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meet our board of directors


Paul loftin, chair

Paul J. Loftin is the president and COO of Siskin Steel and Supply Co. A Kansas native, Mr. Loftin has been employed with Siskin Steel and Supply for seven years. He began his career in the metals industry with Reynolds Aluminum as a part of their college apprenticeship program. After college he has continued to work in the industry for over 40 years. Most of his career has been in management of steel companies throughout the United States. He is vice chair of The Chattanooga Regional Manufacturers Association and director of Reliance Steel and Aluminum Company. Mr. Loftin is on the board of directors for the RPC Church and the Spirit of America Foundation. He and his wife Sandy have two daughters: Emily, a junior at Lee University, and Katie, who will be attending Gardner-Webb in North Carolina this fall. Additionally, he has two daughters who live out of state. Angie lives in Kansas, and Camille lives in Colorado Springs.


edna varner, Vice Chair

Ms. Varner is a consultant with the Public Education Foundation and director of Leadership Development for the Cornerstone National Literacy Initiative. She is on the board of the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy as well as a former Hamilton County teacher and principal.


betty lebovitz, secretary

Mrs. Lebovitz is an active volunteer for Siskin Children’s Institute. She has previously co-chaired StarNight and SyleWorks, and served on the Institute’s Steering Committee. Currently, Betty is serving on the Development and Marketing Committee.


greg eaves, cpa, treasurer

Mr. Eaves has been with the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga for nine years. He is responsible for the Finance and Legal Divisions, as well as Commercial Fiber Optics Sales. During his tenure at EPB, he has also had responsibility of the Information Technology Division. He currently serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.He has served in various fundraising capacities for the United Way, the UC Foundation, Boy Scouts of America, and the American Heart Association. He is a member of Financial Executives International, Inc., Tennessee Society of CPA’s, and the Chattanooga Downtown Rotary Club.He and his wife Carrie reside in Ooltewah with their two children, Carter and Caroline.


Mary Tanner, Ph.D., immediate past Chair

Dr. Tanner has spent her entire academic career, over 35 years, at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, rising through the academic ranks from an instructor in the Department of Human Ecology to her present position as UC Foundation and Guerry Professor. She also has served as a Department Head, Associate Dean, Dean (College of Health, Education and Professional Studies), and now serves as Interim Executive Director, The Ochs Center.Dr. Tanner holds a Ph.D. from The University of Georgia, Athens, in family and child development, and a M.Ed. and B.S. from UTC in education (elementary and secondary). She is married to Dr. HomerKemp, an English professor at Tennessee Tech, and is the parent of two sons, Jim and Waide Tanner.


Scott leRoy, hr committee chair

Coming Soon


dr. valerie c. rutledge, Program committee chair

Dr. Rutledge serves as the Dean in the College of Health, Education and Professional Studies at UTC. Before that Rutledge served as Director of the School of Education at UTC and has led the School of Education since August 2003. Prior to joining the UTC faculty in 1995, Rutledge taught English and Latin in Hamilton County Schools. In 1999, she was appointed to a nine-year term on the Tennessee State Board of Education. She is a two-time proud graduate of The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She received her doctoral degree from the University of Tennessee.


julie betts brandao

A native of Chattanooga, Julie Betts Brandao graduated from The Bright School, Girls’ Preparatory School and then received her B.A. from Vanderbilt University in 1988. At Vanderbilt, she majored in Fine Arts, and was a member of Chi-Omega Fraternity. She currently serves as Family Risk Manager and Personal Lines Manager for the Chattanooga office and was named Insuror or the Year in 2000 by the Insurors of Chattanooga. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering, walking, hiking, and adventure travel. Julie is the proud mother of daughters Katie and Emma.


Alan Cates

Alan is an attorney and a member of Husch Blackwell’s Financial Services and Capital Markets team.  Mr. Cates is a member of the Tennessee Probate Study Committee and has served on the faculty of the National Planed Giving Institute of the College of William and Mary for more than 25 years.

Lee Davis

lee davis

Lee Davis is the father of two Siskin Early Learning Center alums, Matthew and Parker. Parker has Down Syndrome and Lee and his wife, Heather, attribute Parker’s success to the early intervention she received while at the Institute as a young child.  Parker is now a freshman at UTC where she is taking criminal justice, art and Spanish courses. Last year, Parker walked the runaway along with several other children from the Institute as part of the annual StyleWorks fashion event. Matthew is currently a sophomore at Baylor School. Professionally, Lee received his J.D. from Boston University School of Law. Mr. Davis enjoys teaching continuing legal education courses for both attorneys and paralegals. In the past, he taught courses for the University of Tennessee at both the Chattanooga and Knoxville campuses. He is a recognized as a Life Member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and has published articles on DNA technology and other topics. 


Dr. Andrea Goins

Dr. Goins graduated from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and was a resident at the UT College of Medicine. She is affiliated with Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, Erlanger Bledsoe Hospital, Erlanger East Hospital, and Erlanger North Hospital. Dr. Goins heads the NICU follow up clinic.


Stacy lightfoot

Stacy is the Vice President, College & Career Success, Public Education Foundation (PEF). In this role, she coordinates PEF's Camp College program, an intensive college planning weekend retreat for first-generation and low-income students. Additionally, Ms. Lightfoot manages the Passport Scholars program, providing young women of promise with residential summer enrichment experiences across the country.



