2014 YP Corporate Innovator of the Year


YP Corporate Innovator of the Year Finalists


Lindsey Hagan – Lindsey Hagan is an educator who gained experience teaching in West Africa, Colorado, and the South, with the mission to inspire character and competence in every student. She earned a B.A. in Music Education and will graduate with a M.Ed in Educational Leadership this May. Through unique experiences serving on school leadership teams, sponsoring student government, and implementing The Leader in Me school-wide program, Lindsey has developed a deep passion for leadership education. She has served her schools and community by directing fundraising initiatives, implementing an Anti-Bullying program, and creating outreach events such as Caroling for Cans. In 2012, she began working with Patricia Russell and developed a Student Leadership Academy at Bess T Shepherd Elementary. Lindsey is classified as “the inspirer” by Myers Briggs, enthusiastically using her talents to achieve and motivate others to do the same. She lives with her incredible husband, Ross, and their Golden Retriever in Chattanooga, TN. The Student Leadership Academy is an original enrichment program for third through fifth graders with the purpose of preparing students with 21st century skills that will enhance their performance academically, socially, and behaviorally. Student Leaders participate in weekly lessons centered around the 7 habits of highly effective people and the seven character traits featured in the book, How Children Succeed. The curriculum teaches leadership skills such as responsibility, goal-setting, action planning, creative and critical thinking, and effective collaboration – all while developing character. The most unique part of the program is the application days, where students spend one day per quarter out in the community applying their growing leadership skills in real life experiences. The ultimate vision of the Student Leadership Academy is to equip students with a unique set of skills that empowers them to take ownership over their education, become thriving citizens, and lead tomorrow’s Chattanooga.

Patricia Russell – Receiving an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and a M.ED in School Counseling, Patricia Russell is committed to inspiring her students to reach their full potential with intelligence and integrity. A native of Chattanooga, she demonstrates her competence of highly effective teaching and counseling while investing in her schools and community. She has spearheaded projects such as Bible in Schools at Brainerd High and implemented an Anti-Bullying program at her schools. She was privileged to be recognized as 2012 Elementary School Counselor of the Year and is a member of Leadership Fellows Cohort 14. In 2012, she partnered with Lindsey Hagan to initiate the Student Leadership Academy at Bess T. Shepherd Elementary. Patricia is classified as “the duty fulfiller” by Myers Briggs, being unquestionably dependable and deeply driven to organize, plan, and accomplish task with authenticity.


Elizabeth Hammitt – EPB – EPB’s mission is to increase the quality of life for the people in its service area, and within the past several years, Environmental Stewardship has become a formal piece of the company’s efforts.Working with an internal, cross functional green team led by Elizabeth Hammitt, EPB has significantly greened its internal operations, winning a state-wide recycling award, reducing energy and water consumption, and establishing a unique sustainable agriculture business model – the first of its kind – with community partners Gaining Ground and Crabtree Farms. In 2013, EPB’s green team achieved the first LEED EBOM certification in Chattanooga, and the project had an ROI of less than one year – proving that environmental stewardship makes solid business sense. In addition, EPB has recently received awards from the Sierra Club and the Tennessee Recycling Coalition for its environmental accomplishments. Elizabeth worked with the US EPA to establish EPB’s Energy Star Set Top Box partnership, a program that has to date saved EPB FiTV customers 2.5 million dollars and had the equivalent environmental benefit of offsetting 83 railcars of coal. Generally, Elizabeth is responsible for ensuring that EPB reaches its environmental stewardship goals, maintains its green policies, and grows its sustainability programs; as the Administrator of Environmental Policy, Elizabeth is the first employee in EPB’s 79-year history to be dedicated to environmental stewardship initiatives.


Justin Hoenke – Chattanooga Library – Justin Hoenke is a teen librarian and video gaming enthusiast who has written about these subjects for publications such as Library Journal, Voices of Youth Advocates and is a regular contributor for the blog Tame The Web. Justin is a member of the 2010 American Library Association Emerging Leaders class and was named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker in March 2013. Justin is currently the Head of Teen Services at the Chattanooga Public Library in Chattanooga, TN. His professional interests include community building, working with teens in libraries, video games, and creative spaces. Follow Justin on Twitter at @justinlibrarian and read his blog at http://www.justinthelibrarian.com.


Michael Mahaffey – Fancy Rhino – Michael Mahaffey grew up near the golden sandy beaches of Lake Soddy deep in the heart of Soddy Daisy, TN. His mother: a UPS delivery specialist with a passion for quick & friendly service. His father: a cabinetmaker hellbent on perfection. The combination of their genes and a little magic sprinkled on top sprouted a passionate, romantic, creative machine with a glint in his eye for innovation. After attending several area colleges trying to “find himself” Michael settled on the graphic design concentration and graduated somewhere near the mid-to-top range of his class at UTC in Chattanooga, TN. Since then, he’s been a designer, art director, creative director and an all around pal at area businesses including CreateHere, AREA203 and now at Fancy Rhino. His main focus is branding area businesses including Fancy Rhino, ro-co.co, Access America, Temperate Clothing and Track29.

At the moment he lives in the shadows of Missionary Ridge with his beautiful wife, Carlie and their soon-to-be baby girl, Amelia. He enjoys mountain biking (despite his size), hiking (also despite his size) and throwing a blanket on his dogs to watch the little lumps run around in confusion.


Leif Ramsey – SVAD Productions – I am entrepreneur and filmmaker. I run SVAD Productions, an advertising agency, it’s a creative boutique that works exclusively with video and animation. I am the director of the documentary film, “Black Friday.” After completing university with a focus in design I worked on a feature film in Ireland and fell in love with the film industry. That Fall I went on a road trip from Colorado to Argentina in a van with 6 other guys. While on the adventure I realized 2 things: 1) I love a good narrative. 2) I need a job. So, I returned to my alma mater and found someone, Mark Thomas, who I found had a shared idea: What would happen if there was a creative agency that brought in commercial work to mentor students? The idea took off and SVAD Productions has grown since 2006. From our early days of accepting every $50 logo design that came our way to learning how to build sustainable and deep relationships with our clients, we have truly matured in the years since. SVAD Productions is owned and operated by Southern Adventist University. I have a love for travel, exploring, and business ideas. I live with my brilliant and inspiring wife Lucky in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee. If you’re in Chattanooga hit me up and we’ll go climbing/hiking/sailing/cycling.