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VOL. 44 | NO. 27 | Friday, July 3, 2020

Bryant-McCormick, Stranch win 2020 Athena Awards

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Kee Bryant-McCormick, an attorney with Bone McAllester Norton, PLLC, is this year’s winner of the Athena Leadership Award, and Grace Stranch, an attorney who has been honored by the Tennessee Supreme Court for her commitment to pro bono work, has been named winner of the Athena Young Professional Leadership Award.

The awards, celebrating their 30th year, are presented annually by CABLE, a Nashville leadership organization for women’s professional advancement, and organized through the collaborative efforts of local women’s organizations, businesses and individual sponsors. Celebrating its 30th year, the event raises money for the ATHENA Scholarship Program, which has awarded more than $120,000 to support women in Middle Tennessee pursuing higher education.

The Athena Award celebrates women who demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their profession, contribute to their community and mentor other women. The Athena Young Professional Leadership Award highlights emerging women leaders between the ages of 25-40 who demonstrate excellence in their profession while serving as personal and professional role models for young women.

Bryant-McCormick, nominated by the Nashville Chapter of The Links, Inc., is the first African American woman to be selected as planning commissioner for Hendersonville, where she serves as vice chairman. She also is the first African American president of the Sumner County Bar Association.

Bryant-McCormic is a trustee for Volunteer State Community College and a graduate of both Leadership Middle Tennessee and Leadership Sumner.

Stranch, nominated by the Women’s Political Collaborative, sits on the diversity committees of the Tennessee Bar Association and Nashville Bar Association and serves as the legislative and lobbying co-chair for the Lawyers’ Association for Women.

Former Mayor Purcell joins Frost Brown Todd

Bill Purcell, the fifth mayor of Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County, has joined Frost Brown Todd. Purcell is serving as counsel in the firm’s Government Services practice group.

Purcell was elected to office in 1999 and reelected in 2003 with nearly 90% of the vote. During his tenure as mayor, Nashville was voted the best city in America for corporate headquarters and twice named the best city in the nation for business expansion or relocation.

Purcell has practiced law in Nashville for more than 30 years. He is both an experienced courtroom advocate and an adviser to chief executive officers on their companies’ dealings with governments at all levels.

He is the 2004 Distinguished Alumnus of his alma mater, the Vanderbilt University School of Law, and the 2006 recipient of the John C. Tune Award, the highest honor presented by the Nashville Bar Association for public service.

Purcell previously served as director of the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and presently serves on numerous public and private boards, including St. Bonaventure University and the Center for Nonprofit Management in Nashville.

As MDHA chairman, Purcell oversees the local government entity responsible not only for managing the city’s public housing assets and programs, but also for the ownership and development of hundreds of acres in the midst of one of the fastest-growing commercial development markets in the nation.

Edwards takes office as TBA president-elect

Brentwood attorney Sherie Edwards has taken on the role of president-elect of the Tennessee Bar Association last week during the group’s annual convention. Edwards will lead the association as president in 2021.

Edwards is vice president of corporate and legal for State Volunteer Mutual Insurance Company in Brentwood. Before joining SVMIC in 1998, she was director of risk management for Sumner Regional Medical Center in Gallatin.

Edwards earned her law degree from Nashville School of Law and has more than 20 years of experience in the legal profession.

An active member of the TBA, Edwards has previously been District 5 governor and membership chair of the TBA’s Board of Governors, where she also served as the association’s treasurer for six years. She is a member of the TBA’s Access to Justice and Attorney Well-Being committees and is a 2010 graduate of the TBA Leadership Law program.

Edwards has also served as the Nashville Bar Association’s delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates, as past chair of the NBA Sister Cities Committee and as a mentor for the Nashville Bar Foundation’s Leadership Forum. In 2018 she was awarded the Association of Corporate Counsel’s prestigious Jonathan Silber Network Member of the Year Award and was an Athena Award nominee in 2014.

Taking office along with Edwards at the recent TBA virtual convention were Michelle Greenway Sellers of Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell PLC in Jackson (president) and Tasha Blakney of Eldridge & Blakney in Knoxville (vice president).

