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VOL. 43 | NO. 18 | Friday, May 3, 2019

Newell joins Fifth Third as wealth management adviser

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Paul M. Newell II has joined the private banking team at Fifth Third Bank as a vice president and wealth management adviser.

Newell brings five years of experience in financial services and wealth planning with day-to-day plan implementation; estate planning and business planning. His experience spans a variety of financial services roles from client adviser to branch manager and personal banker.

Newell most recently served as a vice president and client adviser of private wealth management at SunTrust where he worked with high net-worth clients. Before joining SunTrust, Newell worked in a private practice where he advised clients and litigated on civil matters.

Newell graduated from the Charleston School of Law and is a licensed attorney. He also is a graduate of Presbyterian College.


Also at Fifth Third, Eddie Black has been hired as a vice president and business banking relationship manager.

Black joins Fifth Third with more than 20 years of financial services experience in business banking, wealth management and retail banking in the Southeast. He has led high-performing financial services teams and provided creative solutions tailored to the unique needs of small businesses in Nashville, Kentucky and North Georgia. Black more recently was a senior vice president and wealth management, market banking director for PNC in Kentucky.

Black is a graduate of Lipscomb University and holds a master’s degree from Wilmington University.

Rea selected as CIO of Baker Donelson


Baker Donelson has named Lance N. Rea as the firm’s chief information officer.

As CIO, Rea is responsible for the strategic direction and management of all aspects of Baker Donelson’s information technology systems, and will oversee a team of more than 50 information technology professionals across the Firm’s 21 offices in 10 states and Washington, D.C.

Before joining Baker Donelson, Rea served as CIO at the firm of Epstein Becker Green in New York. His previous experience also includes serving 10 years as CIO of the New York-based full-service law firm of Davis & Gilbert, and working as a consultant with MDY Advanced Technologies, a New Jersey-based information technology consulting firm focused on the legal market.

Rea has served on the board of the New York Chapter of the FBI InfraGard Security Alliance and is a regular speaker at International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) conferences.

In 1994, Rea completed the Japanese Business Administration program at Seinan Gakuin University in Fukuoka, Japan. He then enrolled in advanced studies in geology and computer science at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

First Farmers adds Nigh as regional president


First Farmers and Merchants Bank, a community bank serving Middle Tennessee with 22 banking locations in seven counties, has named veteran banker Bill Nigh as its regional president and head of commercial banking. He will be responsible for continuing to grow First Farmers’ business and commercial banking lines.

Nigh, a longtime Synovus executive with more than 40 years of banking experience, served as regional CEO and the local market leader for Synovus/The Bank of Nashville from 2010 until 2017.

A graduate of Texas Tech University, Nigh started his banking career as a teller and advanced to vice president of commercial loans within about a decade’s time. He went on to senior leadership roles with Columbus Bank & Trust Company and Synovus before becoming COO and senior credit officer of First Commercial Bank of Huntsville. He later served as CEO for Trust One Bank in Memphis before his most recent role with Synovus.

Vandy Board of Trust adds 4 members, reappoints 6

The Vanderbilt Board of Trust has elected Lawrence Epstein, Suzanne Perot McGee and Corey E. Thomas to five-year terms.

In addition, Somto C. Dimobi was elected as a Young Alumni Leader for a two-year term to begin July 1, 2022, following her three-year term on the board of the Vanderbilt Alumni Association. Rebecca Chong will begin her two-year term on the board as a Young Alumni Leader on July 1.

Adolpho A. Birch III, Shirley M. Collado, Jay C. Hoag, John R. Ingram and Jeffrey J. Rothschild were re-elected to second five-year terms. Bruce R. Evans, who serves as board chair, was elected to a third four-year term to complete his term as chair in 2023. Lee M. Bass, who was elected to the board in 2009, was elected as an emeritus trustee to commence when his second term ends June 30.

Epstein, of Las Vegas, serves as senior executive vice president and chief operating officer for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He is responsible for all worldwide operations, from managing global business strategies to establishing policies that drive company culture and evaluating overall performance and growth. Epstein also is the president of IKE Gaming Inc., a family enterprise that owns the El Cortez Hotel and Casino. Previously, he was a law partner at Beckley Singleton.

McGee, of Dallas, serves as a director of the Perot Foundation and the Petrus Trust Company. She is also a founding donor of The Perot Museum of Nature and Science. McGee co-chaired the Comprehensive Campaign for the Episcopal School of Dallas and served as vice chairman of the Board of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas.

