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

Wendy PItts Reeves, ChairMs. 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.

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.

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.

Debra Poole

Debra Poole head shotMs. Poole is a fifth generation native of Murray, Kentucky and a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law.  She is a charitable planned giving professional, author, and workshop leader. Debra has trained development  directors from dozens of non-profit agencies in Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee in estate planning basics and planned giving. She  was the Planned Giving Director at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Executive Director of the Morristown Hamblen Healthcare System Foundation, and VP for Development at East Tennessee Foundation. Debra has published professional articles in “Planned Giving Today” and “Planned Giving Mentor.”  Her poetry has appeared in several literary journals and she is the author of the humor book,  No Email in Heaven. Debra is a member of the East Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women and the editor of the Knoxville Bar Association’s legal handbook for women. She is a founder and past president of the Smoky Mountain Planned Giving Council and the present coordinator of the Women’s Leadership Salon.

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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