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VOL. 39 | NO. 51 | Friday, December 18, 2015

Entrepreneur Center names Lingo president, COO

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Sam Lingo has been appointed president and COO of the organization Nashville Entrepreneur Center.

In addition, John Murdock has been promoted to vice president of entrepreneurial development and Heather McBee has been promoted to vice president of accelerator programming, and Kelli Nowers has been promoted to community director.

Lingo was the EC’s second hire and has served as chief operating officer since July 1, 2011. As COO, Lingo has been the executive in charge of managing the EC’s operations, finances, business development and accelerator programs.

Lingo led the project to fund and renovate one of Nashville’s historic Trolley Barns into the EC’s permanent home, historically restored and LEED Gold certified.

The past two years alone have seen partnerships with key Nashville business leaders, as well as with Google, Inc. Magazine, Steve Case and the Kauffman Foundation to name a few.

Lingo is a Nashville native who has been recognized as a Top 30 Under 30 and one of Nashville’s Emerging Leaders. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Vanderbilt University.

TSU Alum Otis honored with Rosa Parks Award


Tennessee State University alumnus Amos Otis (’65) has been selected as a 2015 Rosa Parks Courage Award honoree.

As part of the 60th anniversary observance of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which lasted 382 days and set off the Civil Rights Movement, the Southern Youth Leadership Development Institute and Montgomery Improvement Association honored Otis and other individuals during the “Evening to Remember” awards ceremony Dec. 4 in Montgomery, Alabama.

The event saluted those who have fought for civil rights in Alabama and across the nation and have made significant contributions to civil rights helping to raise the public’s awareness in the spirit of Rosa Parks, who once said, “Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.” Parks’ refused to give up her seat on a city bus Dec. 1, 1955.

Otis grew up in Montgomery in the same neighborhood as Rosa Parks, who often talked with him and other young children about “the achievements of their people – Negroes,” Otis said.

Along with Otis, other recipients included Southern Poverty Law Center Founder and CEO Morris Dees; U.S. Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan); civil and human rights activist Juanita Abernathy; and the Rev. and Mrs. Samuel Rodriguez, among others.

Otis founded SoBran, Incorporated in 1987 after a 21-year career as an Air Force Officer. He led SoBran from a lean start-up in the basement of his Fairfax County, Virginia home to a $61 million company with diverse bioscience, engineering, logistics, and risk management expertise. He holds a bachelor’s degree from TSU, an MBA from The California State University System, and a master of military art and science from Air University.

Avila selected to lead Music City Music Council


The Music City Music Council has chosen Justine Alexa Avila to serve as the first full-time executive director for the organization after an intensive search.

Avila began her career in the entertainment industry in New York City before coming to Nashville, where she has served as venue concierge and concert manager for the City Winery Music Venue, in addition to co-founding the music booking agency MJ Booking. Avila earned a master of arts degree in music business from New York University and a B.S. from Cornell University.

The Music City Music Council is focused on helping music-related businesses expand or relocate to Nashville; bringing televised music shows and music-related award shows across all genres to the city, and recruiting more music-related events and conventions here. Priorities also include supporting and expanding live music in Nashville and music education in public schools.

In November, Mayor Barry announced the continuation of the Music City Music Council and named Joe Galante to serve as co-chair alongside the Mayor. Galante, mentor-in-residence at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and former chairman of Sony Music Nashville, succeeds current co-chair Ed Hardy, former president of Great American Country, who agreed to continue serving as co-chair through the end of this year.

Avila will start her new position with the Council on January 4, 2016.

Dale joins Bradford Group as senior account executive


Public relations and marketing firm the Bradford Group recently welcomed Melinda Dale as the team’s newest senior account executive.

Dale will be responsible for managing communications initiatives for clients in technology, real estate development and various other industries.

Fifth Third Bank taps Greene for leadership role


Fifth Third Bank Business Banking has promoted Yolanda Greene to Business Banking Group team lead for Tennessee.

Green has been with the bank since April 2013, and has more than 15 years of banking experience, serving in roles such as middle market relationship manager, commercial relationship manager, community banker, business banker and commercial credit portfolio manager. She holds a degree in biology and an MBA from Tennessee State University. She also completed the commercial management associate program.

Barry picks Shapiro for senior advisor


Nancy Shapiro has been appointed by Mayor Megan Barry to serve as a senior advisor.

Shapiro, who will serve in a volunteer capacity in the Mayor’s Office, will focus on bringing together the best and brightest minds throughout the public, private and non-for-profit sector to provide guidance to Metro on ways to incorporate new techniques and innovative ideas into how government operates.

Shapiro is senior vice president, special projects for The Recording Academy (GRAMMY Awards), an organization she has been with since 1985. She has been a leader in music education reform, working with the Mayor’s Office and MNPS to ensure that Nashville is recognized as the nation’s most innovative public school music program. Known as Music Makes Us, the program boasts a high school record label that partners with Warner Music and curriculum in hip hop, mariachi, technology, country/bluegrass, and rock. It has also elevated the classical, jazz, choral, and marching band programs.

Benskin joins Pinnace as financial advisor


Nancy Benskin has joined Pinnacle Financial Partners as a senior vice president and financial advisor.

She is a 15-year banking veteran who most recently served as a senior vice president for Avenue Bank’s private client services division.

Benskin graduated with a degree in business administration from the University of Kentucky.

She is active in the non-profit community, serving on the board for All About Women and as past development chairperson of the board for the Sexual Assault Center. Benskin is a graduate of the Young Leaders Council, a member of the Friends of Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital and involved with the Chad Welch Memorial Fund’s Team Chad. She is based at Pinnacle’s West End office.

Ingram Content Group hires senior sales rep


Ingram Content Group has hired Eric Shotwell a senior sales representative for Ingram Library Services, covering Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.

Shotwell has served in the publishing industry for more than 20 years and has held leadership positions with companies including Kendall/Hunt Publishing, Addison-Wesley, Cengage Learning and Pearson. He has held senior roles in sales, editorial, training and technology consulting, and has presented and consulted on a wide range of topics including technology best practices and effective use of data analytics tools.

He is a member of the Usability Professionals Association, the American Society for Training and Development, and American Mensa, and holds the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification. He has a dual degree in English and Business Administration from Hope College.

BOHAN promotes 4 in creative, account sevice

BOHAN Advertising has promoted three employees in the creative area and one in account service:

Tim Delger, previously associate creative director, now is a group creative director. He joined the agency earlier this year from Pereira & O’Dell in San Francisco, where he was associate creative director/art director.

Bridget Deenihan was promoted from senior writer to associate creative director. Deenihan, who has won district gold and national silver Addy Awards, joined BOHAN in 2014.

Allison Mayo was promoted from account supervisor to account director. She joined the agency in 2013. Among her accounts are Saint Thomas Health and the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.

Rich Parubrub, previously associate creative director, now is a group creative director. He joined the agency in 2012 from i.d.e.a. in Southern California, where he was associate creative director.

Capella names SVP, chief quality officer

Dana Rice, RN, MHA, CCM, has been appointed senior vice president and chief quality officer for Capella Healthcare.


With more than 20 years of health care experience, Rice will be responsible for working with the company’s hospitals on clinical operations and quality performance.

She has been senior director of hospital operations for Kaiser Permanente, serving as administrative liaison to 11 hospitals in the Colorado Region. Prior to that, she was the regional director of resource stewardship. Before joining Kaiser Permanente, Rice was with Capella as chief operating officer for Capital Medical Center in Olympia, Washington.

Rice earned a degree in nursing from Wilkes Community College, a B.S. in health services management from Western Carolina, and an M.H.A from A.T. Still University.

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