Kathy Tyson is the President and one of three founders of the We Are Hope Foundation. From her earliest days in LaVergne in 2003, she volunteered as a Girl Scout leader and as president of the PTO for Roy Waldron Elementary School, discovering her passion for helping her community.
Kathy has a B.S. in journalism and broadcasting from Murray State University. Additionally, she is a certified municipal finance officer and a certified city clerk and recorder. She is a graduate of the National Institute for Public Finance from the University of Delaware and a trained public information officer with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through the Center for Domestic Preparedness.
Kathy is a member of LaVergne's Industrial Development Board, and a former member of the Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee and the Historical Preservation Committee. She served on the LaVergne-Smyrna Foreclosure Prevention Task Force and the Rutherford County Vocational Rehabilitation Board. While working for the city of LaVergne, she was instrumental in bringing a new playground to the Lake Forest Estates neighborhood, as well as Walmart and Bojangles. Teaming up with city leaders, she also started the Miss LaVergne pageants, the Christmas Parade of Lights, and the city's July 4th celebration.
Kathy was the communications director for the National Association of State Treasurers where she helped establish the College Savings Plan Network. Only seven states had these savings and prepaid tuition programs, but after she and network members lobbied Congress to gain tax exemption on earnings, all 50 states started "529 Plans." These plans were named from Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code recognizing the tax exemption.
Kathy has written numerous award-winning articles and published multiple books, both research based and entertainment. Some of her work includes The Book of the States, Local Government Investment Pools (editor), Wrinkles: Real Stories of Everyday People, and Hold on to the String (a children's book).
Kathy has been married to Richard for more than 35 years. Together they have two daughters: Hillary (who is teaching English in South Korea) and Melissa (a radiology tech student). Her heart belongs to her two grandchildren, Jayden and Roselle.