The TJC board consists of leaders from throughout the state who generously give their time, expertise, and support. Without this essential leadership, we would not be able to do the work that we do. Click photos for more information.
Mike Abelow represents clients in business disputes, including breach of contract, Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, real property, and broker-dealer cases. Prior to working at Sherrard and Roe, he served as a litigator in the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection and also represented clients in commercial litigation, insurance coverage, and government contract disputes at two law firms in D.C.
Abelow graduated from Washington & Lee University School of Law in 2000, where he was a member of the Law Review. After graduation, he clerked for the Honorable E.A. Van Graafeiland of the United StatesCourt of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York.
Abelow is a member of the Executive Committee of the Litigation Section of the Tennessee Bar Association, and a member of the Board of the Nashville Chapter of the American Constitution Society. In 2009, Abelow was also the recipient of TJC’s Pro Bono Attorney of the Year award, for his work with theCrabtree case, which sought to prevent TennCare from restricting home health care benefits on adult enrollees. That same year, he also received the Tennessee Bar Association’s Harris Gilbert Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year Award for his work with Crabtree.
Ronette Adams-Taylor is the Associate General Counsel/Director of Compliance & Risk Management at Meharry Medical College. In this role, Mrs. Adams-Taylor oversees the development, review, and implementation of the College’s compliance and risk management plans. This includes providing objective assessments of the College’s compliance to legislation governing academic medical centers, and the development of policies and procedures to ensure that the College’s practices remain observant to all pertinent local, state and federal laws. Before joining Meharry, Mrs. Adams-Taylor was a Legal Consultant for the New York City Civil Service Commission from 2008-2010. From 2005-2008 she held the position of Privacy/Legal Compliance Sr. Manager for Affiliated Computer Services, Inc., a HR/IT consulting firm in New Jersey.
Mrs. Adams-Taylor is a member of the Nashville Bar Association and the Tennessee Bar Association. Additionally, she serves as a member of the Metro Stormwater Management Commission and the member of PULSE, a group of local, young professionals in Nashville who strive to engage friends and coworkers to educate, inspire, and develop the habit of philanthropy dedicated to changing the health of a new generation.
On her reasons for joining the TJC board, Mrs. Adams-Taylor said, “ On a daily basis I work with clinicians who treat the under-served and under-represented and I see the struggles faced by doctors and the patients in their attempts to provide and receive basic health care. TJC’s mission and purpose that everyone deserves the medical care they need to be healthy resonates with my personal and professional commitment to the community.”
Mrs. Adams-Taylor received her B.S. from Alcorn State University, her M.S. from Carnegie Mellon University, and her JD from New York Law School.
Jim Barry retired in 2018 as Chief Counsel Corporate Litigation for International Paper Company. He came to International Paper in 1999 from Union Camp Corporation, where he was Assistant General Counsel. Prior to that, he was Special Counsel to Jones, Walker in Baton Rouge La. practicing environmental/toxic tort litigation. He came to Jones Walker from Mobil Corporation in Fairfax, Virginia where he was the Team Lead for the Environmental Litigation Group. While at Mobil, he also served as counsel to the Marketing and Refining Division and the Mining and Minerals Division. He came to Mobil following three years as Corporate Counsel for the United Company. Prior to that, he was an associate at Penn Stuart in Abingdon and Bristol, Virginia with a litigation practice. He graduated from the College of William and Mary with honors in 1979 and received his J.D. in 1982 from the University of Richmond. He is the past Chairman of the ACC Litigation Committee and the President of the Tennessee Chapter of ACC. He served as President of the Board of Directors of Memphis Area Legal Services and is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Community Legal Center in Memphis. He serves as Chair of the Tennessee Bar Association Access to Justice Committee and is a member of the Memphis Bar Association Access to Justice Committee. He serves as the Co-Chair of the Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative.
