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Summer 09 Features


Taking care of business
A point to prove
Clearing some space
Operation smile
Tapping your potential
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Noteworthy Happenings


Pat Kerr Tigrett (BFA) was honored for her contributions to music at the Memphis and Shelby County Music Commission’s Emissaries of Memphis Music luncheon. She is founder of the Blues Ball, which benefits numerous charities and local musicians.


W. Charles Shuffield

W. Charles Shuffield (JD), a shareholder with the law firm Shuffield, Lowman & Wilson, was named one of the top attorneys in Florida by Florida Super Lawyers. He lives in Orlando.


Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson (BM, MM ’70) was the headliner at the kick-off concert for WUMR’s Jazz in June Radiothon. The distinguished jazz pianist teaches at the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University and performs with the Russell Wilson Quartet and the Smithsonian Jazz Orchestra. He also enjoys a successful career as a solo and chamber performer.


David E. Johnson Jr. (JD) received the New Jersey State Bar Foundation’s highest award, the Medal of Honor, for his commitment to the state’s legal legacy. Johnson is retired director of the New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics.


Bob Flynn

Bob Flynn (BA, JD ’75) joined his wife, Michele Howard-Flynn, at her firm, The Howard-Flynn Law Group. He had been a partner with Spicer, Flynn and Rudstrom. Flynn has expertise in premises liability, real estate and construction litigation, trucking/transportation litigation and alternative dispute resolution. The HF Law Group offers intellectual property services as well as litigation and a broad range of entertainment law services in the music, art and film industries.

Grady M. Garrison (JD), a partner with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, was listed among the 150 best lawyers in Tennessee by Business TN magazine. In April he led a national teleconference, “Understanding Intellectual Property Protections,” for intellectual property law practitioners.

Jimmy Tashie (BS, MEd ’75) is senior vice president and general manager of Malco Theatres Inc. and chair of the Memphis and Shelby County Film and Television Commission.


Dr. Diane D. Allen

Dr. Diane D. Allen (BA) was appointed provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at Salisbury University in Salisbury, Md. She had been dean of the College of Education and Human Development at Southeastern Louisiana University.

Lynn Norment (BA), a longtime writer and managing editor for Ebony magazine, was inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame. Norment served on the NABJ board of directors for six years and chaired both the NABJ’s 25th anniversary celebration in 2000 and its 1997 convention in Chicago. 

Gary K. Smith (JD), a member of Apperson, Crump & Maxwell, is serving on the board of directors of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.


Frank Allen (BBA) of Shoemaker Financial achieved Million Dollar Round Table status.

M. Woodrow Griffin Jr. (JD) was appointed to a judgeship in Hampton, Va., General District Court.

Joyce B. Jones (BBA), vice president and treasurer of Wright Medical Technology Inc., joined the board of trustees of the Southwest Tennessee Community College Foundation.

Dr. Marsha Loda (BA, MA ’93), assistant professor of marketing in the Hull College of Business at Augusta State University, received the Outstanding Teaching Award. Before joining the university in 2004, Loda was director of marketing for Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in North Carolina and owned an ad agency in Memphis for 16 years.

Mark Luttrell (MPA), Shelby County sheriff, was named national Sheriff of the Year by the National Sheriffs Association, a group that promotes professionalism in criminal justice.

Gloria Trotter (BA), president of the Oklahoma Press Association, was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame at the University of Central Oklahoma. She has been the longtime co-publisher of the Tecumseh Countrywide News and The Shawnee Sun, which merged to form The Countrywide & Sun in 2008.


Larry Brown (JD), former senior vice president and chief human resources officer for FedEx Corp., joined the law office of Jackson Lewis.

Frank Inman (MBA), founder of Inman Construction Corp., was inducted into the Society of Entrepreneurs.

Hayden Lait (JD) earned the status of Distinguished Fellow for 2009 from the American College of Civil Trial Mediators. 


Jackie Nerren (BA) is owner of Jacquelyn Nerren Marketing & Research Counsel, a consumer research company.

