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  • Trina Frierson

Intention to Action to Impact

Mending Hearts has helped over 3500 women in the Middle Tennessee area regain their lives after addiction and incarceration. Trina Frierson is iconic in the social impact ecosystem. These are her thoughts on the power of bringing the discipline of strategic planning to the organization she started from her home 18 years ago with a plan she wrote out in longhand on a piece of paper. She knows what is needed to support someone breaking through the cycle of addiction. This year, she is celebrating her 25th year of sobriety. Trina is a 17 time felon whose belief in those who have walked the same path as she did is unshakeable.

When I started Mending Hearts as a 501(c)(3) in 2004 my vision was to help as many women recover from addiction as possible, regardless of their circumstances. While I had a sense of direction, I did not have a clear strategic plan of how I was going to turn intentions into actions. As the organization grew, I quickly learned the importance of identifying opportunities for growth and outlining measurable goals to move Mending Hearts forward.


Strategic planning is a unifying process for our team. We find that effective strategy includes innovation, collaboration, and motivation. We listen to each other’s ideas, identify areas where change is needed, and discuss what is working that we can build upon. As a team, we are able to focus on becoming the best version of ourselves. To initiate the blueprint, we strive to empower our employees to take ownership of their piece of the pie. Our team knows that the impact of our success is not self-serving. Ultimately, reaching our goals means that we bring transformation to the community of women we serve, and this alone strengthens our drive to succeed.

While there are several aspects of strategy that are crucial to achieving successful outcomes, implementation does not work without maintaining clarity and consistency to guide the organization in the day-to-day progress through our strategic plan. Leadership focuses on clearly defining where our staff should dedicate their time and resources. This eliminates any ambiguity and offers liberating support. By setting expectations and evaluating progress regularly we are able to assess and adjust the plan accordingly.


“Ultimately, a good leader knows she can’t do it by herself – so she builds a dedicated and powerful team and network around her to make them unstoppable together.”


The evolving vision of Mending Hearts could not be achieved without the overwhelming support of our volunteers, and dedication from the incredible team of leadership, staff and board members who work to fulfill our mission and can bring our strategic plan to life.





Trina Frierson is the President/CEO/Founder of Mending Hearts, Inc. located on a four block campus in the Nations neighborhood of Nashville, TN. The Mending Hearts program is recognized as the #1 residential treatment center in Tennessee that supports women in their journey to freedom from addiction to start their lives over. www.mendingheartinc.org








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