Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, January 22, 2021

Newsmakers: Thrive Regional welcomes new trustees to its board

Thrive Regional Partnership has announced five new trustees to its board that reflect growing county representation and corporate leadership across the tri-state, 16-county greater Chattanooga region.

The newly elected Board trustees are Barry Allen, Mike Costa, Nathan Lee, Jennifer McCurdy and Harriette Stokes.

“After a year like 2020, we understand more than ever how important it is to strengthen connections among communities across our region,” says Bridgett Massengill, President and CEO of Thrive Regional Partnership. “We are pleased to welcome these new trustees, representing businesses and towns across northeast Alabama, northwest Georgia and southeast Tennessee, to ensure that we continue to practice Thrive’s mission authentically and inclusively across the tri-state.”

Allen, of Jasper, graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1995 and has spent 26 years in the banking industry. He serves as president of Tower Community Bank in Jasper.

He has dedicated his non-work, public service life to land conservation, historic preservation, and economic development of Southeastern Tennessee and the South Cumberland Plateau. He also found himself active in animal rescue and has most recently finished an eight-year stint on the board of the Tennessee River Gorge Trust, finishing his tenure as president in 2019 and 2020. He also serves on the board of The Battle of Franklin Trust.

Costa is the owner of Costa Media Advisors, an advisory firm focused on media, marketing and management.

A career in local television brought him to Chattanooga and the Tennessee Valley in 2000. He was general manager of WDSI Fox61 from 2000 to 2004. In 2004, Costa became general manager of WTVC NewsChannel9, a position he held until 2018.

He and his team at WTVC were responsible for the book, “Chattanooga Heroic Drive: History of a Renaissance,’’ documenting Chattanooga’s journey from “America’s dirtiest city” to the place ranked #1 by Outdoor Magazine.

From 2019 until October 2020, He led Alabama News Network in Montgomery, Alabama.

Lee is the project manager for the Jackson County Economic Development Authority. In this role, he supports existing industries and recruits new industries into North Alabama. He is a graduate of Oklahoma University Economic Development Institute and Auburn EDAA essentials of Economic Development. He has a master’s degree from Liberty University and a bachelor’s degree from Covenant College in Organizational Management.

McCurdy was born and raised in DeKalb County, Alabama, and is a graduate of Auburn University with a degree in health services administration. She has served in health care marketing for more than 20 years and has served as executive director of the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce for three years. She is a graduate of The Government and Economic Development Institute at Auburn University’s EDAA Leadership Institute program.

Stokes is the director of Executive Account Management & Economic Development for North Georgia Electric Membership Corporation serving Catoosa, Chattooga, Floyd, Gordon, Murray, Whitfield and Walker counties. Harriette has been with North Georgia EMC for nine years. She received a bachelor’s in mathematics from the University of Florida and a J.D. from the University of Florida College of Law. She currently serves on the Board of the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority and represents her company with the Southeast Industrial Development Association and the Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership.

With these appointments, the Thrive board consists of 27 trustees. Chaired by Connie Vaughan, government relations manager for McKee Foods, the board of trustees includes: Rob Bradham, president & CEO of the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce; Daniel Carter of Carter Farm and Sewanee: The University of the South; Whitney K. Coe of the Center for Rural Strategies; Chuck Dobbins of Dobbins Investments, LLC; Gary Farlow; Joel Houser, southeast field coordinator for the Open Space Institute; Beth Jones, executive director of Southeast Tennessee Development; Denny Mobbs of Jordan Fabricating; Brittany Pittman of the Appalachian Regional Commission; Rick Roden, president & CEO of Mountain Lakes Chamber of Commerce; Honna Rogers, Municipal Management Consultant for UT-Municipal Technical Advisory Service; Emerson Russell, CEO of ERMC Facility Services; Mina Sartipi, program leader for UTC’s Center for Urban Informatics and Progress; Dennis Tumlin, chief customer officer of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development; Edna Varner, senior adviser for the Public Education Foundation; Greg A. Vital, president and CEO of Morning Pointe Senior Living; Elizabeth Wells of Rossville Redevelopment; and Charles Wood, chief economic development officer of the Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership.

