FY-2015 Commission Members

Patsy White Camp

Patsy White Camp

Term - 2012 / 2019
District - 08

A resident of Jackson, Tennessee, Patsy White Camp was appointed to the Tennessee Arts Commission in 2012 and was elected Chair in June 2014 for FY 2014-2015. During the past two years, she has served on the Strategic Plan Committee, the Governor’s Awards Committee, the Allocations Committee and was the FY 2013-2014 Secretary for the Executive Committee. She was also a part of the committee that worked towards the selection of the garden sculpture for Tennessee Residence.

Camp is currently serving on the Allocations Committee of the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation. She has served on the Board of Tennesseans for the Arts (TFTA) and has been President of both the Jackson Arts Council and the Jackson Service League. She has also served on both the Board of Trustees for Lambuth University and Episcopal Day School.

She has received the Jackson Award for the Arts and was recently named a recipient of the Sterling Award by the Business and Professional Women and the Jackson Sun—naming her to be one of the 20 most influential women in West Tennessee. An active member of the First United Methodist Church, she has served as Lay Leader and Staff-Parish Relations Chairperson, and is a participant in many church related missions and charities.

Camp and her husband, Charles, reside in Jackson, Tennessee and have one married daughter who lives in Memphis, Tennessee. Camp enjoys walking, reading, travel, family time and attending arts events.


Stephanie Conner

Stephanie B. Conner


Term - 2012 / 2017
District - 05

Stephanie Barger Conner was appointed to the Tennessee Arts Commission by Governor Bill Haslam for a five-year term representing Congressional District 5 in 2012 and was elected Vice-Chair in June 2014 for FY 2014-15. She previously served on the Commission from FY 2002-2007 which included service as Commission Chair for FY05-06 and FY06-07. During FY14, Conner was chair of the Strategic Planning Committee and was a part of the Allocations Committee.

Prior to her work with the Commission, she served as executive director of the Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission. During her tenure she helped strengthen the film and music industry in the areas of policy development and legislation. She also served as Assistant to the Governor for Policy, and, prior to that position, served as Assistant to the Governor for Boards and Commissions.

Conner has been Board President of Tennesseans for the Arts (TFTA) and served on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of South Arts. Currently, Conner serves on the Board of Directors of TFTA, as well as the Board of Watkins College of Art, Design & Film.

Conner has a special interest in arts education, fundraising and support, access for rural communities, and advocacy. She enjoys travel, especially to areas with artistic and musical history and cultural significance.

Conner received her bachelor’s degree in human and organizational development from Vanderbilt University. She is married to Forrest Conner and they have three children.


Ann C. Smith


Term - 2011 / 2016
District - 01

Ann C. Smith was appointed to the Tennessee Arts Commission by Governor Bill Haslam for a five-year term representing Congressional District 1 in 2011. Previously, Smith served on the Tennessee Arts Commission from FY1998-2002 and was also a former Chair. This past year, Smith served on both the Allocations Committee and the Strategic Plan Committee for the Commission.

An avid believer in community involvement, Smith has held numerous leadership positions across East Tennessee. She has served on the Johnson City Area Arts Council and was a Trustee of the Johnson City Medical Center Foundation. In 2013, Smith was a recipient of the prestigious YWCA’s Tribute to Women Award.

In 1999, she was named Volunteer of the Year by the Mountain States Health Alliance and was also a member of the Tennessee State Museum Committee. In the political realm, Smith served as Interim Regional Representative for Former Gov. Don Sundquist and President of Washington Republican Women. Smith is currently on the National Republican Committee and the Tennessee Federation of Republican Women.

Smith’s hobbies include bridge, golf, music, singing, and traveling. She also enjoys attending arts events, and specifically enjoys the symphony.



Lisa Bobango

Lisa Bobango

Term - 2013 / 2018
District - 08

Lisa Bobango is an active community leader, and has been involved with numerous nonprofit organizations. She has served on the board of the Memphis Literacy Council, the Junior League of Memphis, the Germantown Women’s Club, and is past president of the Memphis Bar Auxiliary. She is currently the Sustainer Director for the Junior League of Memphis.

She has been involved in several arts-related organizations in Memphis. Lisa Bobango and her husband, John, were founding members of ‘Young at Art’ at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, and have supported the Orpheum Theater and ArtsMemphis.

Bobango received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and her MBA from the University of Florida. She received her law degree from the University of Memphis.

She is a member of the Suburban Garden Club of the Tennessee Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc. She enjoys gardening, reading, and walking.


Ritche Bowden

Ritche Bowden

Term - 2013 / 2018
District - 09

Ritche Manley Bowden has been retired since 2007. She most recently served as the chief operating officer for Colonics of Memphis. Previously she was the administrator for Phillip R. Bowden, M.D., P.A., and the Mid-South Gastroenterology Group - Ambulatory Surgery Center. She has also worked as a marketing representative for IBM. Her professional affiliations have included: The American Gastroenterology Association; Medical Group Management Association; Memphis Chamber of Commerce; and the National Black MBA Association. A community leader and supporter of the arts, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.

