Former Helen Ross McNabb Center CEO honored for leadership legacy
Andy Black Building Dedication

The Helen Ross McNabb Center dedicated a building today in honor of former CEO, Andy Black, to recognize his years of service and many accomplishments in improving access to mental health care throughout East Tennessee.

Officials and friends of the Helen Ross McNabb Center gathered to watch the dedication ceremony, which took place at 201 West Springdale Avenue in Knoxville. Individuals who have worked closely with Andy over the years spoke to his work as the Center’s first development officer, as CEO and, lastly, as a community volunteer.

Speakers included Jerry Vagnier, HRMC president and CEO; Hank Bertelkamp, HRMC supporter and founder of Bertelkamp Automation; Chip Finn, HRMC board chair; and Susan Conway, former HRMC board chair. During the ceremony, Chip Finn remarked, “Notwithstanding all of his successes, Andy always deflected credit, empowered others and served with complete humility.”

After the dedication ceremony, Andy thanked everyone in attendance for their friendship and support over the years and, just as Chip stated, Andy used his time at the podium to recognize the Center’s staff and leadership who work every day to support the Center’s mission. He also shared, “It has been a wonderful opportunity to have worked here for more than 30 years. It has been a real labor of love and passion to see those that we serve have the opportunity to improve their lives. To me, the Center has thrived for several reasons. The first is we have a great mission and it’s very simple; to improve the lives of the people that we serve.” 

Andy Black served as CEO from 2003 until 2014 and began his career at the Helen Ross McNabb Center in 1986 as the Center’s first director of development. During his tenure with the Helen Ross McNabb Center, Andy increased access to affordable, quality health care for thousands of East Tennesseans facing mental health, addiction and social challenges. He also led the charge to expand access to care in rural communities and build out continuums of service that help those in our communities with the greatest needs and the least resources. Over his career, Andy raised more than $40 million on behalf of the Helen Ross McNabb Foundation, establishing a legacy, which will ensure the sustainability of services long into the future. Andy’s fiscally conservative leadership allowed the Center to direct its resources towards providing quality services to individuals in East Tennessee. In 2003 when Andy was named CEO, the Center served approximately 7,000 children and adults. Today, the Center serves approximately 25,000 individuals in 25 East Tennessee counties.

The Helen Ross McNabb Center, a premier not‐for‐profit provider of behavioral health services in East Tennessee. Since 1948, the Center has provided quality and compassionate care to children, adults and families experiencing mental illness, addiction and social challenges. As the Center celebrates nearly 70 years of providing services to communities in East Tennessee, its mission remains clear and simple; “Improving the lives of the people we serve.” For more information, visit or call 865‐637‐9711.