Habitat For Humanity Appoints 5 New Members To Its Board Of Directors

Monday, May 20, 2019

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga announce the appointment of five new members to its board of directors. The new members include Lee Ann Adams, attorney at Gearhiser, Peters, Elliott & Cannon, PLLC; Derek Bullard, president and chief executive officer of the Siskin Children’s Institute; Rev. Mike Feely, adjunct professor of history at UTC; Rhey Houston, vice-president of Stowers Machinery; and Dionne Jennings Jenkins, vice president of diversity and inclusion at Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union.

“I am excited to welcome these outstanding individuals to our board,” said Barbara Marter, board chair. “They bring dedication and commitment to addressing affordable housing issues and we are honored to have their leadership.”

Ms. Adams has been an attorney at Gearhiser, Peters, Elliott & Cannon, PLLC since 1997. She currently serves on the Board of Governors for the Chattanooga Bar Association as well as the University of Tennessee Alumni Association Board of Governors. She has been a member of the Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute since 2013 where she served as vice-chair of the Women Know Finance: Financial Empowerment Committee. In addition, she is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association, Estate Planning Council of Chattanooga, and Southeast Tennessee Legal Association for Women.

Mr. Bullard is the president and chief executive officer of the Siskin Children’s Institute. Mr. Bullard has been dedicated to serving children and families with mental illness and special needs for the last two decades. He is the founder and former CEO of Access Family Services, a multi-state behavior healthcare provider with 11 offices. A Charlotte, N.C. native, Mr. Bullard has been involved with multiple entrepreneurial ventures and has been actively involved as a both a volunteer and board member for several non-profit organizations.  

Rev. Feely is an adjunct professor of history at UTC and is well-known within the Chattanooga community.  Rev. Feely serves as a board member of CARTA and the Bushtown Neighborhood Association as well as on the International Business Council of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce.  He served as an interim member of the Chattanooga City Council for district six from 2007 – 2008 and is the founder of the St Andrews Center as well as founding member of La Paz de Dios.

Mr. Houston is vice-president of Stowers Machinery, a company he has been employed by for more than 20 years. With a passion for academia, Mr. Houston is seated as an advisor on the Hamilton County Career & Technical Education Committee, the Tennessee Department of Education-Career and Technical Education’s Agriculture, Food and Natural Resource Committee; the Principal’s Advisory Council for Sequoyah High School; and, as a mentor for the Tennessee Achieves/ Tennessee Promise Program.  He serves on the Tennessee FAA Foundation Board of Directors and has been a Mason & Shriner for 35 years.  Mr. Houston was a 2015 graduate of Leadership Chattanooga and is chairman of the alumni association’s board of directors. 

Ms. Jenkins is vice president of diversity and inclusion at Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union. In her role, Ms. Jenkins works collaboratively with senior leadership to develop initiatives that increase diversity among staff through recruitment, retention, and community engagement in order to advance TVFCU’s mission and vision. Ms. Jenkins previously served as president of the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, where she moved the center in a new strategic direction and provided financial stability by leading fundraising initiatives, developing new programs and building strong community partnerships. Prior to joining the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, Ms. Jenkins was the development director for The Next Door Chattanooga and served as the Eastern Tennessee Region director of charitable giving for SunTrust Banks, Inc.

“Our board of directors and volunteers are the backbone of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga,” said David Butler, president and CEO.  “We are so very grateful for the level of leadership, expertise, and passion these leaders will bring to Habitat.” 

Habitat’s board is responsible for establishing policy and guiding the organization’s efforts to build or improve affordable housing in partnership with families across the Greater Chattanooga area. Habitat board members serve for two-year terms that can be renewed up to four times. 



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