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VOL. 39 | NO. 49 | Friday, December 4, 2015

Bar’s public service award goes to Conner

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In recognition of more than 50 years of service to both the legal profession and the Middle Tennessee community, Waller attorney and mediator Lew Conner is being honored with the John C. Tune Public Service Award at the Nashville Bar Association’s annual meeting and banquet.

The Award is presented by the Board of Directors of the Nashville Bar Association to the member of the Association who has shown the highest degree of dedication not only to his or her work as a lawyer but to the betterment of the community in which he or she lives. Because the award is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a member, it is not necessarily given annually, but only when someone is deserving of the award.

After graduating from the Vanderbilt School of Law in 1963, Conner spent three years as a J.A.G.C. officer with the 101st Airborne Division prosecuting over 100 general courts martial. Following his honorable discharge from the Airborne, Conner spent 45 years as a Nashville litigation attorney and four years as a judge on the Tennessee Court of Appeals.

He also served as chief justice of the Special Supreme Court when the validity of the then existing court was challenged in 1979. In the early 1990s he became a trailblazer in bringing mediation to Tennessee as a viable alternative to trial in the resolution of disputes. Since that time Conner has successfully mediated more than 800 disputes as mediation entered the mainstream of dispute resolution in Tennessee.

Last year when three Tennessee Supreme Court justices faced a retention election, Conner was a leader in organizing the members of the bar statewide in bipartisan support of retaining the justices. The justices were ultimately supported by 93 percent of the bar, and all three justices were reelected in a landslide. Conner, along with the involved justices and many other members of the bar, viewed the results as a reaffirmation by Tennessee voters for an independent judiciary.

Conner served as president of the Nashville Bar Association in 1987.

Diversified Trust hires Wills to lead marketing

Diversified Trust, an employee-owned wealth management firm, has hired Betsy Wills as principal, director of market and branding.


Wills will be responsible for the development and execution of a comprehensive marketing and branding strategy for the company in all its markets which include Atlanta, Greensboro, N.C.; Memphis and Nashville. She will be based out of the Nashville office.

Wills formerly served as director of marketing and investor relations for seven-plus years at Courage Capital, an alternative asset management firm based in Nashville. At Courage, Wills served on the management team and participated in strategic planning. She also developed all marketing materials, including website development, newsletters, proposals and overall branding initiatives.

Wills also co-founded YouScience, an online service that helps students and individuals make more intentional decisions with regard to their post-secondary education and career. She began her career as a development officer at Vanderbilt University.

Wills earned a degrees in English and fine arts, as well as a masters of education in human resource development, from Vanderbilt.

Nashville attorneys picked for leadership program

Sixteen Nashville attorneys have been selected to participate in the Tennessee Bar Association’s 2016 Leadership Law program. They are:

Blind Akrawi, Neal & Harwell PLC

Deborah Farringer, Belmont University College of Law

Tera Hambrick, Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center, Inc.

Sarah Hannah, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

Lisa Helton, Sherrard & Roe PLC

Shanna Singh Hughey, formerly of the Mayor’s Office of New Americans

Nina Kumar, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

Ryan Levy, Patterson Intellectual Property Law PC

Rebecca McKelvey Castañeda, Stites & Harbison PLLC

Briana Montminy, Burr & Foreman LLP

Gabe Roberts, Tennessee Department of Health Care Finance & Administration

Rachel Rosenblatt, Littler Mendelson PC

Costin Shamble, Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation

Tom Shumate, Meridian Law PLLC

Kimberly Silvus, Wiseman|Ashworth Law Group PLC

Liz Sitgreaves, Dodson Parker, Behm & Capparella

Now in its 13th year, the Leadership Law program is designed to equip Tennessee lawyers with the vision, knowledge and skills necessary to serve as leaders in their profession and local communities.

This year’s class of 33 attorneys - chosen from across the state - will meet for its first session in January, and then spend the next six months learning about leadership in the legal profession, issues in the courts, policymaking in state government and the importance of community service.

