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Testimonials 

Payne

Devin Payne

Street Hope TN

Devin helps a young non-profit grow through the leadership and operations skills she learned in CSEE.


“I’m using the skills I learned in CSEE in almost every part of what Street Hope TN is  doing right now.”

Devin Payne works for Street Hope TN, a non-profit dedicated to ending child sexual exploitation and child sex trafficking, which is seven years old. She took part in the Consortium for Social Enterprise Effectiveness (CSEE) at the recommendation of two of her colleagues, Daniel Watson of Restoration House and Kate Trudell of Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking (CCAHT), both of which had successfully completed the CSEE program.

“I attended a training, From the Ground Up, presented by Daniel and the Restoration House, where he told me that some of these very skills he was presenting on he had learned from his time in CSEE,” Devin says. “From the Ground Up was a great training, so I knew I would benefit by attending CSEE, too.”

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Denise Dean

Denise Dean

Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools

Denise took part in CSEE to help ensure her non-profit makes an impact.


“I know nothing about non-profit management, so it seemed like a good thing to do.”

Denise Dean learned about the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools program in 2016, and she was instantly hooked.

“I drank the koolaid, and I’m all in,” she says.

CDF Freedom Schools provide a six-week summer program for children from economically disadvantaged families. They aim to help children fall in love with reading and learning and offer enrichment to foster civic engagement. Denise wanted to bring the program to Knoxville, and in 2017 launched the East Knoxville Freedom School.

“I actually spoke with Alex Miller [director of the Consortium for Social Enterprise Effectiveness] before launching the school, and he told me we don’t need more non-profits, we need better functioning ones,” Denise says. “I agree with that. I’ve seen results of other Freedom Schools which is why I went ahead with starting this one.”

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John Daughtery

John Daugherty

Executive Director, Operation Inasmuch

CSEE helped this lifelong non-profit professional develop the skills and community to fund his organization.


“Those of us in this kind of world have ideas and hearts, but we typically don’t have the business background in our kit to be more effective in it.”

John Daugherty manages a non-profit with a staff of four that has a footprint in 24 states and four countries. Although he has spent nearly four decades in community service and church ministry, his position as executive director of Operation Inasmuch is his first managerial role.

“I had a lot of administrative experience but not managerial in how a nonprofit works,” John says. “I wasn’t leading it before, not at the top of the food chain. In this position, I needed to know a little bit more on the business side of things.”

Operation Inasmuch works with churches to be more effective in getting their congregations to do work serving the community. Project days that Operation Inasmuch organizes see as much as 60 percent congregational attendance.

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Lisa Healy

Lisa Healy

Interim Executive Director, Catholic Charities of East Tennessee

CSEE gave Lisa the insights to managing a non-profit after a career in corporate business.


“It doesn’t matter what level you are at as far as non-profit or corporate America, there are takeaways every weekend you get together.”

Lisa Healy joined Catholic Charities of East Tennessee as its interim executive director after a full career spent in corporate America. So, approaching a non-profit organization as a business came naturally to her.

“A lot of people don’t think of a non-profit as a business,” Lisa says. “But you can’t have effective social programs without a solid business infrastructure. The diocese of Knoxville hired me to bring that perspective to Catholic Charities.”

With 10 different programs supporting the local community, from a pregnancy health center to a housing project for the elderly, Lisa says that Catholic Charities challenged her despite her background.

“We have a very simple mission—to foster human dignity to the most vulnerable of neighbors—but a complicated business,” she says. “There are a lot of different programs and different means of supporting them.”

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Mary Pom Claiborne

Director of Marketing, Knox County Public Library


“I would absolutely recommend this program to anyone in management – whether just entering the field or a seasoned veteran.”

Chris Edmonds

CEO & President, Yoke Youth Ministries


“While most NPO leaders have passion for their mission, they need better processes and practices for operating the business of their mission. CSEE gives leaders the tools to extend their influence and improve their enterprise.”

Angie Hamstead

Director, Project GRAD Knoxville


“I would highly recommend this program. It is an incredible opportunity to learn from a group of accomplished faculty and colleagues, yielding growth for both you as a leader and the business you lead!”

Lisa Hurst

President & CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs


“The program is a great way to grow professionally and network with colleagues driven to make a difference in our community.”

Chris Martin

Founder & President, Knoxville Leadership Foundation


“Being a part of a program in UT’s School of Business brings credibility to me and my organization, and introduces me and puts me in a working relationship with others in similar roles in our city.”