Nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains against the banks of the Tennessee River, Knoxville is where we call home
DEBBIE CHESNEY, Executive Director
After being blessed with five biological children, Debbie and her husband Gary adopted their sixth child, a daughter, from Vietnam in 1995. The process birthed the idea and partnership that would later become Homes of Love. Now, Debbie's passion for children who need a home is the heart of our Homes of Love team. When she isn't working at Homes of Love, she enjoys time spent with her family and relaxing at the beach with her feet in the sand. See how Homes of Love started.
SUE DEE, Zimbabwe Director
Sue, born in Zambia and raised in Zimbabwe, has always cared deeply for hurting people, especially children who have come from hard places. She was a natural fit to lead Homes of Love's work in Zimbabwe. Since 2008, Sue and her husband John have led multiple short-term mission teams to Zimbabwe each year. When in the U.S., Sue can be found with her three grown children and many grandchildren. Among her numerous gifts, Sue blesses our staff each week with her thoughtful, heartfelt devotionals.
DEB SMITH, Office Coordinator
Deb's heart was stirred for Vietnam through the interest of one of her daughters and later a personal trip to the country. After 22 years managing her home and raising three daughters, Deb now uses her God-given gifts to keep us organized. Her passion for Homes of Love is contagious, and if she isn't hard at work on behalf of our children, you'll find her with her husband Jeff and their grandchildren.
MORGAN GOINS, Sponsorship/Fundraising Specialist
Morgan grew up in sunny Florida where she earned a marketing degree and MBA from the University of Central Florida. After honing her fundraising skills on the staff of University of Tennessee Knoxville Athletics Department and later at a local nonprofit, Morgan joined Homes of Love. She is excited to connect others with the meaningful opportunity to support children in families. At home, she and her husband Brett are enjoying their growing family.
SUSAN HAGEMEYER, Comptroller
Susan brings a decade of experience in nonprofit accounting to Homes of Love, as well as a history of care for Vietnam and children in need. With an undergraduate degree in English and and a master's degree in Education from the University of Tennessee Knoxville, she is also our resident proofreader. When she's not dotting our i's and crossing our t's, she spends time in the woods or on the water with her husband, children, and adventure dogs.
JESSICA GEIST, Communications Specialist
Jessica is a native of Kansas with a graduate degree in Counseling and Student Development. After working as a Career Counselor at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, Jessica's passion for family brought her to Homes of Love where she manages our database and leads communications. When she's not in the office, you'll find Jessica spending time with her husband Justin
and her young children.
and her young children.
EMILY HANEY, Donor Support Specialist
Emily grew up and attended college in Ohio, and lived in China and Colorado, before making Tennessee home. During a season as a missionary in China, her compassion grew for children with difficult pasts and seeing them experience redemption in Christ. Emily has a master's degree in Christian Studies and has a mind for numbers, enjoys writing and working with a team, and loves being a part of what God is doing through Homes of Love! At home, she and her husband Seth enjoy playing games and going on adventures with their growing family.
GARY CHESNEY, DDS, President
Gary is a dentist and owner of Chesney Dentistry in Knoxville, Tennessee. Gary and his wife Debbie founded Homes of Love in 2001, and Gary has served as the Board's president since inception. The two have six children and a growing number of grandchildren. Born and raised in Knoxville, Gary earned his degrees
from the University of Tennessee.
from the University of Tennessee.
BILL PARK, PhD, Secretary/Treasurer
Bill has spent more than 30 years as a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Tennessee. Additionally, Bill is Director of the Baker Scholars Program. He has led three Homes of Love trips to Vietnam and serves as the Board's treasurer. Bill and his wife Anne have four children and are blessed with many grandchildren. Originally from Indiana, Bill earned his PhD from Virginia Tech.
JANET ENGLAND, Prayer Coordinator
Janet is a teacher at Cedar Springs Weekday School. She also faithfully volunteers as Homes of Love's Prayer Coordinator, bringing her love and compassion for orphans and street children to the role. Janet is married to Gary England and the two have one daughter and a son, who was adopted from Vietnam.
AMANDA HAYS, Board Member
Amanda teaches at Gibbs Elementary School. She has traveled to Vietnam with Homes of Love multiple times, leading two trips, and participating in Homes of Love's second exploratory trip to Cambodia. Amanda is married to Tyler Hays, an Emmy-winning filmmaker. She graduated from the University of Tennessee Knoxville with a masters degree in Elementary Education.
MATTHEW LOY, Board Member
Matthew works for EmeraChem, LCC as Technical Services Coordinator. He is married to Karen Loy, principal of Knox County's Northwest Middle School. Together they have provided short-term residential care in their home to more than 50 teenage boys and continue to maintain ongoing relationships with many. Matthew has also participated in several overseas mission trips, including two to Vietnam. He is a native of Knoxville and graduate of the University of Tennessee with a degree in Chemical Engineering.
MICHAEL WOOD, Board Member
Michael is the owner and president of Wood Realtors in Knoxville, Tennessee. He has practiced real estate brokerage and development for almost 40 years. In addition to serving in leadership roles at his church and with other organizations, Michael has served on the Homes of Love Board for over 10 years. During his service, he has made three trips to Vietnam, as well as trips to Cambodia and Zimbabwe. Michael and his wife Jennifer were married in 1984 and enjoy time with their children and grandchildren.
VERONICA DOUGLASS, Board Member
Veronica is a homemaker and mother of three. She also works part-time with her husband Andy Douglass, who is the Medical Director at East Tennessee Vein Clinic. They have sponsored a Homes of Love child for over 10 years and have traveled to Vietnam. Veronica has been involved with many organizations that serve children and Hispanic families and is an advocate for the HOL concept of creating families for children. Born and raised in Venezuela, Veronica studied architecture before moving to the United States.
DAVID RHODES, Board Member
David is the owner and president of Schmid & Rhodes Construction Company and has been building homes in Knoxville for 30 years. He and his wife Mary Kane have been blessed with six children including an adopted son from Uganda. David enjoys spending time with his wife and kids and, in addition to Homes of Love, is involved in ministries in Uganda and Central America. David was raised in Middle Tennessee and received his degree in Building Construction from Auburn University.