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VOL. 39 | NO. 40 | Friday, October 2, 2015

Barry fills key positions for new administration

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Mayor Megan Barry has announced key hires in the positions of law director, executive assistant, senior advisor, and press secretary within her administration.

Jon Cooper will serve as Metro law director. Cooper is currently director of the Metro Council Office and special counsel to the Council. A graduate of Hume-Fogg Academic High School, he earned a degree in music from Middle Tennessee State University, where he was a member of various musical ensembles and the debate team.

He worked in the music industry for several years before switching careers and serving as a legal assistant for a private attorney while attending law school prior to accepting a position with the Metropolitan Council Office in 2001.

He was appointed by the Metropolitan Council to his current position as director and special counsel in 2008. Cooper is a member of the Nashville Bar Association and serves on the Board of Directors of the Tennessee County Attorneys Association.




Cooper will begin after confirmation by the Metro Council. A vote is scheduled for Oct. 6 Council meeting.

Also transitioning from the Metro Council Office to the Mayor’s Office will be Elease Waller, who will serve as the executive assistant to Mayor Barry. Waller has served for 30 years as a staff assistant to the Metro Council, where she helped members of the 40-member body with administrative, clerical and managerial duties that included constituent services and correspondence.

Claudia Huskey will join the administration as a senior advisor, focusing over the next few weeks on helping to implement transition plans that come from the Mayor’s transition team, chaired by Charles Robert Bone. Huskey served as Barry’s campaign manager after working as senior aide to Former Vice President Al Gore.

Sean Braisted will serve as press secretary. He will be a member of the communications team, which also includes Michael Cass, who will continue to serve in the role of communications advisor and speechwriter.

Braisted served as communications director on the Megan Barry for Mayor Campaign. Prior to that, he served as press secretary to the House Democratic Caucus under Chairman Mike Turner.

Adams & Reece launches anti-counterfeiting practice


Kristina Montanaro Schrader has joined Adams and Reese’s Nashville office as team leader of the firm’s new anti-counterfeiting practice, which will serve clients in combating counterfeiting, piracy and other intellectual property infringements.

Schrader was most recently an attorney at Venable LLP in Washington, D.C., and prior to that was an executive at the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition, a trade association devoted to promoting intellectual property and combating product counterfeiting and copyright piracy. At the IACC, she executed strategic brand and content protection initiatives on behalf of hundreds of rights-holders from across all product sectors.

At Adams and Reese, Schrader will offer custom-made brand and content protection strategies for a variety of businesses. Schrader’s main focus is in crafting brand and content protection strategies for today’s market.

Schrader earned her J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School and a degree in political science from College of Charleston. Schrader holds an LL.M. in intellectual property law from George Washington University Law School. While in law school, Schrader served as a legal intern with the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Gucci America, and Dolce & Gabbana USA.

Bass, Berry & Sims welcomes 5 attorneys


Bass, Berry & Sims PLC has hired five attorneys for the firm’s Nashville office:

Neal B. Curtis counsels health care clients related to mergers, acquisitions and dispositions. Prior to joining Bass, Berry & Sims, Curtis served as a law clerk for U.S. Magistrate Judge Hanly Ingram in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.


He earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Vanderbilt.



Valere B. Fulwider advises health care providers and companies on the operational and transactional aspects of their business and provides complex regulatory analysis on issues that impact acquisitions, contracts and compliance.

Prior to joining Bass, Berry & Sims, Fulwider worked with the American Heart Association’s Office of Public Advocacy. She earned her law degree from the Columbus School of Law and her B.A. from Colgate University.

Courtney Ginn assists health care clients with various transactional, regulatory and operational matters. Prior to joining the firm, Ginn served as a clerk for the Hon. Thomas Ludington in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Ginn earned her law degree from Emory University School of Law and B.A. from Duke University.

Brian Irving counsels clients related to commercial litigation, including business fraud, breach of contract disputes, shareholder litigation and securities fraud cases.

Prior to joining Bass, Berry & Sims, Irving served as a law clerk to the Hon. Bobby E. Shepherd on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Irving earned his law degree from Vanderbilt Law School and received a B.A. from Yale University.


J. Paul Singleton represents companies in a wide variety of business related matters in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, financing and general business planning. Prior to joining the firm, Singleton practiced at Manier & Herod in Nashville. He also served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the Middle East aboard the USS Constellation prior to beginning his legal career.

Singleton earned his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law and a B.S. from the University of Kentucky.

Barrett joins Neal & Harwell


Charles Barrett has joined Neal & Harwell, PLC, as of counsel.

Barrett was previously managing attorney at Charles Barrett, P.C. in Nashville, where he worked in complex litigation. He is a member of the Nashville Bar Association.

Barrett is a 1998 graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law. He also earned degrees in history and English, summa cum laude, from Ole Miss.

Turner Construction promotes Simmons


Turner Construction has announced the promotion of Brad Simmons to operations manager of the company’s Nashville and Huntsville, Alabama, offices.

Simmons is a graduate of Notre Dame, where he earned his degree in civil/structural engineering. He has earned several promotions since joining Turner’s Chicago office as a field engineer in 1997. In 2006, Simmons transferred to Nashville, where he has served as a project manager and project executive, primarily on multi-phase healthcare projects such as Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Cookeville Regional Medical Center.

Simmons will remain heavily involved with Turner’s projects at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Additionally, he will play a large role in the company’s continued growth, developing employees, improving processes and efficiencies and overseeing risk management.

Beckman to direct section of vascular medicine


Joshua Beckman, M.D., MS, has been named director of Vanderbilt’s newly formed section of vascular medicine within the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine.

Beckman will create a section of vascular medicine that provides the non-surgical care for patients with a range of conditions including peripheral artery disease, venous thromboembolism, vasculitis, hypertension and aortic disease.

Beckman earned his medical degree at New York University and his MS degree in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. He was an associate professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School prior to coming to Vanderbilt.

Rare Country hires GM, chief creative officer


Rare Country, the newly-launched country music and lifestyle website, has tapped talent and production executive Laurissa Phillips as its chief creative officer and general manager. Dually-based in Atlanta and Nashville, Phillips is responsible for the daily, creative and strategic oversight of the website dedicated to serving the country music fan. Rare Country is a subsidiary of Cox Media Group’s Rare.us

Phillips has previously worked as both a talent and production executive, having worked in publicity, marketing, production, editorial, talent placement and development.

DVL Seigenthaler bolsters 3 teams with new hires


DVL Seigenthaler has added three professionals to its team:

Rachel Lane, copywriter

Maggie Dougherty, assistant media buyer


Melanie Foster, broadcast assistant

Lane comes from Marriott International, where she was a copywriter with the global marketing team and helped develop creative concepts and content for the company’s luxury and lifestyle brands. Prior to Marriott, Lane was a copywriter at HZDG, where she played a similar role relative to advertising and marketing campaigns for diverse brands. She graduated in 2008 from Florida State with a degree in screenwriting & creative writing, and earned a master’s degree in creative writing from Florida State in 2011.


Dougherty joins DVL Seigenthaler from Durik Advertising in Franklin, where she specialized in project management, research and media buying. She graduated from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga in 2012 with a degree in communication.

Foster is a 2015 graduate of the University of Oklahoma where she earned a degree in broadcasting and electronic media. She completed internships with Lindsey + Asp Advertising Agency, Staplegun Advertising Agency, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine and Candlelight Films.

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