Nashville Public Education Foundation expands team, increases community reach

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The Nashville Public Education Foundation (NPEF) has hired four new staff members and elected David Williams as chairman and Wanda Lyle as vice chairwoman of its board of directors.

Jennifer Hill has been hired as the NPEF’s policy and programming director, bringing with her nearly two decades of experience in organizational development, talent development and project management. She brings experience working at all levels of education from early childhood through higher education. Prior to joining the NPEF, she oversaw education programming as the senior manager of United Way Metropolitan Nashville. Previously, she was the director of talent and performance at KIPP Nashville. Hill has also served as president of the Junior League of Nashville and is a member of the Communities In Schools of Nashville affiliate board. 

Melinda Judd joins the NPEF as the vice president for corporate partnerships and community giving to expand the Foundation’s efforts in increasing private-public partnerships to support public school excellence. Previously, she was the director of corporate engagement at Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, where she managed relationships and fundraising with existing and potential donors. She brings nearly 20 years of nonprofit experience to her new role, having also worked as the director of member relations and area advisory council liaison for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Terri Totty, the NPEF’s new office manager, has nearly 30 years of experience in operations, business development and account management. Totty most recently served as the director of operations at roux, a marketing agency in Franklin, Tenn. She has also worked as a data analyst and account manager for a local financial services firm, along with serving 20 years at UPS in business development and human resources.

“Jennifer, Melinda and Terri are wonderful additions to our team,” said Shannon Hunt, the NPEF president and CEO. “Each brings a multitude of experience and energy to the table. As proud public school parents, all three women have a great sense of the educational landscape in our community. Their ideas and expertise will further help the NPEF reach its goals around early literacy, postsecondary success, teacher and principal talent, and school turnaround.”

In addition to expanding its programming and operations team, the NPEF welcomes Colleen Gilligan as a research fellow. Gilligan is earning her Master of Arts in Leadership and Public Service from Lipscomb University and is a former Metro Nashville Public Schools teacher. She also served as a Teach for America corps member from 2013 to 2015.

The NPEF is also proud to announce its newly elected board of director officers for 2017.


David Williams, who serves as the vice chancellor for University Affairs and Athletics and the director of Athletics at Vanderbilt University, has been elected as chairman of the NPEF’s board of directors. Williams joined Vanderbilt as its vice chancellor, general counsel and professor of law in 2000 and is widely published on a variety of legal topics including education law. Williams’ involvement in the Nashville community includes work with many community organizations, including The Community Foundation, Center for Nonprofit Management, Nashville Symphony and Nashville Sports Council, as well as serving as co-chairman of Dr. Shawn Joseph’s transition team.

The board of directors has also elected Wanda Lyle to serve as vice chairwoman. Lyle is the General Manager of Nashville’s UBS Business Solutions Center, which supports the organization’s Wealth Management, Investment Bank and Asset Management businesses. In addition to her work on the NPEF’s board of directors, Lyle has serves on the boards of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Tennessee College Access and Success Network, the YWCA, and NashvilleHealth. She is also a member of the Mayor’s Gender Equity Council and Music City Music Council.

“Both David and Wanda are visionary leaders in our community,” said outgoing board chairman Ralph Davis. “Both bring strong expertise and an incredible passion for improving Nashville’s public school system. I know they will help lead the NPEF into an exciting new chapter.”