Meet the Board Innovation Summit Presenters

There are a lot of unanswered questions on the horizon for the nonprofit sector. Now is the time to equip your nonprofit board for success! Join the Alliance for Better Nonprofits, East Tennessee Foundation, and the United Ways of Greater Kingsport, Bristol TN/VA, and Greene County for our Board Innovation Summit – a virtual Zoom event featuring seven engaging sessions, live Q&A, and resources from expert speakers to help you navigate the challenges you and your board are facing as we continue to redefine how we do business. You’ll learn effective ways to include your board in decision-making, oversight, and planning for the future of your organization.


Brandon Bruce | Innovate to Initiate Change

In 2021, nonprofits will need to operate differently to stay effective and sustainable. How does innovation play a part in your organization? In what ways does your board assist your nonprofit in encouraging the testing of new ideas? Let’s dig in!

Brandon Bruce is a technology entrepreneur and co-founder of Cirrus Insight. Bruce is the chair of the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, Junior Achievement of East Tennessee, and eKnox Task Force. He also serves on the boards of Muse Knoxville, Knoxville Technology Council, and the University of Tennessee Research Park. Brandon loves the great outdoors and recently hiked 72 miles of the Appalachian Trail through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Rachel Dellinger, Jim LaPinska, & Shana Love | Panel: Engaging Young Professionals in Board Leadership

The time has come for organizations to sink or swim based on how effectively they engage millennials. That may be hard to do if members of your leadership aren’t representative of this generation! Join three incredible young professionals to learn about their optimal board recruitment and engagement strategies.

Rachel Dellinger is a communications and public relations professional currently working on the corporate communications team at Covenant Health. She is passionate about connection and community. Rachel is a Knoxville native with a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and she was named a 2018 “40 Under 40” honoree by Knox.Biz. Possessing a flair for theatrics, she served as the director of communications for the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra for more than six years and enjoys attending and supporting the performing arts. In the community, Rachel had the privilege of serving on several nonprofit and club boards, including the Young Professionals of Knoxville (2016 president), Knoxville Rotaract Club (secretary & charter member), Tennesseans for the Arts (East TN vice president), and the Tennessee Stage Company (marketing chair). She is an advocate for positive thinking and is motivated to empower other young professionals to tap into their leadership potential.

Jim LaPinska | Throughout his education, Jim LaPinska has been dedicated to learning how to help families reach financial security while protecting the things they love. Jim started his career at Northwestern Mutual in 2008 before building his own comprehensive financial planning practice in Knoxville, Axiom Wealth Management Group. Graduating from Maryville College, he received his B.A. in business management and organization with a minor in economics. Today, Jim leads a team at Axiom Wealth that specializes in financial planning for physicians, business executives, and community leaders. Jim also understands the value of community engagement and is involved with several organizations, including board service with the Young Leaders Society, Young Professionals of Knoxville, and Metro Drug Coalition, to name a few. He has also been involved with community boards, including the Dogwood Arts Festival board and finance committee and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Man of the Year 2013 board. When Jim isn’t working, he loves spending time with his daughter Emma visiting downtown Knoxville, attending UT & Maryville football games, and experiencing different cultures.

Shana Love | Shana Love’s passion for the nonprofit sector became evident during her 12 years in leadership at Habitat for Humanity. She is currently employed at Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) and participates on the Community Involvement Committee team that specializes in low-income family housing assistance. Additionally, Shana has been employed with Kohl’s since 2008, where she has been ranked the top sales associate with honors from Kohl’s vice president for excellent customer service. Shana graduated from King University with a B.S. in communications and a minor in business. She is a graduate of the CAC Community Leadership class and is involved with many organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tennessee, Alzheimer’s Association, Diabetes Association, and Girl Talk, Inc., to name a few. Shana was also appointed by City of Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero to serve on the Solicitations board. Shana is the proud mom of two Tennessee Tech University graduates – her daughter, Nautica and son, Deonte. Within her lifetime, Shana has accomplished many obstacles and is committed to a deliberate balance of successful community impact and pursuit of meaningful relationships.

Jim Harlan | Board Leadership Forecasting

In this engaging dialogue, nonprofit board leader James Harlan will share governance strategies to enhance your board’s functionality and increase support for your organization through difficult and uncertain times.

