Our Advisory Board

Governor Don Sundquist


Don Sundquist was born in Moline, Illinois. He received a bachelor's degree from Augustana College in 1957 and served in the U.S. Navy until 1959. He has an extensive business background, including management and corporate positions at Josten's, a company that makes college rings. He also started his own printing and advertising firm and was a cofounder of the first Red, Hot and Blue barbeque restaurant. His first elected position was in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served six terms and earned a reputation for being a fiscal conservative. He was elected Governor of Tennessee in November 1994 and was reelected in 1998 by a record margin. In four years, his Families First welfare reform program reduced the number of families on welfare from 70,000 to 30,000. During his tenure, Tennessee became the first state in the nation to offer universal health insurance. Through the ConnecTen project, Tennessee became the first state to connect all of its public schools and libraries to the Internet. Governor Sundquist led Tennessee through seven years of successful economic development, topping $6 billion in capital investment in 1999 and garnering "State of the Year" honors for outstanding job creation and investment efforts. 

Don and his wife Martha have three children- Tania, Andrea, and Donald Jr. The couple retired to Townsend, Tennessee. 

Dr. Richard Gillespie


Dr. Richard Gillespie was born in Coeburn, Virginia. He graduated from Lincoln Memorial University located in Harrogate, Tennessee in 1955 and then attended the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Gillespie spent three years at Mobile General Hospital in Mobile, Alabama prior to doing his residency at Duke University Medical School V.A. Hospital in Durham, North Carolina. He became an Associate in Anesthesia at Duke University in 1963 prior to becoming Assistant Chief, Division of Anesthesiology at the V.A. Hospital in Durham, North Carolina. Moving to Tennessee, Richard then worked at Fort Sanders Hospital and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital in Knoxville. In 1981 through 1983, Richard was the Medical Director and President of Sullins Surgical Center, Inc. in Knoxville, Tennessee. In 1983, he became the founder and a member of the Board of Directors Alternacare Corporation located in Los Angeles, California. The next year he became a board member of Lansinoh Laboratories in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and in 1955 was placed on the Board of Directors of the Veterinary Centers of America in Santa Monica, California. The same year he served on the Board of Directors of Geriatric Medical Care, Inc. in Knoxville, Tennessee. Starting in 2002 until present, Richard has been a Lincoln Memorial University Trustee of the Executive Committee. 

Richard has previously been a member of the American Board of Anesthesiology, American College of Anesthesiology, Fellow, American Medical Association, Tennessee Medical Association, President of the Tennessee Society of Anesthesiology, American Society of Anesthesiology as an Alternate Director for District 10, Knoxville Academy of Medicine, and the Board of Directors of F.A.S.A. 

Previous staff positions have included Fort Sanders Presbyterian Hospital, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, East Tennessee’s Baptist Hospital, University of Tennessee Memorial Research Center & Hospital, teaching staff, the Surgery Center Medical Director, and the Medical Director of the Pain Control Center.

Richard presently resides in Alcoa, Tennessee. 

Richard G. Heinsohn, Jr.


Richard “Gil” Heinsohn was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, raised in Stamford, Connecticut, and in 1973 returned home to attend the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. In 1978, Gil received his contractor’s license and started his first construction company. In 1982, Gil was the project director for the Westover Park resort in Sevier County and in 1986 was hired to be the developer of the Laurel Valley community in Townsend, Tennessee. After receiving his real estate brokerage license, Gil opened a real estate sales and property management company and developed the Heritage Park event facility. 

Gil is President of White Oak Construction and Restoration, L.L.C. In the last five years, Gil has worked with Pastor Graham in developing business models for faith based recovery centers in an effort to monetize their operations. 

Gil and his wife Penni have three grown children- Nathan, Madison, and Brooke and reside in Maryville, Tennessee. 

W. Grey Steed


W. Grey Steed is the owner of Grey Steed & Associates, a forensic accounting investigation business. Grey graduated from Lambuth College with honors, majoring in Accounting. While at Lambuth, Grey played three sports for the college and his senior year coached the Lambuth Women’s varsity team. Grey was given the Best School Spirit Award and was selected to Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities. 

