Dewayne Thompson - Chairman of the BoardDewayne Thompson has been employed at Lee University for better than 40 years and served in various capacities from full-time faculty to leadership and currently, Dean of the School of Business and a Distinguished Professor of Business. 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 40 years and are especially proud of their daughters Amie Wilson and Lauren Soucy married to Kurt Soucy. Their grandchildren—Kate, Matt, Anna, Gabrielle, Zoey, and another on the way!
Bill Winters - Vice ChairBill 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 40-plus years in public and private education, he has worked as a Lee University instructor, financial aid director, supervisor of Student Teacher Field experience, AP Exemplary Educator, Principal at BJHS and OMS, 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.
Steve Wright - TreasurerSteve 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.
Kevin D. BrooksKevin Brooks, is the current Mayor of Cleveland, Tennessee. He serves the Church of God professionally in public relations and conference management. Formerly he was 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 Religious Conference Management Association, Orlando Client Advisory Board and Nashville CVC Advisory Board. Locally, he is a former board member for MainStreet Cleveland; past Cleveland City Planning commissioner from 2004-2006; 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 current member of the Rotary Club of Cleveland, serving as President-Elect and is 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 HartlineSteve Hartline has been known as the voice of Mix 104.1 for over 19 years, but he’s been with WCLE for most of his life. Steve has been recognized as the “Communicator of the Year” from the Cleveland Media Association and “Communication Alumni of the Year” in 2015 from Lee University. He was awarded the Cleveland State Community First Business Person of The Year Award in 2021 and the “Small Business Award” from the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce in 2020. Steve knew he wanted to be a radio personality ever since he was a little boy, he used to interview his dog with sticks. He had always been fascinated with radio personalities growing up, and found that his passion for it was ‘like breathing’. Since his senior year of high school at Cleveland High, Steve has been a familiar face in the WCLE station. As a senior, he did janitorial work, office work, and was a board operator for the station. He caught his ‘big break’ when he was able to be on air at the age of 15 and even ran commercials for a Braves game on behalf of the station. Throughout his collegiate years, Steve majored in Telecommunications and continued at WCLE as a sports announcer for Lee University and Cleveland State’s basketball and baseball teams. Upon graduation, Steve became full-time at WCLE by hosting shows and announcing Walker Valley Football games. In 2008, Steve and his wife Jennifer bought WCLE and have been the owner ever since. Aside from their small business ‘child’, he and Jennifer share two children, Reagan and Holden. Steve’s ‘favorite children are the family pets, a multi-poo named Annie, and their cat Baby. Steve is fully himself on-air and loves to have a good time with listeners. When not on the radio, Steve enjoys playing tennis, watching movies, and loves to read an awful lot. He claims that the key to his heart has always been and always will be chocolate. And yes, his voice has always “been like that”.
Gary SearsGary 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.
Clay Collins serves as the General Sessions Court Judge for Bradley County. In this position, Clay rules on criminal matters, mental health determinations, and nuisance actions. Prior to taking the bench, Clay worked as an assistant district attorney for six years, handling thousands of criminal matters, arguing hundreds of motions, trying dozens of cases, and obtaining numerous jury convictions (including convictions for first- degree murder, reckless homicide, aggravated sexual battery, and child rape). Before becoming a prosecutor, Clay battled public nuisances across the county, working to shut down drug dens and prostitution rings. He has also worked on Capitol Hill and with Alliance Defending Freedom. Throughout his legal career, Clay has witnessed first-hand the devastating effects that drug use has. He is committed to fighting the opioid epidemic through education, rehabilitation, mentorship, and community outreach, and is currently pursuing the establishment of a drug court for misdemeanor offenders.
Clay and his lovely wife Carly have five children. They are active members at First Baptist Cleveland, where they regularly serve in children’s ministry. Clay is also a member of the Rotary Club of Cleveland. In his spare time, Clay enjoys coaching his son’s baseball team, watching his daughters dance and cheer, reading to his children, and hiking through Tennessee’s forests.
Ed McIntire moved to Cleveland Tennessee in 1997 after completing general surgery and urology training at Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City Kansas. He is currently a senior partner at Tennessee Valley Urology Center where he has practiced for the past 25 years.
He has served in various leadership roles at our local hospital. He has been active in numerous community nonprofit organizations. Leadership roles have included board chairman of the Community Foundation of Cleveland and Bradley County, Bradley Initiative Credit Union, and the Bradley Initiative for Church and Community. He served as chairman for each of those organizations for greater than 10 years.
Ed and his wife, Rebecca have been married for 30 years. They are proud members of Broad St. United Methodist Church where they have both been very involved. They have 2 children, Jay and Maddox.
Rachel Goins is a local resident in Cleveland Tennessee, throughout her career, she has worked in research and development, business management, sales, and customer service. She currently holds the 5th District School Board Seat in Bradley County. She has been involved in many civic and non-profit organizations in the community. She believes everyone can personally make an impact by serving in their community.
Rachel is the founder of the "Be the Light Movement of Hope" whose mission is to spread awareness, love people where they are and collaborate with organizations about substance use and addiction. Since the death of her son Mason in April of 2017, it has been her mission to bring awareness to the community on the vast and growing epidemic. She believes breaking the stigma that is placed on drug addiction/overdoses will help families break their silence and encourage their loved ones to seek help. She has watched more individuals succumb to this epidemic, she wants people to know that recovery is possible and sustainable if they're surrounded by people that love and support them.
Rachel has a bachelor's degree in K-12 Health and Exercise Science from UTC of Chattanooga. She has an associate's degree in Business Management with Accounting Concentration and an associate's degree in Business Technology.
Rachel has been married to the love of her life Barry for 18 years. They have five children, Justin, Brandon, Gage, Brystal, and Mason(deceased). Their six grandchildren; Adelyn, Macie, Taylor, Oliver, Tanner and Ella brings so much love and joy into their lives.
Dr. Dewayne Knight, MD, LAT, ATC
Dr. DeWayne Knight serves as the team physician and medical director of the Athletic Training Education program at Lee University where he has been employed for the last 20 years. Before coming to Lee University, Knight practiced privately in family and emergency medicine from 1979-1999 where he participated in substance disorder programs and support groups. Knight is currently involved as an advisor to Anchor Point Ministries and Celebrate Recovery.