Bowden’s other community affiliations have included: University of Arkansas Alumni Association, National Alumni Board of Directors; University of Arkansas Black Alumni Association, Board of Directors; Lausanne Collegiate School, Board of Directors; and the University of Memphis Alumni Association. She is also a member of the Tennessee Medical Association Auxiliary; Bluff City Medical Auxiliary, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority; Links, Inc., Shelby County Chapter; and a Board Member of Dress for Success Memphis. Bowden has served as financial secretary, vice-president, for Jack & Jill of America, Inc., and as  troop leader, troop 361, Girl Scouts of America.

Community philanthropy involvement includes: the Joseph Norman Manley Scholarship, University of Central Arkansas; the Arletha McAllister Manley Scholarship, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; and the National Civil Rights Museum, Keepers of the Dream Campaign Steering Committee.  Bowden served as co-chair of the American Heart Association, Heart and Soul Ball 2004, and served as co-chair, Special Gifts Division, of the St. Mary’s Capital Campaign 2004-2005. She is also a supporter of Lemoyne Owen College.
Bowden received her bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, and a master of business administration, with an emphasis in health care economics, from the University of Memphis.


Donna Chase

Term - 2010 / 2015
District - 02

Donna Chase is president of Lord & Chase, a Knoxville-based interior design firm, and is a design and construction consultant to hospitality and residential clients throughout the country.  In recent years, she has been involved with school and youth sports activities while also operating a retail antique and furnishings business in Knoxville. She received her bachelor’s degree in interior design from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
Chase is married to Michael Chase, president/CEO of Copper Cellar Corporation. The company operates 17 popular Tennessee restaurants and has been recognized as one the nation’s top multi-concept restaurant companies. They reside in Knoxville and have two daughters.


Ed Gerace

Term - 2010 / 2015
District - 01

Ed Gerace is an investment vice president of UBS Financial Services in Johnson City, and is a former partner with J.C. Bradford Company. Gerace has been in the investment business for over 40 years. He serves as chairman of the Steering Committee of the Tanasi Center of Northeast Tennessee. He has served as co-chair for the Fundraising Committee for the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra, the Tennessee State Museum Committee, and on the Finance Committee for St. Mary’s Church in Johnson City. Gerace previously served as chair of the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra, former chair of the Johnson City Development Authority, and is a past board member of Birthplace of Country Music. He received his bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from East Tennessee State University.
Gerace enjoys travel and fly-fishing. He resides in Johnson City with his wife, Jennie. They have two sons and five grandchildren.


Chancellor Carol L. McCoy

Term - 2010 / 2015
District - 05

Carol L. McCoy serves as Chancellor for the Davidson County Chancery Court, Part II. She was previously a partner in the law firm of Davies, Cantrell, Humphreys & McCoy in Nashville, and early in her career, a partner in Farrell & McCoy in Nashville. She worked as a staff attorney with the Tennessee Department of Revenue. She represents the Fifth Congressional District.

Chancellor McCoy received her bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations from the University of South Florida, and her law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School.

Chancellor McCoy has many civic commitments and interests. She is a trustee for Watkins College of Art and Design, and previously served as a trustee for United Way of Middle Tennessee.  She is currently a member of the Nashville Foreign Relations Committee, CABLE and the Nashville Women’s Political Caucus.  She is an alumnus of the American Council of Young Political Leaders and Leadership Nashville. Chancellor McCoy was the recipient of the 1999 Athena Award and the 2004 YWCA Academy for Women of Achievement. She is married to Judge Roger Page.



Leo McGee

Dr. Leo McGee

Term - 2013 / 2018
District - 06

Dr. Leo McGee retired from Tennessee Tech University in 2007. He became a full-time Southern writer with a bucket list that included enhancing his award-winning Hydrangea Garden and visiting the venues of the Grand Slam Tennis Tournaments around the world. Regular tennis players themselves, Dr. McGee and his wife have since been to the US and Australian Opens as well toured the tournament grounds of Wimbledon in London and Roland Garros in Paris. His Hydrangea garden won the 2013 Better Homes and Gardens National Award and will be featured in an upcoming issue of Country Garden Magazine.

Dr. McGee is the author of more than 40 professional articles, 20 creative and opinion essays and has written or co-written five books. One of his creative essays, “Nothing Could Stop My Wife,” was published in Good Housekeeping magazine. Written about his adventures as a house-husband when his wife returned to school, it served as the basis of a television documentary which was produced by Lifetime Cable Network. Dr. McGee is also a long-time collector of art depicting African-Americans in the Southern cotton industry. His collection is intended to understand, acknowledge and pay tribute to his ancestors. 

