Board of Directors
Dennis M. Courtney
Dennis Courtney is the Founding Director of the STREAMWORKS program. His career and experiences make him uniquely qualified to affect community education changes and outcomes. He has led the STREAMWORKS Mission which is to create Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STREAM) initiatives that are designed to promote rigorous STEM activities and competitions in communities. STREAMWORKS is able to cultivate and nourish an environment of critical and innovative thinkers which foster the development of a future workforce dedicated to help fulfill critical skills gap in hi-demand technology career fields. STREAMWORKS works through the establishment of robotics teams and competitions over a variety of STEM disciplines to fulfill this goal.
His vision for STREAMWORKS has led to a strong system which stands as a dedicated partner to area industry and school districts that consistently make an impact at the grassroots level of regional communities. The dedication for STEM education in our communities is derived from critical workforce demands and a need for student essential skill sets in the professional workplace.
Dennis is retired from the United States Navy as a flight engineer, holds a Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle University and a Bachelors Degree of Science from SNU, Bethany, OK.
David A. Golden
David A. Golden is the current Chief Executive Officer of the ETSU Research Corporation, after having recently retired as a Fortune 500 Executive Team Member (rank #232) and as Senior Vice President, Chief Legal & Sustainability Officer, and Corporate Secretary of Eastman Chemical Company–a multinational materials innovation company headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee. While at Eastman, Golden had overall responsibility for Eastman’s Legal, Corporate HSES, Product Safety & Regulatory Affairs, Sustainability, Government Relations, Aviation Services, Communications, Community Affairs, Public Policy, Privacy, Global Business Conduct, and International Trade Compliance functions, with personnel in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Prior to joining Eastman in 1995, David was with the international law firm of Hunton & Williams (now Hunton Andrews Kurth) in their Atlanta office.
David holds a B.S. (Accounting) and a Juris Doctorate from Brigham Young University, graduating Magna Cum Laude and Order of the Coif and served on the management committee of the BYU Law Review. He is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School having completed Harvard’s Advanced Management Program in 2012.
Golden serves on the Board of Directors of Ballad Health, the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance (Secretary), the Tennessee State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE), the Niswonger Foundation, Music for All, and the Marine Advanced Technology Education Inspiration for Innovation (MATE II) (Chair) based in Monterey, CA. His other public service includes work as a member of the advisory board of Western Governor’s University-TN and the University of Tennessee’s Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy as well as serving on the Governor’s Council for Judicial Appointments and the Tennessee Business Court Rules Commission. He also recently served on the Board of Trustees of East Tennessee State University (Vice-chair). David is an alumnus of Leadership Tennessee (Class III) and is a frequent public speaker on leadership, motivation, education, ESG, and sustainability topics.
Benjamin S. Buchanan has 26 years of accounting experience, with over 23 years in public practice. Over the years he has worked in a variety of industries spanning manufacturing, telecommunications, wholesale distribution and the medical field. As a senior Supervisor with Blackburn, Childers, & Steagall, PLC in the Kingsport Tennessee office, his background enables him to service a variety of client’s needs, including but not limited to consultation and tax services for both individual, and for-profit and nonprofit entities.
Ben holds a B.A. (Accounting) degree from King College (King University) in Bristol, TN and a Master of Accountancy (M.Acc) from ETSU School of Graduate Studies in Johnson City, TN. Ben holds certifications as a Certified Public Accountant in the States of Tennessee and Virginia. Ben over the years have been involved with a number of nonprofit/church boards, including, most recently Hope Haven Ministries, Inc. in Kingsport, TN and The Bristol Trains Station Foundation, in Bristol, VA.
Benjamin S. Buchanan
Carol A. Clayson
Dr. Carol Anne Clayson is the director of the Center for Air-Sea Interaction and Marine Atmospheric Sciences and a Senior Scientist in the Department of Physical Oceanography at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). Her current areas of research include understanding how air-sea interactions affect weather and climate, how the global water cycle is varying, and how the ocean responds to processes such as tropical cyclones. She has received funding for her research from NASA, NOAA, the Office of Naval Research and NSF.
Dr. Clayson is the recipient of an NSF CAREER award and the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award. She received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President W. Clinton. She has also authored or co-authored over 50 journal articles, two books on air-sea boundary layers and numerical ocean modeling, two book chapters and three National Research Council reports, as well as holding one patent.
Her expertise and ability to communicate with various stakeholders position her as an asset in discussions on public policy and regulations. She is also involved in outreach activities particularly affecting relationships between corporations and the climate science community. Carol Anne has spoken frequently on public-private partnerships and policy issues, including at the Council on Foreign Relations and at the Economist’s 2017 World Ocean Summit in Bali.
Karen S. Seiden is the Senior Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and COPA Compliance Officer at Ballad Health – an integrated healthcare delivery system serving 29 counties primarily in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. Prior to joining Ballad Health in 2020, Seiden was with Eastman Chemical Company for 17 years where she held various compliance, audit, and sustainability positions including, Director of Public Policy and Chief Privacy Officer, Director of Global Business Conduct, Director of Corporate Audit Services, and Director of SEC Reporting. Prior to joining Eastman in 2003, Seiden was the General Manager, Financial Systems, Processes and Controls at CP Ships in Tampa, Florida. Seiden began her career in 1995 as an auditor with Ernst & Young L.L.P. in Tampa, Florida.
Seiden holds a B.S. and M.S. in Accounting from Texas Tech University, graduating Summa Cum Laude. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and a Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM).
Karen S. Seiden
Taylor Burgess is the current CEO of Boys & Girls Club of Central Appalachia and STREAMWORKS regional director for Virginia. Taylor graduated from the University of Virginia’s College at Wise with a Bachelor of Arts in English Communications. Taylor is very active in his community and serves on several boards, impacting his region with emphasis on STEM education.
Tracy E. Hightower
Tracy Hightower is the current Senior Consultant, COO at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in Chattanooga. Tracy provides strategic advice to the Senior Vice President of Generation Projects & Fleet Services, overseeing policy implementation and coordinating essential documentation. Throughout her time at TVA, Tracy has held key roles such as Senior Program Manager for Project Management Tools and Program Manager for Security Information System. Tracy's expertise extends to Enterprise Collaboration Tools, where she served as the business lead, fostering effective collaboration between GCP&S and IT. Throughout her career, Tracy has demonstrated a commitment to excellence, earning a security clearance and contributing significantly to TVA's technical projects. Beyond her professional achievements, Tracy is an active volunteer, dedicating 25 years to the Ronald McDonald House and holding key roles on the board, including Secretary. Tracy's community engagement extends to leadership roles with organizations such as TN Valley Robotics, where she serves on the board as Vice President, and the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy, where she actively contributes to fundraising initiatives and community development projects. Tracy Hightower's multifaceted career and extensive community involvement exemplify her commitment to excellence and making a positive impact in both the professional and nonprofit sectors.