Janet Testerman is a Knoxville native, and before joining Young-Williams Animal Center as CEO, she spent nearly a decade in internal communications with Scripps Networks Interactive and earlier with E.W. Scripps’ as executive editor of custom publications, Knoxville Magazine and skirt! Magazine.
Janet has served on numerous boards including Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corporation (now Visit Knoxville), Bijou Theatre, Leadership Knoxville and Young-Williams for five years prior to joining the organization full time. She is also immediate past board president of Dogwood Arts.
She earned her BA in Communication from Southern Methodist University and MA in Strategic Communication from American University. Janet resides in Knoxville with her husband, Joey Creswell, and 17- and 19-year-old stepdaughters, Georgie and Elie. And when she’s not catering to the needs of her Golden Retriever/Corgi mix, Buddy, and rescue Dachshund, Lollie, you can find her enjoying Knoxville’s great arts and food culture as well as bringing her passion to many of the community’s great causes.
Shaver earned an MBA in business management from Strayer University. She joined Young-Williams Animal Center with more than 25 years of experience in finance and business administration.
Barry Rivers began working for Young-Williams Animal Center in 2008 after a 12 year career in Hospitality Management. He is a dedicated animal lover and an advocate for Type 1 Diabetes. Barry lives in Strawberry Plains with his wife Amber, 2 children, 3 dogs and 3 cats.
Dr. Lisa Chassy is originally from the Washington DC area, and is a 1994 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. She moved to the Knoxville area in 1995, and quickly became involved in animal welfare. She has worked for YWAC since 2005.
Brandy Ellison’s passion for working at Young-Williams Animal Center started on her first day as an employee in 2005. Since that time she learned the ins and outs of what is involved in animal welfare. In 2008 she temporarily left to raise her four sons, but she came back in 2013 to continue her important role in the animal welfare of our community and has since stepped into her role as Director of Inbound Operations. Brandy can be found cheering on her boys at their various sports games, reading a book or educating herself even further on animal welfare. She shares her home with a Chihuahua/Boston Terrier mix named Eleanor that she and her family adopted from YWAC, and a Cockatiel named Thunder Chicken who is always whistling, singing or talking.
Amy has been with YWAC since August 2019. In her current role, she is responsible for the organization’s Adoptions, Animal Care, Behavior, Transport, and Volunteers. She was previously with the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley for 8 years as a Director and two years on the Board of Directors where she served as Treasurer. Amy started volunteering with shelters in Nashville in her twenties and was involved in the rally to close animal “drop boxes” at the Rutherford Co shelter. In 2005, Amy volunteered with HSUS in New Orleans for the Hurricane Katrina animal rescue. That experience inspired a career change from finance to animal welfare. Amy is working with her colleagues towards making East Tennessee a no-kill region. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga and helping her husband remodel houses. In reality, their lives revolve around their 4 shelter dogs: Zoe, Tigger, Abbey Rose, and Ricky Bobby.
Dr. Tim is a 2017 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, and he has been involved with spay/neuter and shelter medicine in both Virginia and Georgia since then. After the birth of their son, he and his wife, Jenn, decided that it was time to move back home to Tennessee. They and their four cats, Paiamwahu, Herman, Cadette, and Pumpkindoodle, are enjoying being back in Knoxville!
After 18 years of retail management, Marjorie decided to make a complete career change and enter the field of animal welfare. After she quit her retail job she began volunteering at Young-Williams Animal Center. She was hired a few months later to work on the mobile unit for Spay/Neuter Solutions as a vet assistant and hasn’t looked back! In her free time she enjoys hanging out with her two kids, two dogs, two cats and three chickens!
Lora started at Young-Williams Animal Center over thirteen years ago as an Intake Specialist and has watched the shelter grow and change in a positive way. She has since filled the role of Intake Manager and loves working beside an incredible team with similar passions for animal welfare. When she’s not at work, you might find her spending time with her family or caring for her many “foster-fails”.
Grace joined the Young-Williams team in November 2019. Growing up in Michigan, Grace longed for warmer days and moved south to attain her Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication and Advertising from the University of South Carolina. (Go Cocks!) She finds inspiration in the words of Margaret Meade who said “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Grace has more than 5 years of fundraising experience in nonprofits and loves sharing stories to bring people together and celebrate shared passions. When she’s not at work, you can find her volunteering with Young Professionals of Knoxville or hiking a local trail with her Australian Shepherd, Sydney.