Dr. McGee joined the administration at Tennessee Tech in 1977 as assistant dean of Extended Services and associate professor of Education. During his 19-year tenure at the university, he has also served as assistant, associate and interim vice president for Academic Affairs. He holds master's and doctorate degrees in education from Ohio State University, where he also served as assistant director and director of Student Teaching. Dr. McGee later became a department head in the College of Education at Tennessee State University.

His professional memberships before retiring included the American Higher Education Association, National Association of Continuing and Adult Education, and Phi Delta Kappa. He has also been named a fellow with the Harvard University Institute for Educational Management and with the University of Tennessee Institute for Leadership Effectiveness. Dr. McGee's honors include the President's Award at Philander Smith College, the Distinguished Scholar Award at Ohio State University and a Young Leader in Education Award with Phi Delta Kappa International. Dr. McGee is also a member of the Rotary Club of Cookeville. He and his wife, Gloria, Professor Emeritus at Tennessee Tech, have two grown daughters.



Waymon L. Hickman

Term - 2011 / 2016
District - 04

Waymon  L. Hickman is senior chairman of the Board of First Farmers and Merchants Bank, Columbia, Tennessee. His educational background includes a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee, and the Graduate School of Banking of the South, Louisiana State University. He represents the fourth Congressional District.
Hickman has served on the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees, and currently serves as Trustee of Columbia State and Martin Methodist College. He has served as president of the Columbia Kiwanis Club, Maury County Chamber of Commerce, and the University of Tennessee Maury County Alumni Association.  Active in the Boy Scouts organization, Hickman has served as president of the 39 county Middle Tennessee Council, and currently serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees and the Executive Board.

Hickman is a former member of the Board of Directors of the American Bankers Association.  He is past state vice president and member of the Community Bank Council of the American Bankers Association; and past president of the Tennessee Bankers Association. Hickman is a former director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and served as chairman of the Audit Committee. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees and past president of the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University. He presently serves as a member of the Banker’s Advisory Board to the Conference of state Bank Supervisors in Washington, D.C., member of the University of Tennessee Investment, Audit Committee, Development Council, and Chairman of Board of the University of Tennessee  Research Foundation.  
Hickman is an active member of the First United Methodist Church.


Jan Ramsey

Term - 2013 / 2018
District - 03

Jan Ramsey grew up in Cheatham County, attended public schools and after graduating from Cheatham County Central high school became a legal assistant in Nashville. She later became a licensed insurance agent and in 1976, moved to Hamilton County.

Jan has been active with several civic and non-profit organizations in Chattanooga including the Republican Women’s Club, the PTA, and the Ronald McDonald House. She enjoyed helping to establish the Read 20 program and is presently serving on the Advisory Council for The Next Door Chattanooga.

Jan is a member of Bayside Baptist Church. Her husband is Claude Ramsey, former Deputy Governor and Hamilton County Mayor. They have two children, Rich and Stacy; and five grandchildren, Madison, Meredith, Macy, Claudia and John Ross.


Connie S. Weathers

Term - 2011 / 2016
District - 03

Connie Weathers grew up in South Georgia and South Carolina textile towns. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in liberal arts from Middle Tennessee State University. She represents the Third Congressional District.

As a child she was able to capitalize on small textile town opportunities.  Large textile companies like Callaway Mills offered many opportunities for cultural enrichment to employee children. Her early childhood exposure to the performing arts of ballet and tap dance left a lasting impression. She has, over her small town life, participated in several theatrical fundraisers.
Weathers has always been active in her community.  She has been a Girl Scout leader, camp director and a Red Cross volunteer. She has served as president of the American Cancer Society of Hamilton County and served on the Tennessee State Board of the American Cancer Society. She received the ‘Patient Quality of Life Award’ for her decade of dedication to the Societies’ C.I.T.E (Cancer Isn’t the End) counseling program as well starting the “Look Good, Feel Better Program” in Hamilton County. Weathers has been a member of the Memorial Auditorium Board of Directors, recognized by the Hamilton County Commission as a “Distinguished Citizen,” served as vice-chairman and chairman of the Hamilton County Republican Party.
Connie Weathers and her husband John Weathers, CFO of Heatmax, Inc. reside in Chattanooga. Her hobbies are reading, cooking, gardening, and antiquing.


Lee Yeiser

Lee D. Yeiser

Term - 2013 / 2017
District - 07

Lee Yeiser is a long-time resident of Savannah and an active community leader. She currently teaches English at Hardin County High School, and has served as a member of the Savannah Arts Commission.  She was the co-founder of the Savannah Junior Auxiliary, and has served as president, vice-president, and finance chairman of the organization. She also has served as a member of the Hardin County Library Board as well as a member of the Reelfoot Girl Scout Council in Jackson.

Yeiser received a Bachelor of Science degree in fashion merchandising from Florida State University and  Master of Arts in Teaching English on the Secondary Level from Bethel College.

She is married to Emmett W. Yeiser. She enjoys attending events at the Frist Center for Visual Arts, Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art, Nashville Symphony, and the Jackson Symphony.