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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, August 10, 2018

Newsmakers: GPS hires varsity basketball coach




Janna Eichelberger is the new head varsity basketball coach at Girls Preparatory School.

Eichelberger is the former director of basketball operations with the men’s basketball program at Tennessee State University, one of only seven women on an NCAA Division I men’s basketball coaching staff, and worked as an assistant with the women’s basketball program at TSU for two years.

In addition to her college coaching experience, Eichelberger has been heavily involved in AAU basketball for players in grades three through eight and has worked as a personal instructor for skill development with some of the top high school players in the central part of the state. She is recognized around Nashville as an outstanding teacher of the game.

Prior to her time at TSU, Eichelberger was a Division I student-athlete for four years at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. She was the captain of her college basketball team for two years and was on the Academic All-Summit League squad four consecutive years. Eichelberger was also named to the Summit League Commissioner’s List for Academic Excellence.

Eichelberger earned her master’s degree in human performance and sports sciences at Tennessee State University after receiving her bachelor of science degree in kinesiology from IUPUI. She will also be teaching sixth grade physical education at GPS.

Chamber names Blankenship VP of talent initiatives

Molly Blankenship joins the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce as vice president of talent initiatives this month.

Prior to joining the Chattanooga Chamber, Blankenship managed a portfolio of programs related to education attainment, talent development and diversity, equity and inclusion as community advancement manager for the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. In this role, Blankenship provided consultation to chambers of commerce on education and talent development.

Blankenship also managed the Fellowship for Education and Talent Development, a nine-month professional development program that helps chambers improve education and talent development outcomes in their communities.

In addition, Blankenship provided strategic direction and program management for the Education Attainment Division, a national network of more than 700 chamber champions working to advance education and talent development priorities.

Before joining ACCE’s staff, Blankenship was an associate on United Way Worldwide’s Network Engagement and Performance team. She also co-founded and led Reclaim Ourselves, a community organization dedicated to using the arts and arts education to advance social change.

A Tennessee native, Blankenship studied public policy and advocacy at Middle Tennessee State University.

Ronald McDonald House welcomes board members

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Chattanooga recently welcomed seven new members and two returning members to its board of directors.

The newly installed board includes Dr. Dave Bhattacharya, pediatric surgeon with University Surgical Associates and medical director for pediatric trauma at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger; Sallie Brooks, director of marketing and tax accountant for Miller and McPhail; Kim Coffey, pediatric physical therapist and owner of Pediatric Physical Therapy Services; Betsy Conroy, a full-time mom and active volunteer in the Chattanooga community; Charles Gilbreath, labor and employment attorney at Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel; Nicole Jeppesen, CPA and senior manager at LBMC; Ken Jones, manager at EPB Fiber Optics and Geographic Information System group; Melissa McKown, who recently retired from teaching elementary school after 35 years and is an active volunteer in the Chattanooga community; and Christy Ramirez, community outreach director and licensed funeral director for Chattanooga Funeral Home.

Parkridge welcomes Grant as new chief medical officer

Dr. Timothy Grant has been named chief medical officer of Parkridge Health System.

Prior to joining Parkridge, Grant, a board-certified, fellowship-trained pediatric anesthesiologist, served as CMO at Coliseum Health System, a 413-bed multi-hospital system in Macon, Georgia.

Grant previously chaired the department of anesthesiology and taught healthcare economics at Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon. Before that, he served as medical director of the operating room and medical director of sedation oversight at Medical Center Navicent Health in Macon.

Grant earned his bachelor’s degree from Clemson University and his medical degree from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.

Financial advisors join Pinnacle

Pinnacle Financial Partners has hired four financial services professionals for its Chattanooga team.

Michael Cooper and Robert Emmons have joined the firm as senior vice presidents and financial advisors. Suzanne Dent has joined the Shallowford Road office as a vice president and client services advisor. Katelyn Ragsdale is a financial specialist at Pinnacle’s Broad Street office.

Cooper brings 28 years of financial services experience to Pinnacle. He most recently comes from SunTrust Bank, where he spent 12 years as a commercial relationship manager.

Emmons has 38 years of experience in financial services. He comes to the firm from Synovus Bank (Cohutta Banking Company), where he was retail market manager.

With 23 years of financial services experience, Dent comes to Pinnacle from Synovus Bank, where she was a lead relationship banker.

Ragsdale comes to Pinnacle from SunTrust Bank, where she spent five years as a teller. She attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.