To contact the Council, call our office at 615-532-6615 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff contact information listed below.
Lauren Pearcy, Executive Director - 615.741.5019 | email@example.com
Lauren has worked at the Council since 2016 and served as Executive Director since 2022. Before joining the Council staff, she worked at the State Medicaid Agency, TennCare, in Long-Term Services and Supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Lauren started her career at the National Governors Association in Washington, DC, where she fell in love with disability policy after being assigned staff to Delaware Governor Jack Markell’s initiative, “A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities.”
Lynette Porter, Deputy Director - 615.532.4684 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Lynette has worked at the Council since 2000. Her primary roles include overseeing the agency budget, operations, and compliance with state and federal policies. For over a decade prior to the Council, Lynette managed staffing, contractors and operations in the private sector. Her personal connection to the disability field started with her daughter with a disability, who is now an adult.
Ashley Edwards Hill, Assistant to the Executive Director - 615.253.5369 | email@example.com
Ashley joined the Council as Assistant to the Executive Director in 2018. She previously worked in the education field, where teaching students with disabilities became a passion for her. Her main responsibilities include supporting the Executive Director and Council members, meeting planning and coordination, and special projects.
JoEllen Fowler, Office Resources Manager - 615.532.6560 | firstname.lastname@example.org
JoEllen has worked at the Council since 2003. As the administrative lead for the Council, her responsibilities include coordinating agency technology, public records management, Council meeting venue logistics, and other operational activities. Before the Council, she worked at Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Developmental Disabilities. Her interest in the disability field was sparked by a her cousin who has a disability.
Mildred Sparkman, Administrative Secretary - 615.532.1409 | email@example.com
Mildred joined the Council staff in 2004. In addition to a variety of other duties, Mildred serves as first point of contact for many people contacting the Council by assisting all callers to the Council’s main phone line and welcoming agency visitors. She provides administrative support for all Council programs, maintains Council subscription lists, and supports logistics for Council meetings and our leadership development programs.
Alicia Cone, Director of Program Operations - 615.253.1105 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Alicia has been at the Council since 2000. Her primary responsibilities include federal and state reporting, contracts, program evaluation, and data collection. She has worked in several different areas of the disability field since her first job after college, which was supporting Mississippians with intellectual disabilities to find employment in their communities. Her connection to the disability community started with her sister, who has a disability.
Jolene Sharp, Chief Public Information Officer - 615.253.8778 | email@example.com
Jolene Sharp became the Council’s first Chief Public Information Officer in 2019. Her role is to oversee all Council communications and outreach activities, including media relations. Jolene’s roots in the disability community go deep as both the daughter of a father with a disability and mother to two children with disabilities.
Emma Shouse Garton, Public Information Specialist - 615.253.5368 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Emma joined the Council in 2011 after completing a college internship there the year before. Her primary role is supporting the Chief Public Information Officer with Council communications, especially with data tracking, sharing success stories, and monitoring news about Council priorities. She also supports the Tennessee Adult Brothers and Sisters (TABS) statewide sibling support network, launched by the Council and Vanderbilt Kennedy Center a decade ago. She is passionate about this work because she has a younger brother with disabilities.
Cathlyn ("Cat") Smith, Director of Leadership Development - 615.532.6556 | Cathlyn.K.Smith@tn.gov
Cat joined the Council as its first-ever Director of Leadership Development in 2020. Her primary responsibilities are leading three key Council leadership development programs: Partners in Policymaking® Leadership Institute, the Council’s Scholarship Fund, and the Leadership Academy for Excellence in Disability Services (in partnership with the TN Dept. of Human Resources). Cathlyn previously worked at the Department of Children’s Services as Executive Assistant and Tennessee’s Commissioner for the Interstate Compact Commission for Juveniles. Her personal interest in the disability field started with her daughter with disabilities, who is now an adult.