Who We Are

YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

About Us

YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley has been serving women and their families in East Tennessee since 1899. Offerings have changed over the years to meet community needs, but one thing has remained the same for more than 100 years: women from all walks of life depend on our services.

Women come to us in times of crisis, as survivors of rape or domestic violence, and for housing as they transition to a permanent living situation. They come for help meeting health-related goals. They come for after-school and summer programming for their children. They come for a variety of reasons. But they come, and they leave with a renewed spirit, new skills, and stronger lives.

We keep women going. And because we understand the importance of women’s leadership, we work hard to train future leaders through our youth programs. YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley is committed to improving the lives of women and girls and to enhancing this great community.

Our History

Since 1899, YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley has been a leading force in community change. With a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all, YWCA offers transitional housing and supportive services to women who would otherwise be homeless; advocacy, outreach, support groups, counseling and prevention services for victims of domestic violence; youth and family development services; and after-school programming.

As one of the oldest organizations in East Tennessee, YWCA has improved the lives of women and their families for generations. In 1900, fifteen girls alone in the City found sanctuary at the YWCA’s humble doors.

The downtown YWCA, located at 420 West Clinch Avenue, was built in 1925 to serve women and girls with women’s housing, an employment bureau, gym classes, a sewing room, and transit services. By 1934, nearly 200 women lived on the top two floors of a bustling facility, accessing training and work opportunities with other women in need. Currently, the facility is a safe space for women in need, providing housing for 58 women for up to two years through the Keys of Hope Women’s Housing Program. The facility is also to home to YWCA staff offices and Club W fitness, which features workout rooms, and basketball court.

In 1954, the current Phyllis Wheatley Center was built in East Knoxville, located at 124 South Cruze Street. Originally built as a facility for black women in 1920, the Phyllis Wheatley Center is now dedicated to serving the community with youth programs, education, and health & fitness programs.

Beginning in 2015, YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley expanded its services to Anderson County, including a renovation of the building at 1660 Oak Ridge Turnpike in Oak Ridge. YWCA Victim Advocates provide services to victims of domestic violence, and other programs as community needs are identified.

Today, YWCA serves more than 11,300 women, children and families through a variety of high-quality programs at three sites in downtown Knoxville, East Knoxville and Oak Ridge; and provides services across a six-county service area (Knox, Anderson, Roane, Loudon, Blount and Sevier). Annual events that help to grow, expand and sustain the YWCA’s mission include the Tribute to Women in September, Diversity Day/Race Against Racism in January, Stand Against Racism in April, and Keys of Hope Luncheon in May.

YWCA USA & World YWCA

The YWCA has been at the forefront of the most critical social movements for more than 160 years — from women’s empowerment and civil rights, to affordable housing and pay equity, to violence prevention and health care. The first YWCA was established in 1855 in London, England. The first United States-based chapter formed in 1858, and the first YWCA USA national board was established in 1906. The World YWCA is a global movement working for women’s empowerment, leadership and rights in more than 120 countries and 20,000 local communities.

Executive Staff

Natalie Stair

Interim CEO

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

-Margaret Mead

Natalie Stair joined the YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley in 2023 and serves as the Chief Administrative Officer. Natalie oversees and directs the management and functions of the administrative and business operations department.

Natalie graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting & Finance.

Kathy Mack

Chief Youth Engagement Officer

“I AM HERE On Purpose and On Purpose I AM HERE!”

-Kathy Mack

Kathy Mack joined the YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley and serves as the Chief Youth Engagement Officer. Kathy oversees and directs all youth programs and services of the Phyllis Wheatley Center. She previously served as the Director of the Phyllis Wheatley Center from 2014 to 2020.

Kathy is an energetic, self-motivated professional that draws from her life story and experiences to encourage and inspire others. Over the last decade, she has effectively grown positive relationships with clients, colleagues, and community organizations.

Kathy has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee Knoxville, focusing in Psychology and Health.

Jessie Perry

Director of Grants

“Nothing is hopeless; we must hope for everything.”

-Madeleine L’Engle

Jessie Perry joined the YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley in May 2022 and serves as the Director of Business Operations. Jessie works closely with the CAO to maintain agency operations, including general administrative needs, bookkeeping, and various other tasks necessary to support YWCA’s excellent program services. Before transitioning to Director of Business Operations, Jessie served as Administrative Coordinator.

