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The Nashville Emerging Leader Awards Announce the 2019 Finalists

Nonprofit Leadership

May 21, 2019

 The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and YP Nashville today announced the 2019 finalists for the Nashville Emerging Leader Awards (NELA).

NELA, an initiative of the Nashville Chamber, recognizes Middle Tennessee’s young professionals (YP) under the age of 40 for significant accomplishments in their chosen career field as well as their commitment and contribution to the community.

“Nashville is fortunate to have talented young professionals who play a vital role in the continued prosperity of our city,” said Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ralph Schulz. “The Nashville Chamber and YP Nashville are committed to empowering the next generation of leaders and these young professionals recognized today possess strong leadership and a proven commitment to our community which deserves to be recognized.”

The annual NELA ceremony will recognize five finalists in 14 industry classifications: Architecture, Engineering and Construction; Arts, Entertainment and Music Business; Business Services; Community Service and Nonprofit; Education; Financial Services; Government and Public Affairs; Hospitality and Tourism; Human Resources; Legal Services; Medical and Health Care Services; Public Relations, Advertising and Marketing; Real Estate Services; and Technology.

Committees comprised of a diverse group of proven community leaders and experts within each industry selected the finalists based on each applicant’s answers to essay questions, level of professional achievement, demonstrated leadership and community impact.

NELA winners will be announced during the 13th annual NELA Ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019 at Lipscomb University. After the ceremony, a celebration will take place at Analog in the Hutton Hotel.

YP Nashville is presented by Lipscomb University’s Pfeffer Graduate School of Business. The awards are sponsored by Atiba, Bradley, Lightning 100 and Nashville Post.

Visit www.thenelas.com for more information and to register for the NELA events.

2019 Nashville Emerging Leader Award Finalists

Architecture, Engineering and Construction

  • Rachel R Gresham, AIA, WELL AP, CDT; TMPartners, Project Architect
  • Tiffany King; Skanska USA Building, Senior Project Manager
  • Rebecca Ozols; Bell & Associates, Business Development Manager
  • Joshua Passantino; Vanderbilt University, Graduate Student
  • Shikhar Shukla; Skanska USA Building Inc., Project Engineer

Arts, Entertainment and Music Business

  • Jeremy Bradford; Universal Music Group Nashville, Finance
  • Adrien Good; Flood, Bumstead, McCready & McCarthy, Inc., Associate Business Manager
  • Daniel Killian; Flood, Bumstead, McCready & McCarthy, Inc., Account Manager
  • Erica Rosa; Flood, Bumstead, McCready & McCarthy, Inc., Royalty Manager
  • Harriet Wallace; WZTV FOX17 News, Reporter/Host

Business Services

  • Paige Bigham; Ankura, Director
  • Amanda Blanck; Deviate, Managing Partner
  • Alicia Hudson; Ankura, Director
  • Amber Hurdle; Amber Hurdle Consulting, Keynote Speaker, Author, Certified Talent Optimization Consultant
  • Terry Vo; Comcast, External Affairs Specialist

Community Service and Nonprofit

  • Charmin A. Bates; Vanderbilt University, Event Planner
  • Shan Foster; YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee, VP External Affairs & AMEND Together
  • Lindsey Harris; Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition, Co-Executive Director
  • Nora Kern; Walk Bike Nashville, Executive Director
  • Emerald Mitchell; Moves & Grooves Inc., Founder/ Executive Director


  • Tisha Brown-Gaines; Belmont University, Asst. Professor of Computer Science
  • Laura Delgado; Lipscomb University, Program Director, Pionero Scholars
  • Matia Powell; Alignment Nashville, Vice President of Community Engagement
  • Dr. Carjamin Scott; Vanderbilt University, Associate Director of Admissions Operations
  • Jackson Sprayberry; Valor College Prep, Founding Head of School

Financial Services

  • Sydney Ball; First Citizens National Bank, Regional Business Development Manager
  • Brennan H. N. McMurry, UBS Business Solutions Center, Associate Director/Manager; Broker Dealer Regulatory Reporting
  • Erica Saeger; Crosslin, Audit Principal
  • David Wells; Woodmont Investment Counsel, Principal and Portfolio Manager
  • Blake Wilson, TMA Medical Banking, a division of INSBANK, Division Head / First Vice President

