John has been involved with Mountain T.O.P. since his time participating in YSM as a youth with City Road UMC in Madison, TN. He was on the YSM summer staff for two summers as a Ministry Coordinator and Field Manager. He also spent a summer and spring/summer as a Ministry Intern with the Support Staff and has been an AIM Fall Weekend participant for the past several years.
John has a Bachelors of Arts degree in Religious Studies with minors in Interactive Media and Computer Science, and a Masters of Science degree in Appropriate Technology and Environmental Design. John is currently the Operations Manager for LightWave Solar Electric in Nashville, TN where he leads Tennessee’s most experienced solar electric (PV) design and installation team. When not at work or at a MTOP event, John enjoys relaxing with a good cup of coffee, reading, seeing live music, and exploring the natural beauty to be found around middle TN with his wife Liz.
The Rev. Edward B. Simmons was named Executive Director of Mountain T.O.P. in January 2006 after the retirement of founder and past Executive Director, George Bass. Simmons holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida, an MBA from the University of Houston, and received his pastoral training from Chandler School of Theology and Perkins School of Theology. He spent 15 years at Enron Corp. before entering the ministry in 1993. He is an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church. He previously served several churches in the Texas Annual Conference as the Minister Administration. Simmons had an 18-year affiliation with Mountain T.O.P as a camper prior to being appointed Executive Director. His call to full-time ministry in the United Methodist Church came while participating in a Mountain T.O.P. camp week. He has been married to his wife Glynn for over 37 years.
Julie came to Mountain T.O.P. in 2007 after serving in the Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts in Mississippi. At Mountain T.O.P, Julie is responsible for facilitating all programs within our various camps and ministries. She will also be the person primarily responsible for coordinating the ministry’s growing community development activities and in forming the new South Cumberland Community Development Partnership. Julie started out as a mechanical engineer but migrated back over to the world of missions, a passion that began for her at Mountain T.O.P. as a youth.
Stephanie Clemson is originally from Valparaiso, IN and currently lives in Nashville, TN. She is a teacher for Metro Nashville Public Schools where she teaches 8th-grade Literacy. She got her undergrad from Ohio Northern University and her masters from Vanderbilt University.
Stephanie was a Mountain T.O.P. camper from 1997-2000 and was on staff in 2001, 2004, and 2006. Things that make her happy are good books, driving stick shift, good kids, being outside, good coffee, McDonald’s coke, speaking German, Batman, her family, and two miniature dachshunds.
Kavin Stackhouse, Facilities Committee
Kevin brings over 40 years of experience in custom home building business with the past 28 of those years as the owner of the company. Kevin and his wife Barb grew up in rural Indiana on neighboring farms. They have two sons both married with growing families and they all reside in Nashville.
Being an active part of the community in which they live has always been a priority for the Stackhouse family. Giving back is something that comes naturally. We believe by volunteering and helping those less fortunate, we make our community stronger and more vibrant.
Kevin has been active with Habitat for Humanity for more than 200 years, beginning back in his days living in Indiana. He and his wife Barb are members of The Village UMC in Nolensville, TN where they are active in mission work for the church. Kevin has served both locally and internationally on mission teams providing skilled contractor services.
Steve Koelbl, Trustee & Secretary
Steve Koelbl (nickname Daddy Koelbl) was born in 1960 at Air Force Base in Rapid City, South Dakota. He currently lives in McMinnville, Tennessee with wife Mary Dillon Stubblefield Koelbl. They have two children – Jay Koelbl and Jennifer Koelbl. Steve is a Senior Quality Engineer for the Nissan Decherd, Tennessee powertrain facility. He has also previously worked as Senior Quality Engineer at Carrier Air Conditioning in Morrison, TN for 10 years. Steve has a BS Mechanical Engineering degree (Cum Laude) from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Hobbies when not enjoying a Mountain TOP function include: Habitat for Humanity of Warren County Home Builder (help build 24 homes since 2000), Beekeeping (1998- present) – lifetime member of Tennessee Beekeeping, member of Winchester Beekeeper Association and McMinnville Beekeeper Association, Tennessee certified beekeeping apiary inspector and a beekeeping mentor. Steve also is a Military collector and a lifetime member of both Alabama and Tennessee Military Collector Associations Antique Car Collector and restorer. Other interests include motorcycle riding (1998 Harley Davidson Road King), Master Gardener and Photography.
