Advisory Board

Families First Community Advisory Board

Created by the 2021 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Opportunity Act (TOA), the Families First Community Advisory Board brings together a combination of representatives from state agencies, local government, private and nonprofit organizations, business and industry, faith-based organizations, regional Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) partners, and current or former Families first/TANF customers. Board members are appointed by Speakers of both the House and Senate, and State leadership. The Board is united in their mission to transform the way Tennessee delivers supportive services to families in need. As part of the TANF Opportunity Act, the Board will direct grants and other support to community organizations that demonstrate a shared vision for Transforming Tennessee's safety net. Grants will be approved for those community organizations that develop innovative program plans with a strong likelihood of success. A successful program will be built around two key goals: 1) increasing the individual capacity of families receiving services; and 2) decreasing the dependency of those families on state provided support.

Increasing Capacity to Decrease Dependency is the path to Transforming Tennessee's safety net.  

Board Purpose

The Families First Community Advisory Board has multiple goals: 

  • Review and approve $175 million in planning and implementation grants through the Tennessee Opportunity Pilot Program.  This program will fund seven pilot programs (two in each grand division and one offered by TDHS) to provide comprehensive support to families as they move from crisis to career pathways.
  • Approve the Department’s retention of a research partner or partners to assist in the research and evaluation of the Tennessee Opportunity Pilot Program.
  • Provide input and recommendations on existing Families First and Two-Generation program policies and grant programs.
  • Submit a report to the Tennessee General Assembly.

Current Board Members*

  • Tennessee Department of Human Services Commissioner Clarence H. Carter (Chair)
  • Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Jeff McCord
  • Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe
  • Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn
  • Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey
  • Britney Cleveland, current TDHS employee in Knox County (TDHS Appointee)
  • Rachael Corry, current TDHS employee (TDHS Appointee)
  • LaTerre Pleasant, Nashville Resident (TDHS Appointee)
  • Wayne County Executive Jim Mangubat (TDHS Appointee)
  • Tennessee Higher Education Commission Executive Director Emily House (TDHS Appointee)
  • Bishop Edward Stephens, Golden Gate Cathedral and Golden Gate Development Corporation CEO (TDHS Appointee)
  • Rep. David Hawk (Speaker of the House Appointee)
  • Rep. Bryan Terry (Speaker of the House Appointee)
  • Sen. Bo Watson
  • Sen. Raumesh Akbari
  • Jerry Askew, Alliance for Better Nonprofits - Knoxville (Co-Chair)
  • Jack Bailey, Retired, Business Community
  • Annie Cacheiro, Executive Director, Aid to Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties
  • Elizabeth Fournet, Chairman of the board, One Bank Tennessee
  • Frank Lawrence, Retired, Business Community

*Appointees from the Business Community and Non-profit Community will be added to the board.

Board Meetings

The Families First Community Advisory Board (FFCAB) meets quarterly and members of the public are permitted to attend board meetings in-person or view board meetings streaming online.

October 17,  2024 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm Central

Additional information is forthcoming.

August 16, 2021 Meeting Materials

September 21, 2021 Meeting Materials


October 19, 2021 Meeting Materials


November 16, 2021 Meeting Materials


December 7, 2021 Meeting Materials


January 18, 2022 Meeting Materials


February 15, 2022 Meeting Materials


March 15, 2022 Meeting Materials


April 7-8, 2022 Implementation Grant Presentations


April 21, 2022 Meeting Materials


September 8, 2022 Meeting Materials


April 20, 2023 Meeting Materials


July 20, 2023 Meeting Materials

October 19, 2023 Meeting Materials

February 22, 2024 Meeting Materials

May 9, 2024 Meeting Materials