Part of a continuing series on the five women who established the East Tennessee Women’s Fund
Marty Begalla helped to start the Women’s Fund because of a life long interest in the status and needs of women. A committed community volunteer, she started the Knoxville Women’s Center and the Rape Crisis Center. She has served on more than ten non-profit Boards of Directors including the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, YWCA, Friends of Literacy and the University of Tennessee Women’s Alumni Council and Board of Governors. In addition, at the national level Marty served as the national Secretary for the Association of Junior Leagues representing 275 leagues internationally.
Marty is a training and organizational development professional who began her career at the University of Tennessee as the Assistant Dean of Women in the Dean of Students Office. She then moved to the Tennessee Valley Authority in training and development. Finally as a Vice President at Baptist Health System she led the organization’s quality and education efforts. After retiring in 2001, Marty continued consulting to organizations in the private and non-profit sectors as a facilitator in 21st Century Leadership Skills for Leadership Knoxville.
Marty was the first chair of the Women’s Fund Grants and Research Committee, and this remains at the top of her priority list. She was instrumental in developing the research used to focus the grant program and application process. According to Marty, “Grants and Research is where the Women’s Fund puts its priorities on the lives of the real women we seek to help.”
A native of Pennsylvania, Marty moved to Knoxville in 1969 to accept a position at the University of Tennessee. She met her husband Jim who also worked at the University and “decided to stay”. The Begallas share a passion for development in Africa. In 2006 they enabled the O Malo Foundation in Kenya to complete a reservoir for the preservation of animals native to the Lakipia Valley. They have also helped to build a school in Liberia. The Women’s Fund is fortunate to have a compassionate and dedicated volunteer such as Marty Begalla to help lead the team.