BOARD OF DIRECTORS

A registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Tennessee Wildlife Federation is governed by a volunteer board of directors.

Chairman — Bruce Fox (Knoxville)

Vice Chairman — Allen Carter (Athens)

Treasurer — Tommy Bernard (Kingston Springs)

Secretary — Chris Nischan (Nashville)

Craig Connors (Middleton)

Allen Corey (Chattanooga)

Derek “DC” Curry (Franklin)

Bobby Goode (Dresden)

Katherine R. Griffin (Dayton)

Dan Hammond (Franklin)

Terry Lewis (Powell)

Rob Lineberger (Brentwood)

Don Nalls (Oak Ridge)

Billy Oehmig (Chattanooga)

Bobby Pidgeon (Memphis)

John Reid (Chattanooga)

John J. Ross (Savannah)

Richard Speer (Nashville)

Ric Wolbrecht (Germantown)

ADVISORY BOARD

Tennessee Wildlife Federation maintains an advisory board to expand and increase our impact for wildlife and conservation across Tennessee.
Members of the advisory board are located across the state and share a passion for Tennessee’s great outdoors.

Albert Buckley, Jr. (Franklin)

Svend Brooks (Knoxville)

Chuck Chitty (Chattanooga)

Tyler Congleton (Knoxville)

Bill Cox (Collierville)

Bill Dance (Collierville)

Phillip Fulmer, Sr. (Knoxville)

Dr. Lynn Gayden (Memphis)

Sheldon Hightower (Hendersonville)

Bob Hodge (Knoxville)

Mike Kelly (Nashville)

Jim Maddox (Nashville)

Bill Murphree (Bowling Green)

Colin Reed (Nashville)

Tom Rice (Nashville)

Dr. David Sloas (Cordova)

Brian Sparks (Germantown)

Dr. Ben West (Jackson)

Terry Whitson (Rogersville)

MEET OUR STAFF

Michael A. Butler, Chief Executive Officer

Michael Butler has served as Tennessee Wildlife Federation’s chief executive officer since June 2002. Michael works with elected officials, state and federal agencies, and civic leaders to implement sound natural resources policy. He joined the Federation as technical advisor to the executive director in 1996, working with the organization’s Conservation Policy Advisory Council and board of directors to develop natural resource policy. Prior to his role at the Federation, Michael earned his master’s degree in fish and wildlife management from Montana State University.

Kendall McCarter, Chief Development Officer

Kendall McCarter serves as chief development officer. Prior to joining the the Federation in 2008, Kendall served as vice president of development and university relations at Lambuth University in Jackson, Tennessee. Kendall’s development experience includes seven years as associate director of philanthropy for The Nature Conservancy, Tennessee Chapter and four years as director of development for Lifeline Blood Services in Jackson. In addition, he has served as vice president and trust officer with Regions/Morgan Keegan Trust, where he worked with high net worth clients in financial and estate matters. Kendall began his career in development work as a regional representative for LeBonheur Children’s Medical Center in Memphis.

chrisrobertsthbChris Roberts, Director of Conservation

Chris Roberts joined the Federation in January 2015 as the Director of Conservation, overseeing the Federation’s wildlife habitat conservation projects. Chris has a master’s degree in biology and more than 20 years of professional experience in conservation planning, land and water protection, government relations, rare species surveys, and wildlife habitat restoration.

jwstaffthumbJohn “J.W.” Worthen, Director of Programs

John “J.W.” Worthen joined the Federation in January 2015 as Director of Programs. Prior to joining the Federation, J.W. served as store manager at Gander Mountain, one of the nation’s largest outdoor products retailers. He holds a degree in business with a focus in marketing from Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky.

chrisrobertsthbCandy Sakarapanee, Director of Finance

A Middle Tennessee native, Candy holds a bachelor’s degree from Lipscomb University with concentrations in finance and economics, management, and marketing. During her career, she has accumulated more than 20 years of diverse accounting experience, including 15 years in the nonprofit sector. In her spare time, you’ll find Candy kayaking the beautiful rivers and lakes of Tennessee.

Rebeca Bell, Director of Development

Rebeca Bell joined the Federation in August 2019 as Grants Manager. With a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in writing and rhetoric, Rebeca is passionate about using words to advocate for wildlife and conservation. Before making Tennessee her home, she worked in Chicago and Washington, DC, for conservation organizations and in the public sector for 14 years.

Colleen Dolan, Director of Communications

Colleen Dolan joined the Federation in November 2021 as Director of Communications, overseeing marketing communications strategy. Prior to joining the Federation, Colleen worked for a number of global public relations agencies and beloved brands. She holds a bachelor of arts in psychology and a masters of commerce from the University of Virginia.

Taylor Martin, Associate Director of Hunting and Fishing Academy

Previously a Tennessee SCTP athlete, Taylor Martin joined the Federation staff in January 2018 as the program coordinator. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee at Martin in business management. Prior to returning to Tennessee, Taylor served as a logistics coordinator in the transportation industry in Michigan. Taylor is a West Tennessee native who enjoys duck hunting and lake life.

Lindsay Gardner, Associate Director of Policy Research/Development & Federal Relations

Lindsay joined the Federation in June 2017. She conducts intensive research and manages stakeholder outreach to deepen the Tennessee Wildlife Federation’s knowledge base and influence on public policy. Prior to joining the Federation, Lindsay worked as communications and habitat restoration program manager for the Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership. She also was the executive director of Red River Watershed Association. Lindsay holds a bachelor’s degree from George Mason University and a master’s degree from the University of London.

