2018 Impact Awards Finalists

It is our pleasure to announce the YPK Impact Awards 2018 finalists! Each of the individuals and organizations represented have shown outstanding commitment to the Knoxville community and we can't wait to celebrate with them at the Impact Awards on November 16th. Show that you support our amazing group of finalists by attending the Impact Awards on Friday, November 16! Get your ticket at ypknox.com/impact-awards.

Outstanding Young Professional

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Megan F. Bradley

Megan F. Bradley serves as a task leader and as a project manager with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Megan has quickly become a “go-to” person for younger developers at ORNL. She has presented at the National Laboratories Information Technology conference, was awarded a scholarship to be a participant in the Mountain Laurel (now Ignite) Rising Stars Boot Camp, and been a mentee in ORNL's Mentor/Mentee Program.

In the community, Megan serves on the ETSU Computing Advisory Board, serves as development council director for the Junior League of Knoxville (JLK), and is member of the Women in Computing group at ORNL among other volunteer roles. In addition, Megan manages a private online community for Korean adoptees in the area and their families.

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Rebecca Dotson

After graduating from the University of Tennessee, during her mom’s journey with breast cancer, Rebecca Dotson launched 818 Ministries dedicated to donating handmade hats and handwritten letters of encouragement to patients fighting serious illnesses. Since the launch of the ministry in 2015, more than 3,000 hats have been donated across the country and in our community to East Tennessee Children's Hospital, UT Medical Center, Thompson Cancer Survival Centers and more. 

In leading 818 Ministries, Rebecca has had the opportunity to speak to and inspire many on-campus organizations at the University of Tennessee about the work they do.

At the beginning of October 2018, she launched Do The Thing Movement: a blog about millennial entrepreneurship with the goal of walking alongside other creatives and helping steer them toward the calling on their lives.

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Emily Frei

Emily Frei is a Special Education teacher at South Doyle High School. She wholeheartedly believes that “every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, who understand the power of connection and insist that they become the best they can possibly be.” Emily was recognized as teacher of the year in 2016 and 2018, featured as WBIR’s Educator of the week in 2015, awarded the GSP’s third annual TeacherPreneuer grant, and won a 2015 Project Classroom Grant from Prestige Cleaners.

Outside of teaching, Emily is a member of Daughters of the Nile, an organization that supports Shriners Hospital for Children.

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Katie Gillman

Katie Gillman works as a talent acquisition manager for Enterprise Holdings. Within Enterprise, Katie has created a successful internship program as well as created and co-leads a Women in Leadership and Life program.

In the community, Katie mentors college students in their final year to help them successfully land a career and transition into the working environment. She also stays engaged in the community through working with Bethany Christian Services, Second Harvest Food Bank, Random Acts of Flowers, Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee, and United Way. She currently serves on the board of the Tennessee Association for Colleges and Employers and has been awarded University of Tennessee’s Commitment Diversity Award and the "June Q Moore Member Award" for outstanding dedication and professionalism in cooperative education among other honors.

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Shannon Herron

Shannon Herron is the Media Coordinator for Dogwood Arts, a 501(c) 3 non-profit with a focus on promoting the arts, culture, and natural beauty in East Tennessee. In that role, Shannon oversees graphic design, marketing, media relations, and overall communication for the organization.

Shannon’s passion lies in connecting, supporting, and promoting the diverse communities that make Knoxville such a great place to live. In the community, Shannon serves on the board for the Tennessee Equality Project, which is an organization that advocates for the equal rights of LGBTQ+ people in Tennessee through legislative advocacy, and is a member of the Knoxville Chamber’s Diversity Champions Resource Group ­- a collection of community leaders who meet regularly to address the implementation of diversity and inclusion policies in our workforce and our community among other community involvement. He also created and currently runs All Out Knoxville — an LGBTQ+ community organization that seeks to provide a support system for young LGBTQ+ professionals as they enter the workforce and find their niche here in Knoxville.

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Ashley Humphrey

As a marketing professional for over 15 years, Ashley Humphrey has worked in many diverse industries and positions. She is currently the Director of Marketing & Communications for Hoffmann Group USA, a tool manufacturer and distributor based in Munich, Germany with a national headquarters in Knoxville. She has been part of bringing the Hoffmann brand to the US since the subsidiary opened in October 2015. Hoffmann Group USA’s marketing campaigns have won two international awards, a Marcom Award and a Hermes Creative Award. In addition to her work to make Hoffmann known in the US, she also champions women in the manufacturing field.

