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VOL. 43 | NO. 9 | Friday, March 1, 2019

Elliott Davis names Schmitz market leader

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Elliott Davis, a business solutions firm with nine offices across the Southeast, has hired James (Jim) Schmitz as market leader for the firm’s Nashville office. Schmitz retired last year as Middle Tennessee president of Regions Bank.

Schmitz will lead initiate, foster and manage the organization’s business and community engagement initiatives for Nashville and surrounding areas.

At Region’s Bank, Schmitz oversaw operations in 15 Middle Tennessee counties for Regions Financial Corporation. Before that, Schmitz was a Regions area executive in North Florida, managing commercial real estate sales and holding positions as vice president and relationship manager. Before joining Regions, Schmitz spent more than 10 years in the banking and mortgage industry.

Schmitz is currently vice chair of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as a mayor-appointed member of the Metropolitan Housing Trust Fund. He is the immediate past board chairman for both the United Way of Metro Nashville and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center.

He holds a degree in communications from the University of California Santa Barbara and attended graduate school at the University of Tennessee.

FirstBank adds Sims as general counsel


Nashville attorney Beth Sims, most recently a partner at Butler Snow and head of the firm’s securities team, has joined FirstBank and FB Financial Corporation as executive vice president and general counsel.

Sims will be responsible for managing the bank’s legal functions, serving as a liaison with outside counsel and advising senior management on legal and regulatory matters. She also will work closely with and provide counsel on corporate governance matters to holding company FB Financial Corporation’s board of directors.

At Butler Snow, Sims’ client work included counseling corporations on public and private stock offerings, corporate governance, mergers and acquisition, and capital market initiatives and advising broker-dealers, investment advisers and other financial service providers regarding regulatory compliance issues.

Sims is a graduate of The College of Wooster and the University of Tennessee, where she earned her juris doctorate.

PYA’s Ballard honored with namesake award


Tom Ballard, chief alliance officer of PYA, a nationwide health care consulting and certified public accounting firm with offices here, was presented the first-ever Thomas B. Ballard Advanced Energy Leadership Award earlier this month by the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council.

Named in his honor, the inaugural award was bestowed earlier this month during TAEBC’s annual meeting at Schneider Electric’s Nashville Hub.

The award recognizes exemplary leadership and success in championing, connecting, and strengthening Tennessee’s advanced energy economy.

Ballard was TAEBC’s first president upon its launch in 2014 and served on the board of directors until 2019. In addition to his position at Knoxville-based PYA, he also serves as editor of Teknovation.biz, a web-based service launched in 2011 to spotlight and celebrate technology, innovation and entrepreneurship in Tennessee.

TPAC names Turner as new president, CEO

The nonprofit Tennessee Performing Arts Center has selected Jennifer Turner as president and chief executive officer starting in May.

Turner will follow Kathleen O’Brien, who will retire from TPAC in July, ending a 14-year tenure at the head of the arts center and 31 total years at TPAC. O’Brien, the first woman to lead TPAC in its almost 39-year history, started as public affairs director in 1988.

Turner currently serves as the executive vice president and managing director for Segerstrom Center for the Arts, an acclaimed arts institution in Southern California with an annual budget of more than $60 million and serving a million annual visitors through its performances, community engagement and education programs.

With more than 20 years of experience in nonprofits arts, Turner previously was the chief operating officer for the national historic landmark Auditorium Theatre in Chicago and held roles with Michigan Opera Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company and Harper College. Turner completed her undergraduate studies at Michigan State University and has a graduate degree from Roosevelt University in public administration, nonprofit management.

3 from Pinnacle listed among best wealth advisers

Forbes magazine has named Pinnacle Financial Partners financial advisers Sam Oakley, Brock Kidd and James Hare as “Best-In-State Wealth Advisors” for Tennessee. The list ranks more than 3,000 top-performing advisers from across the country. Oakley earned the No. 15 spot, Kidd No. 25 and Hare No. 31.

This is the first appearance on this list for Kidd and Oakley, and Hare’s second. All have earned numerous honors in the past. All three were named among the Top 100 Bank Advisors by Bank Investment Consultant in 2018, with Hare coming in at No. 1 nationwide.

The Forbes ranking is based on research and interviews conducted by SHOOK Research that looked at industry experience, community involvement, client retention, revenue trends and more. Learn more about the methodology below.

