Mike Arrington - Member
Mike Arrington is Past President of The Operation Andrew Group and previously had a 15-year career with LifeWay Christian Resources, retiring in 2007 as Vice President of Corporate Affairs. Since relocating to Nashville in 1991, he has been active in local civic affairs, including serving as Chairman of the Board for the Nashville/Middle Tennessee Fellowship of Christian Athletes, membership in the Nashville Rotary Club, and serving as Chairman of the Tennessee Prayer Breakfast Citizens Committee. Mike holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University. Mike and his wife, Paula, reside in Tyler, Texas. They have two grown children and seven grandchildren. Mike and Paula attend Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler.
Butch Burns - Secretary
Butch Burns is an attorney who has spent over 30 years in several important positions with the state of Tennessee including State Election Coordinator of Elections in the office of the Tennessee Secretary of State as well as senior legal counsel for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. He and his wife Maribeth have been married for 38 years and have two adult daughters and five grandchildren. In addition to participating in numerous short-term missions opportunities both locally and internationally he and Maribeth relocated to New York City for several years to assist in church planting in conjunction with the North American Missions Board. Butch is a Colson Fellow of the Colson Center of Christian Worldview and has served on the board of various non-profits. He and Maribeth are active at The Village Chapel.
Dr. Ila Foster – Member
Dr. Ila Foster is the owner of Graceful Hands Chiropractic & Wellness Center and co-owner of The Atelier, Inc., a wellness co-working space for Psychotherapists, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners, Psychiatrists, Registered Dieticians, Acupuncturists, Life Coaches and other wellness providers in Nashville, TN. With decades of practice in the Washington, D.C. and Nashville, TN areas, Dr. Foster genuinely believes in delivering quality chiropractic care that is thorough and delivered with graceful hands. She has been blessed to help thousands of patients achieve their optimal levels of health while educating them on the importance of living a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
Dr. Foster is a native of Marks, MS and earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Alcorn State University in Lorman, MS and Doctorate of Chiropractic from Life University in Marietta, GA.
Ron Gambill – Member
Ron Gambill is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Educational Funding of the South, Inc. (Edsouth). Prior to joining Edsouth, he was Executive Director of the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC) for over 17 years and served as a financial aid director for Nashville State Technical Institute for over 11 years. Mr. Gambill serves on the Board of Directors of the National Council of Higher Education Resources. He serves on the Executive Board of the Southern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators as Chair of the Legislative Relations Committee and as Chair of the Governmental Relations Committee on the Executive Board of the Tennessee Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. Mr. Gambill serves on the Board of Trustees of Williamson College. Mr. Gambill serves on the Board of Visitors for the Education Department at Lipscomb University. He holds a B.A. from Lipscomb University and a Master’s Degree from Middle Tennessee State University. Mr. Gambill has worked in state and federal legislative relations for over 30 years.
Jay Harvill – Member
Jay began his career in the insurance industry in 1993 when he joined Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance, LLC, where he now serves as Owner and Principal. He has served on the insurance company advisory boards for carriers such as Hartford, Travelers, Central Mutual, Grange Insurance and others. He has been a part of starting several local and international non-profit organizations and uses his skills to help guide them to stability. Currently, he serves as Chairman of the Board for Capstone Education Group as well as Chairman of the Elder Team at Fellowship Memphis, which is an economically and racially diverse church seeking to positively impact Memphis and the world. He recently relocated to Middle Tennessee to further L&P’s efforts in new business development and talent recruitment in the Nashville area. Jay has been married for the past 26 years to Amy and has three amazing children, two dogs and one horse.
Hope Hines – Member
Hope Hines is a retired 40 year television sports broadcaster. 33 of those years were with WTVF-TV in Nashville. Hope also was a football play-by-play broadcaster for the San Diego Chargers, New Orleans Saints and Baltimore Colts. During his career Hope won 6 broadcast Emmy Awards, was a recipient of the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for Distinguished Service to the industry, and in 2014 Hope was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. In 2012 he wrote and published a book about his career titled In Hines Sight. Hope and his late wife, Pat, have three children and seven grandchildren.
