The Foundation for the College System of TennesseeThe Foundation for the College System of Tennessee (FCST) is the primary charitable organization of the System as a whole, composed of 13 Community Colleges and 27 Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology. To ensure that the Foundation can support the System’s mission of Student Success and Workforce Development, we must look to form relationships and understand our obligation for sustainability and growth. As a result, members of the Foundation Board will be leaders throughout the state and our nation who have a keen interest in our colleges and the critical work they do in educating more than 115,000 students every year – preparing them for immediate entry into the workforce or for transfer to a university to continue their studies. The Board will guide the Foundation in its mission, vision and growth. It will meet at least twice per year. The Foundation was established to support the System through advocacy, marketing, and, most importantly, fundraising – all to benefit our colleges, their students and the programs and faculty serving them. With 40-member institutions across a state full of Fortune 500 Companies and other thriving businesses and industries, it is imperative the Foundation inform and bring to the forefront the advantages the College System brings to Tennessee.

Support the Foundation for the College System of Tennessee


The mission of the Foundation for the College System of Tennessee is to encourage, support and promote the advancement and awareness of the System and its member institutions as it serves as a vital workforce development resource. The Foundation’s Board will assist the System staff in fundraising, capital campaigns, and create opportunities for the System not provided by state funding for its member institutions by helping to provide:

  • Further scholarship opportunities not covered by Pell, HOPE, Tennessee Promise, Tennessee Reconnect and other Financial Aid programs.
  • Career-technical education programs offered through traditional and distance delivery methods leading to associate degrees, diplomas and technical certificates of credit.
  • Customized business and industry training and additional economic development services.
  • Continuing education for technical and professional development; including adult education services.
  • Dual Enrollment and other Early Postsecondary opportunities for high school students in Tennessee.


The establishment of the Foundation for the College System of Tennessee serves to:

  • Assist the System’s External Affairs/Strategic Advancement Staff in fundraising and capital campaigns.
  • Improve the image of the College System of Tennessee. • Expand awareness of the System throughout the State of Tennessee.
  • Provide opportunities for more students to attend college through scholarships and other forms of financial assistance.
  • Help procure special equipment; to help upgrade/expand the System’s current physical facilities.
  • Help improve current instructional programs, and to obtain positive recognition for the System and its institutions.


The biggest strength of the College System of Tennessee is its outstanding students, faculty, and staff in its 40 colleges throughout the state. For the System to lead the way, its member institutions must continue to provide the proper training tools for its students for them to enter the workforce prepared to do their job. The role of the Foundation is supporting the mission of the System with funding and resources not provided by the State of Tennessee and Federal funding. One of the primary aspects of the Foundation is to help engage business and industry as well as the community partners throughout to build mutually beneficial relationships for a stronger and well-trained workforce for a better tomorrow.

The Key Objectives Are:

Recruiting Key Leaders and Stakeholders to the Foundation Board

  • Bring in new Trustees who either understand or are willing to learn more about the mission of the College System of Tennessee.
  • Ensure the Board of Trustees is a diverse balance of community and corporate leaders representing the population of Tennessee.
  • Upon addition of a new Trustee to the Board, their strengths will align with the most critical needs of the Foundation.

Educate our state community and incoming Trustees

  • Starting with System staff, conduct community outreach both externally and internally about what exactly the College System of Tennessee Foundation does for its Colleges and the System.
  • Conduct orientation sessions for incoming Trustees and conduct an annual overview about what is expected of Trustees.
  • Create a Speaker’s Bureau consisting of Foundation Board Members and System staff.

Foundation of the College System of Tennessee Board Members

Ryan Ball
Vice President
Path Company

Sheila Boyington, P.E.
President and CEO
Thinking Media

Dan Caldwell
Senior Reginal Workforce Development Lead
Nissan Group of the Americas
TCAT/Nissan Training Center

Anthony Castro (Tony)
Senior Manager – Labor Planning & Business Analysis

Erik Clinite

Ryan Lucas
Account Manager

Leo R. Meany
Vice President, Senior Financial Advisor
First Horizon Advisors

Wendell Moore
MNA Government Relations, LLC

Susan Rhodes
Principal Owner,
Row Strategies, LLC

Wes Stowers
Stowers Machinery Corporation

Regent Danni B. Varlan
2nd Congressional District

Greg Vital
Independent Healthcare Properties, LLC
Morning Pointe Senior Living

Dr. Burton Williams
Chief Executive Office
Ayers Foundation Trust

Dr. L. Anthony Wise, Jr.
Pellissippi State Community College

Mae Wright
TCAT Hartsville

Ex-Officio Members

Dr. Flora W. Tydings
Tennessee Board of Regents

Dr. Kim McCormick
Vice Chancellor, External Affairs
Tennessee Board of Regents

Cris Perkins
Associate Vice Chancellor, Strategic Advancement
Executive Director, Foundation for the College System of Tennessee
Tennessee Board of Regents

Executive Board and Committees

Executive Board
Susan Rhodes, Chair
Sheila Boyington, Vice Chair
Erik Clinite, Treasurer
Finance Committee
Erik Clinite, Co-Chair
Danni Varlan
Lottie Hooper
Michael Torrence
Kelli Chaney
Leo Meany
Membership Committee
Dan Caldwell
Kelli Chaney
Wendell Moore
Susan Rhodes
Arrita Summers
Danni Varlan
Resource Development
Sheila Boyington
Scott Ogden
Wes Stowers
Kristi Turner
Danni Varlan
Greg Vital
Michael Torrence
Kelli Chaney

Contact Information

For information regarding the Foundation for the College System of Tennessee Contact:

Cris Perkins, Executive Director – Assistant Vice Chancellor for Advancement
615-365-1510 (Office) or 678-332-7878 (Cell)

Lottie Hooper – Accountant-Finance