The Contributor Inc.is a 501c3 nonprofit organization in Nashville, Tennessee. We print a weekly street newspaper that accomplishes the following:
- Provides a diversity of perspectives and information on the condition of homelessness while highlighting the contributions of homeless and formerly homeless individuals
- Provides homeless and formerly homeless newspaper vendors with a source of income
- Creates community between vendors and customers
“Street Newspaper” is a term for a newspaper that focuses on issues surrounding homelessness and poverty and is sold by homeless and formerly homeless individuals on the street. You can learn more about our program on our Frequently Asked Questions page.
One on One with John Seigenthaler
Tasha A. French Lemley (Founding Executive Director) has experience as a homeless outreach worker, and has spent years photographing and interviewing individuals living on the street in Nashville (www.sanshouses.com). She currently serves on the Metro Human Relations Commission. Tasha was the recipient of the 2009 Titans Community Quarterback award, given to the top volunteer in the state of Tennessee, for her initial efforts with The Contributor, and in 2012 she was the winner of Whole Foods’ Whole Planet Foundation’s “Small Change for Big Change” contest. She married Mark, her best friend of a dozen years, and they used the Foundation’s trip award to India as their honeymoon—visiting women who are recipients of Grameen microloans. A budding chai wallah, she is passionate about searching for divinity, community, diversity, the answers that we have for each other—and those we can find together. email@example.com
- Founder of The Contributor, Inc.
- Directs the vision and momentum of The Contributor.
- Oversees all staff.
Skip Anderson (Editor) is an award-winning journalist whose previous work includes editorial leadership roles at Nashville In Review weekly newspaper, several publications at Vanderbilt University and, most recently, the Williamson Herald. He co-authored a sports nutrition book titled Eating to Win with America’s #1 Food Coach, and created a baseball scorebook that is sold through the team store of the Minnesota Twins. He holds a B.A. in journalism from Belmont University where he graduated with Pinnacle honors in 1994. Although he has lived in Atlanta; St. Paul, Minn.; and Washington, D.C., Nashville is very much his home. He is many things on any given day, including a baseball fan, a regular visitor to Nashville’s beautiful parks, a straight advocate for the LGBTQ community, and a longtime fan of The Contributor.
- Manages and directs the editorial vision and content of The Contributor newspaper, assists vendor writers in honing their submissions and facilitates all news and feature-writing assignments.
Tom Wills (Director of Vending) is a co-founder of The Contributor. He has been working with the urban poor ministries of The Downtown Presbyterian Church since 1994, where he is a member and also has artist studio space. He was also a co-founder of Belcourt, Yes! a non-profit formed to reopen the Belcourt Theatre in the Hillsboro Village neighborhood of Nashville, TN. He also serves on the board of T.A.D.P. (Tennesseans for Alternatives for the Death Penalty). firstname.lastname@example.org
- Is responsible for interviewing and training all new vendors, helping vendors understand and flourish in their role as independent businessmen and women.
- Manages vendor databases and The Contributor‘s financial books.
- Founder of The Contributor, Inc.
Jillian Hensley (Director of Operations) has a strong passion for social justice and community development, which has taken her to more than 15 countries. Her non-profit background includes serving with organizations committed to the eradication of poverty, homelessness, and human trafficking. Prior to joining The Contributor, Jillian served as the Director of Recruiting and Mobilization for Rahab’s Rope, an organization dedicated to serving women and girls that have been forced into India’s infamous sex trade or are at-risk for the same. Jillian is a 2007 graduate of Johnson University and a World Race alumna. email@example.com
Brady Banks (Director of Development) has a commitment to drawing generous givers closer to the places where there is need. He has served in various outreach and development positions in both the non-profit and public sectors. Before coming on board at The Contributor, Brady served as the Outreach Director at the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation and also as the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods in Nashville, TN. He serves as a councilperson on the Metro Council. He is a board member for the Belmont Wesley Foundation and regular Sunday school teacher at Belle Meade United Methodist Church. Brady is a graduate of Mercer University and Harvard Divinity School. He is married to the Rev. Kristin Clark-Banks and they love playing with their wild and rambunctious son, Thaddeus. When he has some free time, Brady enjoys tennis, volleyball, reading, learning, thinking, good conversations, cooking, eating, and cheering on Tennessee Volunteers’ football, Mercer Bears’ football, and the Chicago Cubs. firstname.lastname@example.org
Linda Bailey (Assistant Editor) is a Texas native who’s passion for non-profits and design led her to The Contributor in 2011 after graduating with a degree in Journalism from Abilene Christian University. She loves forming relationships with people and sees each new experience as potential material for writings or designs. In her free time, Linda frequents coffee shops, antique stores and any place with a good donut.
- Designs each issue of The Contributor while assisting the editor with writing, editing and gathering submissions for each issue
Amanda Haggard (Reporter), the newest addition to the staff, joined The Contributor to marry her writing and reporting skills to her passion for social advocacy. Her previous work has appeared in the Nashville Scene, The Tennessean and USA Today. She graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a journalism degree, where she found a love for telling stories rather than just reporting the news. She worked under Pulitzer Prize winning journalists as a Seigenthaler Scholar, which allowed her to follow a beat covering Nashville’s federal court system and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. She and her husband of five years, Paul, enjoy playing with dogs, practicing yoga and listening to music.
Brett Flener (Vendor Support Coordinator) is a co- founder of the non-profit Open Table Nashville, and a dedicated volunteer with organizations such as Workers’ Dignity, Nashville Fair Food, and The Nashville Homeless Organizing Coalition. He credits his path in life to his formative years, as he watched his parents embody the meaning of hospitality through their actions with others. Brett is also an active participant of Amos House Community – an ecumenical catholic worker community in Nashville, TN.
