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VOL. 42 | NO. 15 | Friday, April 13, 2018

Leonard named CEO, Winemiller promoted

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Merchant & Gould has announced Christopher J. Leonard as its new CEO.

Leonard has been the managing partner of the Knoxville office. He will start July 1.


He will succeed Brian H. Batzli as the firm’s CEO, managing director and chairman of the board.

John Winemiller has also been named managing partner of the Knoxville office as Leonard moves into his new role as CEO.

Merchant & Gould practices in all areas of intellectual property law and has offices in Atlanta, Denver, Knoxville, Madison, Minneapolis, New York, Silicon Valley and the Washington, D.C. area. Leonard will manage the firm’s operations throughout the United States and internationally through associated foreign counsel.

“Chris Leonard is a wonderful choice to be the next CEO of Merchant & Gould,” Batzli says. “He has over 24 years of experience in intellectual property law and has served for many years in firm management. He is a trusted leader here at Merchant & Gould – as is John Winemiller, who will follow in Chris’ footsteps as the managing partner in Knoxville. I know that the future for our firm and our clients is in good hands.”

“Building and supporting the reach and impact of Merchant & Gould, serving our clients from Atlanta to Knoxville and beyond, has been the highlight of my career,” Leonard says. “I am proud to continue that work as CEO, ensuring that we continue to deliver unparalleled technical experience, unmatched value, lasting partnerships and a commitment to diversity. Furthermore, I am pleased that my friend and colleague John Winemiller will be doing the same from the Knoxville office.”

Leonard founded and managed the firm’s Atlanta office for eight years beginning in 2000 and then founded the Knoxville office in 2008. He also served on the firm’s executive committee for seven years,

Prior to becoming an attorney, Leonard served as an officer in the United States Air Force where he worked with the ground-launched cruise missile weapon system.

Leonard holds a degree in industrial engineering from the University of Tennessee, a certificate in Software Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a J.D. from the UT College of Law. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School General Management Program and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.

Winemiller joined Merchant & Gould in 2008 and focuses his practice on patent, trademark, trade secret, unfair competition and copyright litigation, as well as intellectual property licensing issues and trademark, patent and copyright counseling and prosecution.

Winemiller earned degree from Carleton College and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in music history and theory from the University of Chicago. Prior to becoming a lawyer, he was a faculty member at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Winemiller is also an adjunct professor at the UT College of Law.

ORNL promotes Peery in global security unit


James Peery has been named associate laboratory director of global security at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Perry led national security programs at Sandia National Laboratories and held multiple leadership positions at Los Alamos National Laboratory before arriving at ORNL last year.

He succeeds Brent Park, who was recently confirmed as deputy administrator for defense nuclear nonproliferation at DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Park has led the Global Security Directorate since July 2010.

“James will be responsible for ensuring that ORNL is applying its research strengths to the highest priorities for our nation’s security, and his more than two decades of experience in creating successful initiatives makes him well qualified to lead the Global Security Directorate staff in its compelling mission,” says Thomas Zacharia, ORNl director.

A member of the U.S. Air Force’s Scientific Advisory Board, Peery began his career at Sandia in 1990. He graduated from Texas A&M University with a doctorate in nuclear engineering.

Massey to retire, Sharp promoted


Madeline Rogero, Knoxville’s mayor, has announced the retirement of David Massey as the city’s neighborhood coordinator and the promotion of Debbie Sharp to that position.

Massey had served as coordinator since May 2008, and he will retire in June.

Sharp has served as assistant neighborhood coordinator.

“David’s tireless dedication has built the Office of Neighborhoods into an essential connection between neighborhood associations and City government,’’ Rogero says. “He has helped neighborhood groups organize and advocate effectively for their priorities.

“Debbie shares his commitment to working with communities across Knoxville, and she will make sure the office remains an invaluable resource for our residents.”

Massey spent the bulk of his career as a reporter and editor covering the energy industry. He was president of the Fourth and Gill Neighborhood Organization in the early 1990s and was involved in the successful multi-neighborhood effort to stop the construction of a large garbage incinerator on Baxter Avenue.


Sharp is active in the South Woodlawn Neighborhood Association and was a driving force behind the neighborhood’s designation by the National Wildlife Federation as Tennessee’s first certified community wildlife habitat. She has also been active in the League of Women Voters and was a member of CAC’s Community Leadership Class of 2005.

Prior to joining the City, Sharp worked for Community Connections, where she managed a team of five caseworkers who advocated for clients with developmental disabilities.

Anderson wins Conn Good Neighbor honor


Timbercrest resident Kirk Anderson is this year’s recipient of the Diana Conn Good Neighbor Award, given by the City of Knoxville’s Office of Neighborhoods.

Anderson was nominated by James and Clara Newbill his service to his neighbors, including this good neighbor moment:

“Kirk Anderson and his brother, realizing that two neighbors were having difficulty exiting their car after a doctor’s office visit, carried one of them from the car into the house, up the stairs and into her bed; Kirk stayed with the couple until they were well enough to be left on their own.”

The other nominees were:

• Helen Bachrach, RiverHill Gateway Neighborhood Association

• Sylvia Cook, Eastport / Five Points Neighborhood Watch

• Yarrish Cook, Mechanicsville Community Association.

• David Gillette, Mechanicsville Community Association

• Stuart Hall, West Haven Village Neighborhood Community Association

• Paula Minhinnett, Top of the Ridge Neighborhood Watch

KAT Appreciation Day honors bus operators

Knoxville Area Transit recently held its annual Driver Appreciation Day.

Among those recognized was Jeff Cashion. He has driven more than 2 million miles, accident free, over 28 years.

There are 25 KAT bus operators in the Million Mile Club who have each driven a million or more miles behind the wheel of a KAT bus without a preventable accident.

Ventrice Hodge was recognized for a special act of kindess. She was driving the Route 23-Millertown bus last year when she noticed an elderly woman who had fallen in her driveway. The bus was safely parked, and Hodge jumped off the bus to help the woman get back on her feet.

Blount County Schools launches Hall of Fame

Blount County Schools has inducted 16 into its first Educator Hall of Fame.

The inductees are:

Lenville Powell, Sharon Webb, Gippie Coblentz, Marilyn Byrd, Diane Cochran, Leroy Painter, Jody Rogers, Lynn Wilde, Claudia Erwin, Alvin Hord, Jim Compton, Kathy Hunt, Elsie Burrell, Galen Johnson, Ben Dalton and Patricia McCurry.

Burrell, Johnson, Dalton and McCurry are deceased.

Dean promoted, succeeds Buchanan


David J. Dean has been named associate laboratory director for physical sciences at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Dean succeeds Michelle Buchanan, who became ORNL’s Deputy for Science and Technology in October.

The Physical Sciences Directorate includes materials science and technology, chemical sciences, nanoscience, physics and isotope production research programs and activities.


“In his new position, David will pursue excellence across our broad physical sciences portfolio, with particular emphases on quantum materials; structural materials and alloys; soft materials; nanoscience; and applications of materials and chemistry in energy and security,” says Thomas Zacharia, ORNL director.

“David believes strongly in the linking of theory, computation and data, and in using computing both to advance physics, materials and chemistry and to develop the science that will undergird the future of computing. He will pursue forefront research and development using the lab’s leading neutron facilities, and he envisions continuing growth in ORNL’s isotope production as well as in the partnerships that advance research with those isotopes,” Zacharia adds.

Dean first worked at ORNL as a graduate student from Vanderbilt University. After earning his doctorate from Vanderbilt in 1991, he took a postdoctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology, then returned to ORNL in 1995.

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