Chief Executive Officer
Eric Higgs is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee (BGCMT). He joined the Boys & Girls Clubs movement in the height of the pandemic in June 2020 accepting what he describes as a ‘calling’ to do the work. As CEO, Eric leads the organizational vision towards DUB100BY2026 which is to double the youth served to 10,000 by 2026; and ensure 100% of Club members are ready for their great future by focusing on the 5 Ready’s – Ready to Read, Ready for Class, Ready to Graduate, Ready for a Career, and Ready to serve the Community.
Prior to BGCMT, Eric spent 26 years in corporate America, most recently with Bridgestone where he served as Vice President of Commercial Marketing, President of the Commercial Truck Division and SVP of Enterprise Marketing Operations. He also worked at Kimberly Clark where he led the North America Kleenex business. Eric began his corporate career at Procter & Gamble, spending 18 years starting as a Chemical Engineer and then, after completing his MBA, moved to Marketing.
Eric has a BS in Chemical Engineering from University of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA from DUKE University – Fuqua School of Business. Eric and his wife, Jennifer, have 3 sons and call the West End area of Nashville home, where they have lived since 2016. A consistent belief of his is “the universe cooperates with a made up mind,” which is a phrase that one of his mentors, the late Martha White Warren, consistently reinforced.
Chief Operating Officer
Fun Facts about LaQuinta from her childhood:
What was your favorite movie? Lean on Me
What was your favorite book? Super Fudge
What was your favorite food? Pizza
Who was your favorite superhero or cartoon character? Wonderwoman
What was your favorite activity? Playing Kickball; call me “The Kickball Queen”
To contact LaQuinta please e-mail her: email@example.com
Chief Financial Officer
How many ways can beans be counted? This is a question that Louie Orman asks himself daily as he works diligently to steward the finances of our organization. Louie spends the majority of his day handling critical issues that keep Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee a debt-free organization, enabling us to focus on our Mission to serve young people who need us most.
Prior to joining the team at Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee in 2011, Louie had been with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Rutherford County for 8 years. He thoroughly enjoyed the relationships that he developed with the children and staff. Previously, he was with Ingram Distribution group in various roles in their accounting and finance departments. He is enjoying his new opportunities serving the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee.
To contact Louie please e-mail him: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chief Development Officer
Jennifer Wheeler Buhrman joined Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee (BGCMT) as chief development officer in 2016. To this key role, she brings with her more than fifteen years of experience in fund development, donor relations, event planning, communication strategy and organizational leadership. She oversees the resource development team and efforts, as well as community and government relations. Since coming onboard, BGCMT’s total revenue has grown more than 45%.
Prior to joining BGCMT, she served in development and corporate client roles with top organizations, such as Renewal House, the Nashville Humane Association, Frist Museum, and Ski West, Inc.
A native to East Nashville, Jennifer lived in Coral Gables, FL, Park City, UT and Bangkok, Thailand, prior to returning “home” in 2005. Since, she has dedicated her strengths and passion to making a difference in the Middle Tennessee community. In 2016, she was recognized by the Center for Nonprofit Management and The Tennessean as one of Middle Tennessee’s “30 in their 30’s,” an honor for excelling nonprofit leaders. In 2020, she was announced as one of four finalists in the nonprofit category of the Nashville Emerging Leader Awards, the Nashville Chamber of Commerce’s initiative for recognizing the significant accomplishments of young professionals in their chosen career field, as well as their commitment and contribution to the community.*
Jennifer holds a MEd Nonprofit Leadership from Belmont University, an executive certificate in transformational nonprofit leadership from the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business, as well as a Certificate of Accomplishment from University of Indiana Lilly School of Philanthropy. She was a founding and graduate student of East Literature Magnet, a part of Metro Nashville Public Schools.
In her spare time, Jennifer lends her support to AWAKE (Advocates for Women and Kids Equality), serving as the Board Chair of their 501(c)(4) Amplify AWAKE, and enjoys time with her husband, Steven Buhrman, their daughter, Lyla, and their two rescued dogs: Eleanor and Alister.
To contact Jennifer, please email her at email@example.com or call 615-983-6804.
*Winners will be announced on August 5, 2021; fingers-crossed!
Cleveland Park Club Director
Valor Club Director
Paris Bryant calls Louisville, KY home and comes to Nashville with extensive background in behavioral health. While predominantly serving foster youth, she worked in programs that provided psychological treatment to increase social development, academic success and independent living skills. Most recently before her move to Nashville in 2019 Paris assisted in leading a youth drug and alcohol recovery program. This program addressed the issues surrounding substance abuse in rural Kentucky and provided youth specific treatment services not readily accessible in rural populations. As Paris pursues her career in nonprofit management, she continues to use effective tools in preventing and reducing the use of drugs and alcohol amongst young people.
Paris joined the Boys & Girls Club of Middle Tennessee as a Club Director in 2019. Paris's career experiences have been led by a passion for teen development. She loves her job with the Boys & Girls Club and is committed to building community that contributes to society; she firmly believes that education is the foundation to individual development.
