Martin selected as fellow to 2019 NELC Academy

Friday, February 8, 2019, Vol. 43, No. 6


Racquel B. Martin of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP has been selected a fellow to the 2019 National Employment Law Council Academy.

Founded in 1995, NELC is a non-profit organization charged with enriching minority bar members who represent management in the field of labor and employment law. Held in conjunction with NELC’s annual conference, the NELC Academy provides advanced skills training for minority attorneys with less than four years of experience practicing management-side labor and employment law.

The program exposes Fellows to NELC’s national network of experienced minority labor and employment attorneys, fosters mentoring relationships, promotes NELC to attorneys who will soon be eligible for membership and creates a pipeline for future NELC leaders.

A member of Bradley’s Labor and Employment Practice Group, Martin represents public and private employers in employment-related litigation involving discrimination and retaliation, wage and hour, FMLA and non-compete issues.

Prior to joining Bradley, Martin was a summer associate with private law firms and an extern in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee.

Wingo named fellow of Litigation Counsel


The Litigation Counsel of America has named Stites & Harbison attorney John Wingo as a fellow of this peer-selected and invitation-only trial lawyer honorary society. Wingo joins three other Stites & Harbison attorneys as LCA fellows.

Membership in LCA is limited to 3,500 fellows, representing less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers. Fellows in LCA represent the highest standards among American litigation and trial counsel across all segments of the bar.

Wingo is a member of the Business Litigation Service Group based in the firm’s Nashville office. He provides advice and representation to regional and national clients regarding their business transactions and handles commercial litigation defense work throughout Tennessee in both state and federal courts. He has more than 16 years of litigation and trial experience, including complex litigation involving financial institutions, insurance companies and manufacturers.

Wiseman Ashworth adds 2 attorneys


Attorneys Adam Castellarin and Brooke McLeod Coplon have joined Wiseman Ashworth Law Group, PLC, announced founding member Gail Vaughn Ashworth.

Castellarin, who represents hospitals and physicians, is a registered nurse with a BSN from University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s School of Nursing. While in law school, he obtained an additional graduate certificate in health policy from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s School of Nursing.

He is a 2018 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, where he served as president of the Student Health Law Association and as a student attorney with the University of Tennessee’s Advocacy Clinic.

During his final year in law school, Castellarin split his time between Nashville and Knoxville, working at both the Tennessee Justice Center in Nashville and at the University of Tennessee Medical Center’s Offices of General Counsel and Compliance.


Coplon has spent her professional career handling a variety of matters in all phases of litigation, including trial preparation and the appeals process and has a diverse practice with experience in personal injury, employment, civil rights litigation, nursing home litigation, health care law, mental health law and premises liability.

Coplon graduated from Vanderbilt University Law School in 2014, where she participated in externships at the Office of the Tennessee Attorney General and the Southern Environmental Law Center.

Lay to Burr & Forman as part of McNair merger


Burr & Forman LLP has added associate Tara Lay to the firm’s Nashville office in the Intellectual Property service group.

Lay previously worked from Nashville for Carolinas-based McNair Law Firm, P.A., which is now part of Burr & Forman.

Lay is a registered U.S. patent attorney and focuses on patent and trademark prosecution, portfolio management, clearance investigations and transactional matters.

Lay is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and earned her law degree from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School.

Finn Partners names Courtney to lead Southeast


Finn Partners, the country’s fourth-largest independent global public relations firm, has named Elizabeth S. Courtney to lead its expanding presence across the Southeast U.S. Her new title will be managing partner, Southeast.

In her new role, Courtney will be responsible for bringing the talents of the Nashville team together with FINN professionals in its Florida-based office and throughout the southeast region to provide integrated communication and marketing services, with particular expertise in sectors that include health care, corporate, consumer products, government, sustainability and travel/hospitality.

Courtney serves on the boards of directors of the Ensworth School, Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation, Nashville Public Radio, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Nashville Zoo and Tennessee Performing Arts Center. She has received the Nashville PRSA’s “Hercules Award” and was named a Woman of Achievement by the Nashville YWCA.

FINN’s southeast clients include Bridgestone, Jack Daniel’s, Nashville Electric Service, Tractor Supply, LifePoint Health, DCI Donor Services, Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, Diversified Trust, the City of Gatlinburg and Meharry Medical College.

