Executive Committee

Nathan Higdon
Acting Chair
Email: J.Nate1879@yahoo.com
Phone: 865-268-9426
Nathan was born and raised in Maryville, TN. He is the Chairman and CFO of L'Espace Motorcoach, Inc. and principal for their consulting division. He holds a B.A. in Spanish from Maryville College, M.B.A. from Penn State, and a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Oklahoma State. He actively volunteers time locally and serves on the Maryville College Alumni board. Nathan is Governor-elect and will serve as Governor for 2017-2018 of the Appalachian District of Civitan International. He loves world travel, yoga, and his dog, a black lab mix, Sam.
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Patti Young
Second Vice Chair
Patti had a Master’s degree from University of Tennessee and is retired after teaching art, videography, filmmaking and theater for 34 years in Maryville City Schools. Her work with theater involved writing and directing original plays, many centered around equal rights and government. These plays are currently being re-written as children’s books. Patti owns and operates a small equestrian facility in Maryville that offers riding lessons and camp programs. Patti is a leader with Indivisible East Tennessee and volunteers graphic design work to local Democratic candidates. She has extensive experience with outdoor education and holds a certificate from NOLS (Outdoor Leadership School) in Lander Wyoming. Patti has two grown children and lives on her farm with her husband, numerous dogs, cats, horses and chickens.
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Marte Lawrence
Marte Lawrence is a Paralegal for the law firm of O’Neil, Parker & Williamson. She began working in the legal field full time in 2003 and has experience working in civil rights defense, personal injury, estate, and probate matters. Marte has been politically active since working on Senator Al Gore’s first presidential bid in 1988. Her mother was a life-long Democrat and inspired Marte’s love of politics. Born in Middlesboro, Kentucky, Marte graduated from Hinds Community College and Belhaven College with a degree in Elementary Education. She taught Kindergarten at McLaurin Elementary in Star, Mississippi prior to returning to Tennessee in 1999. She obtained an MBA from the University of Phoenix in 2008. Marte considers herself someone with a broad skill set and an excellent problem solver. Marte’s husband, Reginald Lawrence, serves as a Deputy/Corrections Officer for Blount County. He is also a retired Army National Guard officer who retired after 21+ years of service and two tours of duty overseas. Marte and Reggie have one son, Daniel, who has taken after his mother and grandmother and loves to cook.
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Vickie Stewart

Jeff Barbra
District 4 Representative
Jeff Barbra is a life long Blount County native. He has been in the Music Industry for 25 years. An award winning singer-songwriter, a political and social activist, and an organizer of numerous fundraisers over the years. Jeff is also a volunteer and strong supporter of the Special Needs and Vocational classes in Blount County.