Co-Founder, Executive Director of Programs & Services, President of the Board
Alison holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology, master’s degree in Education Policy and a second master’s degree in Education as a Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI). Alison has worked in the consulting, marketing, program management, and event planning fields. She has a young son who is completely blind and who serves as her inspiration for ensuring the best outcomes for other children and families like her own through the formation of BEST.
Co-Founder, Executive Director of Finance & Administration, Secretary of the Board
Stacy holds a liberal arts degree from Vanderbilt University, a Master of Accountancy degree from Belmont’s Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business and certification and experience in non-profit accounting. She has held positions as an NIH post-award grant accountant and as a restricted funds accountant handling sensitive donor information and reports. Stacy has a young son with a visual-impairment and is passionate about bringing much needed services and support to families across Tennessee.
Secretary of the Board
Brandy received her MaCC at Belmont University and is a Partner and Chief Operating Officer for LBMC Employment Partners, LLC. She has over ten years of experience in the accounting industry including roles in both public and industry. Prior to her role at LBMC, Brandy served as Director of Finance & Accounting Operations at Take Care Health Systems. Brandy brings expertise in multi-company and consolidation accounting as well as systems conversions.
Chairman of the Board
Sandra received her BS in Physical Therapy from the University of New England. She has worked in a variety of settings including the NICU, Special Care Unit, inpatient, outpatient pediatric clinics, home care, school systems, aquatic therapy and hippo-therapy. Sandra has expertise in home modifications for accessibility and has been on the Board of Directors for Tucker's House where she is now the Director of Needs Assessment. Sandra is also an adjunct faculty member at Belmont University in the Doctorate Physical Therapy program.
Rebecca is an experienced parent advocate, teacher, and development director dedicated to improving services and educational outcomes for children with disabilities. She has served as a presenter at conferences including the American Conference for Pediatric Cortical Visual Impairment and the Early Connections Conference at the Perkins School for the Blind. As the founder of Visually Impaired Preschool Services (VIPS) Indiana, Rebecca helped create a system of early intervention services for infants and toddlers who are blind and successfully lobbied for state funding. The VIPS program serves as an inspirational model for BEST.
Anita is currently a Certified Teacher of the Visually Impaired (CTVI) and a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) with youth and adults who are blind and visually impaired. Anita previously worked for the Tennessee Infant-Parent Services (TIPS) and with the Tennessee Early Intervention System (TEIS) with families with children ages birth to 3 years old who were blind/visually impaired including alongside other disabilities. She graduated from the Peabody College at Vanderbilt University and the Pennsylvania College of Optometry now known as Saulus University.
Martie is a practicing attorney with Lafferty Law Firm in Nashville, TN. Martie previously worked as the Executive Director at Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC) and as the Director of CREEC’s Accessibility Project. During that time, she developed the project, expanded CREEC’s reach, and fostered strong relationships with clients and partners. With over 20 years of disability rights legal experience, Martie has worked to improve accessibility across the country, including fighting for effective communication in multiple settings and furthering physical accessibility, access to programs and services including courts, prisoners’ rights, parental rights, and safe addiction recovery through education, advocacy, and litigation.
JP is a Creative Wellness Coach based in Nashville, Tennessee. He’s co-writer on the no. 1 hit single “Best Shot”—the song that launched the career of country music artist Jimmie Allen. In addition to being a certified life coach, JP is an accomplished songwriter, singer, songwriting workshop leader, and public speaker. Blind since age 10, he brings a unique, seasoned perspective to every opportunity.
Lyndsay Younkin Hayden is an Educational Specialist, a National Board Certified Special Education Teacher, an Autism Consultant, Registered Behavior Technician, TEACCH Certified Teacher, and a professional tutor. Lyndsay received her Bachelor of Business in Marketing from the University of Kentucky and completed her Masters of Education with Certification in Special Education K-12 from Western Kentucky University. With over 12 years of teaching experience in the classroom as an educator, she has earned the prestigious National Board Certification, Teacher of the Year, Williamson County Shining Apple Award and Teacher of the Month, and was three-time award winner of the National Association of Special Education Teachers Top 25 National Special Education Teachers. Besides her education experience, Lyndsay has worked in corporate America as a graphic designer, event planner, and media buyer for major corporations. Lyndsay previously served on the Board of Directors for Autism Tennessee, a nonprofit organization that helps families and individuals affected by Autism across the state of Tennessee.