Chatter 20 Under 40: Donyel Scruggs

Chatter 20 Under 40: Donyel Scruggs

June 28th, 2018 by Compiled by Jennifer Bardoner in Chatter

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Donyel Scruggs

Donyel Scruggs

Photo by Erin O. Smith


Vice president of development for the Public Education Foundation; youth mentor — helping others reach their full potential and motivating them is most important to me; UTC Business and Career Service mentor; Diversity and Inclusion chair for the Association of Fundraising Professionals board; graduate of Leadership Chattanooga Class of 2017; United Way of Chattanooga Emerging Leader; member of Chattanooga Women's Leadership Institute; UTC Public Service Education Advisory board member; Young Professional Association of Chattanooga board member; mother to 9-month-old Austin; wife to Jeremy Scruggs; master's in public administration from UTC.

What's your anthem or theme song?

"Firework," by Katy Perry.

If you were a musician, what would your stage or band name be?


If you were starting a band, who from your life would you pick to be in it and why?

My two sisters would make perfect bandmates because they keep me hyped and we would have fun traveling on tour together.

Which member of the band would you be?


If you achieved rock star status, what would you hope it would be for?

Philanthropy. I have secured over $1 million for Chattanooga's most pressing causes through my work in fundraising for nonprofits throughout my career.

Random green room demand?

Lavender essential oils and diffuser.

Who are your top influencers (not necessarily musically)?

Maya Angelou, Michelle Obama, and my great-grandmother, Susie Cook.

Which musical style best describes your personality?


Who would write the soundtrack to your life and why?

Lauryn Hill, because she uses her voice to bring awareness to social causes that are often overlooked.

First album you bought for yourself?

"FanMail" by TLC.

If you could change one thing about Chattanooga, what would it be?

I would increase equitable affordable housing units because housing plays a critical role in everyone's quality of life.

To what cause would you donate the proceeds from your first benefit concert?

The Public Education Foundations.