New Leaders Council selects 21 for fellowship

New Leaders Council Nashville, the local chapter of the national progressive training fellowship, has begun its 2019 class.

The fellows, who were chosen after a rigorous selections process, come from the nonprofit, advocacy, business, political and faith communities. They will be trained on skills of communications, field organizing, fundraising, policy and more during the six-month fellowship. Their graduation, held in conjunction with the NLC annual fundraiser, will be June 29.

This is NLC Nashville’s seventh cohort since the chapter’s founding in 2013. New Leaders Council is a national organization with 50 chapters across the country and nearly 7,000 alumni.

The 2019 Fellows are:

• Rhiana Anthony, organizer, The Icarus Project

• Joseph Bazelais, Community Catalyst

• Kayla Brooks, network manager, Seeding Success

• Jayme Brunson, coordinator of library administration, Middle Tennessee State University

• Nick Cavin, health care analyst, naviHealth

• Judith Clerjeune, policy officer, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition

• Karla Coleman Garcia, director of strategic alignment for adult leader initiatives, Tennessee Higher Education Commission

• Nicole Dorris, political consultant

• Camila Herrera, integration director, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition

• Brandon Hill, Director, Mayor’s Youth Council of Nashville/Davidson County

• Shantell Hinton, assistant chaplain and assistant director, Vanderbilt University Office of Religious Life

• Ray Holloman, business continuity administrator, HCA Healthcare

• Tara Houston, program manager, Nashville Software School

• Frank Hundley, political consultant

• Sean Parker, community organizer

• Lindsey Smith, campaign manager, Bob Mendes for Metro Council-at-Large

• Eli Stanfield, East Tennessee organizer, United Campus Workers

• Charles Uffelman, political consultant

• Ben Weinstein, development director, A Step Ahead Foundation of Middle Tennessee

• Candis White, communications coordinator, Metro Nashville Public Defender’s Office

• Kelli X, minister of spiritual guidance and administration, The Village Church

Register of Deeds names chief deputy


Davidson County Register of Deeds Karen Johnson has appointed Tom Sealy as her chief deputy. Previously the chief deputy of information technology, Sealy will now be the office’s second in command.

A Nashville native, Sealy has worked in the Davidson County Register of Deeds office since 1982. As a systems administrator and analyst since 2004, he oversaw the adoption of a broad array of software that digitalized the office’s operation.

He earned a degree in business administration from Belmont University and an associate degree in science from Volunteer State Community College.

Tennessee GOP picks new press secretary


Heather Trotter has been named press secretary of the Tennessee Republican Party.

Trotter is a native of Franklin and a graduate of Baylor University, where she earned a degree in journalism and public relations. She previously worked in the music business as publicity manager and director of publicity for 117 Entertainment Group, where she worked on campaigns for country music stars such as Mickey Gilley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Randy Travis.

Dickens named to board of Jackson Foundation


Former Nashvillian of the Year and longtime community leader Marty Dickens joins the board of trustees for the Andrew Jackson Foundation, raising the number of trustees to 15.

Dickens joins other well-known board members Jon Meacham, Michael R. Beschloss, Mara Liasson, Charles Overby and Brian Kilmeade, among others.

Dickens brings experience from a vast array of board positions and his career with BellSouth International and AT&T. He has been recognized as “Father of the Year” by the Diabetes Association (2006), “Outstanding Nashvillian of the Year” by the Kiwanis Club of Nashville (2006), Business Man of the Year - Joe & Honey Rodgers Leadership Award (OAG 2010) and Nashvillian of the Year in 2013 by Easter Seals Tennessee. In 2012, he was honored by Belmont University with the naming of Dickens Hall.

Cumberland Trust adds Drennan as vice president


Nashville-based independent corporate trustee Cumberland Trust has added April Drennan as vice president and special assets officer.

Before joining Cumberland Trust, Drennan worked at SunTrust Bank in Nashville as a trust adviser. She also served as the closely held business asset manager, and through that position navigated and executed the management, administration, acquisitions, sales and liquidations of private investments held in trusts and other structures.

Drennan holds a business administration degree from Berea College and an MBA from Bethel University. She is a graduate of American Bankers Association Trust School and is a member of the National Trust Closely Held Business Association and the National Trust Real Estate Association.

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