» Subscribe Today!
The Power of Information
The Ledger - EST. 1978 - Nashville Edition
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Article
VOL. 41 | NO. 6 | Friday, February 10, 2017

Baker Donelson names 3 to firm leadership roles

Print | Front Page | Email this story


Baker Donelson has named Bruce C. Doeg the firm’s chief strategic officer, Tonya Mitchem Grindon chair of Baker Donelson’s Business Department, a position previously held by Doeg for the last eight years, and Matthew T. Harris chair of the firm’s Real Estate Group.

As Baker Donelson’s chief strategic officer, Doeg will work closely with firm leadership to develop and implement strategic approaches to meet client needs and firm growth. Doeg will maintain his legal practice, focusing in the areas of business law with an emphasis on technology and life sciences, serving as outside corporate and board counsel for companies across numerous industries, including technology, life sciences, manufacturing and journalism.


Grindon, who served as chair of the firm’s Corporate Finance and Securities Group for nine years, will now oversee the more than 200 attorneys across the Firm’s 25 offices who make up the Business Department, which includes the Commercial Transactions & Business Counseling, Corporate Finance & Securities, Intellectual Property, Real Estate and Tax practice groups.


The Business Department, which completed more than $15 billion in transactions over the past two years, assists public, private and emerging companies across a wide span of practice areas and has deep experience in numerous and diverse industry sectors.

As chair of the firm’s Real Estate Group, Harris will oversee more than 100 attorneys involved in real estate and financing transactions on a regional and national scale for clients across a variety of industries, including retail, multi-family, environmental, industrial and distribution, REITs and wireless telecommunications.

Former NBA executive joins Bass, Berry & Sims


Timothy (Tim) J. Browne has joined as counsel in Bass, Berry & Sims PLC’s Nashville office.

Browne was formerly vice president of legal and business affairs and co-head of the Media Legal Group of the National Basketball Association office in New York.

At Bass, Berry & Sims, Browne will focus on advising clients on their production, acquisition, protection and distribution of various forms of intellectual property.

During his time at the NBA, Browne advised the league and its teams on a variety of licensing and business matters in the areas of digital and social media, content production and distribution, marketing and advertising, and events and entertainment. He also negotiated and administered some of the NBA’s most significant media partnerships, including national media rights agreements between the NBA and major content companies, such as ESPN, Turner Broadcasting, YouTube, Facebook and SiriusXM.

Prior to the NBA, Browne worked as a corporate associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in New York.

Browne earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

Dickinson Wright adds McPike to Music Row


Entertainment attorney Noah McPike has joined the firm’s Music Row office of Dickinson Wright, PLLC. McPike represents independent and major label artists, writers, producers, industry executives, as well as new media, intellectual property and corporate clients.

McPike has represented artists that have collectively sold more than 15 million albums worldwide, representing GRAMMY/CMA/ACM and other industry award winners, securing and negotiating a large number of major label/major independent label recording agreements, negotiating touring agreements and asset/catalog purchase agreements, and working extensively with entertainment and corporate clients to develop and protect their intellectual property rights through the procurement and licensing of copyrights and trademarks.

McPike is an active member of Copyright Society of the South, has served on the Executive Council for the Tennessee Bar Association Sports and Entertainment Law Section, serves as volunteer attorney for Tennessee Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and is a regular speaker on the entertainment CLE circuits.

McPike earned his law degree at the University of New Hampshire School of Law and his undergraduate degree at the College of the Holy Cross.

Gullett Sanford Robinson & Martin chooses Welty


Phillip P. Welty has been named managing partner of Gullett Sanford Robinson & Martin PLLC. The managing partner chairs GSRM’s four member Firm Committee that provides leadership and strategic direction for the firm. Welty has been with GSRM since 1999 and practices in the firm’s litigation section.

Welty succeeds Scott Derrick who has served as managing partner of GSRM for six years.

Elkin launches health data group at Spicer Rudstrom


Julie-Karel (JK) Elkin, former CEO and general counsel of national dance clubs, is returning to Spicer Rudstrom PLLC’s Nashville office to lead the firm’s new health data practice group.

Elkin practiced at the firm following law school and was named partner in 2001. She is an experienced trial lawyer who has worked with several of the nation’s largest insurance companies, as well as independent businesses and personal claims. She is returning as a partner.

She left Spicer Rudstrom a decade ago to launch her own firm, where she represented businesses of all types and injury victims. She was named CEO and general counsel of ADS Brentwood in 2010.

Elkin earned her J.D. degree from the Nashville School of Law.

Surface named president of Ross Bryan Associates


Elizabeth “Ibba” Surface is the new president of Ross Bryan Associates Inc., the first woman to lead the 67-year-old, Nashville-based structural engineering firm.

Surface takes the reins from Don Yarbrough, who has served as the firm’s president since 2011. Yarbrough will remain with Ross Bryan Associates as board member and senior principal, providing planning, technical expertise and assistance to staff.

An experienced, licensed engineer, Surface has worked in all service lines of the firm since joining Ross Bryan Associates in 1979 as an engineering intern. She has served on the company’s board of directors since 2004.

Surface’s portfolio of projects includes building and parking structures in Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, California, New York, Washington State and Connecticut. Signage projects include the Denver International Airport, Target Field in Minneapolis, Marlins Park, Yankee Stadium and Nissan Stadium, and dealer identification programs for Ford and General Motors. She has also worked in the field of structural forensics.

A civil engineering graduate from Vanderbilt University, Surface is a registered professional engineer in Tennessee, 19 additional states and the District of Columbia. She sits on the board of directors for the Tennessee and Middle Tennessee chapters of the American Council of Engineering Companies. She also serves on the external advisory committee for Vanderbilt University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Surface served on the Metro-Nashville Board of Zoning Appeals for 10 years and was chair for three years.

Buffkin Group merges with Baker & Associates


The Buffkin Group, based in Nashville, and Baker and Associates, based in Atlanta – both national retained search firms – have merged to form Buffkin / Baker.

Craig Buffkin and Martin Baker will serve as managing partners of the firm, headquartered in Nashville.

Buffkin / Baker has offices in Nashville, Atlanta, Winston-Salem, N.C., Charleston, S.C, Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C., with affiliate offices in San Francisco and London. The firm has 11 partners nationwide.

Buffkin / Baker specializes in health care, higher education, technology, digital media, digital marketing, financial services, nonprofit and private clubs.

Jackson Foundation elects Ayers to board


The nonprofit Andrew Jackson Foundation has elected business leader and philanthropist Janet Ayers to its board of trustees.

Ayers serves as president of The Ayers Foundation, which focuses on improving the quality of life for people in Tennessee, specifically in Decatur, Henderson, Perry and Unicoi counties. The foundation has awarded more than 4,200 scholarships to graduating high school seniors.

In addition to Ayers, the Andrew Jackson Foundation board of trustees’ officers and members include a national representation of business and philanthropic leaders, including:

  • Frances Spradley, regent
  • Robert L. McDonald, vice-regent and treasurer
  • Gina Lodge, past regent
  • Charles Overby, secretary

Michael R. Beschloss, Carol Daniels, Anne Davis, Cindy Garfield, Willie Geist, Debby Patterson Koch, Mara Liasson, Ashley McAnulty, Jon Meacham, Thomas A. Negri, Kathy Nevill, Gif Thornton and Katy Varney.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & RSS:
Sign-Up For Our FREE email edition
Get the news first with our free weekly email
TNLedger.com Knoxville Editon