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VOL. 40 | NO. 46 | Friday, November 11, 2016

MTSU’s Jones College honors 5 business leaders

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The MTSU Jennings A. Jones College of Business formally recognized five honorees during the recent 21st Century: Leaders That Matter awards ceremony. From left: Tim Downey, David Hoke, Ann Hoke, Retta Gardner, Lorelei Samuelson and David Urban, dean of the Jennings A. Jones College.

-- Submitted Photo Courtesy Of Mtsu/Eric Sutton

MTSU’s Jennings A. Jones College of Business has again honored a group of business people with awards in recognition of their contribution to business and industry.

The five honorees were formally recognized recently during the 21st Century: Leaders That Matter awards ceremony leading up to the Jones College-hosted 21st Century: Work That Matters conference at Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center.

Tim Downey, founder and CEO of Nashville-based Southern Land Co., was given the Joe M. Rodgers Spirit of America Award, which is presented to an individual who has demonstrated the highest ideals in keeping with the American spirit of innovation, entrepreneurship, and commitment to others.

Downey has a three-decade career in developing neighborhoods and vibrant commercial districts that adhere to traditional design principles and generate community interaction. Modeled after Walt Disney Imagineering’s desire to inspire creativity, innovation and interaction in the company and across projects, Downey’s business model enables direct communication between architecture, horticulture, construction and planning professionals.

Retta Gardner, president and CEO of Guaranty Trust Co., was given the Jones College Exemplar Award, which is presented to a Jones College alumnus who has “walked in the shoes” of current students and whose personal and professional accomplishments demonstrate that future MTSU graduates can also achieve great things.

Gardner, who earned her MBA at MTSU, joined Guaranty Trust in 1996 as information technology manager before being promoted to senior management four years later to help establish the company’s third-party division, also serving as IT, human resources and marketing manager. She was promoted to executive vice president in 2010 and to president and CEO in 2013. During her tenure, Guaranty Trust has grown from $250 million in annual production to just over $1.3 billion. She is vice president of the Tennessee Mortgage Bankers Association, board member for Volunteer State Bank and United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties, and a member of the Jones College Dean’s Advisory Council.

David and Ann Hoke, both real estate professionals, were presented the Jennings A. Jones Champion of Free Enterprise Award, which is presented to an individual whose achievements “are in keeping with the highest traditions of the American system of free enterprise” and who are role models in business, professional and personal achievements.

David Hoke’s passion for residential real estate began over 30 years ago when he was the Nashville partner in a regional land development company. His background includes 12 years of domestic and international marketing experience with David Weekley Homes, Proctor & Gamble and AMSCO International. Associated with Ann Hoke & Associates, he is also the broker of HomeFront Properties, a firm that manages investor-owned residential properties. He is treasurer of the Nashville chapter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers and past chairman of the board of the American Heart Association of Rutherford County. He is a 2015 graduate of Leadership Middle Tennessee.

Since launching her real estate business with Keller Williams in 2005, Ann Hoke has become a top producer who consistently ranks among the upper 1 percent of her peers. She is listed on the REAL Trends Top 250, the industry-wide list honoring the best real estate teams from across the U.S. Hoke began her career as a retail fashion buyer and worked within the senior living and healthcare fields before professional opportunities led her to real estate. She serves on the board for the Rutherford County Area Habitat for Humanity.

Receiving the Young Professional of the Year Award was Lorelei Samuelson, director of business intelligence for SME Solutions Group, an analytics consultancy company based in Nashville and in Tampa, Florida. This award recognizes someone who, at a relatively young age, has already been a role model whose accomplishments are outstanding and an inspiration to others — but who also has the potential to rise to even greater heights in personal and professional life.

An MTSU alumna, Samuelson was instrumental in founding and serves as an adjunct professor in the Business Intelligence and Analytics concentration at Jones College. She has worked at organizations ranging in size from publicly traded to private equity-owned to early startups. She served in analytics roles at the VA Medical Center in Murfreesboro, Sony ATV Music Publishing, and HCA. Her expertise includes project management, process improvement, executive dashboard development, data architecture, data warehousing, master data management, analytic reporting and predictive analytics. She works with the nonprofit Women in Technology of Tennessee; chaired the 2016 Nashville Technology Council Analytics Peer Group, organizing the Nashville Analytics Summit; and is developing a STEM and coding program at Bellevue Middle School.

