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VOL. 41 | NO. 32 | Friday, August 11, 2017

Centerstone Military names Mahler board chair

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Centerstone, a national behavioral health care provider, has named retired United States Air Force Col. Thomas W. Mahler Jr. chair of its board of directors for Centerstone Military Services.

Mahler has served as a board member since 2003. In 2014, he was selected to become the chair of the Centerstone Research Institute board and served in that role until 2016. In addition to chairing the Centerstone Military Services board, he also serves on the Centerstone Foundation board.

Centerstone Military Services provides mental health care programs specially tailored to U.S service members including active duty and veterans from all branches regardless of discharge status. The organization serves the entire family including children, spouse, caregivers and parents of service members. These services are vital when recent Veterans Affairs statistics put the rate of veteran suicides at 20 per day in the United States.

A resident of Winchester, Mahler retired in 2012 after 14 years in the aerospace industry. Prior to this, he spent 25 years in the Air Force. Mahler earned his undergraduate degree and MBA from the University of Georgia.

2017 NELA awards winners announced


The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and YP Nashville recognized 70 young professionals for their professional achievement, leadership and community impact during the 11th annual Nashville Emerging Leader Awards.

Also recognized was Mary Ann McCready, immediate past president and founding owner of Flood, Bumstead, McCready & McCarthy, Inc. McCready was presented the 2017 Impact Award for her mentorship of young professionals under 40.

NELA Award winners included:

Architecture, Engineering & Construction: Nathan Oliver, associate, Hawkins Partners, Inc.

Arts, Entertainment & Music Business: Tim Gray, CEO, Grayscale Entertainment Marketing

Business Services: John Byers, vice president, director of sales, Aon Risk Solutions

Community Service & Nonprofit: Marielle Cummings, zone director, Martha O’Bryan Center/Nashville After Zone Alliance (NAZA)

Education: Allison Buzard, family engagement university manager, Metro Schools

Financial Services: Ellen Green Hoffman, vice president, financial advisor, First Tennessee

Government & Public Affairs: Jennifer Drake-Croft, director of early childhood well-being, Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth

Hospitality & Tourism: Rachel Layton, marketing director, A. Marshall Family Foods

Human Resources: Erin Duclos, associate vice president, human resources, Aramark

Legal Services: Sarah Hannah, partner/attorney, Bradley

Medical & Health Care Services: Dr. Andrei Javier, post-doctoral research associate, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Public Relations, Advertising & Marketing: Julia Bonner, founder and president, Pierce Public Relations

Real Estate Services: Josh Anderson, owner and CEO, The Anderson Group Real Estate Services

Technology: Megan Long, director of business operations, Concept Technology, Inc.

Braam joins Sheridan Public Relations


Laura Braam, who has more than 20 years of communications, public relations and marketing experience, has joined Sheridan Public Relations as a principal.

Braam has served as director of communications at Currey Ingram Academy for the last decade, where she built the independent school’s current comprehensive internal and external public relations and marketing program.

Before joining Currey Ingram in 2007, Braam was a vice president at McNeely Pigott & Fox Public Relations in Nashville. Before MP&F, Braam worked in Washington, D.C., with Goddard Claussen Public Affairs, and for a communications law firm conducting radio and television research at the Federal Communications Commission.

She holds a B.A. in English literature with concentrations in journalism and creative writing from Washington & Lee University.


SPR has also added Laney Fay as a staff associate. Fay, originally from Columbus, Georgia, recently graduated from Washington & Lee University with a degree in business administration and theater.

She most recently interned with 20th Century Fox Film’s market research department.

Additionally, SPR has promoted Maggie Forester from account executive to senior account executive and Makenzy Davis from staff associate to associate account executive. Both Forester and Davis started at SPR in 2016, and Davis interned with the firm in 2015.

