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Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly announced members of his senior leadership team on Wednesday, making good on a repeated campaign promise to hire diverse leadership.

The team of 12 will be led by Brent Goldberg as chief of staff and Joda Thongnopnua as chief policy officer.

Goldberg is a certified public accountant with experience as chief business officer for Hamilton County Schools and chief operating officer for the city. He most recently served as chief of staff for Kelly's mayoral campaign.

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Brent Goldberg is named Chief of Staff by Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. Photo courtesy of the City of Chattanooga.

Thongnopnua has a background in the nonprofit sector, including as director of strategic initiatives and communications at the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga and was executive director of the Metro Ideas Project, an urban policy research organization.

Other members of the team include:

> Julia Bursch, deputy chief of staff. Bursch previously served as director of operations and special projects for River City Co.

> Ronald Elliott, director of community engagement. Elliot is returning to the city after previously serving as the director of community outreach for the office of family empowerment under former Mayor Andy Berke. He was also political director for Kelly during his mayoral campaign.

> Maura Sullivan, senior transition coordinator and director of recovery and resilience. Sullivan was chief operating officer under Berke.

> Ellis Smith, director of special projects. Smith previously worked for Kelly as chief marketing officer of Kelly Companies and as director of coalition and policy for Kelly's mayoral campaign.

> Brooke Satterfield, director of policy planning and implementation. Satterfield previously served as special projects manager under Berke.

> Chris Anderson, director of innovation delivery and performance. Anderson was previously a city councilman for District 7.

> Anthony Sammons, interim administrator of economic and community development. Sammons was deputy chief operating officer under Berke.

> Jermaine Freeman, interim deputy administrator of economic development. Freeman served as deputy chief of staff for Berke.

In step with his 100-day plan, Kelly also formed a new position, director of community health, which will be filled by Mary Lambert.

According to the release, Lambert is a Chattanooga native who has served as director of the Office of Military Liaison and Veterans Affairs in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health.She has worked with the White House, the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She was also deployed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and in response to the anthrax exposure at the U.S. Capitol. She is a retired U.S. Army colonel and member of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. Lambert now is serving as an associate professor at Vanderbilt University in the school of nursing and on the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Health Council.

"Dr. Lambert is one of our nation's most experienced and thoughtful public health leaders, and we are very fortunate to have her in our community," Kelly said. "Naming an experienced leader to this important position was one of my top priorities, and I am looking forward to working with Dr. Lambert to ensure the public is involved in public health."

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Mary Lambert is named Director of Community Health by Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. Photo courtesy of the City of Chattanooga.

With the interim positions included, Kelly meets another campaign promise with this announcement by establishing a senior leadership team that is just over 40% people of color.

"As I promised on the campaign trail, we have put together a talented team with the experience to get the job done, and we have done it while hiring a diverse group of Chattanoogans who mirror the city we all love," Kelly said in the news release. "This team is ready to hit the ground running and will work hard in service of every resident in every neighborhood."

The team has several rollover employees from Berke's administration, including Goldberg, Elliott, Sullivan, Satterfield, Sammons and Freeman.

Contact Sarah Grace Taylor at staylor@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6416. Follow her on Twitter @_sarahgtaylor.

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