Gresham Smith announces executive team expansion

Friday, August 13, 2021, Vol. 45, No. 33

Gresham Smith, a national architecture and engineering firm based in Nashville, has expanded its executive management team, with Peter Oram, market vice president for the firm’s Transportation and Water + Environment businesses, being named chief operating officer, and Kelly Knight Hodges, market vice president for the firm’s Corporate + Urban Design business, selected as chief development and engagement officer, a new role that expands Gresham Smith’s executive management team from four to five members.

Oram will succeed COO Rodney Chester. Chester will succeed Al Pramuk as CEO in 2022 as part of the firm’s leadership succession plan. Pramuk will continue to actively serve as chairman of the firm’s board of directors.

Rounding out the executive management team in 2022 will be chief financial officer Dwayne West and chief strategy officer Randy Gibson.

Oram has more than 30 years of operational, technical and business growth experience working with both public- and private-sector clients. Since joining the firm in 2016, he has created and implemented focused strategies to promote leadership development and improve operations.

Hodges has been a member of Gresham Smith’s board since 2020. She has more than 25 years of project experience, including a demonstrated record of success during her 20 years at Gresham Smith serving in a variety of technical, operational and client development roles.

Bradley’s Hollabaugh named to Top 250 Women list

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP partner Lela M. Hollabaugh has been named to the 2021 Benchmark Top 250 Women in Litigation list.

The annual Top 250 Women in Litigation list, published by Benchmark Litigation, showcases some of the most distinguished women in litigation and is based on a culmination of research and client feedback.

Hollabaugh has served as the lead trial lawyer in more than a dozen jury trials, as well as more than two dozen bench trials, arbitrations and administrative hearings. She advises leading natural gas pipeline companies and other infrastructure clients on issues involving location, land acquisition, construction and operations. She recently co-authored an amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the industry’s position in the scope of the Natural Gas Act and the state’s 11th Amendment immunity.

McQueen appointed 18th Lipscomb president

Lipscomb University has announced the election of Candice McQueen, Ph.D., as the 18th president and first female CEO of the 130-year-old, faith-based institution. McQueen, who served as Tennessee commissioner of education under former Gov. Bill Haslam, succeeds L. Randolph Lowry III, who will transition from the role of president after 16 years to chancellor of the institution.

Before becoming the state’s top education official in 2015, McQueen served Lipscomb as senior vice president and dean of the university’s College of Education. After joining Lipscomb’s education faculty in August 2001 and serving as chair of the undergraduate education department from 2004-2008, McQueen was appointed dean of the College of Education in July 2008.

In addition to her role as dean of Lipscomb’s College of Education, McQueen was appointed senior vice president in November 2013. In that capacity, she also had the responsibility for oversight of Lipscomb Academy, the 1,300-student preK2-12th grade college preparatory school, was a member of the president’s executive leadership team and set strategic vision for the university. She served in both the dean and senior vice president role until December 2014.

McQueen is CEO of the National Institute of Excellence in Teaching, a national nonprofit founded by the Milken Education Foundation that increases educator capacity across K-12 and higher education partners in over 21 states.

McQueen is a graduate of Lipscomb University and holds an M.E. in school administration from Peabody College, Vanderbilt University, and a Ph.D. in curriculum studies from the University of Texas.

Before coming to Lipscomb in August 2001, McQueen taught in both private and public elementary and middle schools in Texas and Nashville, was an adjunct on faculty at Vanderbilt University and was an assistant instructor and supervisor of student teachers at the University of Texas at Austin. She has won multiple awards for her teaching at both the K-12 and collegiate levels. Her primary research interests are teacher professional development, leadership, and reading and writing methods.

She is a native of Clarksville.

Inauguration ceremonies will take place during the spring semester.

Nickens promoted by Airport Authority

The Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, which operates Nashville International Airport and John C. Tune Airport, recently named Stacey Nickens as assistant vice president of corporate communications. She will serve as the spokesperson for the airport and be responsible for the organization’s internal and external communications, community relations, special events and campaigns, as well as the Arts at the Airport program including visual art and live music performances.

