TBA Staff Directory

Joycelyn Ashanti Stevenson
Executive Director

Joycelyn is responsible for managing the Tennessee Bar Association and enabling the TBA Board of Governors, House of Delegates, committees and sections to develop and implement policy.

Prior to joining the TBA Joycelyn spent 12 years at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings before becoming a shareholder at the world’s largest labor and employment firm, Littler Mendelson PC. She is a graduate of Howard University and Vanderbilt University Law School and has served as president of the Nashville Bar Association, the Lawyers’ Association for Women in Nashville and the Council on Aging of Greater Nashville. 

Barry L Kolar
Assistant Executive Director

Barry assists in management of the TBA staff and serves as coordinator for the Communications Circle. He also oversees the TBA.org website and TBA Today, the association's daily electronic newsletter. Barry has journalism and political science degrees from Baylor University and a master’s degree in political science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He has spent much of his career working in journalism.

Karen Belcher
Executive Assistant

As executive assistant to TBA Executive Director Joycelyn Stevenson, Karen works closely with the TBA Board of Governors, the House of Delegates and other committees and governing bodies.

Karen is a Nashville native and holds an associate's degree in office administration. Before coming to the TBA, she developed her skills working more than 15 years in association administration for hospitality and pharmacy organizations.

Chelsea Bennett
Sections, Committees and CLE Coordinator

Chelsea Bennett is a Sections, Committees and CLE Coordinator for the Tennessee Bar Association. She brings the association eight years of diverse work experience in the education sector. Previously, she worked as the head studio teacher and welfare agent with the child actors starring on the television show “Nashville.” Bennett received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from The Ohio State University, and she received her master’s degree in teaching from Belmont University.

Dave Bevis
IT Coordinator
Dave is responsible for maintaining, developing and supporting the computer and communication systems at TBA. This includes both the internal servers and individual devices as well as the TBA’s multiple web servers and services. Dave has spent most of his career in entrepreneurial ventures in both the printing and information technology industries. He worked with the TBA for over 12 years in a developer/support role before joining the staff in July of 2016.
Therese Byrne
Director of Meetings

Therese is in charge of meeting and event planning at the TBA, including TBA's Annual Convention, the TBA Leadership Conference, Board of Governor's meetings, and other major events.

A Nashville native, Therese brings to the TBA a strong background of planning and coordination of events. Immediately before coming to the TBA, she was director of meetings and special events for mental and substance abuse related conferences. She also had a lengthy career in the film production business in Los Angeles where she was a production coordinator for television and films. She is a graduate of Trevecca Nazarene University.

Derrick Dishner
Director of Finance

Derrick Dishner is the Director of Finance and Accounting at the Tennessee Bar Association. In this role, he oversees the processing of payables, budgeting and monthly financial reporting. Additionally, he works closely with banking and investment communities as well as board members.

Derrick is a CPA and brings valuable experience from local industries such as retail petroleum, staffing, travel and government. He has also previously served on a non-profit board as treasurer. Derrick grew up in Nashville and attended Lipscomb University where he graduated with a degree in accounting.

Michael Milligan
Webcasting/AV Coordinator

Michael Milligan is the Webcast/AV Coordinator at the Tennessee Bar Association. He coordinates the recording and distribution of all TBA CLE programming, as well as other video projects. In addition, he is the one who ensures all of the powerpoint presentations run smoothly and the audio at our programs is clear and crisp.

Before coming to the TBA, Michael served as campus technical director for Brentwood Baptist Church's Avenue South Campus and audio/visual technician at Lipscomb University. He is a North Carolina native and an honors graduate of Appalachian State University, where he earned a music industry studies degree with a minor in business.

Linda Murphy

Linda is the front line contact for callers and visitors to the TBA. When you call the general number, you are usually greeted by Linda's kind and helpful voice. She enjoys assisting TBA members with their needs and providing resource information to outside callers. 

Linda studied at Martin Methodist College in Pulaski.  Before coming to the TBA she was retired for ten years after working in accounting, business and office administration.

