New president of Chattanooga's Ronald McDonald House is in 'friend-raising' mode

Staff photo by Matt Hamilton / Michael Brown comes to the city to head the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Chattanooga, flush with experience after being a nonprofit administrator in Nashville, Dallas and Tampa.

When a college basketball coach once suggested that 6-foot-6, 225-pound Michael Brown would make a good center for his team, Brown quickly corrected him.

"I said, 'Coach, I don't play with my back to the basket. I'm running the (fast) break,'" Brown recalls.

It turns out that was an apt description of the now 61-year-old Nashville native's entire professional career: Never stand still, and always push forward.

Brown comes to the city to head the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Chattanooga (RMHC), flush with experience after being a nonprofit administrator in Nashville, Dallas and Tampa. Most of his career has been spent in YMCA management, but he has also worked in city government in Tampa and, most recently, as an executive with the Epilepsy Foundation of America.

"He's got lots of great idea and great experiences," says Jane Kaylor, the longtime leader of RMHC here, who is retiring later this year.

But