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VOL. 43 | NO. 34 | Friday, August 23, 2019

Women in Litigation taps Hollabaugh for Top 250

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Lela M. Hollabaugh of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP in Nashville has been selected for the Top 250 Women In Litigation 2019.


She is among the more than 225 litigators – comprising nearly half of the firm – who make up Bradley’s Litigation Practice Group.

Managing partner of Bradley’s Nashville office, Hollabaugh has served as the lead trial lawyer in more than a dozen jury trials, as well as more than two dozen bench trials, arbitrations and administrative hearings.

She advises leading natural gas pipeline companies and other infrastructure clients on issues involving location, land acquisition, construction and operations. She also represents leading pharmaceutical, medical device and other manufacturers in matters ranging from individual lawsuits to mass tort cases around the country.

Bass, Berry & Sims welcomes associates

Bass, Berry & Sims has added three new associates to its Nashville office.




J. Patrick Huston focuses his practice on the tax aspects of complex business transactions and reorganizations, working with clients on tax issues related to mergers and acquisitions, capital markets transactions, and venture capital and private equity investments. Previously, Huston served as a judicial extern for Judge Albert G. Lauber at the U.S. Tax Court.

He earned an LL.M. in taxation from Georgetown University Law Center (2019), a J.D. from the University of Mississippi School of Law (2018), and an M.Acc. (2017) and a B.S.B.A. (2014) from the University of West Florida.

Dillon Reid advises clients on corporate and securities issues including mergers and acquisitions, capital markets transactions, and securities regulations matters and filings.

Previously, Reid was an associate at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP in New York. He earned a J.D. from Cornell Law School (2017) and a B.AS. from the University of Tennessee (2014).

He is currently licensed to practice in New York and registered to practice in Tennessee pursuant to Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 7 Sec. 3.05.

Nikki Wethington helps clients in the healthcare industry navigate complex business transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, investments and divestitures. Previously, she was an associate at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP. She earned a J.D. from Indiana University Mauer School of Law (2016) and an M.S.Ed. (2011) and a B.AS. (2008) from Purdue University.

Wethington is currently licensed to practice in Indiana and registered to practice in Tennessee pursuant to Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 7 Sec. 5.01

Nash. State Foundation names board members




The Nashville State Community College Foundation has announced new members of its 2019-2020 board of trustees.

Beginning a three-year term are Greg Martz, Dr. Richard Rhoda, Deb Varallo and Robert Sherrill who will join 19 other board members.

Martz served as plant manager of the Chemours Johnsonville Plant from January 2012 until his recent retirement in April. He joined DuPont in 1988 and stayed on when it became Chemours in July 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Youngstown State University.

Rhoda retired in 2014 as executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, after serving in the post for 17 years. He dedicated his entire 40-year career to higher education in Tennessee, first joining the Tennessee Board of Regents staff as a graduate student. In post-retirement, Rhoda teaches as an adjunct professor for East Tennessee State University and directs the ETSU Center for Community College Leadership. Rhoda’s degrees, a bachelor’s in history, a master’s in education, and PhD in higher education administration, are all from Vanderbilt University.

Varallo, a Nashville native and graduate of Baylor University, founded Varallo Public Relations, a full-service marketing, public relations and crisis management firm in 1991. She has been named to Nashville Post’s InCharge list since it was established and named to their All-Star board. She is a member of Society of Fellows for TEDxNashville and recognized by the YWCA of Middle Tennessee as a Woman of Achievement. She is a Mentor for the Leadership Catholic 2019 Class, and is president-elect of the International Women’s Forum – Tennessee Chapter.

Sherrill is the president & CEO of Imperial Cleaning Systems (ICS), a growing commercial cleaning, restoration and janitorial company based in Nashville. With over 12 years of experience in the industry, Sherrill is certified as an MBE/DBE and works to educate others on the necessary processes to grow businesses and contracts. As an entrepreneur and small business owner, he is vice president of The Winner’s Circle, a Nashville-based entrepreneur mastermind group, co-founder of theLAB Nashville.

The 2019-2020 NSCC Foundation Board of Trustees:

Joey Hatch (retired), Board Chair

Vic Alexander, Kraft CPAs

Scott Brisson, UBS

Ginna Burrell, Gullett Sanford Robinson & Martin, PLLC

Bob Clement, Clement & Associates

Kathy Cloninger, Girl Scouts of the USA, CEO Emeritus

Chad Custer, Nelson Mazda

Nancy Eisenbrandt, Nashville Chamber of Commerce

Stephen Francescon, Piedmont Natural Gas

Paula Harris, Barge Design Solutions

Chef Max Knoepfel, Music City Center

Jovonna Palmer, community volunteer

Randy Rayburn, Midtown Café/Cabana

Laquita Stribling, Randstad USA

Nick Taras, Sysco Nashville (retired)

Jennifer Way, Way Solutions

Kelly West, Dell EMC

Rod West, Dollar General Corporation

Derek Young, YMG Enterprises

Governor’s Excellence honor goes to Flatt

Whitney Flatt of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture has won the Governor’s Excellence in Service Award.


