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VOL. 42 | NO. 22 | Friday, June 1, 2018

Nashville Bar Association fetes pro bono volunteers

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Chris Mayfield, assistant vice president of development for HCA Inc., has been honored as the Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year award by Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, Tennessee’s largest nonprofit law firm.

Also, the Pro Bono Leadership Award was awarded to the Tennessee Office of the Attorney General & Reporter, with Senior Counsel Stuart Wilson-Patton accepting the award on behalf of the office.

Legal Aid Society Executive Director DarKenya Waller presented the awards during the Nashville Bar Association’s annual Law Day lunch on May 4.

Legal Aid Society has presented the Volunteer of the Year award since 1984, and the Pro Bono Leadership award to a law firm or organization since 2007. This year’s Law Day lunch marks the 60th anniversary of Law Day, which recognizes the important role of law in society.

Mayfield, recipient of the Volunteer of the Year award, has the last two years advised more than 50 Legal Aid Society clients facing eviction, debt collection and employment challenges, using an interpreter in some cases to communicate with Spanish- or Arabic-speaking clients.

He’s taken part in Legal Aid Society’s legal help clinics in partnership with Metro Nashville Public Schools, serving immigrant and refugee families located in the Overton and Glencliff areas. In addition, he has worked with elderly Middle Tennesseans to prepare wills, advance care directives and powers of attorney.

The Office of the Attorney General & Reporter, recipients of the Pro Bono Leadership award, has actively participated in Legal Aid Society’s legal help clinics since 2017 when its lawyers took part in a dedicated training session. More than 20 lawyers from the office have committed their time to Legal Aid Society.

Singer-Gabella joins MNPS as chief of staff


Marcy Singer-Gabella, Ph.D., has joined Metro Nashville Public Schools as chief of staff.

Singer-Gabella has served as a faculty member at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College since 1991. During this time, she worked extensively with both prospective and practicing teachers and leaders, including the Principals’ Leadership Academy of Nashville and the Tennessee Governor’s Academy for School Leadership. She has taught courses in learning, teaching, assessment and school turnaround.

Singer-Gabella also served as assistant provost for Initiatives in Education, associate chair for Teacher Education and director of the Teaching and Learning in Urban Schools program, a master’s degree program for MNPS practicing teachers focused on strengthening instructional practice, leadership and advocacy.

As chief of staff, Singer-Gabella will lead collaboration between Metro Schools and external partners. She also will ensure programs and initiatives support MNPS’ strategic plan while supporting members of the leadership team to ensure collaboration across all divisions.

In addition, she will manage the operation of the Director’s Office and oversee the Research, Assessment and Evaluation Department, Communications Department and Community and Business Engagement function.

39 graduate from Leadership Middle TN

Thirty-nine community and business leaders from Middle Tennessee have graduated from Leadership Middle Tennessee, Inc., a regional leadership institute.

The 2018 class is from the 10-county area which includes Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Maury, Montgomery, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson.

The 2018 Leadership Middle Tennessee (LMT) graduates and their respective counties are:


Detra Emery, principal, Cheatham County School System

Renea Rosson, director of career services, Workforce Essentials


Kamadi Camp, director of clinical programs, HCA Sarah Cannon

Chuck Cinelli, CEO/principal, Cafe Coco

Laurel Graefe, director, Regional Economic Information Network, Federal Reserve Bank

Trish Holliday, assistant commissioner and state chief learning officer, Tennessee Department of Human Resources

Carol Hudler, CEO/president, Cumberland Region Tomorrow

Lynda Jones, General sessions judge, Metropolitan Government

Clark Spoden, partner, Burr & Forman, LLP

Dalih Suchet, president, Whitehall Benefits

Terry Vo, external affairs, Comcast


Jana Curcio, community organizer

Casey Mahoney, director of customer interface, TN Department of Environment & Conservation


Rupa DeLoach, economic development manager, Maury County Chamber and Economic Alliance

Bethany Lay, chief development officer, Columbia State Community College


Abby Binkley, executive director, Clarksville-Montgomery Co. Education Foundation

Darwin Eldridge, supervisory Internal Revenue agent (retired)

Doug Heimback, military analyst ii/test pilot, ECS-Federal

Norman Quirion, marketing coordinator, City of Clarksville Transit System

Patrick Turner, vice president sales, Ajax Distributing Company, Inc.


Edison Guthrie, president, Draughon Bros.

