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City of Chattanooga

Mayor's Council for Women

Statewide Women's Policy Conference

Steering Committee Bios

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Dr. Carol Berz
Conference Chairwoman
Focusing on solution-based, collaborative problem-solving, in both the public and private sectors, Carol Berz has been a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 Listed General Civil and Family Mediator and trainer for more than 25 years.

Dr. Berz is the owner and Chief Executive Officer of Private Dispute Resolution Services, LLC, a mediation services and training organization headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She also serves as a Councilwoman for the City of Chattanooga, where she currently chairs the Budget and Finance Committee and is the co-founder of the City’s Family Justice Center.

Through public and private partnerships, Dr. Berz has overseen the renaissance of commerce, economic development, and connectivity in a diverse business environment that includes healthcare, construction, government, employment, and finance.

Dr. Berz does extensive practice and teaching in both the public and private sector in the areas of mediation, law and ethics, and employment and labor/management issues relative to the costs of corporate conflict. She also is recognized as an authority in Family Mediation, with expertise in the special circumstance of domestic and workplace violence.

Dr. Berz holds a PhD in Social Policy from the University of Tennessee, a JD from the Nashville School of Law, a M.A. in Administration from the University of Tennessee, and B.A. in Human Services Management from the University of Tennessee, with additional studies at Emory University, Bryn Mawr College, and Harvard University. In addition, she is an IFTA certified Personal Trainer, an AEA advanced trainer, and a YMCA certified instructor and trainer in aquatic sports training.

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Jenni Berz
Jenni Berz is the Director of Services for Private Dispute Resolution Services, LLC, a mediation services, training and consulting organization based in Chattanooga. With a background in communications and event management, she coordinates the firm’s mediation services, training program and marketing and public relations.

Jenni is the former Director of Training for the Girl Scouts of the USA Moccasin Bend Council, where she worked with troop leaders and other volunteers to ensure they received the proper resources to serve the needs of girls in the eleven county service area. As a Membership Manager, she worked to develop Girl Scout programming in outlying counties.

Jenni served on the Southeast Development District Advisory Council to the Tennessee Economic Council on Women traveling the District learning from women what holds them back economically and helping to establish the Southeast Development District Economic Summit for Women, an annual event that responded to the needs and issues of women in the Southeast Development District.

With a passion for fitness and the outdoors, you will often find her involved with local sporting events. She is on the Board of the Chattanooga Track Club, most recently serving as President. Jenni is also the Race Director for the Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon and is the Community Relations coordinator for Team Magic, Inc., a multi-sport event management company. She is in her 25th year as a Group Fitness Instructor with the City of Chattanooga Fitness Center at Warner Park.

Jenni currently serves on the Mayor’s Council for Women Healthcare Committee – Chattanooga Fitness workgroup.

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Emily Kate Boyd
Emily Kate Boyd is an artist, activist and small business owner living in Chattanooga, TN. In 2018, she founded the Chattanooga Recording Company, a business of change agents helping artists, public figures, and social entrepreneurs build a more compassionate and inclusive world with custom media strategies, live-streaming services and social media advertising. Emily Kate grew up in Tennessee, but cut her teeth in marketing and small business as an apprentice to Seth Godin in New York in 2009. Since then, she has helped people and organizations better tell their change story and help raise over half a million dollars for good causes and compassionate projects.

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Jo Coke

Jo Coke’s career in the concrete materials industry culminated in her position as the first woman president of the American Concrete Association, an organization producing codes, guides, and standards for the use of concrete in this country and many others.

Moving to Chattanooga in 2000, Jo became immediately involved with the cultural and nonprofit aspects of her new city. She has served as Board member and president of the Chattanooga Theatre Centre, Chattanooga History Center, and the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera Guild. Currently she serves on the boards of WTCI and the CSO.

Jo was an American Lung Association Woman of Distinction in 2008 and later an Unbought and Unbossed awardee. She is also current president of her Wellesley College class.

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Eva Dillard
Eva retired in 2015 after 29 years of service with United Way of Greater Chattanooga and 17 earlier years of service in speech pathology, mental health and developmental disabilities. Eva became the first female chief executive and president in United Way of Greater Chattanooga’s history.

While with United Way, she was an active volunteer at the state and national levels, as well as serving on many local boards and committees. Eva also made it a priority to make time to mentor several young female professionals looking to climb the ladder to professional leadership with integrity.