Kate Hill, Associate Director, Multimedia

Kate Hill joined the Federation in August 2014. She handles the creation of print and web graphics. Kate is a graduate of Mississippi State University where she earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design. A native of Jackson, Tenn, Kate enjoys spending time in the outdoors, especially hiking, camping, and biking.

mattthumb2Matt Simcox, Hunters for the Hungry Manager

Matt Simcox joined the Federation as outreach coordinator in April 2008, where he coordinated the day-to-day operations of the Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program and Hunters for the Hungry. In 2011, Simcox was named Manager of Tennessee Wildlife Federation’s Hunters for the Hungry program. Simcox is a 2007 graduate of Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in communications.

Tony Lance, Administration Manager

Previously a naturalist for the Nashville Park system, Tony Lance joined the Federation in 2011. A longtime birder and beekeeper, Tony is most at home being outdoors hiking and backpacking. In 1999, he checked a major goal off his bucket list by completing a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Tony has a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Ashley Tone, Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program Manager

Ashley (Swift) Tone joined Tennessee Wildlife Federation in August 2021. Ashley is a Milton, Tennessee native and a Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program alum. She competed for Middle Tennessee Christian School and Lindenwood University, where she was a part of the ACUI Division I Clay Target National Championship Team. Ashley continued her time at Lindenwood as a graduate assistant coach for the shotgun sports team while pursuing a masters degree. Before joining the Federation, Ashley served as the associate director of admissions for Lipscomb University’s College of Pharmacy.

Israel Butt headshotIsrael Butt, Visual Content Manager

Israel Butt joined the Federation in July 2022. He manages media and visual content as a part of the communications team. A photographer and videographer from a young age, Israel enjoys exploring and capturing the great outdoors. He can frequently be found fishing and hiking with his three young sons or tending his ponds at home.

Israel Butt headshotKC Mote, Educational Content Manager

KC Mote joined the Federation in July 2022. Originally from Alaska, she holds a bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University and a master’s degree from the University of Tennessee Knoxville, where she majored in chemistry. Beyond her regular studies, KC furthered her knowledge in the science of learning so she could better educate her children and the public about the outdoors and the importance of conservation. KC enjoys spending time outdoors with her family, especially hiking, camping, and fly fishing.

Chris Hearn, West Tennessee Field Representative

Chris Hearn joined Tennessee Wildlife Federation’s team in August 2019 as the Hunting and Fishing Academy’s West Tennessee Field Representative. He holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Tennessee at Martin in natural resource management with a concentration in wildlife biology. Chris has a huge passion for all things outdoors. He has more than ten years guiding experience, as well as a background in habitat and forestry management.

Jeb Beasley, East Tennessee Field Representative

Jeb Beasley joined Tennessee Wildlife Federation in August of 2019 and now serves as the East Tennessee Field Representative. He works with the Federation’s Hunting and Fishing Academy to recruit and engage the next generation of outdoorsmen and women. Jeb holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in agricultural and resource economics. A Middle Tennessee native, Jeb is an avid deer and duck hunter but enjoys all aspects of the great outdoors.

Taylor Fox headshotTaylor Fox, Middle Tennessee Field Representative

Former police officer Taylor Fox joined Tennessee Wildlife Federation in July 2022. Taylor is a Nashville native with a degree in criminal justice from Bethel University. He has been involved in outdoor recreation since he began scouting as a kid, and now enjoys all kinds of outdoor activities, including hunting, hiking, camping, backpacking, and learning to trap.

Mitch Evarts headshotMitch Evarts, Staff Accountant

Mitch Evarts joined the Federation in August 2022. Originally from Michigan, he received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Western Michigan University. Before joining the Federation, Mitch worked in accounting at both nonprofit and for-profit organizations as well as the United States Army. Mitch is an avid hunter of all species, but most enjoys hunting waterfowl, turkey, and whitetail deer.

Amy Hall headshotAmy Hall, Program Coordinator

Amy Hall joined Tennessee Wildlife Federation in November of 2021. She is an avid hunter and angler who is an advocate for women in the outdoors. She hosts her podcast Her Wild Outdoors, has hosted for Miss Pursuit, written for Women’s Outdoor News and National Wild Turkey Federation, and is a National Archery in the Schools Program instructor. Amy resides in Middle Tennessee where she loves to pass on her love for the outdoors with her children and others.

Lauren Whitmire headshotLauren Whitmire, Communications Coordinator

Lauren Whitmire joined the Federation in June 2022. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State University in wildlife biology and a master’s degree from Oklahoma State University in agricultural communications. A native of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, Lauren’s involvement in conservation began with local volunteering in the Nashville area and grew to a passion for worldwide conservation after a summer working in Australia.

Caroline Heggeman headshotCaroline Heggeman, Program Communications Coordinator

Caroline Heggeman joined Tennessee Wildlife Federation in July 2022. She graduated from the University of Alabama in May 2022, where she studied public relations. An avid hunter and angler, her role involves promoting the Federation’s hunting and fishing programs through several types of media outlets. Caroline grew up hunting and fishing with her father and continues to enjoy being outdoors in her free time.

Stephanie Kopel headshotStephanie Kopel, Development Coordinator

Stephanie joined the Federation in September 2022. She graduated from Belmont University with a bachelor’s in business administration. Prior to joining the Federation, she worked for the Nashville Health Care Council, where she gained valuable experience in event production. Stephanie has lived in Nashville since 2008 and is excited to work in conservation and get further involved in the community she loves.