Board of Directors
“Sometimes the most ordinary things could be made extraordinary, simply by doing them with the right people.”
Amanda Foster – Chair
Being an Affiliate Broker with Southeastern Commercial Real Estate is quite a natural fit for Amanda Foster given her 3 years in real estate and 11+ years of direct experience in economic development here in Middle Tennessee. She got her start in Paris, TX and worked her way through college in NM doing bookkeeping for 11 radio stations throughout the region and hosted a morning talk show on the local country station. Amanda graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from New Mexico State University and then made her way to Music City!
Building on her years of experience in both the creative and financial side of the business of radio, Amanda found herself entranced by the entire field of economic development eventually helping small and medium sized businesses in retention, expansion and other forms of consulting. She found she had a knack for connecting business owners with the right space as well as with the tools necessary to run a successful business.Show More
Brenda began her professional journey in the insurance industry and retired from National Life & Accident, which later became American General Life and Accident, in 1989. She achieved significant corporate responsibility during her 21 years with the company, starting as a mail clerk and rising to the position of AVP of Group Claims before leaving the company to join CNA. Deciding to use her talents on a more local level, Brenda went to work for Volunteer State Community College Foundation as a fundraiser and cheerleader for our local college. She flourished in that role and became the go-to person for fundraising, public speaking and leading a cause. She left the Foundation to be a Business Development Officer for a local bank but when the President/CEO position opened up for the Hendersonville Area Chamber of Commerce, she put her name in the hat and never looked back. During her time there, she solidified the Hendersonville Area Chamber’s placement in the region as one of the top membership organizations. Her dedication to the members, the mission and the community kept the Chamber moving forward and financially solvent. She retired in 2015 from the Chamber, but her work in the community has continued.Show More
Brian is the owner and Principal Broker of One Stop Realty in Hendersonville. After joining One Stop Realty in 2013, he eventually purchased the company in 2019! Brian has served on the Sumner Realtor Board for over 4 years and chaired the Outreach Committee for 5 years. Passionate about serving his community in a variety of ways, Brian has also served as a Sumner County Commissioner for 2 years in District 7. He's always focused on giving back to the community he lives in and has achieved that through Egg Hunts for low income daycares, the chip challenge for the Humane society, and a 5K for Habitat for Humanity. He is very excited to be the title sponsor for Grace Place's annual luncheon this year and he looks forward to serving on the board!
Desnéige VanCleve – Founder & Executive Director
Meet Desnéige VanCleve, Founder and Executive Director of Grace Place Ministry, Inc. Desnéige has a background in small business marketing, a college degree in Christian Ministry from Trevecca Nazarene University, and worked as the Benevolence Coordinator for Long Hollow Baptist Church before organizing and opening Grace Place.
Now, in the daily operations of Grace Place, she strives to show the love of Christ to each woman and child by offering guidance, support, and numerous types of training to help fulfill the mission of Grace Place. Desnéige also spends a great deal of time sharing the story of Grace Place and the future vision of Grace Place out in the community whenever opportunities arise.Show More
Eddie Philllips – Chair Emeritus
Eddie Phillips graduated from the University of Tennessee. For 34 years he managed Phillips Builders and served as President for 14 of those years. In 2004, he became Chairman of E. Phillips Development, a position he continues to fill now. Eddie is the proud husband to JB Phillips of 47 years. He's the father of three sons, Randall, Jason, and Charlie who all combined have given him eight grandchildren. His hobbies include golf, scuba diving, snow skiing and hiking. Eddie serves on the board of the Memorial Foundation and Welcome Home Ministries. He is also a founder of 4:13 Strong. He loves helping and encouraging people who are hurting and in need. We are grateful to have Eddie's servant heart for Grace Place.
Having grown up in a small town in Ohio, Jamie Abbott has always fostered a love for her local community. She graduated from Ohio University in 1995 with a degree in marketing. After several moves around the country, she has lived in middle Tennessee with her two daughters and husband of twenty-two years for more than a decade. Now, she supports her neighborhood as a mortgage loan officer, bringing reality to clients’ and friends’ homeownership dreams. Her love for her family, passion for her local community, and admiration for the strong women in her life are what led her to join the Board of Directors at Grace Place.
Jody Corley has been a part of our community since 1974. She and her husband, Paul, moved to Hendersonville from Great Falls, Montana, where Paul was in the USAF, and Jody was a first grade teacher. Because they were raised in Nashville, they wanted to return home to beautiful Middle Tennessee.
Jody graduated with an Associate of Arts Degree from Stephens College, a Bachelor of Science Degree from George Peabody College, and a Master’s Degree from the Chicago National Association of Dance Masters.
As a Choreographer, Art Director, Performer, Teacher, and Owner of a Performing Arts School for over 25 years, she values what she thinks dwells in all of us – music and dancing. Working with children has been one of her greatest joys. Jody has choreographed for country music stars, commercial companies, and children’s videos which she found to be the most inspiring. She choreographed the “Kid’s Sing Praise” and “Mother Goose Gospel” series for Brentwood Music.Show More
Kathryn Strong has lived in Sumner County most of her life. She graduated from Gallatin High School, MTSU and Nashville School of Law. She was elected to the office of the Sumner County Circuit Court Clerk in 2014. Prior to becoming Circuit Court Clerk, she practiced law in Gallatin from 2007 until she took office in 2014 where she focused her practice on estate planning, elder law and intellectual property. Kathryn lives in Gallatin with her husband, Justin, and 2 children, Olivia (12) and Luke (9). Their family attends NorthField Church. Kathryn and Justin can often be found at the soccer fields, football fields and basketball courts cheering on their kids.