Helen Chalmers (Vendor Program Assistant & Development Coordinator) has a desire to see people freed from poverty of all forms. She has dedicated her life to serving others. Since graduating University of North Georgia in 2007, she has travelled to over 14 countries with The World Race, worked in the World Race office as logistics coordinator and then in World Race Sales. A job as a Residential Assistant with Mercy Ministries moved Helen to Nashville, where she now calls home. In addition to serving as Secretary in her neighborhood association, Helen loves any form of adventure and random road trips. She also enjoys playing tennis, and anything in the sun.
Board of Directors
David Miller Walley (Interim Chair) A Mississippi native, I have been in Tennessee for almost 20 years now. My family and I moved here from New Orleans, where my wife Ellen was born and raised. We married in New Orleans and two of our three children were born there. Our firstborn, our only daughter, is about to be married in September of this year. We also have two grown sons, both artists. Nashville is definitely home.
Our family moved here after completion my graduate school stints for me to work as a national consultant with a publishing agency. I had approximately 15 years of prior experience in counseling and church ministry experience. Two and a half years ago I began a private practice after having started and served as Director of The BabbCenter for 14 ½ years. Now I see clients for counseling, work as a leadership coach in internal settings, serve as a consultant with pastors, business leaders, and the like, and I do some writing and editing for other writers.
I like to read, sculpt with clay, play the piano, and would like to be a really good abstract painter. We’ll see.
LaCosta Wix (Secretary) I am originally from Tennessee and moved back six years ago after going to college in Kentucky, law school in New Orleans, and working in Washington, DC, for a year. I love living in Nashville but miss New Orleans every day. After five years working for the Department of Commerce and Insurance, I’ve been with United Healthcare as a government relations and compliance attorney for the last year and a half. I am mother to the world’s most neurotic and perfect dog, Ignatius J. Reilly Wix. I like to split my spare time between live music, travel, and trying out all these wonderful new restaurants that keep popping up all over Nashville!
Joshua Nunnally (Treasurer) I am from Louisiana and received my college degree from the University of Louisiana – Monroe. I moved to Nashville after being accepted into Nashville School of Law. I worked for 3 years for the corporate offices of the YMCA of Middle TN. I am now Chief Operations Officer at Laser One, a printer and copier company in Nashville. I also co-own a food truck called Retro Sno. I love to work outside and do anything that involves interacting with people. I’m excited to work with this board and see lives changed by our ideas and teamwork.
Lisa Cook is a rare Nashville native, having been born and raised here all her life. She was employed by AT&T for 24 years as a Sr. Project Manager in the Finance department. Lisa has two brothers and one four-legged daughter named Minnie Pearl (a miniature dachshund). She is very active in her church, especially in the areas of Christian education and youth ministry. Lisa is an honors graduate of Bethel University (McKenzie, TN) with a B.A. in Business and Organizational Development. In 2012 Lisa took a leap of faith and retired early from AT&T after answering a call to the ministry. She is currently a full time student at Memphis Theological Seminary, earning her Masters of Divinity degree in preparation for ordination to Word and Sacrament in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church tradition.
Melissa Eli returned to Nashville for the second time in early 2013 after living in South Africa since 2010. Initially she served as a Peace Corps volunteer and in 2011 became the Project Manager for an Economic and Livelihood Development Project focused on integrating small-holder farmers and local artisans into existing value-chains. During this time she also established Isiphephelo, a place of safety and child advocacy project for abused children.
She earned her Master’s degree in International Administration and Development from the University of Denver and her Bachelor’s from Palm Beach Atlantic University in International Business. She is currently working at Nashville Public Television while she and her husband settle in to a happy Nashville life. In addition to her work with NPT, Melissa provides development consultation to one international and two nationally based non-profit organizations. She is extremely passionate about Asset-Based and Citizen-Led development initiatives and can talk for hours about the wisdom in empowering beneficiaries, creating market-based solutions to address poverty and developing enabling environments so citizen beneficiaries can drive their own development. She has a cat that lives in Portland, Maine, is a proud aunt and spends her free time camping, running or reading or, when all else fails, watching Law and Order while doing Sudoku.
Andrew Krinks is the former editor of The Contributor, which he joined in 2008. He has been an advocate for members of Nashville’s impoverished and unhoused communities since 2007, and, more recently, for the rights and dignity of incarcerated persons, as well. Andrew completed his Master of Theological Studies degree at Vanderbilt Divinity School in May 2013. He stepped down from his position as editor of The Contributor in August 2013 in order to begin pursuing his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University’s Graduate Department of Religion, with a focus in theology and ethics, and with a special theological focus on issues of poverty, incarceration, and human agency in situations of social marginalization and oppression.
Anupa Naik is just a girl looking for genuine ways to connect with people that are interested in working together to make every day count. She has been working in some capacity in the health care industry since high school and is passionate about improving access to health care for all patients. She is grateful to have been connected with a growing company in Nashville with values and goals that mirror her own – www.InQuicker.com – where she is an Implementation Manager who adapts technology and education to serve health care providers and patients all over the nation. Prior to this, Anupa was a health care consultant, completed her MBA at Vanderbilt University, and received her Bachelor’s from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
After moving every year since undergrad, Nashville has provided Anupa with a home and sense of community that has been instrumental in personal, professional, and spiritual growth. Being on the Board of The Contributor provides Anupa with an opportunity to be of service to an integral part of the Nashville landscape and to further her mission of finding peace in the every day.