Board of Directors
Jim Tracy served as the Tennessee Director for Rural Development and is currently with the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance. With 13 years’ experience serving as Tennessee State Senator for the 14th Senatorial District, Tracy was a strong advocate for rural and agriculture issues. His ties to agriculture began in his youth when he was active in 4-H and on the family farm. He grew up in West Tennessee where his father was a county extension agent.
Tracy also has 24 years’ experience as a small business owner and early in his career, he taught Agricultural Education in high school. Jim and his family reside in Shelbyville, TN.
George Phillips, Esq. has served on the board since 2003 and was first elected as chairman in February 2007. Mr. Phillips is a member of the law firm of Bone McAllester Norton PLLC, where he concentrates his law practice in the areas of corporate and business law, communications law, labor and employment law, and commercial and business litigation. He serves as general counsel for a number of companies and represents businesses being acquired by and acquiring other businesses.
Michael N. Boner became Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Pro Tem of the Mid-South Carpenters Regional Council in February 2013. He was elected unanimously for another four years on August 3, 2013. The Council has a membership in excess of 3,000 members. Mr. Boner oversees a jurisdiction that includes Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and the panhandle of Florida. Mr. Boner is a native of Nashville and attended Trevecca College. He became a Journeyman Carpenter of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners of America, Local Union 223 in 1986.
Julius Johnson served as Tennessee’s 36th Commissioner of Agriculture under Governor Bill Haslam from January 2011 until his retirement in June 2016. Prior to his appointment, he was Chief Administrative Officer of the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation, serving for 37 years in various positions, including leading farm and rural advocacy organizations.
Johnson is active in many civic organizations, including the University of Tennessee Agriculture Development Board, Maury County Chamber of Commerce, and Middle Tennessee Council of Boy Scouts.
Johnson received his bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He and his wife, Karen, have two adult children and make their home in Columbia, TN.
Randy Stamps is the Executive Director of the Tennessee State Employee Association (TSEA). Stamps served as a state representative for the 45th district for five terms, from 1988-1998. He was also the political director for the Tennessee Republican Party from 2003-2009 and policy and research counsel to the Tennessee House of Representatives. Stamps joined TSEA in 2014 as the government affairs director before recently being named Executive Director.
Tommy J. Vallejos was born in the barrios of Roswell, New Mexico. He lost two brothers and a stepfather to gang violence on the streets that surrounded his young life. In an effort to escape “The Streets,” Tommy joined the United States Army in 1980. As a Staff Sergeant in the US Army, he fought in the Gulf War leading an infantry platoon from the 101st Airborne Division into combat and was awarded the Bronze Star for Action.
Vallejos retired from the US Army in 2001 with over 21 years of service to his country. He is currently the Connections Pastor for The Tabernacle Church, which serves over 1,200 members. Vallejos also serves as a church coordinator for Men of Valor. A new endeavor began in August 2010 when Vallejos started serving as the first-ever, elected Latino County Commissioner in the State of Tennessee. He was elected to serve two terms as County Commissioner while also serving as Mayor Pro-tem his second term. Vallejos also previously served as the President of the Tennessee County Commissioner Association.
Vallejos currently serves on the 917 Society Board, Chairs the Latino’s for Tennessee, and Tennessee Youth Court. He travels the country teaching gang awareness and diversity classes to schools, communities, and churches. Vallejos often counsels and mentors former gang members into becoming productive members of their communities and enters the prison system on a regular basis preaching the gospel to a hurting population, providing them hope, and restoration.
Ashley Elizabeth (Graham) Johnson has a career of writing, shaping, and crafting words and speeches for our nation’s top political figures. She believes deeply in the power of a well-written idea to move mountains and has had the honor of a lifetime serving in President George W Bush’s White House, serving Congressman Marsha Blackburn and the Tennessee 7th Congressional District, and as a speechwriter at General Services Administration. She currents works in education reform in Tennessee - the fastest improving state in the nation in education.
She served as a speechwriter for the 2012 Republican National Convention and continues to write speeches for elected officials, Fortune 500 managers, and community leaders. She was awarded the inaugural MavPAC Future 40 award for being one of the top political leaders under 40 in the county.
Interim Commissioner Lisa Helton
Prior to being named interim commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) by Governor Bill Lee in November 2021, Lisa Helton served as Assistant Commissioner of TDOC’s community supervision division. In that role, she worked tirelessly to push evidence-based initiatives that produce effective probation and parole supervision for safer communities. Helton has more than 25 years of experience across the criminal justice field. She first joined the Department of Correction in 2012 as Assistant Director of Probation and Parole. She previously served in a similar position at the Tennessee Board of Parole and as the victim liaison for the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office.
Commissioner Helton is a member of the American Correctional Association, American Probation Parole Association, and the Association of Women Executives in Correction. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Trevecca Nazarene University and a master’s degree from Vanderbilt University.
As the founder of Short Bark Industries, Inc. (SBI), Lisa Held Janke built an extension of her mother and father's cut and sew manufacturing operation out of the garage in her hometown of Madisonville, Tennessee after attending Bauder Fashion College. From humble beginnings, she grew a business that has been recognized regionally by Business Tennessee magazine as one of the Fast 50 Companies and is one of the Hot 100 Companies. Lisa has been named to the list of Top 40 under 40, and was recognized as Statesman of the Year by the Second Congressional District in 2007. Lisa currently serves on the Board of KLASS, and has previously served as President of the Board for the Boys and Girls Club of Monroe County.
SBI grew from a small operation in a four – car garage into the current 78,000 square-foot facility in Puerto Rico, employing 450+ associates. SBI was sold in 2014 and acquired by Point Blank Enterprises, Inc. in 2017.
Lisa utilizes her ability to build partnerships, bridge relationships and create synergy between business associates and companies to establish long-standing professional connections.
Lisa has two daughters that reside in Nashville, TN.