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Tennessee Wesleyan University names new trustees

Members will help lead accredited institution to accomplish its mission

Seven area community and business leaders recently were elected to serve as members of the Tennessee Wesleyan University Board of Trustees.

New members are:

  • Patricia Ging, associate dean, TWU education and behavioral science (faculty trustee)
  • Robert Goodfriend, entrepreneur and former president, Goody’s Family Clothing
  • Trent Mansfield, TWU senior (student trustee)
  • Marilyn Miller, co-owner and partner, Miller & McPhail CPAs
  • The Rev. Stella Roberts, former director, Connectional Ministries of the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church
  • Kenneth Webb, former president and CEO, Cleveland Utilities
  • Mintie Willson, philanthropist and community advocate, eastern Tennessee area

 The TWU Board of Trustees provides institutional oversight and ensures TWU continues to effectively perform in accomplishing its mission.

University President Harley Knowles is thrilled with the additions to the group. “Our trustees truly care about the students at Wesleyan and make decisions with their best interest in mind. We are fortunate to have community leaders that are invested in what we are doing here and are honored that they are choosing to join the Bulldog family.”

Joining the TWU Board of Trustees are:

Patricia Ging (faculty trustee)
Ging believes in a fit mind, body and soul, and she spends her days contemplating ways to help the next generation of educators compete in the topsy-turvy world of instruction. In addition to serving as associate dean of education and behavioral science at TWU, Ging also is co-coordinator for the Office of Disability Services.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in secondary education and marketing at the University of Tennessee and a Master of Education in early childhood education at the University of South Carolina. Ging completed masters-level coursework for special education endorsement at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She also received Montessori Teacher Education Certification, certification as Junior Great Books Leader, and a Doctor of Education in Leadership and Professional Practice at Trevecca Nazarene University, in Nashville, Tennessee.

Robert Goodfriend

Goodfriend is a native of Athens, Tennessee, who always has been a family man, involved with his community and committed to many charitable causes. He grew up working in his father’s store—Goodfriend’s Men’s Clothing Store—and after graduating from McMinn County High School studied business at Babson College. He returned to Athens and worked with his father, soon expanding the stores into the Goody’s department store chain. In 1979, he became company president and grew the local business into a nationwide chain that employed more than 11,000 people in 383 stores throughout the Southeast.

Goodfriend is a passionate philanthropist who is committed to several community organizations, including East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, United Way and the Boys and Girls Club. He also has served on the University of Tennessee Athletics Board of Directors and the board of Citizens National Bank in Athens. In 2012, Goodfriend received the James H. Wilson Award from United Way of McMinn and Meigs counties.

Trent Mansfield

Mansfield is a TWU senior from Chattanooga, Tennessee. He is pursuing degrees in business and administration and history. Mansfield was named to the TWU Honors List with a 3.76-grade point average and is the incoming president of the Student Government Association.

In addition to his student accomplishments, Mansfield is a member of the TWU men’s golf team. This year, he was named to the Men’s Golf Daktronics-National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Scholar-Athlete Team and also was a member of the Appalachian Athletic Conference

All-Academic Team for the second consecutive season. Mansfield made 2nd team All-Conference in the AAC for golf last year.

Marilyn Miller

Miller is co-owner and partner of Miller & McPhail, a certified public accountant firm in Chattanooga and Athens, Tennessee. She previously was associated as owner, manager and a member of the board of directors at other accounting firms. With more than 25 years of experience, Miller’s areas of expertise include tax preparation and planning for all types of entities, including individuals, small and large businesses, trusts and estates.

Miller earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting at Tennessee Wesleyan University. She also is a graduate of Leadership McMinn and founding member of WISE, Women Inspiring Success & Excellence. Miller is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accounting and the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants. Active in her community, Miller serves or has served on the boards of the Etowah City Schools, Etowah Housing Authority and Woods Memorial Hospital. She is past president of the Etowah Chamber of Commerce and serves as former chairman of the Pastor Parish Relations and Finance Committees of Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church.

 Rev. Stella Roberts

The Reverend Stella M. Roberts is an ordained elder of the Holston Conference and is the former director of Connectional Ministries of the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church. Prior to this appointment, she served as pastor of First UMC, Oak Ridge, Keith Memorial UMC, and as the Knoxville District Superintendent. She also has served churches in West Virginia and New Jersey.

Roberts received her bachelor’s degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College, Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School, and Doctor of Ministry from Princeton Theological Seminary.

She is married to Sam Roberts, retired professor at Tennessee Wesleyan University.

Kenneth Webb

Webb is a 1974 graduate of Cleveland State Community College and a 1976 graduate of Tennessee Wesleyan University. He spent his entire professional accounting and management career in Cleveland, Tennessee. Upon graduating from Tennessee Wesleyan, he worked as a staff accountant at Randolph and Kersey, CPAs for five years. In 1981, he was named chief accountant for American Uniform Co. Webb joined Cleveland Utilities in 1987 as senior accountant and worked his way through increasing leadership roles and was named president/CEO in October 2013. He held this position until his retirement at the end of 2016.

Webb’s professional and community involvement has included a variety of areas of service. This includes serving on leadership boards for several organizations including the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, Southeast Industrial Development Association, and as a representative of Cleveland Utilities to the Chamber Economic Development Council and Industrial Development Board. Webb currently is a member of the Board of Directors of Life Bridges, which provides services to individuals with developmental disabilities in the Bradley County area.

He also serves on the Holston Conference Foundation Board of Directors, Conference Pension and Insurance Committee and Board of Directors for Camp Lookout. He and his wife, Dianne, are active members of Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church in Cleveland and are involved in various church-related committees and councils.

 Mintie Willson

Willson is a McMinn County native who has selflessly dedicated her life to serving her community. After graduating from Etowah High School, she continued her education at Belmont University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She became a teacher at Niota School after her marriage to Hugh Willson in 1952.

She runs the family dairy farm, Hurstland Farm, a Tennessee Century Farm, which was added as a stop on the Appalachian Quilt Trail in Southeast Tennessee. She has served on numerous boards for organizations including Woods Memorial Hospital, Citizens National Bank, Cantrell Banking Company and the Athens-McMinn YMCA. Willson also previously has served as member of the Tennessee Wesleyan Board of Trustees, Niota Planning Commission and Athens Women’s Club

She is the co-founder of organizations such as McMinn County Living Heritage Museum, Living Heritage Museum Guild and the Guild of the Athens Area Council for the Arts. Willson is a member of First Baptist Church of Niota. In 2009, she was named “Mother of the Year” by the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce, and she received an honorary doctorate from TWU in May 2018.