Kathryn Beasley is an Assurance Services Supervisor at KraftCPAs PLLC, serving a variety of clients including nonprofit organizations, employee benefit plans and private companies in a number of industries. Kathryn began her accounting career at Tucker & Tucker, PLLC, in 2006, and has been a licensed CPA since 2009. Before becoming an accountant, Kathryn was a professional ballet dancer for seventeen years, performing with Nashville Ballet for thirteen years prior to her retirement from the stage in 2001.
In addition to serving on the board of TJC, other nonprofit board service includes her current role as treasurer of the board for Actors Bridge Ensemble and prior service as treasurer for the Friends of Nashville Ballet.
Kathryn’s experience with TJC began when her mother, Jane Beasley (who retired from TJC in 2015), joined the organization in 1998. Her mother’s passion for the work of TJC led Kathryn to become involved as a volunteer and donor, and Kathryn is delighted to be able to now also serve as a member of the board of directors.
Marvin Berry, Jr.
Marvin Berry, Jr.
Marvin Berry, Jr. currently works from home part-time selling items on eBay and enjoys Motivational speaking. During tax season, he prepares and submits tax returns for the less fortunate. Berry graduated from Austin Peay State University in May 2005 with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration. While attending APSU he received the 2003-2004 Valor Award, “It is perseverance that distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.” Berry is an alumnus of Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity. Berry hopes to attend Nashville School of Law in the future.
Berry suffered a Spinal Cord Injury at age seven due to an accidental shooting. It left him paralyzed from the neck down. Berry became a client of TJC in 1996 and was a plaintiff in the Newberry case. Berry says, “I needed help with daily living skills at home, but the state denied me care at home though they would pay for nursing home placement. TJC changed my life forever by allowing me to receive care at home and still be a productive member of society.”
Berry was a speaker at TJC’s 10th Anniversary Fundraiser. He was featured in LawDragon magazine when Gordon Bonnyman was voted one of the top 500 Leading Lawyers in America. He has spoken with the Tennessean and other news outlets on behalf of TJC.
Bigelow is deeply involved with the Nashville Bar Association and also serves on their Board of Directors. He is a recipient of the NBA’s President’s Award and former President of the NBA’s Young Lawyers Division. When working with the Young Lawyers Division (YLD), Bigelow co-founded the YLD/Napier-Looby Bar Association Day of Service, helped raise well over $100,000 for non-profit organizations, and co-authored a statewide High School Mock Trial Competition problem. Bigelow is a Nashville Bar Foundation Fellow, Harry Phillips Inn of Court member, Tennessee Bar Association Leadership Law graduate, and helped develop and implement the Nashville Bar Foundation’s Leadership Forum.
He previously clerked for the Honorable Juliet Griffin.
Along with serving on the board of the Tennessee Justice Center, he is actively involved with the Legal Aid Society, H.E.L.P. Project, Room In the Inn, and numerous other non-profit organizations.
Jessica Black is a manager on the KraftCPAs healthcare industry team. As such, she is responsible for reviewing the work of engagement teams; preparing business, individual, and other business-related state and federal filings; performing outsourced CFO duties; providing practice management consulting; and preparing financial statements. As a ProAdvisor, Jessica also provides set-up and consulting for QuickBooks accounting packages.
Jessica focuses primarily on our clients in the healthcare industry, including physician practices, behavioral and rehabilitation facilities, oral surgery groups, ophthalmology practices, and dental practices.
Jessica has more than 10 years of experience in public accounting. She previously worked for Carter Lankford CPAs (CLCPAs), which merged with Kraft in 2015. CLCPAs primarily worked with clients in the healthcare industry.
Laura Creekmore has been making technology and content hold hands and play nice for more than 20 years. In 2008 she founded Creek Content, a consultancy focused on effective, strategic communication and information design for organizations in complex fields like health care and financial services. She is a mentor at JumpStart Foundry and Nashville’s Entrepreneur Center.
Creekmore is adjunct faculty at Kent State University, teaching content strategy and usability, and she is editor of 2 books in The Content Wrangler content strategy series. She speaks frequently at national content strategy and information architecture conferences. She is associate editor of the Association for Information Science and Technology’s newsletter, the ASIS&T Bulletin. She’s just a thesis away from her master’s in information science at the University of Tennessee, and graduated cum laude from Vanderbilt University.
