Village’s Copeland is Realtor of the Year

Friday, March 9, 2012, Vol. 36, No. 10

The Greater Nashville Association of Realtors has named Brian Copeland of Village Real Estate Services the 2011 Realtor of the Year, an award given annually to the GNAR Realtor member who has made the most significant contribution to their clients, to the real estate profession and to the community.

The five immediate past Realtor of the Year recipients select the winner.

Copeland is instrumental in the success of GNAR’s Young Professionals Network, a visible proponent and Golden “R” President’s Circle investor in the Realtors Political Action Committee and founder of Nashville’s REBarCamp.

Since becoming a Realtor, Copeland has served on multiple committees on the local, state and national level, and he is a graduate of Leadership GNAR, Leadership TAR and NAR’s Leadership Academy. He served on the National Committee for the Council of Residential Specialists in 2011 and is now divisional vice president for the Tennessee Association of Realtors and TAR RPAC Trustee.

Other key award recipients recognized at GNAR’s Awards of Excellence Celebration include:

In addition to the special awards, there were 94 GNAR members recognized with Awards of Excellence based on their achievements in sales volume, transactions and Association involvement criteria. Earned recognition ranges from Silver Awards for a minimum of $1 million and 15 transactions to Diamond Awards for more than $10 million in volume and/or 100 transactions. All GNAR winners are listed at

GBT Realty adds 4 to staff, promotes 3

GBT Realty Corporation, a national retail real estate company headquartered in Brentwood, has expanded its team through the addition of four commercial real estate veterans and the promotion of three others within the area of acquisitions and development:

  • Thomas M. Hickman, a 25-year industry veteran, joins the company as senior vice president of acquisitions and development. His responsibilities include identifying new and redevelopment opportunities throughout the southeast, with an emphasis on Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and the southern half of North Carolina.
  • Jeff Pape joins GBT as senior vice president of development. He has more than 17 years of commercial real estate development experience and most recently served as vice president of investments for Regency Centers. He is a member of ICSC and sits on the Certified Design and Construction Professional (CDP) governing committee.
  • Steve Pierce serves as GBT’s vice president of acquisitions, responsible for site selection for retail tenants throughout the northeast. He has more than 14 years of commercial and real estate experience and also founded National Property Services in 2007.
  • Rita Bryant joins as vice president of asset management and will be responsible for managing GBT’s existing portfolio and new development assets. This includes processing leases, providing legal support for property management and handling legal matters related to the company’s dispositions. Bryant comes to GBT after serving as in-house counsel for nearly seven years with Realty Income Corporation, a San Diego-based REIT.
  • Chuck Varn has been promoted to senior vice president of acquisitions and development after serving in a similar capacity as vice president. He is responsible for site selection for many national retailers, along with locating new retail opportunities for the company.
  • Alan Ray Brewer has been promoted to vice president of development. He oversees project management for commercial sites from conception to construction. He formerly served as development project manager.
  • Preston Dial was promoted to assistant vice president of acquisitions and development for sites in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and northern North Carolina. He formerly served as business development manager.

Pinnacle forms auto finance group

Pinnacle Financial Partners has formed an automotive finance group that will serve the needs of automobile dealers and car buyers.

Veteran financial services professional David Copeland leads the team from Pinnacle’s Northshore Drive office in Knoxville, and Richard Perkins and Jeff Rhodes are based at the downtown Nashville office at Pinnacle at Symphony Place.

Perkins joins Pinnacle as a vice president and underwriter for the automotive finance team. He brings 24 years of dealer experience including prior roles with Regions Bank, National City Bank and First American National Bank.

Rhodes, with 22 years of experience, is a vice president and marketing/sales representative. Prior roles include serving as vice president and sales manager for dealer financial services at Regions Financial Corporation (formerly AmSouth Bank), sales support manager for Primus Automotive Financial Services and regional administrative supervisor for General Motors Acceptance Corporation.

Markham joins Stantec practice in Nashville

Mark Markham, Jr., PE has joined Stantec’s Nashville office as a senior project manager with the firm’s Environmental Services practice.

Markham has more than 33 years of experience in design and project management of water infrastructure across the Southeast. His work encompasses design of water and wastewater treatment facilities, pumping facilities, sanitary sewer systems, water distribution systems, industrial waste treatment facilities and gas distribution and transmission systems.

Stantec’s 45-person Nashville office staff provides a range of services in geotechnical engineering, transportation engineering, natural resource management, environmental engineering and environmental remediation.

Suntrust Mortgage honors top producers

Seven loan officers from Middle Tennessee are among SunTrust Mortgage’s top national top producers, the bank announced. Inclusion in this group is the highest honor the company confers upon its loan officers, with each honoree producing more than $30 million, 100 or more loans, or both.

Middle Tennesseans honored include:

  • Carolyn Daniels, Vanderbilt Medical Private Office
  • Alene Gnyp, Medical Private Office
  • Jason Kaplan, Hillsboro Village/West End
  • Ellen May, Sports & Entertainment Banking
  • Lottie McCormick, Cool Springs/Gallatin
  • Michael Ribas, Bellevue/Grassland
  • Kelly Weathers, Nashville Private Office

Additionally, client relationship specialist Steven Lewis was recognized for outstanding production for the cross-sell unit.

Littler Mendelson adds to Nashville practice

Littler Mendelson, P.C., the nation’s largest employment and labor law firm representing management, has added J. Christopher Anderson and Tara Presnell as shareholders in the firm’s expanding Nashville office. Both formerly practiced at Miller & Martin.

Anderson brings extensive experience representing employers in a broad range of labor and employment law matters, particularly wage and hour, discrimination and workplace safety. He served as chair of Miller & Martin’s Workplace Safety Practice Group prior to joining Littler. Anderson earned his J.D. from University of Tennessee College of Law and his B.A. from the UT-Knoxville.

Presnell specializes in providing counsel for employers regarding various employment law matters, such as workplace discrimination and harassment, medical leave, employment policies, disciplining employees and performance problems. She also helps clients with single plaintiff employment discrimination lawsuits, wage and hour class actions, as well as claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. At Miller & Martin, Presnell was part of the Labor & Employment Department and the Transportation Law practice group. She earned her J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law and her B.A. from University of California at Berkeley.

Catholic Charities volunteer QB Award

The Tennessee Titans have named Sue Hillman the winner of the 2011 Titans Community Quarterback Award.

In winning the award, Hillman also earned a $10,000 grant from Titans owner K.S. “Bud” Adams, Jr. and the Tennessee Titans Foundation for her non-profit organization, Catholic Charities of Tennessee and its Caring Choices Adoption and Pregnancy Counseling program.

Hillman was specifically cited for the time and love she has provided more than 100 babies from two days to 12 months old for whom she has provided temporary foster care since 1990.

Hillman was one of four volunteers recognized for their volunteer work with non-profit organizations in. These volunteers were chosen based on their leadership and dedication to bettering their hometown communities. The other three winners are volunteers for Forever Young Senior Wish Organization (Memphis), Special Kids, Inc. (Murfreesboro), and CASA of Davidson County (Nashville).

“We have been presenting the Titans Community Quarterback Award since 2000 and we are continually amazed at the magnificent volunteer work throughout the state,” Adams said.