Jerry Askew, President


Jerry brings nearly 40 years of nonprofit experience to ABN, having held executive positions in higher education, philanthropy and healthcare. Since arriving in Knoxville in 1985, Jerry has served as Dean of Students and Associate Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Affairs at the University of Tennessee, President of the East Tennessee Foundation and Senior Vice President of the St. Mary’s/Mercy Health Systems. In addition, Jerry has served on the boards of over 50 nonprofit organizations at the local, state and national levels. He received his BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, MS from the University of Memphis and PhD from The Ohio State University. Jerry is also Archdeacon of the Episcopal Church of East Tennessee. Contact Jerry at (865) 313-2077 or Jerry's specialties include organizational development, major gift fundraising, and leadership.

Chase Whitmire, Director of Membership Development


Chase has been in the nonprofit world for more than 20 years, working both locally and internationally. He is passionate about collaboration and unifying organizations to make their communities the best they can be. Chase grew up in Chattanooga, TN and later attended college at Furman University in South Carolina. Before joining the team at ABN, Chase worked for Young Life in Maryville, TN; Madrid, Spain; and most recently in New York City. He and his family are happy to be back home in Tennessee! Contact Chase at (865) 313-2077 x202 or​ Chase's specialties include volunteer management and fundraising.


Tiffani Mensch, Director of Education & Outreach


With 15 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector, Tiffani is passionate about helping organizations achieve greater mission impact. Tiffani currently serves on the boards of Girls Inc. of Knoxville and 91.9 Inc. WUOT and is on the Standards Council for the Standards for Excellence Institute. She also volunteers with several local nonprofits. She earned an MA from Rhode Island School of Design and a BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology. Contact Tiffani at (865) 313-2077 x204 or Tiffani's specialties include fundraising, marketing, communications, grant writing, and organizational/program evaluation.

Elle Benson, Director of Capacity Building


Elle Benson is the Director of Capacity Building for the Alliance for Better Nonprofits (ABN), East Tennessee’s nonprofit resource center. She oversees the educational development and consulting practices at ABN. Elle brought ten years of nonprofit and business consulting experience into assisting in the creation of ABN. Her nonprofit experience includes fundraising, nonprofit program development, nonprofit and corporate marketing, human resources, board governance, and strategic planning. She holds a certification in board governance from BoardSource, a global network advancing board governance practices. She also has a certificate in group facilitation. She earned a business degree from the Haslam College of Business, and she completed her MBA in leadership and organizational change at Tiffin University.

She currently teaches nonprofit management for the University of Tennessee Non-Credit Programs. Elle enjoys being involved in the community, having served on eight nonprofit boards. She is currently serving on boards and committees for the Association of Infant Mental Health in Tennessee, Friends of Literacy, United Way of Greater Knoxville, and Young Professionals of Knoxville.

Her favorite consulting projects include board development, board and staff retreats, executive recruiting, and group facilitation. Contact Elle at (865) 313-2077 x203 or Elle's specialties include board development and human resources.


Jasmine Harper, Operations Manager

Jasmine.jpgJasmine earned her BA in technical communications from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and soon after became the administrator and grant writer at The First Tee of Greater Knoxville. Jasmine served in this role for two years, and in doing so she came to love nonprofit work, specifically the passion, love, and commitment of the people around her. It was this new-found passion that led her to join the Alliance for Better Nonprofits. In addition to her professional career, Jasmine also serves on boards and committees at the Bijou Theatre and Project GRAD, and volunteers at Beck Cultural Center and Tailgating for a Cause. Contact Jasmine at (865) 313-2077 x205 or Jasmine's specialties include grant writing and administrative processes.