Staff Members

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Brittany Spence - Executive Director

Brittany, along with her husband David, founded the Forrest Spence Fund in memory of their son Forrest. Brittany was born and raised in Hendersonville, Tennessee. She graduated with a Masters degree in Elementary Education and Psychology from The University of Tennessee. She worked as a school teacher and youth director for several years before becoming the Executive Director of the Forrest Spence Fund.  Brittany currently serves on the Family Partners Council and the Parent Mentor Program at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. She is also serving on the Nurse-Family Partnership Community Advisory Board.  She loves to spend time with her husband and three children, Austin, Miller, and Maggie.  She also enjoys reading, traveling, exercising, and spending time with friends and family.

Contact Brittany at brittany [at] forrestspencefund [dot] org

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Abby Cooley - Program Director

Abby is a native Memphian and 2010 graduate of The University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a degree in Communications. As a former Child Life Specialist at Le Bonheur Children's hospital, Abby has a passion for serving and supporting hospitalized children and their families during their most difficult days. Abby remains involved at Le Bonheur through serving on the Staff Education Committee and as a Parent Mentor. Abby loves spending time with her husband, David, son, Noah and two dogs, Lola and Izzy. Abby is a dog lover and is passionate about caring for abused and neglected animals as a foster parent for Woof River Animal Rescue. Abby also enjoys watching and attending sporting events, cooking and spending time with family. Abby knows on a first hand basis the importance of the work done by the Forrest Spence Fund as Abby's son spent three weeks in the NICU following his birth. Abby looks forward to providing the same services and support to families that was provided to her family during their son's hospitalization.

Contact Abby at abby [at] forrestspencefund [dot] org

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Janie Williams - Business/Office Manager

Janie grew up in Memphis, TN. She graduated from the University of Mississippi with a degree in Managerial Finance. Janie attends St. Louis Catholic Church. She enjoys practicing yoga, hanging out with her friends, and spending time with her four nephews. Janie is the youngest of four girls. One of her sisters, Mary Grace, was born with spina bifida. One year, Mary Grace spent more days and nights at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital then she did at home. Janie understands the importance of the work done by the Forrest Spence Fund, and she is excited to give back to families just like hers. 

Contact Janie at janie [at] forrestspencefund [dot] org

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Taylor McKnatt - Executive Assistant

Taylor McKnatt recently graduated from the University of Memphis with an Integrative Studies degree. She also works at Hutchison in the after care program with young children. Taylor is recently married so enjoys spending time with her husband and their friends and families. Taylor’s favorite place to go is the beach and the lake. She is so grateful for this opportunity to be able to work for an amazing non-profit that is helping so many children and families.  She has always loved being able to help others when she can and has been looking for more ways to give back to the community. Taylor finally feels like she has been lead to what she is supposed to be doing and has never been happier or more fulfilled by helping others.

Contact Taylor at taylor [at] forrestspencefund [dot] org.

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Skylar Russell - Intern

Skylar grew up in Southaven, MS. She attends the University of Memphis studying Exercise, Sport, and Movement Sciences with the goal to go to Occupational Therapy school. She attends Highpoint Church. She enjoys being outside, hanging out with friends, and exploring new restaurants and places. Skylar has been an active volunteer with the fund for 2 years and is so excited to take on a new role as an intern. She supports all that the Forrest Spence Fund is doing for children and families in the Mid-South and she looks forward to helping throughout the summer. 

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Ally Simmons - Intern

Ally grew up in the Memphis area and is currently a senior at the University of Memphis. She is majoring in Child Life to fulfill her dream of becoming a Child Life Specialist. Ally also volunteers at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital as a baby hugger. She has always had a passion for helping and caring for people, especially children. She is excited for this wonderful opportunity to help so many children and families. Her favorite place to go is the lake. Ally also enjoys spending time with her family and friends in her free time.