Since retiring, Eva has served as a consultant for several local nonprofits, focusing on management and resource development strategies. She currently volunteers as a member of the Orange Grove Center’s Board of Directors, the Heritage Landing Owners Association Board, and the Vestry of St Paul’s Episcopal Church.

Eva and her husband Dick are a family-oriented couple. Together Dick and Eva have been blessed with a daughter, Tempe Wagner, two sons, Duke and Duffy Dillard, and 11 grandchildren. While Eva and Dick enjoy traveling, they spend much of their free time with their grandchildren, especially at their school and sporting events.

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Beverly Johnson
Beverly retired from the City of Chattanooga in April 2013 having served in her last position as the first female Administrator for the Department of Neighborhood Services and Community Development. Prior to this mayoral appointment, for 18 years she was the first African American and female Deputy Administrator for the Public Works Department. Her professional and consulting experiences include working in housing, community and economic development positions in Atlanta, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Washington, D.C.

Beverly has an undergraduate degree in history and political science from Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University) and a graduate degree in Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst). She holds a certificate in Practical Politics from the Institute of Politics and Government (Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation), is a National Urban/Rural Fellow (Ford Foundation), and graduate of Leadership Chattanooga and Tennessee Leadership.

Beverly’s professional and civic memberships and activities are many for which she has received numerous awards and recognitions. She serves on the National Board of Directors of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. (NCBW) and is Immediate Past President of NCBW Chattanooga Chapter, Inc. where she is also a Charter Member and the Founding President.

Beverly and Curtis are proud parents of a blended family of four adult children and one grandson. Both are active members of Orchard Knob Missionary Baptist Church, avid golfers on a constant hunt to find new golf courses to play, and share a love for volunteerism always looking for opportunities to “pay it forward.”

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Debbie Jones-Ellis
Debbie Jones-Ellis is a native of Chattanooga. She came onboard with the Mayor’s Council for Women Policy Committee a year ago and enjoys the opportunity of working with the committee. She has been a member of The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Chattanooga Chapter, Inc., for six years. Debbie has served in leadership positions and on various committees within the Chapter. She currently serves as the Chapter’s Chair of Public Policy and is a member of the Chapter’s Board of Directors. Debbie is passionate about women rights and women’s health.

She is a active member of New Covenant Fellowship Church. Debbie is a 1974 graduate of Howard High School and a graduate of Mckenzie Business College. She works as an Adjudicator for the State of Tennessee Department of Labor, and is looking forward to retirement. Debbie is the mother of four grown children and a doting grandmother of six.

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Terri Lee
Terri Lee manages the community relations needs of Chattanooga Red Wolves SC, assisting in building relationships and growing the team’s brand throughout the region. She’s responsible for overseeing the street team and player appearances, assisting with the organization’s events and coordinating game day Fan Zone activations. As Director of Community Relations, Terri brings a passion for soccer and strong background in managing game and practice logistics as both a youth team manager and parent to two active children.

Serving numerous positions with Big Ridge Elementary Parent Teacher Association, Terri is deeply involved with the school system while serving as a liaison to other parents in the community. She loves soccer and especially enjoys working with families to encourage children to be active and grow from the experience of a team environment.

Prior to her position with Chattanooga Red Wolves SC, Terri served as City of Chattanooga’s Treasurer, maximizing collection of property taxes while also engaging citizens through community tax assistance programs. Before that, Terri spent 17 years with Unum Group, most recently as Director of Banking Operations.

With a strong commitment to contributing to her community, Terri also actively serves on the Mayor’s Council for Women. Terri graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and is an alumni of Ooltewah High school. She lives in Hixson now with her husband Rusty and two children Landon and Juliet.

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Vickie Mathis
Vickie is currently retired after a career in the medical field in both California and Chattanooga, Tennessee. She is a mother, a grandmother, and a great-grandmother. Vickie is a faith member of the Orchard Knob Missionary Baptist Church, where she serves in various ministries of the church, and a member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Chattanooga Chapter, Inc.. She has been a member of the NCBW Chattanooga Chapter since 1996 and is now serving as co-chair of the Public Policy Committee.

Vickie was named the 2012 Black Pioneer Woman of Excellence for Community Service and Volunteerism. She is a life member of the NAACP Chattanooga Chapter, where she has served on the Executive Board Committee. Vickie truly loves to volunteer and help others within her community.

