The Camp Koinonia Foundation was started in 2001 and consists of 14 volunteer board members.
2014 – 2015 Officers
- Dr. Gene A. Hayes – Executive Director
- Joseph L. Ortiz – President
- J.D. King – Vice President
- Dr. Angela Wozencroft – Secretary
- Carlene LeCompte – Treasurer
- Dr. David Cihak
- Paige Dailey
- Angela Hunter
- Melissa McVey-Howard
- Helen Porter
- Robbie Proffitt
- Mary Ann Smith
- Andrea White
- Lindsay Willis
- The Grant Staff
David Cihak, Ph.D. is an associated professor at the University of Tennessee in the Special Education Program. His work regards remedying classroom-based problems associated with academic and social/behavioral problems of children and adolescents with severe disabilities and Autism. He is interested in self-regulation and independent functioning that result in greater competency, community access, and acceptance. His research interests include the use of effective instructional and behavioral strategies, specifically video technologies for improving educational, functional, and social/communicative outcomes for students in classroom and community settings. Dr. Cihak also is an investigator for the FUTURE postsecondary education program at the University of Tennessee.
Paige Dailey has been on the Board for 6 years. She and her husband John have a daughter named Amber who has participated in Camp Koinonia for many years. Each Camp Koinonia enriches her life and presents opportunities and activities that she may share with her peers and create lasting memories for years to come. Camp Koinonia truly has been a life-changing experience for this family. Personally, Paige works for a dermatologist in Knoxville. Her family enjoys boating and lake activities.
Dr. Hayes received an AA degree in California and his BS degree from Fresno State University in Recreation Administration. He worked for the Fresno Parks and Recreation Department and for the State Department of Mental Health as a Recreation Therapist for two state mental hospitals in California before receiving a scholarship to attend the University of North Carolina to study for his Master’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation. While at Chapel Hill, he worked as a recreation therapist at the UNC University Hospital. He received a scholarship to attend Columbia University Teachers College in New York City to begin studying toward his doctoral degree in Therapeutic Recreation. While in New York City, he worked as a Recreation Therapist at the Fountain House Foundation in mid-town Manhattan. Later, he moved to Oarsons, Kansas and directed the recreation therapy part of a federal grant at the Parsons State Hospital and Training Center and also taught part-time at Kansas State College in Pittsburg, Kansas. Dr. Hayes moved to Denton, Texas and began his full time teaching career in Therapeutic Recreation at the Texas Woman’s University. While teaching there, he completed his Ph. D. at North Texas State University. He has also taught at Fresno State University, The University of Iowa, The University of Waterloo in Canada, Virginia Tech, and began at the University of Tennessee in 1984. He has published over 50 articles, given more than 150 professional presentations at the local, state, regional, national, and international levels. He has also successfully written 3.0 million dollars in federal and state grants. His current interests and funded activities include: working with therapeutic recreation students in developing and conducting outdoor education/recreation programs for children with disabilities, placing students in public school special education classrooms to conduct therapeutic recreation programs.
Ms. Angela Freeman-Hunter is employed by the Knox County School System working in the Special Education Department. Ms. Hunter’s passion to support and serve her community is because of her own personal experience with a 21 year old autistic son. In the early years her son was non-verbal and only communicated through his artwork. Inspired by her son, she founded Eyes of Faith, an art business and “Our Place”, an organization established to enhance the lives of individuals with disabilities through the arts.
Carlene has a son, Matthew, who has been a camper at Camp Koinonia since he was 7 years old. She and her husband are early retirees who enjoy spending time at the lake, gardening and reading, as well as bringing more awareness of the camp to others to position it for the future. Matthew has always had a great camp experience and the LeComptes consider it a win, win, win for the camper, the UT students and the parents.
Melissa has over 22 combined years of experience working with children with disabilities. She has a Bachelors Degree in Recreational Therapy from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and a Masters Degree in Special Education from East Tennessee State University. She is the mother of three beautiful children and enjoys spending time outdoors. She actively participates on various boards within the local community.
Joe and his wife Nancy and two children, Lauren and Joseph, have called East Tennessee home for almost 20 years. Joe is currently Chief Information Officer at Summit Medical Group, PLLC. Summit Medical Group is East Tennessee’s largest primary care organization, comprised of over 220 physicians who engage in almost 1 million patient encounters annually. Joe brings his experience in business and information technology to The Camp Koinonia Foundation in an effort to build awareness for the organization in the region and position it for long-term growth and preservation.
Helen is a Nashville native, but has made Knoxville her home for the past 8 years. Her involvement with the Camp Koinonia began as a student in undergrad. She fell in love with the program when she first served as a counselor. She participated every year that followed. She continued her involvement as a member of the grant staff and as the Program Director when completing her Masters at UT. She is a Certified Dementia Practitioner and Recreational Therapist who is currently working in West Knoxville with individuals who have Alzheimer’s and dementia. She continues to love and support the program as a board member.
After several years of supporting Camp Koinonia, Robbie became a member of the board in 2009. Raised in Speedwell, TN; Robbie and his wife Sonya have been residents of Knoxville, TN since 1991 along with their 3 children (Shaunna, Shannon, & Tyson). Robbie is the founder of Proffitt & Wilkes financial consulting Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. Robbie is a financial advisor. In their free time, both Robbie and Sonya enjoy taking a scenic ride on their motorcycle, camping with friends and family, and most of all spending time with their two grandsons, Barrett and Dylan.
Mary Ann Smith
Mary Ann has been volunteering as a Registered Nurse at Camp Koinonia for the past 7 years. She is the mother of 5 and considers raising kind, productive children her most important job. Three of her children have worked a combined total of 14 years at Camp Koinonia. She also works on the St. Mary’s Mobile Outreach Medical Clinic, and actively participates on various boards within the local community.
Andrea is a single mother of two beautiful children and is Vice President/General Counsel of a mid-size corporation.
Lindsay Willis is the mother of two wonderful boys and the wife of an amazing husband. Her oldest son is 5 and her youngest son is a happy, 3-year-old little boy with an undiagnosed global developmental delay and hypotonia. She is currently working for Lawler Wood Housing Partners as the Director of Human Resources. Lindsay received her Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Tennessee. She joined the board in the Fall of 2013 with overwhelming desire to be involved in an organization that supports children and youth with disabilities and to be a resource to help other parents and children in similar situations as her family’s.
Angela is an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee. She received her Ph.D. in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management with an emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation from Clemson University. While at Clemson she worked as a graduate student researcher/instructor and an adventure course facilitator at Clemson’s Outdoor Laboratory. Angela received her B. A. in Sociology from the University of Western Ontario, a post graduate professional diploma in Gerontology from The University of Waterloo and one in Therapeutic Recreation from Georgian College. She completed her Master’s degree at UT and was the assistant director and director of Camp Koinonia in 2003 and 2004 respectively. Her research interests include older adults (cognitive/physical disabilities), adventure challenge courses, children with multiple disabilities, at-risk youth/delinquency, therapeutic recreation in public schools, therapeutic camping, and the Theory of Self-Determination.