Coming soon


larry parks

Larry S. Parks is the president of T U Parks Construction Company, of Chattanooga. Aside from his business, he serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Tri State Carpenters Pension fund, and is active in the construction industry serving as Chairman of CompTrust AGC, Tennessee, a self insured trust providing workers compensation coverage in Tennessee to various construction industry firms, and is a national life director of AGC of America. A member of the Rotary Club of Chattanooga, he is a lifelong resident of Chattanooga and also serves on the board of Chambliss Center for Children. Larry is past Chairman of the finance committee of Our Lady of the Mount Catholic Church. He and his wife Robin are parents of two sons, reside on Lookout Mountain.



John Pregulman is the President of KAVOD, a Memphis-based organization supporting Holocaust survivors in need, which he founded with his wife, Amy. As a former professional photographer in New York City in the 1980’s, John found his passion for taking photographs of Holocaust survivors and has taken 600 photos so far. After his time in New York, he returned to Chattanooga to join the family steel business, Siskin Steel and Supply Company. The company was sold in 1996, and John was named President/COO until leaving the company in 2005. He is currently the managing partner of Robmer Partners, a real estate company his father created. Mr. Pregulman also serves his family by heading the family office as the Chief Investment Officer. John has four children, ranging in ages from 30 to 11.


Stephen Ratterman

Stephen Ratterman is the Senior Vice President with Pinnacle Financial Partners.  Mr. Ratterman earned a B.B.A. in Managerial Finance and Investment Analysis from the University of Mississippi and is a graduate of the Southeastern School of Banking conducted at the Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University.


Matt Rivers

Mr. Rivers is an insurance industry professional with 14 years of progressive employment with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee.  He currently serves as Principal Product Manager providing strategic direction for product and program initiatives across commercial lines of business.  Mr. Rivers has a varied background with Blue Cross having worked in Operations, Legal, the Office of Health Care Reform and Product Strategy & Individual Markets.  He has a B.A. from the University of the South and earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Tennessee – Chattanooga in 2009 with a concentration in Nonprofit Management.  He’s also a recent graduate of the Executive Education Leadership Program through UTC College of Business.  He and his wife, Meredith, live in Hixson with their three children, Neil, Cole and Will. 


Eddie Russell

Eddie is president of ERMC and has been involved in facility services for 20 years. Mr. Russell serves as a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), Building Services Contractor Association International (BSCAI) and Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce.


dr. jim shire

Dr. Shire specializes in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and is the owner of Shire Facial Plastic Surgery.  A graduate of Ohio State University and the Medical College of Ohio, Dr. Shire completed a medical residency at the University of Cincinnati and a fellowship at Tulane University.  He practices at Erlanger and Memorial hospitals, and his research is published regularly in medical journals.


robert h. siskin

Robert H. Siskin, son of Institute founder Mose Siskin, is the former Executive Vice President of Siskin Steel & Supply. Robert attended McCallie School and earned his business degree from the University Of Pennsylvania- Wharton School. Robert is very active in the community, serving as the past president of the Bnai Zion Synagogue, past board president and former chair of the community relations committee for the Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga. Currently, Mr. Siskin serves on the board of the Public Education Foundation, Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation and other community organizations including Siskin Children’s Institute. He and his wife, Pris, have two grown children and five grandchildren.

advisory committee


claire siskin binder

Mrs. Binder is an active community volunteer, serving in board positions with the B’nai Zion Synagogue and Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation. She is a past board member of the Chattanooga Symphony Opera Association and a past president of the Jewish Community Federation of Greater Chattanooga.


a.v. terry blunt

Mr. Blunt is the vice president of Human Resources for Olan Mills, Inc. He serves as an elder for Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church.


peter t. cooper

Mr. Cooper served as treasurer of the Siskin Foundation for 29 years. He is a member of a number of advisory committees as well as served as the former president of the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, Inc., and the chairman of the board of the Chattanooga Tumor Clinic at Erlanger Medical Center. Mr. Cooper previously served on the boards of the University of Chattanooga Foundation and a number of other charities.


carl henderson

Mr. Henderson began his career in public accounting 1975 and is now a partner in the firm of Henderson Hutcherson & McCullough, PLLC. He has served as an expert witness before the U.S. Tax Court and U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Mr. Henderson is a former revenue agent for the Internal Revenue Service. His professional and civic affiliations include the American Institute of CPAs, the Tennessee Society of CPAs, a member of the TSCPA Federal Tax Committee and a past president and board member of the Estate Planning Council of Chattanooga.


sam e. miles, jr.

Mr. Miles is a past board member of the Siskin Foundation, Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation and Pioneer Bank. He is a past treasurer and member of the Board of Trustees of the Hunter Museum of American Art and a past president of the Chattanooga Symphony Association. Mr. Miles retired as vice president of Mortgage Loans and Real Estate for Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company.


Helen Pregulman

Coming Soon


ross i. schram iii

Mr. Schram is a lawyer and shareholder of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC. He currently serves as an elder and trustee at Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church in addition to being vice chairman of the boards of The Chambliss Center for Children, Fortwood Center and Volunteer Community School. Mr. Schram also chairs the Allocations Committee of the United Way and serves on its Board and Executive Committee. He is a past chairman of the Institute’s Board of Directors.


Jo Ann Yates

Coming Soon