Board of Directors



Suzanne Bond Suzanne Bond is a physical therapist with a background in Healthcare Operations and Compliance.  She lives in Knoxville with her husband and daughter.  In addition to working with FOT, she serves on the boards of the Junior League of Knoxville and the Family Justice Center.  She is honored to be a part of such a loving and compassionate organization.
Terina Allen Bryant (Chairperson) is currently working with Microsoft Corporation and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). She lives in Maryville with her husband and daughter. Terina is a former board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Blount County, a graduate of the 2006 Class of Leadership Blount, and has a strong desire to help others, especially families who have children with special needs. She joined the Friends of Tennessee Babies with Special Needs board in 2014.
chandler Bud Chandler (Emeritus) managed the funds entrusted to us by our supporters, and ensured all expenditures met the criteria set forth by our governing board and in accordance with accepted accounting standards. Bud was responsible for coordinating our annual external audit in addition to meeting local, state, and federal reporting guidelines. Bud has a degree in Deaf Education and taught at Tennessee School for the Deaf for several years before returning to active military duty where he retired in 2000.
Jackie Campbell (Secretary) has her clinical doctorate in Audiology and has worked with people of all ages with hearing loss since 1990. Currently, she is a Service Coordinator for Tennessee’s Early Intervention System (TEIS).  She has been the Clinical Director of Special Olympics Tennessee’s Healthy Hearing Program and enjoys other local volunteer projects in the community.  Jackie joined the FOT Board in 2015.  She and her husband live in Knoxville and have two daughters, the younger one of which has Down Syndrome.
Joni Dantzler is a native of Hattiesburg, Mississippi where she received her Masters of Science (M.S.) degree in Early Intervention from the University of Southern Mississippi. She works in Knox County as an Early Intervention Specialist with TEIS. Her connection to the special needs community is both professional and personal from working with her young niece with cerebral palsy. She is very enthusiastic about serving and supporting families of children with special needs, as she can identify with some of their daily struggles. She has volunteered with Friends of Tennessee Babies for several years at different events and joined the board in 2015.
Melissa Goin and her husband have a four year old son who has Autism. They were enrolled in the Tennessee Early Intervention System when he was 18 months. She understands the importance of early intervention and can’t wait to be involved with a program that supports families of young children with special needs. She loves that we provide respite opportunities for families and thinks they are critical. One way she and her husband show their support is by attending the annual Jazz Baby fundraising event.
johnson Mary Donnet Johnson (Emeritus) is married with two children, one of whom has autism. Mary frequently speaks about autism, resiliency, and teamwork, and has a deep respect for the value of early intervention and commitment to helping families with babies and children with special needs. Mary is a writer, editor, and publisher with Merry Pace Press.
Cathy Hannan moved to Knoxville twenty years ago to help her sister take care of children. Prior to that, she was a nursing assistant in Montgomery County, Maryland. Now that her nieces and nephews are grown, she spends her time volunteering with Catholic Charities of East Tennessee and Friends of Tennessee’s Babies with Special Needs. She was FOT Babies “Volunteer of the Year 2010.”
John Kerr, the President of Sertoma International, has been in the Insurance and Financial Services industry for over 30 years and holds the Certified Financial Planner designation. He is a member of the Greater Knoxville Sertoma Club which has supported Friends of Tennessee Babies since its early beginnings.
Taylor Livingston (Vice Chairperson) graduated from the University of Georgia in 2006 with a major in Special Education. She has always had a passion for helping children with special needs. She taught Elementary Special Education for 8 years in Charlotte and Knoxville. Taylor is currently a Bookkeeper/Office Administrator for Thrive Lonsdale. She and her husband Wes have one son, Bennett. They enjoy volunteering, traveling, spending time with family, cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs, and walking their yorkie, Carlie.
Susie McCamy (Treasurer) is an early childhood special educator (deaf education certified) working in the field for over 30 years. She is currently with the UT Center on Deafness as the Family Outreach Coordinator for the New Born Hearing Program. She has been involved with our organization since 1985 and has a passion for finding ways to meet the unique needs of families having young children with special needs.
Mary Frances Merwin (Past Chairperson) is a speech-language pathologist who has lived in Knoxville since 1991. She is an active community volunteer, currently involved with Catholic Charities of East Tennessee and Akima Club. She is married with three young adult children.
Shyer Nelson (Past Chairperson) is a mother to a teenage son with special needs.  She began volunteering for our organization in 2002 and served as Chairperson for three years.  She joined the Board of Directors in 2010 and served as Board Chair for 3 years.  She has used her design skills to add flare to our events and is very active in Fundraising and Community Outreach.
Mary Bailey Oakes graduated from the University of Tennessee and works for Knox County Schools. In college, she volunteered at Camp Koinonia which is a camp for children with special needs in Crossville, TN. She enjoys volunteering in various capacities in Knoxville and surrounding areas.  She and her husband have 2 sons and 2 dogs.
Ashly Thomas Ashly Sims previously worked as a pediatric nurse at Knoxville Pediatric Associates and in home health caring for infants and children with Shaken Infant Syndrome. Since high school, Ashly has had a strong passion for working with and volunteering with children with special needs. She was born and raised in Knoxville and loves yoga, running and spending time with her husband John and three children Miles, Avery and Will.
Diane Strozier grew up in Northwest Florida. She graduated from Florida State University with a BA double major, Spanish and International Affairs and a MA in Spanish with a minor in International Affairs. She has been fortunate to travel extensively all over the world. She has lived in Knoxville for 40 years and has two grown children. She has worked as an early interventionist for the Tennessee Infant Parent Services and the Tennessee Early Intervention System. She is currently a Spanish Interpreter for Emory Valley Center.
Don Thompson (Volunteer Executive Director) holds a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Tennessee, where his studies emphasized the development and implementation of quality home-based early intervention services.  He has worked in special education for 36 years. Don retired from his position as Director of Tennessee Infant Parent Services School in June of 2007. He is the co-founder of the American Association of Home-based Early Interventionists.
Ben Vaughn is married and the father of 4 children. He works with PETNET Solutions, the world’s largest provider of PET radiopharmaceuticals. Ben and his wife Rosalyn have twin daughters that were born premature. While their daughters are healthy and thriving, the experience in the NICU opened their eyes to the need in the community with children with special needs and premature birth. They have been involved with several charities and events in Knoxville including serving as Peer Mentors for families attending the NICU Baby Showers at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.


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