Our Board


Leslie Casteel
Board President, Governance Committee Chair

I grew up in the Halls community in North Knox County where I graduated from Halls High School. I then went to the University of Tennessee, where I received my Bachelors of Science degree in Business Administration with a major in Accounting. My first job was with the FDIC, regulating banks. When they closed the Knoxville office, I decided to open my own tax and accounting office under the name of Casteel and Company. I recently have scaled back the practice because of medical issues so I now have seven companies for which I do bookkeeping, payroll and tax preparation I currently reside in my four-legged fur baby’s hours. Barcley lets anyone and everyone who wants to come stay with us, right down to the worms and caterpillars he finds outside. I also attend Wallace Memorial Baptist Church where I sub in the church office as necessary (and when it’s not tax season.) Outside of work and church, I enjoy boating, when my health allows. I love a good round of golf, riding jet skis, water skiing and snow skiing. During softball season, you’ll catch me at Lee Stadium watching my beloved Lady Vol softball team.

I also serve on the following boards: 1st Vice President and Board Member for the Tennessee Association of Tax Professionals, TNSEA, incorporator and president of the Halls High School Foundation, incorporator and president of Halls Elementary Foundation.


Glenn McGuire
Vice President, Internal Affairs Committee Chair

I am currently the Director of Finance and Administration at Zoo Knoxville, a position that I have held since January 2014. Prior to that, I spent 14 years in the healthcare industry. I have been Director of Finance, Site Finance Manager and CFO of several small, local hospitals. I have served on several local community organizations including Leadership Campbell County, Campbell County Community Foundation and West LaFollette Baptist Church. I serve on this board of directors because I want to give back to my community and I feel that no one should be homeless.


Melissa Owens
Secretary, Governance Committee

Area of Expertise: Law
I serve on the TVCH Board of Directors because I believe that alleviating homelessness is critical in caring for individuals and in strengthening our communities. My role on the Board allows me to put my skills and time to work serving those individuals and the community.

I have lived in East Tennessee most of my life. I graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in May 2014 with a desire to put my training to use in helping others. I joined the TVCH Board of Directors in February 2015. My work as an attorney has often put me in touch with the homeless and precariously housed individuals that TVCH serves and I have been able to see first hand how TVCH helped some of these individuals


Kathy Conner
Treasurer, Internal Affairs Committee

Area of Expertise: Accounting & Tax Prep
I was born and reared in Knoxville, TN and still live in the neighborhood where I grew up. I have one sister and have been married to my husband since 1977. I attended Hiwassee College, The University of TN and graduated from Tusculum College with a BS in Applied Organizational Management. I have been a member since 1990 of American Association of University Women promoting educational equity for women and girls. I am the treasurer and choir director at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church and have been a member since 1965.

I worked in various positions at Schlegel/BTR Sealing Systems in Maryville for 14 years. I have also worked part time with a CPA in Gatlinburg since 1982. My current accounting clients include 3 Homeowners Associations in Sevier County, 3 Residential Contractors in Monroe County and a Law firm in Seymour TN.

I only recently became aware of TVCH and was happy to become a member of the board for such a worthy cause. I am always looking for ways to give back to my community and believe that finding stable homes for families is the most important tool for making positive changes in our crumbling society. Homelessness affects everyone.


Mark Clubb
External Affairs Committee Chair

Todd Johnson

I was born in Florida and spent 24 years in the US Navy as a Combat Door Gunner/Rescue swimmer before retiring as a Chief Petty Officer. I have been married for 25 years and have three grown children. I chose to stay in Knoxville following my final tour of duty as the Command Chief of the Navy Operational Support Center.

I have done my best to follow Christ since I turned 18 years old. I have taught Sunday school and youth groups–as paid staff for a few years but mostly as a volunteer. My parents taught me automotive and construction work and I find a huge relief in using my skills to help others. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science and will graduate in May 2018 with a Masters degree in Strategic Leadership and training.

Currently, I am a tool specialist with Braxton Bragg, Inc., which supplies consumables to the stone industry. I have served on the board of the East Tennessee Military Affairs Committee, and I now serve with the Fleet Reserve Association, Navy Sea Cadets, VFW. I am the current president of Navy League Knoxville.

I also like long walks on the beach, sunsets, and anything outdoors. I am a water sports fanatic (both above and below the water). I believe in helping others who want to help themselves while not enabling them. I have a passion for serving veterans and for anything it takes to make life better for everyone.

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Eric Franklin Amarante
Director, Governance and Finance Committees

Area of Expertise: Nonprofit Law
I recently moved to East Tennessee from Las Vegas.  Needless to say, this was quite a change.  In many ways, Las Vegas and East Tennessee are polar opposites of each other. However, there is one thing shared by “Sin City” and the Gateway to the Smoky Mountains–homelessness. This is, unfortunately, a shame shared by far too many American communities.

Basic shelter is a human right, and the persistence of homelessness is, perhaps, our country’s greatest moral failing. I joined the TVCH board to do what I can to help address homelessness in our community.

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Rick Garner

After being raised on a small family farm in Fresno County, CA, I served as an Infantry Staff Sergeant, US Army, 1969-1975 (active duty: 2nd Infantry Division, Korean DMZ, 1969-1970. I completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management (with emphasis on Management and Marketing) at Sid & Jenny Craig School of Business at Fresno State.

In 2008, after many years of critical care capital equipment and medical architectural sales to the hospital industry, I began volunteering full time at Knoxville Habitat for Humanity. In 2010, I joined the organization as a full-time employee, managing Construction Procurement and Facilities and serving as a Veteran Liaison.

With the goal of supporting miliary veterans who continue to serve their communities and their country, I joined ETMAC (East Tennessee Military Affairs Council), Bill Robinson Vietnam Veterans Chapter 1078, and became a board member of Reboot Combat Recovery, where I presented a faith-based course designed to aid in PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) recovery and suicide prevention.

My intent as an at-large board member at TVCH is to use my education and experience (principally in moderate income housing and construction) to help TVCH accomplish the goal of making homelessness rare in East Tennessee.

With my wife Katie (a teaching assistant at St. Mary’s School in Oak Ridge, we raised two children–attorney daughter Candy (an Assistant Public Defender in Maryville, TN) and son Skip (a 2017 UTK Haslam School of Business graduate and a Supply Chain Specialist with JB Hunt Transport Services.


Retired General Bill Welsh
Internal Affairs Committee

I grew up in Pennsylvania and was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force in 1982 as a 2nd Lieutenant. I retired in Sept of 2016 at the rank of Brigadier General after serving for a total of 34 years in the Air Force and Air National Guard.  During my military service, I had the opportunity to fly the F-4 Phantom, B-1 Bomber & E-8 Joint STARS for 29 of my 34 years of service. I had the honor to command the squadron, group and wing levels including a deployed squadron in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. My assignment before retirement was as a Mobilization Assistant in the U.S. Strategic Command.



Dick Wellons
President Emeritus, Internal Affairs Committee