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.
Denise Alper is a native Nashvillian. After a couple of decades in Hospital Management, Denise has spent her professional career in consulting and project management for healthcare and nonprofit organizations. Most recently, she was Interim CEO for Gilda’s Club of Middle Tennessee.
Denise has served on the Boards of Metro Nashville Health Department, United Neighborhood Health Services, Alive Hospice, Gilda’s Club, The Women’s Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and All About Women. She is a graduate of Leadership Nashville.
Ms. Alper received her BA in Public Administration from The University of Florida, Gainesville and her Masters of Hospital and Health Administration from Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia.
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.
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.
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.
Shindana L. Feagins, MD
Shindana L. Feagins, MD
Dr. Shindana Feagins is a native of Los Angeles, CA. She has been a physician practicing Internal Medicine for 20 years. Prior to becoming a physician, she worked for the LA Unified School District as a middle school teacher at Charles Drew Middle School. Her love of writing poetry has enabled her to author two children’s books – Poems for My Children (2010) and We Have Such In Common (2015).
Dr. Feagins currently works as an Internist in Madison, TN and is the owner of Feagins Medical Group (a primary care practice managing acute and chronic illnesses) and Walk With Your Doctor Weight Loss (a weight loss management program). She is the co-owner of Comprehensive Correctional Services (which offers contracted medical and dental services to Correctional Facilities) and HealthMD (a mobile house calls and telemedicine practice).
She is the founder and CEO of Rezolve Wellness Center which is a non-profit organization that works in conjunction with her “Walk With Your Doctor Weight Loss” program. She is also the co-founder and CEO of a company called, We Have Such In Common, Incorporated and the non-profit, “We Have Such In Common – Let’s Talk”, which promotes harmony among children and teaches elementary and middle school children about diversity & inclusion through literacy, visual arts and music. She and her business partners were the first African American woman owned non-profit in Tennessee to partner with AT&T to teach their Diversity & Inclusion curriculum to students at a charter school in Atlanta, Georgia.
She is a former 2013 Athena Award Nominee, a 2013 Recipient of the Gospel Music City Business Woman of the Year Award and 2014 recipient of the Legacy Award.
Dr Feagins is a former board member of the Green Hills YMCA and currently sits on the Metro Hospital Authority Board. She is the first African American woman and Meharry graduate to chair the Hospital Authority Board for Nashville General Hospital, in its 130 year history. She is also the first African American woman to sit on the board for Father Ryan Highschool in its 95 year history and is the first and only African American and woman physician currently sitting on the medical advisory committee for Father Ryan Highschool.
Through her non-profit, Rezolve Wellness, Dr. Feagins became the first African American Woman physician in the state of Tennessee, to pilot a weight loss study for United Healthcare Insurance, the largest insurance company in the US.
Dr. Feagins is a graduate of the University of Southern California and Meharry Medical College and resides in Old Hickory, Tennessee with her husband, Edwin Feagins, Sr. and their two children Sabria and Edgerin.
Sabrina Finney, MD
Sabrina Finney, MD
Sabrina Tanis Finney, MD received her undergraduate degree from prestigious Spelman College in 1990 and her medical degree from Meharry Medical College in 1996. She completed her internship and residency at Henry Ford Health Systems in Detroit Michigan. She served four years in the National Health Service Corp which took her from East Jackson Family Medical Center and Cayce Health Clinic in Jackson, TN and Nashville, TN, respectively. She is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Tennessee Academy of Family Physicians, Societas Docta Incorporated and the National Alumnae Association of Spelman College, previously serving as the president for the Nashville, TN Chapter. She served as the Associate Program Director in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Meharry Medical College from 2011 o 2014. Dr. Finney was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Award at Meharry Medical College, Department of Family and Community Medicine in 2012 and was inducted into the Gold Humanism Society in 2014. Dr. Finney is currently Medical Director of Wellpath. In this position she provides acute and chronic care for inmates assigned to the Davidson County Sherriff’s Office. Simultaneously, Dr. Finney works for Vanderbilt University Medical Center as Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine.
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.
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.
Mike Gardner is in-house counsel for Experian Health, Inc. where he leads a team of three attorneys. Prior to joining Experian Health, Mike was in-house counsel for Community Health Systems where he specialized in litigation management. Before working at CHS, Mike practiced in the Litigation and Appellate Group of the Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis firm’s Nashville office. Mike graduated in 2002 from Duke University and then graduated from Vanderbilt University Law School in 2006. Prior to joining the TJC Board, Mike volunteered regularly with TJC during his time at Waller and later assisted TJC in fundraising efforts on behalf of its Raise the Bar campaign.
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.
Nita is retired from 30 plus years in sales. At Tupperware World Headquarters she served as a VIP Manager and trainer for launching new products and establishing new programs. She served as Assistant Manager at Ashley’s Furniture before retiring from a sales and training position at Havertys.
