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VOL. 45 | NO. 37 | Friday, September 10, 2021

Executive Leadership Institute class chosen

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The University of Tennessee has announced its third Executive Leadership Institute class.

Twenty-four faculty and staff members, representing each University of Tennessee campus and institute and overseeing critical functions across the UT System, have been chosen.

This 12-month program, created by UT President Emeritus Joe DiPietro in 2018, was designed to prepare internal candidates for senior leadership roles.

Led by Robert Smith, special adviser for executive leadership and talent development to the UT president, the institute offers attendees special development plans, executive coaching, mentoring and experiential learning.

“This is the largest group we’ve ever accepted, and it will be our first class to use a new online portal to enhance their development experience,” Smith says. “I think this promises to be one of the most comprehensive executive leadership learning experiences offered anywhere. It is exciting to work with such a talented group.”

The 2022 UT Executive Leadership Institute class members are:

UT Chattanooga

• Vicki Farnsworth, chief information officer

• Stacy Lightfoot, vice chancellor for diversity and engagement

• David Steele, chief of staff

UT Foundation Inc.

• Evan Beech, director, specialized giving

• Adam Heller, chief financial officer and treasurer

UT Health Science Center

• Jeff Brooks, executive associate dean, department of oral and maxillofacial surgery

• Teresa Hartnett, associate dean for finance and administration, College of Medicine

• Paul Luepke, chair, department of periodontology, College of Dentistry

UT Institute of Agriculture

• Doug Bohner, human resources officer

• Craig Pickett, director for diversity

• David White, associate dean for research

UT Institute for Public Service

• Susan Robertson, communications manager

UT Knoxville

• Mónica Lebrón, deputy athletics director for championship resources

• Holly Mercer, senior associate dean

UT Martin

• Nancy Buschhaus, interim chair, department of biological sciences

• Edie Gibson, senior adviser to the chancellor

• Mark McCloud, chief diversity and inclusion officer

UT Southern

• Mark La Branche, chancellor

• Robby Shelton, vice chancellor for finance and administration

UT System Administration

• Brian Daniels, chief audit and compliance officer

• Ellie Dougherty, director of marketing

• Pam Jeffreys, risk management director

• Jorge Pérez, associate vice president for institutional effectiveness

• Timothy Sigler, assistant vice president for government relations and advocacy

Gastrointestinal Associates welcome Samavedy

Ramanujan Samavedy, M.D., has joined Gastrointestinal Associates.

He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in both gastroenterology and internal medicine and a member of the American College of Gastroenterology and American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

“As GIA celebrates 50 years of serving East Tennessee, we want to continue our tradition of providing outstanding care,” says Jeff Dew, CEO of Gastrointestinal Associates. “We welcome Dr. Samavedy to our team as we grow to provide modern and high-quality gastrointestinal care in the region.”

Samavedy is a native of India, where he earned an MBBS, the equivalent of a Doctor of Medicine, at Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research, Pondicherry University in 1992. Upon relocating to the United States, he completed an internship at Long Island College Hospital in New York, residency at Indiana University Medical Center and fellowships at Indiana University Medical Center and the University of Wisconsin.

Before joining Gastrointestinal Associates, he served as faculty at both Indiana University and the University of Tennessee for a total of 18 years, including seven years as the medical director of endoscopy at UT Medical Center.

KCDC’s Toby wins Rising Star Award

Kristie Toby, a housing operations director for Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation, has been awarded the Rising Star Award by the Southeastern Affordable Housing Management Association.

Members of SAHMA, which include owners and managers of affordable, multifamily housing in the Southeast, select one emerging leader in the field each year to receive the award.

In a letter to Toby, SAHMA President Sondra Wimbs recognized her as “a person destined for success” in the industry.

“We are proud of Kristie and appreciate the positive impact she makes at our communities and in our residents’ lives,” KCDC Executive Director and CEO Ben Bentley says. “Her commitment to KCDC’s mission to improve neighborhoods is apparent and impactful.”

Toby joined KCDC in 1997 as a program technician.

The SAHMA Rising Star Award honors the legacy of Ed Sisson and Patty Ownby, trailblazers who provided and improved the quality of affordable housing in the Southeast throughout their careers. Toby joins an honor roll of deserving recipients since the awards inception in 1995.

KBA adds attorneys, students to roster

The Knoxville Bar Association has welcomed new members to its organization.

They are:

• Andrew R. Brassler, Kennerly Montgomery & Finley, P.C.

• Michael Clement, Ridenour & Ridenour

• Matthew Fink, Rathbone Group LLC

• Sharon D. Frankenburg, Jon C. Fromke, Butler, Vines & Babb, PLLC

• Rebecca B. Kite, U.T. College of Law

• Mary C. Moffatt, Wimberly Lawson Wright Daves & Jones, PLLC

• Brenda J. Ponsford, Aardvark Family Services

• Ann E. Sartwell, Joseph Z. Winders, Fox & Farmer

The new law student members are Kyle Brantley and Bridget J. Pyman

Four students earn Manning scholarships

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s newest Peyton Manning Scholars have been announced.

First-year scholars Sidney Bennett, Obinze Nwokochah, Olivia Upchurch, and Madison Williams join a legacy of 45 recipients, bringing the total of Peyton Manning Scholars to 49. Manning has endowed the four-year scholarship since 1998, increasing the number of annual recipients from one to four during that time.

• Bennett, of Brentwood, plans to study biology and wants to enter the medical profession. She has participated in STriVE at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, a program that allows high school students to play with young patients, learn to operate playrooms and explore the medical field. Bennett’s participation fueled her desire to advocate for child life programs in underserved health care systems. She held leadership positions within the National Art Honors Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and she was the captain of her school’s undefeated state champion girls’ cross-country team.

• Nwokochah, of Mount Juliet, plans to major in biology and pursue a career in the health care industry. A Nashville native, he was raised with Nigerian roots and culture instilled by his immigrant parents. He has led through involvement in clubs such as Health Occupations Students of America, the Science Olympiad, International Club and Save the Children, and as an officer in the Black Student Union. He also enjoys singing and producing songs, sports, being a member of his school’s nationally competitive show choir, acting in musicals, and creating social media content.

• Upchurch, of Denton, Texas, plans to major in psychology to become a licensed professional counselor and incorporate equine therapy into her future practice. She was valedictorian of her class, captain of the varsity basketball team, president of the Spanish Honor Society and a senior class officer. She loves serving children in need through volunteering and as a leader of her church’s youth group. She also enjoys riding horses and participating in hunter jumper shows, playing the piano and camping.

• Williams, of Newport, plans to double major in psychology and communications and is interested in bringing equal opportunities to traditionally low-income communities like her own. She served as president of her school’s Student Council and the Future Business Leaders of America. She played four years of varsity volleyball and was co-captain of the team her senior year. She enjoys working with kids in sports, in particular through her local Little League team.

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