She is a member of the board of directors of the Association of Junior Leagues International, the Oasis Center, and Cable. She is a graduate of Leadership Nashville and a past president of the Junior League of Nashville.
Shannon Coleman Egle
Shannon Coleman Egle
Shannon Coleman Egle is a partner at Kramer Rayson LLP in Knoxville. Her practice areas include healthcare regulation and transactions, general business consulting and transactions, as well as real estate acquisition and development and representation of individuals in civil tax controversies. She represents hospitals, physician organizations, individual physicians, physician practice management companies, and a host of other entities and individuals. She routinely assists healthcare clients with mergers and acquisitions, third-party payor relations, overpayment issues, employment matters, business restructuring (including succession planning), operational issues, Stark and Anti-Kickback matters and HIPAA compliance.
Ms. Egle is a 1999 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law and a 1996 graduate of Lincoln Memorial University. She is a member of the American Health Lawyers Association, the American Bar Association, the Tennessee Bar Association and the Knoxville Bar Association, as well as the Knoxville chapter of the Inns of Court. Ms. Egle is licensed to practice law in both Tennessee and Georgia. She was honored by the Greater Knoxville Business Journal as a member of the 2012 “40 Under 40” and has been voted by her peers as a Knoxville CityView Magazine “Top Attorney” in multiple categories.
In addition to her legal activities, Ms. Egle is involved in the community, serving as a member of the Junior League of Knoxville and St. Paul United Methodist Church. Additionally, she previously served as a member of the Lincoln Memorial University Board of Trustees, as well as the President of the LMU National Alumni Association.
Ms. Egle lives in Knoxville with her husband, two daughters and their Golden Retriever.
Mary Falls the Senior Advisor to Mayor John Cooper. She is also the founder of the Middle Ground Tennessee, a nonpartisan, community-based organization dedicated to finding thoughtful, innovative solutions to challenging public issues.
She has served on numerous community non-profit boards including the Nashville Symphony, Saint Thomas Health, Catholic Charities of Tennessee, and Alive Hospice.
She holds undergraduate and law degrees from Vanderbilt University. She previously practiced corporate and transactional law at Sherrard & Roe.
Deborah Farringer is an Assistant Professor of Law at Belmont University College of Law. Deborah teaches Health Law, Health Care Fraud and Abuse, Health Care Business and Finance, Bioethics, and Business Associations. Prior to joining the faculty at Belmont, Deborah served as Senior Associate General Counsel in the Office of General Counsel at Vanderbilt University, where her practice focused primarily on transactional matters for Vanderbilt University Medical Center, including analysis of contracts for compliance with applicable healthcare laws such as the Stark Law, Antikickback Statute, Civil Monetary Penalties Law, and the False Claims Act, physician practice acquisitions, joint ventures, general corporate governance and corporate maintenance issues, hospital operations, and real estate leasing and purchasing issues. Prior to her role at Vanderbilt University, Deborah was an associate at Bass, Berry& Sims PLC where she practiced in the firm’s Healthcare Industry group. Deborah Farringer is a member of the American Health Lawyers Association and the Tennessee Bar Association and is also licensed to practice in the state of Tennessee.
Myra Gammon is the Program Manager of the Corporate Health & Wellness Outreach division of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare & the Margaret West Breast Center. Myra has over 19 years of business development and marketing experience with a focus on the end user: the consumer/patient. Prior to starting with Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis, TN she served in various roles in the pharmaceutical industry including sales, consumer marketing, and advertising. Her current responsibilities with MLH and the Margaret West Breast Center are developing and implementing wellness services for the system and community by strategically partnering with key stakeholders to bring the mobile mammography unit on-site to area businesses and underserved communities.
