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Unum Group has named Martha Leiper as executive vice president and chief investment officer, responsible for the investment and asset management strategies of Unum's $51 billion portfolio.

Leiper, who previously worked at Unum from 1985 to 2010, rejoined Unum after serving as senior vice president, corporate finance and enterprise money movement with USAA, a diversified financial services group of companies serving people and families who serve, or served, in the United States Armed Forces. In addition to managing the USAA portfolio, she served as a senior risk officer, led an investments system modernization initiative and oversaw a variety of corporate finance functions.

Leiper holds an MBA and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Finance from the University of Tennessee.

"We are delighted to welcome Martha back to Unum," company CEO Rick McKenney said. "She brings deep experience in the financial services sector and has successfully managed investment strategy through mergers and acquisitions and times of economic uncertainty."

 

Office Furniture Warehouse adds Robert Bailey to head operations

Robert Bailey has joined Office Furniture Warehouse as director of operations, bringing over two decades of commercial furniture and management experience to their team.

Bailey previously managed the operations at a commercial furniture dealership in Nashville. At Office Furniture Warehouse, he oversees the OSHA-trained installation team and facilities in East Chattanooga.

"Robert is taking us to the next level of execution and implementation on projects," said John Jerman, president and founder at Office Furniture Warehouse.

Office Furniture Warehouse, winner of the 2014 and 2019 Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce's Small Business of the Year Award, sells new and used office furniture as well as office furniture services to businesses and individuals throughout the Southeast.

 

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee names Mandy Savage to manage investments

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has promoted Mandy Savage to director of investment management and assistant treasurer.

Savage, who has been with BlueCross since 2004, will oversee the organization's investment portfolios and direct company-wide cash management in her new role. Among other responsibilities, her duties will include coordinating internal and external investment teams and ensuring compliance with corporate investing policies.

"Mandy's extensive experience and expertise makes her ideal for this critical position, and we are grateful to have her in the role," said Dennis Culver, who serves as vice president, treasurer and chief risk officer for BlueCross.

Before joining BlueCross, Savage served as chief of staff for Smith Barney in Chattanooga, where she executed trades and investment reviews as a licensed broker for clients in 16 states. She previously worked for the brokerage division of A.G. Edwards, and also has commercial banking experience with a regional financial institution.

Savage holds a bachelor's degree in finance and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). She currently serves on the board of directors for the UTC Alumni Council as well as for Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, where she serves as an International vice president and corporate secretary.

 

Phil Trammell joins Habitat for Humanity as development vice president

Phil Trammell has been named vice president of development for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga.

In his new role, Trammell will lead Habitat's local fundraising efforts, cultivate corporate partnerships, develop and execute fund development programs, and collaborate with the board of directors on developing relationships with new supporters.

Trammell most recently served as vice president of development at local PBS station, WTCI, and previously as chief advancement officer at Girls Inc. of Chattanooga, director of development at Texas Woman's University and director of development at the University of Dallas.

Prior to his nonprofit career, Trammell held various corporate positions in banking, telecommunications, engineering and cable television enterprises. Trammell is the incoming president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Southeast Tennessee Chapter, a mentor at Chattanooga Preparatory School.

"We are thrilled to have Phil join our team. His many years of expertise coupled with his impressive skill set will help us continue to grow and strengthen our funding resources so that we can expand opportunities of home ownership to more working families in Greater Chattanooga," said Dave Butler, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity in Chattanooga.

 

Dr. R. Phillip Burns earns top American College of Surgeons honors

The American College of Surgeons is recognizing Chattanooga surgeon Dr. R. Phillip Burns with its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award.

Burns, a surgeon with University Surgical Associates (USA), will receive the honor today at the ACS Clinical Congress in San Francisco. The award citation acknowledges "his innovative vision as an integral engineer of the College's focused initiatives influencing general surgery training, ultimately creating better prepared general surgery residents entering practice with enhanced skills and confidence to further improve the quality of care for their patients." According to the citation, Dr. Burns "is a role model to surgeons everywhere to always do the right thing for patients."

Burns is a founding partner and chairman of the Board of University Surgical Associates and specializes in breast and laparoscopic surgery. Under his leadership, USA has grown to one of the largest independent surgical practices in the country.

Burns also serves as professor and chairman of the department of surgery at the University of Tennessee (UT) College of Medicine, Chattanooga, and practices at USA and Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga. He is a member of the UT College of Medicine's system-wide advisory committee on hospital and university affairs and the UT health affairs subcommittee of the UT board of trustees. At UT College of Medicine, he chairs the surgical education advisory committee, serves on the graduate medical education committee, and is founder and medical director of the medical/surgical skills laboratory.

 

Chattanooga Theatre adds 7 board members

The Chattanooga Theatre Centre has appointed seven new members to its board of directors to help oversee the non-profit organization.

Newly elected to the board are Kim Jackson, Lisi Phillips, Alfred Smith, Rodney Strong, LaFrederick Thirkill, Marte Williams, and Kat Wright.

Jackson is an actor, teacher, and community volunteer; Phillips is a Starshine Friends teacher at Highland Plaza United Methodist Preschool; and Smith is of counsel with the law firm of Miller & Martin. Strong is a retired assistant district attorney with the Hamilton County District Attorney's Office, and Thirkill is principal at Orchard Knob Elementary School.

Williams is executive administrative assistant to the vice president of provider networks and contracting at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. Wright is program coordinator for Public Art Chattanooga.

Founded in 1923, the Chattanooga Theatre Centre is one of the oldest and largest community theatres in the Southeast. The Theatre Centre produces high-caliber theatrical productions and provides volunteer and educational opportunities for people of all ages.

 

Local tourism leaders win hospitality awards

Two local tourism leaders were recently honored by their industry with top awards for their service to the hospitality business.

Bill Chapin, CEO and chairman of the board of See Rock City Inc. (SRC), received the Southeast Tourism Society's (STS) Dorothy Hardman Spirit of STS Award. As third-generation owner of Rock City, Chapin has spent 33 years living and breathing hospitality and sharing his visionary and innovative ideas to help Rock City continue to be one of Chattanooga's top attractions.

Darik Dawes, CEO of Dawes Hospitality Group, was honored with the Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association's (TNHTA) 2019 Tennessee Hotelier of the Year Award at the recent Governor's Conference on Tourism. Dawes has spent more than 25 years working in the hospitality industry, owns the MainStay Suites in Chattanooga and is a business partner of the SpringHill Suites in North Chattanooga/Ooltewah and the newly opened Buddy's Bar-b-q in East Ridge.

"We are incredibly proud and grateful for everything these leaders have done and continue to do for our community," said Barry White, president and CEO of the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Compiled by Brandi Dixon, Business News is published each Sunday. Information about new hires, promotions and business awards should be sent to onthemove@times freepress.com.

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