Government and Public Affairs

  • Clay Banks; State of Tennessee, Regional Director
  • Amanda Clelland; WeGo Public Transit, Public Information Officer
  • Andy Kidd, State of Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration, Director of Business Operations
  • Ashley Northington; DENOR Brands + Public Relations, Agency Director and Founder
  • Alexa Voytek; Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Energy Consultant / Senior Program Manager

Hospitality and Tourism

  • Matt Boeshore; Credit Union Travel, CEO
  • Taylor Guardino; Noelle, Catering Sales Manager
  • Brittney Harrison; Frothy Monkey, Director of Hospitality + GM Development
  • Ryan Joseph Lynch; STR, Business Development Executive
  • Shannen Stewart; Heels & Handshakes, LLC, Founder/ President

Human Resources

  • Kyle Allen; Vaco Nashville, Managing Partner
  • Leah Hayes; Her Story of Success, Co-Founder, CEO
  • Paula Murray; Frost-Arnett, Director of Human Resources
  • Katie Schram; Agility Consulting Group, LLC, Strategic HR Advisor
  • Jade Taylor; Compassus, Senior Human Resources Generalist

Legal Services

  • Alé Dalton; Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, Attorney
  • Claire Cowart Haltom; Baker Donelson, Shareholder
  • Martesha Johnson; Nashville Defender’s Office, Chief Public Defender
  • Lauren Spahn; Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, Attorney
  • Gulam Zade; LOGICFORCE, Partner & General Counsel

Medical and Health Care Services

  • Drake Dudley; First Impressions Dentistry and Nashville Smiles UP Dentistry, Dentist
  • Robert Garnett; Amerigroup Tennessee, an Anthem Company, President
  • Monica Greene; naviHealth, Manager Enterprise Operations Technical Delivery & Optimization
  • Jordan Kendig; HCA Healthcare, Program Director, Patient Experience
  • Enderson Miranda; OnSomble, CEO

Public Relations, Advertising and Marketing

  • Kristin Appelman; Concept Technology Inc., Marketing Manager
  • Anna-Vija McClain; Piccolo Marketing, Founder/CEO
  • Mary Ruth Raphael; MP&F Strategic Communications, Vice President
  • Paige Reese; FlyteVu, Operations
  • Alexandra Sollberger; Stones River Group, Principal and Director of Public Relations

Real Estate Services

  • Kelli Bjork; Accelerate Realty Group, Affiliate Broker
  • Tyler Cauble; The Cauble Group, President
  • Tyler Graham; VILLAGE, Managing Broker
  • Edward Henley III; Pillars Development, Principal & Project Executive
  • Matthew Pierce; Anchor Investments, Director of Acquisitions


  • Taylor Constantine; AudiencePoint, Director of Sales and Strategic Partnerships
  • Drew Hendrickson; LMBC, Partner
  • Rainu Ittycheriah; Eventbrite, Software Engineer II
  • Ashley Larcinese; Data Blue, Enterprise Account Executive
  • Brooke Scott; Caterpillar Financial, Digital Technology Manager

Headshots of the finalists are available upon request.

About YP Nashville

YP Nashville is an initiative of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and more than 50 young professional organizations working to engage, connect and empower young professionals to actively shape the future of the Nashville region. For more information, visit http://www.ypnashville.org.

About Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and Partnership 2020

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce is Middle Tennessee’s largest business federation, representing more than 2,000 member companies. Belong, engage, lead, prosper embodies the Chamber’s focus on creating economic prosperity by facilitating community leadership. Established in 1990 as an economic development and community enhancement initiative of the Chamber, Partnership 2020 is a regional cooperative dedicated to making Middle Tennessee among the nation’s best places to live, work and do business. Partnership 2020 is supported by a diverse group of public and private companies as well as governmental agencies from the organization’s 10-county service area. The work of the Chamber is supported by its members, Partnership 2020 investors and sponsors; the Chamber’s Pivotal Partners (a partnership at the highest level for all Chamber programs and events) are Delek US Holdings, Bass, Berry & Sims, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Community Health Systems, Gresham Smith and Regions. For more information, visit www.nashvillechamber.com.