Karen founded Just Hope International in 2007 in answer to a calling.
Karen was born in North Carolina. Always good with numbers and business, she wanted to make a difference in others’ lives using the gifts and talents given to her by God. She also wanted to pursue this passion in a way that enabled people to be self-reliant; giving a hand "up" instead of just a hand "out".
Board of Directors
Karen Bruton received her bachelor’s degrees in math and Accounting from the University of North Carolina. She received her M.B.A. from Wake Forest University. She is a CPA, has worked in Public Accounting, and has spent over 25 years as a Vice President and Corporate Controller of two corporations. In 2007, Karen decided to leave the corporate world and founded a non-profit 501(c)3 organization called Just Hope International.
Karen became involved in the stock market over 10 years ago. She has managed a closed hedge fund for several years and opened an additional hedge fund in 2011. She has experience in trading equities, exchange-traded funds, options, indices and futures with complex strategies.
Jim Hunt graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1963 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and Economics. He spent five years on active duty with the US Navy including two tours in Vietnam. He returned to Nashville and created three separate businesses in life and health insurance sales and administration. He sold two of the businesses in separate sales during the 90's and the last to his son and another shareholder in 2008. He remained in the Naval Reserve retiring as a Captain.
In his "spare time", Jim serves as Board Chairman of the Nashville Zoo and as Mayor of the City of Belle Meade. He and his wife Sally have two sons and three grandchildren. All reside in the Nashville area.
Jill Shelby graduated from University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. She worked with American Express for nineteen years in sales, sales management, and business development. She then transitioned out of the corporate arena into real estate for eight years. She achieved the level of Managing Broker for a real estate office with two hundred (200) agents.
Jill became involved in the stock market over 10 years ago and manages a closed hedge fund.
Matt Bonner is an accomplished communications professional with over 10 years of experience in the non-profit and private sectors. Matt serves as the State Director for Tennessee for the Crescent Project, a national Christian ministry focused on reaching Muslims for Christ. He is also a passionate student of America’s history and Christian heritage and often teaches Sunday school at his church. Matt also serves on the Missions and Outreach Leadership team of his church and served on the 2005 South Africa mission trip team. He is an affiliate host with One Nation Under God Radio, a live talk show on 99.7 WTN on Sunday Mornings. Matt lives with his wife, Khakki, and son, Nathaniel just outside of Brentwood, TN.
Devin McClendon is an accomplished real estate professional with extensive experience leading project management, strategic planning, sales, negotiation and relationship building. He also has extensive local knowledge and network including in-depth understanding of zoning, codes and approval process. He is an effective and adaptive manager with hands on experience in aggressive growth and time sensitive environments.
Devin is a board member for the MTSU National Alumni Association, Middle Tennessee State University Foundation, Just Hope International and the Brentwood Rotary Club.
JHI – US Management
Ben Turner, President
Ben Turner is responsible for Just Hope International achieving its mission through program development, fundraising, financial management and public relations.
Prior to joining Just Hope International, Ben served as a member of a business advisory firm serving owners of privately-held businesses in their mergers and acquisitions activities. His background also includes work in financial services for a Fortune 500 company, school fundraising, and business-to-business sales for a small equipment supply and service company. His professional career began in college through door-to-door direct product sales.
Ben is married with four children. He and his family reside in Hendersonville and attend First Baptist Church Hendersonville.
Todd Harman, Executive Director
Todd Harman, Executive Director
Todd Harman received his bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University and also completed his M.B.A. at Ohio University. His undergraduate focus was accounting and logistics. His experience has primarily been in the insurance industry, where he worked as an accountant and underwriter for Midland Mutual Insurance, and he was the Assistant Vice President of Annuity Operations and Assistant Vice President of Project Management, both for CNA Insurance.
Todd has a diverse range of professional experience including accounting and controls, annuity operations, long term care and life insurance management. He currently is employed by Hope Investments, LLC trading equities, exchange-traded funds, indices and options.
Melissa Du Puy, photography, video, website
Melissa Du Puy received her Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Furman University and completed her Master of Arts in Appalachian Studies from Appalachian State University. She has been a professional musician, arranger, and recording engineer in Nashville, TN since moving there in 1982,
Melissa is also a photographer and videographer, documenting the projects done by JHI in Peru, Africa, and Nicaragua. She has done work for other nonprofits and most recently photographed the path of the Alabama tornados in 2011 for publication in a tornado response manual for the Southeast United States.