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VOL. 46 | NO. 34 | Friday, August 26, 2022

Sparks tapped to lead Nashville Bar Association

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Abby Sparks has been named executive director of the Nashville Bar Association and will begin her tenure Sept. 7.

Sparks most recently served as assistant commissioner of People Operations for the Tennessee Department of Human Services. She is an active member of Nashville’s legal community and is a past president of the Lawyers’ Association for Women-Marion Griffin Chapter.

She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and the University of Tennessee College of Law.

Hughes selected as CFO at First Farmers

First Farmers and Merchants Bank – a community bank with 22 locations in seven Middle Tennessee counties – has promoted Stephen K. Hughes to chief operations officer.

Hughes will be responsible for the operational support of all the Bank’s lines of business, ensuring the efficiency necessary to support long-term business objectives. He also will oversee the evolution and adoption of new technology-driven payment solutions.

Hughes has served in various roles at the bank including electronic banking officer, chief wealth management officer, senior commercial banking officer and chief payments officer.

He is also a recent past chair of Maury Regional Health Care Foundation.

FirstBank’s Dunning is promoted to Senior VP

Calvin Dunning has been promoted within FirstBank to senior vice president, director of community development. He will manage and implement the bank’s policies and initiatives regarding community development.

In 2018, Dunning was selected by The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as one of Nashville’s Top 30 Professionals Under 30. He was also a part of the 2019 class of Nashville Emerging Leaders and the 73rd class of The Young Leaders Council. Dunning now serves on the board for Siloam Health, Make-a-Wish Middle TN and Operation Hope.

Dunning earned a degree in international finance at the University of Alabama.

LifePoint Health promotes Brown to expanded role

LifePoint Health has promoted Elliott Brown to treasurer and vice president of finance and investor relations.

Brown joined LifePoint Health in 2010, most recently serving as vice president of finance since 2018. During his nearly 12 years with the company, Brown has been responsible for the its consolidated financial reporting functions and has served as a key member of the financial leadership team. He previously worked for Ernst & Young, LLP as senior associate, assurance services.

He earned a master’s degree in accounting from Middle Tennessee State University and a degree in business administration, accounting, from Auburn University. He is an active member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Foy named chief of staff for Tennessee Dept. of Health

Elizabeth Foy has been appointed chief of staff for the Tennessee Department of Health.

Foy was appointed TDH’s assistant commissioner for legislative affairs earlier this year after serving as legislative liaison for the department since 2021. As assistant commissioner, Foy developed TDH’s annual legislative package and worked with key members of the Tennessee General Assembly on departmental initiatives.

Foy joined TDH after several years in civil private practice and after serving more than a decade as an assistant district attorney for the 20th Judicial District. Foy is a member of the Nashville Bar Association board of directors, the Tennessee Bar Association and is on the steering committee for the Nashville Bar Leadership Forum.

Foy earned her J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law and is a graduate of Kenyon College.

Also at TDH, Mary Katherine Bratton has been appointed the general counsel and will lead an office of five divisions responsible for the legal support of TDH’s bureaus and programs, and the legal work of 36 health-related boards and committees with statewide oversight.

Since the end of 2021, Bratton served as a team lead for the Office of General Counsel at the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation focused on department audit, legislation, and legal support for parks and natural areas.

Beginning in 2012, Bratton joined TDH as assistant general counsel and in 2015 was promoted to deputy general counsel, leading a team focused on cases for disciplinary action related to opioid overprescribing, before becoming the TDH’s chief deputy general counsel in 2017.

Bratton received her J.D. from the Regent University School of Law in Virginia and completed her undergraduate degree at Sewanee: The University of the South.

Frist to chair Nature Conservancy board

The Nature Conservancy announced former Sen. Bill Frist, M.D., has been elected chair of its global board of directors at its recent board meeting in June 2022. He will begin his three-year term in October.

Frist has been a member of the board since June 2015 and serves as vice-chair.

Frist worked as a heart and lung transplant surgeon for 16 years before serving two terms in the United States Senate, representing Tennessee 1995-2007. He was the Senate majority leader 2003-2007, making him both the first practicing physician in the Senate since 1928 and the first senator to be chosen as majority leader that early in their congressional career.

