Kimberly Franks, President: Kimberly moved to greater Nashville approximately 10 years ago, after moving to Tennessee over 15 years ago. Kimberly has always been involved in the healthcare industry and has a love and passion for nurturing and mentoring women less fortunate. She started from a humble background of uneducated and abused women in her family, and experienced domestic abuse first hand. She was the first in her family to go to and graduate from college and she is the only person in her family to pursue post-graduate education. She has two wonderful children aged 30 and 29.
Teri Powell, Vice President: Teri is a native Tennessean with deep ties to communities across the state. Teri holds a degree in business administration from Middle Tennessee State University. She later earned her master’s degree in the same field. Teri worked several years in the life insurance industry before following her passion in patient advocacy, and at Vanderbilt University Medical Center as a Patient and Family Liaison. She is currently with Project BRAIN as a Brain Injury Transition Liaison, in which she works to improve the educational outcomes for students with brain injury.
Kimberly Vinson, Past President: Kim is an assistant professor in the department of Otolaryngology at Vanderbilt University and works as a laryngologist at the Vanderbilt Voice Center. She is Assistant Dean for Diversity at Vanderbilt University of School of Medicine. Dr. Vinson received a bachelor of science degree in psychology/biology from Birmingham-Southern College in Alabama, and her medical degree from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
Allison Reynolds, Treasurer: Allison is a licensed CPA with a local Nashville firm, Doyle & Horlacher, PLC. She has over 10 years of experience in public accounting. Allison is a Tennessee native, born and raised in DeKalb County. She currently resides in the eastern corner of Wilson County with her husband of 12 years. Allison has her Master’s degree in accounting from Middle Tennessee State University, where she also completed her undergraduate degree in accounting in 2005. During her years as a CPA in public practice, Allison has worked with several non-profits assisting in various needs. Allison is a member of the Liberty Hill Presbyterian Church and serves on their entertainment committee.
Julia Baker has partnered with Ben Page and Gavin Duke at PAGE | DUKE landscape architects for over 23 years, managing a local firm with regional and national acclaim for their residential, institutional and community designs. She is a Belmont University graduate. Julia has been involved in Girl Scouts as a troop leader for over 10 years and Service Unit Manager; a volunteer at Christ Church for over 20 years as a teacher, event coordinator, chairman of the Board selection committee, and formation of a criteria and process for the Youth Leader national search. This year she is the co-chair for the MS Fall Crush fundraiser for the Middle Tennessee Chapter of the MS Society. She is a committed volunteer and supporter of the The Bridge Ministry, Narrow Gate Foundation and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. As a mother of four children, Julia’s passion is to be involved in empowering and educating the next generation of female leaders.
Elaine Boyd has over twenty-five years of experience with the federal government, private industry and state government in the areas of project management, sales engineering, account management and strategic planning. For the past nine years, she has served as the Director of Strategy and Process Improvement at the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation where her focus is leading the department-wide LEAN initiative, performance excellence and special project implementation. Elaine also serves as the Commissioner’s Designee on the Underground Storage Tanks and Solid Waste Disposal Control Board and Air Pollution Control Board. She has been a member of the Board of Examiners for the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence since 2012. Elaine holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Vanderbilt University.
Sarah Cook currently serves as Vice President of Client Services at MDLIVE, a leading telehealth provider of online and on-demand healthcare delivery services. Sarah is passionate about the healthcare field and her work has spanned from coaching individuals and groups toward optimal nutritional health to collaborating with large health plans toward improving well-being for millions of health plan members. In her academic pursuits, Sarah has researched food insecurity in Nashville, TN. She partnered with local NGO to propose sustainable and impactful changes in the food environment to the metro government. Sarah has her MBA with a Certificate in Sustainability from Lipscomb University. She completed her undergraduate studies in nutrition at Middle Tennessee State University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Through her appointment to the Board of Leadership Health Care, she enjoys staying abreast of the evolving and complex world of healthcare. Sarah lives in a tranquil, rural community south of Nashville with her husband and pets.
Nancy Dickson is Program Director for the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, a Fulbright exchange program for educational leaders from developing countries, and the program manager for the Tennessee/Shanghai Leadership Collaborative at Vanderbilt University. Additionally, she trains and endorses high school teachers throughout the state in the area of service learning for the Tennessee Department of Education. Prior to working at Vanderbilt, Nancy was the Director of Operations and a founding team member of LEAD Academy, a public charter school in Nashville. While teaching in Washington, D.C. public schools, she collaborated with National Geographic, Meridian International and George Washington University to provide citywide professional development and teacher preparation programming. As an active member in the community, Nancy serves as the board chair of Nashville International Center of Empowerment (NICE) as well as the co-chair for Alignment Nashville’s Parent Engagement Team. She holds a Masters of Public Policy degree from Vanderbilt and BA in Elementary Education from Penn State University.
