President: Dr. Darrell Gwaltney, Jr.
Vice-President: Paul Wydra
Secretary: Chris Sabis
Treasurer: Walt Hovious
Each of these individuals has a personal and/or professional connection to autism that they may, or may not, have chosen to share in their bio.
If you would like to join our board, contact us! Diversity at leadership levels is important to Autism Tennessee. We welcome and encourage you to consider ways to get involved in our work.
Dr. Darrell Gwaltney- Dean & H. Franklin Paschall Chair of Biblical Studies and Preaching Ph.D., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; M.A., University of Missouri-Kansas City; M.Div., Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; B.A., Missouri Baptist College; Additional Studies: Regent's Park College, University of Oxford
I came to Belmont to serve as dean for the College of Theology and Christian Ministry in 2004 and was named the H. Franklin Paschall Chair of Biblical Studies and Preaching in 2012. I also serve as the Director of the Moench Center for Church Leadership.
I teach biblical studies, theology, worship and preaching, and church leadership classes whenever I can get away from the administrative duties of my job as dean. I love students and conversations with people about faith and life as we think deeply and purposefully about how to be best prepared for the work God has called us to do.
In addition to my classroom and administrative responsibilities, I have an active ministry working in local churches. I serve as an intentional interim and work in leadership development roles for churches. Working in churches helps me be better prepared for the classroom.
Serving as dean for the College of Theology and Christian Ministry at Belmont is particularly fulfilling because of the wide variety of denominational backgrounds and vocational interests among the students. Our students imagine themselves serving in churches and community non-profits, as musicians and doctors, artists and lawyers, and pastors and missionaries. It is exciting to serve here because everyone walks a somewhat different path of faithfulness.
The faculty and students in the College of Theology and Christian Ministry form a community of people who are seeking to understand God’s claim upon their lives. I believe I am privileged to work with such faithful colleagues and students.
I am an avid St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan, a lover of books, an erstwhile programmer, gardener, and big fan of my wife of 36 years, Donna, my daughter Meghan and her husband, Alvaro, my daughter Jordan, and my son Trey.
Paul Wydra - Paul has worked at Middle Tennessee State University for almost 13 years now. He is the Director of Development Initiates and works with fundraising efforts for the James E. Walker Library, the Honors College, University College and special events, special projects and affinity groups. Prior to working in the development office, he was the Assistant Director of Alumni Relations for over 10 years. In that position, he worked with Alumni Affinity Groups, Young Alumni, the alumni scholarship program and organizes events all throughout Tennessee and out-of-state. MTSU is the second largest undergraduate university in Tennessee with over 21,000 students and has almost 140,000 living alumni.
Paul received his Master of Education degree in Higher Education - Management & Supervision from MTSU in August of 2011. Paul is currently the Vice President on the board and has been involved in Autism TN for over two years and loves the people he works with on the board and on staff. His mother is a retired special education teacher, who for years worked directly with special needs children and autistic children.
Chris Sabis- Chris heads Sherrard Roe Voigt & Harbison's Government Compliance & Investigations group. Chris concentrates his practice in the areas of Government Investigations and Litigation. He has extensive experience in False Claims Act (FCA) matters involving allegations of healthcare and procurement fraud, white-collar fraud investigations, commercial litigation, and government investigations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs). Chris has significant experience in the mediation of FCA cases and is a Rule 31 Listed General Civil Mediator by the Tennessee Supreme Court. He also has advised clients on provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the CARES Act, including emergency leave provisions and the Paycheck Protection Program enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chris earned his J.D. at Georgetown University Law Center, where he was Senior Notes Editor of the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics. He graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in History and Political Science from the University of Rochester.
Chris serves as a Hearing Examiner for the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility. He is a member of the Harry Phillips American Inn of Court and of the Tennessee Bar Association, where he has served as Chair and Vice Chair of the Federal Practice Section. He is a member of the Nashville Bar Association and Chair and former Secretary of its Historical Committee. Chris is also a member of the American Health Law Association, the Health Care Compliance Association, and the American Bar Association.
Active in the community, Chris is the Co-Chair and Past Chair of the Board for Stars Nashville, a non-profit that provides prevention, intervention, treatment, and training programs addressing bullying, substance abuse, violence, and social and emotional barriers to success in Tennessee schools. He is a Secretary of the Board of Directors of Autism Tennessee and is the Environmental Sustainability Chair for the Rotary Club of Nashville. Chris has been an Adjunct Professor of Law at Belmont University. He enjoys hockey, theater, and spending time with his wife and two young boys.
Walt Hovious- Walt is an accountant at Pilot.com and a member of the Tennessee bar. He studied at the Saint Louis University School of Law and Belmont University. He is Treasurer of the Board of Directors of Autism Tennessee. He lives in Bellevue with his wife Casey and a little one on the way.