Red Bank Elementary teacher honored

Brandi Adam, an instructional coach and teacher at Red Bank Elementary School, has been named an “Extraordinary Educator’’ by Curriculum Associates.

Adam is among 44 teachers from 26 states and Washington, D.C. chosen for this national honor that recognizes educators based on their classroom excellence, including their successes during the remote learning period dating back to March. They were commended for their innovative practices for student engagement and students’ growth via formal assessments.

Throughout the year, the educators will have opportunities to share their unique experience and expertise with a nationwide audience of educators by being interviewed on podcasts, contributing blog posts and articles to national publications, participating in virtual events, and more. It is an exciting opportunity to have their successes and inventive ideas celebrated and shared with peers in the profession.

“It goes without saying that this has been an unprecedented school year that has challenged educators, students and families alike,” says Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “However, this group of Extraordinary Educators – like so many other educators across the country – has more than risen to the occasion. We are proud to recognize Brandi for her hard work, dedication, and innovative best practices that continue to positively impact the students she serves.”

Says Adam, “A student’s education is one of the most valuable tools they will ever be given, so instructional decisions should not be based on what someone merely thinks or believes. Therefore, the use of data to drive instruction is imperative to ensure a quality learning experience.’’

Johnson named 2021 board chair for CWLI

The Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute announces Tangela Johnson is its 2021 board chair.

She is a corporate culture and leadership development expert, seasoned consultant, executive coach, speaker and author of “Relaxed Power: How to live a purposed (not perfect) life.”

Johnson’s company, a professional development boutique, has helped multimillion dollar companies across multiple industries for more than two decades. She has a bachelor’s degree from The University of Georgia and a master’s degree from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Johnson also currently serves as a board member for Siskin’s Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation. Previously, she served as a board member of the Rotary Club of Dalton, The Urban League of Chattanooga, Launch of Chattanooga, Co-Lab, and the Dalton Convention Center board as vice-chair.

When speaking of her guiding principles for her year as the board chair for CWLI, Johnson says, “Truly powerful women can celebrate the greatness of others without having their own values, talent or self-worth diminished. Women should never feel the need to abdicate their power. Instead, they should embrace and mature it in ways that make the world better for them, their families and their communities. CWLI is here to equip women to do just that.”

First Horizon selects Dena as banking manager

First Horizon Bank, a member of the First Horizon Corp. family of companies, has named Charly Dena as banking center services manager.

She will support over 20 banking centers across Chattanooga, Cleveland and Jackson, Tennessee.

Dena comes to the position with 15 years of banking experience, 12 of which have been with First Horizon. She started working at the bank, then First Tennessee, while in college as a part-time teller. She attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. After receiving her MBA from King University in Virginia in 2014, she rejoined the bank as an operations manager and has been with the bank ever since.

“In my previous role, I focused on the day-to-day operations for my specific location. In my new role, I will be managing audit and operations for 23 locations across the state,” Dena says. “I’ll work closely with banking center managers and operations managers to ensure they are following policies and procedures as well as having the support they need. I look forward to conquering the challenges and learning from the experiences that my new role will bring.”

“Charly has been a key member of our leadership team here in Chattanooga,” says First Horizon’s retail market manager James Morgan. “We’re very excited about her promotion to this new role where her proven track record and many years of great leadership experience will have an even greater impact with our team.”

Henderson to serve as executive director

Volunteers in Medicine Chattanooga health ministry welcomes Joel Henderson as its executive director.

Henderson will lead the primary care clinic’s efforts in serving the health and wellness needs of the medically underserved by providing quality, compassionate, personal care in a faith-based environment.

With over 25 years of experience in business development, communications and health care management, Henderson has worked within the for-profit workforce and nonprofit community to develop and implement nationally recognized best practice collaborative partnerships.