Davis appointed to lead affordable housing efforts


Mayor David Briley, in collaboration with the Metropolitan Housing Trust Fund Commission, has named Hannah Davis to serve as his new affordable housing program manager, part of the Economic and Community Development Team.

In her role, Davis will primarily oversee the Barnes Fund, the housing trust fund that makes competitive grants to nonprofit housing developers in order to increase affordable housing options for Nashvillians. Mayor Briley has committed $9.5 million to the Barnes Fund for FY2019, as well as an additional $25 million to go towards affordable housing. Applications will open this spring for the next round of grants.

Davis most recently served as director of community for the Social Enterprise Alliance, a national organization that provides social enterprises with resources and support, grows social entrepreneurship on a national scale and serves as a voice for more sustainable social impact.

An Ohio native, Davis is a graduate of Ohio State University. She earned her MBA from the Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise program at Colorado State University.

Fisher to be honored at Excellence in Tennessee

The Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence will honor Donald (Donn) Fisher, executive director/CEO of MSQPC-The Quality Center (Mid-South Quality/Productivity Center), with the Ned R. McWherter Leadership Award.

The annual award recognizes an individual who exemplifies outstanding leadership in the pursuit of performance excellence and has worked to further performance improvement beyond the boundaries of his or her organization. Fisher’s commitment to excellence is demonstrated through his strategic partnerships, promotion of continuous improvement principles and long-standing presence within local and international excellence communities, the organization states.

Fisher has served as a judge for numerous regional quality awards programs including TNCPE, the Robert W. Carey Performance Excellence Award, the Arizona State Quality Award, the Commonwealth of Kentucky Quality Award and the Greater Memphis Award for Quality, among others.

He was an examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and serves on the board of the Alliance for Performance Excellence.

The McWherter Award is named for Tennessee’s 46th governor, who was instrumental in TNCPE’s founding in 1993. Previous honorees include Bob Bell (president, Tennessee Tech University), Andy Czuchry (AFG Chair of Excellence, ETSU), Jan McNally (director, Leadership Development Covenant Health), Robert Otwell (CEO, Maury Regional Medical Center), Ed Scott (treasurer, Caterpillar, Inc.), Susan Williams (professor of management, Belmont University), R. Michael Browder (CEO, Bristol Tennessee Essential Services), David McClaskey (president, Pal’s Business Excellence Institute), Dennis Vonderfecht (CEO, Mountain States Health Alliance), Joe Alexander (associate dean, Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business at Belmont University), Lewis Lavine (president, Center for Nonprofit Management), Thom Crosby (president and CEO, Pal’s) and Jim Duensing (EVP & CEO, Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation).

VU’s Macdonald named College Coach of the Year


Geoff Macdonald, who is entering his 25th season as Vanderbilt University’s head women’s tennis coach, has been named Professional Tennis Registry’s Jim Verdieck College Coach of the Year.

Macdonald guided his No. 2-ranked team to a 27-4 season (12-1 in conference play) and its second consecutive SEC tournament championship last season. His squad won a nation championship in 2016.

Macdonald has earned three coach of the year honors, including the 2018 SEC Coach of the Year, while coaching three different Division I teams: Vanderbilt, Duke and LSU. He coached Duke to three conference championships and three appearances in the NCAA tournament, and in just three years took LSU from last in the SEC to the NCAA Championship as the No. 13 seed.

As a player at the University of Virginia, Macdonald won the ACC singles title, was named the ACC’s Most Valuable Player and earned the Sportsmanship Award. He played professionally for three years, making the U.S. Open before turning his sights to coaching.

VU’s Nickels to direct Radiochemistry Core Lab


Michael Nickels, Ph.D., assistant professor of research in Vanderbilt’s Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, was appointed director of the Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science (VUIIS) Radiochemistry Core Lab.

Nickels will be the new primary point of contact for faculty interested in developing or using novel and known radiopharmaceuticals for molecular imaging. He will direct Core Lab staff and be responsible for all aspects of managing its extensive resources.

Also at Vanderbilt, Avni Cirpili, DNP, RN, has been selected as chief nursing officer for Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital and Vanderbilt Behavioral Health after nearly three years as senior vice president and chief nursing officer at the Menninger Clinic in Houston.

Cirpili, who originally worked at Vanderbilt from 2010 to 2016, returns from The Ohio State University Harding Hospital in Columbus, where he was chief nursing officer.

He earned his doctorate in nursing practice from Vanderbilt in 2013.