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Archive: Staff

This image portrays Jana Campbell by McNabb Center.

I had my first interview with McNabb in December of 1991, three weeks before I graduated from UT. The interviewing process was much different than it is today. Back then, you had an interview with who was hiring for the position. You were then called back for an “all day” interview. The interviews were with all the Program Directors and an hour lunch with the lead therapist. I also interviewed with the Vice President. The afternoon was filled with interviews from different staff throughout the Center.  

When I came to McNabb there was the Adult Center at Cherokee Trail and one story of the Children’s Center. It was also pre-TennCare at the time. We did not have computers, voicemail or cell phones. We got our telephone messages in our boxes. If we wanted to send out an “all staff” we made copies and put them in everyone’s mailboxes. We had beepers and carried around a bag of quarters for the payphones to return the pages. How times have changed! It is so amazing of how we have grown in my 31 years at the Center. 

Jana Campbell, Supportive Housing Administrator
Employee Since 1992

Jana Campbell

I had my first interview with McNabb in December of 1991, three weeks before I graduated from UT. The interviewing process was much different than it is today. Back then, you had an interview with…

This image portrays Jerri Little by McNabb Center.

Moving from Kentucky to Tennessee in 2017 was a very hard decision for my husband and me. Not only was leaving the place we were born and raised, we were moving away from our children and grandchildren. It was a big change for us. I was so fearful of not finding a job, making friends, and not fitting in. 

I had my first interview at Sevier County, and let me tell you I was so nervous; however, Knox Adult Center got my application and resume, and shortly after I was called for another interview. I will never forget the call from Jennifer Philips asking me if I was still interested in the position. When I hung up the phone that day, I cried so many tears of joy. I started on May 8, 2017 and I will never forget how welcomed I felt that day. I thank Sherri Light and Staci for everything they did for me that day and all the days after. I immediately knew this was the place I was meant to be. 

Over the past five and a half years, I have met so many amazing people and lifelong friends. We have laughed, cried and everything in between, but we made it through them all. I am forever grateful for that phone call I got some five years ago. McNabb has taught me so much over the years, and for that I am a better person, but most importantly I am a better clinician. 

In 2019 I was transferred to our little office in Cocke County, but don’t let office size fool you. The impact we’ve made in this area and all the clients we see is beyond words. Seeing a smile and hearing a thank you daily really proves what a difference we make. I am so blessed to work under such a great supervisor Kate, director Shellie, my best friend and co-worker Leslie, as well as Dynah, Anna, and everyone here in Newport Office. I couldn’t have hand picked a better group of people to work side by side with. Not only are they co-workers, I consider each one as family. 

McNabb, and all the McNabbers has become such a huge part of the healing for all the communities we serve. We do make a difference!

Jerri Little, Master Level Adult IST Clinician at Cocke County Office
Employee since 2017

Jerri Little

Moving from Kentucky to Tennessee in 2017 was a very hard decision for my husband and me. Not only was leaving the place we were born and raised, we were moving away from our children…

This image portrays Brandon Byrd by McNabb Center.

I was never more proud of my team when I received the phone call from our provider through the state, who said that we were being awarded more money for additional services to our program. Our program had shown the need for our services and had the productivity to receive the additional funding. I shared this with all our staff and thanked them for their hard work to build our program through the pandemic and show how needed our services were!

Brandon Byrd, Juvenile Justice Services Coordinator
Employee since 2008

Brandon Byrd

I was never more proud of my team when I received the phone call from our provider through the state, who said that we were being awarded more money for additional services to our program….

This image portrays 75th Anniversary by McNabb Center.

When I initially applied at McNabb I applied for a Cocke County Safety Net position. A few days after applying online, I get a phone call from Aaron Davies saying, “Hey how are you? Want to interview?” Here is the interesting part. When Aaron finished college he was trying to find somewhere to start his journey. I was Family Services Director at another non-profit and a mutual cohort of ours reached out and said, “Hey I know this guy. If he applies will you interview him and give him a hand up?” I said to send him over. I had to jump through a few hoops, but Aaron joined our team. Fast forward a few years and Aaron is now team lead in Cocke Co. Karma had cycled and I joined McNabb as a Safety Net Case manager with Aaron now being my supervisor. Funny how life works. I have also been blessed to have made some lifelong friends while at the Cocke Co. office. 

