• social_buttons-02
  • social_buttons-01

Calling all nonprofit leaders, board members, and anyone working to make a difference in  their community: join us for...

Recognizing the Impact of Rural Nonprofits

Keynote Speaker Becca Stevens

Becca Stevens is an author, speaker, priest, social entrepreneur, founder and president of Thistle Farms. After experiencing the death of her father and subsequent child abuse when she was 5, Becca longed to open a sanctuary for survivors offering a loving community. In 1997, five women who had experienced trafficking, violence, and addiction were welcomed home.


Twenty years later, the organization continues to welcome women with free residence that provide housing, medical care, therapy and education for two years. Residents and graduates earn income through one of four social enterprises. The Global Market of Thistle Farms helps employ more than 1,800 women worldwide, and the national network has more than 40 sister communities.


Becca has been featured in the New York Times, on ABC World News and PR, was recently named a 2016 CNN Hero and a White House “Champion of Change." She was featured in the PBS documentary, A Path Appears, named Humanitarian of the Year by the Small Business Council of America and inducted into the Tennessee Women’s Hall of Fame. Stevens attended the University of the South and Vanderbilt Divinity School. She has been conferred 2 honorary doctorates.


Her newest book, Love Heals, will be published by Harper Collins in September of 2017. Becca lives in Nashville with her husband, Grammy-winning songwriter Marcus Hummon, and their three sons. 

October 11th, 2017

Conference Sessions: 8 a.m.–4 p.m.

Sewanee Inn

1235 University Avenue

Sewanee, Tenn.

Keynote, Awards, and Receptions to Follow: 4:30 p.m.

The University of the South, Convocation Hall

Corner of University and Georgia Ave, Sewanee, Tenn.

SCCF will be hosting a one-day conference focusing on rural nonprofit collaboration and development. There will be several panels and workshops offered throughout the day, including a panel discussion with local foundations. Click here to learn more about our speakers and panelists.

Conference Schedule

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Sewanee Inn

1235 University Avenue

Sewanee, Tenn.

8–9 a.m.                    Breakfast and Registration

8:30 a.m.                   Welcome

9–10:15 a.m.               “Collaborative Leadership”

                                    Karen Proctor, Founder and Principal

                                    of Harbour Workshop, LLC

10:15–10:30 a.m.      Networking Break

10:30–11:45 a.m.       “Developing Rituals for Community Leaders”

                                   Becca Stevens, CNN Hero and Founder & President

                                   of Thistle Farms

Noon–1:30 p.m.       Luncheon Speaker: Ray Daffner, Director of

                                   Entrepreneurial Development

‎                                   Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)

1:45–2:45 p.m.         Panel: Challenges Faced by Rural Organizations

2:45–3 p.m.               Networking Break

3–4 p.m.                    Panel: What are the Characteristics of a Strong



“The Power of Love in Justice Work: Advancing Community Impact”

Keynote by Becca Stevens, CNN Hero and Founder & President of Thistle Farms

Reception and Grant Awards to follow

4:30–7 p.m

Convocation Hall

Corner of University and Georgia Avenue

The University of the South

If you are coming from out of town and will need a place to stay, the Sewanee Inn has discounted rooms available for conference-goers. Use the Group Code: CEC17. Book your Sewanee Inn room here.

For other hotels in the Monteagle/Sewanee area, click here.