Institute Staff

Linda Peek SchachtLinda Peek Schacht
Founding Director

Founding Director of the institute is Linda Peek Schacht, veteran of the Carter White House and U.S. Senate leadership staff, a member of the launch team of USA Today, former vice president for global communication and public affairs strategy for the Coca-Cola Company and, just prior to joining Lipscomb University, a senior fellow at the Center for Public Leadership and the Center for Business and Government of Harvard University.

Lenker Pic_2015Lydia Lenker
Director of Events and Community Engagement

Lydia Lenker serves as Director of Events and Community Engagement at Lipscomb's College of Leadership and Public Service. Previously, she served as managing director for the Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership at Lipscomb. In addition to her duties with the college, Lenker, continues to oversee operations and programming at the Andrews Institute. Before coming to Lipscomb, Lenker served as press secretary to now former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen. Her public service followed a long career as a broadcast journalist in radio and television news. Before joining the Bredesen administration, Lenker worked as a political reporter and weekend anchor at CBS affiliate NewsChannel5 in Nashville. In 2001, she was honored to win an Emmy for “Best Weekend Newscast” in the Southeast region.

Cathy Cate - NEW PICCathy Cate
Executive Director, Leadership Tennessee

Director, Community Leadership Programs

Cathy Cate serves as the institute's Director of Community Leadership programs and the Executive Director of Leadership Tennessee, the only statewide leadership education program in Tennessee. She served as Executive Director of Leadership Blount County for six years and has worked with higher education and corporate groups for more than 20 years as an experiential group facilitator focusing on issues of teamwork, cooperation, communication and problem solving.

Michelle SteeleMichelle D. Steele, Ed.D.
Academic Director

Academic Director at the institute is Michelle D. Steele. With more than 15 years experience working with governmental agencies, Steele served as director of Nashville’s Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods for four years during the Purcell administration, is a former case manager for the Mid-Cumberland Community Services Agency, and most recently, supervised the customer service team at the Metropolitan Nashville Department of Codes and Building Safety. Steele has a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, a Master of Science degree in public service management from Cumberland University and a Doctorate of Education in leadership and professional practice from Trevecca Nazarene University.

Barbara LanceBarbara Lance
Administrative Assistant

Barbara Lance serves as the Administrative Assistant for the Andrews Institute. She is a former small-business owner and chairperson of the Maine Women’s Network, as well as the statewide Food Resource Coordinator of the Good Shepherd Food Bank in Maine. Her experience in customer service spans two decades, and she was most recently part of the front-desk team at the Gaylord Opryland Resort.