The biannual award recognizes outstanding state employees who are at the forefront of improving the way state government delivers services.

Flatt is the international trade consultant in the Business Development Division. Her primary role is to lead the department’s trade-focused initiatives, promoting Tennessee value-added food, horticulture, livestock and genetics, and forestry and wood products abroad. She organizes and executes international trade shows and trade missions, as well as consults with growing Tennessee businesses, preparing them for entry into the global marketplace.

A team of TDA leaders nominated Flatt for the award.

Throughout the past 12 months, Flatt has organized and executed eight trade shows and trade missions for Tennessee agribusinesses, including a beer, wine, and spirits inbound trade mission where Canadian buying agents met with 13 Tennessee companies. Flatt is currently organizing a food-focused trade mission to Scandinavia this fall, and she will be leading four Tennessee wood products companies on a USDA trade mission to Vietnam this October.

She graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in international relations.

State health department appoints Witcher

Alexa Witcher is the new assistant commissioner for legislative affairs for the Tennessee Department of Health.

In this role, Witcher will direct and oversee the department’s legislative efforts and initiatives. She will also coordinate with and assist legislators in public health-related issues and departmental legislative proposals.


Witcher will develop the department’s annual legislative package and work with key members of the Tennessee General Assembly to ensure passage of key departmental initiatives. She will coordinate all TDH reports mandated by the legislature and facilitate departmental advisory committee appointments.

Previously, Witcher served as a legislative liaison and assistant general counsel for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation since 2016.

Witcher earned her Juris Doctor from Belmont University College of Law in Nashville and holds a degree from East Tennessee State University.

McPeak leads MTSU’s Musto Hall of Fame class




The Robert E. Musto Tennessee Insurance Hall of Fame at Middle Tennessee State University has announced the induction of three insurances professionals.

The inductees into the 2019 class are Julie Mix McPeak of Nashville, Mary Frances Miller of Nashville and William “Dick” Williams of Crossville.

An induction ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Murfreesboro.

McPeak, former commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, joined the Nashville location of the global law firm Greenberg Traurig earlier this year, focusing on insurance law and insurance regulation issues.

She has more than 25 years of legal and administrative experience in state government and was the first woman to serve as chief insurance regulator in more than one state, having also served as the executive director of the Kentucky Office of Insurance. In 2018, she served as president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and has served on the NAIC’s Executive Committee since 2013 in a variety of leadership roles.

Miller is a founder and senior consulting actuary at Select Actuarial Services in Nashville. She has been an active contributor to the actuarial profession since achieving her fellowship in the Casualty Actuarial Society in 1988.

Among accomplishments in her 30-year career, she has served as president of both the Casualty Actuarial Society and the American Academy of Actuaries and served on the board of directors of the Conference of Consulting Actuaries. She currently serves on the board of the Tennessee Captive Insurance Association. Her international work includes a six-year term as chair of the International Actuarial Association’s Education Committee and volunteer service with Actuaries Without Borders.

Williams has been president/CEO of The Plateau Group Inc. in Crossville and its two insurance subsidiaries, Plateau Insurance Co. and Plateau Casualty Insurance Co., since 1990.

Heart board adds two Middle Tennesseans

Two Middle Tennesseans have been named to the newly announced American Heart Association’s Southeast Affiliate board of directors for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

Local directors, both returning to serve for their second fiscal year, are: David Dill, president and CEO of LifePoint Health and Keith Wolken, chairman and CEO of SMS Holdings Corporation.

Dill is a longtime supporter and volunteer of the American Heart Association who has been involved with the association since 2013, serving on the local board since 2014 and as board president for two years.

Wolken has served on the board of the American Heart Association since 2005 and is a past chairman.

The American Heart Association Southeast region services Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Puerto Rico.

ROND’s O’Rourke hired by Ludi

Danielle O’Rourke has been hired as chief operating officer of Ludi, Inc., a health care technology and physician-advocacy firm.

Previously, O’Rourke founded ROND Capital, a Nashville-based private equity firm, where she served as CEO.

Earlier in her career, she held a principal position at Martin Ventures, worked at The Riverside Company and Brentwood Capital Advisors, and served on the board of directors for Ovia Health and Clockwise.

Irby joins MP&F team

Brittany Irby is a new account supervisor at MP&F Strategic Communications.

Irby, a Chicago native, has a strong track record as an education, outreach and community development specialist with a background rooted in nonprofit management.

Irby holds a Master of Public Administration degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from Tennessee State University.

Previously, she worked as a project manager for the Nashville Public Education Foundation, where she coordinated all aspects of NPEF’s policy and programming. She also previously worked as the Imagination Library manager for United Way of Metropolitan Nashville, and the education manager for the Center for Nonprofit Management.

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