Legal Aid Society names Waller executive director

Friday, April 6, 2018, Vol. 42, No. 14


Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands has named attorney DarKenya W. Waller as its new executive director. Waller, who previously served as managing attorney of the firm’s Nashville office, replaces Gary Housepian, who served as executive director for the last decade.

Waller joined Legal Aid Society in 2008 as a staff attorney and was named managing attorney of the Nashville office in 2010. Specializing in family law, she works primarily with victims of domestic violence, focusing on securing their safety and independence.

As managing attorney of the Nashville office, Waller has conducted training sessions across Tennessee on domestic violence and the impact of the law for thousands of judges, clerks, lawyers, law students, advocates and youth. In conjunction with the Metro Nashville Government Office of Family Safety, she created the Civil-Legal Advocate Program, which has recruited and trained volunteer attorneys and law students to represent victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking on the Order of Protection dockets in Davidson County. In addition, she helped to secure more than $225,000 in grant funding for this project.

Before joining Legal Aid Society, Waller established and ran a legal practice in Jackson, Mississippi, that specialized in domestic law and real estate. She is a graduate of Jackson State University and the University of Mississippi School of Law. She also earned an MBA from Belhaven University in Jackson.

Bradley’s Moskal honored with Daughtrey Award


Patricia Head Moskal, a partner in Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP’s Nashville office, is the recipient of the 2018 Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey Award from the Lawyers’ Association for Women – Marion Griffin Chapter. She will receive the Award at LAW’s Annual Banquet on April 26.

Named after Senior Judge Daughtrey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey Award honors active LAW members who model personal and professional achievement in the practice of law and have, like Judge Daughtrey, promoted the visibility of women in the legal field and personally encouraged female lawyers to excel.

Formed in 1981, LAW emphasizes and addresses issues of concern to women within the legal profession.

A member of Bradley’s Litigation Practice Group, Moskal has more than 30 years of experience as a trial and appellate lawyer handling business and commercial disputes. She has a particular focus in state and local tax litigation, appellate litigation, and government contracts and bid protests. She also has significant experience with all types of business disputes, insurance litigation, real estate litigation, and municipal law matters.

A past president and former treasurer of LAW’s Marion Griffin Chapter, Moskal serves as chair of the Tennessee Business Court Advisory Commission and on the Nashville Bar Foundation, Board of Trustees. She is a former first vice president and board member of the Nashville Bar Association and former board member of the Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women. She is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, Tennessee Bar Foundation, Nashville Bar Foundation, and Litigation Counsel of America.

She has been named in The Best Lawyers in America since 2008 and listed in the Top 250 Women in Litigation for the past five years by Benchmark Litigation. Moskal earned her J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law and her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University.

Baker Donelson adds to Intellectual Property Group


Baker Donelson has added Bernie Graves to the firm’s Nashville office as a member of the Intellectual Property Group. He previously served as vice president and deputy general counsel for Eastman Chemical Company.

Graves joins the firm as of counsel and concentrates his practice in intellectual property law with a particular focus on patent portfolio creation and trade secret protection. He is a chemical and material sciences patent attorney, with an emphasis on identification and protection of intellectual property rights in the manufacturing sector.

A graduate of Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis, Graves is an emeritus member of the Association of Corporate Patent Counsel and previously served on the Board of Directors of the Intellectual Property Owners Association.

Launch Tennessee names new board members

Launch Tennessee has appointed Calvin Anderson, Shawn Glinter, Rep. Susan Lynn, Kristina Montague, Dr. Stacy Patterson, Julia Polk, David Waddell and Senator Bo Watson to its board.

Board members have oversight of the mission and programming of the organization. LaunchTN board members are appointed by members of the state legislature and the governor’s office for a term of four years.

Anderson serves on the boards of Greater Memphis Chamber and ThinkTennessee, a public policy think tank. He retired in 2017 after more than 20 years at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, where he most recently served as senior vice president and chief of staff.

Glinter is cofounder and CEO of Pendant Biosciences (formerly Nanoferix), an advanced materials company developing innovative surface coating and drug delivery technologies using a unique, polymer-based platform. Glinter has spent the last six years as a master mentor at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center. He also mentors for the JumpStart Foundry, the Co.Lab accelerator in Chattanooga, the Life Science Mentor Network and LaunchTN.

Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet) represents District 57 in Wilson County in the Tennessee General Assembly as a Republican. She is chair of the House Consumer and Human Resources Subcommittee and a member of the House Consumer and Human Resources; Finance, Ways and Means; Ethics; and Joint Fiscal Review committees.

