About The Innovation District

Where Chattanooga’s entrepreneurs, academics, and creatives collide. 

Events Calendar

Discover activities and events in the area.

Resiliency Checklist

Everything you need to prepare your organization for a crisis.

Small Business Supports

Helping small business owners across the region.

The Edney Innovation Center

The front door to the Innovation District of Chattanooga.

Tech Goes Home

Expanding access to technology and teaching digital literacy.

Digital Access Committee

Bringing together partners to close the digital divide, together.

HCS EdConnect

Home internet at no cost to thousands of families.

Connected Communities: Orchard Knob

The OKC leverages the collective support of partner organizations to tackle the whole picture of health and wellness in the historically underserved neighborhood.


Answering the most basic and most complex questions about life in Chattanooga

EMPACT Program

Preparing residents for the jobs of tomorrow, and today. 

Chattanooga Smart Communities Collaborative

Working together to identify our region’s challenges and create solutions.

Environmental Sensors

Collecting and analyzing air quality data from across our region with US Ignite.

Education (4K Microscope & Lola)

High-tech tools in Hamilton County’s classrooms.

Community Connectivity

Expanding access to the internet in homes and neighborhoods.

A lifetime of learning: Reflections with retiring TEC CEO Deb Socia 

A headshot of Monique Kuykendoll Quarterman, MBA

Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to help communities create solutions to expand access to resources and education. I have had the good fortune to do work that makes a tangible difference in the places I’ve called home — and I would not change any of it.

As a longtime educator, I taught math and science and I have taught art. I taught a high school course I called “The Mathematics of Art” so my art students could see the connections of mathematics to their creations. Over time, my career evolved into addressing educational needs on a broader scale: started the nonprofit Tech Goes Home in Boston, the national nonprofit Next Century Cities, and eventually landed here in Chattanooga as President & CEO of The Enterprise Center in 2019.

As a principal, I was a bit of a maverick. I was also fortunate enough to learn from great bosses like Tom Pazant, then Superintendent of Boston Public Schools. I tried a wide variety of unusual tactics to keep the students engaged and learning — and Tom encouraged me to do so.

Even then, I recognized the disparity among students, particularly between those who had educational resources accessible at home and those who didn’t, so I helped to bring a pilot program that gave a laptop to every student in my school. (Our middle school was one of the very first urban schools in the country to do so.) Despite worries about theft, not one student laptop was stolen. From Tom I learned that it is ok to try and fail, but it is not ok to not try.

Over the years, lessons were also learned from not so wonderful bosses, like the person who took all the credit when things went well, but none of the blame when things did not. I didn’t mind her taking credit, but I sure was upset when I got the blame for things that were outside my control. As a curriculum coordinator at the time, I learned that I was not cut out for the politics of central office work. 

While leading Next Century Cities and living in DC, I learned how politics works from the inside out. I met with lawmakers and their staff members. I saw how bills get written, helped to write a few, and then watched as very few were passed. Change of any kind is so painfully slow and I respect folks who are able to work on a bill for years — we sure need folks with that kind of patience. From them, I learned that slow work is not for me. 

But by far, my greatest teachers have been children. Children are just honest — sometimes to a fault. I loved having them tell me how to do a better job. From children, I learned to listen, to ask questions, to understand that each child wants to be valued and lifted up and loved. I feel certain I learned about life from my students, and from me they learned to use mathematics in their lives. (I think I got the better end of the bargain.)

As I come close to the end of my working career, there are a few things I know. I know I will never “not work,” just that I may choose where and when and how to work differently. I will continue to be connected to the things that I am passionate about doing: connecting the unconnected, helping folks to learn a skill that will lead to a job with a living wage, improving outcomes with regard to mathematics education, and helping new leaders through mentorship. 

I plan to remain in Chattanooga where I have built a network of unbelievable mentors, colleagues, and friends. I have lived in many places and none have felt like home — until I arrived here. Chattanooga feels like home.