In the community, Ashley serves as the United Way of Greater Knoxville Campaign Cabinet Chair over Loaned Executives in addition to volunteering with the organization. This year she was awarded Loaned Executive of the Year for her nearly nine years of dedicated service. Since 2008, she has served on many committees with Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee including the Bowl for Kids’ Sake Marketing and Recruitment Committees. She also volunteers with the Boys and Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley on the planning committees for the Quacky Olympics, Great Knoxville Rubber Duck Race, and Angel Tree.

Ashley is passionate about education as well as championing women in the manufacturing field.

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Kaylen Mallard

Since 2008, Kaylen Mallard has worked in nonprofits focusing on communications and fundraising. In her development experience, she’s secured more than $10 million in grants, including a $3.4 million grant and a $2.5 million grant. She’s also diversified funding sources for organizations by leading crowdfunding campaigns, securing government grants, and building individual giving programs.

Currently, she serves as the Chief Development Officer for Remote Area Medical (RAM) where she leads all of Remote Area Medical’s communications and fundraising initiatives. Under her leadership, her team has increased fundraising year-to-date by 65%, secured multiple six-figure gifts, created resources and processes to better support marketing RAM clinics, and worked with national and international media, including, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Al-Jazeera; ABC World News Tonight, The Guardian, and CBS Sunday Morning.

Since moving to Knoxville in 2016, she’s volunteered with Narrow Ridge Earth Literacy Center, Church of the Savior United Church of Christ, and the The McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture. Kaylen is passionate about writing and her creative nonfiction essays and memoir writing have been published in Verde Que Te Quiero Verde: Poems after Federico Garcia Lorca, Gulf Stream Literary Journal, and Hippocampus Magazine among others.

Jennifer Pierce

Jennifer is passionate about building confidence and resiliency in women and young girls. Professionally, she serves as the Assistant Director of Sorority and Fraternity Life at UT. She has been recognized both by the University and nationally for her work, including the Division of Student Life Outstanding Professional Award and the National Panhellenic Conference Outstanding Panhellenic Advisor Award. Under her guidance, the Panhellenic sorority community has been twice recognized nationally as being one of the top 25 sorority communities in the country and this past year was recognized as the Large Student Organization of the Year at UT. Over the past four years, Jennifer has worked with the sorority community to raise the necessary funds, $80,000 in total, to support two school builds. She then led teams of students to both Malawi and Senegal to help break ground on those school builds and celebrate access to education with the community members.

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Brent Waugh

As Chief Executive Officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee (BBBS-ETN), Brent Waugh is passionate about making Knoxville a community where all children can achieve their best possible future. BBBS-ETN served 850 children last year — youth whose lives will be forever impacted through life-changing friendships.

Under Brent’s leadership, BBBS-ETN was named a Pinnacle agency in 2018, placing the organization in the top 9 of 270 affiliates nationwide.

Brent is passionate about Knoxville. In early 2018, he was selected to join the Fourth and Gill neighborhood board, where he led two comprehensive fundraising campaigns with the goal of building a new neighborhood center porch. In addition, Brent serves as a Diversity Champion through the Knoxville Chamber and through the CAC Leadership program. He also a member of the Tennessee Tech University alumni advisory board.

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Brian Winbigler

Dr. Brian Winbigler is an Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at South College School of Pharmacy (SCOP) and is committed to utilizing his talent and skill to help address current health issues and disparities in our community and dedicated to preventing future medication related epidemics.

Dr. Winbigler serves faculty advisor for SCOP Generation-Rx, a student group that provides educational resources to help prevent the misuse of prescription medications; Chairman of SCOP Practice and Preceptor Development Committee; and Secretary for Chain pharmacy society for the TN Pharmacy Association among other leadership roles. Dr. Winbigler has published numerous articles as well as presented on the topic of improving public health with a focus on substance misuse and abuse prevention initiatives.

Dr. Winbigler is passionate about East Tennessee and works to help our community be a great place to live, work, and raise a family. Dr. Winbigler is the Chairman of the Blount County Community Health Initiative-Substance Abuse and Prevention Action Team and serves on the Blount County Board of Health, University of Tennessee Board of Governors, and Knoxville Metropolitan Drug Coalition, Harm Reduction Committee among other volunteer roles.

Most Impactful Small Company

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Blue Ridge Yoga

Blue Ridge Yoga impacts Knoxville’s young professionals by creating a safe and inviting space for everyone to practice yoga. As part of the organization’s commitment to making Knoxville a healthier and happier place, Blue Ridge Yoga offers yoga scholarships to students who cannot afford classes.

Fundraising events such as Yoga & Beer and Yoga w/ Puppies encourage young professionals to partake in serving the community. To date, the students and friends of Blue Ridge Yoga have raised over $50,000 to give back to various organizations, including the Cancer Support Community of East TN, Girls on the Run (Knoxville), Volunteer Ministry Center, Young-Williams Animal Shelter, and many others.

