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VOL. 38 | NO. 45 | Friday, November 7, 2014

Daschle, Baker Donelson form advisory group

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Former U.S. Senator and Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) and law and government affairs firm Baker Donelson announced today the formation of The Daschle Group, A Public Policy Advisory of Baker Donelson.

The Daschle Group will be a policy affiliate of Baker Donelson, the professional home of former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker (R-TN), and will be a full-service strategic advisory firm that will advise clients on a broad array of economic, policy and political issues.

The Daschle Group, which will be located in Baker Donelson’s Washington, D.C. office at 901 K Street Northwest, will work with Baker Donelson’s Government Relations and Public Policy Group to advise existing and future clients on wide ranging issues including health care, energy, environmental and transportation.

Daschle was elected in 1978 to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served for eight years. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, and was chosen as Senate Democratic leader in 1994. Daschle is one of the longest-serving Senate Democratic leaders in history and served as both majority and minority leader.

In 2007, Daschle and Baker joined with former Majority Leaders George Mitchell (D-ME) and Bob Dole (R-KS) to create the Bipartisan Policy Center, an organization dedicated to finding common ground on some of the pressing public policy challenges of our time.

XMi Holdings names Shoaf executive VP


XMi Holdings, Inc. has named attorney N.B. Forrest Shoaf as executive vice president, private equity. Shoaf, who most recently served as chief financial officer and general counsel at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc., will lead the company’s expanding private equity and venture capital efforts.

Before acting as CFO and general counsel at Cracker Barrel, Shoaf had served as chief legal officer, senior vice president and secretary at the Lebanon-based restaurant company. Prior to that, Shoaf also held leadership roles including as managing director of Avondale Partners LLC’s investment banking practice; managing director of J.C. Bradford & Co.’s corporate finance department; as well as managing director of Morgan Keegan’s investment banking group and head of its Nashville corporate finance office.

Earlier in his career, Shoaf was a partner at Bass, Berry and Sims, where he focused on corporate finance.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a masters in literature from Vanderbilt University. He is also graduate of Harvard Law School.

XMi Holdings, Inc. owns controlling and non-controlling interests in a diverse portfolio of businesses including HR Solutions, Financial Services, Health Connect America, XMi Commercial Real Estate, XMi High Growth Development Fund (a qualified TNInvestco), and Local Shares, LLC.

Miller & Martin taps Lewis for health care group lead

Miller & Martin PLLC announced today that Nashville attorney David Lewis will head the health care practice group for the southeast firm.


Lewis joined Miller & Martin’s Nashville office in May after serving as the vice president and associate legal counsel at LifePoint Hospitals in Brentwood. He will be responsible for the ongoing growth and service of this practice group across all three offices, Chattanooga, Atlanta and Nashville. Currently, 10 attorneys are engaged in the firm’s health care work.

Prior to LifePoint, Lewis was a partner with Husch Blackwell in Chattanooga. Earlier, he was with Roper St. Francis Healthcare in Charleston, South Carolina, as general counsel and vice president, and Erlanger Health System in Chattanooga as chief legal officer.

He earned his B.A., M.P.A. and J.D. from the University of Tennessee.

Bone McAllester Norton adds 2 attorneys


Bone McAllester Norton PLLC has announced the addition of Kee Bryant-McCormick and Thomas (Trey) R. Frazer III has joined the firm.

Frazer focuses his practice on commercial litigation, product liability, antitrust violations and intellectual property law.

Frazer is an alumnus of Cumberland School of Law, where he served as the Research and Writing Editor of the American Journal of Trial Advocacy. He was awarded the Scholar of Merit for his outstanding work in civil procedure. He also studied law abroad at Cambridge University in England.


Bryant-McCormick, member of the firm’s Sumner County office, will focus her practice in business and corporate law; criminal defense and government investigations; estate planning; probate law; wills and trusts; and special education law.

Bryant-McCormick is president of the Hendersonville League of Women Voters and is a board member of the Rotary Club of Hendersonville and the Shalom Zone. She also serves as trustee for Volunteer State Community College. She was the first African-American female to be selected as Planning Commissioner for the City of Hendersonville.

Previously, Bryant-McCormick practiced law in her own firm in Hendersonville, and earlier in her career, served as assistant public defender for the 18th Judicial District.

