meet our board of directors
Mary Tanner, Ph.D., Chair
Dr. Tanner has spent her entire academic career, over 35 years, at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, rising through the academic ranks from an instructor in the Department of Human Ecology to her present position as UC Foundation and Guerry Professor. She also has served as a Department Head, Associate Dean, Dean (College of Health, Education and Professional Studies), and now serves as Interim Executive Director, The Ochs Center.Dr. Tanner holds a Ph.D. from The University of Georgia, Athens, in family and child development, and a M.Ed. and B.S. from UTC in education (elementary and secondary). She is married to Dr. HomerKemp, an English professor at Tennessee Tech, and is the parent of two sons, Jim and Waide Tanner.
Paul loftin, vice chair
Paul J. Loftin is the president and COO of Siskin Steel and Supply Co. A Kansas native, Mr. Loftin has been employed with Siskin Steel and Supply for seven years. He began his career in the metals industry with Reynolds Aluminum as a part of their college apprenticeship program. After college he has continued to work in the industry for over 40 years. Most of his career has been in management of steel companies throughout the United States. He is vice chair of The Chattanooga Regional Manufacturers Association and director of Reliance Steel and Aluminum Company. Mr. Loftin is on the board of directors for the RPC Church and the Spirit of America Foundation. He and his wife Sandy have two daughters: Emily, a junior at Lee University, and Katie, who will be attending Gardner-Webb in North Carolina this fall. Additionally, he has two daughters who live out of state. Angie lives in Kansas, and Camille lives in Colorado Springs.
carla morgan, secretary
Carla has been a supporter of Siskin Children’s Institute for more than 30 years and has served the Institute’s Board of Directors as well as the marketing and development committee and is currently serving as Board Secretary. She has been the co-chair for StyleWorks twice and was the 2015 co-chair of StarNight along with her husband, Bubba, and daughter, McCall. Carla attended at University of Tennessee School of Law where she received her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree. Carla is also very active at the Baylor School, her daughter’s alma mater.
john pregulman, treasurer
Mr. Pregulman is a Chattanooga native, father of four and grandson of Garrison Siskin, co-founder of the Institute. He is a graduate of McCallie School and has a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Economics from Vanderbilt University. While living in Chattanooga, Mr. Pregulman was involved in various civic and professional organizations. He was a Chattanooga Rotarian, is a graduate of Leadership Chattanooga, and served on the boards of the Chamber of Commerce, Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation, the Steel Service Center Institute, First Tennessee Bank, Bright School, Bnai Zion Synagogue and the Jewish Community Federation. He also is a past board member of Alpha Steel Corporation in Chicago, Ill.He moved to Denver, Colo. in 2000. While living in Denver, he has had various business interests and now is a private investor and senior finance manager for The Restaurant Source. Currently, Mr. Pregulman is a member of the Board of the Allied Jewish Apartments, Anti-Defamation League, Shalom Park (a retirement community) and Citywide Banks. He also was a member of Leadership Denver and the Colorado Chapter of Young Presidents Organization.
ross i. schram iii, human resources committee chair
Mr. Schram is a lawyer and shareholder of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC. He currently serves as an elder and trustee at Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church in addition to being vice chairman of the boards of The Chambliss Center for Children, Fortwood Center and Volunteer Community School. Mr. Schram also chairs the Allocations Committee of the United Way and serves on its Board and Executive Committee. He is a past chairman of the Institute’s Board of Directors.
tom white, immediate past chair
Mr. White is senior vice president of Investor Relations for Unum Group. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Chattanooga and his current board positions include United Way of Chattanooga, the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Chattanooga. He previously was a member of the boards for the Urban League and The Partnership for Families, Children and Adults
Mr. Binder is a multi-term member of the Institute's Board of Directors and served as board chair from 2008-2010. He is the grandson of Institute co-founder Mose Siskin. He is the assistant vice president of finance for Siskin Steel & Supply Company.
julie betts brandao
A native of Chattanooga, Julie Betts Brandao graduated from The Bright School, Girls’ Preparatory School and then received her B.A. from Vanderbilt University in 1988. At Vanderbilt, she majored in Fine Arts, and was a member of Chi-Omega Fraternity. She currently serves as Family Risk Manager and Personal Lines Manager for the Chattanooga office and was named Insuror or the Year in 2000 by the Insurors of Chattanooga. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering, walking, hiking, and adventure travel. Julie is the proud mother of daughters Katie and Emma.