Diana Pelham, district development director, Robertson/Sumner County YMCA


Chuck Barber, government relations administrator, MTEMC

William Coggin, safety and facilities services coordinator, National Health Care Corp

Meagan Flippin, CEO/president, United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties

Regina Medlen, vice president/Smyrna market manager, Franklin Synergy Bank


PJ Davis, executive director, Gallatin Shalom Zone

Steve Luther, owner, CHORD Real Estate

Doug Turner, CIO, Physician Services, HCA

Susan Williams, senior vice president, Andrew Jackson Foundation


Brant Bousquet, executive director, Hard Bargain Association

Jeffrey Carson, senior vice president/senior trust officer, U.S. Trust/Bank of America

Mary Lankford, Franklin city president, FirstBank

Elizabeth Mefferd, regional vice president and executive director, BBB Middle TN, Inc.

Daniel Spann, vice president, transportation business unit director, Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon


Donna Harris, vice president of finance, Hunt Brothers Pizza, LLC

Michelle Hill, executive director, Empower Me Center

Jason Loggins, market president, Bank of Tennessee

Helen McPeak, executive director, Wilson County Promotions

The nine-month program highlights historic and contemporary perspectives on relevant regional themes and features presentations by leading experts and key community leaders. Sessions employ a mix of interactive presentations, facilitated dialogue, behind-the-scenes visits and more.

Leadership Middle Tennessee was formed in 1999 as an initiative of Partnership 2000 to contribute to future planned and sustainable economic and community growth and development in the fast-growing 10-county area through the participation of community leaders in an annual regional leadership program.

Southeast Venture hires Parrish as broker


Nashville-based commercial real estate and design firm Southeast Venture announced today the addition of Cole Parrish as the firm’s newest broker.

Parrish joins the firm from the Tenant Advisory and Office Leasing group at Cushman & Wakefield, where he worked in brokerage, market and financial analysis, administrative and research capabilities, and commercial transactions.

Parrish earned a degree in economics & finance from Sewanee: The University of the South.

Chef named best of national restaurant chain


Jerry Morales, executive chef at Firebirds Wood Fired Grill in Brentwood, has been named Firebirds’ chef of the year for his back-of-the-house leadership, culinary prowess, staff morale, restaurant sales, guest count and guest satisfaction in 2017. Firebirds, with 45 locations nationwide, recognized him recently at the company’s annual award conference.

A Tennessee native and 10-year Firebirds team member, Morales previously served as the executive chef at Firebirds’ Memphis restaurant. He began working there while in high school.

Fifth Third Private Bank adds senior trust officer


Fifth Third Private Bank has hired Peter Dirksen as a vice president and senior trust officer in Nashville.

Dirksen has more than 16 years of financial services experience. Most recently, he was a wealth strategist with U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management.

Dirksen earned a degree in accounting from the University of Georgia and law degrees from Mercer University – Walter F. George School of Law and the University of Florida.

Heart Association names chairman for Heart Walk

de Crescenzo

Neil de Crescenzo, president and CEO of Change Healthcare, has been named chairman of the 2018 Healthy for Good Heart Walk and will lead 30 local executives in their effort to tackle heart disease and stroke.

de Crescenzo has been at the helm of Change Healthcare since 2013, leading teams across multiple healthcare segments to help customers and other industry stakeholders accelerate their efforts to improve healthcare.

Additionally, de Crescenzo currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Nashville Health Care Council, Nashville Health and executive committee of the board of the Healthcare Leadership Council.

Set for September 15 at Vanderbilt University’s Capers Field and presented by Change Healthcare and Vanderbilt Heart, the Healthy for Good Heart Walk is part of The American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good movement, which encourages Americans to lead healthier lives by delivering science-based recommendations, tools, tips and motivation to build healthier behaviors.

Barca makes move from college athletics to MP&F


Brandon Barca, former director of multimedia integration for the University of Oregon athletic department, has joined MP&F Strategic Communications as a senior account executive.

Barca brings 18 years of experience in sports communications and marketing, including digital strategy, social media, branding, consumer engagement and promotions. Prior to his work at Oregon, Barca held positions with the Vanderbilt and UT athletic departments, as well as the Nashville Predators.

In his 13 years at Vanderbilt, Barca received national recognition for producing original content, including the first viral football walk-on scholarship video and a behind-the-scenes series on the Commodores.

Barca graduated from the University of Tennessee with a master’s degree in sport management.

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