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VOL. 40 | NO. 15 | Friday, April 8, 2016

Morin is new CEO, president of Ingram Content Group

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Ingram Content Group has selected Shawn Morin, formerly president and chief operating officer, as chief executive officer and president, effective immediately. John R. Ingram will continue to be active as chairman of the company.

Morin began his career at Ingram in 2009 when he joined the company as chief information officer and, in December 2009, he was named president of VitalSource, Ingram’s learning technology division. He was named chief operating officer in 2012 and was named president and chief operating officer in January 2015.

He has been responsible for expanding and introducing new services and technologies to Ingram’s clients of publishers, libraries, booksellers and educators worldwide. He has led major initiatives that have transformed the company, including strategic acquisitions of CourseSmart and Perseus’ distribution businesses; divestiture of Coutts Information Services; expansion of Ingram’s capabilities and network by implementing automated print-on-demand in Fairfield, Ohio and opening a new facility in Fresno, Calif.; new collaborations between Ingram and allied businesses across the industry; the opening of a new facility in Antioch; and the launch of IngramSpark, an innovative publishing program for independent publishers.

Morin came to Ingram from Bass Pro Shops, where he was chief information officer and vice president of information technology. Earlier in his career, he was the lead engineer working on the on-board flight software for the Space Shuttle program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Morin holds a degree in engineering from the University of South Florida.

Jones is new president of The Crichton Group


The Crichton Group, Middle Tennessee’s largest independent insurance agency, has promoted Cooper Jones, a veteran member of The Crichton Group team, to president.

Jones succeeds Bob Jackson, who will now act as a co-chair of the company.

Jones will oversee the company’s insurance offerings, marketing of new services and product development. He also will continue to lead the agency’s nonprofit and social services division.

Jones joined The Crichton Group in 2002, and has extensive experience in the commercial insurance, risk management and nonprofits and social services industries.

Jones earned a degree in business administration from the University of Mississippi.

Russ named fellow of two organizations


Marissa Moses Russ, partner at MTR Family Law, has been named a Fellow of the Nashville Bar Foundation and the International Academy of Family Lawyers.

Previously known as the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, IAFL is a worldwide association of practicing lawyers who are recognized by their peers as the most experienced and expert family law specialists in their respective countries. IAFL was formed in 1986 as the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers to improve the practice of law and administration of justice in the area of divorce and family law throughout the world. The USA Chapter currently has more than 300 Fellows from 38 states.

Russ earned her undergraduate degree from Tulane University and her JD from the University of Tennessee. Prior to joining MTR Family Law in 2007, she spent two years with Gullett Sanford Robinson & Martin PLLC in the firm’s litigation department. She teaches at Belmont University College of Law.

Airport Authority makes promotions, new department


The Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA) recently announced multiple promotions.

Vanessa Hickman has been named chief administrative officer and will oversee MNAA’s human resources department, in addition to her role as vice president of information technology. Davita Taylor, director of business diversity development, has been named chief of staff and board liaison. Michael Lee has been named chief commercial officer and head of the newly-formed Commercial Development department.

Hickman joined MNAA in 2005 as vice president and chief information officer, responsible for procuring, managing and supporting information technology and telecommunications systems for BNA and JWN.

She holds a degree in business management from East Tennessee State University and a master’s in healthcare informatics from Lipscomb University.


Taylor joined MNAA in 2008 as director of business diversity development and oversees programs that provide local small, minority, woman-owned and other disadvantaged businesses maximum opportunities to participate in contracts, programs and all business-related activities at MNAA.

Taylor is a certified master compliance administrator, a member of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing and president of the Middle Tennessee Public Purchasing Association. She earned a degree in business administration from Middle Tennessee State University and an MBA from Austin Peay State University.


Lee joined MNAA in 2014 as assistant vice president of business services and strategic initiatives.

As chief commercial officer, Lee will oversee the newly-formed Commercial Development department, which is responsible for revenue-producing enterprises and opportunities, including concessions, properties and car rentals.

Lee began his career in airport management in 1998 as part of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport’s properties department. He also served 12 years in various roles at the Houston Airport System, including acting chief financial officer and deputy assistant director of financial planning and analysis. He earned a degree in aviation management from the University of Central Missouri.

