Tom Laney

Interim Executive Director

Rev. Laney retired in 2022 after serving 37 years as a pastor in the United Methodist Church in Georgia and Tennessee. The last 13 years of his ministry was with the Turner Center for Church Leadership in the Nashville area, which was established in 2007 to support the training and equipping of clergy leadership in the Tennessee and Memphis Conferences.
From 2009 to 2015, Rev. Laney was the Associate Director of the Turner Center when it was affiliated with Vanderbilt Divinity School. His work included organizing leadership formation events for pastors and consulting with pastors and congregations to assist them in managing church conflict, staff development, vision/mission discernment and other leadership challenges. In addition, Rev. Laney
oversaw the non-academic work of the Turner Leadership Scholars who were enrolled in the Master of Divinity program at the divinity school with the intent of entering pastoral ministry upon graduation. In the summer of 2015, as the Turner Center separated from Vanderbilt, Rev. Laney became the Director and spent the last six and a half years focusing on clergy training and consultation in the Nashville
Episcopal Area.

Before joining the Turner Center, Rev. Laney spent 23 years pastoring local churches in the North Georgia and Tennessee Conferences. He has served in churches ranging from 120 members to 2300 members in rural, suburban and urban settings. Most recently he was the Senior Pastor of West End UMC in Nashville (1999-2007). While with the Turner Center Rev. Laney served as an interim pastor twice: for Belle Meade UMC in 2016 and for Christ UMC in 2018.

Rev. Laney received his B.A. degree in American History from Yale College in 1977and his M.Div. from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in 1983. Rev. Laney and his wife, Drew (Johnson), have two grown children. Their daughter, Rachel and her husband, Allen Jarvis, live in Atlanta. Their son, Johnson, is an attorney in Nashville.

Ellie Crain

Director of Young Adults

Ellie first encountered Project Transformation as an intern in 2015, while she was a student at Martin Methodist College. It was because of the vocational discernment opportunities she was exposed to as an intern at PT that she decided to attend Wesley Theological Seminary, where she earned her Master of Divinity in May 2020. When she’s not engaging in a thrilling theological discussion, Ellie can be found playing card games, cuddling with cats, or making coffee.

Christina Dotson

Development Manager

Christina came to Nashville by way of Wichita, Kansas. Although Chicago, IL is Christina’s birthplace, she has also called Arlington, TX, San Francisco and San Jose, CA home. Christina joined Project Transformation in May 2018 and immediately felt a sense of familiarity and family, similar to her past work at a non-profit youth mentoring organization in Wichita, KS. She loves to bake, play board games and watch tennis.

Tiffany Dowdy

Director of Programming

Tiffany’s first introduction to Project Transformation Tennessee was while serving as a Youth Minister in Memphis, TN. She brings several years of ministry experience within the United Methodist Church leading children's ministry, youth ministry, justice ministry, camp and retreat ministry, and on various campus ministry boards. Tiffany is excited to share her deep passion for transformative programs, building bridges between the church and local community, and cultivating meaningful relationships. In her spare time, Tiffany enjoys camping, traveling, volunteering, and soccer.

Ashley Lawter

Director of Church and Community Engagement

Ashley first came to Nashville while attending Trevecca Nazarene University where she discovered her passion for connecting churches to their surrounding community. There, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Youth Ministry. After her time at Trevecca, she decided to pursue graduate work at Wesley Theological Seminary where she received her Masters of Divinity. Prior to her time with PT, Ashley has served in various roles with local Nashville non-profits including volunteer engagement, curriculum development and coordinating direct services for those experiencing homelessness. Currently, she also serves in a volunteer capacity as an Ordained Elder in the Church of the Nazarene at a local congregation. She is thrilled to bring her variety of experiences and perspectives to Project Transformation. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, exploring new local coffeeshops, and spending time with her pup, Arlin.

William Parker


William was first introduced to Project Transformation Tennessee during the inaugural program in Memphis, TN in 2016. While serving as a reading volunteer, he recognized the importance of investing in young people so that they may learn, engage, and be sent forth into their communities to be agents of change alongside the church. William is passionate about bringing children, college-age young adults, and churches together to see communities transformed through purposeful relationships.

Originally a native of New York, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Montreat College and a Master of Arts in Youth Ministry from Memphis Theological Seminary. He enjoys basketball, running, and making music in his spare time.

Carrie Sherrill


While living in Dallas, Carrie first became involved with Project Transformation as a volunteer through her church. While sharing a meal with PT families at a Family Fun Night, she witnessed the powerful relationships formed between children and the interns, and was quickly inspired by this multi-faceted ministry. Carrie is passionate about education and mentoring. Although Carrie has lived in Little Rock, Wichita, Dallas, and Chicago, she is right at home in Tennessee. Carrie earned her Bachelor’s of Business Administration from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas. When she is not sharing about the amazing work of PT, you will most likely find Carrie doing something involving music, animals, hiking or cooking.

Terrice Thomas

Director of Memphis Programs

Terrice holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from Jackson State University and a master's degree in Public Administration from Keller School of Management. Throughout her professional career, she has served in various positions in the nonprofit sector including fundraising and development, volunteer management, special event planning, and community engagement. Her most recent role before joining the PT team was Manager at the South Branch library in Memphis. Terrice is the author of Mentor Coaching: Effective Mentoring for the Personal & Professional Development of Young Adults (released January 2022). During her free time, Terrice enjoys spending time with her son Kerwin and fur baby Yam.