Jacqui Pearl has served as the Executive Director for the Koinonia Foundation since August 2017. In that time, she has taken on a multitude of tasks including growing the newest program under the KFTN umbrella: We Adapt Programs. We Adapt Programs are monthly recreational activities held in Knoxville that provide a social, fun and safe outlet for adults with disabilities. Her goal is to give participants the ability to socialize with peers and be independent in addition to providing families respite care. Jacqui is a twelve-year resident of Knoxville and has grown to admire the philanthropic nature of the area. Her past non-profit experience is varied, having participated on boards and committees for organizations such as: Horse Haven of Tennessee, The Stanford-Eisenberg Knoxville Jewish Day School and Girls, Inc. Her compassion and willingness to aid populations within the community that are underserved has made her a valuable part of The Koinonia Foundation family. Koinonia in Greek means “caring community,” and that’s what Jacqui hopes to continue to bring to the individuals in our area with disabilities.
Kelsey is a Tennessee native, moving to Knoxville in 2014 from Middle Tennessee. She earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees at the University of Tennessee in Therapeutic Recreation. Throughout her college career, Kelsey was involved with Camp Koinonia and the Koinonia Foundation, serving as a Grant Staff member during the 2018-2020 camp seasons. Following graduation, she earned her credentials as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. Kelsey is so excited to be back with the Koinonia Family and can't wait to get started!.
Lindsay Willis joined the Koinonia Foundation in 2013 and now serves as Vice Chair. She currently works for LHP Capital as the Vice President of Human Resources where she is responsible for all HR related activities within the organization. She and her husband, Alan, have lived in Knoxville for nearly 20 years and are the parents of two wonderful boys. Their youngest son is a charming, 5-year-old little boy with an undiagnosed genetic disorder. He is the reason Lindsay became passionate about an organization that supports children and young adults with disabilities. Lindsay hopes to use her expertise and personal experiences to help the Foundation grow and continue to be a resource for families.
Joe, his wife Nancy, and their two children, Lauren and Joseph, have called East Tennessee home for over 20 years. Joe is currently Chief Information Officer at Summit Strategic Solutions where he is responsible for information technology and business automation strategy and operations. Joe brings his experience in business and information technology to The Koinonia Foundation in an effort to build awareness for the organization in the region and position it for long-term growth, the expansion of program services for special needs individuals 21 and older, and for long term preservation of the foundation..
Kathy McGee has a Master’s Degree in Forestry, and has worked for the last 32 years with Mary Kay. She was a Sales Director for 25 of those years, leading and training women to be entrepreneurs. She started a Parent Support group in January. They are meeting once per month on all sorts of topics of interest to parents with a Special Needs member in the family. She is married to Randy and has daughter Angie (24 yrs) and Jonathan (28 yrs). Jonathan has Down syndrome.
Carlene has a son, Matthew, who has been a camper at Camp Koinonia since he was 7 years old. She and her husband are early retirees who enjoy spending time at the lake, gardening and reading, as well as bringing more awareness of the camp to others to position it for the future. Matthew has always had a great camp experience and the LeComptes consider it a win, win, win for the camper, the UT students and the parents.
Associate Professor of Special Education at UT
David Cihak, Ph.D. is an associated professor at the University of Tennessee in the Special Education Program. His work regards remedying classroom-based problems associated with academic and social/behavioral problems of children and adolescents with severe disabilities and Autism. He is interested in self-regulation and independent functioning that result in greater competency, community access, and acceptance. His research interests include the use of effective instructional and behavioral strategies, specifically video technologies for improving educational, functional, and social/communicative outcomes for students in classroom and community settings. Dr. Cihak also is an investigator for the FUTURE postsecondary education program at the University of Tennessee.
Director of Our Place Art Organization
Ms. Angela Freeman-Hunter is employed by the Knox County School System working in the Special Education Department. Ms. Hunter’s passion to support and serve her community is because of her own personal experience with a 21 year old autistic son. In the early years her son was non-verbal and only communicated through his artwork. Inspired by her son, she founded Eyes of Faith, an art business and “Our Place”, an organization established to enhance the lives of individuals with disabilities through the arts.
Mary Ann Smith
Mary Ann has been volunteering as a Registered Nurse at Camp Koinonia for the past 7 years. She is the mother of 5 and considers raising kind, productive children her most important job. Three of her children have worked a combined total of 14 years at Camp Koinonia. She also works on the St. Mary’s Mobile Outreach Medical Clinic, and actively participates on various boards within the local community.
President of Stokely Co.
Andrea is a single mother of two beautiful children and is President of The Stokely Company. Her career has taken her from Knoxville to Indianapolis and back to Knoxville. Since being in Knoxville The Stokely Company has had business interests ranging from land for development, hotels, restaurants, office buildings, farms, National Park concessionaire, recording studios – the full gamut. Andrea’s primary interests center on being an advocate for individuals with disabilities. She has served in a variety of roles including the following. Board and committees on which have served: Board of Directors – Knoxville Heritage: Member – UT Chancellor’s Associates: Commissioner – Farragut Municipal Planning Commission: Member – Farragut Land Use Planning Committee: Board of Directors – St. Mary’s Health System Foundation: Chair/Vice Chair, Board of Directors – Knoxville Chapter American Red Cross: Board of Directors – Friends of Literacy Co-Chair East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame 2006: Board of Directors – Knoxville Opera Company: Vice Chair Farragut/West Knox Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors: Board of Directors Girl Scouts of Tanasi Council, Inc.: Board of Directors – University of Tennessee Knoxville Alumni Association: She currently serve on/member of: Executive Women’s Association; (former President, VP and Treasurer): Founding Member Board of Directors – Koinonia Foundation TN (former Vice Chair): VP, Treasurer & Secretary – William B. Stokely, Jr. Foundation: Board of Directors – Joni and Friends, Knoxville: BOD Breakthrough Corporation (former Chair and Vice Chair): Knox County Board of Advisors – BB&T; Board of Directors East TN Children’s Hospital: Board of Trustees – King University: Board Member –Sertoma Center MyLife Foundation Board. Organization memberships: Member – Cokesbury United Methodist Church; Knoxville Bar Association – Corporate Counsel Section; Tennessee Bar Association: Awards and honors achieved: Leadership Knoxville Class 2004; Woman of Achievement – 2009 – Tanasi Council – Girl Scouts Educational background: Bachelor of Business Administration; Statistics – University of Mississippi MBA Finance-University of Tennessee Doctor of Jurisprudence-University of Tennessee Hobbies and leisure time interests: Tennis, hiking, skiing, my children Proud mother of two children and one granddaughter: • Nicole (33) is married to Troy Smith. They live in Jacksonville, FL (Troy is a Navy Pilot) – one child Skyler (almost 4 years old). • Jack (29) my special young man. Lives with Mom. Attends Day Program (M-F) at Breakthrough Corp.
Associate Professor Therapeutic Recreation at UT
Angela is an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee. She received her Ph.D. in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management with an emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation from Clemson University. While at Clemson she worked as a graduate student researcher/instructor and an adventure course facilitator at Clemson’s Outdoor Laboratory. Angela received her B. A. in Sociology from the University of Western Ontario, a post graduate professional diploma in Gerontology from The University of Waterloo and one in Therapeutic Recreation from Georgian College. She completed her Master’s degree at UT and was the assistant director and director of Camp Koinonia in 2003 and 2004 respectively. Her research interests include older adults (cognitive/physical disabilities), adventure challenge courses, children with multiple disabilities, at-risk youth/delinquency, therapeutic recreation in public schools, therapeutic camping, and the Theory of Self-Determination.