Myra holds a Master of Healthcare Administration from Ohio University and received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Tennessee at Martin. Myra is a dedicated community volunteer recently completing the 2017 Leadership Memphis Executive Program; she is an active member of American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and is currently serving as a volunteer for LeBonheur Club and the Memphis Common Table Consumer Outreach Committee. In the past she has been an active member of the American Junior League International, American Heart Associations’ GORED for women, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), and Healthcare Businesswoman Association. She served on the board of the American Advertising Federation (AAF). In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, cycling and her two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Sophie and Stella.
Jeff Gibson is an attorney at Bass, Berry & Sims PLC, where he specializes in complex litigation and government investigations. In addition to representing clients in a wide variety of business and commercial litigation matters, he leads internal investigations, addresses compliance issues, and provides crisis management services in a range of diverse industries, including healthcare and financial services. Before joining Bass, Jeff clerked for the Honorable Susan H. Black of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and practiced for several years at Neal & Harwell, PLC.
Jeff has volunteered for TJC for several years, and he recently helped establish a program at Bass to provide pro bono assistance to TJC clients having problems establishing their eligibility for TennCare or getting medically necessary services once they have enrolled in the program. As a result of this work, Jeff was named the TJC Pro Bono Attorney of the Year in 2017. In addition, Jeff is currently serving as President of the Board of Room in the Inn and as a commissioner on the Metro Human Relations Commission. In 2016, the Center for Nonprofit Management named Jeff as one of Nashville’s “30 in their 30’s” for his nonprofit work.
Nate Gilmer is a Senior Operations Counsel at Healthcare Corporation of America (HCA), where he is responsible for its California and Nevada hospitals. Prior to joining HCA, Nate served as Associate General Counsel in the Office of General Counsel at Vanderbilt University, where his practice focused on operational, regulatory, and compliance matters for Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Prior to Vanderbilt University, he practiced at Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis in the firm’s Healthcare Regulatory group. Nate graduated in 1996 from Davidson College and received his J.D. in 2004 from Vanderbilt University Law School. He is a past Secretary and member of the Board of Directors for Walk Bike Nashville and is a member of the American Health Lawyers Association.
On joining the TJC board, Mr. Gilmer said, “I’ve been involved in many aspects of legal operations for a variety of healthcare providers, and fundamentally believe in increased access to care and rationalizing our health care system. TJC has proven able to do just that, and in so doing improve the lives of Tennesseans who deserve the same coverage I’ve been fortunate enough to receive.”
Sarah Griswold is the nutrition program manager for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) at the Knox County Health Department in Knoxville, Tennessee. She holds an undergraduate degree in dietetics from the University of Dayton and master’s degrees in nutrition and public health from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She is responsible for supervising nutrition educators as they counsel WIC participants and ensuring participants’ needs are met in compliance with various local, state, and federal regulations.
Outside of WIC, she serves on the board of the Knoxville Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as treasurer. She also works with the East Tennessee Childhood Obesity Coalition and is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Tennessee Public Health Association. In 2012, the Tennessee Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recognized her with its annual Emerging Dietetics Leader award. Sarah has written numerous articles about public health and is often called upon for media interviews about WIC and nutrition.
She works closely with the University of Tennessee’s Nutrition Department, serving as a preceptor for dietetic interns and public health nutrition students. She is also working with graduate students on numerous research projects studying WIC utilization and enjoys building partnerships to further support the WIC program and the needs of underserved communities.
Joe Haase retired from HCA – The Hospital Company in March 2017. HCA, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates over 160 hospitals, 125 ambulatory care centers and 4,000 physician practices across the U.S. Joe’s 33+ years of service were all within the area of Corporate Risk Management, having served as Claims Manager, Assistant Vice President – Insurance, Vice President of Risk Management, and ultimately Vice President, Risk & Insurance, a position that also serves as President of Health Care Indemnity, HCA’s wholly owned liability insurance company. Joe has a bachelor’s degree from St. Ambrose University, Davenport, IA and held the designation as a Certiﬁed Professional in Healthcare Risk Management (CPHRM) from the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM). He is a past Secretary and President of the Board of Directors of United Cerebral Palsy of Middle Tennessee and an active volunteer tour guide for school children visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Joe is married with three adult children and ﬁve grandchildren. He enjoys bicycling, wood working and playing guitar.