In her spare time, Paris enjoys traveling to adventurous Airbnb's with her partner and two rescue dogs. In the summer she spends her time kayaking on the Harpeth River and attending outdoor music festivals. Paris and her partner aspire to live on the beach one day.
When asked why she chooses to be a part of our Club members’ Great Futures…
“I strive to facilitate a Club environment that offers adolescents a place to be themselves without the pressure of being judged. A focus for my team at Valor is to better prepare young people as they make plans for postsecondary education and workforce readiness opportunities. We do this by ensuring each teen who attends Club always has a supportive role model who is ready to listen and engage in conversations about future goals and career aspirations.”
To contact Paris, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (615) 823-7982
Director of Resource Development for Williamson County
Denise Carothers joined the Boys & Girls Club movement in 1996 as a Girl Scout troop leader for the Franklin Unit. After three years of volunteer service in 1999, she began working professionally with the Club. Denise currently serves as Director of Resource Development for Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee, where she oversees fundraising and community relations for all Williamson County Boys & Girls Clubs including grant proposal preparation, strategic planning, and special events. Annual events Denise oversees such as Wine Down Main Street and the Steak & Burger Dinner have become staples for the Williamson County community. She has worked professionally with Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee for 22 years and continues to make a significant impact on the Williamson County community and the youth served in the Clubs.
A native of Franklin, Denise holds a B.S. in Speech Communication & Theatre from Tennessee State University and a M.Ed. in Instructional Leadership from Lipscomb University. She is a graduate of the 2007 Leadership Franklin Class and was the first African American President of the Franklin Rotary Club at Breakfast. Denise devotes time to a variety of local causes serving as Rotary International District 6760 Rotaract Club Coordinator, Rotarian with the Franklin Rotary Club at Breakfast, Board Chair of the grassroots, non-profit Hard Bargain Association, Community Service Day Chair for Youth Leadership Franklin, Mt, Hope Baptist Church Treasurer and is an appointed member of the Williamson County Public Library Board of Trustees.
To contact Denise, please e-mail her at email@example.com or call 615-628-8188.
Madson Club Director + Interim Chadwell Club Director
Phone: (615) 968-0251
Jeff Darnell is a Nashville native that began his work with the Metro Denver Boys & Girls Club Movement in 1993 as an Athletic Director. He has served as the Director of three Middle Tennessee Clubs during his first tenure with the Movement. He also served as a National Training Associate for Boys & Girls Clubs of America for five years teaching the Money Matters and Career Launch national programs.
When asked why he chooses to be a part of our Club members’ Great Futures…
“Because I realize the significance of making an impact on young peoples’ lives.”
Floating Club Director
Nicholas graduated from the University of Redlands in 2013 and has been working with youth ever since. Since moving to Tennessee, he has worked with kids grades K-12 coaching sports, running physical education programs, teaching computer coding, and even starting videogame leagues across the United States.
To contact Nicholas: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 368-8756.
Eagle View Club Director
Alisha Fowler grew up in California and graduated from Howard University in Washington DC where she began her teaching career. After being an educator for ten years, she took a position in China where she worked in customer service and administrative support for almost three years. Upon returning to the United States, she joined the Movement and quickly embraced BGCMT like family. Alisha’s diverse experiences opened her eyes to new ways to serve her most important clients, her students and families. She spends her free time traveling or spending time outside.
When asked why he chooses to be a part of our Club members’ Great Futures…
“I like the way we blend education and fun through our programming and how we build a community to help ensure our kids are successful.” Email: email@example.com Phone: (615) 924-5895
Human Resources Manager
Tammy manages all aspects of Human Resources under the umbrellas of recruitment, selection, education, and retention. She has over 20 years of experience in Human Resources and 10 years experience in Operations Management. She comes from the private sector, nonprofit, and state government. Her passion is helping make an organization great by creating a “People First” culture.
Tammy is a graduate of Trevecca Nazarene University with a B.A. in Management and Human Relations and from Volunteer State Community College with an A.S. in Paralegal Studies. She is a Leadership and Change Management blogger, and occasional keynote speaker. She enjoys fishing, traveling, gardening, and making art. She has four children, six grandchildren, a husband of 28 years and one puppy-dog mutt name Savannah.
Tammy believes that the work we do now, with our youth, is an investment in the future for all of us.
To contact Tammy: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (615) 983-6834.
Glengarry Club Director
Bri'Anca Jordan, born and raised in Nashville, TN, her career started with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tenseness in 2014. She started off as a YDA and worked her way up to begin as Club director in 2017. Her favorite area of the Club is the Gym and The All-purpose room. She loves those areas because it allows her to use her creativity and come up with on the spot’s activities.
When asked why she choose to be a part of our Club members’ Great Futures……"I choose to be apart our Club member’s Great futures because I was a Club kid and I love helping others out making a difference in their lives."