Foster will lead Focus Search Partners

Focus Search Partners, Vaco’s retained executive search subsidiary, has launched an interim executive services practice to leverage the firm’s 20-year history in the marketplace and tapped veteran C-suite talent expert Monica Foster to lead the new business, which will specialize in serving the private equity market.

The interim executive services practice supports organizations needing high-caliber C-suite leaders at pivotal moments. Through the new practice, companies can leverage Focus Search Partners’ network of experienced operating executives who can step in quickly to amplify business performance during times of leadership transitions, M&A activity, performance improvement and operational optimization.

Foster, who has 15 years of experience helping clients identify top executive interim talent, will be responsible for origination, talent acquisition, client service delivery and business operations. Before joining the firm, Foster supported senior-level recruiting efforts for Vista Equity Partners’ portfolio companies in the software and technology sector. Earlier in her career, Foster was national managing partner within Tatum, one of the largest project-based CFO solutions firms in the nation.

Doerge reappointed to Airport Authority Board

Community leader John Doerge has been reappointed to the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority Board of Commissioners. Doerge was originally nominated to the board in 2016 by then-Mayor Megan Barry. For his second term, he was renominated by Mayor John Cooper and confirmed by the Metro Council at its June 16 meeting.

Doerge, whose new term expires in 2024, has been community relations leader at Deloitte for the past 16 years. He has long been active in the community, serving on several boards including: PENCIL Foundation Board (Chair), United Way board of directors and Executive Committee, Middle Tennessee Junior Achievement board, Middle Tennessee March of Dimes Board, Donelson Hermitage Chamber of Commerce Board, Leadership Donelson Hermitage Board, and is a member of the McGavock Cluster Coalition.

Doerge is vice-chair of the MNAA Audit and Compliance Committee and member of the Management Committee, Finance/Administration/Properties Committee, and the Diversity and Workforce Development Committee.

He earned a degree radio and television and an master’s organizational communications from Murray State University.

Southeast Venture hires project manager

Nashville-based commercial real estate brokerage, development and design firm Southeast Venture has hired Don Alexander has as a project manager in the development division.

Alexander will oversee the nearly 780-acre mixed-use gateway development surrounding Spring Hill’s impending interchange with I-65. The development will eventually include more than 2,900 residential units, 3.9 million square feet of Class A office space, nearly 1.3 million square feet of retail and restaurant space and 400 hotel rooms. The first phase of the project – expected to begin in spring 2021 – will entail widening and realigning Buckner Lane with Thompson Station Road, along with mostly residential construction.

Before joining Southeast Venture, Alexander served as a leadership consultant at Alexander Chevrolet Buick GMC in Dickson. He graduated from Webster University with a master’s degree in management and leadership and earned his bachelor’s degree in behavioral science at the United States Air Force Academy.

After earning his commission as an officer, Alexander spent the next 12 years as an Air Force pilot serving most recently as an instructor and chief operations officer to the base commander. He earned several commendations during his time in the Air Force, including the Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal and Meritorious Service Medal before receiving an honorable discharge as a major.

Cooper selects Fisher for senior education adviser

Mayor John Cooper has appointed Robert Fisher, M.S. Ed., MPP, as senior adviser for education.

Fisher will work with Metro Nashville Public Schools and with business, nonprofit and community groups to improve outcomes for Nashville’s children. In addition to working closely with MNPS, Fisher will focus on promoting Nashville’s literacy and workforce development efforts, among other policy initiatives.

Fisher previously served as a director for strategic operations & innovation at Shelby County Schools in Memphis. In this role, he was an adviser to the deputy superintendent for finance & operations and managed a portfolio of districtwide change initiatives.

Before joining Shelby County Schools, he was an Innovation fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Government Performance Lab, where he led the organization’s technical assistance practice in Shelby County. Fisher, a Rhodes scholar, holds both a MS in education and an MPP from the University of Oxford in England.

Fisher, originally from Clarksville, earned a degree in political science at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

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