Todd Cruse, Chairman and Treasurer
Todd Cruse began his career in politics by serving in the administration of a Tennessee governor in the late 1990s. He has spent the last 20 years in healthcare, where he most recently led one of the nation’s largest dental delivery systems, in addition to directing the activities of a multi-state Political Action Committee. He is an avid sportsman and has been hunting since the age of 7. He believes that gun ownership and responsible firearm reforms are not mutually exclusive and that meaningful change can benefit our communities by saving lives from unnecessary violence. Todd lives in Nashville with his wife Carlie, their 10-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son.
Nicole Smith, President
Nicole Smith has more than 15 years of experience leading strategic communications and advocacy campaigns focused on inspiring constituent engagement and impacting meaningful change. She currently serves as vice president of advocacy for the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE). Prior to that she was senior vice president of external affairs for Tennesseans for Quality Early Education. She also spent a decade overseeing donor and alumni engagement communications at her alma mater, Vanderbilt University.
Following the Covenant School shooting, Nicole felt compelled to use her professional skills, along with her passion to create change, to help address the ongoing gun violence in her home state. She is a founding board member of Voices for a Safer Tennessee and resides in Nashville with her husband and two young sons.
Whitney Kimerling, Secretary
Whitney Kimerling has spent her legal career representing manufacturers in product liability litigation in the state of Tennessee and across the country. She currently serves as general counsel for a toy and game company. As a mom of two elementary age children, she is passionate about ensuring her boys and all children are able to live full and happy childhoods safe from gun violence. Through her work as a founding board member of Voices for a Safer Tennessee, she is committed to using her voice to advocate for responsible and reasonable change in her home state.
Katy Dieckhaus is a pediatric occupational therapist and has worked for a non-profit clinic for the past 11 years. On March 27, 2023, Katy and her family tragically lost 9-year-old Evelyn, who was one of the six victims of the Covenant School shooting in Nashville. Katy had concerns about the rise in gun violence in Tennessee before the unimaginable occurred. Now faced with this unfortunate reality, her mission in life is to improve the overall safety of Tennesseans by focusing on firearm responsibility and working together to help make this a safer place for all.
Katie Marchetti is a financial and legal (JD, LLM) executive with over 20 years of experience in international finance and law, having worked in financial centers across the US and Europe. Most recently, she has contracted with various venture capital firms focused on driving capital to founders who are women or from underrepresented communities. Katie sits on the Board of Trustees for Fisk University and ThinkTennessee, and she is partnering with Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, in her new entity Moms First, focused on lobbying locally and nationally for paid parental leave and gender pay parity in the workplace.
Jeremy Nagoshiner is partner with MNA Government Relations, where he represents clients before the executive and legislative branches of Tennessee state government. He has over 20 years of public policy experience, serving in the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration and the Governor’s Office. Jeremy also was Senior Public Policy Advisor at the law firm of Baker Donelson. An avid outdoorsman, he serves the citizens of Tennessee as a gubernatorial appointee to the Tennessee Heritage Conservation Trust Fund. Jeremy and his wife Valerie reside in Nashville with their daughter Kate.
Clay Richards serves as an operating advisor with Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), a private investment firm, to help source, manage, and grow CD&R’s diverse value-based care ecosystem. Prior to joining CD&R, Clay served as co-founder and chief executive officer at naviHealth from its inception in late 2011 until December 2021. Clay also has been involved in several non-profit organizations in the Nashville area. Clay lives in Nashville with his wife, Amy, and their three children. As a father and lifelong Tennessean, he is committed to advocating for reasonable and responsible change to make his home state safer.
Lisa Rottmann is the President and CEO of Stowers Machinery Corporation, her family’s East Tennessee business of more than 60 years. Prior to rejoining the dealership in 2012, Lisa worked for Booz Allen Hamilton as a Strategy and Organizational Performance consultant specializing in change management projects for the Army and NASA. She graduated from Furman University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History. She received her MBA from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management with concentrations in Human Organizational Performance and Finance.
Tim Sinks recently retired after 23 years as C.E.O. of Capital Financial Group (CFG), an agency of MassMutual Financial Group. After graduating from Western Kentucky University, Tim joined his family business in Hendersonville and Nashville. He began his career in the financial services industry in 1986 and spent 14 years in private practice as an adviser. Tim and his wife Darlene are members of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Nashville and are blessed to have both of their children and four grandchildren in Nashville. He has been deeply involved with the Martha O’Bryan Center in Nashville as a board member and fundraiser.
Dori Thornton Waller
A Chattanooga, Tennessee, native, Dori Thornton Waller graduated from the University of Tennessee, and subsequently moved to Washington, D.C., to pursue a career in event planning. After two years at a fundraising and event planning firm, Dori landed at the White House, where she became the youngest Deputy Social Secretary in recent history, executing some of the most demanding and meticulous events in the world. In 2009, when President and Mrs. Bush returned to Texas, Dori returned to Tennessee and started The Social Office, a Nashville-based firm that plans high-end events for social clients and corporations throughout the southeast. In 2012, she married a fellow Chattanoogan, Blake Waller, and returned to her hometown. While she lives and works from Chattanooga, most of her clients remain in Nashville, so she commutes back and forth as needed, handling everything from children’s birthday parties to country music awards shows and even the occasional event for President and Mrs. Bush in Dallas. She and her husband live in North Chattanooga with their two daughters, Madolyn (8) and Annie Blake (2), and Saint Bernard, Minnie.