VUMC’s Wootten to lead Pediatric Otolaryngology


Christopher Wootten, M.D., has been named director of the Pediatric Otolaryngology Service, supervising the treatment of ear, nose and throat-related disorders in children at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Wootten is directing a group of six clinicians, the second busiest operative service in the Medical Center, with multiple specialties and subspecialties.

Wootten, a native of the Oklahoma City area, completed his undergraduate studies at Birmingham Southern College, and graduated from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He came to Vanderbilt as a resident in 2002 before becoming a fellow at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 2007.

He rejoined Vanderbilt in 2009 as an assistant professor and member of the Pediatric Otolaryngology clinic. That year, the clinic moved to its new home on the seventh floor of the Doctors’ Office Tower at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Prior to his appointment as director, Wootten had been serving as interim director of Pediatric Otolaryngology.

Phillipy named director of Agricultural Museum

Gregory Phillipy has been named director of the Tennessee Agricultural Museum.


Phillipy’s appointment is effective immediately as he assumes responsibilities previously performed by Anne Dale, who served the museum for 25 years. In this role, Phillipy will oversee the collection and care of more than 3,500 artifacts. He will also head the educational and outreach programs for the organization.

Phillipy most recently served as the public program director and curator of education at Texas A&M University Art Galleries. He was responsible for developing policy and education programming, coordinating events and managing facility operations for the University’s museums and art galleries.

He also worked as a park ranger at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area in Elizabethton, and as a curator and interpreter at Historic Mansker’s Station Frontier Life Center in Goodlettsville.

Phillipy grew up in the Crieve Hall neighborhood of Nashville, graduated John Overton High School and went on to obtain an undergraduate degree in sculpture/art history and a master’s in public history/historic preservation from Middle Tennessee State University. He also earned a master’s in fine arts at Washington University in St. Louis.

Appointments made to open-government committee

Tennessee’s Advisory Committee on Open Government (ACOG) has six new members. They are:

  • David Conner, Nashville, Tennessee County Services Association
  • Richard Hollow, Knoxville, Tennessee Press Association
  • Chad Jenkins, Nolensville, Tennessee Municipal League
  • Don Long, Hendersonville, Tennessee School Board Association
  • Lucien Pera, Memphis, Tennessee Coalition for Open Government
  • Vivian Underwood Shipe, Knoxville, League of Women Voters

ACOG provides guidance and advice to the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office of Open Records Counsel, which is staffed by Open Records Counsel Ann Butterworth. The advisory committee may also review and provide comments on any proposed legislation regarding Tennessee’s open meetings and records laws.

Bridgestone Americas names division president

TJ Higgins has been named president, Consumer U.S. and Canada, for Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations.


Higgins brings more than 20 years of big brand consumer products marketing and strategic business experience to Bridgestone, leading product strategy and marketing for a number of recognizable brands and products.

Most recently, he served as the North America regional president for Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, and has held leadership roles at Merck and Vlasic throughout his career. Higgins succeeds Gordon Knapp, who became chief operating officer of Bridgestone Americas in March of this year.

Higgins earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Lehigh University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He will relocate to Nashville from his current home in New Jersey.

Southeast Venture makes changes to leadership

El Gammal

Nashville commercial real estate firm Southeast Venture has announced the addition of Tarek El Gammal to its ownership team as a principal.

Additionally, Jon Petty has been promoted to the senior management position of director of retail services.

El Gammal has been with Southeast Venture since 2010, when he joined as a broker to lead the firm’s multifamily investment sales, advisory and development activities. In 2013, he was promoted to associate.

El Gammal has worked with a variety of clients on sales and leasing transactions valued at over $140 million representing over 1.5 million square feet of commercial space. In 2013, he took a leadership role in the firm’s involvement of 12South Flats.


Before joining Southeast Venture, El Gammal served as managing member for Queen Square Group, LLC, where he provided consulting services to regional development firms.

Petty has been a member of Southeast Venture’s brokerage team since 2007, earning his Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation in 2012.

Petty specializes in the representation of retail tenants with site selection, lease negotiation and project management, as well as landlords and owners of retail property and projects throughout Tennessee.

In 2012 and 2013, he brokered a total of 90 deals.

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