Governor Lee Appoints Three New Members to Commission Board

From Anne B. Pope, Executive Director –

Governor Bill Lee has appointed three community leaders and arts champions to join the Commission board. The 15 volunteer board members of the Commission are selected from citizens who have demonstrated a vital interest in the arts and culture of TN and are appointed by the Governor for a five-year term.

Steve Bailey

Steve Bailey is both a community and arts leader on a state, regional, and national level. He previously served on the Board from 2014-2018 and was the chair in 2018. He will represent Congressional District 2.

Steve founded Volunteer Lumber Sales in 1979, which he continues to operate. He is very active with the Knoxville Museum of Art, as former chair and current trustee. He served as chair for the KMA Finance committee and chair of the KMA Endowment. He is currently the Board President of the Arts & Cultural Alliance in Knoxville. Steve is also a trustee of the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH, and serves on St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral’s finance committee.

Anne Davis

Anne Davis brings 30 years of business and nonprofit management experience to her role representing Congressional District 4 as the third President of The Christy-Houston Foundation, Inc. She manages both the day-to-day operations and the relationships that connect the Foundation to their grantees and the community. Her most recent experience includes serving as the Director of the Ascension-Saint Thomas Rutherford Foundation where she cultivated support for the hospital through annual giving, major gifts, planned giving, and a successful $20M capital campaign. She is a certified fundraising executive (CFRE).

She is the Founding President of the Junior League of Murfreesboro, a past President of Rutherford CABLE, and currently serves The Charity Circle of Murfreesboro as President. Anne is a member of the International Women’s Forum and a graduate of leadership Rutherford and Leadership Middle Tennessee. She is a graduate of the University of Alabama and holds fundraising certificates in Advanced Major Gifts, Planned Giving, and Management from The AHP Madison Institute at the University of Wisconsin.

Anne co-chaired the Fine Art in Brentwood Show & Sale in 2004 and The Tri Delta Eve of Janus, Inc. in 2006. Originally from Huntsville, Alabama, Anne and her husband, Jeff, have been residents of Murfreesboro for 37 years. They are members of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church where Anne served as Senior Warden in 1998.

Nancy Dishner

Representing Congressional District 1, Dr. Nancy Dishner is President and CEO of the Niswonger Foundation. She previously served as Vice Provost for Enrollment Services and Director of the Roan Scholars Leadership Program at East Tennessee State University. She was a tenured professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. She also served as Special Assistant to the University President. Her early professional experience was as a public school teacher in Unicoi County who has moved into philanthropy, foundation, education and business leadership locally, regionally and across the state.

Nancy is an alumna of East Tennessee State University with a B.S. degree in Elementary Education, summa cum laude. She has a master’s degree in Supervision and Administration; and a Doctorate in Administration. She is the recipient of the ETSU Outstanding Staff Award, served at Staff Senate President, and is recognized in the ETSU Clemmer College of Education Hall of Fame.  Nancy served two terms as President of Phi Kappa Phi honor society.  She was named the ETSU Outstanding Alumna for 2013 and has a street named in her honor on the ETSU campus. 

Dr. Dishner served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Johnson City/Jonesborough/Washington County Chamber of Commerce, establishing and chairing the Partners in Education program for Johnson City and Washington County. She served on the Johnson City Public Building Authority as both secretary and chair of the public relations committee.  

She is a Commissioner on the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC); on the Board of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA), serving as vice president; and a board member for the Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation. She serves as a Board member for Communities in Schools, and on the Board of Tennesseans for Quality Early Education. She is an advisory council member for the State Collaborative for Reforming Education (SCORE). Nancy serves on the Board of Directors for the Niswonger Foundation and on the Executive Council for the Niswonger Children’s Hospital. She is a member of the Board of Trustees at Tusculum University.  

We are so honored to have three new members of this caliber join the Commission. Please join us in welcoming Steve, Anne, and Nancy.