Meet the Board
Get to know the TVCH Board of Directors:
Todd Johnson, President
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.
Rick Garner, Vice-President
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 military 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.
Treasurer, Governance Committee Chair
Leslie Casteel, Past 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.
Drocella Mugorewera, Director
I have served as Executive Director of Bridge Refugee Services, the only refugee resettlement agency in East Tennessee since 1982. I came to the United States in 2009 as a refugee. Besides losing my family, friends and her career, I also lost all the belongings I had invested in for more than 40 years, including two houses. I am passionate about dignity for all and socio-economic and environmental justice. I believe that with a proper management of all the abundant natural resources and openness to new ideas, we can end homelessness in America.
I previously served as a Parliamentarian and Secretary of Lands, Environment, Forestry, Water, and Mines in the Government of Rwanda. A graduate of the 2017 class at the Consortium for Social Enterprise Effectiveness – Haslam College of Business, I have been recognized by the Knoxville Mercury as one of the difference makers in Knoxville. I completed the 2018 Leadership Knoxville class and currently serve on the Connect Knox Steering Committee. I am also an active member of the Knoxville Association of Women Executives (KAWE) and was honored as one of the 34th Annual YWCA Tribute to Women Finalists. In November 2018, I received the Champions for Change award from Church World Service, and I am one the 2019 Peacemaker award recipients from the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance.
Kinley Koontz, Board Director
I was born and raised in the Halls community in Knox County and graduated with an International Baccalaureate Diploma from West High School in 2018. Currently, I am an undergraduate student at the University of Tennessee studying biomedical engineering and social cause entrepreneurship. At the University, I am a member of the Haslam Scholars Program, Heath Integrated Business and Engineering Program, National Association of Engineers (NAE) Grand Challenge Scholars, and Leadership Knoxville Scholars. I serve as the President of a disability advocacy organization (CARE), Co-Chair of the Haslam Scholars Governing Council, and Engineering Senator for our Student Government Association. I am passionate about leading, learning, and lighting the way for others.
I began serving my community in middle school through volunteering in homeless shelters and free food markets which eventually led to me to found my art-based non-profit, The Garden Project, in high school. I have dedicated my time to serving the community by volunteering with various organizations including Casa de Sara, the Knox County Board of Education, Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee, University Assisted Community Schools, and many others. I have received the West High School Eagle Award in 2018, Optimist Club’s Service to Humanity Award in 2017, and East Tennessee Volunteer of the Year Nominee in 2016.
I am passionate about creating accessible and innovative solutions to the world’s biggest problems. I am rooted in my values of love, integrity, community, inclusivity, and faith. My goal in serving on the board is to utilize my skills and passions to accomplish the mission and vision of TVCH.
Margaret Wilson, Board Director
Bio coming soon.
Brenda Bridges, Board Director
Bio coming soon.
Lisa Higginbotham, Board Director
Bio coming soon.