Ron Bell has been the designer of The Tennessee Magazine since December 1995. He also occasionally writes articles for the magazine and travels throughout the state, conducting computer training for Tennessee’s electric cooperatives, assisting them with their desktop-publishing needs. He has designed logos for Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative and Mountain Electric Cooperative as well as T-shirts, posters, brochures and publications for TECA and co-ops throughout the state.
He lives with his wife, Sharon, in Murfreesboro. They have five children, two of whom are still at home.
Ron is also the creator and lead singer for his band, The Trailer Park Troubadours. Calling it “a hobby that got out of hand,” his musical pursuits have taken him across the U.S., to Canada and to Europe.
Todd Blocker is a 15-year veteran of working with utility companies in the Southeast. Since 1997, Todd has worked with cooperatives from both the electric and telecommunication industries along with large and small municipal utility systems. A lifelong resident of Maury County, Todd lives in Columbia with his wife of 22 years, Linda, along with their two daughters, who are 18 and 12 years of age. Todd attended Columbia State Community College and Memphis State University, where he studied business administration. He attends church at Bigbyville United Methodist Church and enjoys golf, boating, music and time with his family.
David Callis is a 1982 graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, with a degree in business administration. He began his career at the Tennessee Valley Authority in Chattanooga as an accountant, later becoming supervisor of power revenue.
A Nashville native, he relocated back to Middle Tennessee in 1992 to join Tri-County EMC in Lafayette first as director of finance and administration and then as general manager.
In February 2001, he joined the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association as director of government and public affairs. In June 2010, he was named vice president of statewide services with oversight over government relations, communications and marketing and member relations for the association. He became general manager in January 2012.
David has served on the board of directors of the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association, Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives and South Kentucky Industrial Development Association. David’s hobbies include running well and playing golf poorly. He has also served as a board member and coach in the Hendersonville Inline Hockey Association and elder and congregational president at Trinity Lutheran Church in Gallatin.
Married to Dawnn since 1979, they have two children. Megan Callis Hall works as a legislative assistant for Tennessee State Sen. Tim Barnes and is attending law school. She and her husband, Will, reside in Nashville. Son Brian Callis is an accountant for Franke in Smyrna. He and his wife, Amanda, live in Murfreesboro and are expecting their first child in April.
Robin Conover has spent the last 23 years documenting the people and places of Tennessee with The Tennessee Magazine. After graduating from Murray State University, Robin began working for magazine in October 1988 as a communications specialist and photojournalist. She now serves as TECA vice president of communications and editor of The Tennessee Magazine.
Her interest in preserving the environment and Tennessee’s beautiful natural areas has led her down many miles of trails to capture thousands of images. Robin is currently a board member of the Friends of Radnor Lake, a nonprofit in Nashville.
Robin’s images can be seen in greeting cards, calendars, books and at a few fine-art shows she participates in each year.
Miyuki Fowler became a member of the TECA staff as a receptionist in 2010. She is originally from Toyama, Japan, and has been in the U.S. for more than 20 years. Prior to coming to TECA, she was a logistic specialist for a Japanese company. She is passionate about photography and currently pursuing a photography degree. A member of Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation, she has an 12 year old son and resides in Wilson County. She enjoys going to music shows, fishing and horseback-riding on her spare time.
Amy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration-accounting from Lipscomb University in Nashville. She has 33 years of accounting experience, which includes 23 years with TECA.
Lifelong Tennessean Chris Kirk, associate editor of The Tennessee Magazine, joined the staff in May 2005 after graduating from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, majoring in journalism with a minor in political science. An award-winning member of the Cooperative Communicators Association, he contributes feature articles and photographs to the monthly membership publication and serves as coordinator between Tennessee’s electric cooperatives and the magazine staff in Nashville.
Chris and his wife, Anna, and their daughter, Sloan and Caroline, live in Nolensville.
Andrea Knight has 15 years of experience working for rural Tennessee in a cooperative field. She started working with TECA in 2003 as the receptionist and is currently the secretary to the director of government affairs, Mike Knotts, and the director of member relations, Todd Blocker. Andrea worked for a county Farm Bureau office for six years prior to continuing her cooperative career with TECA. A student at the University of Phoenix, she loves to plan events from scratch and see them come together beautifully. Andrea lives in Hermitage with her boyfriend and two Italian Greyhounds. She loves working out with friends, listening to music, riding motorcycles and organizing.
Mike Knotts is the director of government affairs for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. He is responsible for communicating with the Tennessee General Assembly as well as Tennessee’s U.S. senators and representatives in Congress to ensure the interests of electric cooperatives are understood and protected. Additionally, Mike assists in the day-to-day management of the association.
He began his career working in government affairs with the Tennessee Valley Authority, has operated his own consulting business where he managed political campaigns, and spent two years as District Director on the staff of a United States Congressman. In 2008, Mike received a Presidential Appointment and served on the staff of the United States Department of Health and Human Services overseeing the back-office functions of one the largest departments in the federal government.
Mike enjoys golf, politics, and aviation. He and his wife Jen live in Franklin with their three young sons; they are expecting their fourth child in March. They are members of Christ Presbyterian Church, where Mike serves as a Deacon.
Susan Pilgreen grew up in a rural community 20 miles north of Birmingham, Ala., and began her career as the traffic (advertising) coordinator for WBRC-TV in Birmingham. She moved to Nashville 30 years ago and now considers Music City her home. She has been the advertising manager for The Tennessee Magazine for 15 years. Prior to joining the staff of TECA, Susan worked in resource deployment for ENVOY Corporation, which is now WebMD.
“I enjoy working independently, and I like working with concepts and ideas,” Susan says. “Some of my strengths are dependability, tenacity, perspective, honesty and fairness.”
In her spare time, Susan enjoys reading, paper crafts, working in her yard, baking and developing games for parties.
Trent Scott serves as communications coordinator for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. In this role, he coordinates the corporate communication efforts of TECA and The Tennessee Magazine and provides assistance to member utilities. Trent has experience in strategic communications, media relations, social media and Web design, economic development and rates.
Trent holds an undergraduate degree in marketing from Freed-Hardeman University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee.
Prior to joining TECA in March of 2010, Trent was vice president of marketing and energy services for Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation in Brownsville. He has also held positions with the Memphis Area Home Builders Association, Younger Associates and U.S. Rep. Ed Bryant.
Trent is a graduate of the WestStar regional leadership program. He currently serves on the national Touchstone Energy Business Development Committee and is president of the Henderson Chester County Chamber of Commerce.
Trent and his wife, Suzanne, have one daughter, Callaway, and live in Henderson.
Tina Smith serves as administrative assistant to the general manager, David Callis, at the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. Tina began her career at TECA 12½ years ago when she was hired as secretary to both the director of government and public affairs and the director of youth and member relations. In June 2007, Tina was promoted to her current position as administrative assistant. Prior to joining the TECA staff, Tina worked at the Lebanon Eye Center and Sumner Regional Medical Center in Gallatin; she has an Associate of Applied Science degree from Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin.
Tina and her husband, Matt, are the proud parents of two active little boys, Benjamin (3½ years old) and Luke (1 year old) and live in their hometown of Hartsville. She is a member of Halltown Road Church of Christ in Hartsville. Besides spending time with her family, Tina enjoys reading and gardening.