Kate Prince
Leadership Development and Innovations Coordinator

Kate Prince coordinates the TBA’s Leadership Law (TBALL) program. In this role, she works closely with a steering committee to plan and implement a six-month leadership-training program for lawyers throughout Tennessee who have been identified as emerging leaders within the legal community. She is responsible for organizing all TBALL workshops, activities and correspondence. Additionally, she coordinates the TBA Mentoring Program.

Kate was previously the logistics and volunteer coordinator for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Mid South Chapter and is an active volunteer with the Nikki Mitchell Foundation in Nashville. She earned bachelor’s degrees in electronic journalism and criminal justice from Middle Tennessee State University where she was named a Seigenthaler Scholar and completed internships with the Rutherford County Public Defender’s Office and WTVF News Channel 5.

Suzanne Craig Robertson
Editor of Tennessee Bar Journal

SUZANNE CRAIG ROBERTSON is editor of the Tennessee Bar Journal. Contact her for writer’s guidelines, or to send an article for review. Suzanne works with a seven-member editorial board to decide what will and will not be published, and with the publications coordinator on design and production. In addition, Suzanne helps produce the TBA Today daily electronic newsletter.

She has a bachelor of science in communications from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Berkley Etheridge Schwarz
Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs

Berkley Schwarz comes to the TBA from the Tennessee Secretary of State's Division of Business Services where she was the attorney for the division and Athlete Agent Registrar.

A graduate of Mississippi State University and then the University of Mississippi School of Law, Berkley has a variety of skills based on her diverse experience and background. She began her career in private practice as a litigator in Jackson, Mississippi, then made her way to Washington, D.C., where she worked as a legislative assistant and later at the U.S. Department of Justice as attorney advisor in the Office of Legislative Affairs.

While still in D.C., Berkley helped launch the D.C. Office of the National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA), the trade association representing American music publishers and their songwriting partners. Berkley worked at NMPA for five and a half years as senior vice president and counsel. Upon leaving NMPA, Berkley served as a principal at Pier Strategies, a specialized Government Relations, business development, and consulting firm. She then worked as a legal recruiter for the legal recruiting firm, Young Mayden.

Berkley and her family live in Nashville, where she is a active in community organizations, including the Junior League of Nashville and the Oak Hill School Parents Association. She is licensed to practice law in Tennessee, Mississippi and Georgia.

Stacey Shrader Joslin
Advertising and Media Content Coordinator

As Advertising and Media Content Coordinator, Stacey works closely with other members of the Communications team to provide content to the TBAToday daily e-newsletter and TBA's monthly print magazine, the Tennessee Bar Journal. In addition, she works with advertisers, sponsors and exhibitors to help them bring their products and services to TBA members at events and CLE programs and through our publications.

Stacey was previously the coordinator of the TBA's Young Lawyers Division and was in charge of media relations. Before coming to the TBA, Stacey worked on Capitol Hill for 10 years. In Washington, she served as a legislative analyst with the House Republican Conference and later as legislative director for U.S. Rep. Asa Hutchinson and senior advisor for U.S. Rep. John Boozman. A native of Texas, she holds a political science degree from Wheaton College.


Kay Story
CLE Coordinator

Kay Story is CLE Coordinator for the Tennessee Bar Association. Kay has a long history working with local law firms, in many different roles. Prior to joining the TBA, Kay was a real estate agent serving the Middle Tennessee area. A Nashville native, Kay brings to the TBA a strong background of planning, customer service and event coordination.

Mindy Thomas
Director of Membership and Leadership Services

After directing the TBA's CLE programming for 10 years, Mindy Thomas has moved to become the Director of Membership and Leadership Services. In this new position, Mindy will direct member services and coordinate member benefit programs. In addition, she will work with the Young Lawyers Division and the Mentoring and Leadership Law programs to assist in the professional development of Tennessee lawyers and in strengthening their involvement in the Tennessee Bar Association.

Mindy earned her doctorate in Higher Education Leadership and Policy Analysis from East Tennessee State University. Prior to coming to the TBA Mindy worked as a program coordinator and facilitator for several alternative sentencing programs in Middle Tennessee counties. Mindy has also spent 14 years in Central America and has worked as an interpreter in Davidson and Williamson counties.

