Jim Biggs

Executive Director • Head Honcho • Yale Bulldog

Jim comes to Knoxville after 20 years in San Francisco, where he was most recently the director of business solutions for Essention Group. He was once a practicing Attorney for the US , and is still a practicing Dead Head and Amateur Hockey Player.

Jonathan Sexton

COO • Rock Star • Troublemaker • Oracle

As a musician and recording artist Jonathan has played some of the areas biggest music festivals, (Sundown in the city, Foothills Fall Fest) and nationally known festivals (Bonnaroo, SXSW). He holds the Guinness World Record for Most Hugs Given in 24 Hours.

Stephen Jenkins

Chief People Person • VFL • Adventurer

Stephen began his career as a google maestro and metrics guru He has a deep passion for all counties in East Tennessee and serves them as the Rural Entrepreneur-in-Residence at KEC. He can often be found reading at a coffee shop or exploring Downtown Knoxville.

Maranda Vandergriff

Creative Director • Maker • Thrift Enthusiast

Maranda is a creative who thrives on coffee and indie music. She is a graduate of Carson-Newman’s graphic design program with a passion for art and adventure. In her spare time, Maranda enjoys performing in local stage productions, traveling the world, and petting cats.

Delaney Boyd

 Marketing Wizard • Book Connoisseur

Delaney recently graduated with a degree in Marketing and International Business from the University of Tennessee. She spends her time working on KEC marketing, traveling to new cities, and taste testing cheese grits. Her likes include: live music and relaxing on the beach.

Lisa Duncan

Entrepreneur Consultant • Maker • Community Collaborator

After 30 years at EW Scripps and turning around Dogwood Arts, Lisa launched her creative capital firm working with entrepreneurs, growing their businesses. Lisa works with KEC and the City of Knoxville on the Maker City initiatives. She also makes stained glass windows, rides bicycles and gardens.

Booth Andrews

Co.Starters Guru • Culture Builder • Chief Girl Scout

John Bruck

Lead Mentor • Entrepreneur• Adrenaline Junkie

John joined the Knoxville entrepreneurial community after a long and successful career as founder/CEO of several companies, including an environmental and energy engineering firm in Cincinnati.  He is a fun-loving grandpa, angel investor, avid woodworker and die-hard REDS fan.

Tala Shatara

Journalist • Videographer

Tala Shatara is a senior at the University of Tennessee studying Journalism and Electronic Media. She takes part in the “Knox Starts Here” video series at KEC as a journalist and videographer. She also loves binge watching Netflix series and exercising. Tala will host her own class “From Follower to Friend,” teaching the basics of online influencing and maintaining achievable engagement.

Tanner Burleson

Film Maker • Hans Zimmer Superfan

Tanner is a senior at Carson-Newman University studying film and digital media. Tanner is a multi-talented artist who also plays guitar and piano. He wants to be a film score composer after graduation. He is helping KEC this summer with his video skills.

Kira Crocker

Sass Queen • Marketing and Spelling Intern

Kira is a senior at the University of Tennessee studying Marketing. She enjoys live music, playing with dogs, spelling things correctly, and the lake.

Hanna Dice

Graphic Designer • Festival Frequenter

Hanna is a junior Graphic Design student at the University of Tennessee. She loves to travel to new places, meet new people, and always has her cat prowling around. Most of her enjoyment comes from listening music and taking photos.

Joe Doeg

Swiss Army Knife • KEC Legacy • Happiness Engineer

Joe Doeg is a rising senior at Miami University (Ohio) studying Media and Culture and Interactive Media Studies. Joe enjoys hiking, watching movies, and live music. Joe does not enjoy cleaning, stubbing his toe, or frogs.

Brent Hurst

Web Dev Intern • Sports Enthusiast

Brent is originally from Sequatchie County, TN, and is a Senior at the University of Tennessee. He is triple-majoring in Computer Science, Spanish, and Math. In his free time he likes to code, and he also wastes way too much time watching sports.

KEC Team Mascot

Zach Ramsey

Graphic Designer • Banjo Extraordinaire

Zach is a graphic designer and graduate of Carson-Newman University. You can find Zach frolicking with his cats or playing his banjo. He is an avid pizza, mashed potatoes, and beer consumer.