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VOL. 39 | NO. 47 | Friday, November 20, 2015

Patterson Law welcomes attorney, engineer Sekyi

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Registered patent attorney William Sekyi has joined Patterson Intellectual Property Law, P.C., as Of Counsel. Sekyi has 14 years of experience in intellectual property law and 16 years of experience as an engineer.

For seven years, Sekyi was with Fish & Richardson, P.C. in Washington D.C., where he managed patent litigation teams and was involved in patent prosecution and client counseling. Previously, he was an associate at Arnold & Porter, LLP.

As an engineer, he worked for companies such as Exxon, and for Mobil Oil, Shell, and Schlumberger Technical Services overseas in Ghana, Germany, Italy and Libya.

Sekyi is a 2002 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center. He holds an M.S. in petroleum engineering from Louisiana State University, and a B.S. with honors in mechanical engineering from Imperial College, London University, in the U.K.

Stites & Harbison adds to real estate, banking


Stites & Harbison, PLLC is welcoming three attorneys with David Wicker joining the Nashville office and Will Brown and Madison (Matt) Roberts IV joining the Franklin office. All three attorneys are joining the firm’s Real Estate & Banking Service Group.

Roberts is a member of the firm. His practice focuses on real estate and finance, property tax and business litigation.



Outside of the firm, he serves as president of the Williamson County CASA, Inc. Board of Directors. He is also a board member, legislative committee chair and past president of Tennessee Association of Property Tax Professionals.

Wicker also is a member. Before joining the firm, Wicker had his own real estate law firm in Nashville. Outside of the firm, he serves as a board member of the Metropolitan Nashville Sports Authority.

Brown is focusing on real estate, finance and business law. Prior to joining the firm, Brown practiced for several years with a litigation boutique firm in Nashville, where he advised businesses and executives on a wide array of issues.

Tennessee Justice Center picks inaugural inductees

The Tennessee Justice Center will honor nine leaders in the legal profession as inaugural inductees into TJC’s Hall of Fame for their instrumental contributions in establishing and supporting the organization over its 20-year history. The honorees will be officially recognized at TJC’s 20th anniversary dinner on November 12.

The nine inductees are:

Margaret Behm, Nashville, treasurer of TJC’s first board of directors

Riney Green, Nashville, president of TJC’s first board of directors

Harlan Dodson, Nashville, drafted the incorporating papers and was one of the main incorporators of the TJC

Harris Gilbert, Nashville, past Tennessee Bar Association Presidents who organized bar leaders to establish TJC

David Herbert, Nashville, helped secure funding for TJC as former Tennessee Bar Foundation Chair

Ashley Wiltshire, Nashville, former executive director of the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee who led other legal services directors to sacrifice their own funding so that the Tennessee Bar Foundation could fund TJC

Mike Cody, Memphis, former Tennessee attorney general and early board member of TJC who promoted the organization’s credibility throughout the state

Lowry Kline, Chattanooga, helped secure funding for TJC as former Tennessee Bar foundation chair

Howard Vogel, Knoxville, past Tennessee Bar Association President who organized bar leaders to establish TJC

The Tennessee Justice Center is a non-profit public interest law and advocacy firm serving families in Tennessee. It gives priority to policy issues and civil cases in which the most basic necessities of life are at stake and where advocacy can benefit needy families statewide. TJC works to empower its clients by holding government accountable for its policies and actions.

YWCA names Magras VP of community programs


LaRhonda Magras has been named vice president of community programs for the YWCA of Nashville & Middle Tennessee, and Trish Davis has been promoted to director of domestic violence services.

Magras will oversee the Family Literacy Center, Girls Inc., Dress for Success Nashville and Racial Justice programs.

Prior to joining the YWCA team, Magras served as the director of Children and Youth Initiatives in the Office of Nashville Mayor Karl F. Dean. Magras brings more than 20 years of experience to the YWCA, having worked in urban and rural communities leading anti-poverty and social justice programs.

She earned a master’s degree in human services administration from Spertus College and a degree in sociology from Chicago State University.


Previously, Davis was manager of supportive services for the YWCA’s Weaver Domestic Violence Center. The Weaver Center is the largest emergency shelter in the state of Tennessee for domestic abuse survivors and their children.

Davis will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Weaver Center, the 24-hour crisis and information hotline, transitional housing, counseling and case management services.

Davis began her career at the YWCA as a crisis counselor. She holds degrees in psychology and criminal justice from Middle Tennessee State University

Pathway Business Center names inaugural board

Pathway Women’s Business Center, a division of Pathway Lending, which supports women entrepreneurs, has announced its inaugural Board of Advisors. The board of 11 business leaders and community pillars will be integral to setting the course, tone, services and content of Pathway Women’s Business Center, which focuses on women entrepreneurs in all stages of their business in the 16-county, Clarksville-Nashville-Murfreesboro region.

Board members:

Renee Bobb is an authority in the field of career empowerment and small business development. She has authored a number of books and, as the CEO of R.B.I. Enterprise, facilitates a variety of training classes on the subjects. Since 2009, Bobb also has worked at Operation Stand Down Tennessee as outreach/job development coordinator and prides herself on helping homeless veterans secure housing and viable employment.

Joy Johnson’s experience ranges from serving in the U.S. Army to being a St. Louis County Police Officer to an adjunct college professor for more than 15 years. Founder of JTraining Solutions, Johnson serves as a professional speaker and training consultant. She has worked with international clientele on three continents.

Kelley Kee joined Regions Bank more than 17 years ago as a branch manager and has since served in numerous leadership positions with the bank in Knoxville, Tri-Cities and now in Nashville as the business banking executive for Middle Tennessee.

Joan LaGrasse, who as the owner and CEO of Imagen LLC, a full-service exhibit house, has tackled the art of storytelling through exhibits in a retail setting, tradeshows and museums.

Rachel Schaffer Lawson started her own legal practice in 2011 and quickly realized how much she loved helping other entrepreneurs make their dreams come true. She now dedicates her practice to assisting local entrepreneurs, focusing on the hospitality industry.

Kelly Magill has been an entrepreneur for more than 20 years. She publishes Nashville Interiors magazine and leads an award-winning video production company, KellyGirl Video.

CeCe McCormick-Moore co-founded the first Sweet CeCe’s Frozen Yogurt and Treats in 2009 and now has two dozen locations in eight states. She has since written and published a children’s book and opened her second food service concept in Nashville.

Janet Miller has been a key player in Nashville’s commercial real estate community for more than 30 years. She joined Colliers Nashville as CEO and market leader in September of 2014, following 21 years of service as the chief economic development officer for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Lori Smith spent her early career in various corporate roles prior to returning to Clarksville Fencing, her family’s business, in 2010.

Brittany Wegusen is the CEO and founder of Kalatech, a company that develops technology solutions for the music industry, specifically for booking agencies, tour logistics and music publishing companies. Wegusen also is a partner and director of operations at DevDigital, a Nashville based enterprise software & mobile development firm.

Crissy Wieck Welhoelter is a senior vice president of sales at Western Express, the largest woman-owned business in Tennessee and the largest woman-owned/diversity truckload carrier in the country.

More information about the Center, including services and events, can be found at www.PathwayWBC.org.

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