I decided to become a part of the Grace Place family because in searching for a way to truly help people in this community, Grace Place stands out as an organization that truly is the hands and feet of Jesus. What an honor it is to have such a small role in this organization that makes such a huge different in the lives of women and their children.
Kathy has lived in greater Nashville area all her life. She grew up in Madison where she and her husband, Larry, also raised their children. She has always been active in her church and was involved in the school their children attended as well. Kathy also worked with Tennessee Christian Medical Center's annual gala for several years. After moving to Gallatin Kathy and Larry attended the annual Grace Place luncheon. It was there she heard of what was happening with Grace Place as well as the vision. She was invited by Patricia Rudy Woods to join with a group of other Philanthropic women in forming the Grace Place Women's Alliance to benefit Grace Place.
I am honored to be invited to serve on the board of this Christ centered Organization.
Keith graduated from APSU with a Business Finance Degree and is Vice President, Lending Division at First National Bank in Hendersonville, TN. When he isn’t working, he enjoys being with his family, golfing or working out. Keith is married to Giselle Head, Tissue Distribution Manager at DCI Donor Services, and has one daughter, Sawyer Kate, who attends Goodpasture Christian School.
Marshall T. “Marty” Cook is an attorney in the Hendersonville office of Spencer Fane Bone McAllester Norton, LP. He concentrates his practice in the areas of business law, commercial litigation, real estate law, real estate development, employment litigation, and premises liability litigation. He represents clients in all aspects of litigation, arbitration, and mediation.
Marty grew up in the Hendersonville area and has been an active member of the Hendersonville community for all of his professional life. He has served on numerous non-profit boards of directors in Sumner County and currently is a member of Sumner Bank & Trust’s Board of Directors and Hendersonville Medical Center’s Board of Directors.
Marty lives in Hendersonville with his wife Jama and their children Carson and Campbell. In his free time, Marty enjoys cycling, boating, hunting and fishing.
Melissa C. French
Melissa grew up in East Tennessee and graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a degree in Marketing. She moved to Nashville in 1995 and became a Sumner County resident in1998. She started her Allstate Insurance Agency, from scratch in 2003. She knows and loves life in her community and has a passion for helping others.
She has raised both of her boys in Hendersonville and calls the area home. Both sons attended Beech High School. Her oldest son, Christian attends Austin Peay State University. Her youngest son, Taylor will attend Liberty Creek High School its inaugural year.
Giving back to her community is very important to her. She supports local nonprofits. She is a past board member of COMPASS, Hendersonville Holiday Fest, and is serving her second term on the Hendersonville Area Chamber of Commerce Board. She is also a charter member of the Hendersonville Rotary Club, Junior Service League of Hendersonville, and Sumner County Women in Business. She will soon to be Leadership Sumner graduate.
Melissa has a passion for supporting, and encouraging women, small business owners, and Sumner County Schools. She is excited to be a part of the Grace Place family.
Melissa Rogers, born and raised in Sumner County, has lived in Gallatin for the last 21 years with her husband Kent. She and her husband have been married for 24 years and have 3 grown children, all of which are graduates of Gallatin High School. Melissa has worked in the title industry in Sumner County and surrounding areas for 26 years, and has managed Warranty Title of Hendersonville for the last 17 years. Melissa has served on the board for Sumner County Women’s Council of Realtors, and currently works on the outreach committee of Sumner Realtors, and serves on the board for Habitat for Humanity of Sumner County. With a heart for non-profit work, and passion for her community, Melissa felt led to join the Grace Place board as of 2021 to partner with like-minded people in an effort to bring the greatest impact to our community.
Keli has lived in middle Tennessee for over 35 years. She grew up the daughter of missionaries and was born in Haiti, lived in France and Switzerland. Growing up, her family was always focused on serving others and this has become very important to her and her husband, Sam. Sam is a worship pastor at Hermitage Nazarene Church and a professor at Trevecca Nazarene University. Keli and Sam have three married daughters and 4 grandchildren that keep them very busy.
Keli graduated from Belmont University as a registered nurse and works as the Vice President of Quality and Risk for TriStar Hendersonville Medical Center. She has worked for HCA for 19 years and loves being able to insure quality and safety for patients that are in the hospital. Her desire to serve others in the community is the reason she is so excited to be a part of the Grace Place family.
Anna Cook is a native to Nashville and has been a Sumner County resident for nineteen years. She is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University with a background in education, non-profit, research, and communication. She and her husband both worked in ministry and non-profit for the first seven years of their marriage.
After her daughter was born, Anna shifted her focus, and began working with her father in the mortgage industry. Here she found her passion for helping others through homeownership.
Over the past 11 years, she has focused her energy on building a relationship-based business with an intentional team culture. She founded Team Cook to serve her community through the lending industry. She is also the branch manager for CrossCountry Mortgage LLC in Hendersonville. Anna couples her passion for business and non-profit. She has had the honor to be a graduate of Leadership Sumner, serve on the YMCA board, the Sumner County United Way Gala Committee, and served as the Committee Chair for Young Life.
Anna is married to Eric Cook and has a daughter in middle school. When Anna isn’t wearing her
lending hat, she can be found with her family at Hendersonville Martial Arts, where she loves
training and teaching women’s self-defense.