Make-A-Wish® East Tennessee has selected Garrett Wagley to be the Chief Executive Officer of the foundation. Serving 36 counties in East Tennessee, the organization grants wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Wagley has been charged with expanding the impact and profile of Make-A-Wish East Tennessee with the goal of increasing funding and granting more wishes.
“This is an exciting time for our East Tennessee Chapter of Make-A-Wish,” said Beth Johnson, board chair. “There is tremendous opportunity to expand our reach, our influence, and our base of supporters. That will all lead to a greater impact for the special, inspirational children we serve. More wishes mean more children receiving the strength to fight their illness and transform their lives. We’re eager to work with Garrett to make that happen.” continued Johnson.
Wagley brings more than 20 years of nonprofit management and public relations experience to Make-A-Wish East Tennessee. He most recently served as executive director of Wesley House Community Center in Knoxville. He also held positions with the Knoxville and Jefferson County chambers of commerce where he led communications, government, and media relations efforts. His experience includes managing boards and committees, launching events, fundraising, developing high-impact strategic plans, and serving as a media spokesperson.
Make-A-Wish was founded in Chattanooga in 1989 to serve 36 counties in Tennessee. While the organization has provided services to children across East Tennessee, its board is interested in increasing the numbers of volunteers, supporters, and leaders across the region. Wagley’s experience in Knoxville will help grow its presence there.
“Joining this team of amazing staff, dedicated volunteers, and forward-thinking board members is an incredible opportunity,” said Wagley. “Add to that the chance to be a part of the Make-A-Wish story – a story where you see wish kids replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope to look beyond the challenges of today toward the possibilities of tomorrow – and I couldn’t be more thrilled.”
Wagley’s community and volunteer work includes service with Keep Knoxville, Beautiful, Introduction Knoxville, Youth Leadership Jefferson County, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley, and United Way of Greater Knoxville. He is a graduate of Leadership Jefferson County and Center for Creative Leadership and is in the current class of Leadership Knoxville.
“My career has been about building relationships,” continued Wagley. “I look forward to applying that experience, leveraging relationships, and increasing the impact of Make-A-Wish East Tennessee. We are going to be more visible, more creative, and more impactful.”