Former state official joins Bass, Berry & Sims

Friday, November 25, 2022, Vol. 46, No. 47

Bass, Berry & Sims has added Betsy F. Knotts as counsel in Nashville, marking the 34th new attorney announced firmwide in 2022.

Knotts has extensive experience in government service. While director of the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury Division of Local Government Finance, she assisted local governments in all areas of municipal finance and drafted legislation on issues related to local government debt issuance.

Before that, Knotts was the executive secretary at the Tennessee State Board of Equalization, Comptroller of the Treasury. In this role, she reviewed and approved certain tax incentive transactions and acted as administrative judge for the Tennessee Assessment Appeals Commission. She has also served in positions at the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, Office of General Counsel; the Office of the Tennessee Attorney General, Financial Division; and the Office of the Texas Attorney General, Public Finance Division.

She serves on the board of the Tennessee Chapter of Women in Public Finance and is a member of the Tennessee Government Finance Officers Association. She previously served on the Administrative Law Section Executive Council for the Tennessee Bar Association, as well as the Appellate Moot Court Coordinator for the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature.

Knotts earned her law degree and a bachelor’s degree in civil law degree from the Paul M. Hebert Louisiana State University Law Center and an undergraduate degree in music and German literature from Tulane University. Knotts is a Fulbright Scholar, having spent one year in Hanover, Germany, teaching English as a second language to German public school students.

Legal Aid names evictions specialists

Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, Tennessee’s largest nonprofit law firm, announced today that Elizabeth Leiserson and Zane Jud have joined the firm’s new Eviction Right to Counsel program for qualifying low-income renters, with Leiserson serving as project director and Jud as project coordinator.

The two-year, $2.6 million Eviction Right to Counsel pilot program is aimed at providing outreach, education, and legal aid to qualifying low-income renters. Legal Aid Society is partnering in the effort with Conexión Américas and the Nashville Hispanic Bar Association. The program, funded through the American Rescue Plan, is the first of its kind in Middle Tennessee to take a comprehensive approach to provide legal counsel for tenants facing eviction.

Leiserson comes to Legal Aid Society from Southern Migrant Legal Services, where she had served as a staff attorney and Skadden Fellow since 2019. In that role, she represented farmworkers and other low-wage workers in administrative complaints and litigation regarding housing, workplace conditions, wages, program oversight and forced labor.

She has also previously served as a law clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and as a Stevens Fellow for the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project. She earned her J.D. from Yale Law School in 2017 and is a graduate of the University of Chicago.

Jud has also held positions with the city of Indianapolis’ Mayor’s Office and Office of Public Health and Safety. He earned his master’s degree from Bradley University in nonprofit leadership and business in 2022. He earned a degree in political science and history from Bradley in 2020.

Legal Aid Society also has recently hired two additional housing attorneys, two paralegals, two legal navigators and two intake workers, who will join the existing housing attorneys to round out the Eviction Right to Counsel team.

All low-income Davidson County residents will be eligible for the program’s services, including immigrant communities, for whom Legal Aid Society will be partnering with Conexión Américas and the Nashville Hispanic Bar Association. The program aims to eventually provide legal assistance to anyone facing eviction who meets eligibility requirements.

Bradley’s Trent receives Client Choice Award

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP is pleased to announce that Tom Trent, a partner in the firm’s Nashville office, has been recognized for the third consecutive year with a 2022 Client Choice award presented by Lexology. He is the only attorney recognized in the area of Real Estate from the United States in the 2022 Client Choice list.

Trent is a member of Bradley’s Economic Development Practice Group and the real estate team. He regularly works with national and regional clients, including major manufacturing companies, corporate users of commercial real estate, institutional investors, developers and lenders.

Lexology’s annual Client Choice awards recognize law firms and partners globally that stand apart for the care and service they provide their clients. Nominations are made by corporate counsel. This year’s winners were selected from more than 2,500 individual client assessments. Honorees are evaluated on client service criteria and must have demonstrated their ability to add value to a clients’ business.