More importantly, Nita received her God-given “master’s” in advocacy care after 38 years of being the sole advocate for her son, Lee Murphey. Lee had Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy.
Nita had to, and willingly did, put all formal education and career ambitions aside in order to give Lee the care he required. Her work in sales allowed her the flexibility to support herself while caring for Lee.
Nita is indeed a master at navigating the health care system which is evidenced by Lee living well past the years medically anticipated. And his was a life of quality; he even accomplished two majors.
In her words, “I am passionate about helping those who rely on TJC for assistance in their own advocacy efforts. I am grateful for the opportunity to do so.”
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.
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.
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.
Josh Hedrick is a member in Kraft Analytics, LLC, an affiliate of KraftCPAs that focuses on valuation, forensic, and transaction advisory services. Before joining Kraft Analytics in 2009, Joshua worked with a large regional CPA firm in North Carolina in its business valuation and litigation support practice. He began his professional career in the financial institutions industry.
Josh consults with executives and attorneys to help answer the question, “What is it worth?” Josh’s major areas of practice include, but are not limited to, business valuation, financial instrument valuation, intangible property valuation, damages computations, mergers and acquisition consulting, equity and financing transaction consulting, and cash flow and capital investment modeling. He has broad industry experience, including healthcare, financial services, professional services, entertainment, software, life sciences, construction, distribution, and real estate.
Josh received a BA in 1999 (English and Anthropology) and an MBA in 2002 from Appalachian State University.
Josh has served on the board of directors of Communities in Schools of Tennessee since 2013, including seven years as treasurer. Josh is married to Ellie Hedrick, a RN, BSN.
Sadiatou grew up on the other side of the world – literally – in Gambia. She and her immediate family came to Knoxville in 1987 with help from Alex Haley, author of Roots. Sadiatou’s daughter Binta is a direct descendent of Kunta Kinte, of Roots fame. Binta was born with severe disabilities and needs around the clock care to keep her safe in the community.
For 26 years, Sadiatou has been a dogged advocate for her daughter’s healthcare. She has worked with Tennessee Justice Center to ensure Binta has the care she needs since shortly after her birth. She has been featured in state and national media, testified before courts and lawmakers, and courageously shared her family’s story to educate people and put a human face to policy issues impacting people with special needs. She has provided heartfelt advice to countless other parents, all while serving as Binta’s primary caregiver and struggling with her own health issues.
While still living in Gambia, she worked for a major telecommunications company, during which time she traveled throughout the UK for business. Once in the United States, she received Associate degrees in both Communications and Medical Assistance. She currently works as a caregiver and provides Hospice care. Sadiatou is pleased to join the Board of Directors at Tennessee Justice Center, looking forward to being able to continue helping other families who need assistance getting the health care they need.
Dr. Kevin James is a practicing geriatrician and hospitalist in Maryville, Tennessee. He grew up in Oak Ridge, Tennessee before attending Davidson College and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. After completing internal medicine residency and serving as Chief Resident at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, he pursued specialty training in geriatric medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. In 2012 he returned to East Tennessee settling in Maryville and beginning work as a hospitalist. A year later he served as a founding physician for Blount Senior Care Partners, a geriatric care group in Maryville. Over the past nine years Dr. James has participated in the growth of Blount Senior Care Partners. This has included founding a geriatric primary care and consultation clinic, expanding care in skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities, and more recently expanding a home care program. In addition to working as a geriatric primary care physician, he provides inpatient continuity by caring for all of his group’s patients whenever they require hospital admission.
Dr. James was attracted to the Tennessee Justice Center when he realized how limited the medical and social safety net he had to work with in Tennessee was compared to what he experienced while training in Massachusetts. His work caring for vulnerable elders through his clinic and nursing homes frequently involves dealing with barriers to accessible and affordable support for patients and their families. By working with the Tennessee Justice Center he hopes to improve the ability of seniors to access care and educate other healthcare providers on how they too can advocate for more resources for their patients.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kristie Helms Nettles
Kristie Helms Nettles
Kristie Helms Nettles is VP/Director of Operational Marketing at AllianceBernstein where she has oversight of the global marketing production and proofreading teams responsible for creating the firm’s presentations, commentaries, fact sheets and related materials.
Prior to joining AB in 2019, she led Digital Marketing and Client Communications and served as Global Head of Content Strategy at State Street for more than 11 years. There she worked in several global offices including Hong Kong, Tokyo and Sydney. She launched the company’s social media program and led the digital marketing team that took Wall Street’s “Fearless Girl” statue viral. Ms. Nettles also created a social media data mining program used to deliver hyper-targeted marketing strategies and competitive intelligence for sales teams and was awarded WOMMY’s first ever Gold Award for Social Media Monitoring Implementation.
