Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, July 21, 2023

Newsmakers: Southern Lit Alliance adds new executive director

Chelsea Risley has joined Southern Lit Alliance as executive director. Risley most recently worked as an editor for CityScope magazine. She currently serves as editor-in-chief for Southern Review of Books and as a publishing assistant for Guernica magazine. She has a Master of Fine Arts in poetry from Queens University of Charlotte.

A lifelong Chattanoogan who participated in Southern Lit’s Southern Writers contest as a child, Risley says she believes in the power of literature as a part of building a more empathetic world.

“Southern Lit is all about fostering a love for reading, writing and community, and I could not be more delighted to be a part of that mission.”

Leadership Tennessee names three locals to NEXT program

Leadership Tennessee has named three Hamilton County individuals to its seventh NEXT cohort.

Terran Anderson, Tucker McClendon and Arch Trimble IV are part of a group of 30 representatives from 16 Tennessee counties with diverse professional experience.

Anderson is the vice president of community and corporate engagement at United Way of Greater Chattanooga, McClendon is deputy county mayor of education and workforce development, and Trimble is director of strategic relationships at RSS Insurance.

The program offers early- to mid-career professionals with personal and professional development while fostering a better understanding of the state.

During each session, members engage with participants in Leadership Tennessee’s signature program, discuss issues and opportunities specific to Tennessee, and promote personal skill development.

Candidates are evaluated based on their professional accomplishments, community service and dedication to furthering Leadership Tennessee’s mission.

Since the launch of Leadership Tennessee in 2013, more than 500 members have graduated both from Leadership Tennessee NEXT and the organization’s signature program.

Leadership Tennessee was founded as an initiative of the College of Leadership and Public Service at Lipscomb University. It launched as an independent 501(c)(3) in 2021.

Tennessee Aquarium makes organizational changes

The Tennessee Aquarium has made several organizational changes as it plans for the future.

Gordon Stalans will serve as the Aquarium’s new chief operating officer. Stalans has served as the nonprofit’s chief financial officer and chief information systems officer for over 30 years. He also serves as the chief financial officer for Creative Discovery Museum and Hunter Museum of American Art.

The Aquarium has named Thom Demas chief husbandry and exhibits officer. Demas has served the Aquarium since 1997, first as the dive safety officer and eventually as the director of aquatic collections and life support systems.

Demas will oversee the Aquarium’s team of animal care experts, dive programs, life support operators, veterinary care team, exhibit and graphic services and support staff.

The Aquarium has promoted Jeff Worley to director of exhibits and graphics. Worley’s roles have expanded since joining the Aquarium over 30 years ago. He now leads a team of graphic artists, audio and visual technicians, and an award-winning photographer.

The Aquarium has also promoted Corey Cobb to director of IMAX Operations. Adam Lundy will replace Cobb as IMAX manager and systems operator.

Cobb and Lundy will be responsible for the IMAX Theater’s day-to-day and extended operational plan. This includes working with numerous film distribution companies to program educational documentaries and Hollywood tentpoles like “Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning” and “Oppenheimer.”