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VOL. 36 | NO. 14 | Friday, April 6, 2012




Merrill returns as VUH chief of staff

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Cardiothoracic surgeon Walter Merrill, M.D., a member of the Vanderbilt faculty from 1983 until 2002, has returned to Vanderbilt to become chief of staff of Vanderbilt University Hospital.

Merrill, who also served as chief of Surgical Services at Nashville Veterans Affairs Medical Center, will hold a faculty appointment in the Department of Cardiac Surgery.

In 1985, Merrill and William H. Frist, M.D., started Vanderbilt’s cardiac transplantation program. Merrill left Vanderbilt in 2002 to become chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Cincinnati. Seven years later, he moved from Cincinnati to Jackson, Miss., to become chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Board certified in general and cardiothoracic surgery, he has special expertise in heart transplant, heart failure and cardiac valve repair. He spearheaded the implementation of the left ventricle assist device program at Mississippi.

At Vanderbilt, he will report to Allen Kaiser, M.D., chief of staff for the Vanderbilt Health System, who formerly held the position as VUH chief of staff, and David Posch, CEO of Vanderbilt University Hospital and Clinics.

A native of Andalusia, Ala., Merrill received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1974, where he completed an internship and general and cardiothoracic residency training. He was a research fellow with the National Institutes of Health and served as senior registrar, thoracic surgery, at the Hospital for Sick Children in London.

TNCPE announces board of directors

The non-profit Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TNCPE), which strives to promote economic development in the state by helping companies and organizations grow more competitive in today’s global marketplace, has announced its Board of Directors for 2012.

Serving as officers are:

  • Chair: Joe Alexander, associate dean, Massey Graduate School of Business at Belmont University, Nashville
  • Vice Chair: Jim Duensing, executive vice president and CFO, Caterpillar Financial Services, Nashville
  • Treasurer: Dr. Linda Garceau, Dean, East Tennessee State University College of Business and Technology, Johnson City
  • Ex Officio: Katie Rawls, TNCPE president and CEO
  • In addition to the executive committee, TNCPE’s board is composed of the following members:
  • Tony Benton, vice president/CEO, Franklin Woods Community Hospital, Johnson City
  • Manuel Benegas, Jr. JD, program administrator for Quality Systems Strategy, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville
  • Dr. David Black, president and CEO, Aegis Sciences Corporation, Nashville
  • Dr. Richard L. Brown, vice chancellor finance, operations and IT, University of Tennessee Chattanooga
  • Dr. John J. Dreyzehner, commissioner, Tennessee Department of Health, Nashville
  • Louis H. Gump, CEO, Impact Management, Johnson City
  • Dr. Mary Jinks, vice president of public service, University of Tennessee
  • Lewis Lavine, president, Center for Nonprofit Management, Nashville
  • Terri L. McGuire, sr. vice president/manager, Trust Client Services, First Tennessee Bank, Knoxville
  • Dr. Mark Montoney, executive vice president and chief medical officer, Vanguard Health Systems, Nashville
  • Jean Rush, CEO, Kentucky Spirit Health Care, Lexington, Ken.
  • George Strodtbeck III, executive director-corporate quality and COS, Cummins Inc., Columbus, Ind.
  • Greg York, Director of Operations, Marvin Windows and Doors, Ripley

Waller Lansden partner honored by LCLD

Vinh Duong has been selected for the 2012 Fellows Program of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), a national organization made up of the legal profession’s top general counsels and managing partners.

Duong is one of only two Tennessee attorneys selected to the 2012 LCLD Fellows Program. As a partner at Waller Lansden, he leads the firm’s Immigration Practice. He focuses exclusively on immigration law and related issues, representing multinational and domestic corporations, their employees and private individuals, including foreign investors, physicians, musicians and athletes.

Duong also serves on the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and National Association of Asian American Professionals. Duong earned his J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law, and received his B.A. from Penn State University.

Entrepreneur group announces new board

The Nashville chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) announced today its 2012/2013 board of directors.

The Nashville EO chapter has 111 members. To join, an entrepreneur must be a founder, co-founder, owner or controlling shareholder of a company with gross annual sales exceeding $1 million.