Montague is managing partner of the JumpFund, with more than $5 million under management in funds focused on providing growth capital to women-led ventures. She is also a partner in Next Wave US Impact Fund, a national effort to engage more women investors interested in impact-focused ventures. Previously, Montague was Assistant Dean of External Affairs at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s College of Business, where she developed her passion for supporting and encouraging women as business leaders.

Patterson is vice president of research, outreach and engagement at the University of Tennessee and president of the UT Research Foundation. She is responsible for the management and oversight of statewide initiatives that improve research infrastructure and expand the University’s role and impact on economic development in Tennessee. In her role at UTRF, Patterson oversees the offices responsible for the commercialization of a diverse set of technologies and the development of strategic partnerships with industry.

Polk is chief strategy officer and chief financial officer at IQuity, Inc., a data science company using genomic and proprietary healthcare datasets to detect and monitor chronic disease. A former Wall Street investment banker, venture capitalist and angel investor, Polk also serves as the managing director at New Venture Consulting and is a part-time consultant at Solidus Company.

Waddell is president, CEO and chief investment strategist at Waddell & Associates LLC, a Memphis-based investment advisory and wealth management firm. A civic leader in Memphis, Waddell has been recognized as a “Top 40 under 40” by the Memphis Business Journal and was a finalist for “Executive of the Year” in 2007.

Watson (R-Hixon) represents District 11 in Hamilton County in the Tennessee State Senate. He is chair of the Senate Finance Ways and Means Committee, second vice chair of the Senate Rules Committee, chair of the Joint Pensions and Insurance Committee, and a member of the Senate Health and Welfare, Commerce and Labor and Joint Fiscal Review committees. Information 

Hart joins Pinnacle as senior lending officer


Pinnacle Financial Partners has hired Clay Hart as executive vice president and senior lending officer to help lead the firm’s client advisory group in Middle Tennessee.

Hart was previously the president of Nashville business banking and retail at Renasant Bank, where he worked for nearly 11 years. Prior to that, he served as a banking officer at Capital Bank and Trust until it was acquired by Renasant.

Hart will focus on commercial and middle market clients. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and earned a master’s degree at Southern Methodist University’s Graduate School of Banking.

Cumberland Trust adds development officer


Cumberland Trust, an independent corporate trustee, has hired Bill Yeager as regional development officer based in the company’s Nashville’s headquarters.

As Regional Development Officer, Yeager will work with financial advisors, estate planning attorneys and accountants to help their clients find trust and estate administration solutions during the wealth transfer process.

Prior to joining Cumberland Trust, he owned a company that represented manufacturers in the automation and robotics industry. He earned a degree in marketing from the University of Tennessee.

Fifth Third promotes Robeson to senior VP


Fifth Third Bank has promoted Garland Robeson, commercial team lead, to senior vice president. He joined Fifth Third in 2005 as a senior commercial relationship manager.

Robeson leads a team of six commercial relationship managers who help companies structure financing, efficiently manage capital, navigate variable market conditions and security risk, and expand, merge or sell the companies. He focuses on profitable business development as well as monitoring the quality of an extensive existing portfolio of companies with annual gross revenues of at least $100 million.

Also at Fifth Third:

  • Wade Quinn has been named a mortgage loan originator for the Middle Tennessee market. Quinn previously held mortgage originator positions at SunTrust and Fifth Third Bank. He attended Mississippi State University and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he studied marketing and business administration.
  • Barbara Allan McGinty has been named a mortgage loan officer for the Middle Tennessee market. She has more than 20 years of experience in the consumer mortgage business. She previously held positions at SunTrust, J.P. Morgan Chase and Regions Banks. McGinty attended Motlow State College and the University of Phoenix where she earned a Bachelor of Science in business management.

Varallo PR adds director of strategic planning


Varallo Public Relations has added Jennifer Kernan as director of strategic planning.

With more than nine years of experience and a certified team-building instructor, Kernan works with clients to identify communication opportunities through developing client insights, helping solidify firm objectives, and ultimately providing the firm with an intentional voice that is influential and results-driven.

Prior to joining Varallo Public Relations, Kernan served as a consultant with a consulting, training and alliance organization specifically serving accounting firms. Early in her career, she worked with young professionals and college students developing emerging leaders both personally and professionally.

At Varallo, Kernan focuses on consulting with professional service firms to develop long-range goal planning strategies for communication, business development, marketing and leadership functions.