Larry Rice (JD) is senior partner at the law firm of Rice, Amundsen & Caperton. A member of the Tennessee bar for more than 30 years, he is a family law specialist and highly regarded expert in the field of divorce law. Rice is also known for writing such influential books as The Complete Guide to Divorce Practice and The Effective, Ethical Lawyer.  

James H. Stock Jr. (BSEd, JD ’80), a partner with Weintraub Stock, was selected for inclusion in the 2009 The Best Lawyers in America.

Jeff Weintraub (BSEd, JD ’81), a partner with Weintraub Stock, was selected for inclusion in the 2009 The Best Lawyers in America.


Gina Higgins (BA, JD ’84) is co-chair of the Diversity Committee of the Memphis Bar Association and is actively involved with its high school summer law intern program. She is an attorney with Higgins and Johnson.

R. Hunter Humphreys (JD) is chair of the real estate practice group at the Glankler Brown law firm.

David H. Lillard Jr. (BA, JD ’80) is treasurer for the State of Tennessee. He formerly was a member of Burch, Porter and Johnson.

Deanie Parker (BPS, MPA ’88) was honored for her contributions to Memphis music at the Memphis and Shelby County Music Commission’s Emissaries of Memphis Music luncheon. She has been president and CEO of Soulsville and director of publicity for Stax Records.

Jimmie (BBA, MS ’82) and Bob Tapley (BBA, MBA ’82) of Crye-Leike Realtors were named to the Top 200 Real Estate Professionals in the U.S. They ranked 26th among team transactions.


Dan M. Alsobrooks (JD) is district attorney general for the 23rd Judicial District of Tennessee.

Mike Faulk

Mike Faulk (MPA, JD ’79) was named to the Mid-South SuperLawyers list in 2008 and 2009 and was elected to the Tennessee State Senate in 2008.

Sheila Harrell (BSEd), vice president of customer service operations for FedEx, was named the Customer Service Institute of America’s Executive of the Year.

Dawn LaFon (BA) is a Latin teacher at White Station High School and serves on the exam development committee for the AP Latin Exam. Only two other high school Latin teachers in the U.S. are on the committee, which writes and grades the exam.


Patricia “Pat” Lynch (MBA), president of Business Alignment Strategies Inc., was inducted into the Million Dollar Consultant Hall of Fame. Honorees are chosen from participants in Alan Weiss’ Private Roster Mentor Program.

Dr. Larry Robinson

Dr. Larry Robinson (BS) was appointed vice president for research at Florida A&M University. He served as a professor in FAMU’s Environmental Sciences Institute and as director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Environmental Cooperative Science Center housed at FAMU.


Jeffery Briggs (MM) had the world premiere of his composition “Celebration for Orchestra” performed by the Westfield Symphony Orchestra in Rahway, N.J., in May. Known for his award-winning multimedia scores, Briggs has partnered on the creation of iconic computer games like Sid Meier’s “Civilization,” “Colonization,” “Gettysburg” and “Pirates.” Briggs sold Firaxis Games, a company he founded and ran for 10 years, to work as a non-commercial artist.

Richard Alan Bunch (JD) has written the book Hawking Moves: Plays, Poems, and Stories. Included are the plays The Russian River Returns and A Crude Awakening; the stories “Meditation Interruptus” and “The Hook;” and poems “Fort Ross in Early Spring” and “Windward Oahu.” His previous book was a collection of poems, Running for Daybreak.

Timothy J. Finnell (BBA) is president of Group Benefits LLC, which provides benefits planning services to businesses.

Pam Warnock Green

Pam Warnock Green (BA, JD ’83) is a member of the Memphis law firm of McNabb, Bragorgos & Burgess. Her practice areas include malpractice defense, commercial insurance defense, general trial practice and family law, with a special interest in appellate work.

Mary Hammons (BSN, MSN ’06) was named CEO of Delta Medical Center.


George Flanigen IV (BBA) was elected chair of the board of trustees of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, the organization that produces the Grammy Awards. He is an award-winning music video director and producer.

Michael Newton (BS) was promoted to laboratory manager at Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto.


