Problem-Solving Pitches

Thanks for joining us tonight for our Problem-Solving Pitches Event, sponsored by General Shale & TVA.

Tap to expand any of the sections below. 

Live Voting

Live voting will not take place until all 6 organizations have pitched their program.

Any premature voting will not be counted in the final results.

2022 Problem Solving Pitches - Live Voting!

Please vote for 3 programs to receive $10,000 grants(Required)

Judges Panel

Dr. Bill Heise – Dr. Heise worked at Eastman Chemical Company for nearly thirty years, holding positions in Engineering, Research and Development, Business Strategy and Development, Corporate Sustainability, and Innovation Management. He has spent his last five years with ETSU, working to integrate real-world strategy problems for the MBA strategic experience projects.

Laura Kelly – Laura is the Executive Director for Holston Habitat for Humanity, which serves Washington, Carter and Sullivan Counties, as well as Bristol, VA. She also spent roughly 8 years with Appalachia Service Project, which serves a footprint that crosses into five states of Central Appalachia.

Edwin Williams – Edwin is a local entrepreneur and founder of ZenHammer, a mobile app for contractors to automate the business and paperwork side of their work. Williams has also been active in the start-up community, working to help other entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life.

Tonight's Pitches

A Step Ahead Tri-Cities – A Step Ahead Foundation Tri-Cities (ASAFTC) is building a partnership with Ballad Health to provide mobile women’s health to Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia anticipated to begin July 2022. Ballad is retrofitting a mobile unit and training a Nurse Practitioner, while ASAFTC is working to provide all LARC to those without preventative insurance coverage.

Carter County Drug Prevention – This new program has been developed specifically for juvenile-justice involved youth in Carter County. We are seeking an opportunity to create a healthier life for these kids. We aim for these youth to receive education and support, instead of punishment, to impact their lives and the lives of their families in positive ways.

Community First Housing Partnership – Community First reflects a groundswell of individuals, social service agencies, and faith congregations coming together to address the issue of homelessness and housing insecurity. The Salvation Army, is serving as the fiscal agent for this partnership. 

Huschka House – The mission of Huschka House is to provide homeless young adults in Northeast Tennessee with a safe living environment, affordable housing, and supportive services in order to ensure lifelong stability and success. Huschka House promotes equality and acceptance for all young adults.

Junt@s of Johnson City – Junt@s is a task force that has the goal of bringing together local partners to promote the financial stability of the diverse population of Washington Co and neighboring areas. Junt@s aims to provide a haven for the immigrant, Black and the Latinx populations so they can have a safe environment to flourish and seek assistance if they need to.

Pride Tri-CitiesPride Support is specialized support groups targeting venerable subpopulations within the LGBTQIA community. We partner with professionals and community organizers to create space for people to be their authentic self, get peer support, gain access to needed resources, and provide education based on community needs.

Other Speakers

Leslie Salling – Leslie was elevated to the President & CEO of United Way of East TN Highlands in 2020 after spending her first year with United way as the Director of Resource Development. Prior to United Way, Leslie spent three years as a Director of Development for the ETSU Foundation, as well as six years at CASA of Northeast TN with the final four years as the Executive Director (2012-2016). She is a graduate of the Unicoi County Leadership Program, and currently the co-chair of the Johnson City Washington County Leadership Program. 

Abraham McIntyre – Abraham is the Community Impact Coordinator for United Way of East TN Highlands. He has spent the last 20+ years living out his passion to serve others by connecting local and international needs with creative and available resources. His work has included critical home repair in Appalachia, aviation disaster response in the Caribbean, and financial coaching in East Tennessee. He has spent countless hours sharing stories of how real impact occurs when and where a person’s talents intersect the needs of the world.

David Nelson – David  is the Director of FoundersForge, a nonprofit that believes in the Underdog Entrepreneurs in the Appalachian Highlands and helping them on their Startup Journeys. He is a serial Entrepreneur that has started 5 companies, lived in multiple Startup ecosystems, and loves helping Startups start small and scale quickly. David believes the key to our region’s success is through Entrepreneurship.

Adam DicksonAdam is a member of the Board of Directors for the DEI Alliance of Northeast TN and Southwest VA, a 2021 Problem-Solving Pitches winner. Adam currently works for the City of Johnson City, TN as Supervisor of the Langston Centre, a facility promoting multicultural awareness through community arts, education, and leadership.

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