Gwen McKenzie was named executive director of Legacy Housing Foundation in September 2020. Gwen comes to the position with decades of marketing and customer service experience with CVS Health as well as extensive community service and involvement. She has served as City Councilwoman for Knoxville’s 6th district since 2017 and was appointed Vice Mayor in December of 2019.
“We are thrilled to have someone of Gwen’s caliber and are confident she will lead the foundation in an exciting direction,” said Carolyn Levy Gilliam at the announcement. Gilliam is an attorney with McDonald, Levy & Taylor, PLLC, who chairs Legacy’s board of directors. “Gwen’s incredible passion for our community’s citizens combined with her strong leadership abilities make her ideal for this role.” “I’m excited for the opportunity to do more for our communities, especially among those where citizens have limited means and are more vulnerable,” McKenzie said.
Gwen is a lifelong resident of Knoxville and has been active in the community for many years. Gwen’s passion for service and equality was instilled in her by her parents the late Woodrow Z. Wilson (first Executive Director of the Knoxville Area Urban League and Civil Rights Activist) and the late Dora C. Wilson (retired school teacher and community volunteer). Gwen and her husband Sam have a blended family of 6 children and 1 dog (Lucky) she lives in East Knoxville and attends Foster Chapel Baptist Church. Gwen is a member of Town Hall East, NAACP and currently serves on the following boards: Community Action Committee (CAC), Girl Talk, Inc., Knoxville Area Urban League, World United Ministries, Zoo Knoxville and several advisory committees. Her awards and recognition include Home Federal Bank Hometown Hero and CVS National Paragon Award.