Community activities include Warren County Chamber of Commerce (2011 Volunteer of the Year), member of the First United Methodist Church and an assistant with the Methodist Youth Fellowship. An officer (President 2002-present), Building Co-Chair (2002-present) and Board of Directors member (2000-present) of Habitat for Humanity of Warren Co helping build 24 homes in Warren Co (2000-present).
I enjoy working with Mountain TOP because I can work outside with the Mountain Top family members, community youth and also learn from and provide assistance to Grundy, Van Buren and Warren County families.
One thing I have learned over the years that I have been affiliated with Mountain T.O.P. is that the tasks of ministry, whatever they may be, are always so much more than what I am capable of dealing with. That being said, I came to the realization early on that it is not the task itself but that I accept the responsibility for it and trust God to equip me for what He wants to accomplish through me. What I must do is give Him all I have and it always is enough. This is my attitude in the way I approach my responsibilities on the Board.
There are three important things in my life; Family, Church and Mountain TOP. I went to High School in Manhasset, Long Island graduating in 1954 and to college at West Virginia Wesleyan graduating in 1958. I went into the Army in late1958 and served 18 months in Germany. While in Germany I married Deeda on June 11, 1960, and we now have 3 sons; Jay in Birmingham, AL, Mike in Long Beach, CA, and Tom in Murfreesboro, TN. I/we have 4 grandchildren.
I retired in 1991 from State Farm Life Insurance after 28 years of work. I started coming to Mountain TOP in 1980 driving youth from our church in Winter Haven, FL. In 1990 I started doing AIM and after retirement, the trips became more frequent. I was project manager along with Deeda to get Baker Mountain built, to get the Friends cabin built and to do the renovation of Peabody. We purchased property here in Coalmont, TN in 2006 and officially moved in March 2008.
Steven Solomon is from Germantown, TN and is a lifelong member of Germantown United Methodist Church. He has devoted his entire professional career to fundraising for ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. He is a graduate of Mississippi State University with a degree in Business Administration and received his Master of Business Administration degree from Union University. Steven is married to Susan and they have two daughters, Emily and Kate.
Steven started his Mountain T.O.P. journey at age 14 and has been an active participant as a youth, summer staff member, adult volunteer and Board member for over 20 years. In 2014 he was inducted into the Mountain T.O.P. “Fisher of People” Hall of Fame.
Phil Swords was born and raised in Northeast Mississippi. He graduated from the University of Mississippi. Phil has been married to Deborah Montgomery Swords for 32 years. They both have worked for BancorpSouth Bank in Tupelo, MS for over 35 years from where he recently retired. Phil is honored to serve as a deacon at Harrisburg Baptist Church in Tupelo. He loves HBC’s “72 Hours Of Service” which takes us outside of our church campus to serve others in our city and county. HBC introduced us to Mountain Top in 2005 while serving in the Singles Department. Debbie was hooked immediately, but it took Phil a couple years to warm up to the hard work and long hours. After one hard, tough day, while in the sharing session that evening with his brain in neutral and his mouth in overdrive he commented: “I won’t work this hard for money”! The singles group suggested this statement may be fitting to put on a tee shirt. He hopes someday to attend all five AIM Fall Weekends. Phil is also a member of the Tupelo Luncheon Civitan Club where he serves on the board of directors and helps with various community service projects.
Mitch Lister was born and raised in the Smokey Mountains of East Tennessee. He attended Tennessee Tech University out of High School to play Varsity Soccer. He transferred and graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in Marketing. While attended UT, he went to work for the Knoxville Utilities Board and began a career in the Utility Industry that began in 1985.
He married his wife in 1986, Carrie, soon after graduation from UT. He started working with youth and beginning one of his passions of Youth Ministry in 1987 with Trinity United Methodist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. It was at Trinity, that he was introduced to Mountain TOP. He moved with his wife from Trinity to Fountain City United Methodist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee and continued his service with Youth Ministry. He and his wife welcomed their son, Alex, in 1994 while members of Fountain City. Alex works on Mountain TOP’s full-time staff now.
