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VOL. 44 | NO. 12 | Friday, March 20, 2020

MNPS board appoints Battle director of schools

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The Board of Education for Metro Nashville Public Schools has selected Adrienne Battle as director of schools. Battle, who has led the district as interim director for the past 11 months, is the first woman to serve in this role for Metro Schools.

Board Chair Anna Shepherd said Battle has brought stability and a sense of security to the school district while guiding it through its recovery from the devastating March 3 tornado and leading the response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The Board voted unanimously both to end the search process and to select Battle. District 3 school board member Jill Speering was out of the country and unable to attend the meeting. The board will enter contract negotiations with Battle to finalize the terms of her appointment when the entire board can be present.

The board voted Jan. 14, to adopt a search process for selecting and interviewing candidates for the position. Of the 19 candidates who applied, five were selected to be interviewed by the board. March 3, the Board suspended interviews previously scheduled for the week of March 2-6 as a result of the tornado damage and recovery effort. March 10, the board adopted a new timeline and interview schedule, but it suspended that effort March 12 so the district could respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Battle brings more than 20 years of academic leadership experience within Metro Nashville Public Schools to her post.

Before the job of interim director, she served the southeast quadrant as one of the district’s four community superintendents, as an executive lead principal for priority and elementary schools, the executive principal at Antioch High School and the academic principal and assistant principal at Glencliff High School.

She also has held other leadership and teaching positions within Metro Schools and has served as an adjunct faculty member for the University of Phoenix and Tennessee State University.

She holds master’s, educational specialist and doctorate degrees from Tennessee State University and a bachelor’s from Missouri State University.

CFMT raises $6.5M for tornado relief

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee has raised more than $6.5 million with 18,000 donors making pledges.

The funds will go to the Middle Tennessee Emergency Response Fund with initial grants going to 27 area organizations and nonprofits throughout affected communities.

The Fund was established just hours after deadly tornadoes ripped through Nashville and Middle Tennessee, leaving at least two dozen dead and hundreds of homes and businesses destroyed or damaged.

Contributions to the Fund range from a few dollars to $1 million each by singer Taylor Swift and The Titans Foundation and controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk. Nonprofits receiving initial grants from CFMT Middle Tennessee Emergency Response Fund included 27 organizations:

• Backfield in Motion

• Community Resource Center

• Cumberland Mental Health Services (Wilson County)

• Donelson-Hermitage Family YMCA

• The Equity Alliance

• Family & Children’s Service

• Gideon’s Army

• Hands On Nashville, Inc.

• Holly Street Daycare

• Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship

• Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership Inc (J.U.M.P.)

• Lee Chapel AME Church

• Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee & the Cumberlands

• Martha O’Bryan Center

• NAACP Nashville

• Nashville Food Project

• Neighborhood Health Services

• Northwest Family YMCA

• Project Connect Nashville

• Rebuilding Together Nashville

• Second Harvest Food Bank

• St. Ann’s Episcopal Church

• Team Rubicon (Putnam County)

• Tennessee State University (Agricultural Department)

• Urban League of Middle Tennessee

• Westminster Home Connection

• World Central Kitchen Inc.

To donate: www.cfmt.org.

Groups360 partners with Utah tech firm

Nashville-based Groups360 and RainFocus of Utah have announced a strategic alliance.

The partnership brings together Groups360’s innovative online marketplace for hotel and venue sourcing with RainFocus’s comprehensive suite of event management technology.

Both companies are pouring their deep expertise across the meetings and events industry into improving the experiences of meeting planners, event professionals and attendees. The two companies are eliminating the need for complex, outdated products by providing state-of-the-art visibility and powerful tools to boost ROI. Together, Groups360 and RainFocus offer meeting planners a comprehensive event management solution from planning to post-con.

