published Sunday, March 4th, 2012

Business Digest: Wick joins Russ Blakely Associates

Wick joins Russ Blakely Associates

Brent Wick has joined Russ Blakely & Associates LLC as an employee benefits adviser.

He had spent the past 17 years with Cigna HealthCare and the last seven years as vice president of sales for East Tennessee, Middle Tennessee and Kentucky.

At Russ Blakely & Associates, Wick will focus on pursuing new client relationships, while using his past experience to benefit current clients.

Russ Blakely & Associates is one of the area's largest employee benefits brokerage firms and a United Benefits Advisor Charter member.

Alfa Insurance honors local agent

Chickamauga, Ga., agent Cindy Roberts was named Alfa Insurance Agent of the Year for the Georgia/Mississippi region during the company's annual awards ceremony held recently in Birmingham, Ala.

The ceremony recognized Alfa's best agents and managers for their dedicated work and commitment to policyholders.

Roberts has served as an Alfa agent since 2009. She represents the company's full line of insurance for auto, home, life and business.

Roberts is a native of LaFayette, Ga., and holds a bachelor's degree in risk management and insurance from the University of Georgia.

Tiftonia hotel wins award

The Tiftonia Country Inn & Suites by Carlson recently received an award at the 2012 Carlson Hotels Worldwide-Global Business Conference.

The hotel received a Crystal Heart, recognizing the most meaningful guest testimonials throughout all of the Country Inn & Suites by Carlson.

The hotel is managed by Sand Hospitality LLC and located at 3725 Modern Industries Parkway in Tiftonia.

Tindall named Keegan senior VP

Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc. has promoted Todd Tindall to senior vice president.

Tindall is a financial adviser in the firm's Chattanooga office.

Morgan Keegan is one of the nation's largest regional full-service brokerage and investment banking firms. Headquartered in Memphis, Morgan Keegan serves individual and institutional investors in some 300 offices in 20 states.

Hobbs joins Sandler Training

Jennie Hobbs has joined Sandler Training as a senior associate. She has more than 25 years experience in human resources and training.

Hobbs comes to Sandler after serving as senior vice president of human resources for Life Care Centers of America.

Prior to working at Life Care Centers of America, Jennie worked at U.S. Xpress, where she was responsible for the entire human resources function including training and professional development.

Hobbs holds a management/marketing degree from Baylor University as well as a master's degree in adult education from the University of Central Oklahoma.

Coleman named associate attorney

Matthew G. Coleman has joined the law firm of Logan-Thompson PC as an associate attorney.

Coleman concentrates his practice on general civil litigation with an emphasis toward Social Security disability, workers compensation, personal injury and insurance claims.

Prior to joining the legal profession, Coleman served 12 years as a decorated Green Beret in the U.S. Army. A veteran of the Afghanistan War, he is a volunteer with various veterans organizations.

He holds degrees from Lee University and Appalachian School of Law.

KMT Group expands team

KMT Creative Group has expanded its professional team with the hiring of three marketing, communications, and project management professionals.

Sam Hall has been hired as an account manager. He has nearly 25 years' experience in account management, most recently in technology sales.

Valerie Roy has been hired as a project manager. Before joining KMT, she worked for 10 years in health care, handling marketing and communications, advertising, multimedia campaigns, TV and radio production, collateral materials, and agency relations for a nonprofit hospital.

Julie Van Valkenburg has been hired as a copywriter and public relations strategist. For more than 25 years, she has worked in communications in a broad range of fields, including education, health care, insurance, electric utilities, the arts and philanthropy.

Hutton selects Elrod as manager

Hutton Construction Inc., part of Chattanooga-based Hutton Co., announces that Garrett Elrod has been named a construction services project manager.

According to Hutton Construction Vice President Bob Elliot, Elrod joins the company with experience and knowledge of construction, engineering and management. He formerly worked with Simpson Construction in Cleveland, Tenn.

"Garrett has a rare combination of practical job site experience and management experience," said Elliot.

Elrod has bachelor's degrees in engineering management and business administration-management from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Halstead center awarded LEED

Halstead International in Calhoun, Ga., has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Certification for its Calhoun customer service support center.

Halstead will hold a grand opening celebration for its support center, which was awarded LEED Platinum certification, on Thursday in Calhoun.

Harlan Stone, chief executive of Halstead, will be joined by Reed Thomas, representing the U.S. Green Building Council, Georgia chapter, at the grand opening.

Halstead is a manufacturer of flooring and decorative building services for home and workplace.

Claris Networks makes new hires

Claris Networks has recently added several personnel in Chattanooga.

Among those are: n Charlie Gaston, formerly at Allied IT as a systems administrator, is now a systems administrator level II at Claris. n Mike Smith, formerly the senior systems engineer at Terenine Technology Solutions is a systems administrator level II in Chattanooga. n Bo Smith, formerly the information technology director at Fertility Center LLC, has been hired as a technical account manager serving the Chattanooga area. n Travis Aytes, formerly a Windows specialist at Terenine, is now a systems administrator level II at Claris. n Dub Carter, previously a technical account manager lead at Terenine, is now a technical services engineer level II at Claris.

Unum appoints underwriting VPs

Unum Group has promoted two employees in Chattanooga, David Murphy and Deborah Vandeventer, to vice presidents of integrated underwriting.

Murphy will be responsible for underwriting group disability, life and voluntary benefits for the South, as well as the Chattanooga-based underwriting support team. He also serves on the voluntary benefits leadership team and has been a member of the voluntary benefits practice group.

Vandeventer will manage the organization responsible for underwriting group disability, life and voluntary benefits for the Midwest. She will be responsible for oversight of approximately 30 employees in the Chattanooga office, partnering with the field service and integrated client service teams.

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