Meet Janet Testerman

Janet Testerman, a Knoxville native, is the CEO of Young-Williams Animal Center, the largest municipal nonprofit animal welfare organization in Tennessee. Prior to joining the local nonprofit animal welfare organization, she spent nearly a decade in communications as manager of internal communications for Scripps Networks Interactive and earlier as executive editor of E.W. Scripps’ custom publications, Knoxville Magazine and skirt! Magazine. Before returning to her communications background, Janet owned and operated Testerman Cooperative Catering, a full-service, off-premise catering company for nearly eight years.

Janet was elected to Knoxville City Council, At-large, Seat B in 2019 and has served on numerous boards including, Truist Bank Community Advisory Board, Metropolitan Drug Coalition, Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corporation (now Visit Knoxville), Bijou Theatre, Dogwood Arts, Leadership Knoxville and Young-Williams Animal Center for five years prior to joining the organization full time.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and Masters of Arts in strategic communication from American University in Washington, D.C. In her down time she enjoys planning her next trip, spending time in the North Carolina Mountains, entertaining family and friends and undertaking home projects. Married to Joey Creswell, she also is proud stepmother to Elie, 20, and Georgie, 18, both Auburn Tigers. And when she’s not catering to the needs of her Golden Retriever/Corgi mix, Buddy, and rescue Dachshund, Lollie, you can find her enjoying Knoxville’s great arts and food culture, as well as bringing her passion to many of the community’s great causes.

Community and Professional Involvement

Current and Past Boards

  • 2020-Present: Truist Community Advisory Board
  • 2022-Present: Metropolitan Drug Coalition board member
  • 2022-Present: Pet-Friendly Tennessee, Secretary
  • 2021-Present: Knoxville Symphony Orchestra board member
  • 2016 - Present: City of Knoxville Animal Control Board/Chair
  • 2017-2019: Animal Care and Control Association of Tennessee (ACCAT)/secretary
  • 2010-2018: Dogwood Arts/President
  • 2011-2016: Young-Williams Animal Center/Vice Chair
  • 2010-2012: Visit Knoxville (formerly Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corporation) board member and marketing sub-committee chair
  • 2012-2014: Leadership Knoxville board member (elected 2010 class representative)
  • 2010-2012: Bijou Theatre board member
  • 2007-2013: Champions for a Cause board member
  • 2008-2010: Appalachian Ballet Company board member
  • 2014-2016:

Political Involvement

  • 2022: Candidate for Tennessee State House of Representatives, District 18
  • 2019-Present: Knoxville City Council, At-Large, Seat B  
  • 2021-Present: City of Knoxville Beer Board Chair
  • 2016: Candidate for Knox County Commission, 4th District
  • 2014: Campaign Treasurer for Knox County Commissioner Bob Thomas 

Other Involvement

  • 2010-2012: Founder and committee co-chair of UThrive 2 Survive, a University of Tennessee Medical Center Cancer Institute committee with a mission to encourage a new generation of young people to get involved and give back to the community
  • 2013-2014: Knoxville Museum of Art event committee member for the international reveal of Richard Jolley’s multimillion-dollar installation
  • 2015: “Dementia Aware” Purple Cities Alliance task force member
  • 2015: American Heart Association Heart Gala live auction chair
  • 2014: American Cancer Society Hope Gala live auction chair
  • 2013: Hope Center “Southern Summer’s Night” event committee
  • 2011: Dogwood Arts Festival co-chair
  • 2011: Honor Air Knoxville volunteer chaperone
  • 2013: Lead task force for Knox Heritage/UT MBA program to determine engagement of millennials and future donors
  • 2009-2015: Knox Heritage Summer Supper hostess
  • 2011-2014: “Evening in Orange” committee benefiting UT Medical Center
  • 2010-2013: Dogwood Arts “Dogwood After Dark” committees
  • 2012, 2014: Leadership Knoxville “Behind the Scenes” committee
  • 2011-2014: Leadership Knoxville homecoming committee
  • 2013-2014: Rebuilding Together Knoxville inaugural event committee
  • 2010-2015: International Biscuit Festival judge
  • 2009: “The American Table” event committee member for American Red Cross, featuring former White House Chef Walter Scheib
  • 2010: American Cancer Society “Mad Hatter” event committee
  • 2003 – 2010: HABIT (Human Animal Bond in Tennessee) volunteer and former development committee co-chair

Professional Organizations:

  • Executive Women’s Association
  • Alliance for Better Nonprofits
  • The Association of Animal Welfare Advancement
  • WICT (Women in Cable Telecommunications)
  • Leadership Knoxville Class of 2010


  • 2019: American Cancer Society Hope Gala Honoree
  • 2019 and 2012: YWCA Tribute to Women Finalist
  • 2019: Knox County Sheriff’s Citizen’s Academy Graduate
  • 2019: Featured Speaker at Webb School’s Junior Class Career Day
  • 2016: Women in Cable Telecommunications Rising Leaders
  • 2016 and 2014: Featured speaker at Advanced Learning Institute conferences on internal branding
  • 2014: Featured speaker at Advanced Learning Institute conference on enterprise gamification
  • 2011: Winner of three (3) Addy Awards for Knoxville Magazine
  • 2010: Subject of year-long monthly segment about her breast cancer journey on NBC/WBIR Channel 10
  • 2010: Featured in Southern Living Magazine about her breast cancer
  • 2010: “Links Fore a Cure” honorary chair
  • 2009: FBI Citizens’ Academy graduate
  • 2008: Featured speaker at Shirley Dumont Art Week at Webb School of Knoxville