Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, September 15, 2023

Newsmakers: Bowers named new green | spaces director

Richard Bowers, Jr. is serving as the new executive director of green | spaces.

A Chattanooga native, Bowers graduated from The Baylor School and Tulane University. After earning his Juris Doctor from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Bowers settled in Detroit, where he developed a background in environmental law, including brownfield redevelopment, site remediation, municipal water treatment, solar and wind permitting, and air quality standards.

“Chattanooga was once known for its pollution and industrial footprint. Now, Chattanooga is a transformed city known for outdoor activities, tourism and natural beauty,” Bowers says. “I’m excited about joining green | spaces and continuing to improve regional sustainability as our city achieves new national benchmarks.”

Bowers previously served as the director of Detroit’s Office of Energy and Sustainability, where he created programs that ranged from large-scale planning to community initiatives.

During his tenure, he created a Climate Action Plan, initiated the Green Task Force (the first sustainability initiative for Detroit), developed a curbside recycling program, managed neighborhood urban garden creation and built a winterization program to help insulate low-income properties.

While in Detroit, Bowers also initiated a fast-track zoning and permit approval for green building, organized reward initiatives for LEED certification of new construction buildings and homes, and benchmarked utility usage for city-owned buildings.

For the past 13 years, Bowers has maintained a law practice focused on government relations, real estate, estate planning and contracts.

Bowers says green | spaces attracted back to Chattanooga with its focus on environmental well-being and educational outreach and its comprehensive approach to sustainability.

Signal Centers adds three to staff

Signal Centers has added three new members to its staff: Jamaine Akins as deputy operations officer, Kelly-Ann Walker as deputy program officer and Tenisha King as deputy human resources officer.

Akins is a Chattanooga native who graduated from the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee as a licensed journeyman electrician and is a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

As deputy operations officer, he’ll maintain proper operational structure within the organization, including the maintenance of facilities and operational staff support and the ongoing sustainment of the organization’s internal structure.

Walker comes to Signal Centers with over 15 years of experience in program management, community advocacy and nonprofit operations. As the new deputy program officer, she’ll work to ensure Signal Centers’ programs meet regulatory requirements, key performance indicators and operational needs.

Another Chattanooga native, King graduated from East Tennessee State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mass communications. In 2013, she returned to school at Bryan College to obtain her MBA.

As deputy human resources officer, King will implement employee engagement strategies to enhance retention and drive diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives across the organization. She will also assist in directing all functions of the human resources department.

Sheriff serving on State-Level Safety Team

Tennessee Commissioner of Safety Jeff Long has appointed Hamilton County Sheriff Austin Garrett to serve on the state of Tennessee’s State-Level Safety Team.

Garrett will serve as the designated representative for the Tennessee Sheriff’s Association. The team is composed of several representatives from a variety of educational, health and law enforcement disciplines, including a representative from the Tennessee Chiefs of Police Association.

The State-Level Safety Team promotes safer and more effective school safety initiatives and develops plans of action to mitigate a variety of potential threats that could endanger students and schools. This includes districtwide safety and building-level emergency response plans.

The team will work with state legislators on school-based safety legislation.

Montague enters Boys & Girls Clubs Hall of Fame

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Chattanooga has inducted Rick Montague to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tennessee Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Knoxville on Aug. 24.

Montague started volunteering at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chattanooga as a playground monitor while in college at the University of Virginia. As a young teacher, he became an assistant scoutmaster to an inner city Boy Scouts troop and witnessed firsthand the many challenges low income youth and families face. These experiences ignited a passion to help underserved youth.

In 1972, Montague’s father-in-law, Jack Lupton, asked him to join the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chattanooga’s board of directors. Montague has been engaged with the organization ever since, including serving as board chair from 1976-1978 and 2004-2005.

Montague has focused his professional life on improving the lives of Chattanooga residents. Early in his career, he was a member of the teaching faculty of the Baylor School in Chattanooga. In the 1980s, he served as the first executive director and president of the Lyndhurst Foundation and as chair of the three-year open process to re-imagine Chattanooga’s downtown and riverfront areas.

Montague and his wife, Cannon, live on Lookout Mountain and are members of the Church of the Good Shepherd.

Waterhouse PR welcomes new account executive

Waterhouse Public Relations has added Thalia Cruz to its team. She will assist the firm in developing and executing public relations initiatives that align with clients’ objectives.

A native of Cleveland, Tennessee, Cruz attained a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Lee University, where she was a writer for the award-winning campus publication, the Vindagua.