CapStar recruits 5 for credit, IT leadership

Christopher G. Tietz has joined the bank as chief credit officer. A member of the executive leadership team at several financial institutions over the past decade, Tietz was most recently executive vice president and chief credit officer at FSG Bank, a division of Atlantic Capital in Chattanooga.

He has also served as corporate EVP and chief credit officer at First Place Bank in Warren, Ohio, and as chief credit officer at Monroe Bank in Bloomington, Indiana. He began his career at First American National Bank in Nashville and Memphis, where he spent 15 years.

Clayton Weber, CapStar’s director of information security and technology, was most recently director of information security for Pinnacle Financial Partners. He has also served as chief risk officer at Southeast Financial Credit Union in Franklin and as vice president and information security officer for Heritage Bank in Hopkinsville.

Michael Ridinger has been hired as a senior credit underwriter and will be based in Brentwood. He was a senior commercial real estate/RCL with Avenue Bank for several years after serving as a commercial Portfolio Manager at First Tennessee Bank.

Noel Searcey, mortgage loan officer with Farmington Mortgage, a Division of CapStar Bank, was a managing partner with Middle TN Financial Partners. She was most recently with Reliant Bank, where she managed secondary market lending.

Emily Floyd has been hired to perform mortgage set-up preaudit for Farmington Mortgage, a Division of CapStar Bank. Floyd was previously a legal assistant with Kay, Griffin, Enkema and Colbert, PLLC.

Opry Mills hires marketing director, promotes 3


Simon Property Group has hired Paula Hankins as Opry Mills’ director of marketing and business development, promoted Natalie Smailis to Opry Mills’ assistant director of marketing and business development, and promoted Randall Jackson to Opry Mills’ guest services manager. In addition, Tarasina Schneller, former Opry Mills’ director of marketing and business development, has been promoted to Midwest regional director of marketing for Simon Malls.



Hankins was previously marketing account director at Phase 3 Marketing & Communications/Sullivan Branding, where she managed tourism and hospitality accounts. Prior to joining Sullivan Branding, she was the assistant commissioner of marketing for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development.

Smailis joined Simon in early 2014. She previously held the position of marketing coordinator for Opry Mills, assisting with marketing, tourism and business development. Before coming to Opry Mills, Smailis worked with Sycamore Athletic Fund and Indiana State University Foundation as a marketing and communications coordinator.

Jackson has been with Simon over seven years, two of which have been spent as marketing assistant at Opry Mills, where he maintained the gift card program, oversaw the mall’s advertising installations and mall signage, and managed events and initiatives.

Schneller has been with Simon for 10 years, serving most recently as the director of marketing and business development at Opry Mills for the past four years. She won numerous company awards, including Simon Best of the Best 2014 and 2013, and has led marketing efforts at several centers including Battlefield Mall, Crossroads Mall, and Towne East Square.

Steeplechase names Lazenby honorary co-chair


The Iroquois Steeplechase has selected Virginia “Gigi” Lazenby of Nashville as its 2016 honorary co-chair of the 75th Iroquois Steeplechase, scheduled for May 14.

Lazenby, a horse owner, was nominated to represent the race in American Steeplechasing for her lifelong dedication to the sport. As a member of the organization’s race committee and board member of the National Steeplechase Association, she is part of a team that is helping ensure that the Iroquois’ diamond anniversary a successful.

?A native of Nashville and a graduate of Vanderbilt University, Lazenby is the CEO of Bretagne LLC, an oil and gas production company she founded in 1988. She serves on the National Petroleum Council (NPC), an appointment made by the Secretary of Energy.

Columbia State hires VP of student affairs


Columbia State Community College has hired Dr. Sean Fox as vice president of student affairs.

Fox recently served as the vice president for student affairs at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming. Previously, he held a similar position at Ross University in the West Indies for seven years and at Seminole State College in Oklahoma, also for seven years.

Fox holds a degree in business management and a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Montana State University. He earned his Ph.D. in college student personnel administration from the University of Northern Colorado.

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