Christie Cookie announces new hires

Jan Brimhall has been named human resource director for Christie Cookies. With more than 15 years executive management leadership experience, Brimhall worked for Walmart for 12 years and most recently served as HR director for Premier Parking.

Caroline Hodgson has been named regional marketing manager. She will work with Marsha Harvey to focus on Nashville sales for the brand. Before joining Christie Cookies, Hodgson spent seven years as a sales account executive for Cintas Corporation.

Brooke Ramsey joins Christie Cookies as a marketing coordinator. A graduate of Oklahoma State University, Ramsey most recently worked as an account executive for Brothers & Company, an Oklahoma-based full-service advertising agency.

Christie Cookies employs more than 100 people and produces more than 50 million cookies annually.

Williams is managing broker for Crye-Leike


Richard “Dick” Williams has been named managing broker of Crye-Leike Real Estate Services’ Brentwood branch office, located at 5111 Maryland Way in Brentwood.

A multi-million dollar producer and Brentwood resident, Williams is responsible for the recruitment, training and management of the office’s sales associates. He joined Crye-Leike in 2003 as an affiliate broker, and earned his broker’s license in 2009. Prior to joining Crye-Leike, Williams worked in broadcast television for 34 years, where he managed television stations in several of the largest markets in America, including Washington, DC; Seattle, Atlanta, Portland and Nashville.

Anderson Benson expands, adds to account service


Anderson Benson, a locally owned and independent insurance broker providing insurance and risk management to a variety of commercial industries, has added two account managers.


Melissa Dionne began her insurance career as an underwriting assistant at a regional New England carrier. She has lived on both the east and west coast giving her the opportunity to specialize in construction, transportation, and emerging technology.


Kaleida Watson has more than 30 years of experience on both the agency and company side including rating, underwriting assistant, account manager and underwriter for property and casualty as well as executive risk.

Communities In Schools names Clay its CEO

Communities In Schools of Tennessee, the state office of the national dropout prevention program, has named Hank Clay as its new chief executive officer. Clay most recently was the assistant to the director of Metro Nashville Public Schools for government relations.

During his five years at MNPS, he built relationships with various Tennessee legislators and government agencies, led a transition team that performed a full audit of district performance and coordinated budget needs and grants to facilitate the needs of MNPS. He served as board member of CISTN from 2014 until April 2017.

A University of Georgia graduate, Clay earned degrees in international affairs and social work before going on to earn a master’s of public administration and social work. While at the University of Georgia, Clay held positions at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government and helped found the Athens-Clarke County Mental Health Court as a program evaluator.

In 2009, Clay moved to Nashville to serve as a legislative performance auditor in the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office. He then made the move to education and accepted a position with the Tennessee Department of Education, where he implemented and evaluated budget and performance goals, as well as advised senior staff in strategies to reach Race to the Top program goals.

Stantec expands natural resources, ecosystem team


Rhett Baggett has joined Stantec as natural resources business lead for the U.S. Southeast Region. He joins Stantec as a senior ecologist with more than 16 years of experience in ecological studies, ecosystem restoration projects and environmental assessments throughout the southeast.

Baggett will provide technical oversight on natural resources and ecosystem restoration projects for clients and work closely with Stantec’s Nashville, Louisville and Carolina teams to grow the natural resources market segment in their Southeast Region.

Watson to lead Intermedix emergency preparedness


Bob Watson has been selected to lead the Intermedix preparedness division as president of preparedness technology.

Intermedix recently made the decision to have the health care and preparedness sides of its business function as separate divisions with independent organizational structures. A nationwide search for a suitable leader for the systems division was launched, and Watson was identified as the best fit for this newly established position.

Watson comes to Intermedix with more than 30 years of technology experience, leading multiple SaaS-based companies including Concuity, sold to Trintech, Inc., and most recently NantHealth. He has a vast background leading both startups and public companies.

As president of preparedness technology, Watson will work to create new business strategies for the preparedness organization and assist the team in delivering state-of-the-art software solutions.

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