Dr. Dennis Chen
Dr. Dennis C. Chen is an Associate Professor of Management and International Business at Belmont University. He received his Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of Kentucky as well as a MBA degree from Baylor University and a BE degree in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University. He has seventeen years of operations, engineering and R&D management experience within multinational companies, specifically in the consumer products disposable diaper business.
Dr. Chen lived and worked in China on a two year international assignment as the startup plant manager for a production facility outside Shanghai, China. He has since visited China and Taiwan on multiple occasions, leading groups of undergraduate and MBA students on study abroad trips.
Dr. Chen teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in operations and supply chain management and international business. He also facilitates several executive education courses for Belmont’s Center for Executive Education. In his operations management course, he emphasizes systems thinking and continuous improvement utilizing lean and six sigma methods. He also volunteers with TNCPE to help TN organizations continuously improve using the Balridge framework. His current research interests are in the areas of supply chain relationships, supply chain social responsibility and lean Six Sigma implementation.
Dr. Lee Warren
Dr. Lee Warren is Professor of Accounting and Co-chair of Accounting and Business Systems and Analytics in the Massey College of Business at Belmont University. Her teaching interests in managerial and corporate accounting as well as negotiation derive from her professional experience. After receiving her B.A. from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and her M.B.A from Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management, Dr. Warren held several domestic and international positions at Cummins Engine Company. She then entered the financial services industry, serving as CFO and consultant for BMR Financial Group in Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. Warren earned her Ph.D. at the University of Georgia and taught at Boston College before coming to Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee in 1998. Beyond the Massey College of Business Administration, her campus interests include service learning and general education. She is active in AACSB International and the American Accounting Association. In addition, she works with corporate clients, including Darden Restaurants, HCA, EA and Brookdale.
Dr. Marilyn Young
Dr. Marilyn Young is a professor of accounting at Belmont University. She teaches both undergraduate and graduate classes in taxation and corporate accounting. She also helps non-accounting students prepare to enter the Master in Accountancy program by teaching in the Summer Accounting Institute. Dr. Young is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with industry experience as a Tax Accountant for Deloitte & Touche; Frasier, Dean, and Howard; and as a Tax Specialist in Corporate Finance at Empire Berol Corporation.
Dr. Young has presented her research at various regional and national conferences and has been published in professional journals including the International Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Administration, Tennessee CPA, Economics and Politics, and Journal of S Corporation Taxation.
Dr. Young holds membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants, American Accounting Association, and American Taxation Association. McGraw-Hill/Irwin sought her expertise as a textbook reviewer for a new textbook entitled Taxation for Individuals. She has overseen Belmont students working in the IRS-sponsored VITA program to assist low income and elderly residents of Middle Tennessee prepare their income tax returns and she presented basic financial accounting concepts to entrepreneurs participating in The Growth Challenge Program.
Dr. Young has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Master of Tax Accounting from the University of Alabama, and a Ph.D. in Accounting from the University of Mississippi.
Dr. John Gonas
Dr. John Gonas is an Associate Professor of Finance in the Jack C. Massey College of Business at Belmont University. He teaches Corporate Finance, Introduction to Investments, and Investment Management. Prior to joining Belmont’s faculty in 1998, Dr. Gonas worked in the financial planning industry for eight years primarily in retail brokerage, investment consulting and fee-based asset management.
Dr. Gonas also serves as the Sam Walton Fellow responsible for advising Belmont’s ENACTUS (formerly SIFE) students. ENACTUS is an international, non-profit organization active on over 1,500 college and university campuses in 47 countries. Under Dr. Gonas’ leadership, Belmont’s ENACTUS program has won numerous regional and national awards, including the 2006 National Rookie of the Year Award, a 2007 and 2008 placement as a top-20 team at the USA National Exposition, and winning the Motion Picture Association of America 2007 Grand Prize of its Anti-Piracy Public Service Announcement. In 2008, Dr. Gonas was selected as Tennessee’s Professor of the Year by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
Dr. Gonas received his B.B.A. and M.B.A. from George Washington University, an M.Ed. from Vanderbilt, and his M.S. and Ph. D. from the University of Kentucky.
