Leadership Blount Press Release
RELEASE DATE: Monday, Nov. 5, 2012
Debbie Henry named new executive director of Leadership Blount Leadership Blount has a new executive director. Debbie Henry, who has been serving as manager of the Leadership Loudon County program for the past two years, will begin her tenure with Leadership Blount on Nov. 12.
The Leadership Blount Board Chairman John Hinkle (Class of 1999), last week offered Henry the position that was vacated by Katherine Best Caputo, who served from May 2010 until she relocated to Kansas with her family in September 2012. Former executive director Carolyn Forster has been shepherding the 2013 class since September.
Henry, of Lenoir City, is an alumnus of the Leadership Loudon County program and has served as president of the Leadership Loudon Alumni Association for three years. She began facilitating the Loudon County program when it was decided that the board would take over managing the program, with plans to hand the management back to the Loudon Education Foundation at the end of 2012.
“I am excited to be chosen for this opportunity in Blount County,” says Henry. “Regionally, Leadership Blount has a great reputation for excellence and innovation. I have worked in Blount County previously through two different positions, and I am excited to become part of the Blount County landscape.”
Henry has worked with the Health Education Alliance of Loudon County as executive director, with responsibilities for fundraising, event planning, programming and general management. She was the community marketing manager for the Girl Scouts of Tanasi Council, worked with the Boys & Girls Club of Loudon County and was district manager for Doncaster, a direct sales business of high-end women’s clothing. Henry has a bachelor of science in education from Berry College and a master’s of education from the University of Tennessee. She began her working career as a teacher, working in elementary schools for 14 years.
Henry’s professional involvement includes Leadership Loudon County Class of 2005, United Way of Loudon County Board of Directors, Loudon County Education Foundation Board of Directors, Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, Teen Pregnancy Prevention Task Force and the East Tennessee Regional Health Council. She is a member of the Church of the Resurrection Episcopal Church. She and Wayne, her husband of 32 years, are sports car enthusiasts and members of the Roadster Association of the Smoky Mountains Miata Club and Sports Car Club of America. Wayne Henry is an attorney in Loudon.
“We are excited to have someone with the qualifications and passion that Debbie will bring to our organization,” says Hinkle. “We believe Debbie will continue the excellent leadership that we have had since we started in 1991.”
The search committee was made up of board members, community leaders and Leadership Blount alumni. “We were very pleased to have had so many excellent qualified individuals apply for the position,” says Hinkle. “Our selection committee, chaired by Greg McClain (Class of 1999), spent a great deal of time and effort to insure we had a top notch group of candidates to interview.”
Henry says that coming in with the Class of 2013 offers a unique opportunity for her as new executive director. “My first meeting will be for the Business and Industry class on Thursday, Nov. 8. I will be essentially going through the program with this Class of 2013, so I will have the opportunity to have the Leadership Blount experience while managing the program.”
Henry says she will be able to hit the ground running because of her familiarity with the Leadership programs. “I am already such a fan of Leadership programs like Leadership Blount. I believe there is nothing more important to the growth and vitality of a community that to cultivate citizens who really know their county and know what leadership opportunities are available and needed.”