The Jones College of Business is made up of the departments of Accounting, Computer Information Systems, Economics and Finance, Management, and Marketing. Information: www.mtsu.edu/business.

Kiwanian of the Century citation goes to Armistead


The Kiwanis Club of Nashville has awarded George H. Armistead, III, the first-ever Kiwanian of the Century Award at its 100th birthday celebration.

The club, which celebrated its centennial with an evening event at Bridgestone Arena’s Patron Club, hosted more than 150 members, past presidents and guests.

Outgoing president Kenny Markanich, along with committee member Joe White, presented the unique award to the unsuspecting Armistead.

“George’s consistent involvement, passion, concern, dedication and participation in our club, and its well-being, has been nothing short of amazing,” Markanich said. “The sacrifices he makes for us all are not fully comprehended, understood or appreciated enough for their full value.”

Armistead stated he was both humbled and appreciative.

Armistead, a downtown businessman who owns Answers by Armistead, LLC, is a partner in Revenue Service Group. Having served as president of the club in 1992-93, Armistead, a fourth generation Nashvillian and 41-year member of the club, received the award in the presence of 26 past presidents.

Armistead, who chaired the 100th celebration event, has also held every leadership responsibility during his tenure. He was recipient of both Kiwanian of the Year and the Ralph Brunson Spiritual Aims Award in 2012. He has chaired most all of the volunteer committees over the four decades and has sponsored 14 of the last 22 club presidents.

Armistead has recruited more than 300 members since 1975.

Lifepoint Health promotes Peters to senior leadership


LifePoint Health has named Jennifer Peters senior vice president, chief operations counsel for the organization.

In this role, Peters is responsible for overseeing the company’s operations lawyers and contract management team to ensure consistent legal guidance across all operational units. She will also provide or oversee the legal advice given with respect to all of the company’s strategic initiatives. Peters previously served the company as vice president and chief operations counsel since 2014.

Prior to joining LifePoint, she served as general counsel, secretary and chief compliance officer for Simplex Healthcare. Before Simplex, she was vice president and associate general counsel at Community Health Systems. Peters also spent six years as a member of the administrative team at a hospital in York, Pennsylvania.

Peters earned her JD with a concentration in health law from the University of Maryland. She earned her master’s degree in health care and finance management from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, and her bachelor’s degree from Buffalo State University.

YWCA chooses Roberson as chief executive officer


YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee announced today that Sharon K. Roberson has been chosen as the organization’s next president and chief executive officer.

Roberson comes to YWCA from Direct General Corporation, where she serves as senior vice president and general counsel.

Roberson brings more than three decades of experience to the organization and has a deep roots in the community. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Law School.

She has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including the Nashville Symphony, YMCA, Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee, and the Nashville Chapter of the Links, Incorporated. Roberson is currently serving her second term on the YWCA Board of Directors and was inducted into the Academy for Women of Achievement in 2011.

Cundiff elected VP at Barge, Waggoner


Nashville Civil Group leader Jeff Cundiff has been elected vice president at Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon, Inc.

Cundiff joined Barge Waggoner in early 2007 and has more than 12 years of experience in the engineering field. His experience includes specialties in sustainability within the built environment.

He earned a degree in civil engineering from Tennessee Technological University and an MBA from Lipscomb University. Cundiff has also obtained a Certificate of Graduate Studies in Sustainability from Lipscomb and participated in the BWSC Leadership Institute. He was awarded by the firm with the Dan Barge Award of Merit in 2012.

Kovalcik elected to AIPLA board of directors


Stites & Harbison, PLLC partner Jennifer Kovalcik was recently elected to the American Intellectual Property Law Association board of directors and will serve a three-year term.

Kovalcik has served the association for more than a decade in various leadership roles, including past roles as the chair of the Trademark Law Committee, chair of the Trademark Litigation Committee and chair of the Trademark Boot Camp two-day CLE. She has also worked on numerous comments to proposed rule-making, draft legislation, and has authored an amicus brief on behalf of AIPLA.

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