Dr. Mary Jo Greil

Dr. Mary Jo Greil (EdD), president of the Carson Greil Group, completed the master’s certification in somatic work at the Strozzi Institute in Petaluma, Calif. She is the wife of Dr. Donald Carson, former U of M vice president for student affairs.

William L. Hendricks Jr. (BS, JD ’85) joined Evans Petree Bogatin as a shareholder in the litigation group. He is a certified civil trial specialist and practices in the areas of commercial and construction litigation.


William B. “Jake” Lockert III (JD) is district public defender for the 23rd Judicial District of Tennessee.

Charles B. “Brad” Robb (BA), vice president of communications for the Cotton Board, was elected chair of the Commodity Roundtable, a consortium representing the nation’s commodity boards.

Phillip Webster

Phillip Webster (BA) joined Memphis City Schools as manager of Enterprise Systems Services in the Information Technology department. Webster has been on the air at campus radio station WUMR for the last 29 years. He appears as Phil More on the Sunday night show “Jazz and More with the More Brothers.”


Harold Graeter

Harold Graeter (BA), associate executive director of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, was appointed to the statewide board of directors of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville.

Keith Loveless

Keith Loveless (BBA) is director of the Center for Advanced Intermodal Technologies in the Herff College of Engineering. He was with FedEx for 24 years before joining the U of M.

Michael Omar (BFA) is one of the owners of Morgreen Inc., an organic retail nursery and landscape firm in Collierville.

Elizabeth Wale (BA) recently retired as a teacher of adults with special needs for the Downey and Norwalk-La Mirada school districts in California. She earned her degree when she was 59 and began teaching at age 62.


Lori D. Johnson (BA, MA ’88) has written her second novel, A Natural Woman, scheduled for release in November. Her first novel, After the Dance, debuted in 2008.

Kevin Kane (BSEd), president and CEO of the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau, was elected board chair of the Memphis Rock ’n’ Soul Museum. He also was named president of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.

Brenda Branyan Vanderslice (BBA) joined UBS Financial Services Inc. as first vice president-investments.


James Thomas (BSCE) is an Air Force colonel serving as a group commander in Afghanistan.


Stephen Shankle (MS) was named construction branch chief for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Memphis District. He has worked for the Corps for more than 30 years.

Sheila Whalum

Sheila Whalum (BA) is a graduate of Leadership Memphis 2009. She is deputy director of finance for the City of Memphis and co-founder of BAMM (Bust-A-Move-Monday).


Donna Crone (MS) was appointed assistant athletics director/compliance coordinator at Christian Brothers University. She had been CBU’s head softball coach for the past 10 years.

Kindle Willis (BSEd) is owner of The Neighborhood Tutor in Atoka, Tenn. The retail store offers educational products, tutoring services and teacher training. She is a former teacher with the Tipton County Schools.


Kelly L. Dobbins

Kelly L. Dobbins (BA, MA ’97), owner of Mid-South Drug Testing, was named a top 5 finalist for Executive of the Year in the Memphis Business Journal’s 29th annual Small Business Awards competition. Her company has offices in Memphis and Paragould, Ark.


Lori J. Keen

Lori J. Keen (JD) is a member of the Memphis law firm of McNabb, Bragorgos & Burgess. Her practice focuses on general insurance trial practice, workers compensation, premises liability and motor vehicle negligence cases.


Charles W. Cavagnaro (BBA, JD ’96) is a labor and employment attorney with the firm of Evans Petree Bogatin.

A. Christopher Drown

A. Christopher Drown saw the release of his first novel, A Mage of None Magic, on September 1 by Tyrannosaurus Press. Burke’s Book Store in Memphis hosted a book signing event on September 3.

John Hayes

John Hayes (BBA) was named assistant vice president of risk management for Ingram Industries Inc. of Nashville. He joined Ingram as a risk analyst in 1995.

Vanessa Hoffman (BA) wrote the action and intrigue novel Rear View Mirror. She lives in St. Pete Beach, Fla.

Russell Rhoads (BA, MS ’94) joined the Options Institute at the Chicago Board Options Exchange as a course content writer and instructor. He also was elected to a four-year term on Community Consolidated School District 181’s Board of Education, which covers five suburban Chicago communities.

