Meet the Staff

CEO Ben Harrington, MA Ed, has worked in non-profit health for more than 30 years, including 28 years as the CEO of the Mental Health Association of East Tennessee, which he has worked at since 1994. After 4 years in the chronic physical health arena, Ben moved to the Mental Health Association of Greater Knoxville which would later become the Mental Health Association of East Tennessee. The agency name was changed to serve persons from the Georgia to Virginia boarders and all communities in between. Switching jobs helped him realize how personally connected he is to mental health issues which affect so many. His passion to intervene earlier and in more impactful ways led to the creation of two of our signature programs – the Mental Health 101 program in Fall of 2000 and the Peer Recovery Call Center in 2013. Ben is married to Norma Harrington. They have two sons Donovan and Jackson and two “fur babies” Baxter Bugtussell (a Jack Russell) and Lady Violet (a Goldendoodle). He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from Heidelberg University and a Master of Arts Degree in Education Counseling & Guidance from Bowling Green State University.

Accounting Director Jill Schmudde is a Knoxville native who graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she earned her Bachelor’s in Accounting. Jill loves numbers and is able to support our organization with her keen attention to detail. She and her husband, Andrew, have three adult sons, Spencer, John and Paul and three rescue dogs, Lucy, Violet and Peppie – whom she enjoys hanging out with during her free time. Active in her church, she shares her talents in the finance and children department.

Screening Program Director Zhannae Cummings, MPH recently completed her Master’s degree in Public Health with a Community Health Education concentration and a Health Policy certificate at the University of Tennessee. Prior to moving to Knoxville for grad school, she completed her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and Secondary Education at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. Zhannae is passionate about health equity and inclusivity, mental health, and overall wellness, with an emphasis on marginalized populations. She hopes to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health in these communities and help them to get the help they need and is optimistic that her role in MHAET will allow her to do so. She finds the most joy traveling, going to concerts, working out and spending quality time with her people.

Marketing Director Brina Terrell is a graduate of Lee University where she completed her Bachelors Degree in Psychology with a Minor in Counseling and Theology. Brina recognized her passion in Psychology while volunteering at an after school care program where she saw the different family dynamics and how they played a role in a child’s development. Brina wishes to reach people through different platforms with information that leads to introspection, recognition and action. Along with her love for Psychology, Brina loves exploring different places and trying new foods with her husband, Darren and going hiking with their Siberian Husky, Moonie and their Golden Doodle, Harry.

Treatment Access Bank Director Rose Patterson, MSSW attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she completed a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Master’s of Social Work with a concentration in organizational leadership. Rose is passionate about increasing access to mental health care, decreasing stigma associated with seeking treatment, building relationships with and between community members, and learning as much as she can. Rose enjoys watching movies, going to concerts, walking her dog Lily, and spending quality time with friends and family.

Finance Assistant Harriet Greer grew up in Johnson City, TN. Later, she would move on to study and graduate with a Bachelor’s in Finance from East Tennessee State University. She has been married to her husband, Billy, for 27 years and have two daughters – Jessi and Jackie. Harriet enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling and enjoying all the outdoor activities!

The Mental Health Association offers all services to eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin or disability.

Apart from the free survey software, we also have access to QuestionPro's free survey templates . We've found many of them useful and powerful to collect insights from various stakeholders of our organization.