Dismas House and Kay Kretsch honored with 2024 Best in Business by Nashville Business Journal

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Dismas House and Kay Kretsch, CEO were selected as 2024 Best In Business Awards Honorees. Read on to learn how Dismas House continues to evolve and find success. Read about all the honorees through the link below.

It’s time to meet the 2024 Best in Business Award honorees.

It’s no surprise to anyone in business that Nashville’s growth hasn’t come without some challenges: increased difficulty finding talent, recruiting people to an area that continues to see rising costs and, of course, increased competition for nearly everything.

The companies recognized here are tackling all those issues (and more) head-on.

Read on to learn how this year’s honorees continue to evolve and find success — from their WFH policy to DEI strategies to their biggest challenges. You might just take away some tips you can use at your own company.

Check back on the website to read more from this year’s class, including how they’re incorporating AI and — just for fun — what they would name a downtown honky-tonk.

Join us in congratulating all of this year’s finalists and winners.

Kay Kretsch

Dismas House


Nonprofit/Institution: 1-25 Employees Winner

Top executive

Kay Kretsch, CEO

2023 Operating Budget


Our WFH policy:

Given the nature of programming for the population Dismas House serves, employees primarily work on-site. Staff members choose one day weekly to work remotely.

Lessons we’ve learned:

1. Strategic planning processes must be based on a business framework, or an organization will not improve or grow. 2. Nonprofit organizations cannot afford the cost or effects of high staff turnover; it is vital to hire the right people and pay for performance. 3. A housing-first reentry model with evidenced-based programming and wraparound supports is key to achieving a single-digit recidivism rate. 4. Developing collaborations is key to bringing expertise to an organization and its programming.

Our keys to success:

Strong collaborations with community organizations (including legal teams and workforce development partners) has been instrumental in the success of Dismas House’s residents. The implementation of evidence-based programming and wraparound supports through Dismas House’s 2020 expansion was vital to serving the holistic needs of residents, along with additional justice-involved members of the community.

Survey completed by:

Victoria Roth, director of marketing & communications