~ from East Knoxville Business & Professional Association

Next Meeting: Thursday, May 16

7:45am Networking | 8:00am Meeting

We’re excited to welcome Mike Taylor and Blake Lawson from the Knox Education Foundation for an insightful discussion at Sarah Moore Greene Elementary.

The Beryl Benefit Group and Travis Harris will sponsor breakfast, with delectable offerings from Real Good Kitchen.

Sarah Moore Greene Elementary

3001 Brooks Ave

Knoxville, TN 37914


Mike Taylor, CEO

As Chief Executive Officer for KEF, Mike Taylor is focused on transforming public education through the expansion of best practices, creation of innovation in the classroom, and development of research-based solutions that bring a continuous improvement approach to address the challenges facing public schools.

Mike earned a bachelor’s degree in business from University of Tennessee-Knoxville and a Master of Public Administration from Gardner-Webb University. He also holds Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) and Certified Education Foundation Leader (CEFL) certifications. He is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and serves as Chair of the National Association of Education Foundations Board of Directors. He has been a featured speaker at numerous industry conferences.

Mike has 30 years of non-profit management and fundraising experience, including 15 years of leadership in the education foundation industry. Prior to joining KEF in 2023, he served as CEO of the Henrico Education Foundation in Richmond, Virginia, and Executive Director of the Mountain Education Foundation in Signal Mountain, Tennessee.

Mike is an East Tennessee native and shares three children with his wife, Julie Mills Taylor. In his free time, Mike enjoys spending time with family, reading, outdoor activities and University of Tennessee football.

Blake Lawson, CDO

Blake Lawson serves as Chief Development Officer for Knox Education Foundation. He engages with internal and external shareholders, prospective partners, and grant-related personnel to secure funding for the foundation and sponsored programs and campaigns to support Knox County’s public schools.

He earned both a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with concentration in marketing and entrepreneurship from the University of Tennessee, where he graduated magna cum laude from both programs. Blake was elected as Vice President of Philanthropy for the Tennessee Organization of MBAs, a charter organization in the Haslam College of Business and was nominated for the Program Service Award for the full-time MBA 2020 cohort. Additionally, he holds a certificate in Fund Raising Management from Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

Before joining KEF in 2023, he served as Director of Development for the Duncan School of Law and College of Dental Medicine at Lincoln Memorial University and as Assistant Director in the Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management. He volunteers as an Advisory Board Member for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley.

Blake resides in Knoxville and enjoys outdoor activities and exercise in his free time.

EKBPA Updates:

Ohh, we’re halfway there!

Drive for 65 Members by 6/5 (June 5th)

We are halfway to our goal for our 2024 membership. Please continue investing in the East Knoxville community by fulfilling your annual membership dues of $50.

Need to sign up or pay your dues? Click this link or the image below.


MLK Jr. Parade/March & Juneteenth Celebration
The MLK Jr Parade/March and Juneteenth Celebration will be held on Wednesday, June 19. It starts at 10 AM at Chilhowee Park, and will conclude at Hardy Park, with the “Party at Hardy.” Parade & Vendor Forms can be found on the MLK Website.