About Us

The Beacon Center of Tennessee empowers Tennesseans to reclaim control of their lives, so that they can freely pursue their version of the American Dream. The Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and independent organization dedicated to providing concerned citizens and public leaders with expert empirical research and timely free market 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.


Justin Owen, President & CEO
Lindsay Boyd, Director of Policy
Sam Cosby, Director of Development
Mark Cunningham, Director of Marketing & Communications
Braden H. Boucek, General Counsel

Suzanne Michel, Director of Operations


Ben Clark, Research Fellow
The Honorable Donna BarrettSenior Fellow
Dr. Harold BlackSenior Fellow
Jonathan Butcher, Senior Fellow
Dr. Art Carden
, Senior Fellow
Dr. Jeff CornwallSenior Fellow
Patrick Gleason, Senior Fellow
Dr. Richard Grant, Senior Fellow
Dr. Paul StumbSenior Fellow