About Us

The mission of the Beacon Center of Tennessee is to change lives through public policy. The Beacon Center, founded as the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, is an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan research organization dedicated to providing concerned citizens, the media and public leaders with expert empirical research and timely free market policy solutions to public policy issues in Tennessee.



The Beacon Center promotes personal freedom and limited government through policy solutions that:

  • Generate economic growth through reduced tax and regulatory burdens on individuals and businesses
  • Create unmatched educational opportunity by empowering parents, students and teachers with choices and opportunities
  • Advance healthcare solutions that restore dignity and encourage personal responsibility
  • Identify opportunities to reduce cost and increase efficiency in all levels of government
  • Reflect the Founding Fathers’ vision of a free society grounded in property rights and individual liberty based in personal responsibility

The Beacon Center generates and encourages public policy remedies grounded in the capacity of private enterprise, the ingenuity of individuals and the abilities of active communities to achieve a freer, more prosperous Tennessee.

Board of Directors

John Cerasuolo, Chairman
President & CEO, ADS Security

Joe Scarlett, Vice-Chairman
Retired Chairman, Tractor Supply Co.
Founder, Scarlett Leadership Institute

Lee Beaman
Owner, Beaman Automotive Group

Jim Ethier
Chairman, Bush Brothers & Co.

Pat Shepherd
Senior Managing Partner, Avondale Partners

Lauren Templeton
Principal, Lauren Templeton Capital Management 

Larry White
Retired CFO, CBRL Group, Inc.

Staff & Scholars

Justin Owen, President & CEO
Lindsay Boyd, Director of Policy
Sam Cosby, Director of Development

Mark Cunningham, Director of Marketing & Communications
Suzanne Michel, Director of Administration
Ben Clark, Research Fellow
The Honorable Donna Barrett, Senior Fellow
Dr. Harold Black, Senior Fellow
Dr. Art Carden, Senior Fellow
Dr. Jeff Cornwall, Senior Fellow
Dr. Richard Grant, Senior Fellow
Dr. Paul Stumb, Senior Fellow

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