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VOL. 39 | NO. 36 | Friday, September 4, 2015

Baker Donelson names new practice group leaders

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Baker Donelson has named Nashville attorneys John H. Rowland and Courtney H. Gilmer as new practice group leaders within the firm’s Financial Services Department.

Rowland was named chair of Baker Donelson’s Corporate Restructuring and Bankruptcy Group, a team of more than 50 attorneys across the firm’s footprint who assist clients with litigation and transactions relating to all types of bankruptcy and insolvency issues, including matters involving debtor/creditor relationships and asset restructuring.

A shareholder in the firm’s Nashville office, Rowland represents clients in complex business reorganizations, restructurings and financing transactions. He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law, previously served as chair of the Bankruptcy Court Committee of the Nashville Bar Association and is past president of the Mid-South Commercial Law Institute.


Gilmer was named co-leader of the Firm’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Task Force, a team of attorneys who focus on litigation, enforcement and regulatory compliance issues related to the CFPB.

A shareholder in the Nashville office, Gilmer represents lenders, businesses, secured creditors and creditor committees in bankruptcy proceedings, financial transactions, corporate reorganizations, and state and federal court litigation. Her experience includes providing counsel on a range of matters involving financial regulatory compliance, consumer finance litigation, corporate restructurings and workouts, and commercial transactions.

Gilmer is a graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School. She served as chair of the Nashville Bar Bankruptcy Court Committee, is vice president of the board of directors for the Mid-South Commercial Law Institute and is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute.


Also, Meredith L. Williams, chief knowledge management officer for Baker Donelson, has been elected to her third term on the board of directors of the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) and will serve as its president. ILTA is governed by a seven-member board that is elected biennially.

Williams has served the association in several volunteer leadership roles, including serving as a member of the Risk Management Peer Group steering committee; the conference planning committee, concluding as conference co-chair for the 2010 and 2011 conferences; and on the board of directors. She has also spoken and written on knowledge management topics for the association.

She oversees BakerNet, Baker Donelson’s intranet, and coordinates strategic growth on behalf of the firm in knowledge management, competitive intelligence and technology. She is a 2002 graduate of the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.

Frost Brown Todd hires drone specialist


Frost Brown has announced the addition of member James E. Mackler, who joins the firm’s growing Nashville office and regulated business practice, where he will specialize in advising businesses on the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), more commonly known as “drones.” He will work with clients on various regulatory and compliance elements of drone usage across a spectrum of industries, including agriculture, real estate, construction, video production, entertainment and surveying.

In addition to his drone-related practice, Mackler will defend clients facing criminal prosecution or civil action by state and federal authorities. He has 15 years of experience successfully defending and prosecuting a wide range of cases at the state, federal and military level. He has also served eight years of active duty in the U.S. Army, including three as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot. After a deployment with the 101st Airborne Division to Iraq, he joined the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps and became a legal adviser and supervising criminal prosecutor, trying some 40 highly contested courts-martial and countless administrative hearings.

UAS, or drones, have long been considered strictly military vehicles, but they are becoming progressively common in the private sector. The rising demand for advice on privacy, the environment, intellectual property and other aspects, calls for a multidisciplinary approach and a network of attorneys working across multiple areas of the law.

Most recently, Mackler was a member at Bone McAllester Norton in Nashville.

Chase, Napack join Ingram board of directors


John R. Ingram, chairman of the board of directors of Ingram Industries Inc., has announced the election of two new Directors of the privately held company.

Beth R. Chase is the founder and Chief EO of c3/consulting. She and her firm advise Fortune 1000 and growth companies in planning and delivering transformational change.

Chase is an active community leader with involvements in the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, Nashville Entrepreneur Center, Nashville Healthcare Council, Leadership Nashville, Community Foundation and YWCA among other organizations. She has a B.A. in Mathematics and Economics from Vanderbilt University.


Brian A. Napack, of New York, is the former president of the global publisher Macmillan and currently a senior adviser at Providence Equity Partners, a leading investor in media, education, information and communication. He serves on the boards of Blackboard, Ascend Learning, Burning Glass, Isolation Networks, and Zero To Three, a national advocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of infants and toddlers.

