Mailing Address: 9957 Moorings Drive, Suite 401 Jacksonville FL 32257
Allen Henderson, Executive Director
Allen Henderson holds degrees from Carson Newman College (BM), The University of Tennessee (MM) and the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati (DMA), where his minor was in Arts Administration and he was winner of the prestigious Corbett-Treigle Opera Competition.
Prior to his appointment as executive director in 2008, he served NATS as district and regional governor and was elected national secretary/treasurer from 2006-2008. He also served as interim executive director from 2007-2008. Henderson was a participant in the 1993 NATS Intern Program and later hosted the program in 1998. He was chair of the coordinating committee for the 2008 NATS 50th National Conference in Nashville, Tenn.
Henderson has held teaching positions at Oklahoma Baptist University, Austin Peay State University and Georgia Southern University. In these positions he has taught voice, foreign language diction, opera, choral techniques, choral literature, song literature and directed choirs. He also served as music department chair at Austin Peay and Georgia Southern.
As baritone soloist, Dr. Henderson has appeared in concert, opera, and oratorio across the country. A district winner and regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera auditions, Dr. Henderson was winner of the 1995 National Federation of Music Clubs Artist Awards. He also was a regional finalist in the NATSAA competition.
Deborah Guess is director of operations in the NATS Executive Office, joining NATS in 1997. Before being appointed director of operations in 2006, she served as office manager for the Association and assisted the executive director. As director of operations, Guess is responsible for operations of the executive office, marketing and promotions for Association events, planning/coordinating national conferences and is managing editor of the Inter Nos newsletter.
Guess has more than 30 years experience in event and business management, as well as accounting. Before joining NATS, she held the position of public relations director at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville, Fla. and before that served as assistant to the director of the Technology Resource Center at Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, Fla., assisting with grant writing, promotions of events and computer training for other staff members. She also served as a teaching assistant at the University of North Florida and did several research internships at the Cummer Art Museum (in Jacksonville) and the St. Augustine Historical Society in St. Augustine, Florida.
Guess is a Magna Cum Laude graduate and holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. She is also a lifetime member of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Theta Kappa. Guess holds an Associate of Arts degree in accounting and certification in Volunteer Management, Internal Revenue Income Tax Law, Business Management and Graphic Design. She has served on the Board of Trustees of the United Methodist Church and several local charitable organizations.
Tom Strother, Marketing and Communications Administrator
Tom Strother is the marketing and communications administrator for the National Association of Teachers of Singing. He joined the NATS staff in September 2012.
Prior to joining the NATS team, Strother worked nearly five years as director of communications for Second Harvest North Florida, the Jacksonville-area Feeding America food bank. He also served simultaneously in the same role for Second Harvest's parent organization, Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida, Inc. While with Second Harvest and LSS, Strother provided oversight to marketing, branding, media relations, publications, web development and social media for both organizations.
Before beginning work in the Jacksonville nonprofit sector, Strother spent 10 years as an athletics administrator, serving as assistant athletics director for media relations at the University of North Florida from 2004-2008, as director of athletics media relations at Troy University from 1999-2004 and as sports information director at Auburn University at Montgomery for a year beginning in 1998.
A 1994 graduate of Auburn University with bachelor's degree in journalism, Strother also worked in the newspaper industry as a reporter and editor from 1994-98 for the Boone Newspaper Group and the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser. While at Auburn, Strother was a four-year member of the Auburn University marching band.
Strother is an active member of the North Florida Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), where he serves as chapter vice president for program. He is also secretary of the board of directors for America World Adoption in Florida and a member of Southpoint Community Church. Strother and his wife, Kristy, have four children and reside in Jacksonville.
Amanda Wood is the membership and program coordinator for the National Association of Teachers of Singing. She joined the NATS staff in April 2013.
Before beginning her career in non-profit organizations, Wood spent several years working for resorts throughout Florida. As a member of various resort sales teams, she was responsible for handling the meeting needs of government and association clients, which spurred her interest in the non-profit sector. Wood returned to school in 2010 to obtain her bachelor’s degree in management & organizational leadership, specializing in non-profits.
Keeping in line with her education and experience, Wood most recently worked for an association management company specializing in meetings and online education. During this position, she gained knowledge and experience in all facets of association management, and she is looking forward to putting them to good use in her role at NATS.
Margie Patterson, Bookkeeper/Executive Assistant
Margie Patterson is the bookkeeper/executive assistant in the NATS Executive Office, joining NATS in July 2014. She is responsible for managing the organization’s financial records.
Patterson has more than 20 years of experience in office management, accounting and human resources. Before joining NATS, she assisted the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus with recordkeeping duties. Prior to that, she was office manager for KIRA, Inc., serving the US Navy at the Jacksonville Naval Air Station. At KIRA, Patterson was responsible for accounting, payroll, and human resources. She worked closely with the contracting office to track and report contract modifications and funding. She has held accounting/management positions in the employee leasing industry, land development/construction and public accounting.
In addition to accounting, Patterson worked 10 years in the software industry. In two of the most recent Jacksonville-based software companies, she was a corporate software trainer for DTR International Software and head software/business trainer for DHS Worldwide. While in these positions, she was responsible for software testing and acceptance, working closely with programmers for new product designs, writing technical documentation and taking the lead to implement and train software to new and existing clients. Patterson also enjoyed several years of organizing conferences, performing workshop presentations and assisting the sales teams in product demonstrations.
Patterson, originally from Georgia, moved to Florida in 1979. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, playing with her two adorable Boston Terriers, Annie and Bella and participating in charity bike rides.
Mandy Ruddock, Special Events Assistant
Mandy Ruddock joined the NATS office as a part-time clerical assistant in 2002, working wherever extra help was needed during the busy season. Ruddock currently serves as the special events assistant and helps with planning/coordinating national conferences and Board meetings. She is experienced in retail management and event planning. Ruddock, a native of Florida, is married and enjoys going to NASCAR races.