Elizabeth Slagle Todaro
Access to Justice Director

Elizabeth Slagle Todaro is the Access to Justice Director at the Tennessee Bar Association. Liz has over 20 years of experience in the fields of domestic violence, family law, criminal justice, women’s issues, political advocacy, education reform and access to justice issues.

Liz earned a bachelors degree in political science from Emory University and a law degree from the City University of New York Law School. She worked in the Battered Women’s Rights Clinic during law school, representing clients in NYC family courts. She also worked with the Incarcerated Mother’s Law Project of the Women’s Prison Association, serving clients at Riker’s Island Jail and in other N.Y. state correctional facilities.

Since law school, Liz has continued her public service oriented career, ultimately moving back to Nashville to do outreach for the YWCA Domestic Violence Center and then serving as the program director for the Crisis Center at Family & Children’s Service. Prior to joining TBA, Liz led Nashville Debate, a local non-profit that works to bring policy debate back into Metro Nashville’s public schools, while continuing a part-time role as a community educator with the YWCA.

Liz is a native of Nashville and graduated from Hume-Fogg Academic High School.

Tanja Trezise
Human Resources and Administrative Coordinator

Tanja is the Human Resources and Administrative Coordinator for the TBA. She is a key member of our administration and finance team, handling human resource functions for the association as well as providing administrative service and data entry related to receivables, including membership dues, conventions, advertising and other revenue.

Before coming to the TBA she worked in the finance department of a structural steel fabrication company in southeastern Alabama. She graduated from Troy University with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with emphasis in human resources.

Stephanie Vonnahme
Young Lawyers Division and Public Education Coordinator

Stephanie Vonnahme is Young Lawyers Division and Public Education Coordinator. Stephanie comes to the TBA with a wealth of professional experience including over eight years of program management within the non-profit sector. She has provided executive director services for a variety of organizations of different sizes around the country and internationally. From this work Stephanie has developed exceptional skills in communications, project planning, staff and volunteer management and program development.

Stephanie holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky. Her background includes a family of lawyers who provide her with both a relationship and natural interest in the law and the advancement of the profession.

Jennifer Vossler
Director of Education and Professional Development

If you are interested in presenting a CLE program offered by the Tennessee Bar Association, would like to see a particular program or hot topic, or are interested in learning more about our Sections, Jennifer Vossler is your go-to resource. Jennifer is the Director of Education and Professional Development; directing strategy, growth initiatives and operations for the TBA’s CLE department and Sections. She is focused on leading the way in quality CLE and creating value for TBA members to grow as experts and leaders in their field.

Prior to joining the TBA, Jennifer worked in continuing education for a national nonprofit, managing live and online continuing education programming for healthcare and compliance professionals. She received her bachelor of science degree in business administration and marketing from Tennessee Technological University.

Maresa Whaley
Sections, Committees and CLE Coordinator

Maresa Whaley is a Sections, Committees and CLE Coordinator for the Tennessee Bar Association. A graduate of Tennessee State University, she holds a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management and a Certification in Nonprofit Management. Prior to joining the TBA, Maresa worked in higher education and various nonprofit agencies as a meeting planner, responsible for logistics and managing planning aspects of programs and meetings. She an Indiana native but has lived for 20 years in Nashville, where she is an active community volunteer and enjoys spending time with her family.

Jarod Word
Sections, Committees and CLE Coordinator

Jarod Word is a Sections, Committees and CLE Coordinator at the Tennessee Bar Association. In that position, works with a number of the TBA's 32 sections and 16 committees, facilitating meetings, assisting with newsletters and ensuring they operate smoothly.

Prior to joining TBA, Jarod served as Project Coordinator for Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands. While at LAS he assisted with numerous Pro Bono initiatives including legal assistance for veterans with Operation Stand Down of Tennessee, and a project to provide legal assistance to rural communities using video technology. He also established and maintained a partnership with Metro Nashville Public Schools that facilitated legal clinics and developed informational sessions for families within the school system.