Building for our children's future

Leadership

Our directors and consultants are multi-skilled volunteers. Among them are architects, engineers, experts in Metro’s building codes, contractors, and civic organizers. Using their individual abilities, they offer their expertise and advice free of charge – all for the betterment of Nashville area schools and students. Here is our list of 2018 Board members:

Harry Baird
NTFS board member since 2012

Ben Dodd
I am a husband, a father to two sons, a grandfather to one grandson. I worked in residential construction for nearly forty years and as a remodeling contractor for nearly thirty of those years. I enjoy spending time with family, cooking, gardening, making pottery and my bonsai. I have volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Hands on Nashville, Rebuild Together as well as NTFS. NTFS board member since 2017

Bill Farris
Bill was a banker for 44 years and upon his retirement in June 2015, he joined the “Tools” crew at Hillsboro High School and has been a steady volunteer ever since.  Bill learned his basic carpenter skills from his 20+ Habitat Houses on which he has worked.  NTFS board member since 2017

Russ Griffith
With over 30 years’ experience in construction 25 of those with Habitat for Humanity. Russ brings to NTFS experience in residential construction, non-profit management and volunteer management. With Habitat he has built over 300 houses in 5 different countries and deeply involved in their Disaster Response program. NTFS board member since 2017

Mary Grissim
Mary is a multi-talented, experienced manager and educator with more than 30 years of experience building and leading operations for organizations and businesses in Nashville. Her background includes a successful career as an artist, Director of Education at Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art and VP of Education for the Sexual Assault Center.  Mary is now owner of Grissim Group Consulting, a curatorial and arts administration service. She currently works as the Curator for Arts at the Airport, Nashville International Airport and does consulting work with the Nashville Jazz Workshop and Tennessee Craft. Mary has a Bachelor of Science degree from Florida State University. NTFS board member since 2018

Bev Herbert
Bev has worked nearly 30 years in the electrical industry in positions ranging from design engineer, product marketing, and currently International Sales Operations for Schneider Electric.  He has lived in Nashville for 17 years and been active with local non-profit organizations like NTFS, Habitat for Humanity, Hands on Nashville and Cumberland River Compact by organizing company employee volunteer opportunities for Schneider Electric. NTFS board member since 2014

Bob Johnson
Bob, a Nashville native, graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 1973, receiving his Bachelor’s degree and a Regular Army Commission. He then spent 3 years as an Infantry officer in a rifle company. After his discharge, he was employed by Cutters Exchange for 10 years, serving in sales and sales management positions in their Nashville, Los Angeles, and Chicago offices. Bob is now retired after spending 25 years with Favorite Recipes Press, a division of the Southwestern Publishing Company. He traveled extensively, providing sales training and hosting organizational and motivational workshops. Bob is currently volunteering 15 + hours a week with NTFS as Project Manager, and also serves on the Manufacturing Committee. NTFS Board member since 2012.

Jean R. Lauzon – Treasurer
Jean has over 35 years of experience as a software development manager. To alleviate the lack of visible progress on software projects, he volunteers with local non-profits where results can be seen much sooner, have positive impacts on the community, and provide assistance to deserving families and groups. He volunteers as a Supervisor on Site for Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity, and as a project leader for NTFS. His favorite aspect of working with volunteers is the positive energy they bring to each project. NTFS Board member since 2010.

Alison McArthur – Chair
Alison McArthur has a background in business education. She taught various business courses for 13 years at Glencliff High School. Alison earned a B.S. in Business Education, a M.B.E. and an Ed.S. in Administration and Supervision all from Middle Tennessee State University. In 2007 when Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) started the redesign of high schools, she left the classroom to become an Academy Coach. It was in this role that she first learned about Nashville Tools for Schools. Currently Alison is working for MNPS in the Support Services Department implementing Community Achieves, a community school initiative. NTFS Board member since 2012.

Stephen H. McHugh
Steve gained his Bachelor of Science degree from Peabody College/Vanderbilt University in 1958. Now retired, his career included founding SHM Consulting and working in the healthcare, insurance, finance and economic fields as a CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter) , CFC (Chartered Financial Consultant), and FLMI (Fellow/Life Management Institute). He serves on the following boards: Faith Family Medical Clinic, Tennessee Association of Health Underwriters, Middle Tennessee Healthcare Executives Association, Bravo Creative Arts Center, and Woodmont Christian Church. Steve is also actively involved in the Exchange Club of Nashville and Hillwood Country Club. NTFS Board member since 2009.

Suzannah Montgomery 
Suzannah Montgomery is a Special Projects Division Project Manager with Turner Construction Company. She moved to Nashville to attend Vanderbilt University, graduating with a degree in Civil Engineering in 2012. Suzannah is a member of the Young Leaders Council and the Urban Land Institute, and in 2018 she completed her Masters of Business Administration at Lipscomb University.  NTFS Board intern 2016.  NTFS Board member since 2017.

Denise Sesler – Secretary 
Denise Sesler is a 20+ year resident of Nashville and she has served as Secretary of the Board of Directors of Nashville Tools for Schools since 2013.  Denise is a paralegal by profession, having been employed at both the Davidson County Juvenile Court and at the law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz.  She and her husband Mart are parents to a son and daughter, both of whom attended Metro Nashville Public Schools.  Denise has volunteered with organizations including Habitat for Humanity and the Nashville Food Project, and she currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Disciples Divinity House at Vanderbilt University.  Denise was actively involved as a parent volunteer at the Metro schools attended by her children, and she also served on the Executive Boards for the Parent/Teacher/Student Organizations at Eakin Elementary and West End Middle School. NTFS Board member since 2013.