Nonpartisan coalition expands its leadership as it continues to work toward advancing firearm safety policy in Tennessee during the special session and beyond
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (August 17, 2023) — Voices for a Safer Tennessee (Safer TN), a nonpartisan organization dedicated to prioritizing firearm safety and promoting responsible firearm ownership through bipartisan legislation, has added two new directors to its governing board: Lisa Rottmann of Knoxville and Dori Thornton Waller of Chattanooga. In addition, the organization announced the creation of an advisory board of prominent Tennessee leaders.
New Board of Director Members
Lisa Rottmann, a Knoxville native, is president and chief executive officer of Stowers Machinery Corporation, where she has served in leadership roles for more than 11 years. She is a seasoned marketing, human capital and business strategist, and an active member of her local community.
Before starting her Tennessee-based business, The Social Office, Dori Thornton Waller lived in Washington, D.C. and served in the White House for President George W. Bush as the youngest deputy social secretary in recent history. Waller now resides in Chattanooga and leads a team of highly successful signature event planners with a statewide and national presence.
“Lisa and Dori bring valuable expertise and perspective to our already diverse and experienced board,” said Todd Cruse, chairman and treasurer for the Safer TN board of directors. “As we continue to build our board leadership, we have been intentional about aligning the political representation of the board with that of the state and ensuring broad geographic reach across Tennessee. We are proud to have Lisa and Dori serving in these important roles to help improve the safety of our great state.”
To help further guide and support the organization’s efforts, Safer TN has convened an advisory board of prominent Tennessee leaders who have raised their hands in support of stronger firearm safety policies. This group represents influential leadership within the government, healthcare, business, faith, education, music and philanthropy sectors and includes:
- Dr. Michael Burcham, Executive Partner, Shore Capital Partners
- Bill Carpenter, Healthcare Executive and Chairman of the Board for FirstBank
- Senator Bill Frist, M.D., Former United States Senate Majority Leader
- Vince Gill, musician and singer/songwriter
- Amy Grant, Christian and pop recording artist, and philanthropist
- Milton Johnson, Former CEO, HCA Healthcare
- Teresa Sloyan, President, Hyde Family Foundation
- Dr. Clay Stauffer, Senior Minister, Woodmont Christian Church (Advisory board chair)
- Dwayne Tucker, CEO, Lead Public Schools
- Jamie Woodson, Founder and Principal, TriStar Strategies and former State Senator
“Firearm safety is not a partisan issue, it is a public safety issue, and we must set politics aside to address the devastating impact firearm violence is having across our state, particularly amongst our children,” said Senator Bill Frist, M.D. “I have been following Voices for a Safer Tennessee since the organization’s formation, and I believe that the nonpartisan coalition they have built is a strong platform to break through the political noise, raise awareness about the troubling data, and encourage collaborative solutions that ultimately improve the safety of citizens in our great state. I am eager to work with Safer TN as a member of the Advisory Board, among an exceptional group of Tennessee leaders.”
Dr. Clay Stauffer will serve as chairman of the advisory board. The group will engage in advocacy, education and fundraising alongside the coalition and its leadership in an effort to achieve the organization’s policy goals of:
- Temporary transfer laws that would allow authorities to temporarily restrict access to firearms from people who pose a risk to themselves or others
- Stronger firearm storage laws that require firearm owners to provide secure storage and report lost or stolen weapons
- Consistent background check requirements across more firearm transactions to help keep firearms away from dangerous people who are not legally allowed to own them
Safer TN’s board and advisory board announcements follow the proclamation by Governor Bill Lee calling a special session on public safety to begin August 21. Expansion of these important leadership bodies poises the organization for continued effectiveness during the special session, into the 2024 session and beyond. Today, the Safer TN coalition includes more than 20,000 supporters representing all political viewpoints and nearly all 95 counties in Tennessee.
Safer TN encourages all Tennesseans who believe that we can find common ground around firearm safety and protect our communities to get involved by joining the coalition, donating, and following Safer TN on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for regular updates and calls to action.
About Voices for a Safer Tennessee
Voices for a Safer Tennessee (Safer TN) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition dedicated to prioritizing common-sense firearm safety laws and promoting responsible firearm ownership to make communities across our state safer. Safer TN was founded by neighbors, friends, colleagues and community members who came together with a shared desire for change following the tragic events of March 27, 2023, at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tenn. The organization brings voters and lawmakers together by leading conversations, sharing diverse perspectives and finding commonality to champion the bipartisan change that the majority of Tennessee voters support. Learn more at safertn.org.