Jessie completed her Masters of Science of Social Work degree from the University of Tennessee in 2018 and has been working in non-profit social service agencies since 2014.

Latoya Shephard

Director of Victim Services

“If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.”

-Steve Jobs

Latoya Shephard 2019 and serves as the Director of Victim Services. Latoya oversees the Victim Services teams across our 6-county service area, including the victim advocacy program, scattered-site transitional housing, and the new Anderson County supervised visitation and safe exchange program. Before becoming the Director of Victim Services, Latoya served as Anderson County Victim Services Program Coordinator.

Latoya has a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration and Planning from the Tennessee State University.

Lorena Meza Hubbard

Director of Events & Communications

“We must use our lives to make the world a better place to live, not just to acquire things. That is what we are put on the earth for.”

– Dolores Huerta

Lorena Meza Hubbard joined the YWCA Knoxville and Tennessee Valley in March 2023 and serves as the Director of Events and Communications. Lorena oversees all communication and media as well as the coordination of special events for the YWCA.

Lorena comes with over 5 years of non- profit experience serving East Tennessee.

Amy Moden

Director of Social Services

“Courage gives us a voice and compassion gives us an ear. Without both, there is no opportunity for empathy and connection”

– Brené Brown.

Amy Moden joined the YWCA Knoxville & the Tennessee Valley in 2020. Serving as the Director of Social Services, Amy oversees various programs including the Anderson & Knox Mobility Mentors, Families First 2Gen program, Residential Assistant’s, our on-site Therapist, and overseeing the Keys of Hope Program.

Amy is an optimistic, detail-oriented professional that draws from her own life experiences and faith to encourage and inspire others. Amy completed her Bachelor of Science and Theology degree from Johnson University, focusing on Human Services and Family Studies.

Board of Directors 2023-2024

Susan Edwards

Immediate Past President

Karen Mann

President

Erin Gill

Vice-President & President-Elect

Maria McHale

Secretary

Katherine Dillard

Treasurer

Susan Seagraves

Assistant Treasurer

Tanisha Baker

Member-at-large

Beth Ford

Member-at-large

Maureen Dunn McBride

Member-at-large

Jade Adams

Member

Moody Altamimi

Member

Jamie Ballinger

Member

Tracy Boatner

Member

Amie Cohorst

Member

Amy Edge

Member

Leslie Elmore

Member

Alicia Greiego Gast

Member

Renee Kelly

Member

Christi Kirk

Member

Caitlin Lovell

Member

Jane Palmer

Member

Carlette Smelcher

Member

Latisha Stubblefield

Member

Phyllis Wheatley Center

Downtown Knoxville

OAK RIDGE & ANDERSON COUNTY

Corporate Partnerships

YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley is able to continue to provide life-saving services thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, donors, and partners. Businesses, corporations, and organizations join with YWCA to help us further our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women.

To become a corporate sponsor or learn more about corporate sponsorship opportunities, contact Stephanie Burrage, CEO, at sburrage@ywcaknox.com or (865) 523-6126. All Corporate Sponsorships are customizable to meet the needs of your organization.

Silver Sponsors

McCarty Holsaple McCarty Architects and Interior Designers have helped communities, businesses, and individuals achieve buildings that meet their vision for over 55 years. The MHM approach is based upon our belief in the clarity of process, commitment to comprehensive documentation, and dedication to taking responsibility for the project from beginning to end. This design process, balanced by research, observation, and introspection, yields the best results when conducted through work sessions.
The Tennessee Valley Authority provides electricity for 153 local power companies serving 10 million people in Tennessee and parts of six surrounding states, as well as directly to 58 large industrial customers and federal installations. We don’t get taxpayer funding; rather, our revenues come from sales of electricity. TVA also provides flood control, navigation, and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and regional governments with their economic development efforts.

Bronze Sponsors

SouthPoint Risk is a full-service independent insurance agency serving customers throughout the southeast and nationwide.

Their agency provides a one-stop service for all insurance needs while bringing a unique mix of local knowledge and service combined with the depth and resources of a nationally licensed insurance agency. SouthPoint Risk offers a wide array of personal insurance and commercial insurance. Additional specialties include life insurance, group benefits, surety bond solutions, and much more.