In 1999, he received a job offer and moved his family to Atlanta, Georgia. He accepted a position and still is employed today with AGL Resources Inc., the parent Company for several Gas Distribution Companies across the United States. His family joined Cannon United Methodist Church in 1999 and he continued his work in Youth Ministry. He rekindled his relationship with Mountain TOP upon moving to Cannon UMC. He has participated in several events through the years and now continues his work with Mountain TOP as a Board Member.
Besides his family, his love for Youth Ministry and his love for Mountain TOP, he officiates football at several different levels. He has been officiating since 1988.
I first participated as an AIM camper in 1998. I sold my electric business in 2000 and retired. During the summers of 2001 and 2002 my wife, Bobbie, and I was on the AIM staff. We moved from Ohio to Tennessee in 2003 and shortly after that I was elected to the Mountain T. O. P. board of directors. During that time on the board, I was involved in selecting Ed as the executive director. Was also board chairman from 2007 – 2009.
Barb Stackhouse, Resource Development Committee
Barb grew up on a farm in Northern Indiana in a small agricultural community. Her elementary school had about 80 students from K through 6th grade and everyone knew everyone. She attributes this to her love and care for others as this home community always took care of each other.
Barb is married to her high school sweetheart. They raised 2 sons who are both now married with growing families. Barb and her family all live in Nashville, TN.
Barb has always been passionate about teaching, coaching, and education. She holds an associate degree in dental hygiene, a bachelor’s degree in dental health education and masters in educational leadership. She has completed her CNHP (Certified Natural Health Professional) and a Traditional Naturopathic Doctor program of study. Barb graduated from Academy Epic and Board Certified as a Complimentary & Alternative Healthcare Practitioner (CAHP-BC) in August 2017. Her work experience includes private practice dental hygienist full time for 10 years, teaching at the University in the Dental Hygiene program, running a Dental Assisting program, being the book-keeper for her husband’s construction company for years, and finally teaching and coaching dentists in business and practice management.
Barb has a life and business coaching company called “More to Life Coaching,” a place where dentists can find More to Life. She is focused on helping dentists manage their time and money, get organized, and learn how to connect with their patients and increase cash flow. She has coached dentists and dental teams since 2004. Her proven methods and business principles have helped many get control of their life and business.
Barb also has a wellness practice in Nashville, TN called “More to Life Wellness” where she meets people where they are and helps them to go where they want to go with regards to life and health. She utilizes bioenergetic healing practices along with other natural modalities she has learned.
Barb and her husband have a garden and enjoy growing their own food. Barb preserves this home-grown food for their winter pantry. They both spend many hours volunteering in their community and doing mission work in the States and abroad. She loves her two rescue dogs, loves spending time with her children and grandchildren, loves to travel, and enjoys hiking or reading a good book.
Barb makes joy wherever she goes with a smile on her face and a bounce in her step!
Rev. Shannon Dill, Program Committee
Shannon Dill is originally from Dallas, TX and now a 25-year resident of Atlanta, GA. She serves as Associate Pastor of Saint Luke’s Presbyterian Church with responsibilities that span the entire ministry of the congregation, but her passion is engaging members of all ages in mission and outreach. She is a graduate of Austin College with a degree in psychology and received her Master of Divinity from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Shannon served on the Board of Directors of HOI, an international NGO focused in Honduras and Nicaragua, for 18 years before recently “retiring” from service, as well as serving on other non-profit/NGO advisory boards over the years. Shannon is married to Don and they have two daughters, Maddie (20) and Callie (17).
Shannon has participated in AIM weekends, Family Weekends, and is a strong advocate for the work and ministry of Mountain T.O.P. Over the past 20-plus years, Saint Luke’s Presbyterian Church has developed a significant partnership with Mountain T.O.P., to include every generation of the Saint Luke’s family under Shannon’s leadership and guidance
Emily Chadwick, Facilities Committee
Emily Chadwick is from Hutchinson, Kansas, and currently lives in Nashville, TN, where she is the Director of the Family Resource Center at Fall-Hamilton Elementary School. She graduated from Truman State University and received a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Kansas.
