Our Staff

Sue Alexander

Sue Alexander is the manager of administration for the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence and has been with the organization since moving to Nashville in 2000. She is responsible for day-to-day operations of the organization and is often the first point of contact for anyone contacting the TNCPE office.

In addition, Sue manages logistics for TNCPE workshops, Board of Examiners training, and the annual Excellence in Tennessee Conference and Awards Banquet. She served on the 2001 Board of Examiners and completed training again in 2010.

Prior to joining TNCPE, Sue held similar positions with the JCPenney Home Office in Dallas, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, and the YMCA of the Pike’s Peak Region in Colorado Springs, Colo. Sue earned a BA in education from the University of Kentucky.

Ann Harris

Ann Harris is the program assistant for the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence.  She joined the organization in November 2017 and provides day-to-day administrative support.

Ann has served non-profit and academic organizations throughout her career.  She style-edited the Journal of the American Academy of Religion (JAAR) at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana before relocating to Nashville. She has worked in the Continuous Improvement Program at Vanderbilt Medical Center’s School of Nursing as well as in the Department of Pediatrics and the Center for Health Services. She was also part of a campus-wide administrative team out of the Office of the President at Tennessee State University.

Ann earned her BA at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a MS in Counseling and certificate in Nonprofit Management from Tennessee State University. She has always been intensely interested in how organizations can become more effective in mission and how to better serve a client base.

Emily Ferguson

Emily Ferguson helps TNCPE develop and implement its communications strategy, including website management, stakeholder outreach, and general messaging. Emily served as a TNCPE communications intern from 2010-2011, and after graduation, continued working with TNCPE to create graphics for the Excellence in Tennessee Conference & Banquet for several years. Emily now works with clients as a freelance graphic designer and content creator.

Emily holds a BS in journalism and visual communication from Middle Tennessee State University. 

Katie Rawls

Katie Rawls is president and CEO of the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence. Her career has been marked by key leadership positions in higher education, public power, and the professional service industry.

Widely recognized for her skills in developing teamwork and facilitating consensus, Katie has put these skills into play as vice president of economic development for the Tennessee Valley Authority, as chief of staff to the president of Fisk University, and as director of marketing for the Atlanta office of Deloitte & Touche.

Katie serves on the board of the Alliance for Performance Excellence, a nationwide association of state and local Baldrige-based organizations. She earned a BA from Vanderbilt University and holds a Master’s degree in special education from George Peabody College as well as an MBA in marketing from Georgia State University.

Katie's hobbies include yoga, gardening, and quilting. She and her husband Wendell have two children and two grandchildren.

Heather Schoch

Heather Schoch is the award program manager at the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TNCPE). In that role, she oversees applications to the TNCPE award program, examiner recruitment and training, and all other aspects of the award process. She also delivers Baldrige-based training for TNCPE throughout the state of Tennessee.

Prior to TNCPE, Heather served as the Business Excellence Leader at CIGNA Government Services with responsibility for all quality management, strategic planning, Balanced Scorecard, and project management initiatives. In this role, she ultimately led the organization to achieve TNCPE’s prestigious Excellence Award.

Heather has served on the TNCPE Panel of Judges as well as the Baldrige and TNCPE Boards of Examiners. In 2009, she received TNCPE’s Champion of Excellence Award for furthering performance excellence within her organization. Heather graduated from Vanderbilt University with a BS in mathematics.

TNCPE is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

2525 Perimeter Place Drive, Suite 122. Nashville, TN 37214-3773. (800)453-6474.