Groups360’s proprietary platform, GroupSyncTM, delivers the first truly transparent, efficient and cost-effective online tool for meeting planners to source and book meetings and events across a wide selection of hotel and venue brands. In August 2019, four major hospitality companies – Accor, Hilton, IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) and Marriott International – invested a combined $50 million to enhance the GroupSync platform and transform the way meetings and events are booked to benefit both sides of the group-events transaction.

BlueCross Blue Shield invests in emids

Nashville’s emids, a digital engineering and transformation solutions company for the health care industry, has announced a strategic equity investment from BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners (the Blue Venture Fund).

The investment strengthens its position as the preferred partner for digital transformation to health care and life sciences firms.

“We are exceptionally excited about this partnership as it aligns seamlessly with our growth plan,” says emids founder and CEO Saurabh Sinha. “Part of that plan is broadening our work with health plans, an industry vertical that is under increasing pressure to quickly adopt new strategies that harness the power of digital capabilities and analytics. We look forward to partnering closely with Blues plans and payers more broadly in their digital transformation journeys.”

The emids company works with payers, providers, health technology companies and life sciences firms to accelerate the adoption of next-generation digital technologies and manage an increasingly complex data ecosystem to drive high quality, accessible and affordable health care. Building on emids’ partnership with New Mountain Capital in 2019, this newly announced investment from the Blue Venture Fund allows emids to leverage its category leadership and experience, working with payers to support Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies among the more than 30 BCBS plans that participate in the Blue Venture Fund.

HealthStream purchases NurseGrid app maker

HealthStream of Nashville, a provider of workforce and provider solutions for the health care industry, has acquired NurseGrid, a Portland, Oregon-based health care technology company.

Through this acquisition, the HealthStream gains NurseGrid Mobile, the No. 1 rated and top downloaded app for nurses, and its corollary application for nurse managers, NurseGrid Enterprise.

Nurses use NurseGrid Mobile to manage and share their schedules, swap shifts, communicate with one another, and to coordinate work and non-work activities. NurseGrid Mobile users can invite their colleagues to connect within the app. The NurseGrid Enterprise application helps health care managers more efficiently publish work schedules to their nursing staff, view and approve shift swaps, and communicate with their teams.

Southern Living praises Nashville, Peg Leg

Southern Living’s fourth annual South Best’s Awards places Nashville among its top Southern cities along with Charleston, Savannah, New Orleans and Austin.

In-depth coverage of the winners will appear in the April edition on sale March 20. Gatlinburg was named best mountain town in the South, and Nashville’s Peg Leg Porker earned best barbecue in the state.

Also Organics launches CBD product lines

Also Organics, a new brand owned and operated in Nashville, is entering the CBD products market with a new approach and formulations for adults, pets and children.

The company creates alternative personal wellness products with the finest, full-spectrum, whole plant CBD (and CBG - cannabigerol), all made from 100% American-grown, organic hemp. Also Organics offers a wide range of products including tinctures, gummies, gel caps, balms, salves, lotions and more.

The family of products was developed to satisfy discerning, health-conscious consumers who are looking to include reliable and high-quality CBD into their daily health regime. Also Organics formulations utilize water soluble nano-particles to increase the efficiency of absorption and efficacy of CBD dosages.

Ncontract earns 2020 TN Roaring 20 award

Brentwood’s Ncontracts, a provider of integrated risk and compliance management solutions for financial institutions, has been recognized with a 2020 Tennessee Roaring 20 awarded by the Tennessee chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth.

The Roaring 20 Awards were developed by ACG’s Tennessee chapter of an international organization of professionals focused on growing companies. Tennessee’s fastest growing bootstrapped and institutionally backed companies were celebrated and recognized. Companies were selected based on revenue growth and employee growth in the past three years.

Michael Berman, CEO of Ncontracts. Ncontract’s cloud-based platform enables banks, credit unions, and mortgage companies in all 50 U.S. states to automate their risk management and compliance activities. Clients are able to save time in assessing and managing risks related to the financial products they market to consumers and ensure that their compliance activities are accurate and complete. The need for this “Regtech” software has become more critical as federal and state regulations have become more complex.

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