She enjoys backpacking, swimming, and running, as well as volunteering at her church (Fellowship Bible Church in Brentwood, TN) and serving as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters. One of her proudest accomplishments is thru-hiking the entire Appalachian Trail in 2012.
Emily has had a passion for the mission of Mountain T.O.P. since her first summer as a camper in 2000 and was on summer staff in 2004, 2005, 2007 & 2008. She is looking forward to serving the ministry in a new way as a board member.
Tony Brawner is from Summertown Tennessee. He served in the National Guard for 6 years. He retired from Southern Office Products in Lawrenceburg Tn. in 2009 where he was service manager. He has been on several mission trips including 5 times in GUATEMALA and Sager Brown in Louisiana three times. He has been to Mt Top YSM 7 times. Tony said “Mt Top is very special to me. My Father in Law, Harry De Dad Williams started coming to Mt Top around 40 years ago. He attended approximately 18 years before he passed in 1996. My son Ray has been 17 years and my wife of 33 years Janie (who passed in 2008 from a traffic accident) had been 7 times.” Tony enjoys “picking” (Like American Pickers) but mostly enjoys spending time with his three grandchildren. He has one son, Ray and his wife Tiffany and their children Amy Carson, Jancin and Issac. He also had a daughter, Amy who passed in 1997 at the age of 14 with cancer.
John has been a member of St Thomas Episcopal Church Terrace Park Ohio-25+ years. He currently serves as an usher and team teach the 3-6-year-old Sunday School class. St Thomas celebrated its 35th anniversary of involvement with Mt TOP in 2015. John has been involved with Mt TOP through St Thomas for the last 10 years and has been the church contact for our Youth Summer Ministry(YSM) program for the last 5 years. The church typically participates in two weeks of YSM each summer and has been involved in both the Day Camp and Service Project ministries each summer for the last three years. They have had 6 college age youth on summer staff since 2009. John has been blessed by the other adult participants and young people in this ministry.
He has also been involved with Fall AIM and Friends Weekend for the last four years and is a member of the Builders Club.
John has been married for 29 years to Pamela Sisney. They have two sons Travis Tiffany and Wyatt Tiffany who are in their mid-twenties and who participated in the YSM program for several years.
John is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, with degrees in Chemical Engineering. He has worked for Chevron for 26 years in a variety of technical, operational, and management roles in California and Ohio. He has been with AECOM for the last ten years as an environmental consultant and is a Certified Professional in Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program.
John currently serves on the Board, the Relocation Task Force, and the Development Committee for Inter Parish Ministry(IPM), a choice food and clothing pantry in Newtown Ohio that was started by St Thomas and three other local churches 50 years ago to serve people in several counties in Southwest Ohio.
Education: B.S. Civil Engineering, Mississippi State University, 2004. Professional Engineer, Registered Land Surveyor. Currently, I am a co-owner of McCarty Granberry Engineering. We specialize in development and municipal engineering. We also provide construction management services on specialized projects. Previously, I served as a project manager at Fisher & Arnold in Memphis. I worked on an array of projects that mainly consisted of large-scale utility design and construction, highway construction and grant administration projects. I also have a decent background in commercial building construction.
I am a lifelong member of Collierville United Methodist Church. Currently, I serve as the Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and the Vice Chair of the current Facilities Planning Committee. I am also very active in the Sr. High youth bible study and trips.
I have been active in the Collierville community my entire life. Currently, I am the Vice Chair of the Design Review Commission. I have also served on the Downtown Small Area Plan Steering Committee and the Main Street Board of Directors
I have participated in Mountain T.O.P. since 1996. I was a camper in 1996, 1997 and 1998. I served on staff in 1999 as a field coordinator and as a field manager in 2000 and 2002. I have returned as an adult YSM camper every summer since 2005. I have helped with the construction portions of staff training the past 10 years. I have also participated in Friend’s Weekend and helped assist with some of the camp project designs.