After graduation, Grey worked for a large C.P.A. firm for 18 months as an auditor before accepting a position as a Special Agent with the F.B.I. Grey served 25 years with the F.B.I. and was a member of the SWAT team, a Hostage Negotiator and the White Collar Crime Supervisor. After retiring from the F.B.I., Grey became Director of Security for the Nova Corporation. In this capacity, Grey received an award for Outstanding Public Service from the F.B.I. for his assistance in the 9/11 terrorism investigation. 

Grey has been a guest lecturer at the F.B.I. Academy, at numerous national fraud conferences, and at the University of Tennessee Law and business schools on numerous occasions. Presently, Grey is Chairman of the Knoxville Chapter of the Former Agents of the F.B.I. and is the Chairman of the Public Safety Foundation, an organization that benefits law enforcement officers injured in the line of duty. Grey is also a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee and has served as an expert witness in numerous civil and criminal matters.

Jerry W. Graham

Jerry Graham grew up in Alabama and attended Kentucky State University where he earned a BS in History/Political Science. He continued his education at Southern Seminary in Louisville, Ky and obtained his Mastors of Divinity.  After his education, Jerry decided to enter into the ministry where he has been a Pastor since 1974. Feeling a call to serve his country, Jerry joined the Army in 1982 where he became a Chaplain in the U.S. Army. In the Army, he continued his education in the Command and General Staff College in Ft. Leavenworth, Ks. Jerry retired in 1998 as a Lt. Colonel and continued to focus on his Pastoral gifting. After learning that his son had an alcohol and drug problem, Jerry decided to use his Pastoral gifting in the realm of substance abuse recovery. He has been involved in the recovery ministry since 2004 as a Director, Counselor and Mentor, and has started multiple programs that are still in existence today. He has a wife Reba, 3 children and 7 grandchildren where he resides in Kodak, Tn.


The Very Reverend John C. Ross


John is a lifelong Episcopalian who grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. He studied microbiology at Memphis State University and afterward worked in management for Wonder Bread/Hostess Cake. He earned his Master of Divinity Degree at The School of Theology, University of the South, Sewanee in 1980. After seminary, Father Ross served Grace Church, Chattanooga, Tennessee and then was called as Rector of the Church of The Redeemer in Shelbyville, Tennessee. During that time he also served as the Chaplain at the Webb School in Bellbuckle, Tennessee. He served as Sub-Dean of St. John's Cathedral before becoming the Dean in 1997. Over the last years, he has focused energy on stewardship training, establishing a mission effort to Haiti, strategic planning for church boards, Family Systems Therapy, alcohol and drug intervention and support, and currently is attempting to lead the St. John’s congregation during this “reformation” of the church. He serves on the Trinity Foundation Board, the Jane Pettway Foundation Board, and the Second Harvest Food Bank. 

John is married to Lois a school counselor at the Episcopal School of Knoxville. They have two children, Will and Hudson and are blessed to have a wonderful daughter in law Tiffany and grandbaby Andi. John loves golf and hiking and exercise and is an avid reader.

Our Advisory Board Continued

Jeremy Graham

Jeremy Graham was born in Kentucky where he began his life as an Army child. Moving around to different states, Jeremy developed an addiction to drugs and alcohol. In 2000, after 8 years of addiction and eviction from the Alabama National Guard for drug abuse, Jeremy gave his heart to Jesus Christ and studied to become a Pastor in the ministry. He holds an ordination with Extended Hand Ministries International and has been involved personally in starting 5 recovery ministries that are still in existence today. Jeremy founded True Purpose Ministries in 2009, and currently has 3 campuses in Tennessee, and 1 in Warsaw, Indiana. He lives with his wife Lynsey in Maryville, Tn and has 5 children from the ages of 10 months- 21 years of age.

Jenny Tippens


Jenny is a resident of Roane County, Tn. After graduating with a Bachelors of Science degree in Marketing and Business Management from Tennessee Tech University, she worked as a General Manager in the food industry for 10 years. She then began a career in Corporate Banking with one of the top 10 banks for 8 years. During her professional career, she served on many non profit boards and became very active in the community. These experiences led her to become a community mobilizer and developer. She currently works for West Care Foundation as a Project Director of Faith Based Development. She is a member of Eternal Life Harvest Center in Knoxville, TN and volunteers as an Outreach Coordinator. Her passion and knowledge of building therapeutic communities has impacted the people in her church, work and personal life. Jenny lives with her husband Cory and has 4 children.