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Brenda McColpin
Brenda McColpin lives in Chattanooga, TN with Pearl, her partner of 14 years. They share their home with three fur-babies Tucker (a 14 year-old Shih-Tzu), Tia (a 12 year-old Shih-Tzu), and Tessa (a six year-old German Shepherd). Brenda loves living in East Tennessee because there are so many great opportunities to engage in getting outdoors and enjoying the natural beauty that abounds here.

Brenda has dedicated over 30 years to working in the nursing profession as a psychiatric nurse. Brenda continued her studies at Covenant College, where in 2003, she completed a BS degree in Organizational Management. In 2016, at age 56, Brenda returned to school, where she pursued an advanced degree in social work. Thus, she followed her passion of working for justice and of advocating for the marginalized. In August, 2018, Brenda completed her MSW degree (with an emphasis in trauma) from Southern Adventist University.

Brenda has been independently contracted to work at The Family Justice Center (FJC). At the FJC, Brenda assisted with the domestic violence program helping with outreach development, planning, and implementation. In addition, she has assisted with marketing, research, educational development, serving on committees for the Elder Justice Program, and assisting with the implementation of designated Elder Justice programming.

Brenda counts it a privilege to have been involved in the Statewide Women’s Policy Conference. She has witnessed that when women are engaged in working together positive changes happen. Brenda is proud of what is happening here in Chattanooga, TN. She would like to see every state hosting their own Women’s Policy Conference; thus, replicating the active engagement of women empowered to make change and to have a positive impact on their future.

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Beverly McKeldin
Beverly A. McKeldin is an independent Benefits Advisor at the American Family Life Assurance Company (AFLAC), where she coordinates employee supplemental products for businesses across the state of Tennessee and Georgia. Beverly worked over twenty years for the City of Chattanooga Human Services department, first implementing the Foster Grandparent program and was later promoted to the Early Childhood Education Manager. She has served as state and local President for the Tennessee Conference on Social Welfare, and Southeast Council on Children and Youth.

Beverly is a member of several organizations and boards, to include National Coalition of 100 Black Women Chattanooga Chapter, Inc., where she serves as Fundraising Chair, Girls Inc. Board, Ambassador for the Chattanooga Chamber, and past board member of Tennessee Conference on Social Welfare. She is a past honoree of the UnBought and UnBossed award and the SECCY Community Service award. Beverly graduated from Tennessee State University with a Bachelor Degree in Social Welfare/Public Relations.

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Brooke Satterfield
Brooke Satterfield joined the City of Chattanooga in 2017 and currently serves as a Project Coordinator in the Office of Mayor Andy Berke, where her responsibilities include staffing the Mayor’s Council for Women, planning and managing special events including the Statewide Women’s Policy Conference and the Mayor’s annual State of the City address, and assisting Mayor Berke and his Chief of Staff on a variety of special projects and initiatives.

An avid runner and fitness enthusiast, Brooke also serves as the Volunteer Director for several major local athletic events, including both IRONMAN races in Chattanooga and the Erlanger Chattanooga Marathon. Brooke also devotes her time to supporting local organizations that support girls and empower women, including Girls, Inc. of Chattanooga, and enjoys participating in programming for students at her alma mater, UTC.
Brooke holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

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Kaihan Strain
Born in Iran, Kaihan’s beliefs of the advancement of women started early from her mother. Kaihan’s mother, despite the traditional roles she was born into, being married at age 15, and the restrictive government, never stopped seeking to advance herself and wanted to help other women advance. She always wanted more for her children which resulted in her support for Kaihan traveling to the United States after high school to attend college, even though it was traditionally uncommon for women to separate from family to travel.

Kaihan studied architecture at the University of California and later received her Master’s Degree at the University of Michigan. She was also married in the United States. Kaihan and her husband spent a lot of time traveling and working in other countries. They returned to Iran for a few years where they both taught at the University of Shiraz. They then lived in Japan for a year and she spent time learning about Japanese Culture. Kaihan and her husband then returned to the U.S. before moving back to Iran in 1971. With two other young, female architects, Kaihan opened the only all-women architectural firm, which was successful until the Islamic Revolution in 1979, which brought Kaihan and her husband back to the U.S.

After working for TVA as an architect for 31 years, Kaihan retired and became a full-time volunteer. All of her life, she has worked hard to follow in her mother’s footsteps by encouraging education and working for the advancement of all women.


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EST 2015 - City of Chattanooga - Mayor's Council for Women