Lawson joins Dickinson Wright

Friday, October 15, 2021, Vol. 45, No. 42

Rachel Schaffer Lawson has joined Dickinson Wright PLLC’s Nashville office as of counsel.

Lawson is an alcohol and hospitality lawyer who focuses on helping business owners with their legal needs. She joins Dickinson Wright from Schaffer Law Firm, which she founded in 2011.

The services she provides to businesses include trademarking and entity selection and formation to contract drafting, litigation and alcohol licensing and permitting. In particular, she works with restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries and distributors to obtain their beer and liquor licenses.

Lawson is a graduate of Northeastern University and earned her J.D. from Loyola University College of Law.

Baker Donelson adds to corporate practice

Robert “Rob” H. Laird Jr., a corporate and health technology attorney, has joined Baker Donelson as a member of its corporate group and a shareholder in the Nashville office.

Laird previously served as in-house counsel for HealthStream. He was most recently the managing shareholder of the Nashville office of Maynard Cooper & Gale.

With a focus on the intersection of health care and technology, Laird counsels private and public clients and private equity investors in corporate transactions, corporate governance, securities, mergers and acquisitions, information technology and venture capital investments. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Mergers and Acquisitions Law. He is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education programs sponsored by the Tennessee Bar Association, Nashville Bar Association and other organizations on a range of corporate and securities law topics, including mergers and acquisitions, venture capital financing, formation of legal entities and corporate governance.

Mayor names Abkowitz sustainability chief

Mayor John Cooper has named Kendra Abkowitz, Ph.D., as his chief sustainability and resilience officer.

Abkowitz brings more than 10 years of experience to the role and will implement the mayor’s vision for Nashville’s future livability – including his commitment to renewably sourcing 35% of Metro’s energy by 2025.

Abkowitz also will work closely with Metro Water Services on sustainability projects, including waste and wastewater management, stormwater management and the growth of Nashville’s tree canopy.

As assistant commissioner and director of policy and sustainable practices (2015-2021) at the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), Abkowitz worked with communities, businesses, academic institutions and other stakeholders to deal with pressing environmental challenges statewide. She helped design the state’s plan for deploying American Rescue Plan dollars toward water infrastructure investments.

Abkowitz previously was a TDEC senior policy analyst and policy analyst (2012-2015), spearheading early efforts to design a regulatory framework for water reuse in Tennessee. She also led a statewide assessment of extreme weather vulnerabilities at Tennessee’s parks and created an energy consumption reduction plan for state-owned facilities.

Before joining TDEC, Abkowitz was a sustainability professional in Vanderbilt University’s Sustainability and Environmental Management Office (2008-2012).

She is an appointee to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s local government advisory committee, a member of the Women in Science and Engineering Affinity Group, a member of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council and a graduate of LEAD Tennessee.

Abkowitz holds a doctorate in environmental management and policy from Vanderbilt University, an MBA from Middle Tennessee State University, a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Chicago and a degree in sociology and economics from Vanderbilt University.

Trevecca welcomes new associate provost

Trevecca Nazarene University has hired Terrence Schofield, Ph.D., to fill the newly established role of associate provost for mission excellence and reconciliation.

Schofield, who has extensive experience in diversity leadership and as a higher education instructor and pastor, is a practicing psychologist and author who’s provided training for Fortune 500 companies and counseling for players in the NBA. Most recently, he served as director of social services at The Helin Institute in Sacramento, California, and as a resident clinical psychologist at Abingdon Psychological Services in Virginia, while teaching courses in psychology and counseling as an adjunct instructor at Regent University. Among his previous roles, Schofield served as director of global diversity for Promise Keepers.

Schofield’s responsibilities will include providing diversity training for faculty and employees, leading committees, assisting campus leaders in planning and implementing diversity initiatives and advising departments and teams throughout Trevecca’s campus.

Schofield earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and a master’s degree in general psychology from Walden University in Minneapolis. In previous roles he has served as a senior pastor, a hospice chaplain and a personal and academic counselor, primarily for employers based in Knoxville and East Tennessee. His collegiate academic instruction experience before Regent has included service with Maryville College, North East State Community College and Pellissippi State Community College.

Schofield’s community service work has included coordinating social services for Etalon Mos, Inc., and the Chelsea Foundation. He has also provided organizational training for corporations and universities through Relationship Academy. He is the author of four books and a number of articles about cultural and mental health issues.

Sarah Cannon Cancer appoints medical director

Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at TriStar Centennial has named Navneet S. Majhail, M.D., MS, FASTCT, as its medical director for the Sarah Cannon Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program. Majhail will be joining the medical team of experts who are leaders in blood cancer research, clinical care, hematopoietic cell transplants and acute leukemia.

In addition to his role at TriStar Centennial, Majhail will join Sarah Cannon as deputy physician-in-chief of blood cancers for its transplant network.

Majhail served as director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Blood and Marrow Transplant Program while also serving as the vice chair for the department of hematology and medical oncology and a professor of medicine with the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine.

He is a past-president of the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy and has been recognized as a fellow for his contributions to the field of transplantation and cellular therapy.

Barge Design Solutions adds structural engineer

Doug Hughes, PE, has joined Barge Design Solutions, Inc. as a Structural Engineer.

Hughes has 16 years of experience in structural engineering with a wide variety of projects including the design of light and heavy industrial, automotive, institutional and commercial facilities.

Hughes earned a degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in civil engineering with a structural concentration from Auburn University.

He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Tennessee and is a member of the Tennessee Structural Engineers Association and the American Institute of Steel Construction.

Marshall’s Richardson a ‘Star of the Industry’

A. Marshall Hospitality COO Lyle Richardsonwas recently named the recipient of Hospitality Tennessee’s “Star of the Industry” award, which recognizes the best and brightest in the hospitality industry.

Richardson, after managing restaurant operations for City Tap and Granite City, joined A. Marshall Hospitality as director of operations for the Puckett’s brand in 2019.

Within a year, his role expanded to include overseeing operations for the rest of the A. Marshall restaurants, including Scout’s Pub, Deacon’s New South and Americana Taphouse.

Richardson’s efforts during the pandemic, including devising a plan to pivot to takeout and delivery, as well as spearheading an initiative to open three “ghost kitchens” with new delivery-only brands using our existing kitchen space, led to his promotion from director of operations to COO in May 2021.