Jim Harlan is a native and long-time servant of the East Tennessee community. He successfully served in many leadership positions in engineering, operations, and business and supply chain during his time at Eastman Chemical Company – spanning four decades, 12 countries and four continents. Jim is currently the AFG Chair of Excellence for Business and Technology at East Tennessee State University. Jim received his B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Tennessee, an MBA from East Tennessee State University, and graduated from the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University’s School of Business. Jim retired from Eastman in 2015 as Vice President of Integrated Global Supply Chain, but not before being named “2015 Rainmaker” by DC Velocity for his contributions and advancements to the logistics profession. Jim’s passion is education as he believes it is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty across the world. This has led him to serve on many boards, including Coalition for Kids (president), QUEST Foundation for Washington County Schools (president), Johnson City Public School Foundation, and many more.

Heather Hiscox | Five Skills You Need to Uplevel in Uncertainty

The organizations and professionals we work with have superpowers. They know how to get results in less time, for less money, and with greater impact. They have tools in their toolbox that all leaders in this age of uncertainty must have, not just to survive, but thrive. This is a new age that requires new skills. In this session, you’ll learn five essential and simple skills you can use to fulfill your mission and meet your goals most efficiently and effectively.

Heather Hiscox is a social entrepreneur who is passionate about creating communities focused on assets, abilities, and abundance. Heather is the founder and CEO of Pause for Change, a company that helps nonprofit, local government, and philanthropic organizations address challenges in less time, using fewer resources, while creating deeper impact. She also co-hosts the online “talk show” Possibility Project and speaks at national conferences about social impact disruption and innovation. Heather has launched several ventures that benefit the nonprofit sector and her goal is to connect organizations to the training, skills, and resources they need to improve the ways they co-create with communities.

Alex Miller, Ph.D. | A Properly Focused Board

Productive and effective boards must focus on the five key M’s during board meetings. Learn how these pillars can help your board govern with strategic leadership to advance your mission.

Alex Miller, Ph.D. serves in the University of Tennessee’s Haslam College of Business as The William B. Stokely Chair of Business, and the Pro2Serve Director of the Consortium for Social Enterprise. Dr. Miller has also worked as a consultant for more than 100 firms, ranging from small service nonprofits to Fortune 500 global manufacturing firms. He has written three books and numerous journal articles, and has won six teaching-service awards. Dr. Miller serves on several corporate and civic boards of directors, including, most notably, as the founding board chair of the Alliance for Better Nonprofits. Dr. Miller holds a Ph.D. from the University of Washington in Seattle, an MBA from Dartmouth College, and a B.S. from Tennessee Technological University. Dr. Miller is a seventh generation East Tennessee farmer and has been recognized as Tennessee Cattleman of the Year. Presently, he trains border collies as cattle dogs and enjoys sailing, adventure travel by motorcycle, and time spent with his grandchildren on the farm.

Kn Moy | Keynote: What Is the Donor Experience

Discover how to unlock the full potential of your organization’s ability to better engage your donors. Learn how to help your decision-makers listen deeply to your donors. Understand how to design, deliver, and optimize superlative donor experiences that drive new opportunities for growth and impact.

Kn Moy has always been focused on “what’s next?” in nonprofit fundraising. He currently serves as the Senior Fellow for Philanthropy Innovation at the DXM™ Institute for Changemaking Innovation, a public-benefit enterprise founded to help nonprofit organizations respond to disruptive change. Kn works to bridge the fundraising practices of the last century and the next generation’s donor engagement realities in what he calls today’s “Experience Economy.” His recent agency roles have included SVP Insight and Innovation and SVP Strategic and Applied Foresight at Masterworks, the largest fundraising agency for the faith-based sector. Prior to that, Kn was the Chief Creative Officer and Lead Strategist for Grizzard Communications, at the time the nation’s largest fundraising agency focused on the nonprofit sector.

Dorian Spears | Building Effective Partnerships With an Equity Lens

Nonprofits can expand their reach and strengthen their missions through effective partnerships. Has your organization intentionally strategized around why you partner with other organizations and how to best partner with them? In this session, you’ll learn techniques to build authentic and successful relationships with an equity lens.

Dorian Spears works across sectors of government, business, higher education, and neighborhood leadership to build bridges that uplift real solutions while addressing community challenges in the greater Memphis area. Dorian has a 20-year history as a nonprofit administration and government professional with an expansive range of skills, including program development, strategic planning, and implementation. In addition to her work, Dorian is a servant in her community helping to lead efforts that create equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace in conjunction with the organization Beloved Community, and is part of other projects and committees that address this topic around the world. Dorian is also a supporter of Collage Dance Collective, a nonprofit that inspires the growth and diversity of ballet. She loves house music and considers herself a house head for life.