Fast-forward a few years later and a few positions later. I often am asked how I went from clinical to IT. I was a team leader for the FACT program. I placed a help desk ticket to request a computer to be set up for a new case manager. One Friday afternoon Matt came over to BHUCC to install the requested computer. I shared with Matt that the one thing I miss about working in IT is connecting things and making them work. Matt shared there was a position open in IT and I could make stuff work all day. I briefly thought about it and let the thought go. I love helping and I had and still have a strong passion for the population being served. The pandemic changed a lot of dynamics for a lot of people, including myself. After some internal conflict and soul searching I spoke with my supervisor at the time to share that I would like to apply for the Application Support position that was open. Kayla and Candace were supportive when I shared I would like to transition to IT. I reached out to Matt via email and the rest is history. A perk is Matt has always told me there is nothing I can break that can’t be fixed. I am not sure he really wants me practicing that, however, the support is comforting to have. I absolutely love working in IT and with the team here, the best part is I am still helping others. 

Kim Holman, Application Support, IT
Employee since 2017

Kim Holman

When I initially applied at McNabb I applied for a Cocke County Safety Net position. A few days after applying online, I get a phone call from Aaron Davies saying, “Hey how are you? Want…

This image portrays 75th Anniversary by McNabb Center.

I have wanted to work here at McNabb Military Services since I came here in 2019 to assist with a Military Marriage Seminar hosted by Military Services through the Knoxville Marriage Initiative (KMI). I became affiliated with the KMI, now Healthy Connections Knoxville (HCK) in 2018 while working with one of their key members, who happened to be my clinical supervisor and thought my wife and I would be a good fit. Naturally, with my wife and me both being 30-year Air Force and Air National Guard veterans and being very interested in helping other vets, we were asked to participate in a military couples event. Immediately upon understanding what McNabb Military Services was after participating in this event in their conference room for three days, I knew this was what I wanted to do and where I wanted to work!

A couple of years after I retired from a very successful career with the Air Force, I decided to use the rest of my GI Bill benefits and studied psychology, which eventually turned into a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate institute in Santa Barbara, California, about an hour away from where I was last stationed at Point Mugu Naval Air Station. Moving from California to Tennessee in 2018, I had no idea what was in store for me, especially finding this unique fit as a military and veterans therapist with the McNabb Center here in Knoxville.  It took a few years for there to be a vacancy but my dream was finally realized last year in April 2022.  Since then I have had the pleasure of working with some of the military and veteran population here in Knoxville who have either been referred by their command or have reached out for help with us in the past 9 months.

To choose any one client to talk about would be too difficult.  Every one of the clients I see has a unique issue(s) and we usually are able to cultivate a therapeutic bond fairly quickly, at least at first due to our service connections. Even though I am not from the area, I was assigned here at McGhee-Tyson Air Base for a few years back in the early 1990s, so I am very familiar with the area and the local Reserve and National Guard units as well as most of their missions. It also helps quite a bit that I had a four year assignment at the Pentagon working Army and Air National Guard missions, which helps me understand what types of things occur within the lives of our clients as well as being intimately familiar with the stresses of reserve and national guard daily life and operational deployments; living these things for most of my life is a definite plus. Additionally, having travelled to or deployed long-term to most of the locations our clients have deployed to as well, puts us in a unique situation in the therapist/client relationship that nothing has to be explained in detail, no terminology is misunderstood, nor is there a value misjudgment with required circumstances of war or other quandaries or stresses of military life. 

