Adams and Reese adds pair of litigators

Friday, July 6, 2018, Vol. 42, No. 27


TaKeena Thompson Sandifer has joined Adams and Reese’s Nashville office and litigation practice group as special counsel, and Jacob “Jake” L. Perry has joined as an associate.

Sandifer has a diverse practice in which she represents clients in medical malpractice, insurance bad faith litigation and products liability litigation, including pharmaceutical drug and medical device litigation. Her products liability experience has involved oral contraceptives, transvaginal mesh, inferior vena cava (IVC) filters, metal-on-metal hip replacements, hormone therapy and pain pump devices.

Prior to joining Adams and Reese, Sandifer was active in the Indianapolis legal community, serving as president of the Marion County Bar Association and as a board member at-large of the Indianapolis Bar Association. She has also been involved in the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, Indiana State Bar Association, Indiana Supreme Court Records Management Committee, American Association for Justice and the National Bar Association.

Sandifer earned her J.D. from Indiana University Maurer School of Law – Bloomington and a degree in political science from Spelman College in Atlanta.


Perry’s practice focuses on civil litigation, with an emphasis on business litigation. He also has experience representing clients in intellectual property matters.

From 2015 to 2016, Perry served as a judicial law clerk for the Hon. Jeffrey M. Atherton and the Hon. Pamela A. Fleenor of the Chancery Court of Hamilton County.

Perry earned his J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2015. He also holds a degree in political science from Tennessee Technological University. While in law school, Perry served as an articles editor for the Tennessee Law Review and served as a first-year editor for Transactions: The Tennessee Journal of Business Law.

Hawkins Partners elects 4 new partners

Hawkins Partners, Inc. has announced that associates Brian Phelps, Will Marth and Nathan Oliver, as well as finance and administration director Kelly Copeland, have joined the senior leadership team as partners, joining founding partners Kim and Gary Hawkins in guiding the firm’s strategic growth.

Phelps oversees the design and planning of HPI’s mixed-use developments, public space, transportation and green infrastructure projects. Specific projects of note include Riverfront Park and Ascend Amphitheater, Pinnacle at Symphony Place and Nashville Yards.

In addition to his role at Hawkins Partners, Phelps is the founder of the AGILE Landscape Project, a think tank that explores urban design solutions to improve cities and public space, and he also leads the Nashville Innovation Project, an initiative to increase the city’s innovation capacity. He is a graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in landscape architecture.

Will Marth is a landscape architect and urban planner with a focus on environmental quality in the built environment. His 10 years of experience is highlighted with large-scale urban design projects, rooftop projects and green and complete street designs such as Hill Center Brentwood, JW Marriott, Twelve|Twelve, 28th/31st Avenue Connector and the Division Street Extension.

Marth holds a degree in landscape architecture from University of Georgia.

Oliver manages a diverse range of mixed use, civic, planning and commercial projects including the Metro Parks & Greenways Master Plan, Riverfront Park & Ascend Amphitheater, 1201 Demonbreun Office Tower, One Bellevue Place, Nashville’s Walk Bike Master Plan and Fair Park at the Nashville Fairgrounds.

The University of Tennessee graduate also holds master’s degrees in landscape architecture and urban planning from UT.

Copeland oversees HPI’s internal finances, human resources issues and company operations. She studied business administration at Ouachita Baptist University and brings more than 20 years of experience to her position.

Briley appoints Passini as his chief of staff


Mayor David Briley has named Emily Passini as chief of staff. As the senior official in the administration, Passini will organize the policy priorities of the office, manage staff and work with department heads to drive the mayor’s agenda.

With these changes, Chief Operating Officer Rich Riebeling and Chief of Staff Debby Dale Mason will leave the Mayor’s Office in the coming months after transition periods.

Passini, who will start her role on July 16, has more than two decades of experience in campaign management, coalition building and grassroots advocacy. As partner at Greenlight Media Strategies and former Tennessee House Democratic Caucus director, Passini has worked on political campaigns in more than 30 states. She also served as special assistant to the commissioner of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities in Gov. Phil Bredesen’s administration.

