBSETN Mentor 2.0 Director.

The campaign’s extension will include BBBSETN and Save Our Sons partnering with the Divine Nine – Barber Shop Project, in an effort to intensify the efforts to recruit more Men of Color and Mentor 2.0 volunteers. The campaign will continue through-out the month of August.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of East TN
Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee (Tennesseebig.org) provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one‐to‐one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. Through these relationships, children achieve success throughout their lives. Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee served more than 800 children in 2016. Through one-to-one mentoring relationships, these children make better decisions about their lives, have a better attitude about school and choose to avoid risky behaviors.

Alli Damas
Marketing and Events Director
Big Brothers Big Sisters of East TN
865.523.9455
adamas@tennesseebig.org

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Big Brothers Big Sisters Inducts High Profile Individuals into Hall of Fame, Inaugural Scholarship Recipients Announced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

KNOXVILLE, TN (May 15, 2017) – Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee (BBBSETN) hosted an Inaugural Hall of Fame and Scholarship Award Dinner on May 4th. The event, emceed by Voice of the Vols, Bob Kesling, took place at Neyland Stadium in the Lauricella Center. Hall of Fame inductees included Bill Jolly, Al Williams and Bo Shafer. The BBBSETN Hall of Fame is a platform to recognize those individuals who have been instrumental in providing direction, energy and support to the shaping of BBBSETN since its inception in 1970.

Bo Shafer was one of the co-founders of the organization in 1970 and provided the framework for the agency to serve thousands of children over the past 47 years. Bo was also the first Big Brother, Board Member, Fundraiser and Donor to the agency. Bill Jolly has been a Board Member, Board President, Big Brother to two different Littles, Donor and the founder and champion of the Big Swim, Big Swim II and Big Swim III. Al Williams, the CFO at Bush Beans has been a Board Member on two separate six-year terms, Board President, Big Brother, Donor and author to the book ‘A Friend Indeed’, which all of the proceeds raised from the sale of the book went to BBBS.

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Hall of Fame Inductees:  (L to R) Al Williams, Bo Shafer, and Bill Jolly.

The agency also celebrated and recognized graduating Littles, who are continuing their post-secondary education and will receive a Scholarship from the agency for the next four years. The three scholarship recipients are Katonteoia ‘Kat’ Shields, Jakese Brown and Grayson McGinnis.

Kat Shields has been matched with her Big Sister, Mebbie Jackson, for 10 years! Kat will graduate from Paul Kelly Volunteer Academy in May and plans to attend Pellissippi State and eventually become a Veterinarian. Jakese Brown has been matched with his Big Brother, Evan Hawkins, for three years. Jakese will graduate from Austin East High School in May and attend TN College of Applied Technology to become an automotive technician. Grayson McGinnis has been matched with his Big Brother, Tyler Cornell, for four years and will graduate from L&N Stem Academy in May. He has been accepted at MTSU and plans to be an athletic trainer.

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Scholarship Recipients (L to R): Jakese Brown, Kat Shields, and Grayson McGinnis.

The agency serves over 850 youth annually and hopes to increase the number of youth being served in the following years. For information on the agency and how to volunteer, visit www.TennesseeBig.org or call (865) 523-2179.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of East TN
It is Big Brothers Big Sisters of East TN (BBBSETN)’s mission to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. Most children served by BBBSETN are in single-parent and low-income families or households where a parent is incarcerated. As the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, BBBSETN makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”).

Contact: Doug Kose
(865) 243-3879
dkose@TennesseeBig.org

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Big Brothers Big Sisters Looks to Recruit 100 Mentors in 100 days

Mary Scott, WBIR 12:08 PM. EDT April 18, 2017

Next month Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee is taking on one it’s biggest challenges yet: recruiting 100 mentors in 100 days.

The non-profit matches children ages 6-14 with volunteer mentors who are asked to hang out with their “little” twice a month. Recruiting male volunteers has been a consistent challenge for the non-profit both here and across the country.

“We have so many boys on the waiting list. When you look at our waiting list, 65 percent are boys 35% are girls and they {boys} can wait up to a year or longer to get a big brother,” said Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee CEO Doug Kose.

