President & CEO
Since January 2021, Hall has served as Interim CEO and Communications Director after long-time CEO, Julie Baumgardner, accepted a position as Senior Director of Marriage at Chick-fil-A’s WinShape Foundation. In September 2021, Lauren was named President and CEO of First Things First.
To Lauren, First Things First is more than a job; it’s a passion. Lauren and her husband, Daniel have a fun-loving baby boy, Strider, and a sweet puppy named Ida Mae. In her free time, Lauren LOVES to write and has been working on a novel for several years. She also sings and plays guitar and mandolin.
Vice President of Operations
Mitchell oversees day-to-day office operations and logistics for classes and events, and has been with FTF since 2015. He is very passionate about helping people strengthen their relationships, both through writing content and facilitating events, and making sure the staff has everything they need to succeed.
Mitchell married his high school sweetheart, Dalet, in 2004, and together they have two children: Yadi and Bella. Mitchell is an avid baseball fan and loves running and hiking with his family.
Vice President of Community Impact
Reggie oversees all local programing at FTF as the Vice President of Community Impact. He has been with the organization since January 2015. He obtained both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Vanderbilt University.
Reggie married his wife, Erika, in June 2004 and together they have 7 kids. Reggie enjoys spending time with family, playing and watching sports, reading, hiking and outdoor activities.
Vice President of Development
Kelly joined the FTF family following a six-year tenure at Tennessee Wesleyan University. With over 11 years of experience in building relationships and raising program funding, she oversees fundraising initiatives at FTF. Kelly has a Bachelor of Science degree from Slippery Rock University in communication with an emphasis in public relations and a Master of Science in nonprofit management from Johnson & Wales University. She looks forward to actively impacting the Chattanooga community through strengthening relationships.
Kelly and her husband, Landon, got married in 2016 and have a chocolate lab named Roscoe. She loves to watch and play a variety of sports and enjoys encountering new experiences.
Kyle was introduced to First Things First in 2020 while engaged to his now wife, Kristina. He loved what he learned through First Things First so much that he reached out to become the Marketing Strategist in 2022. Kyle earned his B.S. in Marketing from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
To Kyle, relationships and marketing are quite similar. A good marketing campaign/relationship makes you look smart. A great marketing campaign/relationship makes others feel smart. In his free time, Kyle loves to enjoy a movie with a good plot, listening to music, enjoying a great self-help book, or having conversations – because he has never met a stranger.
Brand & Creative Strategist
Tamara helps to ensure the quality of the FTF brand in all we do and is also the one behind all the beautiful designs you see come from FTF! She joined the team in 2018. She graduated from Southern Adventist University in 2009 with her B.S. in Graphic Design – Print Design. Her passion for design, writing and a love of all things having to do with relationships led her to FTF, where she says she found her “dream job.”
She married Bobby in 2012 and together they have three daughters: Jackie, Maddie, and Amelia. Tamara is an Enneagram 2, an HSP, and a INFJ. She’s a lover of words and enjoys reading in her spare time, loves musical theater and her guilty pleasure is diggin into true crime documentaries.
Caroline oversees all our internal and external events. Whether it’s making our team feel special on their birthday or planning a community-wide fall festival, she keeps all the details in order and uses her exceptional organizational skills to help foster a sense of belonging within whatever group she’s bringing together. She first got involved with FTF as a volunteer in 2015, became a marketing intern, and then loved it so much that she joined the staff in 2018. She loves seeing the stories of families and marriages strengthened through First Things First. She graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in Communications.
Caroline married her husband, Will, in March 2019. With their daughter Nora, they love exploring Chattanooga’s amazing outdoors.
Research Coordinator & Program Evaluator
Chris helps the team have great content by ensuring we utilize the latest research in our relationship education. He is also in charge of evaluating all of our local programming. Chris joined the FTF team in 2018.
He earned three degrees from Concordia University, including a Bachelor’s in Psychology, Elementary Education and Christian Education, plus a Master’s in Family Life Science. He is certified in CPREP and Prepare/Enrich.
Chris has been married to his wife Kristin since 2004, and they have two daughters: Kendall and Lily. In his free time, Chris loves spending time outdoors – camping, hiking and fishing.
Gena has been a part of the team since 2007. She helps create marriage and parenting content and loves giving simple and easy tools for healthy relationships. Gena got her B.S. in Education from Georgia State University in Atlanta and got her M.S. in Counseling Psychology from Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, FL.
She married her college sweetheart, Edward, in 1994. They are the proud parents of three sons. In her free time, she enjoys reading, crocheting, and watching football with her family.
John is passionate about strengthening families, especially parents and teens. John writes and edits content for marriages and parenting and has been a part of the FTF team since 2017. He has a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies from Baptist Bible College in Pennsylvania and his Secondary Education History degree from UT Chattanooga.
John is married to his wife, Monica, and they have 5 children: Shaffer, Søren, Davin, Given, and Jude. In his free time, he enjoys stories through books, movies and conversations.
ANNA REEVES MCCUTCHEON
Social Media Manager
Anna Reeves joined the Marketing and Communication team in 2020 as an intern and hired on full-time in 2021 upon graduating from Samford University with a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications with a focus on Print Design. With a knack for social engagement, she brings a fresh perspective to the FTF Brand as the Social Media Manager.
Anna Reeves carved out a special place at First Things First through her dedication to cultivating inclusivity in our online community. In her free time, Anna Reeves enjoys watercolor painting, playing the guitar and antique shopping.
JAMES “FRANKIE” WOODS
Community Outreach & Fathering Specialist
James began his journey with First Things First through the Dads Making A Difference program. Through his transformation in the program, he discovered his passion for helping other dads discover their self-worth and abilities as a father. In 2021, James joined the FTF team to help guide fathers in their own journeys through DMD.
James married his wife Marquita in 2022 (though technically they’ve been together since 1999!) He is the father to 6 kids– 4 boys and 2 girls. James loves to dance, cook and he is proud to be a neat freak who loves to clean. He enjoys working out, spending time outside, and has his own lawn mowing service. James loves learning and growing as a father, husband and employee.
Margo helps with various tasks with the Marketing and Communications team. Margo graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in Communications. She began at First Things First as an intern in 2018 and came back to join the team in 2021.
She has been married to her husband Jeb since 2019, and they love working in their garden and tackling home renovation projects together. They welcomed their little girl, Ellis, in spring 2022.