Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly adds 3 new members to his team

Staff photo by Matt Hamilton / Chattanooga city mayor Tim Kelly addresses the city council during a Chattanooga City Council meeting on Tuesday, August 9, 2022.

Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly has added Mike Compton, Nicole Heyman and Quentin Lawrence to his administration, the Chattanooga Times Free Press has learned.

Compton, who previously served as chief of staff to former Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger from 2011-22, is joining Kelly’s team as a senior adviser.

Nicole Heyman, who comes to Chattanooga after serving in the mayor’s office in New Orleans, has been appointed Chattanooga’s chief housing officer.

Lawrence rounds out the new hires and will serve as director of the city’s Office of Workforce Development, where he will help coordinate citywide efforts to help job seekers get the skills they need to gain employment and earn a living wage. Lawrence formerly served as vice president of lending for Pathway Lending, which focuses on increasing access to capital for underserved businesses, particularly those in low-income census tracts, as well as women, veteran and minority owned businesses.


Mike Compton

Compton will support the mayor, chief of staff and the cabinet as a senior adviser on a wide variety of community, project, operational and political issues, according to information obtained by the Times Free Press.

Prior to his stint working for Coppinger, Compton was chief of staff under then-Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker from 2001-05.

He also has served in leadership roles in the private sector, as chief administrative officer for Walden Security and as vice president of the Corker Group, a real estate company that at one time included the city’s landmark Krystal, Tallan and James buildings.


Nicole Heyman

Heyman will help drive the mayor’s $100 million affordable housing initiative and work to unlock new housing options for residents who have been squeezed by rising prices and stagnant wages, according to the information obtained by the newspaper.

Heyman is from New Orleans, where she served as director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Assets and Investment, leading a team of policy and data specialists to address problem properties and invest in equitable development.

In her prior role as vice president and director of Louisiana initiatives at the Center for Community Progress, she helped eliminate 10,000 vacant and abandoned properties in post-Katrina New Orleans.


Quentin Lawrence

Lawrence will lead the city’s strategy to increase economic mobility and improve educational and employment outcomes for unemployed, underemployed and undereducated adults.

Through his experience in banking, nonprofit groups and ministry, Lawrence worked with partners and clients from all walks of life and has demonstrated an ability to coordinate and connect agencies, businesses, workers and nonprofits to help residents succeed, according to the information obtained by the newspaper.

— Compiled by Lew Gilliland