Board of Directors

Scott Elam - Chairman

Scott Elam is the risk manager & director of training for Wright Brothers Companies. He has worked in the construction field for more than 20 years; however, in 2014 everything changed when he heard Robert Stutman of the Stutman/Switalski group speak about the effects of the opioid epidemic within our businesses, communities, and families.

Shortly after this awakening ATS the Bridge was formed to spread awareness, locate treatment options and help sustain sobriety for those affected by the abuse of harmful substances. These form the three core objectives of ATS the Bridge.

The demographics for these core objectives start in the 4th grade and continue through adulthood and include businesses, civic organizations, local and state governments, churches and youth groups. Scott says, “We must shed light on darkness. Empowerment comes through knowledge and action.”

Steve Wright - Treasurer

Steve Wright has been actively employed by Wright Brothers Construction Company Inc. since 1978, in every position from laborer to corporate officer. He currently serves as president of Wright Brothers Construction Company Inc., president of Wright Brothers Contracting Inc., and an officer or member in other companies related to the family businesses. His clients over the years have included the Departments of Transportation for Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia and many other projects for various owners.

His most recent industry interests include currently serving on the Board of Directors of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, director of the Midsouth Mutual Insurance Company, commissioner for the Tennessee Prevailing Wage Commission, and board member of the Heartland Group Ltd.

Among his community interests are membership at First Cumberland Presbyterian Church where he is a former member of the Board of Elders. He is also a member of the Cleveland Regional Jetport Authority, was chairman of the board in 2012 for the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, and served on the board of the Southeast Tennessee Development District.

He attended Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn., has taken numerous industry-related training classes and is a 6,000-hour commercial pilot with instrument and multiengine rating.

Bill Winters - Secretary

Bill Winters has supported the academic and social growth of the younger generation. From social worker and minister to administrator and public servant, his commitment has been to the children in his community. After 35-plus years in public and private education, he has worked as a Lee University instructor, supervisor of Student Teacher Field experience, Exemplary Educator, Turnaround School consultant and Tennessee Achievement specialist. These, Bill says, are becoming the capstone to his educational career.

He currently serves as Bradley County Commissioner for the 7th District, a position he has held since 2010. His community service also includes 12 years on the Bradley County Board of Education, with three years as board chairman. Bill is a past member of the All Tennessee School Board and past president of the Bradley County Principals Association. He was named Principal of the Year by TASSE and Who’s Who in Education.

Bill has a master’s degree in education, counseling, from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, with additional coursework for certification in administration/supervision. He has 45 hours of graduate studies in educational leadership from East Tennessee State University. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Lee College in sociology.

Bill has been married to Karen Roberson for 47 years. They have two married children, Jennifer and Robbie; four granddaughters, Sarah, Rachel, Ruthie and Lilly; and two grandsons, Luke and Holt.

Kevin D. Brooks

Kevin Brooks, is the current Mayor of Cleveland, Tennessee. He previously worked professionally as a public relations and conference management specialist, is representative of the 24th legislative district for the state of Tennessee and has been a member of the House of Representative from the 105th through the 110th General Assemblies. His service in public office has included the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee; House Insurance and Banking Committee; and Council on Pensions and Insurance. He too served as assistant majority leader for the 107th, 108th and 109th General Assemblies. Kevin is a former member of the House Committee on Children and Family Affairs; vice chairman of the House Domestic Relations Subcommittee, 107th General Assembly; chairman of the Children and Family Affairs General Committee; and member of the House Higher Education Subcommittee. Additionally, he has served on several other committees.

His community service in Cleveland/Bradley County includes 2010-2016 membership on the board of directors for Operation Compassion and Habitat for Humanity of Bradley County; membership of the Tennessee Hospitality Association; and board membership with Rejuvenate Advisory Board, Orlando Client Advisory Board and Nashville CVC Advisory Board. Locally, he is a former board member for MainStreet Cleveland; past Cleveland City Planning commissioner; former chairman of the Blue Ribbon Advisory Council for Cleveland City Schools; and former division chair for United Way of the Ocoee Region. Kevin is a member of the Rotary Club of Cleveland and a Paul Harris Fellow.

Kevin has numerous awards and honors to his credit. His most recent recognition includes the 2017 Tennessee Chamber American Academy of Pediatrics Legislator of the Year; 2017 Tennessee Gas Association 'Friend of the Flame' Award; 2016 Legislative Champion Award, SCORE; 2016 Bradley County GOP Lifetime Achievement Award; 2015 Disability Hero, Tennessee Disability Coalition; and 2015 Legislative Champion Award, Autism Speaks.

Kevin has a bachelor’s degree from Lee University. He and his wife, Kim, have two adult children.

Steve Hartline

Steve Hartline is the owner of Mix 104.1 WCLE and Talk 101.3 The Buzz. Steve began hosting the Morning Show on Mix 104.1 in 2003. He began working at the station as a sports announcer at the age of 15. He is a graduate of Cleveland High School and Lee University.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce.

Steve is married to Jennifer, and they have two children, Reagan and Holden. 

Gary Sears

Gary Sears is the pastor of Reaching and Relating for Mt. Olive Ministries in Cleveland, Tenn. His vision for Mt. Olive is to reach not only the community and surrounding area but around the world.

Gary attended Lee College, earning a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Education, and the School of Theology, earning a master’s degree in Biblical Studies and Christian Education. He has served his denomination in numerous leadership positions and has been a frequent speaker and guest lecturer. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Operation Compassion, Perry Stone Ministries and Church of God World Missions, which he chairs, along with several committees within the denomination as well.

Gary is actively involved in the Cleveland/Bradley County community and is a member of Rotary International and recent recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow Rotarian award. He has served as Chaplain of the Day for the State of Tennessee House of Representatives on numerous occasions. He serves as chaplain for the Cleveland and Bradley County Police Departments and Tennova Hospital, is a past board member for the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, and presently serves on the board for Tri-State Exhibition Center. Gary also serves on committees for the Drug Task Force, Bridge Builders and Cleveland 100.

He is married to Charletta D. Sears. They have two married children, James and Sharvetta, and five grandsons, Tucker, Carson, Breydon, Preston and Garrison.

Dewayne Thompson

Dewayne Thompson has been employed at Lee University for better than 35 years and served in various capacities from full-time faculty to leadership as both Department Chair and Dean.  Additionally, he has served the community on various boards, committees, and councils.  Specifically, he has served on the Board of Directors for the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, The Caring Place, and Family Resource Agency.  Professionally, he served on the Accreditation Council of Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).  On these boards, he has served both as a member and in leadership roles as secretary and chair of the board.  Additionally, he has had extensive involvement at Westmore Church of God for the past 30-plus years.

Specifically, Dewayne has provided seminars, lectures, and workshops on leadership, strategic planning, business ethics, and higher education both domestically and internationally to such locations as China, Russia, and Paraguay. Other service to Lee University took him to Chile, Scotland, England, Wales, Germany, Austria, France, and Italy.

For the accrediting organization, ACBSP, he served as mentor to colleges and universities preparing for accreditation, as well as serving on a number of site evaluation teams.  

Dewayne and his wife, Cathy, have been married for 36 years and are especially proud of their daughters Amie Wilson and Lauren Soucy; they married well to David Wilson and Kurt Soucy. Their grandchildren—Kate, Matt, Anna, and Gabriel—are our delight.