George T. “Buck” Lewis
A former president of the Tennessee Bar Association and the recipient of numerous professional awards, Mr. Lewis is a litigator whose focus is solving complex business, personal injury, insurance coverage, Consumer Protection Act, health care and class action litigation problems for his clients. He is a Supreme Court Rule 31 listed General Civil Mediator. In 2013, the American Arbitration Association added Mr. Lewis to its panel of arbitrators.
Mr. Lewis has held numerous leadership positions in his profession and community. He served as president of the Tennessee Bar Association and president of the Tennessee Legal Community Foundation and was appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Court to chair the Tennessee Access to Justice Commission. He has also served as president of the Memphis Bar Foundation and as chair of the Mid-South Chapter of the American Red Cross. In 2006, the Tennessee Judicial Selection Commission recommended Mr. Lewis to the governor for appointment to the Tennessee Supreme Court.
In 1999, the Supreme Court appointed him to the Advisory Commission on Rules of Trial and Appellate Procedure. In August of 2009, he was appointed to the TBA Judicial Conduct Committee. In 2010, Mr. Lewis was named to the Honor Roll of the American Bar Association Torts and Insurance Practice Section. In 2014, ABA President William Hubbard appointed him to the American Bar Association Pro Bono and Public Service Committee. In 2016, ABA President Linda Klein appointed Mr. Lewis Chair of the Committee.
Neil McBride began his legal career with Ralph Nader in Washington, D.C. He moved to Tennessee in 1972 to start a Ford Foundation-funded public interest law firm that served environmental groups, community-controlled health clinics and local development organizations in the Appalachian coalfields. In 1978 he founded and became director of a legal aid program that served the Cumberland Plateau. In 2002 that program merged with two others to form the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, which he served as General Counsel. His legal work focused on appellate advocacy and nonprofit law. He taught a course on nonprofit law as an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee College of Law for ten years. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law.
In 2011, President Obama appointed him to the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority, on which he served until his term expired in 2014. In 2012, he received the Tennessee Bar Association’s Ashley T. Wiltshire Public Interest Attorney of the Year Award. He is a member of the House of Delegates of the Tennessee Bar Association and the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Association for Legal Services. He continues to give pro bono representation to nonprofit groups in East Tennessee. He is retired and lives in Knoxville with his wife, Maureen.
Robert F. Miller, M.D.
Robert F. Miller, M.D.
Dr. Robert F. Miller is a Vanderbilt Pulmonary and Critical Care physician. He is the medical director of the Shade Tree Family Clinic, a free clinic operating in East Nashville. Dr. Miller has most recently been evaluating Iraqi War Veterans with lung disease.
He is a member of the American Thoracic Society and the American College of Physicians.
Dr. Miller has devoted considerable time to serving on several boards of directors and committees throughout his career. He served on the Board of Directors for the American Lung Association of Tennessee from 1997 to 2006 and served as its president from 2002 to 2004. He was on the St. Thomas Hospital Ethics Committee until 2001. He Served as Chairman of the St. Thomas Hospital Pharmacy and from 1993 to 1998. He was also a Tennessee delegate to The Council of Chapter Representatives of The American Thoracic Society for almost 10 years, from 1997 to 2006.
Dr. Miller received The Arnold Gold Foundation, Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award in 2007 and 2008. In 2006, he received the Vanderbilt Helping Hands Award, honoring him for his contributions to the care for the underserved. That same year, he also received the Vanderbilt CANDLE award, honoring him as a faculty member for Caring, Advocating, Nurturing, Determination, Empathy (CANDLE). He received the Volunteer of the Year Award from the American Lung Association of Tennessee in 2004.
He has also served as an assistant professor at Vanderbilt University since 2001.
