Blueprint Dinner

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Dr. Bryan Samuel 

Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - University of Alabama in Huntsville
Dr. Samuel has acquired a broad perspective on public university administration, Student Affairs, Multicultural Affairs and Equity and Diversity through a career progression that has included working at a small state college, a large national university, a mid-sized campus of a state university system, and the central administrative offices of a multi-campus university. Over a 20 year tenure in higher education, Dr. Samuel has had operation and staff leadership experience helping university and secondary educational leaders to understand issues along the diversity continuum and helping to develop policies and programs responding to underlying needs. With particular emphasis on access, diversity and inclusion, his responsibilities have spanned recruitment, retention, programming and advocacy. In each area, Dr. Samuel has initiated programs that not only made a difference in students’ and employees’ individual lives, but also fundamentally improved institutional dynamics and the climate of the organization. Dr. Samuel has received numerous campus, state and national accolades including but not limited to the 2011 Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel Trio Achiever Award, 2005 University of Nebraska Board of Regents Kudos Award, the 2003 University of Nebraska Equity in Opportunity Fellowship, and the 2000 Noel Levitz Retention Excellence Award. Dr. Samuel earned both a Bachelor’s of Science 1993 and Masters of Education 1995 from UTC. In 2005 Dr. Samuel earned a Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Higher Education 2005 from the University of Nebraska.

Chris Brown 

Director of Community Centers City of Chattanooga
Chris Brown is an outgoing professional specializing in city government administration for the past 15 years. He also provides advisory services to local government agencies and programming entities for the greater Chattanooga area. In 2014, Mr. Brown was appointed as Executive Assistant to the Administrator for the City of Chattanooga Department of Youth and Family Development. He oversaw the day-to-day operations of the administrative office that provided strategic planning for youth and family sustainability. During his tenure,Mr. Brown has developed an array of progressive approaches to enhance departmental personnel in innovative technology and financial accountability. In 2017, Chris was promoted to Management and Budget Analyst with the City of Chattanooga Department of Finance and Administration. He oversaw the preparation of the city-wide budget, monitoring and oversight of department budgets and expenditures as well as compliance with rules and regulations. In 2022, Mr. Brown was appointed, Director of Community Centers for the Department of Community Development. Under his leadership, he provides strategic direction and oversight of the City’s community centers.

Bryant Fairley

Director of Engagement Division of Access and Engagement - UTC
Bryant Fairley is the Director of Engagement for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Division of Access and Engagement. In his role, Bryant works collaboratively with students, faculty, staff, and partners to facilitate dialogue, foster collaboration, and inspire students to make a meaningful impact in the lives of others. Focused primarily on outreach and community engaged learning, Bryant strives to encourage faculty to incorporate engaged learning pedagogy, empower students to learn by doing good, and establish equitable and democratic-reciprocal relationships with campus partners. Bryant has a B.A. in Public Administration and earned his M.A. in Organizational Leadership.


Ken Jones

Senior Director of Procurement, Vendor Relations, and Minority & Women-Owned Business EPB
Ken Jones, a distinguished native of Chattanooga, TN, whose passion for community engagement and empowerment shines through his outstanding accomplishments. As a devoted family man, Ken takes immense pride in his daughter Sydney, son Keion, and cherishes the joy of being a grandfather to two grandsons, Aiden & Korbyn, and a granddaughter named Halo Grace. Driven by a strong commitment to making a positive impact, Ken actively participates in entrepreneurship, mentoring, and community development initiatives. His unwavering dedication to core values and a genuine desire to serve others fuels his relentless efforts towards enhancing the well-being of his community. Ken's academic journey showcases his dedication to excellence. He achieved an Associate's degree in Electrical Electronics Engineering Technology from Chattanooga State Technical Community College, a testament to his technical proficiency and commitment to professional growth. Subsequently, he furthered his education at the prestigious University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, earning both a Bachelor's degree in Business Entrepreneurship and an MBA in Business Analytics. In October 2000, Ken launched his illustrious career at EPB (Electric Power Board of Chattanooga) as a network technician. Over the years, he adeptly navigated the complexities of delivering phone, video, and internet services within EPB's expansive service territory. Embracing various leadership positions within the organization, Ken honed his skills, embraced innovation, and fostered a culture of collaboration with colleagues. Today, Ken's exemplary expertise and leadership have earned him the distinguished role of Senior Director of Procurement, Vendor Relations, & Minority and Women-Owned Business at EPB. Ken Jones stands as an exemplary figure in the professional landscape, embodying the spirit of excellence and dedication, and his impact on the community reverberates with purpose and accomplishment.


Dylan Rivera 

Director of Policy Planning and Implementation City of Chattanooga
Dylan Rivera currently serves as the City of Chattanooga’s Director of Policy Planning and Implementation in Mayor Tim Kelly’s administration, marking the first-ever Latino appointed to a Mayor’s Office position in the City of Chattanooga’s history. His work directly impacts closing generational health, safety, and prosperity gaps in Chattanooga’s minority communities. A first-generation graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, he studied public policy with a minor in criminal justice. Dylan’s previous roles include Director of Innovation Special Projects for the City of Chattanooga, Assistant Political Director for the Tim Kelly for Mayor Campaign, and Project Manager for the Southeast Tennessee Development District. Dylan Rivera is also the first-ever Latino brother in Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Psi Lambda chapter since its founding on May 15, 1926. Additionally, he volunteers as a board member for YCAP, an intervention program focusing on at-risk youth, serves as a member of Rotaract through the Chattanooga Rotary, is the Southeast Tennessee representative for Fuerza, a political action committee working to advance Latino representation in political positions throughout the state, and is the awardee of Chattanooga’s Choice in the 2023 Latino Leadership Awards.


Troy Rogers

Public Safety Coordinator City of Chattanooga
Troy Rogers currently serves as the Public Safety Coordinator for the City of Chattanooga under Mayor Tim Kelly’s Administration. Troy also serves as the head of the Citizen Safety Coalition, a passionate group of concerned citizens who come together to create solutions for our community's most sensitive population. Troy is one of the lead speakers for the United Way fundraiser campaign. Troy studies social economics and how society has shaped certain urban areas. Social economics defined is as behavior based on economics and opportunity. Troy does not feel that any kids are born bad but have had to make decisions without all the resources and exposure. When he came to the City he began to look at the “WHY” behind the crime and uses a tier system that we have implemented to empower our muted census. 

Larviso Wright 

Chief of Staff to the CEO UNUM
Larvizo Wright has worked at Unum for nearly 6 years and currently serves as Chief of Staff to the CEO. Prior to that role, he was Assistant VicePresident, Corporate Audit within their Global Internal Audit division. In addition to be a business leader at Unum, he also spends time supporting I&D initiatives through being a co-lead for the upLIFT employee network, an active member in the UNITEd employee network, and helping younger professionals develop through mentoring and coaching. Prior to his time at Unum, he worked at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee for 12 years in various financial reporting and auditing roles. Larvizo has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, an MBA from Capella University, and is a licensed CPA through the Tennessee State Board of Accountancy. In terms of community service, Larvizo serves as Treasurer and board member of the Erlanger Health System Foundation and Treasurer UTC Alumni Board where he chairs the Diversity & Engagement Committee. In his free time, he loves to spend time with his family wife (Brinkley), daughter, (Layla), son (Logan) and dog (Wrigley - golden doodle), reading, and exercising.

Multicultural Affairs

Multicultural Affairs