Governor Lee launched this office with an awareness that government is not the answer to our problems and with the recognition that we are all called to feed the hungry, visit the sick and imprisoned, care for our neighbors and provide healing to those who are suffering. His mission is to bring faithful, compassionate people together with state and local governments, find new ways to solve some of our toughest issues and leverage opportunities that contribute to the flourishing of Tennessee communities.
Meet our Team
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Appointed by Governor Lee of Tennessee, Lance Villio serves as the Executive Director for the Governor's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. In this pivotal role, he functions as the liaison between state government, faith-based groups, and community nonprofits. His primary focus is on forging partnerships that address Tennessee's most pressing community needs. Before stepping into his current role, Villio was the CEO of Think Native, a mentoring software designed to improve the lives of those in recovery. He has also held leadership positions in national faith-based organizations such as Q Ideas and I Am Second. Notably, he was the founding employee at RestoreNYC, where he was instrumental in establishing the first safe house in New York City for international victims of sex trafficking. Residing in Franklin, Tennessee, with his wife, Hannah, and their three children, the Villio family is deeply committed to their community. Hannah serves as the PTO co-president, emphasizing their shared commitment to public education and community engagement. Guided by strong convictions, Lance Villio uses his expertise in strategy and execution to create partnerships that meaningfully improve the lives of Tennesseans.
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Monty currently serves as Deputy Director of The Governor's Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives for the State of Tennessee, where his focus is bringing the non-profit and faith-based community together to better serve Tennesseans. Burks, a person who was justice involved, has used his own personal lived experience in the criminal justice system to provide insight and leadership in hiring formerly incarcerated and others that have fought and earned a second chance. In his former position he served as the Director of Faith-Based Initiatives for the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, where his role was engaging and connecting Tennessee’s faith communities to the behavioral health care system, with the goal of expanding addiction and mental health support services across the state. He also oversaw the Tennessee Lifeline Peer Project, a state program aimed at reducing the stigma associated with people who suffer from addiction, the Tennessee Faith Based Community Coordinators, who seek to help congregations build their capacity to combat addiction and mental health issues in their respective community and the Collegiate Recovery Initiatives which aim to train colleges, universities, and other higher education on how to become recovery allies. Dr. Burks earned his master’s degree in criminal justice from Middle Tennessee State University, his Doctorate in theology from Heritage, and wears the honorable badge of Certified Peer Recovery Specialist. Burks has more than 21 years’ experience working with the criminal justice system in various roles, including adjunct criminal justice professor at Motlow State Community College, Criminal Justice Student Research Analyst at Middle Tennessee State University, and Criminal Justice Program coordinator and adjunct professor at Tennessee State University. Previously, Dr. Burks served as a program coordinator, job placement specialist, and cognitive skills instructor with Middle Tennessee Rural Reentry, earning national recognition as the “Outstanding Professional of the Year” from the Southern Criminal Justice Association for helping the justice involved break down employment barriers. Dr. Burks belongs to several professional organizations including: Tennessee Supreme Court: Access to Justice Commission Faith Based Chair The National Rx and Illicit Drug Summit Advisory Board Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) Advisory Board Tennessee State University Criminal Justice Faculty Advisory Committee
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Leah B. Moyer is a seasoned professional with over a decade of experience supporting vulnerable individuals, young adults and children. Currently, Leah serves as the Director of TN Fosters Hope within the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, where she leads a statewide public-private effort to support children in and aging out of the child welfare system. Previously, Leah served as the Interim Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Development for AncoraTN (formerly End Slavery Tennessee), an anti-human trafficking organization supporting survivors in Middle Tennessee. Here, she oversaw a 25+ team and led a budget expansion to open and acquire a 35-acre Survivor Restoration Campus, an oasis for healing to those exiting exploitation. Prior to her work in the counter-human trafficking space, Leah spent time in higher education at Vanderbilt University, Clemson University and Southern Wesleyan University supporting public relations, scholarship programs for underrepresented individuals, marketing, fundraising and special events. She was a finalist for the 2023 Nashville Emerging Leaders Award and is an active member of Brentwood United Methodist Church. She has held several volunteer roles including executive leadership positions with The University Alabama Alumni Chapter, Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity and Special Olympics. Outside of work, Leah enjoys spending time with her family and watching football and baseball.
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