Dr. Miller received his B.A. from Colorado College. He graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 1982. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine and Critical Care.
Brad Morgan is the Associate Director of the Institute for Professional Leadership at the University of Tennessee College of Law. In addition to directing the college’s voluntary pro bono programming and professional mentoring program, he is fortunate to teach Lawyers as Leaders, Leadership Practicum, Public Interest Seminar, and Pre Trial Litigation.
Until joining the college of law, Brad practiced with the law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, focusing on commercial and financial litigation. Throughout his practice experience, Brad was involved in pro bono work. His interests in access to justice and the roles law schools can play in the same have led him to focus his writing on meeting the needs of the under-served.
In his spare time, Brad enjoys hiking with his wife and two daughters and cooking with Hatch green chile. Brad holds a Juris Doctor (’05) and a Masters of Business Administration (’14) from the University of Tennessee.
Dr. Buzz Sienknecht
Dr. Buzz Sienknecht
Dr. Sienknecht has been a practicing physician in Chattanooga since 1975. He has served as President of the Chattanooga/Hamilton County Medical Society and still serves on the Medical Foundation board.
Dr. Sienknecht is a 5th generation Tennessean. He grew up in Knoxville and went McCallie High School in Chattanooga. He attended Vanderbilt and the University of Tennessee as an undergraduate and then went to medical school at U. T. Memphis. His postgraduate training included an internship at Philadelphia General Hospital and internal medicine residency back in Memphis. Dr. Sienknecht spent a year in Vietnam as a battalion surgeon with the 173rd Airborne Brigade and returned to complete his residency and a rheumatology fellowship at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Sienknecht also serves on the board of the Tennessee ACLU and is a playwright.
Jerry W. Taylor is a Partner at Burr & Forman, LLP. He concentrates his practice in the areas of health care law, administrative law, and commercial lending. Taylor has over 30 years of legal experience in the area of regulatory compliance for healthcare providers in both the public and private sectors. He has formerly served as General Counsel to the state agency responsible for the certificate of need program, and as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Tennessee, where he was primarily responsible for the defense and prosecution of civil suits involving public health care issues. Following this public service, he entered into the private practice of law in 1994.
Mr. Taylor’s background affords him a broad and balanced knowledge of laws and regulations affecting the healthcare industry, and the ability to effectuate practical solutions to legal concerns of clients. He has successfully represented clients including hospitals, physicians, long-term care providers, surgery centers, imaging centers, home health and hospice providers and others in obtaining certificates of need and regulatory approvals for the establishment and operations of health care facilities and services. Other areas of practice in which he has significant experience include professional and facility licensing, Medicare and Medicaid issues, Stark and anti-kickback laws, and physician contracting. In addition to his health care practice, Jerry represents lenders in structuring and closing commercial loan transactions.
Steve Thomas is the Chairman of the Board and co-founder of Thomas & Company, a privately held company in the unemployment cost control industry. Steve drives the organization’s commitment to customer service, integrity, and the constant focus on quality.
Steve began his career in state government in 1972. He served in several positions with the TN Dept. of Mental Health and was the Director of Tax Enforcement for the Tennessee Department of Revenue. He entered the Human Resources community as the Associate Director of Human Resources at Vanderbilt University in 1978. In 1981, Steve co-founded U.C. Consultants, an unemployment cost control, and tax credits service company. Steve and Kris Thorngren cofounded Thomas & Company, Inc. in 1994.
John C. Tishler is a partner at Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis. He lends his 25 years of experience and perspective to hospitals, health systems and healthcare companies, along with their financial advisors and lenders. John delivers creative solutions and strategic planning advice that addresses both immediate challenges and long-term objectives.
Tishler graduated from University of Tennessee College of Law in 1988, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Tennessee Law Review. After graduation, he clerked for the Honorable Julia Smith Gibbons, United States District Judge for the Western District of Tennessee. He is a partner and former Chairman of Waller Law.
