Shara Shoup grew up in Chattanooga and moved to Knoxville to attend graduate school at the University of Tennessee. Looking for a church to call home, she began attending Emerald Avenue UMC and volunteered with Emerald Youth Foundation in its early years leading Wednesday night small groups, tutoring high school students, and serving on weekend camp crews.
She holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry and a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry. Shara's "first career" was as a chemist working at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and then for MicroCoating Technologies in Atlanta, a start-up company out of Georgia Tech, where she was a business unit director and best practices manager.
Being obedient to God's next steps for her life, Shara moved back to Knoxville where she started her "second career" with Emerald Youth in 2004, first as the development director before moving into operations.
Today, Emerald Avenue UMC is still home for Shara and her family, and her children are involved in Emerald Youth Foundation's ministries. She refers to herself as Emerald Youth's "Official Data Nerd" and loves all things related to Excel spreadsheets!