“Joel’s background and abilities are a great fit with VIM’s needs,” says Volunteers in Medicine Chattanooga Board Chair Stephan Wright. “He brings a wealth of experience along with a sincere desire to cultivate relationships and a passion to help the medically underserved in our community who have nowhere else to turn.”

“Seeing the life-changing impacts in people’s lives, which Volunteers in Medicine provides to our community, attracted me to this position,” Henderson says. “I am honored for the opportunity to work with an amazing staff, dedicated volunteers and an engaged board of directors.”

Henderson began his career working for AdventHealth, a protestant health care system in Winter Park, Florida, followed by managing a community health access initiative serving the medically underserved, in Central Florida. In his role as vice president for corporate communication and government affairs at NACS/Medical Services of Chattanooga, he was recognized for volunteer leadership by the American Cancer Society as a recipient of the 2017 Life Inspiration Award. He’s a past board chair for the American Cancer Society’s Mid-South Division and Real Men Wear Pink ambassador. Additional board leadership service has included the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Circle, Membership Committee Chair and Ambassador Board President. Henderson’s Chamber leadership experience led him to his most recent position, of marketing and communications director with the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce.

Henderson is a local graduate of Southern Adventist University; and an alum of Leadership Chattanooga and Leadership Cleveland professional development associations.

New leaders named at Erlanger East, North

Erlanger East and North Hospitals have announced new leadership for 2021.

They are: Martha Weeks, vice president and CEO of Erlanger East and North Hospitals; Martha Weeks, Dr. Monica Jones, Erlanger East and North Hospitals chief medical officer; and William Crowe, North Hospitals chief nursing officer.

Weeks has worked with Erlanger for 45 years in various positions. She started as a floor nurse then proceeded to management and leadership positions. Weeks has been a staff nurse, assistant nurse manager, nurse manager, metabolic and diabetes program coordinator, director of patient care and Associate CNO at Erlanger. She recently served as the CNO for Erlanger East and North Hospitals before stepping into the CEO position.

Weeks earned her nursing degree from Erlanger in 1975. She then went on to earn a degree in psychology and nursing at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. She earned her master’s degree in health administration from the University of St. Francis in 2013.

Jones joined Erlanger after working as an anesthesiologist with Anesthesiology Consultants Exchange for 29 years. Jones earned her undergraduate degree at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, Indiana, before attending medical school at Indiana University School of Medicine. She competed her residency for anesthesiology at the University of Alabama Birmingham. She also completed a residency in obstetrical anesthesia at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. In 2011, Jones earned her physician executive MBA from the University of Tennessee.

Crowe has more than 39 years of experience in health care, more than 32 years of experience as a nurse and a decade of experience as a nurse practitioner. His variety of experience covers many different care settings including flight nursing, the Emergency Department, critical care, administration, quality, research, education and advanced practice.

Crowe earned his nursing degree from Georgia State University. He then completed his master’s degree in nursing at Southern Adventist University and became an acute care nurse practitioner. He earned his post masters certificate for family nurse practitioner at Southern Adventist before continuing to the University of South Alabama for a doctorate of nursing practice.

Raines joins Ambition as vice president

Ambition, which offers sales coaching and “gamification” platforms, has hired veteran product executive Butler Raines to join the company as vice president and head of product.

Raines joins Ambition from Salesloft, where he was head of product and part of the executive team that recently reached a $1.1 billion valuation as one of the world’s leading sales engagement platforms.

“It didn’t take long to realize that Butler was the experienced, visionary leader that Ambition needs to scale our company into a billion-dollar business,” says Travis Truett, CEO and Co-Founder of Ambition. “Given his proven track record, deep network and relationships, and insight into what the future holds for sales technology, we are excited to add such an accomplished leader to our executive leadership team and company.”

Raines has been leading product organizations and building platforms in Atlanta over the last 10 years, including SalesLoft and The Bitter Southerner. He recently led product management, product design and UX research at SalesLoft, an Atlanta-based sales technology company.