She is the 2016 recipient of a Top 40 Under 40 Award from the American Association of Political Consultants and the 2018 Nashville Athena Young Professional Leadership Award.

Music museum hires communications manager


The National Museum of African American Music has named Kimberly Lannear as communications manager. She will assist in communicating museum milestones, events, fundraising opportunities and artifact acquisitions.

Lannear most recently served at the Alexandria Library in Alexandria, Virginia, where she secured national media placements in The Washington Post, NBC4 Washington, Fortune Magazine and C-SPAN, as well as local placements in the Greater Washington, D.C., area. Previously, Lannear served as an intern at Seventeen magazine and an assistant at Time Inc.’s Real Simple magazine.

As a graduate of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center’s Project Music program, Lannear founded a music-tech startup, Scripturally Sound, which connects scriptures to songs in one simple search, and offers songwriters the opportunity to share the inspiration behind their music.

Originally from Brooklyn, Lannear earned a degree in communications from Boston University.

S&ME welcomes McNeely as principal engineer


S&ME, Inc. has hired Eric McNeely, PE, as principal engineer and group leader. In this role, McNeely will be responsible for management and oversight of Planning + Design civil engineering staff at S&ME’s Nashville office, in addition to planning and directing engineering projects of significant size and scope.

McNeely is a professional engineer with 22 years of experience providing planning, civil engineering design, and management for commercial, institutional, residential and infrastructure projects. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee with undergraduate and master’s degrees in civil engineering.

McNeely, an active member of the Urban Land Institute of Nashville, previously owned and operated McNeely Civil Engineering.

His projects include the Harvest Point Community in Spring Hill, the Bent Creek Community in Nolensville, the Brookfield Community in Brentwood and the Benington Community in Nolensville.

Propper is president-elect of Tennessee Dental Assn.


Nashville endodontist Dr. Terryl Propper has been elected president-elect of the Tennessee Dental Association for the 2018-2019 year. She will serve as president in 2019-2020.

Serving the dental needs of Tennesseans for more than 30 years, Propper is the senior and managing partner of an endodontic group practice with three offices and eight doctors. She has experienced every area of dentistry, beginning as an associate dentist to owner and managing partner.

She has been actively involved in leadership positions throughout her career, having served multiple roles in the Nashville Dental Society, the Tennessee Dental Association, American Association of Endodontists, the American Dental Association and the Interfaith Dental Clinic.

Nashville dentist presented TDA’s Fellowship Award


Dr. Cherae Farmer-Dixon, a Nashville dentist and dean at Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry, received the Tennessee Dental Association Fellowship Award during the recent 151st annual meeting of the TDA in Franklin.

The award is presented to no more than 12 deserving Tennessee dentists each year who make noteworthy contributions of their time and talent toward professional progress and the public they serve. It is the TDA’s highest award presented annually.

Farmer-Dixon graduated from Mississippi Valley State University before attending Meharry Medical College, where she earned a DDS degree and a master’s degree in Public Health. Additionally, she completed residency at Hubbard Hospital in Nashville.

VILLAGE managing broker for East Nashville office


Tyler Graham is the new managing broker for VILLAGE real estate brokerage’s East Nashville office at 615 Woodland Street.

Graham joins VILLAGE from Bradford Real Estate, a firm he built from just a few to almost 40 agents while juggling multiple roles as principal broker, recruiter, instructor and mentor. Before returning to the Nashville area in 2014, he was a Realtor and property manager for EASE Property Services in Washington, D.C.

He serves on the Belmont University Massey Alumni Board, where he earned his MBA. He also is a member of the Greater Nashville Realtors, the Tennessee Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors.

Founded in 1996, VILLAGE has grown to more than 300 agents and five neighborhood offices.

MP&F adds diversity fellow


MP&F Strategic Communications has named Ira Hughes as the firm’s latest diversity fellow. The MP&F Diversity Fellowship is designed to prepare recent graduates from diverse backgrounds for careers in public relations, marketing and strategic communications.

Diversity fellows participate in MP&F’s mentorship and professional development programs, while gaining experience in areas such as research, media relations, project management and digital communication.