Dr. Gary Garrison
Dr. Gary Garrison is a Professor and Department Chair of Business Systems & Analytics in the Jack C. Massey College of Business at Belmont University. He teaches Managing Business Systems, Data Analytics and Visualization, and Database Design and Analysis at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Prior to joining Belmont’s faculty in 2005, Dr. Garrison worked as a food microbiologist in a pathogen testing laboratory and as a web designer for a travel magazine.
Dr. Garrison has presented his research at various regional and national conferences and has been published in top-tier academic and professional journals including Information Systems Research and Communications of the ACM, respectively.
Dr. Garrison serves on the Nashville Technology Council’s Workforce and Education committee focused on creating an education-to-employment pipeline for the technology and data analytics fields. Additionally, Dr. Garrison was one of the architects of the newly formed Belmont Data Collaborative aimed at providing data analytic skills to all faculty, staff and students at Belmont University.
Dr. Garrison received his B.S. from Missouri State University and his M.B.A. and Ph. D. from The University of Mississippi.
Dr. Melanie Lashlee Adams
Melanie is the Executive Director for the Center for Executive Education at Belmont University. In this role, she leads CEE’s team of facilitators, curriculum designers, and program staff in developing programs and instructing leaders within the center’s programs. She has experience in developing and teaching fully customized leadership development programs for Fortune 100 and 500 organizations and specializes in cultivating a connection between the topics she teaches and the strategic focus of those organizations. One of the main goals Melanie has for the participants of CEE’s sessions is that they are able to readily understand and apply new concepts, fully embracing the center’s motto of “learn it today, apply it tomorrow.”
Melanie also serves as CEE’s principal consultant, working directly with clients to design customized leadership development programs for local and national organizations. Her focus is assessing and understanding the needs of both the business and the leaders in those organizations, and then working to design programs that align to both the strategic and human sides of those organizations. In her work for CEE over the last several years, Melanie has also maintained an active teaching role in programs, delivering courses such as Leading Organizational Change, Personal and Organizational Communication, Conflict Management and Difficult Conversations, Coaching and Development for Optimal Performance, Building a Winning Team, Strategic Thinking, The Generations at Work, Emotional Intelligence, StrengthsBased Leadership, Critical Thinking and Decision Making, as well as many others.
Melanie holds a doctorate in organizational leadership from Vanderbilt University, a master’s degree in organizational communication from Murray State University, and a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Tusculum University, and numerous professional certifications in the subject matter areas that she teaches. Away from work, Melanie has served on the Board of Directors at the Linden Waldorf School. She also loves to read and cook and looks forward to her family’s yearly vacation in Maine, where she spent her summers as a child. Melanie resides in West Nashville with her husband and their daughter, and their beloved Labrador retriever, Posey.
Dr. Kara D. Smith
Dr. Smith joined Belmont University in 2010, where she teaches Healthcare and Public Finance Economics. Prior to earning her Ph.D., Dr. Smith worked in the State of Tennessee’s Department of Finance and Administration where she assisted with the annual preparation of the state budget. As a result of that experience, her research focuses on public finance economics with a particular interest in the economics of state lotteries, state and local taxes and the intersection of public programs, poverty, and health disparity. She presents her work at regional and national conferences, and her research appears in Southern Economic Journal, Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Journal of Poverty and Public Policy, and International Review of Economics Education.
In 2020, Dr. Smith was honored by the Southern Economic Association with the Georgescu-Roegan Prize for her work on the regressivity of so-called “education lotteries.” She holds a B.A. in International Economics and Spanish from Carson-Newman University, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Economics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she taught a variety of classes and worked as a research assistant in the Center for Business and Economic Research. Dr. Smith serves on the Board of Nashville Ballet, and is an active member at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church.
Dr. Lora Harding
Dr. Lora Harding is an associate professor of marketing at Belmont University. She received her Ph.D. from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University in 2011. In general, her research examines how consumers’ (and students’) motivations, perceptions and feeling states influence their judgment and behavior. This research falls into three main streams: persuasion, student engagement and consumer-brand relationships.
Prior to earning her Ph.D., Dr. Harding worked for eight years as an account executive and consumer research manager at The Buntin Group, a full-service advertising agency in Nashville, Tennessee. Her clients included the United Methodist Church, Odom’s Tennessee Pride Sausage, O’Charley’s Restaurants, Tennessee Valley Authority, Purolator oil and air filters, Servpro fire and water damage restoration services, Goodyear tires and Chinet disposable plates.