At Macmillan, Mr. Napack oversaw businesses in education, consumer books, digital media and magazines, and he managed the growth of Macmillan’s digital businesses. He was previously a partner at L.E.K. Consulting, serving as co-head of its media and entertainment practices and leading its publishing and education practices.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College and MBA degree from Columbia University.

Other board members include Martha R. Ingram, Orrin H. Ingram, Dennis C. Bottorff, Michael J. Grainger, Aubrey B. Harwell, Jr., Harry R. Jacobson, M.D., Linwood A. Lacy, Jr., and Lee Synnott. Ingram Industries’ businesses include Ingram Content Group and Ingram Marine Group.

Calloway joins Belmont as entrepreneurship executive


Business speaker and author Joe Calloway is joining Belmont University’s Center for Entrepreneurship as the executive in residence for academic year 2015-16. He will be working directly with the Jack C. Massey College of Business’s entrepreneurship students and will be participating in all of the Center’s events throughout the year, including offering insights to student entrepreneurs in the University’s Accelerator and Hatchery programs that are designed to get new businesses off the ground.

Calloway works with entrepreneurs and business owners to help them improve performance and grow their businesses. He is the author of six business books, including the acclaimed Becoming a Category of One, and his new book to be released in November, Magnetic: The Art of Attracting Business. Calloway has worked with groups ranging from Coca Cola in Africa and newspaper publishers in the Netherlands to American Express and small business owners throughout the United States.

Legal Aid Society appoints 4 new board members


Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, Tennessee’s largest non-profit law firm, has welcomed four new members: Cynthia Jordan, Katie Bell Klinghard, Nikylan Knapper and Sal Varsalona.


Klinghard is a fifth-year associate at The Kennedy Law Firm, PLLC in Clarksville, where she practices various areas of family law, litigation and criminal defense. Klinghard graduated with a degree in communications from Austin Peay State University and earned her J.D. from Nashville School of Law. Klinghard was appointed to the board by the Montgomery County Bar Association to represent the Clarksville service area.

Knapper is an attorney for the U.S. Department of Labor and joins the board as a representative of the Napier-Looby Bar Association. In her previous roles, Knapper was an assistant public defender and an attorney for Legal Aid Society. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Central Missouri and is a graduate of the University of Arkansas School of Law, Fayetteville.


Sal Varsalona is an attorney with the law firm of Forrester and Varsalona in Clinton, and serves as the city judge in Rocky Top. He holds dual bachelor’s degrees in political science and psychology, as well as a law degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Varsalona was appointed to the board by the Anderson County Bar Association to represent the Oak Ridge service area.

Jordan is a client-eligible member appointed by the Anderson County Community Action to represent the Oak Ridge service area. She currently works for the Oak Ridge Pre-School.

Barge Waggoner names federal program manager


Joseph A. Bissaillon has been named as federal program manager at Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon, Inc., and will be focusing on vertical construction projects.

He has been with the firm for nearly four years. During his tenure, he has completed projects for a variety of federal clients, such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Louisville, Savannah, and Nashville Districts; Wright Patterson Air Force Base; and the Naval Facilities Engineering Command. Bissaillon received a Master of Architecture from the University of Cincinnati.

He is a Registered Architect in Ohio, Kentucky, and Michigan, as well as certified with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). In 2015, Bissaillon received the Dan Barge, Jr., Award of Merit recognizing distinctive performance to the firm and its clients.

Anesthesia school picks dean, program administrator


Maria Overstreet, PhD, RN, former director, Center for Clinical Simulation and Student Services, has been appointed dean of the Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia.

Overstreet earned a degree in nursing from Austin Peay State University and both a master’s degree in Nursing and PhD from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

Former assistant program administrator Rachel Brown, DNP, CRNA, has been appointed MTSA program administrator. She maintains her clinical practice at Hendersonville Medical Center and Sumner Regional Medical Center.

Brown earned her degree in nursing from the University of Tennessee-Memphis, a master’s with a focus in anesthesia from MTSA, and a master’s in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice from Union University in Jackson.

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