Tishler is an active member of the community. He has served as Campaign Chair for Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands; President, Tennessee Chapter, Turnaround Management Association; Member, Advisory Committee on Rules of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and
Member, Nashville, Tennessee and American Bar Associations; and the American Bankruptcy Law Institute. Best Lawyers has recognized John for his work in the Business/Corporate areas as well as the Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law and in Litigation – Bankruptcy.
Judge Richard Dinkins received his undergraduate degree from Denison University in 1974 and his law degree from Vanderbilt University in 1977. He was admitted to the Tennessee Bar in 1977, and was in private practice for 26 years, 18 of which were with the law firm headed by prominent late civil rights advocate, litigator and State Senator Avon N. Williams, Jr. Judge Dinkins was appointed Chancellor of the Davidson County, Tennessee, Chancery Court in 2003, and retained his position through elections in 2004 and 2006. He was appointed to the Middle Section of the Tennessee Court of Appeals in 2008, and was retained in the position in 2014. He has been on the adjunct faculty at the Fred D. Gray Institute for Law, Justice, and Society at David Lipscomb University since 2015.
Sarah Fisher Gardial joined Belmont University in 2020 as the first woman Dean in the Massey College of Business. Prior to Belmont, she was Dean of the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business, and she held a variety of leadership positions at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
Dean Gardial has an extensive background in business and business education. For over 30 years, she has personally engaged with industry in research, consulting, and executive education roles, as well as creating mutually beneficial partnerships between academics and industry. She has served on for-profit (public and private) and non-profit governing boards, and she is an active public speaker.
Sarah has held leadership roles in several national and international business education associations, and she is an outspoken advocate for women in leadership as well as organizational diversity and inclusion.
Sarah has been known to ride motorcycles and sing in both rock bands and church choirs. She and her retired husband, Jeffrey, are happy to have returned to Tennessee with closer proximity to their families and first grandchild.
Patricia Gunn returns to the Tennessee Justice Center (TJC), where she once served as a volunteer attorney during her professional development leave from Ohio University (Fall 2006 – Fall 2007). Many of the things she learned at the TJC inspired her to develop a capstone course entitled, “Legal Policy and Disparities In The American Health Care System,” which enabled students to examine the disparities experienced by women, children, the elderly, African Americans, Latinex, Native Americans, Appalachians, and the poor in our Nation, in the spirit of open, scholarly inquiry. Her experience at the TJC also inspired her to write, Health Care Refugees, 6 Loy. U. Chi. Int’l L. Rev. 339 (2009) (see, https://lawecommons.luc.edu/lucilr/vol6/iss2/3/ (last visited August 1, 2020). She recently retired from Ohio University as an Associate Professor Emerita of Law and is now living in Nashville.
Prior to joining academia, Ms. Gunn had the privilege of serving for a year as Special Assistant to the Solicitor General (SG) of the United States at the U. S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. (DOJ). The SG’s Office represents the Government in all its cases before the United States Supreme Court. The SG’s Office is also responsible for reviewing and deciding whether the Government will appeal to the appropriate U.S. Court of Appeals any U.S. District Court ruling against the Government. Finally, the SG’s Office is responsible for seeing that the Government adopts consistent legal positions in all cases it files in the U.S. District Courts, U.S. Courts of Appeals, and U.S. Supreme Court.
Upon leaving the SG’s Office, Ms. Gunn next had the privilege of serving as a Senior Trial Attorney in the Office of International Affairs (OIA) at DOJ. Attorneys in OIA had many extraordinary responsibilities for assisting in the pursuit of justice and law enforcement at the international, national, and state levels. Among other things, such attorneys routinely participated in international extradition cases, in obtaining evidence from abroad required for prosecutions in the United States, and as members of U.S. delegations charged with negotiating treaties involving international criminal law matters.
Ms. Gunn is a graduate of Boston College Law School and of Fisk University. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, she greatly enjoyed visiting Fisk University’s Carl Van Vechten Art Gallery and Aaron Douglas Gallery, the Frist Art Museum, Cheekwood, and performances at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. She looks forward to resuming such wonderful experiences when the pandemic has ended. In the meantime, she enjoys quiet, masked walks in her neighborhood and “Zooming” with family, friends, and colleagues.
