Ralph Buckner, Jr., CEO and funeral director at Ralph Buckner Funeral Home, recently received his recertification for the nationally recognized Certified Preplanning Consultant (CPC) designation from the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA). The CPC certification program is considered the standard of excellence in funeral service for individuals who help families plan funerals in advance.
Buckner also has been a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner since 1999 and is a former director of the Tennessee State Board of Funeral Directors.
"Those who have earned the CPC designation have achieved a unique career distinction that is highly valued by families that want to plan meaningful funerals in advance," said Colleen Murphy Klein, CPC program manager for the NFDA.
Dr. Carol Berz, owner of Private Dispute Resolution Services and a Chattanooga City Council representative, has received the Grayfield Gray Public Service in Mediation Award.
Berz was recognized for helping to pioneer mediation in Tennessee and for developing a highly successful mediation program that has educated mediators nation-wide. Berz chaired the mediation component of the Hamilton County Courts' Pilot Project relative to Tennessee's Parenting Plan law, a project that has greatly improved the way divorcing families deal with parenting issues.
Berz launched Private Dispute Resolution Services in Chattanooga in 1997. She is a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 Listed General Civil and Family Mediator with special training in issues of domestic violence. Dr. Berz studied liberal arts at Emory University and human service administration at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She completed her master's degree in social policy at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, her law degree at the Nashville School of Law and her doctorate in social policy at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in cooperation with Bryn Mawr College in Philadelphia, Pa.
Gayle Domanski has joined the management team of Tennessee American Water as the business development manager for the Tennessee and Georgia markets. She has over 20 years of experience in corporate and consumer relationship marketing at American Express, Wal-Mart and Craftworks.
"With a strong expertise in data-driven, long-term strategic planning, Gayle is a welcome addition to Tennessee American Water," company president Deron Allen said. "Her strong background in marketing and strategic planning fits well with Tennessee American Water's nearly 130 year history in the Chattanooga area."
Domanski holds a Master of Science in International/Intercultural Communications and a Bachelor of Arts in history. She is an active member of the Network of Executive Women and several marketing associations.
Decosimo has promoted Shelton Chambers and Sarah Denton to serve as tax managers in the firm's Chattanooga office.
Chambers is a certified public accountant and a licensed attorney with over six years of combined experience in public accounting and estate planning. At Decosimo, she works primarily in the areas of tax and estate planning serving trusts, tax-exempt and not-for-profit organizations. She holds a bachelor's degree in accounting and Juris Doctor from the University of Tennessee.
Denton is a certified public accountant with seven years of tax experience in a variety of industries including real estate, healthcare, consumer finance, and investment partnerships. Her experience includes federal tax planning and compliance, as well as multi-state tax planning. Denton is an honors graduate with a bachelor's degree in biology from Kennesaw State University where she also earned a master's degree in accountancy.
"Our firm has always been committed to recognizing the outstanding work of our team members," said Nick Decosimo. "We take great pride in our efforts to aggressively recruit, retain and promote top professionals in their fields to serve the needs of our clients."
Terry Boston, the former head of transmission for the Tennessee Valley Authority, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering for his leadership in the development and operation of large electric grids and markets for wholesale electricity.
Boston, who is now president and CEO of PJM Interconnection in Pennsylvania, is a graduate of Tennessee Tech and the University of Tennessee and maintains a home on Signal Mountain.
Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions for engineers. It is earned through a nomination process and review by present academy members of outstanding engineers with demonstrated contributions to the profession. Members of the National Academy of Engineering include experts in all engineering fields.
First Volunteer Bank has added Meridith Dean, Heath Parham and Dylan Paris as new bankers. Ms. Dean and Mr. Parham are market leaders at the Shallowford and Fort Oglethorpe branches, respectively, and Mr. Paris is a new commercial banker.
"Among the three, they have almost 40 years of banking and financial experience that will benefit our customers," said Patti W. Steele.
Dean most recently served as a branch team leader for a regional bank and has been serving customers for more than 20 years.
Parham joins First Volunteer from Springleaf Financial Services where he served as the branch manager for eight years.
Paris most recently served as a commercial banker at another Chattanooga bank. He earned a bachelor's degree in business management from Carson Newman College.