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VOL. 40 | NO. 32 | Friday, August 5, 2016

Knapp succeeds Garfield as Bridgestone Americas president, CEO

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Bridgestone Americas, Inc. has announced the retirement of its CEO, President and Executive Chairman Gary Garfield, effective Dec. 31, 2016. Gordon Knapp, the company’s chief operating officer, will become Bridgestone Americas’ president and CEO on Sept. 1, 2016, and William “Bill” Thompson, the company’s chief financial officer, will succeed Knapp as COO on that date.


Garfield will remain as an advisor to the company and the new leadership team until year-end. Garfield also will retire from his position as executive vice president and executive officer of Bridgestone Americas’ parent company, Bridgestone Corporation, effective Aug. 31.

Garfield joined Bridgestone Americas in the legal department in 1991, eventually rising to the position of vice president, general counsel, chief compliance officer and secretary of Bridgestone Americas. In March 2010, he was promoted to Bridgestone Americas’ CEO and president, and in January 2016 he was named as executive chairman of Bridgestone Americas. He also was promoted to a series of executive positions within Bridgestone Corporation, ultimately culminating in the position of executive officer and executive vice president of Bridgestone Americas’ parent company, Bridgestone Corporation.


Knapp has spent his career – both in the U.S. and internationally – in the consumer products area leading the operations of many of the world’s foremost brands. Prior to Bridgestone Americas, Knapp served as president, Family Care North Atlantic, Consumer Tissue Division for Kimberly-Clark. He also has held leadership positions in the consumer products businesses for Pfizer, Inc. and for Warner-Lambert, Inc.

Thompson served as West Zone Manager for U.S. Commercial Tire Sales in 2011 and was named Bridgestone Americas controller in 2012. Prior to being named CFO in May 2014, he served as vice president of finance for Bridgestone Americas. He has broad experience within the company, having held positions in the retail, manufacturing, sales and corporate groups. He joined the company in 1996.

Crichton elevates Hite to partner, vice president


The Crichton Group has promoted industry veteran Dan Hite to the position of partner and vice president. Previously, Hite served as commercial insurance advisor for the independent insurance agency.

In his new role, Hite will be responsible for business development, fostering carrier relationships and mentoring new team members. Additionally, he will help lead and advance the company’s growing health care and special liability practices and will oversee the agency’s development of its insurance products.

Hite previously was executive vice president at Brown & Brown of Tennessee, Inc., where he served for 30 years. He first began his career at Cooper, Love & Jackson. In addition, Hite is a former member of the board of directors for the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers and The Hanover Regional Agents Advisory Council.

Hite is a graduate of Birmingham Southern College and earned an MBA from Samford University. He also earned a J.D. from the Nashville School of Law.

Chamber group honors Ward with fellowship


The Alexandria, Virginia-based Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) has announced the appointment of Laura Ward, director of the Middle Tennessee Reconnect Network, to ACCE’s 2016-2017 Fellowship for Education Attainment program.

Each year, ACCE selects 22 chamber professionals from around the country to take part in the program, which focuses on improving the birth-to-career education pipeline in communities across the U.S.

Ward oversees the Middle Tennessee Reconnect Community, which helps adults with some higher education credits return to school to complete their degree or certification program. More than 200,000 adults in the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical Area have participated in postsecondary education without completing their degree or certification program.

The Middle Tennessee Reconnect Community is aligned with Tennessee Reconnect, a statewide initiative which is part of Gov. Bill Haslam’s Drive to 55 program. The goal of the effort is to raise the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary credential from the current 38 percent to 55 percent. The program provides adults with career planning, assistance in picking a program to achieve career goals and an advisor to provide information on financial aid, study skills and technology. The advisor also helps students negotiate the postsecondary application process.

BCBST bumps Vaughn to top communications post


BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has named Roy Vaughn senior vice president and chief communications officer.

Vaughn will oversee all communication functions at BlueCross including public affairs and media relations, internal communications, brand strategy, market research and advertising, marketing communications and provider communications. Additionally, he will be responsible for the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation and community relations.