La’Kishia Harris is a graduate of Tennessee State University (2014) in the area of Master of Science in School Psychology. Born in Nuremberg, Germany with New Orleans roots, La’Kishia has gained the understanding that anything done with discipline on a daily basis prepares you for your destiny. A product of Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, she desires to be an advocate for the youth in Middle Tennessee.
La’Kishia’s dedication to this endeavor started as a junior in High School when she worked for the Community IMPACT of Nashville as a Youth Mobilizer and Education Advocate. As a youth mobilizer, she saw first-hand how there was a need for College Access in MNPS. She continued to seek focused and viable opportunities for personal and professional growth. Her relationships extend beyond students which have taught the value of results and relationships with both teachers and administrators. As a former College Mentor with the Oasis Center (2013), La’Kishia then transitioned into The United States Department of Education Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) which aims to increase the number of low-income, first-generation students enrolling and succeeding in college. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) manages this discretionary grant. For nearly twelve years, La’Kishia has advocated for youth and their families in Middle Tennessee. Currently, as Magnet School Assistance Program (MSAP) Site Coordinator with MNPS, she executes outreach plans and strategies to effectively inform and ensure families have equitable access to a great public education.
La’Kishia is passionate about educating and advocating children and giving back to the Nashville community. This is evident through her volunteerism with the Junior League of Nashville, Mosaic Fellowship, Nashville International Center of Empowerment, and Young Leaders Council. La’Kishia’s goal is to make the future brighter by continuing to educate the next generation.
Jennifer M. Lankford is Senior Corporate Counsel for Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores, Inc. With over 670 stores in 45 states, Ms. Lankford’s role includes advising on employment law matters affecting the company’s 80,000 plus employees. Ms. Lankford oversees both the legal litigation team and the Employee Relations department. Prior to joining Cracker barrel, Ms. Lankford was a partner with Thompson Burton, PLLC in Franklin, Tennessee. In 2017, Jennifer was appointed by Governor Bill Haslam to the Tennessee Board of Appeals, the panel for state employees seeking to appeal a demotion, suspension, or termination by the State of Tennessee.
Jennifer received her J.D. in 2010 from the University of Tennessee College of Law and graduated in 2007 from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Jennifer has volunteered for TJC for several years and passionately supports the organization’s mission and dedication to Tennessee’s families and their health care.
Sara Lynes is an Inventory Strategy and Deployment Senior Analyst at Nissan North America. Sara is a graduate of the University of Iowa with a degree in industrial engineering. Sara is in her final quarter of getting her MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where her concentrations include economics, analytic finance, accounting, and entrepreneurship. While at Booth Sara was involved with Booth Social Impact Consulting, where she was the project manager for the Illinois International Port District economic development plan.
She is involved in the community, serving as a member of the Junior League of Nashville and an advisor at Nashville’s Entrepreneur Center.
Dana Migliaccio is the General Counsel for North American Container, a business unit of International Paper Company. She came to International Paper in 2009 from FedEx Express where she was Senior Counsel, Business Transactions. Dana has held a variety of in-house legal positions covering areas of law ranging from customer facing business transactions, commercial real estate and retail development, and global sourcing as well as serving as a Compliance Officer for a subsidiary of General Electric Company. She graduated from Memphis State University with honors in 1992 and received her J.D. in 1995 from the University of Memphis.
She became interested in the mission of the TJC following her mother’s admission to a long-term care facility several years ago. Mrs. Migliaccio says “The mission of TJC speaks to me on a very personal level. I watched my father struggle to navigate the healthcare system after making the difficult decision to move my mother from home care to a long-term care facility. He is a strong, persistent advocate for her. Unfortunately, many people in our community have neither the resources nor an advocate to assist them at a time when they are most vulnerable. It is an honor and a privilege to serve on TJC’s board.