Blue Ridge Yoga also hosts free community-based activities, such as group hikes and a running club, to encourage friendships. Recently, Blue Ridge Yoga worked with young professionals starting a yoga program in Bearden schools by donating yoga mats.

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Crowe LLP

Crowe LLP is a top 10 national public accounting firm with 35 professionals in Knoxville, with around 30 being young professionals. Crowe has won many awards from Fortune, such as Best Places to work for college graduates, millennials, among other accolades. Crowe has incorporated many changes recommended by its young professionals, such as mobility and a smart casual dress policy (unprecedented in the industry). Young professionals joining Crowe are empowered to make a difference in the challenging but rewarding world of public accounting and consulting along with leaders who easily accessible – mentoring, listening, answering questions and sharing their experiences with young professionals.

Unlimited Training Systems

With a staff of just 3 (all under the age of 35) Unlimited Training Systems works with individuals at all fitness levels to overcome injuries, gain confidence in the gym, and develop a support system that keeps them excited and coming back. Whether that is through the Becoming Unlimited Training Systems curriculum in which the company encourages and empowers staff to participate in continuing education and community events every quarter or the internship program that reaches out to college students in the area to help set them up for success in a highly competitive and difficult field to survive long term, Unlimited Training Systems aims to provide as much impact as possible through education.

Most Impactful Nonprofit

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Alliance for Better Nonprofits

Alliance for Better Nonprofits is committed to empowering our community’s nonprofits by providing the tools they need to more effectively accomplish their missions. Developing young professionals is an important component of this. Through training, consulting, networking opportunities, and other resources, Alliance for Better Nonprofits equips young nonprofit professionals with the tools they need to grow and thrive in their career. The organization also prepares young professionals in the corporate sector through the OnBoard program to become strong board members for our community’s nonprofits. By investing in our future leaders, Alliance for Better Nonprofits is thinking long-term about how our community’s young professionals can create lasting impact.

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American Marketing Association Knoxville

American Marketing Association Knoxville offers young professionals an opportunity to enhance existing business skills, learn new skills, and widen their professional networks. Through programming events, mixers, volunteer opportunities, and board service, those that are newer to marketing and business have the chance to meet peers and potential mentors. American Marketing Association Knoxville works closely with the University of Tennessee American Marketing Association chapter to provide a bridge from college to professional experience; new graduates have the opportunity to immediately begin to grow their network and skills by becoming involved in the professional chapter. The organization values the fresh ideas that young professionals offer and hope to continue to provide them a platform to grow as they in turn help American Marketing Association Knoxville stay current.

McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture

The McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture has empowered young professionals both on UT’s campus and across our community for decades. The McClung Museum is instrumental in training the next generation of scholars, researchers, and museum professionals. In addition to sitting on our board, our volunteer opportunities provide young professionals with the chance to cultivate professional skills and networking opportunities, and a way to give back. Our programming, from beer-themed bus tours of local Civil War sites, to a Gilded Age cocktail party, is not only fun, but helps raise money so that the McClung Museum may continue to serve thousands of K-12 Knox County students each year through free educational programming. And for young professionals with children, our free family programs with themes as diverse as civil rights and archaeology, provide young Knoxvillians with rich cultural experiences that make our city a vibrant place to call home.

Most Impactful Large Company - Winner

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Radio Systems Corporation

Radio Systems Corporation has been an important company in Knoxville since Randy Boyd started it in 1991. Over the years, the company has employed thousands of people (today employing over 600 in 7 countries) - many of those individuals have been young professionals; the company has a huge focus on giving back to the community and has many programs internally to better its professionals, particularly its young professionals, such as the Leadership Development program and new and rotating courses every month, taught by resident experts or guest speakers. Opportunities for reverse mentoring, job shadowing, internal hiring, and on-the-job training help team members grow in their roles. Radio Systems offers tuition reimbursement to help the team further their education, as well as reimbursement for professional certifications, educational conferences, and professional club memberships.  Last year, young professionals led 10 interns as part of the summer internship program including teaching on-site classes and a philanthropy project that raised $8000 for a local animal shelter.

Senior Staff is never "off-limits" for a formal meeting or casual chat, and the CEO of Radio Systems sits with a different team every quarter, giving young professionals access to executive leadership and the opportunity to build their network as they progress through their career. As a company, Radio Systems believes in the value of developing our young professionals and exposing them to opportunities in which they can leverage their knowledge to make a meaningful impact with customers and in the community.