Edward Groody, President
A graduate of American University Born and raised in Long Island, he now calls Knoxville home. As a longtime student of contemplative practice, Edward leads Poetry Divina, meditation/centering prayer as well as other contemplative workshops for retreat centers, universities, nonprofits, businesses and religious groups. When not consulting, Edward can be found cheering on his favorite sports teams, traveling and listening to and playing music while planning his next adventure. Edward’s highly anticipated book, Sacred Poetry debuts in Winter of 2020, with his second book available in 2021.
Bruce has an undergraduate accounting degree from Clarion University and a Master of Accountancy degree from Bowling Green State University. He is also a Marine Vietnam Veteran. He started his business career with Citizen’s Utilities Company as a plant accountant before spending three years as a tax senior with the international public accounting firm, Arthur Andersen & Co. He then joined Johnson & Johnson and for 17 years held numerous financial positions the last of which was as President of Johnson & Johnson Finance Corporation (JJFC), which provided financing to customers of Johnson & Johnson. Bruce ran not only the domestic operations of JJFC but also international operations, which included subsidiaries in the UK and Germany, as well as joint ventures in Italy, France, Sweden and Canada. Bruce currently serves as the Chief Financial & Entrepreneurial Officer of The Change Center. He also is mentoring 40 entrepreneurs who have started businesses in Knoxville. Bruce serves on numerous Boards including Project Grad, Prime Medical, Community Building Institute & Renaissance Creations.
Tatia M. Harris is the Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the City of Knoxville. She previously served as the City’s Public Affairs Specialist, Grants Manager and Title VI Administrator. Prior to that, She worked as a Projects Coordinator/Technical Writer for a minority small business specializing in Environmental Restoration. Harris has also served as a communications, marketing and public relations consultant, proposal writer, reporter and free-lance journalist.
Harris attended Memphis State University in Memphis, TN with a concentration in business and Political Science. She is active in the community and has a passion for service and investing in opportunities for young people to succeed spiritually, personally and professionally. In addition to CBI, Harris serves on the Board of Directors for HomeSource east Tennessee, The East Tennessee History Foundation, and the American Museum of Science and Energy.
In her free-time she enjoys reading, good music, writing, traveling, running, cooking and spending time with family. She is a proud mother of four and grandmother of three.
Landers grew up with “two very service-oriented parents” who were invested in all kinds of causes in their Middle Tennessee community of Shelbyville. After Landers graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, a position opened up at the United Way of Rutherford County, the first of six United Way communities he’s worked in over the last four-plus decades. He took the helm of the United Way of Greater Knoxville in June 1993 and since then has helped the organization generate $273 million to benefit its partner agencies.
Dr. Avice Evans Reid is a native of Knoxville, Tennessee. She received her primary and secondary education in the Knoxville School System, and is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Knoxville College (B.S- Mathematics) and a graduate of Covington Theological Seminary (Master of Ministry and a Doctor of Ministry). Dr. Reid entered her 2nd retirement from Knoxville City Government in February 2020, after serving for 12 years. For eight years she served the citizens of Knoxville as the Executive Director of the Police Advisory and Review Committee and four years as the Senior Director of Community Relations for the City of Knoxville. Avice’s interests revolve around helping young people see endless possibilities for their future– especially those who don’t have many positive role models in their immediate surroundings. Avice enjoys reading, travel, serving and building a positive community, and loving on her grandchildren. She has been married to Gary J. Reid for 45 years; mother of two adult daughters and two sons-in-law; and grandmother to four grandchildren.
George is a life-long resident of Knoxville, TN. A graduate of the University of Tennessee with a B.S. in Agriculture (’81). He along with his brother, is co-owner of Coldwell Banker Wallace (CBW). Their company has six (6) office locations serving Knoxville and surrounding counties. George has worked as a volunteer for multiple non-profit organizations including but not limited to Knoxville Area Association of Realtors, Knoxville Beer Board, Ijams, MDC, United Way and many others. In 2011 George was elected to Knoxville City Council and served 8 years.
Heather Finotti is a mathematician with 25 years teaching experience. She earned her PhD in Mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin, and during her time in graduate school she also developed an interest in conflict resolution. After a Mathematics postdoctoral position at the Ohio State University (during which she trained for a year in conflict resolution with Dr. John Davies), she and her mathematician husband moved to Knoxville, TN to work at the University of Tennessee’s Math department. It was here she met Edward Groody and began to participate in Community Building Workshops. Due to health issues for her young son, she resigned from academia in 2010 and has been teaching part time since 2014. She currently teaches gifted kids online through Art of Problem Solving for work, and serves as the Secretary to the board for CBI, with hopes to eventually become a CBW facilitator.
This June, Gary celebrated his 26th anniversary with Mortgage Investors Group. In that time, thousands of Knoxvillians have trusted me to advise them about the biggest financial decision they have ever made. I began my career in 1994 and have been the branch manager of MIG’s main Knoxville branch since 2007. As a licensed mortgage loan originator and senior loan officer, I strive to let each of my clients know that I care by making customer service my top priority. I am a member of the Knoxville Area Association of Realtors and the Knoxville Mortgage Bankers Association, which recognized me in 2009 and 2010 as Mortgage Banker of the Year, in 2011 and 2012 with the President’s Circle Award, 2008 and 2010 with the Platinum Production Award, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 with the Gold Platinum Award, and the Silver Platinum Award in 2014. When I’m not helping people realize their dreams of becoming homeowners, I enjoy spending time with my wife and our son and daughter.