Vaughn joined BlueCross in 2007 as director of communications and was promoted to the role of vice president for that function. Prior to BlueCross, Vaughn was a partner in the Nashville public relations firm of Katcher Vaughn & Bailey Public Relations and spent 10 years in leadership positions with other Nashville public relations agencies, specializing in health care and reputation management.

He is a member of the board of trustees for the Middle Tennessee State University College of Media & Entertainment, where he earned his degree. Vaughn is a past chairman of the board of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce and its Foundation. He is also a board member of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga and Urban League of Greater Chattanooga.

Neal & Harwell hires Sanders as associate


Nathan C. Sanders has joined Neal & Harwell, PLC, as an associate. Sanders will focus on general litigation.

He previously was an associate with Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in New York City, where he assisted with commercial and securities litigation disputes and served as pro bono counsel to clients involved in immigration and housing court matters.

Sanders, a Nashville native, earned his J.D. at Vanderbilt University Law School in 2013. Following graduation, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Karen LeCraft Henderson of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Legal Aid Society adds 2 new attorneys


Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, Tennessee’s largest non-profit law firm, announced today that two new attorneys have been added to their firm.

Shaina Thompson is the newest attorney in the Family Law Section of the Nashville office of Legal Aid Society after volunteering and working as a contract attorney there since October 2015.

In addition to practicing general family law, she will spend half her time working with the Civil-Legal Advocate program. Through a grant from Metro Nashville, Legal Aid Society – via the CLA Program – recruits and trains volunteer attorneys to represent survivors of domestic violence on the order of protection dockets in Davidson County courts. She has worked as an intern in a private practice and as an elementary school teacher.

Thompson is a May 2015 graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law. She holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s in executive leadership from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.


Allison Jones joins Legal Aid Society as the Middle Tennessee Medical-Legal Partnership attorney. She most recently served as a law clerk for Senior Judge John T. Nixon of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.

The Middle Tennessee Medical-Legal Partnership, which includes Vanderbilt University’s student-run Shade Tree Clinic and Mercy Community Healthcare in Williamson County as partner service providers, provides free, direct legal services to low-income patients and their families, as well as training and education of health care professionals. Both Baptist Healing Trust and The HCA Foundation are providing support to the Middle Tennessee Medical-Legal Partnership to give critical assistance to low-income Tennesseans.

Jones is a 2013 graduate of Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. She also received her master of social work from Washington University’s George Warren Brown School of Social Work.

TN Bankers Association elects new leadership


Gordon Majors, president and chief executive officer of The Hardin County Bank in Savannah, has been installed as chairman of the Tennessee Bankers Association.

Other executive officers elected for 2016–2017 are:

Chairman-elect: Lee M. Moss, president, Franklin Synergy Bank, Murfreesboro

Vice Chairman: John Muse, chairman, president and CEO, Farmers State Bank, Mountain City

Immediate Past Chairman: David Verble, president and CEO, Citizens National Bank, Sevierville


In addition to the executive officers, TBA members elected one new director from each of the three grand divisions of the state. Directors serve three-year terms on the TBA board. New directors are:

East Tennessee: George Shirley, chairman, president, and CEO, Citizens Bank and Trust Company of Grainger County, Rutledge

Middle Tennessee: Bill Nigh, regional CEO, The Bank of Nashville, a div. of Synovus Bank, Nashville

West Tennessee: H. McCall Wilson Jr., president and CEO, The Bank of Fayette County, Piperton

Fifth Third taps Robertson for VP, regional manager


Bo Robertson has been promoted to vice president and retail regional manager for the Tennessee region.

Robertson joined Fifth Third Bank in 2008 as financial center manager of the Hickory Village branch and was soon promoted to financial center manager of the Spring Hill location.

In July 2013, he was promoted to retail sales coach for the Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina regions.

He co-founded the bank’s LGBT Business Resource Group in 2008 and has also served as co-chair for the Tennessee Diversity and Inclusion Council.

Robertson holds a degree in Journalism from Eastern Kentucky University.

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