Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, March 24, 2017

Newsmakers: Girls Inc. welcomes CEO Blevins

Melissa Blevins has been named CEO of Girls Inc., of Chattanooga. She joins Girls Inc. after serving as the director of programs and operations for the Chattanooga Area Food Bank where she had worked since 2011.

“Melissa has demonstrated strong management and leadership abilities throughout her career in steadily increasing roles and responsibilities,’’ says Gina Dhanani, Girls Inc. board chairman.

“We’re thrilled she has agreed to join Girls Inc. as our next CEO and continue our growth and recognition in the community as the leading organization advocating for and supporting girls.”

Blevins is an active volunteer in the community, serving as the chair of the 2015 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. She has been a presenting speaker for several of the Feeding America national conferences the past two years and is a member of the Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute.

She earned a degree in organizational management from Covenant College.

“I know firsthand the adolescent struggle and the challenges that women face every day,’’ Blevins says.

“I am excited about this incredible opportunity to provide visionary leadership to an organization that inspires our girls to overcome the challenges and be strong, smart and bold. Our girls deserve to reach their potential and achieve greatness.’’

UTC’s Smith wins President’s Award

Dr. Chris Smith has been honored with the 2017 President’s Award for CONNECT from the University of Tennessee for her work as director of the UTC School of Nursing and Student Health Services Clinic.

Among her accomplishments, Smith developed and received a $1.2 million Health Resources and Services Administration grant to explore obesity across the lifespan, working with a variety of other agencies and organizations.

During her tenure as director of the School of Nursing, faculty members have launched a foot care clinic to combat chronic disease in the region’s homeless residents.

Smith was selected from nominees representing every campus and institute in the University of Tennessee.

The President’s Awards were created to honor and celebrate UT employees’ contributions and achievements.

In addition to Smith, other UTC campus nominees for the UT President’s Awards included: Yancy Freeman, associate provost for enrollment services, SUPPORT category; Dr. Hope Klug, UC foundation associate professor of biological and environmental sciences, DISCOVER category; and Laurie Melnik, executive director of the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts, EDUCATE category.