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VOL. 44 | NO. 50 | Friday, December 11, 2020

Waller adds employment, bankruptcy, IP depth

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Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP has hired Flynne Dowdy, Gaby Smith and Saba Daneshvar. Each of the attorneys joins Waller with more than five years of experience in labor and employment, bankruptcy and restructuring, and patent law, respectively.

Dowdy represents employers in federal and state courts, mediation proceedings, settlement negotiations, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission hearings, and other adversarial proceedings related to allegations of harassment, discrimination, retaliation and wrongful discharge.

She began her legal career as an assistant district attorney with the Harris County district attorney’s office in Houston.

Dowdy earned her J.D. in 2013 from the University of Miami School of Law. She also is a graduate of Howard University.

Smith advises debtors, creditors and equity holders in out-of-court processes and in-court restructurings. Before joining Waller, Smith gained restructuring experience as a senior associate in the New York City office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. There she focused on domestic and international corporate restructurings.

She also clerked for the Hon. Shelley C. Chapman at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

She earned her J.D. from Cornell Law School and a degree in government and international relations from Cornell University.

Daneshvar is a registered patent attorney who focuses his practice on several areas of patent law, including patent litigation, patent prosecution and proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

He began his legal career at the international IP law firm Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP. He was also a patent examiner extern at the USPTO.

Daneshvar earned his J.D. from the Georgia State University College of Law. He also holds a master’s degree from Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as a degree in civil & environmental engineering in 2009, also from Georgia Tech.

Local attorneys on list of Mid-South Super Lawyers

Super Lawyers is a nationwide rating service that utilizes a selection process consisting of independent researchers, peer review nominations and evaluations to rate outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

To attain Super Lawyer status, attorneys must first be nominated by their peers in Tennessee, and only 2.5% of the state’s attorneys make it through the multiphased selection process.

Local attorneys honored include:

Baker Donelson

• Martha L. Boyd

• Scott D. Carey

• Brigid M. Carpenter

• Richard G. Cowart

• Christy Tosh Crider

• James A. DeLanis

• Steven J. Eisen

• Kenneth P. “Pete” Ezell Jr.

• Samuel L. Felker

• Charles K. Grant

• Tonya Mitchem Grindon

• John A. Gupton III

• Claire Cowart Haltom

• Matthew T. Harris

• John S. Hicks

• John H. Rowland

• John M. Scannapieco

• Gary C. Shockley

• M. Kim Vance

• Kenneth A. Weber

Rising Stars:

• Aaron Chaloner

• Evan L. Clark

• Caldwell Collins

• Christopher Douse

• Andrew Droke

• Sye Hickey

• Joy Boyd Longnecker

• Sarah Murray

• Michaela D. Poizner

• Megan M. Sutton

Bone McAllester Norton

• Charles Robert Bone

• John P. Branham

• Sharon O. Jacobs

• Sam J. McAllester III

• Edward M. Yarbrough

• Stephen J. Zralek

Rising Star:

• I’Ashea L. Myles

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

• Michael D. Brent

• Ann Peldo Cargile

• George H. Cate III

• J. Greer Cummings Jr.

• Joseph W. Gibbs

• William F. Goodman III

• John R. Haynes

• Lela Hollabaugh

• Samuel D. Lipshie

• Matthew C. Lonergan

• Chuck Mataya

• Russell B. Morgan

• John E. Murdock III

• Jim Murphy

• Andrew J. Murray

• William L. Norton III

• Craig Oliver

• Robert S. Patterson

• Todd Presnell

• Brooks R. Smith

• David K. Taylor

• J. Thomas Trent Jr.

• Thor Y. Urness

• Robert E. Wood

Rising Stars:

• Jeffrey L. Allen

• Caleb Barron

• Katherine H. Blankenship

• Brandon Bundren

• Marc Bussone

• Lauren B. Jacques

• Alex McFall

• Fritz Spainhour

• D. Bryan Thomas

Cornelius & Collins, LLP

• Daniel P. Berexa

• C. Bennett Harrison, Jr.

