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What We Do

The Ochs Center is the only organization in the Chattanooga region that provides a full array of research and data analysis services for local non-profit organizations and local government:

  • Collection and analysis of administrative data from government agencies or non-profit programs

  • Public policy and best practices research

  • Survey design and analysis

  • Roundtables and focus groups

  • Program evaluation

  • Economic impact analysis and modeling

  • Budgetary and operational reviews

  • Assessment of community conditions

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Client Reports


Ochs Policies

What We Do


The Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies began serving the Chattanooga community as the Metropolitan Council for Community Services in 1962. The Metropolitan Council was the community’s first non-governmental health and human services planning agency. Acting as the planning arm for the local United Way, the Metropolitan Council was instrumental in the development of numerous community based efforts to provide services to children and the poor.

In 2000, the Metropolitan Council became the Community Research Council (CRC). CRC provided data collection and analysis services to non-profit organizations and local government. In addition, CRC housed the Southeast Tennessee Neighborhood Information Service, which in 2004 produced a major study on literacy in Hamilton County.

CRC became the Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies in August 2008, to better reflect an increasing focus on policy issues that affect both the Chattanooga region metropolitan areas nationally.


Board of Directors

Vision, Mission, and Values



“Empower organizations to better serve community needs.”


“Providing independent evaluations and research to inform decision making that impacts the way communities think, live, work, and interact.”


  • Accuracy
  • Collaboration
  • Objectivity
  • Ethical Practices
  • Equity
Vision Mission Values
Professional Team

Mary Tanner, PhD, Chair

Dean Emeritus, Independent Consultant, UT Chattanooga

Benjamin Pitts, Governance

Vice President, Herman Walldorf Commercial Real Estate

Jeannine Grogg

Retired, Hamilton County Government, Executive Assistant

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Stacy Lightfoot, MS

Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Engagement, UT Chattanooga

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Dave Buck, PhD, Vice Chair

Executive Director,
Chattanooga Autism Center

Edna Varner, EdD, Governance

Senior Advisor, Public Education Foundation-Chattanooga

Tera Roberts, MPA

Chief Executive Officer,
Orange Grove Center

Keith White, PhD

VP of Research and Effectiveness, Public Education Foundation, Chattanooga

Suzy Anthony, Treasurer

Vice President, 
United Way of Greater Chattanooga

Hal Baker

Community Resource Specialist , ArcTN

Henry Schulson

President and CEO

Creative Discovery Mueum

Ben Wygal, PhD

Assistant to the President,
Southern Adventist University


Professional Team

Maryanne Cunningham, CEO
Maryanne Cunningham
Executive Director
Joyce Bridges
Joyce Bridges
Early Care and Education Consultant
Jorg Holberg
Statistical Consultant
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Alice Wershing
Inclusion Consultant
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Patty Bowlin
Early Care and Education Consultant
Elizabeth DeGeorge
Elizabeth DeGeorge
Communications Director
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Kristin Milanich
Data Management and Reporting
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Janet Brewer
Grant Writer
Olga Ebert-Holberg
Program Evaluation Consultant
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Ed Sullivan
Research Librarian

Ochs Center Staff Retreat - 2023


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Social Work Office of Research & Public

The Ochs Center

1400 McCallie Avenue, STE 300

Chattanooga TN 37404



PO Box 4160

Chattanooga, TN 37405


Changing the way

Chattanooga thinks.

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© 2020 by THE OCHS CENTER. Created with

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