State Officer Team

2017-18 State Officer Team
Shellie Thomas (Pulaski), Austin Cox (Northeast State), Herbert Joyce Jr. (Memphis), Molly Sweetland (Chattanooga), Derrick Garner (Paris), Hank Holleman (Knoxville), Jeramy Martin (Nashville).

The State Officer Team is elected each year during the annual Legislative and Leadership Conference held in November. The team serves as our Executive Council representing the twenty-seven Technical Colleges and the thirteen Community Colleges.

Being a state officer is one of the highest honors a student can achieve in SkillsUSA Tennessee Postsecondary. It can also be one of the most rewarding experiences for a student, too. If you are considering running for a state office (any SkillsUSA office, really) be sure you are doing it for the right reasons. Yes, it can lead to a great title, some travel and can look great on a resume, but holding an office means you agree to take on certain responsibilities. You are agreeing to represent the organization on a state and national level!


Austin Cox
Northeast State Community College

Austin is a freshman majoring in Mechanical Technology with a certificate in HVAC. He currently serves as the college’s SkillsUSA chapter president. Austin became familiar with SkillsUSA in high school where he was presented with the opportunity to compete in the carpentry competition his junior year. He led his team to an impressive third place finish in the state. The following year he represented his school and again placed third in the carpentry competition for the state of Tennessee. Through being captain of the football team four years in a row and his training through SkillsUSA, Austin began to develop the leadership skills he is recognized for today. Over the past two years, Austin has volunteered for the Special Olympics Competition in his hometown of Johnson City, Tennessee. In addition, he is currently a carpenter’s helper for Appalachia Service Project, a non-profit organization, whose current goal is to rebuild homes lost in the Gatlinburg wildfire in East Tennessee. He supports and exemplifies the SkillsUSA framework triad (personal, workplace, and technical skills) and strives to implement them daily. 



Vice President

Hank Holleman
Knoxville Technical College

Hank is a friendly, eager and driven person that seeks success and perfection in every opportunity presented to him. Growing up Hank enjoys outdoor activities, being active and meeting new people. Areas that spark Hanks interest include soccer, hiking, mixed Martial Arts and listening and playing music. He enjoys playing competitive soccer and has formed and managed teams for the Knoxville Metro Soccer League. Hank enjoys meeting new people, which has grown is comfortability of meeting new adventures head on. He always has and continues to have a passion for exploring new terrain on his life’s journey. After high school Hank had the opportunity to hike the Appalachian Trail. During that time he gained a new perspective on his purpose and becoming a welder. Hank understands the importance of Technical education and wants to share that passion with his community. Hank is currently enrolled in Welding Technology and plans to pursue a job as a Pipe Welder.


Shellie Thomas
Pulaski Technical College

Shellie has always made an impact where ever she goes. She is a model student and helps to nurture those skills in others that are vital to SkillsUSA. She is a mother of two and a grandmother of three. In 2005, Shellie went back to school and earned a Degree in Accounting. In her spare time, she enjoys fishing, hiking, sailing, kayaking, riding motorcycles, gardening, and cooking.
She is currently enrolled in Tennessee College of Applied Technology Pulaski in the Administrative Office Technology program. She serves as the Reporter for her local SGA. She plans to find a way to help improve the medical billing system. Her goal is to work in an area that will improve her county. Working with SkillsUSA will give her the opportunity to make a difference in the community as well as the state of Tennessee.


Jeramy Martin
NashvilleTechnical College

Jeramy has always had a passion for helping others. He was born the oldest cousin in a large family. At an early age he was responsible for taking care of his younger cousins. This instilled in him a sense of pride and responsibility at an early age. When he was in elementary school he would volunteer his time reading to the younger classes and working with the special needs students. His work with the special needs students carried on after school as well. He spent many summers volunteering with the Special Olympics. Through high school Jeramy was active in several after school programs; including as well as, volunteering as a student counselor. After graduation from public school, Jeramy has remained an active voice in the community.


Derrick Garner
Paris Technical College

Derrick has always been an active and motivated individual. He played sports throughout high school and was always active in school functions. After high school, he served in the United States Army for four years as a cavalry scout. During this time he was deployed to Afghanistan. His career in the military ended with a medical retirement when he was injured by an IED explosion. The time he spent in the military taught him leadership, organization, and teamwork skills. The experience of his injury and recuperation taught him to prioritize and to distinguish between what is truly important and what is not, as well as to overcome obstacles rather than to allow them to be stumbling blocks.
He started attending TCAT-Paris in February of 2016. He currently serves as the Student Government President. As President, he has increased student participation and motivated others on campus to pursue officer positions in the SGA. He won the silver medal in the SkillsUSA Competition for Motorcycle Repair Technology in 2017. Then, proceeded to graduate from Motorcycle ATV Repair class in 2017. In August of 2017, he was elected by all of the TCAT Presidents as the TCAT liaison for the Tennessee Board of Regents during a Student Government President retreat. He is now pursuing his education in the Machine Tool Technology program and is expecting to graduate in June 2018; then plans to follow up with training in the Welding program.





Molly Sweetland
Chattanooga Technical College

Molly is a fun and outgoing individual. In her spare time Molly enjoys spending time with her family, boyfriend and her other friends. She also enjoys traveling, hiking, drawing, shopping and taking the occasional nap. Molly was raised in northern Michigan where she learned to hunt, ride a bike, and acquired a love for being outside. As a young girl, Molly grew very close to her grandmother, who inspired her to enter the healthcare field, Molly has always had a powerful desire to help others! As she continued to reach her late teen years, she entered college at Ferris State University, located in Big Rapids, Michigan. She joined a sorority, among several other registered student organizations! Upon entering her twenties, Molly decided that she needed more of a challenge in her life, she felt like she wasn’t reaching her full potential. December 2016, Molly and her family moved to Chattanooga. While at TCAT Chattanooga, she serves as the President of the 2018 Medical Assisting class and the President of her local SkillsUSA chapter. Since then, Molly began to thrive in her new environment. She is now not only thriving, she continues to meet her personal goals and continues to strive for excellence to improve her future opportunities!


Herbert Joyce Jr.
Memphis Technical College

Growing up Herbert was extremely shy, bashful, and peculiar. At times as a child, he began to experience rejection from his fellow peers and would often shy away to himself. Although he could have gotten lost from being rejected, Herbert found himself in his loneliness and discovered the world of creativity in music and fine arts.
As a teenager, his leadership journey began as a musician, musical director and youth leader at his local church. These responsibilities would later open doors and opportunities to become the director of music and musician for his church state district, this was only the beginning. After completing high school, Herbert enrolled at Southwest Tennessee Community College and later founded The GART Club of STCC, a club that had over 40 graphic design students that helped tutor and prepared them for the work industry of graphic design.
Herbert simply believes that being selfless should be a way of life and not only a meaningful act. His heart for motivating, mentoring, and bringing the best out of individuals encourages him to never forget his life purpose, which is to help others. When he isn’t glued to his computer, you can find Herbert throughout the campus of TCAT-Memphis smiling, talking, encouraging, and helping others. He believes in order for you to become a great leader you must be a great follower.


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