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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

Learn more...

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

Mary Tanner, PhD, Chair

Dean Emeritus, Independent Consultant, UT Chattanooga

Benjamin Pitts

Benjamin Pitts, Governance

Vice President, Herman Walldorf Commercial Real Estate

Jeannine Grogg

Jeannine Grogg

Retired, Hamilton County Government, Executive Assistant

Stacy Lightfoot

Stacy Lightfoot, MS

Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Engagement, UT Chattanooga

Dave Buck

Dave Buck, PhD, Vice Chair

Executive Director,
Chattanooga Autism Center

Edna Varner

Edna Varner, EdD, Governance

Senior Advisor, Public Education Foundation-Chattanooga

Tera Roberts

Tera Roberts, MPA

Chief Executive Officer,
Orange Grove Center

Keith White

Keith White, PhD

VP of Research and Effectiveness, Public Education Foundation, Chattanooga

Suzy Anthony

Suzy Anthony, Treasurer

Vice President, 
United Way of Greater Chattanooga

Hal Baker

Hal Baker

Community Resource Specialist , ArcTN

Henry Schulson

Henry Schulson

President and CEO

Creative Discovery Mueum

Ben Wygal

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

Jorg Holberg

Statistical Consultant

Ed Sullivan

Ed Sullivan

Research Librarian

Patty Bowlin

Patty Bowlin

Early Care and Education Consultant

Elizabeth DeGeorge

Elizabeth DeGeorge

Communications Director

Kristin Milanich

Kristin Milanich

Research Associate

Alice Wershing

Alice Wershing

Inclusion Consultant

Janet Brewer

Janet Brewer

Grant Writer

Olga Ebert-Holberg

Olga Ebert-Holberg

Program Evaluation Consultant

Tracey Randolph

Tracey Randolph

Program Evaluation Consultant

Ochs Center Staff Retreat - 2023



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Tennessee Family Child Care Network logo
 Arts Build logo
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Read 20 Chattanooga logo
Tennessee Arts Commission logo


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Social Work Office of Research & Public logo

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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