The Iris Compass Foundation was founded in 2012 to help empower women and provide a new direction for women in need. We are dedicated to helping any woman expand her mind, but especially women without the financial means to do so otherwise. We will do this through education and support, and by providing or directing women to appropriate resources. We will do this, in part, through donations from the community and friends of the foundation, as well as grants. Another way we fund our activities is through making and selling our own jewelry. We aim to be partially self-sustaining while teaching women new skills; we hope to expand in the future to selling bags and other sewn items.
The mission of the Iris Compass Foundation is to foster independence and empower women through information and educational opportunities. The foundation aims to help any woman (sober and willing) wishing to make a change in their life but does not know where to start or what to do next. The Iris Compass Foundation has a goal of building a property that will house up to 120 women. The foundation will include classrooms, a medical area, and other resources. Initially, the foundation will serve Middle Tennessee; the goal is to grow to provide services at the state level, then regionally, nationally and ultimately, internationally.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors for The Iris Compass Foundation was established in the Summer of 2012 to serve as a steering committee to ensure the foundation is successful in its goal of fostering independence and empowering women.
Kristie M. Holmes, MBA
Founder and Executive Director
Ms. Holmes grew up in Memphis, TN where she attended the University of Memphis, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, with an emphasis in Public Relations. Holmes moved to Nashville, TN in 2006 where she worked in sales. After some personal experiences left her near homeless and unemployed, she began the process of rebuilding her life at the age of 32. Holmes now holds a Master of Business Administration from Bethel University’s College of Professional Studies and is currently in pursuit of her Doctorate of Philosophy in Human Services/Non-Profit Management and Leadership at Capella University.
Heather McLarney recently moved to Nashville from Charlotte, North Carolina, but has also lived in Atlanta, Georgia, Phoenix, Arizona and Columbus, Ohio. She serves as the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Change Healthcare, a leading provider of software and analytics, network solutions and technology-enabled services designed to enable smarter healthcare. Heather has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Ohio University, and an MBA from University of Phoenix, which she earned through the in-class evening program while working full-time.
Leah’s passion for education, serving others, and meaningful communication is what lead her to the Iris Compass Foundation. Utilizing her educational background, Leah supports, the ICF’s mission of empowering women so they may attain independence, financial stability, and ultimately, their dreams.