Lastly, many of the clients I have the honor to work with are family members of current military or veterans who have been negatively impacted by the challenge of military service such as separation, post-traumatic stress, the anxiety of thinking about their loved-ones’ dangerous work, or many other challenges within this arena.  Having been both a military member and the spouse of a military member also with two young boys who grew up in a military family, again provides a unique perspective in order to identify with these family struggles and assist them through their issues.  Sometimes I have no idea how I ended up here doing this type of work, although at the same time, I couldn’t imagine having a better calling or background. Thanks to the McNabb Center, our donors, and the state grant that helps fund the Military Services program, I am allowed to follow this calling and able to help our veterans and their families in need.

-Louis Danner, Masters Clinical Counselor, Military Services 
Employee since 2022

Louis Danner

I have wanted to work here at McNabb Military Services since I came here in 2019 to assist with a Military Marriage Seminar hosted by Military Services through the Knoxville Marriage Initiative (KMI). I became…

This image portrays Pam Williams by McNabb Center.

January 1, 2008 I was working for an upscale custom log home manufacturer in Kodak. The economy was booming. Life was good and going according to plan. January 30, 2008, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Soon after, the housing market began to falter. This was not according to plan. So I began a 16-month cancer journey. It was a tough road. I worked all I could between surgeries and Chemotherapy. At that time I was wondering how I was going to get to radiation treatments in Knoxville and still work in Kodak without missing a lot of work.

As the economy got worse, I worried about everything. Then on June 20, 2008, I was told I would be getting laid off work.  Well, no need to worry about missing more time from work. I was eligible for unemployment payments under President Obama’s policies. This was a life saver. I was able to have time to complete my treatments and have some money coming in to the household. 

Being unemployed, I also had more time to think and reflect about how I had spent my life so far. I had worked for one of the richest families in Sevier County. This served to make a living, but it really just helped them get richer. After that I had worked at the most exclusive Country Club in Knoxville. This also served to make a living for myself, but really just made rich people more comfortable and entertained.  The common thread between these two jobs were they only helped the rich people.

I started praying that if I survived this cancer and could return to working, could I do something for a greater good? Could I find a job that made some one’s life better? Something that would benefit the community. So I started praying to God “Please lord, let me find a job that will make a positive impact in some one’s life.” Now I knew I was not brave enough, nor did I have the qualifications to directly help most people. After I was just an accounting nerd. I could balance their check book if they needed, or help form a business plan. But how could that be of any help? But I still kept praying my prayer.

Fast forward to July 9, 2009. I have survived all the treatments and have finally been told, “YOU HAVE FINISHED ALL YOUR TREATMENTS! YOU ARE DONE!”  

It was time to look for a new job. The log home manufacturer I had worked for had closed. So I started looking in the newspaper, on line, job service and any other way I could think of to find a new job. I found several accounting job available. But I still wanted that perfect job, for a greater good. Since I was still receiving unemployment, I could take my time to find the right job.

As I looked at the listings, I would research the employer to see what their business was. At first I only sent out two resumes. One to the Patricia Neal Center, and one to this place called Helen Ross McNabb Center. I knew what the Neal center was, but I had to look up McNabb. All it took to know that I would like to be part of McNabb was they work with foster children and have a Therapeutic Preschool (whatever that was). Both called me for an interview. Wow, both called! After my interviews I felt good about Neal and McNabb. So I prayed “Lord lead me to where you want me.” But after a week I had not heard back from either one. I started to look again. I was getting nervous because I only had two weeks of unemployment left. I needed a job quick. Another week passes, and I have not heard anything from either of these jobs. I may have to go to work at Dollywood so I won’t starve. 

I had given up and was going to just find a job that would pay the bills. The next day as I was getting ready to go out to pound the Pigeon Forge pavement for a job, my phone rings. It was The Helen Ross McNabb center offering me the accounts payable job. I was given a start date, that just so happed to be the day after my unemployment ended. 