Jaleesa Johnson has been employed with Alignment Nashville, a collective impact non-profit organization since 2014. She previously worked for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with the NC TraCS Institute on childhood obesity, Carolinas Healthcare System and the Metro Public Health Department. She has been an active volunteer for various organizations primarily working with children’s health, breast cancer awareness and pregnant and parenting populations. Jaleesa has traveled to perform mission work in Ghana, West Africa where she volunteered at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana and observed and assisted resident physicians in the labor and delivery unit and the City of Refuge Ministries. She has dedicated much of her time to serving others and has worn many different hats in various roles such as peer mentor, health educator and the Community Ambassador for the Graduate School at Meharry Medical College in 2013-2014.
Gracie Porter has served as an educator for more than forty years. Thirty-four of those years, she was a teacher, librarian and a principal with the Metropolitan Nashville Public School System. She was elected to the Metropolitan Nashville Board of Education in 2006 for a two-year term and ran unopposed for re-election in 2008-2012. She was twice elected by her peers to serve in the position of Vice Chair, and twice as Chair, the position she held until August of 2012. She spent seven years at Middle Tennessee State University as an adjunct professor in the department of Elementary and Special Education from 2004-2007. Gracie served proudly for her community and takes great pride in helping to make the Nashville community a better place for everyone. She is married to James Porter, Jr. and they are the parents of two adult sons and the grandmother of two lovely granddaughters, Ashley Ariana Porter and Kiaya Janette Porter.
Stephani Ryan has over twenty-five years of experience leading insurance operations, marketing and sales of program and product management initiatives for start-up and established organizations. Passionate about health care services, Stephani has spent her career focused on the delivery of health care services and extending health care access to the underinsured and uninsured. She is currently the director of the CHOICES and SelectCommunity programs for BlueCare Tennessee, a Medicaid managed care organization, which is a subsidiary of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. Prior to joining BlueCross, Stephani oversaw the development and management of CoverTN, one of four health care access programs for the uninsured under the Cover Tennessee umbrella. Stephani is a graduate of David Lipscomb University in Nashville, where she earned a degree in finance and economics. She is married to Ed Ryan and has two stepchildren, Zach and Colleen.
Betsey Usher is Director of Alumni Relations at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She has been at VUSN for 8 years, first as coordinator of our Centennial celebration, and then as events manager. She also co-oversees social media strategies for the School. Betsey’s background includes stints in development at several colleges and health care institutions, financial education, and newspaper distribution, in Baltimore, San Diego and Nashville. She has a B.A. in political science from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland and a M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Vanderbilt.
Shelley Walker is assistant director of communication and media relations for the Tennessee Department of Health, providing internal and external communication, media relations and public relations services. She has previously served as a public relations specialist for Tennessee State University, and has more than ten years of experience as a local television news producer in Nashville. Shelley serves as Tennessee’s voting member in the National Public Health Information Coalition, and has special training in emergency and crisis communications.
Patricia H. Wesson is President and CEO of the Small Business Certification and Registration Agency. The company works in partnership with government and private corporations serving Women-Owned, Minority-Owned, Veteran-Owned and Small Business enterprises seeking government and corporate contract opportunities. She has over 25 years of banking and business development experience. Ms. Wesson is a former Bank Vice President, Certification Director (Governors Office of Diversity State of Tennessee), and Business Development Center Director (MTARC) City of Memphis. She attended Christian Brothers University before earning her B.A. degree from Trevecca Nazarene University, Nashville. Patricia is also the Founder, and Chief Advocate of Contracts For Women, an advocacy promoting increased contract opportunities for women owned businesses.
Colleen Conway-Welch, PhD, CNM, RN, FAAN, FACNM
Dean Emerita, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
Charlene M. Dewey, MD, M.Ed., FACP
Co-Director, Center for Professional Health, Associate Professor of Medical Education & Administration, Associate Professor of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medical
Marilyn Dubree, MSN, RN
Executive Chief Nursing Officer, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Liz Allen Fey (Past President)
CEO, Management Solutions Group
Executive Vice President & CFO, AmSurg Corp
Barbara N. Haynes
Former Judge, Third Circuit Court, Metro Government of Nashville & Davidson County
Barbara Mendel Mayden
Principal, Young Mayden Connect
Susan Short Jones (Past President)
Senior Corporate Counsel, HCA
All About Women Founder
Senior Vice President, Programming, Great American Country
Virginia Trotter Betts, MSN, JD, RN, FAAN
Former Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities