Fannie Battle Leadership

Board of Directors

Ben Sellers         Libstream Technologies

President-Elect / Secretary
Solvig Gentile       Northhighland Consulting
Past President
David Braam    Attorney at Law

Development Chair
Shane Fortner     Loews Vanderbilt Hotel

Renee Chevalier      First Tennessee Bank

Nathan Bleak     HCA

Amanda Brown     Garner Therapy Services
Wesley Carter     Delek US Holdings
Tripp Cates     CoreTrust, a division of HCA
Courtney Corlew     Vaco
Bill Evans     Evans Glass Company
Meggin Grobmyer     Community Volunteer
Evelyn Hale, Program Chair    Early Childhood Advocate
Curtis Harrington     Farmer, Purcell, White & Lassiter, PLLC
Brianna Healy     The Boedecker Foundation
Lisa McCauley     The East Nashvillian
Sandy Wade-Johnson     HCA Healthcare
Sarah McGehee, YLC Intern   Adams & Reese, LLP


Melanie Shinbaum, Executive Director

Melanie brings over 20 years of experience within the nonprofit sector to Fannie Battle. She started in 2013 as the Development Director and stepped into the role of Executive Director in June of 2015. Melanie came to Fannie Battle from United Way of Metropolitan Nashville, where she worked in fundraising and marketing. Prior to that, Melanie worked for various other nonprofit organizations in organizational functions including case management, administration, and fundraising. Melanie serves on a variety of committees in Nashville that are working to address increasing educational opportunities for children and workforce development opportunities for families. Melanie’s passion is connecting children and families in under-served communities to services and programming that assists them in reaching their full potential.

My favorite:

Color:   Green
Book to read when I was younger:   Little House on the Prairie
Cookie:   Chocolate Chip

I enjoy:

spending time with my family, camping and reading.

Melissa McWilliams, Development Director

Melissa joined Fannie Battle in October of 2016 and has extensive experience in marketing, sales, and development with small businesses and nonprofit corporations. She has served on various boards and committees for the Palos Verdes Peninsula and Torrance Chamber of Commerce in the Los Angeles area, as well as community nonprofits specializing in children and family services. Melissa received recognition in the community as a Person of Distinction for Business after launching and maintaining a Young Professionals Business Networking group in Los Angeles. She currently serves on the board of directors for The Tomorrow Fund, an initiative of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

My favorite:

Color:   Blue
Book to read when I was younger:   Anything by Shel Silverstein or The Berenstain Bears series
Cookie:   Peanut Butter

I enjoy:

visiting Disney theme parks, learning to garden, and being outside with my family.

Stacie Spasoff, Program Director

Stacie is a former School Age teacher at Fannie Battle and was promoted to Program Director in 2018. Stacie has her Associate’s Degree in early childhood education and is pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree. Stacie has a long background in early childhood care and has been the center director for a multi-site child care, as well as served as a classroom teacher for various age-levels of children prior to joining the Fannie Battle team.

My favorite:

Color:   Blue
Book to read when I was younger:   R.L. Stein books
Cookie:   Chocolate Chip

I enjoy:

spending time on the lake with my family.

Katherine Massey, Grants Manager

Katherine has her Master’s in Early Childhood Education, along with a wealth of previous experience in special education and research. Prior to becoming the Grants Manager, Katherine coordinated the LEAPS tutoring program at Fannie Battle.

My favorite:

Color:   Blue
Book to read when I was younger:   Laura Ingles Wilder series of books
Cookie:   White chocolate macadamia

I enjoy:

reading, trail running, hiking, and camping with my family.

Tara Holt, Infant/Toddler Director

Latara (Tara) began working at Fannie Battle in 2007, as both a lead preschool and toddler teacher and was promoted to the Infant/Toddler Director in 2018. Latara holds an Associates Degree and has a vast amount of experience working in a variety of early childhood education centers since 2007, such as Montessori, MNPS schools, and after school programs.

My favorite:

Color:   Black
Book to read when I was younger:   James and the Giant Peach
Cookie:   Chocolate Chip

I enjoy:

spending time with my family.

Nessa Sparks, Preschool/School Age Director & Instructional Coach

Nessa has worked in Early Childhood since 1997 at non profit childcare centers. She received her Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education in 2016 and Bachelors in Early Childhood Education in 2018. She began working at Fannie Battle in 2009 as a floater and has been our Preschool Lead Teacher since 2016. In 2018, Nessa was promoted to our Preschool and School Age Director and Instructional Coach.

My favorite:

Color:   Black
Book to read when I was younger:   Cinderella
Cookie:   Sugar

I enjoy:

traveling and fishing with my family.