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

Entrepreneur in Residence • Rock Star • Taste+Troublemaker

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).

Joy O’Shell

Director of Outreach • Secret Weapon

In her former life, Joy managed business and legal affairs for AOL (Chicago), Amazon (Seattle) and SFX/Beatport (Denver/NYC) before “pivoting” to economic and community development in her home state.   A fifth generation Roane Countian,  Joy now has her dream job of revitalizing rural areas through entrepreneurship in east Tennessee.

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.

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.

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

Designer • Animal Aficionado • Thrift Enthusiast

Maranda is a senior graphic design student at Carson-Newman University who thrives on coffee and indie music. When she isn’t creating art, she can be seen performing in local stage productions, traveling the world, or petting cats.

Mariah McClerkin

Go-Getter • Organizer • Pinterest Addict • Model

Mariah McClerkin is a junior at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville studying Finance. When she isn’t using her creative juices and organizing skills at KEC, she is being a mentor on campus and in the community or looking for fun, new things to do.

Baker Donahue

Thrifter • Hustler • Expert Coffee Grabber

Baker is a Junior at the University of Tennessee majoring in Communication Studies and minoring in Entrepreneurship. When Baker is not getting coffee for his superiors at the KEC, he is coaching crossfit classes or pursuing his own business venture, In With The Old.

Carter Hall

Policy and Research • UT Student • The Rocky Top Researcher

Carter is a Junior at the University of Tennessee where he studies Political Science and Philosophy. When he isn’t neck deep in papers at KEC, you can find Carter trying to catch up on some reading, watching the news, or hiking up his favorite mountains in East Tennessee.

Tess Waibel

Knoxville Native • Antiques Picker • Maker

Tess is studying Marketing and Entrepreneurship at the University of Tennessee. She spent her freshman year on the sidelines as a UT cheerleader and now creates jewelry for her personal business, Salt & Light Company.

Jessica Paige Howard

Young Professional •

Mariposa Empowerment Founder • Model

Jessica is a sophomore at The University of Tennessee majoring in marketing. She founded an outreach organization for young girls in Memphis, TN. When she is not giving back to her community or studying hard, Jessica can be found fulfilling her secret passion of being a model.

Denizhan Pak

Web Dev • Filmmaker • Builder

Denizhan is a junior studying Computer Science University of Tennessee. He spends his time staring at a computer screen at KEC, spelunking around Knoxville, and making movies. His likes include: obscure board games and anything by David Fincher.