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 40 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 an ordained deacon in the Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee. Contact Jerry at or (865) 313-2077.

Chase Whitmire, Director of Membership Development


Chase has been in the nonprofit world for 17 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 or (865) 313-2077 x202.

Courtney Leo, Administrative Assistant


Courtney, a Knoxville native, is passionate about helping nonprofits make the maximum impact in their communities. She graduated from Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, where she earned an MBA. Prior to joining ABN, Courtney worked as an administrative assistant and on the Athletic Operations team at Southeastern University. She also worked with several local nonprofits in Central Florida. She is happy to return to Knoxville and assist local nonprofits in her hometown. Contact Courtney at or (865) 313-2077.



Elle Benson, Director of Capacity Building


Elle is originally from Denver, Colorado and came to Tennessee via the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she graduated from the Haslam College of Business. She completed her MBA in leadership and organizational change at Tiffin University. Before joining ABN, Elle served as marketing supervisor for LBMC, PC, a business and recruiting consulting firm, and was the director of operations and fund development for the YWCA Knoxville. She currently teaches nonprofit fundraising and human resources for the University of Tennessee Non-Credit Programs. Elle is the past president of Young Professionals of Knoxville (YPK), and served as the curriculum chair for the inaugural YPK Leadership Certificate program. She serves on the board of Friends of Literacy and the United Way Young Leaders Society. Contact Elle at or (865) 313-2077 x203.

Tiffani Mensch, Director of Community Engagement


With over a decade of experience in nonprofit education, community outreach, and fundraising, Tiffani is passionate about helping nonprofits achieve greater mission impact. Before joining ABN, Tiffani worked for the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, the University of Tennessee, and Girls Inc. of Santa Fe. She earned an MA from Rhode Island School of Design and a BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology. Tiffani is the secretary of the board of trustees for Girls Inc. of Knoxville and a peer reviewer for the Standards for Excellence Institute. She also volunteers with the Historic Ramsey House. Contact Tiffani at or (865) 313-2077 x204.

Chloe Perry, Director of Programs & Special Events

danielle.jpgChloe graduated from the UT Knoxville College of Social Work, where she received an MSSW with a concentration in Management, Leadership, and Community Practice. She is passionate about serving local nonprofits by providing quality services. While in school, she completed internships with numerous nonprofits across Tennessee, including Youth Villages, UT's Child & Adolescent Development Lab, and Knoxville Leadership Foundation. She is a member of Young Professionals of Knoxville (YPK) and serves as an advisor for high schoolers through Johnson University's Urban Alliance. Contact Chloe at or (865) 313-2077 x208.