East Tennessee Women’s Leadership Council

We are “women leaders building women leaders.”  The East Tennessee Women’s Leadership Council organizes the Summit.  The Council is a team of volunteers who share a common interest in improving the lives of women in East Tennessee.  The women come from diverse backgrounds and industries, including counseling, chemistry, finance, fundraising, personnel staffing, manufacturing, consumer science,  politics, and public relations.  These diverse backgrounds and experiences blend together to create a common understanding of what still needs to be done to help East Tennessee women Live. Learn. Lead. Our Mission: To promote and provide leadership training and skill development to build women leaders across East Tennessee. Our Vision: That women in East Tennessee will realize and own their true potential, strength, and power.

Wendy Pitts Reeves, Chair

wendy1Ms. Reeves is a licensed clinical social worker who hosts the popular Secret Adventures for Courageous Women while coaching women towards greater confidence. She founded Cove Mountain Counseling, an association of independent practitioners in Maryville, and has served as graduate-level field instructor for the University of Tennessee’s College of Social Work, and as Adjunct Professor for Maryville College. Ms. Reeves has served on several boards, including the Tennessee Economic Council on Women, Women’s Equity Foundation, AAUW- Maryville Branch, Blount Co. Children’s Home, the Adult Education Foundation of Blount Co., the Blount Co. Chamber of Commerce and others. She served on the Blount Co. Commission from 2006-2010, and was named “Public Official of the Year” by the Tennessee Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. She’s a graduate of Leadership Blount, Class of 2006, and is a proud mom to Caleb and Maiah.

Jeannie Anderson


Jeannie Anderson is the Founder and Executive Director of LifeSigns.us, Inc. a non-profit organization for women who are committed to discovering and designing a better quality of life for themselves, their family and the community around them. LifeSigns provides coaching/mentoring, education of life, career and financial skills, and continued support and encouragement as each woman takes the necessary steps to begin a new way of life.

Jeannie also provides coaching to individuals who want to live their life by design not by default! She speaks, coaches and conducts workshops and retreats throughout the United States. She has authored numerous self-growth articles and co-authored the CORE Coaches Guide for NaviCORE International Inc. and is the co-creator of an entrepreneurial training program including a specialized program for veterans.

Jeannie is a graduate of Coach U and a Master Certified CORE Coach and Licensed Facilitator, Presenter and Trainer through NaviCORE International Inc. You may reach her at: jeannie@lifesigns.us or call 423-520-6316. To learn more about LifeSigns please visit: http://www.lifesigns.us

Christine Dean

Currently the Sales and Marketing Manager at The Lodge at Buckberry Creek in Gatlinburg, Christine Dean is a business veteran, having managed and marketed many different product and service companies over the past 25 years in several capacities. With a strong foundation in design, technology, and strategic planning, Christine is able to offer unique and varied solutions to capitalize on any business’ or association’s strengths to further their goals. Born in California as a Navy “brat”, she has lived all over the USA, and chose to make East TN her home in 2005. A strong proponent of community involvement and mentoring, Christine is very pleased to be a contributor the East TN Women’s Leadership Summit.

Rynn Dupes

rd0019-MRynn currently works full time as the Advancement Assistant in the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs in the University of Tennessee College of Law. She also recently earned her Master’s degree in Communication and Information with a concentration in public relations from the University of Tennessee College of Communication and Information. She is a new member of the Knox County Foster Care Review Board.

Susanne Dalton Dupes

Susanne Dalton DupesA certified professional behavior analyst and award-winning communications strategist, Susanne has spent more than 25 years working in the communications industry.  Her firm, the Dalton Dupes Agency, works with organizations and teams using the DISC behavioral assessment, to enhance team workplace performance.  Dupes is an experienced leader in her own right and is active in the arena of women’s leadership development.  Susanne has extensive experience in corporate and government communications and is one of only a few Tennesseans to be accredited by both the Public Relations Society of America and the International Association of Business Communicators.  She serves on the board of Tennessee’s Women’s Economic Council Foundation. Her has earned a Superior Award from the National Association of County Information Officers and multiple “Excellence” Awards from the Volunteer Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. She holds an MS in information science from the University of Tennessee.  She is a graduate of Leadership Oak Ridge; FBI Citizens Academy; and the Knox County Sheriff’s Citizens Academy.  She is a proud wife to Bill and mom to Rynn.

