Shadrina Booker, Chris Sands, Richard Beeland and Phil Noblett appointed to fill critical roles in the Kelly Administration
Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly this week announced four key appointments to fill the roles of director of community engagement, city attorney, administrator of economic development, and executive director of community safety and gun violence prevention.
The appointments will not only help drive ongoing reform in city government, a critical component of the mayor’s agenda, but will also help create a safer and more prosperous city, the mayor said.
“A key part of building a better local government is getting the right people into positions where we can do the most good, and these appointments do just that,” Kelly said. “Public safety, community engagement, economic development — these are huge opportunities for the city to touch the lives of every resident in a lasting, equitable way, and I know we’re ready to meet that challenge.”
Shadrina Booker — Director of Community Engagement
Shadrina Booker will serve as the city’s director of community engagement, where she will spearhead efforts to help facilitate communication between the city and the neighborhoods it serves, ensuring transparency and collaboration around the mayor’s major initiatives.
She will implement the mayor’s vision for explanatory governance, engaging across the city with an intentional focus on underrepresented voices, and will report to the chief equity officer.
Booker formerly served as the Chief Development & Marketing Officer at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Chattanooga, and is the co-founder of Vityl Media, a creative agency. She is a graduate of Leadership Chattanooga.
“Shadrina is already bringing a new energy to community engagement, which I’ve come to see as one of the most important things we can do as a city, so I’m excited for her to get started and looking forward to supporting her work,” Kelly said. “She will serve as a key conduit to our community to ensure that all stakeholders’ voices are heard, and with her breadth of experience, as well as her fluency in Spanish, she will help engage our community wherever they are.”
Phil Noblett — City Attorney
Phil Noblett has served in the city attorney’s office since 2009, when he became deputy city attorney. A licensed attorney in Tennessee since 1982, Noblett previously was a member of the firm of Nelson, McMahan & Noblett from 1990 until 2009.
He has twice served as interim city attorney, and has represented the city successfully in major cases, negotiations and settlements; work that has collectively saved city taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.
In the role of city attorney, Noblett will represent both the Chattanooga City Council as well as the Kelly administration, and will also oversee the legal staff who work across the city’s dozens of boards and commissions. He will report to the mayor.
“Phil has been doing this work for years, quite successfully I might add, and both the City Council and I agree that there’s no one better to do the job,” Kelly said. “It didn’t take us long to figure out that Phil was always the one you call with a difficult issue, so I expect that he’ll be able to hit the ground running.”
Richard Beeland — Administrator of Economic Development
Richard Beeland has served as a city employee for nearly 17 years in various roles, including Assistant Director of the Chattanooga Public Library, Deputy Administrator for the Department of Economic and Community Development, Human Resources Deputy Director, and Communications Director.
He holds bachelor’s degrees in communication and political science, a master’s degree in public administration, and has been an adjunct instructor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
As the Administrator of Economic Development, Beeland will oversee the city’s economic development efforts, including partnerships with Hamilton County and the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, in order to drive equitable, smart growth across the city. He will report to the mayor’s senior advisor for economic opportunity.
“No matter the assignment, Richard has always knocked it out of the park, and I think the more we’ve gotten to know him and his work, the more confident we’ve grown in his ability to do even greater things for the city in this new role,” Kelly said. “Economic opportunity is vital to our city’s future, and Richard understands that we must embrace smart growth that enhances our ability to bridge the gaps in our community.”
Chris Sands — Executive Director of Community Safety & Gun Violence Prevention
Chris Sands will take up the mantle of gun violence prevention, where he will work with community organizations, internal departments and the city’s partners at Trajectory Changing Solutions to stop gun violence before it starts.
Sands has long served as a pillar of Chattanooga’s faith community, as a youth pastor and assistant to Bishop Kevin Adams at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, and is also a founder of the Lighthouse Collective, which provides mentoring and life skills to teens and young adults.
He was formerly the Director of Community Engagement, but he found himself naturally drawn to gun violence prevention efforts, and began working under Dr. Mary Lambert in the Office of Community Health to help coordinate a curriculum to draw youth away from violence.
“Chris brings a unique ability to coordinate large efforts involving many different organizations, which is exactly what this role requires,” Kelly said. “He understands that to prevent gun violence, we have to swim upstream and look at the root causes, and he’s not afraid to roll up his sleeves and jump straight into the work.”