Kose said he sees boys blaming themselves for not being able to get a big brother.

“At some point they say, ‘Why doesn’t anyone want to be my big brother? What’s wrong with me?’  That’s not the case at all. We don’t have enough men come through the funnel to be volunteers,” he explained.

Jesse Arcoren, 10, has been on the waiting list for the last nine months.

“The reason why I want a big brother is that I have no one to play with,” Arcoren, a fourth grader at Shannondale Elementary, said.

His mom found him a pair of golf clubs at a yard sale and he’s been teaching himself how to play in his yard. He also loves baseball, basketball, fishing, hiking, and climbing trees.

Jesse and his mom, Christina Shipley, moved here four years ago from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. Christina tries her best to keep up with his growing love of the outdoors and adventure.

“Where I’ve gotten sick with my health problems, I’ve not gotten to do all the active stuff,” Shipley said, “The biggest missing chunk has been not having a male role model. That’s what I see. I think it really takes a village to raise a child.”

Jesse is adjusting now, but he had a difficult time at first. His mom said he was bullied for having long hair, a tradition in Native American culture.

“He was actually severely bullied because he was different being Native American. He actually has some auditory processing issues that made him a little bit different. Kids just didn’t understand,”
she said.

Jesse already realizes that he could learn from a big brother and he said while he might be shy at first, he would eventually open up.

“I would talk to him like my actual brother. He and me would have the same kind of traits. I would like it because he could teach me lots of things. What to do and not,” he said.

You can learn more about how to be a big brother or sister or nominate a child here.

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee Recognized with National Gold Standard Award from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

Big Brothers Big Sisters of East TN (BBBSETN) has been named a 2016 Gold Standard Agency by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA). This honor was awarded to 16 out of over 300 Big Brother Big Sisters agencies nationwide. The Gold Standard Award is a way for BBBSA to recognize agencies that have demonstrated exemplarily high achievement and measured quality outcomes for the children and families they serve in their communities.

“I am extremely proud of our staff’s hard work in achieving this national honor”, said Doug Kose, CEO of BBBSETN. We are fortunate to live in a community that cares about children and supports our work to make a difference in the lives of children for the better, forever.”

BBBSETN was the only affiliate agency in Tennessee to receive this elite distinction.

The guidelines for being a Gold Standard Agency include; an increase in number of children served, high rates of Match Support, revenue growth of at least 5% and service to at least 150 children. BBBSETN currently served 801 of its community’s most at-risk children during the 2015-16 service year.

The agency increased its revenue by 16% due to a generous bequest gift, strong community support for its new 5-year individual giving campaign, “Creating Big Futures” and funding to launch a new scholarship fund for graduating Littles. Through successful volunteer recruitment and the launch of the Mentor 2.0 program at South Doyle High School, the agency also created more life-changing friendships between Bigs with Littles.

“I am so pleased with this truly remarkable achievement by our team.  Less than 5% of BBBS agencies get chosen for the Gold Standard out of over 300 nationwide. We have a remarkable team of staff and tremendous amount of board support that make all these things possible. Together, we are making this community better one child at a time”, remarked BBBSETN Board President, Al Williams.

BBBSETN will be recognized in front of its peers during the 2017 Big Brothers Big Sisters National Conference in San Diego, California this June. This award also places the organization in the running for Agency of the Year and Board of the Year, which will be announced at the conference.

BBBSETN thanks its board members, volunteers, donors, families, staff, Bigs and Littles for the dedication, commitment, hard work and support they provide to the organization year round.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of East TN
It is Big Brothers Big Sisters of East TN (BBBSETN)’s  mission to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. Most children served by BBBSETN are in single-parent and low-income families or households where a parent is incarcerated. As the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, BBBSETN makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”). It is BBBSETN’s vision to facilitate the success of children living right here in our community.

To see how you can get involved with BBBSETN call 865.523.2179 or visit TennesseeBig.org.

Contact
Alli Damas
Marketing and Events Director
adamas@tennesseebig.org
865.523.9455

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