Ms. Nettles has a long history of interactive leadership within financial services, earning an IABC Gold Quill Merit award in Digital Communications for the launch of State Street’s first social intranet and a number of awards for digital marketing campaigns including the Digital/Social Communications Campaign of the Year (Silver) Bulldog Award, Best Use of Digital/Social for a Banking/Financial Services Campaign (Silver) Bulldog Award and the Bulldog Digital/Social PR Awards (Gold) for Excellence in Online Communications. Her work has received recognition from the FT, Pensions & Investments, Forbes and Brand Channel for her unique use of social media in financial services – which once included tweeting a set of emojis that explained SEC regulations.
Passionate about combining her southern roots with more than 20 years of financial services’ experience in NYC and Boston to create a new, global financial hub in Nashville, she serves as co-chair of the AB Out leadership team, is an AB Diversity Ambassador and is a Dean of the Client Group’s internship and Rotational Associate program. She serves as a member of Tennessee State University’s Economics and Finance Advisory Board and recently funded an LGBTQ Endowment at Murray State University.
A native of far western Kentucky and former crime reporter at a daily newspaper in Paris, TN, Ms. Nettles obtained a BS in journalism from Murray State University in Murray, KY and an MS in communications management from Simmons College in Boston. She served as a member of the Board of Directors of both Boston Pride and the Fenway LGBTQ Health Center and was appointed by the Massachusetts Governor to the Boston Finance Commission. Active in community organizing, she was an elected delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention and worked on the campaigns of Deval Patrick, Elizabeth Warren and Ayanna Pressley. She remains a proud recipient of the Kentucky Colonel designation for her work with the Kentucky delegation to the 2004 DNC in Boston.
She and her wife of 20 years reside in East Nashville with their three small, ill-behaved dogs.
Freida H Outlaw, PhD, RN
Freida H Outlaw, PhD, RN
Freida Hopkins Outlaw received her Baccalaureate in Nursing from Berea College, Masters in Psychiatric Nursing from Boston College and a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America and completed her postdoctoral study in Psychosocial Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania. She has over fifty years of experience as a clinician, researcher, educator, and policy maker in public mental health. She is currently the Executive Program Consultant for the Substance Abuse and Mental Heath Services Administration, Minority Fellowship Program at the American Nurses Association.
Prior, she was the Director of the Meharry Youth Health and Wellness Center, a health care delivery system for adolescents with a special focus on LGBT youth. For eight years Dr. Outlaw served as the Assistant Commissioner, Division of Special Populations, Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. For 15 years she was on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing. Dr. Outlaw has written in the areas of cultural diversity, management of aggression, seclusion and restraint, and the role of religion, spirituality and the meaning of prayer for people with cancer, the use of the Geriatric Depression Scale with older African Americans, Black women and depression, children’s mental health, quality of life of African American women caregivers, and the mental health needs of minority transgender youth. She was a co-author of the book Policy and Politics in Nursing and Health Care, 7th edition which was recognized with a book of the year award in 2015 by the American Nurses Association.
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.
Susanne Tropez-Sims, MD
Susanne Tropez-Sims, MD
Dr. Susanne Tropez-Sims is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. She attended Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, graduating in 1971 with a major in Biology/Chemistry. She then matriculated at University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill where she completed her MD degree in 1975 before beginning her internship and residency in pediatrics at North Carolina Memorial Hospital. Further training included a Master of Public Health from UNC – Chapel Hill, along with a Preventive Medicine Fellowship and a Community Pediatric Fellowship in 1982. She went on to become an academician, serving at UNC – Chapel Hill, Louisiana State University Health Science Center, and Meharry Medical College. Despite the rigors of academia, Dr. Tropez-Sims was also the Maternal and Child Health Director for the New Orleans Health Department.
Dr. Tropez-Sims became an advocate for abused children and was a child medical examiner for the states of North Carolina and Louisiana. She trained physicians, police, social workers, and lawyers in evaluating child abuse. Her research consisted of sexually transmitted diseases in sexually abused children and adolescents. In addition, she designed and implemented a program entitled “Teens with Tots.” This program encouraged adolescent mothers to continue school, thereby reducing the pregnancy recidivism rate. Never losing her passion for adolescents, she implemented one and managed two school-based clinics in New Orleans.
In 1997, Dr. Tropez-Sims joined Meharry as Chairperson of Pediatrics, also serving as Professor, Clerkship Director, and – in 2005 – Associate Dean of Clinical Affiliations. She has directed MINDS (Moving in New Directions), an HIV/AIDS prevention program, in two Davidson County public schools and a faculty development mentoring program at Meharry. Her research at Meharry has focused on faculty development, HIV/AIDS prevention in adolescents, Vitamin D deficiency, HPV vaccines in adolescents, and correlations between infant obesity and maternal obesity. She has received numerous honors and awards from the American Academy of Pediatrics, communities in which she worked, and Meharry.
In Dec 2019 Dr. Tropez-Sims retired but continues on contract assisting Meharry SOM with administrative duties.