Kat is a Knoxville native and somewhat of an YWAC child prodigy. She first started as an after school volunteer at the age of sixteen and discovered a passion for animal welfare. She volunteered for two years and was hired onto the adoptions team on her eighteenth birthday. She spent four years on the adoption team striving towards the goal of finding a home for every pet. Since then, she has tackled the role of Adoptions Manager and continues to work towards that same goal. In her free time you might find her taking care of her gerbils, trapping community cats, or listening to KPOP.
Damon McKenna has 21 combined years of experience working as a Veterinary Technician, Humane Society Shelter Manager and Arctic Wildlife Rescue Officer in Barrow, Alaska. With the exception of living in Alaska for a little over a year, Knoxville has always been home. When not at work he can be found hiking, spending time at the bookstore, traveling or going on one of the many never ending adventures with his sometimes-too-cleverly-intelligent, awesome and beautiful daughters. He is forever in love with Irish culture, history and language, spending time in our Great Smoky Mountains and all things Appalachia.
Jessie started out at Young-Williams Animal Center in 2004 as an animal care attendant. Since then he has been involved with the organization through a few different roles. He was an animal control officer, intake specialist and has recently taken on the role of Animal Care Manager. His passion in life has always been to help lost and homeless animals. All of his animals have been rescued. He has a Chihuahua/Boston terrier mix named Ellie who is an alum of YWAC. Jessie and his family have seven horses, a Green Cheek Conure and three aquariums. In his spare time Jessie spends time with his wife and three children, rides his motorcycle and enjoys the beauty of the East Tennessee mountains.
Amy joined the Young-Williams team mid-2021, five years after moving to Knoxville from the far north of Duluth, Minnesota. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Minnesota, Duluth and, after earning her degree, she became the Marketing and Communications Manager for the Duluth Community’s shelter for five years. She’s been an animal lover her whole life and considers herself lucky to be able to incorporate her passion for the welfare of animals with her passion for marketing, writing and communications.
While she currently has no owned pets at home, she raised fourteen kittens during the summer of 2021 and had decided fostering kittens is her new favorite activity. When not snuggling with her fosters, she can be found reading a book, playing board games or enjoying all the entertainment Knoxville has to offer with her husband and friends.
Chastedy is a Memphis native who moved to Knoxville in 2015. She holds a Bachelor’s in Journalism and Digital Mass Media and a Master’s in Ethics and Public Leadership from Johnson University. Making an impact on the community is the foundation of what drives her work and fuels her creativity. She has a passion for empowering nonprofits through advocacy, intentional community and storytelling.
In her free time, you can find her at any local coffee shop, spending time with her fiancé Joe or on fun adventures with her Miniature Aussie, Journey (pictured.)
Chelcie’s animal welfare experience dates back to nearly birth! Her mother is a vet tech, groomer, trainer, wildlife rehabilitator, and runs a rescue/sanctuary in Meigs County where Chelcie spent most of her younger years assisting with all the rescue animals. Growing up, she was primarily a big dog person, but is now claiming the “crazy cat lady” title.
Prior to coming to Young-Williams in August 2021 as the Foster and Rescue Placement Manager, Chelcie worked at the Humane Society, Tennessee Valley for seven years starting as a kennel tech and adoption counselor, moving up to team lead, and becoming the Foster Manager where she grew their foster program to amazing heights.
Chelcie has two cats, Grizabella and Persimmon, who are her whole heart. They were both previously feral momma cats; Grizz was Chelcie’s “gateway cat” into becoming the crazy cat lady and Persimmon was her office cat for a year and a half before moving in with Chelcie and Grizz permanently.
Chelcie also volunteers at Zoo Knoxville in the Carnivore Department (big cats and primates are her loves.) In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her mom in the Smoky Mountains or local state parks, doing yoga, dying her hair fun new colors, and hanging out with her cats.
Penny joined the Young-Williams team in 2018 and has been an asset to the organization with over twenty years’ experience handling all different types of animals. She started in the Intake Department and then transitioned to the Behavior Department in 2020. Soon thereafter, she became the Behavior Manager. She has used her experience managing a local pet store and working in a veterinary clinic as their Kennel Manager and Veterinary Technician to grow the behavior program at Young-Williams. She is a certified dog trainer and a dog groomer.
When she’s not teaching old dogs new tricks at the shelter, she enjoys spending time with her three kids and fostering puppies for Young-Williams.