Tina Pinkston

Executive Director

"I can't think of a more beautiful thing than loving a person who feels unlovable."

Chrissie Brown

Marketing & Development Director

“Growing up as a latch key kid, I remember the feeling of isolation — I wish to provide a healthy alternative that fosters a feeling of belonging.”

Morgan Wright, MSW

Program Manager

"LIFT is a force for good in Catoosa County and I am excited to be a part of such a loving and positive center that is empowering students."

Taitlyn Chesser

Program Coordinator

"Adolescence is the time to discover and begin to develop into the person you hope to become. I am honored to be part of a place fostering this type of growth in each of our students."

Houston Nance

Support Coordinator

"Adolescence and young adulthood is a vast ocean; Difficult to navigate, frightening, and constantly shifting with the tides. I, along with LIFT as a whole, aim to be the lighthouse that may guide our youth through it all."

Tonita Stickney


Elizabeth Mackler


Kim Jones

Desk Clerk

board of directors


Brandon Bell, MJA

LIFT BOARD President /          

Chief Law Enforcement Officer /          

Adjunct College Professor

“As a public safety professional I see many youth who are at a disadvantage and need LIFT to help mitigate their challenges.”


Sherry Vaughn, MSW

LIFT BOARD Vice President /

Masters in social work / 

Yoga instructor

“Being a mother of a son on the autism spectrum with severe anxiety, I know a youth center will help him and others feel accepted, find friends and have a place to go.”


tammy thatcher

LIFT Board Treasurer /

high school teacher

“Yes, my students need help with school work, but if they found that help in a safe place full of love and support, so much more than grades would improve.”


Babs Bell

LIFT Board secretary /

Owner of a fern and a feather

general store

“Suicide is a real and scary issue for those who struggle to find happiness — I want to offer a light of hope to the younger generation.”


Jessie Thornton

Owner and Founder         

Jessie Thornton’s         

United Karate Studio, Inc.

“I think LIFT’s mission speaks mostly of acceptance. It is inclusive and offers hope.”

BW_Melody Nichols

Melody Nichols

Retired educator /

Former cea president

“After retiring from the public school system, LIFT has given me the opportunity to remain involved with our greatest asset, our young people. “

BW_Marlin Gines II

Marlin Gines, PE

Department Manager /

Burns & McDonnell

“If we can identify the challenges and problems facing today’s youth yet offer no possible solutions, then we are part of the problem. I believe that LIFT provides a viable solution to help address some of the challenges facing today’s youth in a safe space.”

John Francis BW

John Francis, MSSW

Retired Executive Director

“‘When you help a child today, you write the history of tomorrow.’ LIFT’s legacy will, in part, be in writing the history of our community.”