The new board of directors of Nashville EO is:

  • President: Andy Bailey, founder and coach, Rock Habits; founder and general manager, 30Avacation.com
  • Past president: Debbie Gordon, president and CEO, S3 Asset Management and Snappy Auctions
  • President elect: Joe Freedman, founder and chairman, RFx Legal LLC, AMERICAN Legal Search LLC, AMERICAN Financial Search LLC and Music City Tents & Events LLC
  • Finance chair: John Aron, president, The Pasta Shoppe
  • Learning Chair: Arnie Malham, founder and president, cj Advertising
  • Social Chair: Glenn McConnell, owner, Music City Tents & Events LLC
  • Forum Chair: Sonny Clark, president and CEO, Advanced Network Solutions
  • Forum Co-Chair: Bryan Merville, president and Partner, Beacon Technologies
  • Forum Health Chair: Jeff Turner, president, Turner Machine Co., Inc.; National Storm Shelters LLC
  • Membership Chair: John Kepley, principal, president and CEO, teknetex inc
  • Membership Co-Chair: Jackson Miller, founder and CEO, Bizen, Inc.
  • Sponsorship Co-Chair: Tim Ozgener, principal, Oz Ventures
  • Sponsorship Co-Chair: Ben Hanback, president, The Hanback Group
  • Communications Chair: JJ Rosen, chief manager, Atiba
  • Catalyst Chair: Dan Hogan, CEO, Medalogix
  • Catalyst Co-Chair: Bryan Ansley, president and CEO, FNB Merchants
  • Member Benefits: Bill Kimberlin, Medicare.com
  • Member Integration: Vicki Hill, founder and president, Mosaic Consulting Group LLC
  • Forum Olympics: Mike Rustici, partner and founder, Rustici Software
  • At-Large: Sam Sanchez, owner, Sam’s Sports Grill & Sperry’s
  • At-Large: Dudley Jacobs, CEO, Evoluc
  • At-Large: Alex Tolbert, team member, Bernard Health LLC
  • Spouse Forum: Mose Ramieh III, COO, Power & Generation Testing, Inc.
  • Mentorship Chair: Charles May, founding principal, bytes of knowledge
  • Member Retention: Hannah Paramore, owner, Paramore | the digital agency

EO is a global network of more than 8,000 business owners in 40 countries. Membership in one of EO’s 120 chapters is by invitation only. The average member is 41 years old with annual revenues of $17.3 million.

Zeitlin & Co. adds two brokers

Zeitlin and Company, Realtors has added Stephanie Kleiner and John Dotson as affiliate brokers in the company’s Nashville (Green Hills) office.

Prior to joining Zeitlin and Company, Kleiner was a teacher at University School of Nashville for three years before becoming a full-time mom. She earned a degree in elementary education from Bucknell University.

Dotson, who has worked for Zeitlin and Co. in the past, will focus on foreclosures, short sales and retail real estate with his partner Marsha Mauney, also a Realtor at the firm. Prior to returning to Zeitlin and Co., Dotson was an executive in the entertainment business.

Capwealth chair named state’s top advisor

Franklin-based wealth management firm CapWealth Advisors LLC has been named to the national “Top 1,000 Advisors” list published annually by Barron’s magazine. Additionally, chairman and CEO Tim Pagliara was identified as the list’s number one advisor in Tennessee.

It’s the third year the firm has been included (2009 and 2010) and the first time Pagliara has been chosen the top wealth management professional in the state by the magazine. To make the list, advisors/firms must lead in assets under advisement in their home state and have strong investment performance results. They also generate significant revenue for their firms, run provably high-quality practices and have stellar regulatory records.

Saint Thomas Health names quality officer

Saint Thomas Health has named Dr. William Thompson as chief quality officer for the regional, five-hospital health system and network of affiliated ventures, practices and facilities. For the past five years, Dr. Thompson has served as chief medical officer at Baptist Hospital, a Saint Thomas Health facility.

Before taking the position as chief medical officer of Baptist Hospital in 2007, Dr. Thompson served as physician director of clinical transformation for Ascension Health.

Dr. Thompson received his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Vanderbilt University and his medical degree from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and fellowship at Cornell Medical Center.

Business Coalition hires new executive director

The Nashville Business Coalition (NBC) has announced the hire of Susie Alcorn, as the new executive director. The NBC is a political action committee composed of business leaders committed to supporting local and state candidates that understand the importance of a more prosperous business environment.

Alcorn comes to the NBC with a long history of experience in the political arena. Most recently having operated as an independent professional, Alcorn’s career has focused on government relations, lobbying, project management, business development and organizational consulting.

As executive director Alcorn will be charged with fundraising efforts to support NBC mission, increase the NBC’s community involvement, and work with the members of the Council and the Davidson County state legislature on issues of special interest to the NBC.

Chamber lands new marketing director

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce has hired Michelle Lacewell, APR, as director of marketing and public relations. Lacewell will be responsible for managing the Chamber’s image, focusing primarily on driving new membership and communicating the Chamber’s value to its existing members.

In her new position, Lacewell will join the Chamber’s growth team, which is charged with increasing overall member recruitment, retention and engagement while enhancing the perception of the Chamber brand. She will manage the marketing needs of all Chamber programs and initiatives, acting as the liaison between internal program managers and the marketing team.

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