Peggie Russell (BPS, JD ’95) has been selected by the Tri-State Defender as a “Woman of Excellence.” She works at the U of M’s Center for Community Building and Neighborhood Action as a community resource specialist and Operation Safe Community liaison. Russell serves several community roles and is a part-time criminal justice faculty member at the University of Phoenix and Axia College.


Stephany Goodnight (BBA, MS ’95) is vice president of replenishment for AutoZone and a 2005 graduate of The Leadership Academy.

Dawn Hopkins (BA) is a sound engineer and award-winning record producer.

Dr. Kevin Mayo (MS) is vice president for Bridgehead USA Inc. and an adjunct professor in the graduate pharmaceutical business program at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, where he teaches health economics and pharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement courses. His global pharmaceutical industry experience includes leadership positions with Daiichi Sankyo Inc, Novartis Pharma AG, Pharmacia Corp. and Hoffman La Roche.


Bobby F. Martin Jr. (BA, JD ’98) recently joined The Cochran Firm. His practice focuses exclusively in representing injured parties in medical malpractice claims.  

David Rochester (MBA) of Shoemaker Financial achieved Million Dollar Round Table status.

Paul Ryburn (MS) is webmaster for the American Contract Bridge League. Among his projects are redesigning the ACBL’s main Web site and developing a youth-oriented bridge Web site.

Eric Sullivan (BSEd, MS ’02) was appointed high school principal at Briarcrest Christian School. He had been principal of White Station Middle School.


Melanie A. Keller (BSN, MHA ’03) is senior director of Home Health Services for Meritan Inc.


Steve Barlow (MA, JD ’04) is serving with the University Neighborhood Development Corp.

Aaron Hitchcock (BBA, MS ’06) was promoted to director of business development for Memphis Motorsports Park. He joined the track in 2006 as business development manager in an effort to promote its NASCAR and NHRA headline events.

Juanita W. Payne (BPS) completed a master of divinity degree from Memphis Theological Seminary. She is pastor of Clayton Temple CME Church in Turrell, Ark.

William H. "Trey" Watkins

William H. “Trey” Watkins (BBA), a member of Watkins Uiberall Certified Public Accountants, was elected to the board of directors of the Fogelman College of Business & Economics Alumni Chapter.

Bryant C. Witt

Bryant C. Witt (JD) was named co-leader of the health care practice group of the Miller & Martin law firm. The group comprises almost 40 attorneys in three offices; Witt is in the firm’s Nashville office.


Donny Davidson (BSCE) is area engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Caruthersville, Mo.

Michelle Dry

Michelle Dry (MAT) is education and outreach coordinator for the U of M’s Ground Water Institute. She previously was educational resources manager for the University’s Center for Earthquake Research and Information.


Brian Faughnan (JD), an attorney with Adams and Reese, joined the Litigation Counsel of America.

Stephen J. Mullin (PhD) co-edited Snakes: Ecology and Conservation, called “the first book on snakes written with a focus on conservation.” He is an associate professor of biological sciences at Eastern Illinois University.


Tracy Quick (BBA, MBA ’01) is an account executive with Brown & Brown Benefits of Naples, Fla. She has been in the benefits and insurance industry since 1994.

Richard S. Wade (JD, MA), an attorney with Thomas, Thomas & Hafer in Harrisburg, Pa., received an LLM in trial advocacy from Temple University School of Law in May. He was admitted to the American College of Legal Medicine and practices in the area of medical malpractice defense.

David Zachry (BFA), interactive manager for inferno, was named Interactive Professional of the Year and Ad Man of the Year at the Memphis Advertising Federation’s Pyramid Awards.


Alisa Firehock (MHA), director of the Office of Clinical Research for the University of Tennessee Medical Group, was recognized nationally by Mid-South Health Care Executives for her service to the American College of Healthcare Executives and to fellow health care administrators.

Wendy Vinson Ray

Wendy Vinson Ray (BA) was promoted to senior manager of communications for Pfizer Inc. Global Financial Solutions.