Ed Rose – Chairman
Ed has an extensive background in accounting and finance, including work with Federal and State agencies regarding tax, Medicare, and Medicaid accounting, reporting, and audit issues. Since 2006, he has served at Community Healthcare Systems as Senior Director in a hospital company with 100+ hospitals nationwide. He holds a B.A. in accounting from Kansas Wesleyan University and MBA from the University of Kansas. Since the late 1980’s, Mr. Rose has used his skillset by participating in numerous mission trips across the globe, conducting both relief and development work. He is an active member of Church of the City in Franklin, TN and has a passion for “being part of what God is doing,” whatever that looks like in each season.
Dimeta Smith-Knight – Member
Dimeta has over 20 years of financial accounting, auditing, tax preparation and consulting experience, including C-suite level. Previous roles include Internal Auditor, Financial Systems Implementation Consultant and Chief Financial Officer. Dimeta is currently the Chief Executive Officer and President of Dimeta Smith, CPA, LLC, an accounting and consulting firm located in Nashville, TN while facilitating seminars and workshops for various organizations, including the Small Business Administration, Pathway Women’s Business Center and the National Association of Women Business Owners. Dimeta received her Bachelor of Business Administration Degree with a major in Accounting from Tennessee State University and Master of Accountancy Degree from Belmont University. Her current civic involvement includes serving on the Board of Directors for the Tennessee Respite Coalition, West End Homes Foundation and New Leaders Council. She was selected a 2018 Woman of Influence by the Nashville Business Journal. She received the Rising Star Award presented by the Nashville Black Chamber of Commerce and the Power Moves Award in Finance presented by PK Williams Enterprises. A native of Nashville, Dimeta enjoys volunteering in the community; mentoring young people; and spending time with her family.
Larry Crain - Member
Larry L. Crain is a nationally recognized constitutional lawyer and frequent lecturer, and commentator. He has litigated, debated and practiced widely in the area of constitutional law and human rights. His litigation experience on issues of constitutional law spans 26 states. In 2012, his concern over the legal issues facing churches and religious ministries led him to found the Church Law Institute, a non-profit legal and educational ministry serving churches across the United States. Today, CLI is providing vital legal services to churches in states all across the United States. Born in 1955 in Tennessee, Larry L. Crain earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Vanderbilt University in 1976 and a Juris Doctorate degree from the Nashville School of Law in 1980. He is married to Florence Crain and has four children and seven grandchildren.
Marlene Vergara- Member
Marlene Vergara is enjoying retirement after a successful and very rewarding career as a bilingual school social worker with Franklin Special School District, primarily working with the Pre-K program. She obtained her BSW from the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada; and her LSSW from the University of Tennessee. Marlene is originally from Chile and moved to Canada as a teenager where she completed her education. Moved to California in 1986 and then to middle Tennessee in 1993. She has a passion for community involvement where she participated in the Big Backpack Giveaway’s organizing committee for several years (providing backpacks and school supplies to anyone in the community who needs it). She’s currently active with The Well (a food pantry) in Spring Hill; MUM (Maury United Ministries) in Columbia, and is an active member of Connection Church in Columbia, TN. Marlene enjoys spending time cooking and playing board games with her 2 adult daughters, sons-in-law & grandchildren.
Chris Meadows - Member
Chris Meadows has been a Property & Casualty Insurance Professional for thirty-four years, specializing in the Healthcare, Education, Restaurant, Technology, Financial Institution and Manufacturing Industries. Meadows currently serves as Senior Vice President of USI Insurance Services, heading up their Healthcare Practice Group for Tennessee. Mr. Meadows graduated Cum Laude with Honors from the University of Georgia with a BBA degree in Management. He has served on the boards of Boys & Girls Club, Better Business Bureau, Operation Andrew Group, Willis National Healthcare Practice, Willis Healthcare Advisory Board, Nashville Sports Council and is active in his church. His interests include golf, hiking, civic involvement, travel, reading and being a grandfather of two.