Laura Barron is president of The Barron Group, a Tennessee-based consulting and training firm founded in 1994.
Areas of expertise include developing strong leadership and customer loyalty with managers who want energized, problem-solving employees.
Laura has 25 years of business experience in management, customer service, training, development and project management.
She has a B.S. and M.B.A. from the University of Tennessee.
Jim Brogan is president and founder of Brogan Financial Retirement and Legacy Planning, a business dedicated to serving the needs of individuals near retirement.
He is an expert in the IRS’s complex rules governing retirement account distributions.
Jim Brogan also is a financial educator, author and radio talk-show host.
He hosts the Sunday talk-radio show “More Living with Jim Brogan” on Newstalk 98.7 FM (formerly aired on WNOX 100.3 FM). His show addresses issues important to retirees or soon-to-be retirees.
Terrance Carter is founder and CEO of the Tennessee Business Assistance Development Corp.
Carter has expertise in planning and implementing housing and commercial development projects, business planning and lending programs, community development financing, career and workforce development projects, and public infrastructure.
He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a graduate degree at Baruch (N.Y.) College.
Steve Chastain caught the photography bug when he received a Kodak Instamatic camera at 8 years old; he’s been shooting photos ever since.
He is zealous about photography and capturing the expressions of life. His primary focus is wedding and portrait photography, but he always has a camera ready to point and shoot not wanting a single moment to escape.
Steve is passionate about teaching and helping students learn the joys of photography.
When Steve is not shooting, he’s teaching technology classes at the University of Tennessee.
Kendall Chiles is a freelance nature and travel photographer with more than 20 years of photography experience.
Over the years his hobby developed into a business that also includes commercial photography. He is a charter member of Southern Appalachian Nature Photographers.
He has been teaching nature photography for UT Professional and Personal Development for four years. He enjoys the interaction with students and helping them pursue their love of photography.
Carolyn Clark, corporate human resources manager, directs human resources efforts to attract, retain, and develop employees who will strengthen the company values and culture.
She holds a M.A. in management and is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).
Chris Coyne is president of Mode of Eight, an organization specializing in developmental education for leaders.
His areas of expertise include powers of influence, interpersonal enhancement, and communicative enrichment.
For more than 22 years, he has served in various senior leadership positions with the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard.
He earned an M.S. in educational psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a B.S. in organizational management from Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tenn.
Master Lance England holds the following rank: 6th Degree Black Belt in Isshin-Ryu Karate, a 5th Degree Black Belt in Satori-Ryu Iaido, a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Muso-Shindo Jodo, and Certification in Kickboxing. As the Senior Instructor for the Isshin-Ryu Karate and Satori-Ryu School of Swordsmanship classes at the University of Tennessee for the past 16 years, Master England has enriched the university’s offerings in both the degreed and non-degreed curriculum. He has earned honors that include induction into the World Sokeship Council’s International Martial Arts Hall of Fame for Contributions to Isshin-Ryu Karate, induction by the International Martial Arts Federation’s (IMAF) Hall of Fame as Weapons Instructor of the Year, and induction by the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame as Master of the Year. Believing that leadership is the foundation of any worthy pursuit, Master England is a Senior Instructor in the Satori-Ryu Martial Arts Association and holds the title of Certified AAU Coach.
Lance England is a scholar three times over, having earned two Master of Science Degrees from the University of Tennessee. He achieved his first Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology and the second in Elementary Education. Prior to his advanced studies, Lance earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Pre-Physical Therapy from Maryville College. Lance’s studies reflect his dedicated pursuits – fostering learning in others and facilitating health and fitness in those around him. Reaching beyond classroom instruction, Lance has published two books and fifteen magazine articles on topics that include athletic injuries, personal training, military marksmanship and the martial arts.
Tom Geisler has taught Fundamentals of Photography for more than 10 years.
His love of photography has been a serious part of his activities in his professional and personal life for more than 25 years.
He owns and operates a successful wedding and family portrait photography business in the Knoxville area. He puts all of his energy and enthusiasm into his classes and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Rodney Grubb, P.E., PMP, is a registered professional engineer and certified project management professional with more than 25 years of experience in technical, technology, operations, and engineering management.
He has B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Tennessee's College of Engineering Science.
He is ABD in engineering management from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Areas of expertise include facility management and upgrade, project management, operations management, technology transfer, design, technology development, and business development.
David "Tony" Mayfield
David "Tony" Mayfield, M.S., Engineer Management, PMP, has more than 17 years of experience in information systems, process analysis, process reengineering, and training with both commercial and government organizations.