Stephanie Helton

HeltonStephanie has worked for Clayton Homes for 3 years. She behan in an entry level position and quickly worked her way into a leadership path within the company. Currently she is a Team Leader and Account Manager where she hires, trains, mentors and leads a team of 8 people.

Karen Jernigan

Karen-Web-015-2Ms. Jernigan is a lawyer with over 20 years of experience representing clients on their claims for Social Security Disability benefits. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sign Language/Interpreting from Maryville College and worked in the area for a few years. After seeing how most attorneys treated her hearing-impaired clients, she decided to obtain a law degree which she was bestowed by the University of Tennessee School of Law. She is a member of the Knoxville Bar Association and the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives. She is a coordinator for the Women’s Leadership Salon. She and her husband, Kevin, are the proud parents of Bryan.

Hannah Jones

williamsMs. Jones is a Fashion Director for Park Lane Jewelry.  Before joining the Park Lane team, Hannah worked in the orthotics and prosthetics industry as a certified Mastectomy Fitter. During that time, she was instrumental in organizing the local Tennessee Toe-Off Trot  Additionally, she has worked in health care insurance coding and billing.  Hannah is a native of East Tennessee, and when not working or coordinating events, she is very busy wrangling twin two-year-old daughters and eight-year old son.  She and her husband and children live in North Knoxville.

Bonnie Hinds

Bonnie HindsMs. Hinds is an Environmental Health and Housing Specialist in the Family and Consumer Sciences unit of University of Tennessee Extension. As such, she is a frequent presenter at seminars and conferences across the state. She is a former program director with the eastern region of the Tennessee Department of Health and a certified, experienced secondary school teacher. Her community service includes serving as 2012-2014 Chair of the Knox Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Committee. She is one of the founders of the Foothills Community Players, a former puppeteer with Blount County Kids on the Block, and a long-time advocate for parenting, having held leadership roles in several organizations. She is an alumnus of both the Blount and Knox County Sheriffs’ Citizens’ Academies. Bonnie and her husband, Jody, are the proud parents of three sons and daughters-in-law.

Deb Schmitz

Ms. Schmitz is owner of Women’s Money Makeover, which she started in 2010. deb s She is an author, personal finance coach and financial advocate focusing on helping individuals get “real” about money.  She retired from Procter & Gamble in 2002 after 25 years in Research & Development.   Her disappointment in how she was treated in the retirement process is the catalyst that drove Deb into the financial services industry.  For the next 6 years she pursued the traditional route of becoming a financial advisor, but realized this was not what most people needed, especially women.  Always an out of the box thinker and problem solver, she has used her life skills, personal experience and education to structure Women’s Money Makeover, a unique business that helps make understanding money fun, not boring or intimidating. She now works at making women feel safe, secure and smart about your money.

Dena Wise

Dr. Wise is Professor and Consumer Economics Specialist with The University of Tennessee Extension. She Dr. Dena Wisecoordinates programs that reach thousands of Tennesseans each year with information about money management, savings education and consumer issues.  Her programs, curricula and leadership have been recognized with numerous state, regional and national awards.  Effective January 2014, she chairs the Tennessee Economic Council on Women, on the Steering Committee for the Tennessee Women’s Economic Summit and on the Advisory Board of the University Of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture.  Dr. Wise has degrees from Auburn University, the University of Georgia,  and Texas A&M University and is an alumna of the prestigious HERS Bryn Mawr Summer Institute for Women in Higher Education Administration.  She and her husband, Ken have three daughters, two sons-in-law and three grandchildren.


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