Dr. Paula Roberts
Dr. Paula Roberts is an Assistant Professor of Management in the Jack C. Massey College of Business at Belmont University. She teaches both undergraduate and graduate business courses in management, leadership, and organizational behavior. The primary courses she teaches are Principles of Management, Leadership in the 21st Century, Management of Interpersonal Relationships, and Organizational Behavior.
Prior to joining the faculty at Belmont University, Dr. Roberts served as executive director of both the National Museum of African American Music and the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC). During her time at the museum, she oversaw the foundational development of organizational and operating structures to ensure the success of the historic momentous project. While at the TSBDC, Dr. Roberts facilitated the development, reorganization, and growth of hundreds of small to medium sized businesses throughout the US. Under her direction, the Nashville Center created/retained 298 jobs and increased client sales by $37M with an additional $18M in contracts and loans awarded to the Center’s clients.
Active in the Middle Tennessee community, Dr. Roberts currently serves on the governing board of New Level CDC, and the advisory boards of the Nashville Area Salvation Army and the Nashville Opera Association. She is also a proud graduate of Leadership Nashville Class of 2010, Leadership Middle Tennessee Class of 2012, and Leadership Music Class of 2013.
Dr. Roberts earned her Ph.D. in Business Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and holds an M.P.A. and B.S. from Tennessee State University.
Dr. Mark Schenkel
Dr. Mark Schenkel joined Belmont University in 2005. He earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Cincinnati, an M.B.A. from Northern Kentucky University, and a Ph.D. in Strategy and Entrepreneurship from the University of Cincinnati. While pursuing his doctoral studies at the University of Cincinnati, he served as the Assistant Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship Education and Research and Coordinator for the Small Business Institute® program.
Prior to pursuing his doctoral studies, Schenkel sharpened his entrepreneurship experience through service in a range of management and leadership roles in small closely held family firms, including The Habegger Corporation, David E. Estes Engineering, Inc., The Hennegan Company, and Wright Brothers Inc. where he was charged with developing and implementing strategies for achieving business growth and profitability objectives. He has continued to foster entrepreneurship through direct consulting and advising efforts, as well as through service on the Boards of local ventures in the Nashville area.
Dr. Schenkel’s research and teaching interests focus on the role entrepreneurial cognition (e.g., opportunity recognition and assessment) and strategic decision-making play in new venture creation, corporate venturing activities, and family business. His scholarly work has been published in professional journals including the Academy of Management Review, Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, British Journal of Management, Journal of Small Business Management, New England Journal of Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, International Small Business Journal, Journal of Small Business Strategy, Management Research News, and Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research. His work has been recognized with numerous research awards, including the Belmont University Scholarship Award in 2019.
He enjoys consulting students interested in starting entrepreneurial ventures in- and outside the classroom. Dr. Schenkel serves as a co-founding faculty adviser to the Belmont Chapters of Sigma Nu Tau Entrepreneurship Honor Society and Big Brothers Big Sisters, the founding adviser to the Belmont Aviation Club, and advises Belmont’s Collegiate DECA chapter. Beyond campus, he consults with local entrepreneurs and business owners.
Schenkel served his professional discipline as President for United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) in 2018, was recognized as a Justin G. Longenecker Fellow in 2020. He currently serves as a member of the national board for Sigma Nu Tau, Ombudsman for USASBE’s Ethics Commission, Associate Editor for Journal of Small Business Management, and on the editorial board for Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship.
Carla Worthey-Sewell, PhD, MBA, SPHR
Carla has over 20 years of experience in consulting, business management and leadership development dedicated to the aviation, pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. She currently serves as Global Talent Leader – International Consumer (Central Teams) at Amazon.
She has served as Assistant Vice President of Executive Talent Acquisition and Development, AVP of HR Talent Analytics as well as Director of Executive Development for Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). Before joining HCA, she served as the Senior Manager of Leadership Development at Teva Pharmaceuticals. Carla also has international business experience as an appointee to the Executive Leadership Council with rotations in Canada and Holland and former consulting in the Aerospace industry in South America and Western Europe.
Carla is an adjunct faculty member for the Jack C. Massey College of Business at Belmont University and executive coach and facilitator for the Center for Executive Education. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee, a MBA from Belmont University and a PhD in Leadership Studies from Benedictine University.
Carla is active with various non-profit organizations, including serving as an advisory board member at The New Beginning Center. Carla is married with three children.