Tony's primary focus has been process and systems improvement projects, serving as project lead and primary liaison for concerned committees as well as team member.
Ron McConathy teaches portrait photography and likes to keep his classes informal, with everyone working together to learn about photography.
Each person in his class will be both teacher and student, sharing what they know and learning from each other.
Ron is member of the Camera Club of Oak Ridge, Southern Appalachian Nature Photographers (SANP), and North American Nature Photographers Association (NANPA) and Wedding and Portrait Photographer International (WPPI).
Executive chef Mark McKinney teaches our popular "Learning to Be a Chef" cooking series.
He is currently senior executive chef at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.
McKinney is a graduate of Johnson and Wales University and has worked at Blackberry Farm, The Orangery, Magnolia's, and The Woodlands in South Carolina.
Mark's course schedule.
"Great enthusiasm plus in-depth knowledge plus great teaching skills equals very useful course." - Ray H.
"Colby has a great sense of humor. He is very animated and kept the class exciting at all times." - Whitney D.
“Colby’s enthusiasm for photography certainly infects every class he teaches. Students are treated as equals, their vision and abilities respected. Positive reinforcement is Colby’s specialty.” – Mike C.
For some, photography is a hobby. For others, a passion. For Colby, it is a way of life. A student described Colby's infectious enthusiasm best: "Colby creates an environment where learning is fun and classes speed by." Colby is the owner of Colby's Photography and the body of his professional work includes commercial, executive, family, and children’s portraiture; editorial assignments; and wedding photography. Colby's imagery has won many local, state, as well as national professional awards and frequently graces magazines, newspapers, books, and even a smartphone app. You may have met him in one of many local photography clubs, as he is very active in the enthusiast as well as professional community as a presenter, photo judge, and chair of many photography contests. He's also the vice-president for the local Professional Photographers of Americas guild and also on the board and secretary of one of the largest camera clubs in the region - Southern Appalachian Nature Photographers (SANP). He looks forward to seeing you in class.
David Montgomery is a landscape designer and horticulturist with 16 years of practical experience in horticultural sales, landscape maintenance, and installation.
He earned a B.S. degree in plant and soil science.
Montgomery has taught landscape and garden design courses since 2000. He owns The Garden Walk Horticultural Specialties.
In his courses, Montgomery presents practical, usable knowledge to those who want a visually stimulating, yet low maintenance landscape.
Dave's passion for photography grew out of his work as a Web designer in the late 1990s.
Since then, his passion has taken over his life as Dave now owns and operates a commercial photography studio.
Dave's passion carries over into his classes, which focus on hands on learning and group interaction.
Lennisa Mostella has more than 20 years of successful management, leadership, case management, team building, project management, and training experience in corporate, non-profit, and for-profit businesses.
She is a guest speaker/facilitator for various leadership, personal, and professional development conferences and workshops in the Southeast regio.
Lana Needham, former wedding coordinator and consultant, earned a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Tennessee and a Master of Arts degree from Union College.
Needham is the founder and former owner of A Bride's Dream wedding coordinating business and author of A Bride's Dream: The Perfect Wedding for Any Budget.
She is a past member, president, and board member of Knoxville Wedding Specialists. She has been in the wedding business for more than 20 years.
Wade A. Payne
After completing a photography certificate program in 1985, Wade Payne made the decision to work fulltime in the field of photography and photojournalism.
Wade works as a stringer for the Associated Press and has worked for the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and others.
His publication credits include Sports Illustrated, ESPN Magazine, Athlon Sports Magazine and various worldwide publications.
Mary Pankiewicz is an organizing expert.
Mary's advice has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Woman's Day, HGTV, NBC, Reader's Digest, Women Today Expo, and in numerous other publications.
She also is a board member of the National Association of Professional Organizers.
P J Silver
P J Silver is executive director for a local non-profit.
She has extensive experience in grant writing and working with boards of directors.
Areas of expertise include grant writing, strategic planning, developing publications, and designing and implementing program evaluation plans.
With more than 15 years of experience in non-profit management, as well as service on regional and local boards, she is considered one of the leading grant writing experts in the region.
Tammie Smeltzer, a graduate of Tusculum College, has a master's degree in adult education with a concentration in Human Resource Development.
Smeltzer is part of the Instructional Development Branch for The I.G. Brown Air National Guard Training and Education Center, McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tennessee.
Senior Master Sgt. Smeltzer has received numerous awards/decorations that include the Air Force Commendation Medal, USAF Professional Military Education Ribbon with two oak leaf cluster, and the Air Force Training Ribbon.