Nickens joined the BNA team in 2019 as director of customer experience. Before that, she served as director of client services at DVL Seigenthaler/FINN Partners. Nickens also served as marketing manager at Meharry Medical College.

Nickens earned a degree in public relations from the University of Tennessee at Martin.

Trevecca welcomes Hall as engagement officer

Trevecca Nazarene University has hired Lawrence E. Hall, Jr., as engagement officer for donor and business partnerships.

Hall is returning to his alma mater with 28 years of experience in Nashville government, education and community engagement. In the newly established position at Trevecca, he will help establish university partnerships with donors and area businesses.

Hall’s previous roles have included vice president for the Office of External Affairs and Business Development at Meharry Medical College; director of the Office of Neighborhoods and Community Engagement for the Nashville Mayor’s Office and research analyst with the Tennessee General Assembly.

A 1993 graduate of Trevecca with a degree in business administration, Hall also holds a master’s degree in public administration from Tennessee State University.

Pennington Distilling announces 2 new hires

Pennington Distilling Company has added Dana Crawford as marketing and special events director and Zach Taylor as head distiller.

Crawford has prior hospitality and event management experience with Greenhouse Winery in Pittsburgh in addition to coordinating weddings at other venues in Pennsylvania. She is responsible for coordinating the company’s numerous sponsorships and marketing efforts as well as booking and overseeing all events that Pennington Distilling Company hosts on-site or participates in off-site.

Taylor has more than six years of experience in the spirits industry with a primary focus in whiskey. He is implementing new and efficient strategies while also investing in the future with product development.

Pennington Distilling Company was founded in 2011 by husband-and-wife team Jeff and Jenny Pennington. Products include Tennessee Whiskey, vodka and sipping cream.

Plow Networks adds network services director

Veteran technology leader Ryan Harris, with more than 15 years of experience in Nashville’s growing tech sector, has been named the network services practice director at Plow Networks.

Previously, Harris served as the director of operations at The Nexus Group in Nashville and as a technical lead for the U.S. Department of Defense. At Plow, Harris will be responsible for growing the IT provider’s Network Services practice and creating best-in-class network solutions for a wide range of clients.

Plow Networks is a Brentwood-based IT services provider, connecting businesses to technology since 2012.

Zapolski joins Nashville Software School

The nation’s first nonprofit software bootcamp, Nashville Software School, has hired Haley Zapolski as employer engagement manager.

Zapolski has three years of technology experience, most recently as program manager at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center for Renew Nashville, Metro Nashville’s COVID-response program for small businesses impacted by the pandemic. As employer engagement manager at NSS, Zapolski will connect area employers with recent graduates and share upskilling and reskilling opportunities with employers to meet an unprecedented demand for tech talent in the region.

Before the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, Zapolski supported startups for a patent lawyer and investor at Hamilton IP Law, PC, in Davenport, Iowa.

Someraroad executives move to Nashville office

SomeraRoad, a vertically integrated, entrepreneurial and creative diversified real estate firm that has established Nashville as its second home, has announced that Andrew Donchez, director of development, and Andrew Marchetti, vice president of acquisitions and development, have relocated from the firm’s New York office to Nashville.

Donchez oversees and spearheads all aspects of the firm’s ground-up development platform with a current pipeline of multifamily projects, in excess of $1 billion in total cost.

He has more than 15 years of experience in development, previously serving as vice president of development for Mill Creek Residential Trust after building RXR Realty’s development platform. Donchez earned a degree in accounting from the Pennsylvania State University.

Marchetti oversees a wide range of value-add and ground-up projects in Louisville, the Washington DC-metro area, St. Louis, Chicago and other markets around the country. Before SomeraRoad, Marchetti was a senior analyst at Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group, a real estate capital advisory firm. There he was tasked with raising debt, equity and opportunity zone capital on behalf of a diverse array of institutional clients.

He began his career with Circle K Stores, the largest convenience store and gas station operator in the country, where he served as a real estate development manager and was responsible for ground-up development projects in Texas, California, and on the west coast of Florida.

Marchetti earned a degree in accounting and Finance from Florida State University.