Full class list is available at: www.tba.org/news/young-lawyers-named-to-2016-tball-class

Colombo named CEO of Stallworth Hospital


Armando Colombo, president and chief executive officer of InterMedical Hospital of South Carolina, has been named chief executive officer of Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital.

Colombo, who will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the hospital, said the position gives him the opportunity to work for a nationally recognized rehabilitation program and with Vanderbilt’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Prior to his stint in South Carolina, Colombo, a native of New York state and graduate of St. Louis University, served as chief executive officer of facilities in Augusta, Georgia; Houston, Tallahassee, Sarasota and Leesburg, Virginia.

He received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from St. Louis University.

Vanderbilt Stallworth is a joint venture between Vanderbilt and HealthSouth.

Levy named to new VICC Informatics Leadership role


Mia Levy, M.D., Ph.D., Ingram assistant professor of cancer research and director of Cancer Clinical Informatics at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC), has been named director of Cancer Health Information and Strategy, a new management post that will expand her leadership role.

In this newly created role, Levy will conceptualize and supervise the development of new informatics tools to support the next generation of precision cancer medicine, data analytics and cancer care coordination.

Levy earned her undergraduate degree in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997 and her medical doctorate from Rush University in 2003. She then spent 6 years at Stanford University completing post-graduate training in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology while completing her doctorate in Biomedical Informatics.

Cumberland University announces promotions

Joe Gray has been named vice president of I.T., campus facilities and security. Gray joined Cumberland University in August 2006 and was previously executive director for campus facilities. Gray is a graduate of Salisbury University and received his master’s degree from Southern Illinois University.

Prior to joining the university, Gray served as distribution manager for Bridgestone Americas, Inc. for nearly a decade. Gray oversees the physical plant, information technology and campus security.

Stephanie Ferrell has been named director of communications. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and is working on her MBA at Cumberland University.

Ferrell will oversee the development of all internal and external communications as well as marketing content for the university. She was previously a development officer for planned and major gifts, and has been with the university for seven years.

Cheryl Bockstruck has been named director of corporate and foundation relations. In this role, she coordinates all grant requests from the university, writes proposals and will also develop, institute and coordinate a corporate engagement strategy.

Bockstruck earned a degree in mass communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. She has been with Cumberland University since 2008.

Camille Burdine has been named director of community relations and engagement. In this new role, she will coordinate the University’s fundraising and friend-raising community events, as well as develop, implement and manage the university’s continuing education program.

She has been with the university since 2008 and was previously a development officer for major gifts.

McPeak elected officer of national insurance group

Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak has been elected secretary-treasurer of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.


An active NAIC participant for nearly 20 years, McPeak has served on the NAIC’s Executive Committee since 2013. McPeak, who was formerly Kentucky’s lead insurance regulator, was appointed as the Department’s Commissioner by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam in 2011. She was reappointed to her post in 2015.

McPeak is the first woman to serve as chief insurance regulator in more than one state.

As TDCI Commissioner, McPeak is the chief regulator of the insurance and securities industries in Tennessee as well as the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Additionally, TDCI’s Regulatory Boards oversee several hundred thousand Tennesseans in their professions and businesses. TDCI is also directly responsible for the Division of Consumer Affairs, the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy as well as the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy and the Peace Officers Standards Training Commission, among other divisions.

McPeak is a 1994 graduate of the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. She earned a degreein marketing from the University of Kentucky in 1990.

Legal Aid Society hires director of technology

Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, Tennessee’s largest non-profit law firm, has hired Paul Swiney as the firm’s first director of technology. In this new position, Swiney will implement technology to maximize productivity and support the staff’s technological needs.


Swiney brings 25 years of IT experience to the position, having spent more than two decades with KPMG LLP. As manager of forensic technology, Swiney worked closely with the Office of General Counsel, managing KPMG’s eDiscovery project and data collection activities. He also served as associate director for IT in-office support with the company. He most recently served as a technology consultant for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee.

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