Frist also works as a founding partner of Frist Cressey Ventures and is a special partner at health services investment company Cressey & Company. He is founder and chairman of the Tennessee-based State Collaborative on Reforming Education, the global health nonprofit Hope Through Healing Hands and the regional community health collaborative NashvilleHealth (which has co-led a major citywide initiative to plant half a million trees by 2050), as well as co-chair of the Health Project at the Washington, DC-based Bipartisan Policy Center.

Frist also is founder of the Vanderbilt Organ Transplant Center – the largest heart transplant center in the nation – and serves on the board of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, America’s largest philanthropy devoted to health.

JohnsonPossKirby lures Hoehn from Butler Snow

JohnsonPossKirby Government Relations has added Trammel Hoehn to its team of government relations professionals. Hoehn joins the firm’s core leadership headlined by Katie Ashley, Luke Ashley, Holly Kirby and Nathan Poss.

Hoehn previously served as a senior government relations adviser at Butler Snow and in the Haslam administration as a legislative liaison for the Department of Finance and Administration.

Hoehn is a graduate of the University of Tennessee. He earned his law degree from the University of Memphis.

State Sen. Bell named senior adviser at TWRA

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has named State Sen. Mike Bell (R-Riceville) as the agency’s new senior adviser for legislative affairs and policy. Bell, who had previously announced his intent to retire from the Senate, will resign his seat effective Aug. 31 and begins his new role Sept. 1.

Bell was first elected to Tennessee House District 23 in 2006 representing McMinn and Monroe counties and was subsequently elected to Tennessee Senate District 9 in 2010 representing Brandley, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe and Polk counties.

TWRA also has named Frank Fiss deputy director of business operations and Brandon Wear deputy director of field operations. Fiss and Wear bring a combined 45 years of experience in wildlife and fisheries management with the agency.

Fiss has served several roles during his 25 years in the fisheries division at TWRA, managing trout and smallmouth bass fisheries and, most recently, serving as as chief administrator of the Fisheries Division. He managed statewide sport and commercial fisheries, 19 agency-owned lakes and 11 fish hatcheries.

He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in wildlife and fisheries science from Pennsylvania State University.

Wear previously served as the TWRA Region 3 wildlife program manager in East Tennessee. There, he was responsible for coordinating and directing all wildlife management activities on the 32 wildlife management areas, refuges and other public lands throughout 24 counties, covering nearly 700,000 acres.

Wear previously worked four years as the wildlife manager at South Cherokee and Tellico Lake WMAs, where he partnered with the U.S. Forest Service to manage wildlife on the 300,000-acre southern zone of the Cherokee National Forest.

Wear completed both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in wildlife and fisheries science with honors from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

The agency also has named Torrey Grimes as general counsel.

Grimes comes to the TWRA after a 10-year career with the Tennessee Department of Corrections, where he served as senior counsel and legislative liaison.

Grimes earned a J.D. from the Nashville School of Law, as well as a degree in political science and a master’s in business administration from the University of Tennessee at Martin.

Buffkin / Baker names Ballard chief clinical officer

Buffkin / Baker, a partner-led executive search firm, has added David J. Ballard, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, as chief clinical officer in its health care practice.

Ballard will support the health care delivery vertical of the firm’s health care practice, serving health systems, AAMC institutions, not-for-profit and for-profit hospital and medical groups with physician executive and health care executive searches.

Ballard previously served as chief quality officer of Baylor Scott & White Health, where the organization received both the Leapfrog Patient-Centered Care Award and the National Quality Forum Health Care Award under his leadership.

He also has held leadership roles at Emory University, University of Virginia and Mayo Clinic, and completed five degrees with honors in economics, public health, epidemiology, medicine and business at the University of North Carolina, where he was a John Motley Morehead Scholar. He is a board-certified internist, having completed his residency training in internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic.

Ballard continues to serve as health care policy section editor for the Mayo Clinic Proceedings and associate editor for the Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovations, Quality & Outcomes. He also serves on the boards of several global health care companies.

Ballard has several leadership roles at the University of North Carolina, where he is adjunct professor of health policy and management, a member of the UNC Chancellor’s Global Leadership Council and a member of the UNC Center on the Business of Health Leadership Advisory Board.

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