I started my McNabb story on August 19, 2009. The first five years here I was in accounts payable. Then when I found out there was a new position in Human Resources that would help the employees with FMLA and workers comp, I realized that is how I can actually have an impact on a person’s life. And trust me, I begged for this job. I thought about all the people that have helped me when I have been sick or hurt and I want to be that person for someone else. 

I hope that I can help support all of my fellow McNabb co-workers. The work you do in the communities and for our clients to “improve the lives of those we serve” makes me proud to be a small part of McNabb. After almost 13 ½ years, I never want to work anywhere else. I love this place.

Pam Williams, Leave Specialist
Employee since 2009

Pam Williams

January 1, 2008 I was working for an upscale custom log home manufacturer in Kodak. The economy was booming. Life was good and going according to plan. January 30, 2008, I was diagnosed with breast…

This image portrays Rebekah Robinson by McNabb Center.

I joined the McNabb team initially as an intern. The experience of the staff and welcoming atmosphere was infectious. I received hands on learning and skill development I never would have in other places. My internship turned into a full time positon with McNabb Center. Almost three years into full time I am ever grateful that I joined the family of McNabb. I see every day the selflessness of McNabbers and appreciative to call you all family. I am now privileged to imbue my learned skill set to interns who followed seeking a career in social work. 

Kaviandra James, Co-Occuring Services Coordinator, Hamblen County
Employee since 2020

Kaviandra James

I joined the McNabb team initially as an intern. The experience of the staff and welcoming atmosphere was infectious. I received hands on learning and skill development I never would have in other places. My…

This image portrays Rebekah Robinson by McNabb Center.

My first year of working at McNabb I found out I was pregnant and would be having a child in June 2010. In April 2010, I received a phone call from Melissa Cupp asking me to come to the office because she needed to do supervision with me. The entire way back to the clinic I was thinking “what have I done?” I was so nervous because I didn’t know why I was called to come to the clinic immediately. Once I arrived to the clinic, I went and met with Melissa. She got a supervision log out and just started talking about clients on my caseload. In the middle of our supervision, Melissa requested that “I go in the room next door and help her move a big table.” I said ok, but was thinking that maybe I shouldn’t move the table because I was seven months pregnant. When I walked into the room, I turned the lights on and all of the staff were in there and surprised me with a baby shower. I felt so blessed then, and now almost 14 years later, I feel even more blessed to be a part of such a wonderful agency and a clinic that have become my family.

Rebekah Robinson, Team Leader, Hamblen Healthlink
Employee since 2009

Rebekah Robinson

My first year of working at McNabb I found out I was pregnant and would be having a child in June 2010. In April 2010, I received a phone call from Melissa Cupp asking me…

This image portrays Rebekah Robinson by McNabb Center.

It was my first time as a supervisor with CARF. It had been a tense day of small talk and program discussion with the auditor. The feedback at that point was neutral and not significant. So it gets to the day of the exit, and I’m bracing for something BIG. We all go into the conference room for the virtual exit interview and the auditor starts sharing suggestions. After a long reading of praises and suggestion, I’m holding my breath. That’s when our auditor says, “Hamblen County, you all are the JEWEL of McNabb”. I did a mic drop and celebrated with my coworkers. Best McNabb Day EVER. 

Josh Vincent, Hamblen County IST Program Coordinator
Employee since 2012

Josh Vincent

It was my first time as a supervisor with CARF. It had been a tense day of small talk and program discussion with the auditor. The feedback at that point was neutral and not significant….

This image portrays 75th Anniversary by McNabb Center.

Having the opportunity to learn and grow as a new supervisor for the McNabb Center the last few months has been a memorable opportunity for me. I’m blessed to have colleagues that are seasoned McNabbers, and have helped to encourage, challenge and share in this new adventure with me. 

Chelsea Taylor, Hamblen CSU Master’s Program Coordinator
Employee since 2016

Chelsea Taylor

Having the opportunity to learn and grow as a new supervisor for the McNabb Center the last few months has been a memorable opportunity for me. I’m blessed to have colleagues that are seasoned McNabbers,…

McNabb Center 75 Year Anniversary