Lee Davis is the father of two Siskin Early Learning Center alums, Matthew and Parker. Parker has Down Syndrome and Lee and his wife, Heather, attribute Parker’s success to the early intervention she received while at the Institute as a young child. Parker is now a freshman at UTC where she is taking criminal justice, art and Spanish courses. Last year, Parker walked the runaway along with several other children from the Institute as part of the annual StyleWorks fashion event. Matthew is currently a sophomore at Baylor School. Professionally, Lee received his J.D. from Boston University School of Law. Mr. Davis enjoys teaching continuing legal education courses for both attorneys and paralegals. In the past, he taught courses for the University of Tennessee at both the Chattanooga and Knoxville campuses. He is a recognized as a Life Member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and has published articles on DNA technology and other topics.
greg eaves, cpa
Mr. Eaves has been with the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga for nine years. He is responsible for the Finance and Legal Divisions, as well as Commercial Fiber Optics Sales. During his tenure at EPB, he has also had responsibility of the Information Technology Division. He currently serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.He has served in various fundraising capacities for the United Way, the UC Foundation, Boy Scouts of America, and the American Heart Association. He is a member of Financial Executives International, Inc., Tennessee Society of CPA’s, and the Chattanooga Downtown Rotary Club.He and his wife Carrie reside in Ooltewah with their two children, Carter and Caroline.
r. craig holley
Mr. R. Craig Holley serves as the chairman, chief executive officer, and president of Capital Mark Bank & Trust. In 1998, he successfully completed Georgia State University’s Management Development Program at the Center for Executive Education in Atlanta, Georgia, and is a 2002 graduate of the Center of Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina.Active in every community in which he has lived, he has chaired successful United Way campaigns in both Huntsville and Chattanooga and continues to serve on the board and executive committee of the United Way of Greater Chattanooga. In addition, he currently serves on the board of directors for the Hunter Museum of American Art.Mr. Holley is a member of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga College of Business Advisory Board and past member of the Chancellor’s Round table.Mr. Holley earned his bachelor of science degree in economics at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, in 1979 and is a 1987 graduate of the School of Banking of the South at Louisiana State University.
Mrs. Lebovitz is an active volunteer for Siskin Children’s Institute. She has previously co-chaired StarNight and SyleWorks, and served on the Institute’s Steering Committee. Currently, Betty is serving on the Development and Marketing Committee.
Larry S. Parks is the president of T U Parks Construction Company, of Chattanooga. Aside from his business, he serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Tri State Carpenters Pension fund, and is active in the construction industry serving as Chairman of CompTrust AGC, Tennessee, a self insured trust providing workers compensation coverage in Tennessee to various construction industry firms, and is a national life director of AGC of America. A member of the Rotary Club of Chattanooga, he is a lifelong resident of Chattanooga and also serves on the board of Chambliss Center for Children. Larry is past Chairman of the finance committee of Our Lady of the Mount Catholic Church. He and his wife Robin are parents of two sons, reside on Lookout Mountain.
dr. valerie c. rutledge
Dr. Rutledge serves as the Dean in the College of Health, Education and Professional Studies at UTC. Before that Rutledge served as Director of the School of Education at UTC and has led the School of Education since August 2003.Prior to joining the UTC faculty in 1995, Rutledge taught English and Latin in Hamilton County Schools. In 1999, she was appointed to a nine-year term on the Tennessee State Board of Education.She is a two-time proud graduate of The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She received her doctoral degree from the University of Tennessee.
robert h. siskin
Robert H. Siskin, son of Institute founder Mose Siskin, is the former Executive Vice President of Siskin Steel & Supply. Robert attended McCallie School and earned his business degree from the University Of Pennsylvania- Wharton School. Robert is very active in the community, serving as the past president of the Bnai Zion Synagogue, past board president and former chair of the community relations committee for the Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga. Currently, Mr. Siskin serves on the board of the Public Education Foundation, Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation and other community organizations including Siskin Children’s Institute. He and his wife, Pris, have two grown children and five grandchildren.
