Paris to head insurance group

Paris to head insurance group

June 26th, 2011 by Staff Reports in Business Around the Region

Paris to head insurance group

Brennan J. Paris, of Chattanooga, has been named executive vice president of the Professional Insurance Agents of Tennessee, becoming the sixth executive leader in the history of the association.

Prior to joining PIA, Paris was the Tennessee and Georgia marketing representative for Johnson & Johnson, Inc., an insurance managing general agency headquartered in Charleston, S.C. He also has worked for Frontline Homeowners Insurance based in Lake Mary, Fla., and Bristol West Insurance Group located in Davie, Fla.

"The future is very bright for the PIA of Tennessee, and I am looking forward to expanding our footprint here in the state," Paris said. "We will focus on broadening our products and services offered so that we can better assist our members in serving their communities."

PIA members are independent insurance agents who sell home, auto and business insurance that is written through insurance companies.

Paris is a graduate of the University of Georgia where he earned a business administration degree in risk management and insurance as well as a Bachelor of Science in Consumer Economics. He holds the certified insurance counselor designation and is completing the certified risk manager designation program. He and his wife, Courtney, reside in Chattanooga.

Gas executive joins St. Louis utility

A week after shareholders approved the merger of AGL Resources Inc., with Chicago-based gas distributor Nicor Inc., the president of Atlanta Gas Light Co. and Chattanooga Gas Co. announced last week she is leaving in September to head the St. Louis-based division of Nicor.

Suzanne Sitherwood has been president of the 1.6-million-customer natural-gas companies since 2002 after rising through the ranks of the company. She was also the chairwoman of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce last year.

She will become president and CEO of The Laclede Group that owns the gas distribution for 630,000 customers in St. Louis.

Sitherwood will leave as the company prepares for its $3 billion merger that will create one of the nation's largest gas distributors with 4.5 million customers in seven states.

Firms opening Read House site

Lawson Winchester Wealth Management will lease space on the ground floor of the Sheraton Head House.

Lawson Winchester was founded by Matthew T. Lawson and William F. Winchester III and has offices in Chattanooga and Winchester, Tenn., according to Jeff Jennings of NAI Charter Real Estate Corp.

The company uses a broad portfolio of strategies for clients with an average of $250,000 in investable assets.

Goldberg to head finances at PEF

The Public Education Foundation has named Brent Goldberg as director of finance and operations. Goldberg will be responsible for all aspects of accounting, finance, human resources and daily operations of the local nonprofit. He takes the financial helm from longtime Director Sandra Blankenship, who will continue in a parttime position as human resources administrator.

Goldberg previously served as accounting manager and director of accounting for U.S. Xpress Enterprises since 2008. He also worked as a senior auditor with Hazlett, Lewis & Bieter, PLLC; Kraft CPAs; and Reznick Group.

Goldberg is a certified public accountant who earned both bachelor and master's degrees at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He served as a graduate research assistant and currently serves as an adjunct instructor in the Department of Accounting and Finance at UTC.

"We did a careful search to find the best person for this position," says Dan Challener, president of PEF. "We are very pleased to welcome Brent to our staff, and are confident that he will continue our strong commitment to careful accounting and stewardship of the dollars our donors have entrusted to us."

Goldberg is treasurer-elect of the Normal Park Museum Magnet PTA, and has served on the Ronald McDonald House Children's Festival Committee. In 2005, he was nominated for the Reznick Group Integrity Award. He is married to Courtney Altfillisch and has two children, Emmaline and Fletcher.

Martin joins Propex as unit head

Chattanooga-based Propex Operating Company, LLC has announced that Craig Martin has been appointed vice president and business unit leader for Geotextile Systems. Craig will report to Ralph Bruno, executive vice president of global sales and marketing.

Craig brings 30 years of sales, marketing and management experience to Propex. His broad experience includes expertise in sales management, marketing, branding, channel strategies, as well as product and business development. He has held management positions with Scott Paper, Kimberly Clark, and most recently with Intertape Polymers Group.

"This is an exciting time of growth for the company and the Geotextile Systems Group specifically," Bruno said. "Expanding our team with strong and proven leaders like Craig is an integral part of our growth strategy."

Propex is the worldwide leader with a full portfolio of geotextile systems and solutions from geotextiles to highly innovative erosion control systems. The Geotextile Systems business has set the benchmark for performance in transportation, environmental, site development, storm water and erosion control applications.

Loomis Institute recognizes Kelly

Jill L. Kelly of Acupuncture Center in Hixson recently received an award of Excellence from Loomis Institute at their annual conference in Branson, Mo., for her research work in Clinical Outcomes Studies.

Kelly serves on the board of directors of the Loomis Institute in Madison, Wisc. The Loomis Institute trains doctors and other qualified health practitioners as digestive health specialists in enzyme nutrition with a specific system using urinalysis, palpation, structural assessment, and bloodwork to individualize recommendations for each patient situation.

Kelly also serves as chairman of the Tennessee Acupuncture Advisory Committee working with the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners. She helped write and propose the acupuncture legislation Tennessee adopted in 2000 and has since either served on the Acupuncture Advisory Committee or as a consultant to the state of Tennessee on acupuncture.

Kelly opened Acupuncture Center in 1994 in Chattanooga and added a second location in Dunlap in 2008.

3 LifeCare centers win quality awards

Three Life Care Centers of America were among seven facilities in the state recognized by the Tennessee Health Care Association for 2011 Bronze National Quality Awards for their commitment to quality in the long-term care industry.

Bronze award winners have taken the first step in the process of quality improvement through developing an organizational profile that includes vision and mission statements along with awareness of their environment and customers' expectations. These facilities can now work toward earning their silver awards.

The Life Care facilities included those in Hixson, Red Bank and Morristown.

"These facilities serve as an example in their profession and their communities as they work to improve the quality of care for our state's elderly and disabled," THCA Executive Director Jesse Samples said.

McKenna joins Big Machine Label

The Big Machine Label Group in Nashville has hired Brittney McKenna as marketing coordinator. In the newly-created position, she will be responsible for tracking record sales, developing social media strategies and serving as support for the sales, marketing and interactive department.

The Chattanooga native, a graduate of Girls Preparatory School and Belmont University, previously served as an intern in the company's publicity department. McKenna held five additional internships during her time at Belmont, including stints at Nashville's American Songwriter magazine and the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

"We're excited to have Brittney join the BMLG team. Her extensive background working in the music and journalism industries give her a unique approach to furthering the goals of our department," said Kelly Rich, vice president of sales and marketing for BMLG.

Most recently, she served as in-house publicist at MAC Presents.