Chamber names Yolonda Hayslett as finance vice president and more Chattanooga-area career moves

  photo  Contributed photo / Yolonda Hayslett

Chamber names Yolonda Hayslett as finance vice president

The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce has promoted Yolonda Hayslett to vice president of finance and operations, where she will be responsible for leading and managing a team that handles member-investor services initiatives, accounting, finance, human resources, information management, legal and risk management, compliance and facilities operations.

Hayslett, who began her Chattanooga chamber career in 2005, has been working as interim for several months.

"Yolonda's promotion is a testament to her exceptional skills, dedication and contributions to the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce," Chamber President Charles Wood said in an announcement of her appointment. "Her finance and operations expertise, combined with her commitment to community betterment, make her an invaluable asset to the organization and the community."

Hayslett volunteers with United Way of Greater Chattanooga, Future Business Leaders of America, The Howard School's Service-Learning program and TN Achieves. Hayslett also serves as treasurer for the Ch8sing Waterfalls board of directors, a nonprofit organization in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Prior to joining the Chattanooga chamber team, Hayslett worked in accounting at the Chattanooga Group, Olan Mills and Hawker PowerSource.

Simmons heads development at Chattanooga Food Bank

Summer Simmons has joined the Chattanooga Area Food Bank as the new chief development officer.

Simmons has worked for 18 years in child and family programs, mental health services and foster care.

"Throughout my career, I have become all too familiar with the devastating effects food insecurity has on children and families," Simmons said in a statement. "Every person, young and old, deserves access to healthy food in times of hardship. The pandemic certainly highlighted that the food bank is a vital lifeline in our community, and even though the impact of the pandemic has lessened in many ways, unfortunately the number of families who are facing food insecurity continues to rise."

Simmons holds a master's degree in human service counseling from Liberty University and a bachelor's in child and family studies from East Tennessee State University.

Veteran lawyer joins The Beacon Center

Wen Fa, formerly a senior attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation, has joined the Beacon Center of Tennessee as director of legal affairs. In this role, Fa will lead the expansion of Beacon's litigation efforts to protect Tennesseans' freedoms from government overreach.

Fa previously worked in the equality and opportunity program at the Pacific Legal Foundation, where he brought two winning cases before the United States Supreme Court: the first vindicating the free speech right of voters to wear political apparel when they vote, and the other protecting the property rights of agricultural businesses to exclude unwanted union activists.

"My parents and I emigrated from China decades ago to pursue our American dream," Fa said in an announcement of his appointment. "I look forward to helping entrepreneurs, innovators and property owners in the pursuit of their American dream by ensuring that courts enforce their constitutional rights."

Beacon CEO Justin Owen said in a statement Tennesseans from all across the state will benefit from Wen's tenacity as Beacon defends their freedoms in court.

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