Wade Hinton leaves City Hall to head diversity effort at Unum

Wade Hinton leaves City Hall to head diversity effort at Unum

July 11th, 2018 by Dave Flessner in Business Around the Region
City attorney Wade Hinton is photographed in his offices in the City Hall Annex on Wednesday, March 8, 2017, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

City attorney Wade Hinton is photographed in his...

Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.

Chattanooga City Attorney Wade Hinton is leaving his job at City Hall to serve as the first vice president of diversity and inclusion at Unum.

The Chattanooga-based insurance giant said Wednesday that Hinton will join Unum on Aug. 20 and be responsible for strategic diversity and inclusion programming to ensure Unum's culture, environment and business approach in every area is inclusive and respectful to all.

Hinton, who has served as city attorney under Mayor Andy Berke since Berke took office in 2013, will work to accelerate Unum's efforts toward inclusion and building a more diverse workforce and work environment.

"Through a grassroots approach with executive support, we've made tremendous progress creating an inclusive culture where all of our team members can thrive," Unum CEO Rick McKenney said in a statement. "I am confident that Wade will harness our energy and help us realize our vision of a world-class workplace that appreciates the unique talents and experiences of every team member."

Hinton, a 44-year-old Chattanooga native, has served as Chattanooga's first African American city attorney for the past five years.

Berke praised Hinton as "a terrific partner to city government and a model public servant for years.

"While I am certainly sad to see him go, I know he will thrive in his new role," Berke said.

Berke, who tapped Hinton as a co-chair of his transition team after he was elected mayor five years ago, said Hinton "has completely transformed the City Attorney's Office into one of the most efficient and effective law practices in the city."

"He has one of the sharpest legal minds I've encountered, and his passion for helping everyone in our city — particularly disadvantaged young people and people of color — find their own paths to success is truly inspiring." Berke said.

In a letter to the Chattanooga City Council, Hinton said the city attorney's office has is "more functional, efficient and useful" than in the past.

"We have innovated and streamlined, but, more than that, we hve produced quality legislation, good policy and significant legal victories for our citizens, " Hinton said.

Hinton previously was the deputy general counsel for Volkswagen Group of America's Chattanooga operations after working in private practice at the local law firms of Miller & Martin, Snipes Roberson and Hinton and Shumacker & Thompson. He also was a former director of the Hamilton County Title 6 program and served as a consultant to the late Claude Ramsey when he was Hamilton County mayor on issues related to diversity and minority business programs.

Hinton serves on the board of directors for the Benwood Foundation, Friends of the Festival, the Company Lab (Co.Lab), and the Chattanooga State Foundation. He's the past charter president of the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga Young Professionals Group and has served on the board of directors for the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, and Chattanooga-Hamilton County NAACP.

Last year, he founded Board Connector, a new nonprofit website designed to people to boards, and help place more women and people of color on to local boards and agencies.

Hinton is a 2017 Presidential Leadership Scholar, and graduated from Emory University and University of Memphis School of Law.