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I volunteer with the TKF because 1 in 3 American adults are at risk for kidney disease and I know the TKF relies on individuals in the community to step-up and freely give their time in order to help sustain its empowering programs for those at risk or affected by kidney disease in our TN communities. I truly believe the volunteer work I do with the TKF is vital to ensuring this marginalized group receives the critical support needed to positively impact their livelihood.
Michael joined the TKF team in 2018 after spending the past seven years working for the YMCA in Middle Tennessee, Everett, Washington and most recently Fort Worth, Texas, where he served as the Executive Director of the Airport Area YMCA. Michael earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Mississippi State University and a Master’s from Western Kentucky University. Michael and his wife Suzanne are parents to Emma (3) and Haden (1). Michael is an aspiring endurance athlete, having just completed his first Ironman 70.3 in Chattanooga and first full marathon in Chicago.
Heather joined TKF as CEO in June 2016 after serving as the director of development for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Nashville from 2006-2016. Heather has been married to Jason for 11 years and they are parents to Sophie (8) and Hawkes (4) and a brood of found pets, including dogs Sparky (13), Lucy (11) and cat Hadley (13). She is an avid runner and health nut who is known to lace up for a mid-day run from the office when things get stressful. Her mom, Jan, was diagnosed with kidney disease more than 30 years ago, and because Heather has seen firsthand how prevention and education have made a difference for Jan, she is passionate about expanding those services in Tennessee.
Lauren Braddock joined TKF in 2018 in this newly-created staff role. She is a Texas native with deep Tennessee roots and a background in behavioral health, working for much of her career at Youth Villages as a Placement Counselor in the foster care program. She also worked for several years as a horseback riding instructor and camp director in West Tennessee. A graduate of Freed-Hardeman University, Lauren is married to her high school sweetheart and loves spending time with her husband, family, and friends. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, cooking, and volunteering as an ESL teacher.
Cynthia joined TKF in 2017 soon after earning her Master of Public Health from Tennessee State University and has overseen strategic implementation of TKF’s quickly-growing program and outreach activities. She has extensive experience working with communities affected by chronic disease. Cynthia is also an active arts advocate, including service on citizen panels for Metro Arts Commission, the board of Actors Bridge, and Act Like a GRRRL, Inc., an autobiographical writing and performance program for girls ages 12-18. She also enjoys exploring Tennessee’s greenways, dancing, and cooking for friends and family.