Meet 11 of the latest hirings and promotions in the Chattanooga business community

Contributed photography / Melody Shekari
Contributed photography / Melody Shekari


Melody Shekari has been named executive director for the Women's Fund of Greater Chattanooga (WFGC), a local nonprofit organization started in 2008 to promote networking and advocate for women in the workplace.

Shekari, an attorney and grant consultant, has extensive experience managing teams and advocating for policy issues. She earned an undergraduate degree in managerial economics from Bentley University, a master's in Public Administration from the University of Washington, and a law degree from the University of Southern California.

Shekari is taking leadership of the women's group at the same time a $20,000 grant was provided by the Unum Inclusive Impact program to support ongoing justice initiatives.

"We can't wait to see how Melody meets our organization's goals alongside our 2024 board of directors," WFGC board chair Stefanie Crowe said in a statement.

Transportation planner and engineer Bert Kuyrkendall has joined the Chattanooga office of the architectural firm of TSW. A graduate of Mississippi State University and Belhaven University, Kuyrkendall is a former city transportation engineer for the city of Chattanooga and transportation design manager for Birmingham, Alabama.


Jamie Gross, a certified public accountant, has been named director of finance for the Tennessee Aquarium. Gross previously served as director of finance and administration for the Chalmers Center at Covenant College and was formerly chief financial officer of Bryan College and was controller of Covenant College.

Alicia Moore has been named business banking relationship manager in Chattanooga for First Horizon Bank. A native Chattanoogan, Moore is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry.

Myron McCormick has been named district manager for the Chattanooga operating division of Food City. McCormick began his career with Red Foods in 1987 and joined the Food City store management team in 2015 when the company acquired 29 Bi-Lo supermarkets in the Chattanooga market area.

Wayne "Jabo" Covert is a new a partner at Capital Results in Richmond, Virginia. Covert previously was senior vice president for government affairs for Community Choice and previously spent 17 years in senior leadership with Jones Management in Cleveland, Tennessee.

Christina Edwards has been named a shareholder in the audit division at the accounting firm LBMC. Edwards joined LBMC in 2007 and has 21 years of experience providing audit services and financial solutions to companies in a variety of industries.

Parkridge Health System has named Chessie Mooney as vice president of business development. A graduate of the University of Florida, Mooney comes to Parkridge Health from HCA Healthcare's East Florida Division where she served as director of physician alignment and strategy.

Chattanooga accountant Sandy Dittus has affiliated with the Principal Financial Network of Tennessee Valley. She previously worked in the tax industry with two of the largest international accounting firms.

Ashleigh Jenkins-Dieckhaus has been named vice president of commercial clinical operations for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee. A graduate of Bryan College and Tennessee Wesleyan University, Jenkins-Dieckhaus joined BlueCross in 2011 and previously served as managing director of application systems in the company's enterprise information technology division.

Donyel Johnson has joined the Creative Discovery Museum as vice president of advancement. Johnson holds both a bachelor's and master's degree in public administration from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She previously worked for Rocketship Public Schools in Nashville, the Tennessee Aquarium, the Public Education Foundation and Girls Inc. of Chattanooga.

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