Empower Upper Cumberland: We are ready!

Watch the video above to hear a special message from our collaborative partners and regional stakeholders.

Our Mission & Vision Statements

Our Vision

Our Vision

Prosperity for all.

Our Mission

Our Mission

Inspiring and equipping families, individuals, and communities to prosper. 

Working together to lift children and families out of generational poverty.

Forged from the collective, region-wide mission to lift children and families out of generational poverty, Empower Upper Cumberland – also known as Empower UC – is comprised of key community and regional partners including Highlands Economic Partnership (HEP), Upper Cumberland Labor and Workforce Development Board (UCLWDB), Tennessee Tech University (TTU), Cookeville Regional Charitable Foundation (CRCF), and Upper Cumberland Development District (UCDD) as well as community members.

Click here to learn more about our partners.

Led by Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency (UCHRA), the designated backbone organization, Empower UC is tasked with serving the most vulnerable populations of the 14-county Upper Cumberland region which includes the counties of Cannon, Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Smith, Van Buren, Warren, and White with a core objective of lifting 1,600 children and their families out of generational poverty by 2025.

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Planning, Workgroup, and Family Advisory Board meetings held (during the 90-day planning grant period)
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total team member hours spent in those 65+ meetings (during the 90-day planning grant period)

Project Leadership & Team

Megan Spurgeon

Project Director

Megan Spurgeon

Empower Upper Cumberland, Project Director

Jeff Dyer

Operations Development Manager

Jeff Dyer

Empower Upper Cumberland, Operations Development Manager

Vicki Smith

Quality Assurance Manager

Vicki Smith

Empower Upper Cumberland, Quality Assurance Manager

Balinda Westmoreland

Project Liaison

Balinda Westmoreland

Empower Upper Cumberland, Project Liaison

Evan Smith

Data Specialist

Evan Smith

Empower Upper Cumberland, Data Specialist

Core Partners & Representatives

Mark Farley

UCDD & UCHRA

Mark Farley

Executive Director, UCDD & UCHRA

Core Partner

Amy New

Highlands Economic Partnership

Amy New

CEO/President, Highlands Economic Partnership

Core Partner

Avery Hutchins

WCTE-PBS

Avery Hutchins

CEO, WCTE-PBS

Core Partner

Becky Hull

UCLWDB

Becky Hull

Executive Director, Upper Cumberland Labor and Workforce Development Board

Core Partner

Philip Oldham

TTU

Philip Oldham

President, Tennessee Tech University

Core Partner

John Bell

CRMC Charitable Foundation

John Bell

Executive Director, Cookeville Regional Medical Center Charitable Foundation

Core Partner

Planning Team

Heather Thomas

Cost Benefit Analysis

Heather Thomas

Empower Upper Cumberland Cost Benefit Analysis, Team Lead

Janet Carl

Grant Writing

Janet Carl

Empower Upper Cumberland Grant Writing, Team Lead

Jeannie Chaffin

Logic Model

Jeannie Chaffin

Empower Upper Cumberland Logic Model, Team Lead

Tony Whiteaker

Needs & Gaps

Tony Whiteaker

Empower Upper Cumberland Needs & Gaps, Team Lead

Lehra Trobaugh

Presentation

Lehra Trobaugh

Empower Upper Cumberland Presentation, Team Lead

Amye Anderson

Social Marketing & Strategic Communication

Amye Anderson

Empower Upper Cumberland Social Marketing & Strategic Communication, Team Lead