Thomas, of Boston, serves as president, chief executive officer and director of Rapid7, a cybersecurity company that he took public in 2012. He has extensive experience leading technology companies to the next stage of growth and innovation. His previous positions include vice president of marketing at Parallels Inc., a virtualization technology company; group project manager of the Microsoft Server and Tools division; and a consultant at Deloitte Consulting. He is a co-founder of Pillar, a venture capital firm that invests in and supports entrepreneurs.

Chong, of Denver, grew up in Kingston, Jamaica, then moved to Orlando before enrolling at Vanderbilt. She created her own interdisciplinary major, multicultural and diversity studies, and minored in human and organizational development. While on campus, Chong worked in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. She was also involved in Vanderbilt Student Government, the Multicultural Leadership Council and Greek Life, and studied abroad in Morocco. She now works at the Google Boulder campus as a solutions consultant on the Global Customer Care team.

Dimobi, from Nigeria, will graduate in May from the School of Engineering with a major in chemical engineering and a minor in engineering management. She has been named consistently to the dean’s list. Since 2016, Dimobi has worked at the Searle Systems Biology and Bioengineering Undergraduate Research Experience, and received the “Ultimate Crusher” award as its most productive summer research student in 2016. She is a past regional international chairperson of the National Society of Black Engineers and chair emeritus of the International Students Office Advisory Board.

Register of Deeds appoints financial analyst to team


Davidson County Register of Deeds Karen Johnson has appointed financial analyst Lovie D. Grant to the office’s leadership team.

With more than 30 years of experience in accounting and finance, Grant brings experience in controls, reconciliation and analysis.

Grant received her MBA in e-business from the University of Phoenix and a degree in accounting from Ferris State University.

Turner elevates White to health, safety director


Turner Construction Company’s Nashville office has promoted Tyler White to business unit environmental health and safety director. White joined Turner in 2003 as a tradesperson and has served as a project safety manager since 2008.

White will lead Turner’s environmental health and safety program and supervise all safety professionals in the business unit. During his 16 years at Turner, White has played a significant role in a number of the company’s projects.

Most recently, he has been overseeing the safety of Turner’s development at 1200 Broadway, a 27-story, 755,000 square-foot luxury apartment and mixed-use building. His other recent projects have included the $82 million, 137,000 square-foot Tennessee State Museum and a $8.7 million renovation of St. Thomas Midtown Hospital.

White earned a degree in safety and health from Columbia State University. He has completed OSHA’s 500-hour certification and earned a Construction Health & Safety certification.

Tennessee Treasurer appointed to Foundation


Tennessee State Treasurer David H. Lillard Jr. has been appointed to the board of trustees of the Financial Accounting Foundation.

In the decade he has served as one of Tennessee’s three constitutional officers, Lillard has worked to advocate for Tennessee through his financial leadership roles in national organizations. He served as president of the National Executive Committee of the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers in 2016-2017 and was a recipient of the 2012 NASACT President’s Award recognizing outstanding service.

In 2015, he served as president of the National Association of State Treasurers. He has represented NAST on the Governmental Accounting Standards Advisory Council.

Middle Tennesseans picked for state vet board


The Tennessee Veterinary Medical Association recently named its 2019-20 executive board, which includes two from Middle Tennessee. The new board officers are:

• President: Danny Walker, DVM, University of Tennessee at Martin

• President elect: Matt Povlovich, DVM, Tennessee Equine Hospital, Thompson’s Station

• Vice president: Tai Federico, DVM, Riverview Animal Hospital, Chattanooga

• Secretary/treasurer: Margaret (Midge) Phillips, DVM, Clovercroft Veterinary Hospital, Franklin

• Immediate past president: Russell Reel, DVM, Morristown Animal Hospital, Morristown;

Six at-large members were elected to represent East, West and Middle Tennessee. They are:

• Joanne Hibbs, DVM, Tazewell Pike Animal Clinic, Corryton

• Robert Monin, DVM, Mountain Empire Large Animal Hospital, Johnson City

• Bob Parker, DVM, Shelby Center Hospital for Animals, Bartlett

• Laura Dabney, Northside Animal Clinic, Humboldt

• Beau House, DVM, Nashville Veterinary Specialists, Nashville

• Julie Buford, DVM, Nashville Veterinary Specialists, Nashville

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