Fourteen Individuals Graduate from United Way’s Nine-Month Catalyst Program Sponsored by First Baptist Church Murfreesboro


On May 19th, 14 individuals graduated from United Way’s nine-month Catalyst program. The class of business leaders has participated in the program to become engaged in social responsibility through the means of advocacy, giving and volunteerism.

The Catalyst program’s goal is to train volunteers to serve in nonprofit leadership roles, such as nonprofit boards, in Rutherford and Cannon counties. Participants in the program gather monthly to learn about governance, financial accountability, diversity, equity and inclusion, and more topics as they relate to nonprofit leadership. The program also offers opportunities to connect directly with local non-profits through agency tours and projects.

This year’s class engaged in projects to understand the different structures and models of nonprofit boards. Participants paired up with a local nonprofit, and then spent their time in the program observing, researching and analyzing the Board of Directors for that organization. In many cases, this activity identified local nonprofit needs and opportunities for graduates to become involved and give back.

“It has been a pleasure to watch this year’s participants learn, grow, and become more engaged with our nonprofit community. They are a passionate group of community leaders who are equipped to make a big impact on some of the greatest needs in our community,” stated Ella Weaver, Catalyst Program Coordinator and Director of Strategic Initiatives and Programs at United Way.

2021-2022 Catalyst Participants include:

Kara Carpenter, Roscoe Brown, Inc.

Charles R. Frazier, Esq., The Law Offices of Charles R. Frazier

Tamara Gwyn, Middle Tennessee Electric

Bernard James, Property Management Inc.

Hayley McCracken, Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford

Dena Oneal, Stones River Consulting

Alicia Stachura, Amelia’s Closet/Liberty’s Station

Denise Sweeney, The Law Office of W. Scott Kimberly, PLLC

Christian Acosta, Volunteer State Bank

Lula Ogunpola, Social Worker

Leslie Pionke, Wilson Bank & Trust

Francela Salas, Redstone Federal Credit Union

Tunisia Scott, First Baptist Church Murfreesboro

Don Stewart, First Baptist Church Murfreesboro

The program is sponsored by First Baptist Church Murfreesboro. Applications for the 2022-2023 Catalyst class will be available in June.

For additional questions, please contact United Way at (615) 893-7303.

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