4M Building Solutions hires development director

4M Building Solutions, a commercial cleaning company, is expanding its Nashville team with Cayman Russell, who has joined the company as the director of business development for Tennessee and Kentucky.

Russell most recently was with a uniform and facility services company.

4M has operations in 15 Midwest, Northeast and Southeast states with nearly 4,000 team members.

MP&F hires four new staff members

MP&F Strategic Communications has added four account coordinators to its staff – Sarah Crawford, Maddie Sebestyen, Mason Wright and Kevin Zeller.

Crawford spent a semester studying and living in cities across Europe before graduating from Belmont with a degree in journalism and minor in entrepreneurship in 2021. Before joining the MP&F, Crawford gained experience with internships and roles in digital marketing, copy editing and social media.

Sebestyen graduated from Belmont University in 2022 with a degree in political science and a double minor in public relations and social media management. While at Belmont, Sebestyen interned with Baker Group Strategies and Red Light Management.

Wright is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a degree in American studies with a concentration in popular and visual culture.

Zeller is a graduate of Creighton University with a degree in marketing and management information systems.

Nashville State names director of nursing

Elizabeth Youngblood, RN, WHNP, BC, CNE, Ed.D., has been named to lead Nashville State’s associate degree-level program.

The director of nursing provides leadership and coordinates the educational, administrative, and financial affairs within the program, while creating an environment that supports faculty in producing continuous improvement and ensuring programs are high quality, and relevant to student’s goals and ensuring student success.

Youngblood brings a blend of academic and clinical experience to her new role.

A registered nurse with certifications as a women’s health nurse practitioner, nurse educator and basic cardiac life support, Youngblood’s experience includes Lipscomb University School of Nursing, Belmont University School of Nursing, Columbia State Community College and Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. Some of her clinical experience includes time at Brentwood Primary Care, Staggs and Burch, Tennessee Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Maury Regional Hospital.

Youngblood earned associate of science in nursing and bachelor of science in nursing degrees from Belmont University, a master’s in nursing from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, and a doctorate in professional practice from Trevecca Nazarene University.

Nashville State’s nursing associate of applied science degree program has an NCLEX licensure exam six-year average pass rate of 97% and a job placement rate of 99.5%. The program has full approval status by the Tennessee Board of Nursing and is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

Dunn adds Shelby as newest VP, group manager

JE Dunn, Nashville’s leading general contractor, has added Scott Shelby as vice president and group manager. Shelby’s addition deepens the company’s leadership experience and expertise as JE Dunn continues to grow throughout Middle Tennessee.

Scott is responsible for overseeing high level projects and managing the company’s strategic growth in the aviation, industrial and manufacturing market sectors.

Shelby previously served as a key executive with Hensel Phelps as the company expanded into Middle Tennessee. Spanning more than two decades with Hensel Phelps, Scott most recently served as operations manager for their Nashville office overseeing their work on the $2 billion BNA Vision Program at Nashville International Airport and the $167 million Fred D Thompson Nashville Federal Courthouse.

Outside of Nashville, Scott has managed high-profile programs for strategic clients such as United Postal Service, Lockheed Martin, Navy Federal Credit Union, Asheville Regional Airport and the John F Kennedy Space Center.

Scott is a LEED accredited professional and holds a degree in construction management from Pittsburg State University.

DeAngelis Diamond opens 2nd Nashville office

DeAngelis Diamond is expanding with the addition of its second Nashville area office and the hiring of Joe Lackey as its division manager to lead both offices. The construction management firm with seven locations has completed $425 million-plus in construction projects in the Nashville area. With a growing client base and continued robust markets, the company is doubling its Nashville area investment.

Lackey is responsible for implementing DeAngelis Diamond’s vision, strategy, values and culture in Tennessee and the surrounding region. This strategy includes investing in top talent, leveraging technology, and providing the best building experience to all project stakeholders.

He has 27 years of construction leadership experience, leading teams in large commercial, hospitality, entertainment, high-tech and multifamily construction projects. Lackey joins the DeAngelis Diamond team from Meta (formerly known as Facebook), where he was head of construction for the Southeast United States. His previous experience includes leadership roles as project executive at Balfour Beatty and Hoar construction.