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.
After more than a decade working in and through area Chambers of Commerce, Amanda decided it was time to combine her years of experience with her passion for real estate. Amanda’s approach to commercial real estate is second to none, melding her signature tenacity with heart and an attention to detail that leaves no stone unturned on behalf of her clients.
Amanda is married to Scott and has two grown bonus boys, Cody and Blaze. When she is not working or volunteering with Grace Place Ministry, she enjoys trying new restaurants and taking in the talent that the area has in abundance.
Brandon was born and raised in Middle Tennessee and, following a star basketball career in high school, he graduated from White House High School in 1995. After studying communications and playing basketball at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, his positions in electrical and maintenance, and especially at the White House Utility District and 31-W Insulation, afforded Brandon the knowledge and skills to help both residential and commercial clients with construction and remodeling projects.
Brandon developed a thorough understanding of the local area, land, and community, as well as municipal ordinances and zoning issues. This type of knowledge takes years to attain, and Brandon’s residential and commercial clients alike can tap into it at any time.
If you scan the local papers, you’re bound to come across an article celebrating the opening of another business in a growing town. It’s nearly a weekly event. And in every photo, you’ll see a tall guy with a big smile standing in the very back, lending support, as well as a laugh or two...or three. That large and affable presence is real estate agent Brandon Webster.
Brandon is excited about the idea of working with individuals to help them become independent, thriving citizens of the community.
Charlie graduated from Belmont University with a degree in History. He worked as a teacher for a while, and then became involved in the family business in many different roles. From owning his own company, to partnering with his brothers in Phillips Builders, and then eventually selling the company to Meritage Homes Company, Charlie is a well-known name in the building industry.
Having lived in Goodlettsville, TN his whole life, Charlie is firmly planted here with his wife and two daughters. When asked why he wants to serve on the Board of Grace Place he responds, “With the shortfall of meeting the needs of families experiencing homelessness in Middle TN, it is obvious there is a need for Grace Place. My family is blessed to be a part of such a powerful and meaningful ministry.
Dave Gould and his wife Ellen have been the owners of Main Street Media of Tennessee since May 2013. The company owns 12 community newspapers along with magazines and websites in ten counties in middle Tennessee.
Prior to his current role, Dave spent 23 years with Gannett, the last 11 as vice president/advertising for the Tennessean.
Dave graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Science degree and earned an MBA from the College of William and Mary.
Dave and Ellen have been married 30 years and have eight children ranging in age from 13 to 27.
They live in Gallatin and attend Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Hendersonville.
Dave serves on, or has served on, several boards including Pope John Paul II High School, the Volunteer State College Foundation, the Middle Tennessee chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Robertson County Chamber of Commerce, Grace Place and the Tennessee Press Service.
Desneige VanCleve – Founder & Executive Director GPM
Meet Desneige VanCleve, Founder and Executive Director of Grace Place Ministry, Inc. Desneige 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. Desneige 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.
An active member of the community, Desneige loves being involved with the Hendersonville Rotary Club and Hendersonville Chamber of Commerce, serving on the Board of Directors for Leadership Sumner, and serving her church family. She was also the recipient of the 2019 Women Impacting the Community Award for Non-Profits from the Hendersonville Chamber of Commerce.
Her hobbies include reading, learning, and cooking. Her passions include Jesus, laughter, and people. When she's not serving the families at Grace Place, you will find her at her husband's side along with their three children doing life together in what she refers to as "beautiful chaos all the time."
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.
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.
Matt Rucks, along with wife Lee and family, moved to Hendersonville from South Carolina in 2010 to open a Christian Brothers Automotive franchise. Matt and Lee have two children, Ellen and John. Ellen is a 2018 graduate of Merrol Hyde Magnet School and is an architecture student at University of Memphis. John will be a 2021 graduate of Hendersonville High School.
Matt is a graduate of North Georgia College and Webster University. He spent 20 years in operation management for manufacturing companies prior to Christian Brothers Automotive. The family attends Hendersonville First Baptist Church and has been involved with high school and children’s ministries. He has been active with Living Sent Ministries and various other church and civic organizations. Matt, Lee and family enjoy a variety of active outdoor activities.
Matt and Lee have loved raising their family in Hendersonville, from the time in bag chairs at Drakes Creek Park to high school football games, church and school trips, and being a part of this incredible community.
Matt has appreciated the mission of Grace Place Ministry from the inception when Desneige sat down in his office and explained the vision. Several years ago Christian Brothers partnered with an Eagle Scout candidate to help donate used vehicles to Grace Place mothers. Through that experience he was able to get to know some of the Grace Place families and saw their success and growth. Grace Place truly exemplifies being the hands and feel of Jesus and helping people with needs, and that is the reason Matt wanted to be part of the board. God is working at Grace Place, and the need is great.