• Blakeley Dossett Matthews

Rising Stars:

• Jason K. Murrie

• Peter C. Robison

Dickinson Wright

• Jeffrey M. Beemer

• Rob Dodson

• M. Reid Estes, Jr.

Rising Stars:

• Joshua Burgener

• Colin Ferguson

Frost Brown Todd

• Mekesha H. Montgomery

• Robert V. Sartin

Rising Stars:

• Payton M. Bradford

• Nathan S. Harris

• Benjamin Katz

Grant Konvalinka & Harrison, P.C.

• David Higney

Rising Stars:

• Brittany Thomas Faith

• Hollie Floberg

Miller Law Offices

• Phillip Miller

MTR Family Law

• Marlene Eskind Moses

Stites & Harbison PLLC

• Rebecca McKelvey Castañeda

• Gregory D. Smith

• Alexandra MacKay

• John R. Wingo

• Richard S. Myers, Jr.

Rising Stars

• Erika R. Barnes

• Brenton H. Lankford

• Ann Ralls Brown

• Lauren Paxton Roberts

• B. Walker Entwistle

Wiseman Ashworth Law Group

• Gail Vaughn Ashworth

• Tom Wiseman

Rising Stars:

• Anthony Bills

Ayers stepping back from FirstBank leadership role

Jim Ayers, who bought a tiny, rural West Tennessee bank in 1984 and turned it into an $11 billion regional powerhouse, has announced he is stepping down as executive chairman of the board of directors of FirstBank and its parent company, FB Financial Corporation, effective Jan. 1.

Ayers, who owns 29% of the publicly traded bank, will retain a board seat and says he expects to continue working at the bank, focusing his time calling on customers.

“Having just celebrated my 77th birthday, I thought this would be a good time to dial back some of my responsibilities to give me more time to spend with my family and on my hobbies,” Ayers said. “The bank is strong, we have excellent leadership at the top with Chris Holmes as President and CEO, and we have a strong and diverse board. I can go hunting and fishing, and that’s what I intend to do.”

In a special called meeting, the board elected Stuart McWhorter as chairman and named Ayers as vice chairman and founder.

Ayers built successful health care and real estate ventures in addition to moving into banking. He and a business partner bought Farmers State Bank in Scotts Hill in 1984. It was then a rural bank with $14 million in assets.

The bank was moved to Lexington in 1986 after it acquired the assets of First National Bank of Lexington. The name was changed to FirstBank, and from there the business expanded across the state and eventually into Kentucky, Georgia and Alabama.

Genesco appoints George interim CFO, vice president

Genesco Inc. has named Thomas A. George its senior vice president for finance and interim chief financial officer. He succeeds Melvin G. Tucker, whose resignation was effective Nov. 27.

George brings significant leadership experience to the role, having served nine years as CFO of global footwear company, Deckers Brands, where, during his tenure, the company doubled its revenue and increased its market capitalization fourfold.

Earlier in his career, he was CFO of Oakley, the global eyewear brand, and served in the same capacity at companies in the technology and medical device industries.

George graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in business administration. He is a certified public accountant.

Coury appointed CEO of Tristar Hendersonville

Justin Coury has been appointed CEO of TriStar Hendersonville Medical Center in Hendersonville. Coury previously serves as chief operating officer of sister facility TriStar Centennial Medical Center in Nashville.

Coury will be responsible for operations at the 159-bed hospital, the TriStar Hendersonville Outpatient Center, TriStar Women’s Imaging in Hendersonville, as well as TriStar Portland, the hospital’s freestanding emergency room in Portland.

Coury has been with HCA Healthcare since 2011 and COO at TriStar Centennial since 2017.

He earned an undergraduate degree in marketing from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, Bloomington, and a master’s in health administration from Virginia Commonwealth.

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