Chirag D. Chauhan (MBA), partner in The Barnett Group and a financial professional with AXA Advisors, earned a certificate in retirement planning from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Stovall Kendrick (EMBA) joined Dominion Partners of Birmingham, Ala., as executive vice president for Somerby Senior Living, the company’s division that develops and manages Somerby active retirement communities. He has more than 16 years of experience in senior living development and management in Dallas, Washington, D.C., and Memphis.

Alisa M. Logan

Alisa M. Logan (BBA) is a financial examiner for the State of Tennessee.

J. Barrett Lucy

J. Barrett Lucy (JD) was named partner in the Roanoke, Va., law firm of Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore. He focuses his practice in construction law and commercial litigation. Lucy was named a Virginia Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2008.

Desireé Robertson (BA, MA ’05) is volunteer coordinator for Ronald McDonald House Charities.


Freeman Foster (JD) was named 2009 president of the Young Lawyers Division of the Memphis Bar Association. He is an attorney with the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County.

K. Scott Strickland (BSET) received a master of divinity degree from Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Mo., in May.


Michael Nunn (BFA) is a graphic designer and owner of Second to Nunn Design.


Cody Snyder (BBA) was promoted from account executive in field sales with FedEx Services to sales executive-area development. He was awarded Representative of the Year for his district, Rookie of the Year for his region and Rookie of the Year for his division. Snyder has been with FedEx since 2006.


Izu Iwueke (BS) received the Moore Scholarship from Alpha Epsilon Delta, a pre-professional health honor society. He is a student at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine.

Beth Tidmore (BSN) and Theodore James “TJ” Hausauer (BA ’04) were married on Dec. 30, 2006.  While pursuing her master’s degree in nursing, Beth worked as a registered nurse and interned with the Georgia Department of Human Resources Office of Emergency Preparedness. After graduating in August 2008, she got her dream job as an emergency preparedness specialist for the Georgia Department of Human Resources East Metro Health District. TJ is in the U.S. Army, and served in Iraq for 14 months as a mortarman for a Stryker Brigade. He is studying for his master’s degree in middle childhood education from Georgia State University through the Army’s Green to Gold program. He will complete his degree next May, and he will be commissioned as an officer.

Anthony Troxel (BBA) is the national marketing manager at Gold Strike Casino Resort.


Oscar C. Carr IV

Oscar C. Carr IV (JD), an attorney with Glankler Brown, was named to the alumni board of Presbyterian Day School.

Elizabeth Dycus (MAT), a fourth-grade teacher at Holice Powell Elementary School in Dyersburg, Tenn., was named a Teacher of the Year by the Dyer County Schools. She also won district level 2009-10 Teacher of the Year for grades K-4. Dycus is a member of the Tennessee Science Teachers Association, Tennessee Educators of Aquatic and Marine Science Association and the National Marine Educators Association.

Nathan Stevens (BBA) with Reynolds, Bone & Griesbeck was licensed as a certified public accountant.


Jennifer Bellott

Jennifer Bellott (JD) joined the law firm of Rice, Amundsen & Caperton, where she practices family law. She is a graduate of McGill University in Montreal.

Anthony Biggers (MFA) was appointed visiting professor at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University.

Jessica McGarity Hackett

Jessica McGarity Hackett (JD) joined the Memphis law firm of Domico Kyle. During law school she clerked for Judge Karen R. Williams.

Portia C. Hardman (BSEd) received the Barbara Bolton Distinguished Service Award from the Memphis City Schools. She is a Comprehensive Development Classroom teacher at Hillcrest High School.

Scott Hines (DMA) had his electronic composition “Dreaming Again” performed at Akdeniz University in Antalya, Turkey.

Kofi Martin (BM) was invited to perform with the 2009 International Honors Wind Symphony at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City in May. The concert featured 75 young musicians from around the world.

Clifford Priestley (BA) is an officer with the Collierville Police Department. He graduated from the Memphis Police Academy, where he earned the highest scores in academics and physical fitness and received the Shelby County Optimist Respect for Law Committee Overall Excellence Award.

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