In his second term, Robert Snetman is a returning member of Siskin’s board of directors. Mr. Snetman serves as Vice President – Mixed Use for Chattanooga, TN based CBL Properties, one of the nation’s leading publicly traded mall Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and the largest owner of malls and shopping centers in the southeast.
In addition to his career at CBL, Mr. Snetman has served as past board chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga as well as its campaign chair for two years. He has demonstrated his passion for non-profit servant leadership by providing the guidance necessary to enhance the missions of the organizations he serves. Mr. Snetman resides with his wife in Chattanooga. They have two adult children.
Ms. Varner is a consultant with the Public Education Foundation and director of Leadership Development for the Cornerstone National Literacy Initiative. She is on the board of the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy as well as a former Hamilton County teacher and principal.
Rachael Welch joined the Tennessee Valley Authority in 2002 and currently serves as Senior Program Manager, Financial Operations & Performance. Welch graduated in 2013 from TVA’s Leadership and Management for Accelerated Performance (LMAP) program at the Vanderbilt Executive Development Institute, and serves on the Board of Directors for Siskin Children’s Institute. She recently co-chaired Siskin’s StyleWorks 2014, and was a member of the 2013 Circle of Red Society for Go Red for Women. Additionally, Welch has led teams for Jack’s Chattanoggins for the previous two years, shaving her head to raise funds for the Children’s Hospital oncology unit, who supports local families suffering with pediatric cancer.Currently, Welch holds the Day of Caring Coordinator role for the Greater Chattanooga Area Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), is serving her eleventh year on the CFC Leadership Team, and has organized and led TVA in annual March of Dimes and T.C. Thompson events. Welch's story of her premature twins has been featured locally, and she continues to speak on behalf of Chattanooga area non-profit agencies. Welch is a graduate of Covenant College, Leadership Chattanooga 2011, has been married for 15 years to her husband Chris, and has three children, Eli, and twins Zeke and Emmie.
claire siskin binder
Mrs. Binder is an active community volunteer, serving in board positions with the B’nai Zion Synagogue and Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation. She is a past board member of the Chattanooga Symphony Opera Association and a past president of the Jewish Community Federation of Greater Chattanooga.
a.v. terry blunt
Mr. Blunt is the vice president of Human Resources for Olan Mills, Inc. He serves as an elder for Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church.
peter t. cooper
Mr. Cooper served as treasurer of the Siskin Foundation for 29 years. He is a member of a number of advisory committees as well as served as the former president of the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, Inc., and the chairman of the board of the Chattanooga Tumor Clinic at Erlanger Medical Center. Mr. Cooper previously served on the boards of the University of Chattanooga Foundation and a number of other charities.
Mr. Henderson began his career in public accounting 1975 and is now a partner in the firm of Henderson Hutcherson & McCullough, PLLC. He has served as an expert witness before the U.S. Tax Court and U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Mr. Henderson is a former revenue agent for the Internal Revenue Service. His professional and civic affiliations include the American Institute of CPAs, the Tennessee Society of CPAs, a member of the TSCPA Federal Tax Committee and a past president and board member of the Estate Planning Council of Chattanooga.
sam e. miles, jr.
Mr. Miles is a past board member of the Siskin Foundation, Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation and Pioneer Bank. He is a past treasurer and member of the Board of Trustees of the Hunter Museum of American Art and a past president of the Chattanooga Symphony Association. Mr. Miles retired as vice president of Mortgage Loans and Real Estate for Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company.