Andrew Jackson Club Director
Sharon Mapp-Humphrey was born in Knoxville, Tennessee and graduated from Austin East High School in 1975. She graduated from Barbizon Fashion Institution in Atlanta, Georgia and worked in the fashion industry for almost two decades as store buyer and later as a small business owner.
Eventually, Sharon realized her true calling, working with kids, at which time she started working at the Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA) in Knoxville, Tennessee as an Art Director, Program Director, and eventually the Unit Director. She initially started-up the Moses Teen Center as the Education Director and went on to become the Career Preparation Director.
A few years later she became the Program Director at James T. Anderson in Marietta, a major BGCA in Atlanta, Georgia. A year later, Sharon became the Executive Director. Her hard work and dedication resulted in James T. Anderson becoming the premier showcase BGCA in Atlanta, making a positive influence in the lives of children and the community.
During her time in Atlanta, Sharon completed BGCA Advanced Leadership Development Program, Management Tracking I & II, National Trainer Associate Certification which resulted in her achieving the Distinguished Level of Boys & Girls Club of America Academy.
After approximately ten years in Atlanta, Sharon was presented with the opportunity to become Director of Operations at A.G. Gaston BGCA in Birmingham, AL. In the later part of the fourth year, Sharon resigned her position to care for her terminally ill Father in Nashville, Tennessee.
After the passing of her Father, she worked in various administrative jobs. Eventually, the opportunity came for her to return to her true calling, and she is now the Andrew Jackson Club Director.
Director of Operations
Herbert ‘Herb’ Myers is a Nashville native and is so proud to live and work in his hometown. Herb received his bachelors in Aerospace Administration from MTSU, and is currently enrolled in their Masters of Educational Leadership degree program. Herb is a veteran of the U.S. Navy where he served for four years. He has been with Boys & Girls Clubs as a Club Professional for eight years
To contact Herb, please e-mail him at email@example.com or call 615-983-6842
Franklin Club Director
Stephen Owens is originally from Memphis, Tennessee and joined the Boys & Girls Club Movement in February 2019 as the Club Director of the Franklin Clubhouse. He
was employed as a teacher and coach in the Nashville area for over 14 years and left teaching to work with Middle Tennessee youth in a different capacity.
When asked why he chooses to be a part of our Club members’ Great Futures…
“I enjoy helping Club members reach their potential in all areas of their life. The rewards for mentoring young people to be the best humans being they can be is immeasurable to me.”
Fairview Club Director
Phone: (615) 799-1880
Fax: (615) 799-1838
Tamara Peay is a Fairview, Tennessee native, who joined the Boys & Girls Club Movement in December of 2006 as the Unit Director of the then new Fairview Clubhouse. Employed for ten years with First American Bank as an Item Capture Specialist, she changed professions to be an Operations Manager/Account Executive working with major airfreight companies before finding her passion working with youth in Middle Tennessee.
“I enjoy implementing opportunities for Club members to choose a healthy lifestyle by playing sports, making healthy food choices, (which sometimes includes Italian food for me), and the benefits of creating healthy relationship with friends and family.”
Director of Virtual and Blended Learning for Club NEXT
Melissa Smith joined Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee in 2016 and began her time in the movement in 2014. After working in various youth-serving programs, she fell in love with the movement and the genuine pursuit of its mission to impact youth. After working in various Clubs as a YDA, support staff, and Club Director, she now leads the Digital initiative as the Director of Virtual & Blended Learning. In this role she has crafted an entirely online experience as well as an in-person Coding/Design experience for youth in and new to the organization. Both pilot programs have been received with excitement!
She originally called Chattanooga home but has come to truly call Nashville home. She studied performing arts in high school and holds a BA in music (piano performance) from Tennessee Wesleyan University. Melissa uses these creative skills to grow the virtual and tech efforts of the organization. She is always quick to come up with a fun game with the youth, join dance parties, and start up a jam session when musical instruments are nearby.
In her spare time, Melissa enjoys doing things with her daughter and boyfriend, three dogs, and cat. She is an avid reader, music enthusiast, amateur photographer, and is always looking to learn more.
To contact Melissa, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (615)498-4883.
At BGCMT, Brooke supports the CEO, Human Resources, Operations, and Resource Development as Office Manager. She wears many hats and knows that every small task impacts the youth of Middle Tennessee in a BIG way.
Brooke first fell in love with the ‘Movement’ while working in Operations & Grants with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta from 2007-2010 and wanted to continue that passion at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee. She was lucky enough to join the Team after moving to Nashville in April of 2019.
A native of Douglas, GA, Brooke holds a B.S. in Sports Management & Business from Georgia Southern University. This Georgia peach loves college football (Go DAWGS!), exploring the city of Nashville, and introducing her Schnauzer, Baxter, to everyone she meets!
To contact Brooke: email email@example.com or call (615) 983-6836
Shwab Club Director + Preston Taylor Club Director
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