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Tangela Johnson / Contributed photo

Johnson to chair CWLI as three others join board

Tangela Johnson, president & CEO of North Georgia Corporate Consulting, will serve as the 2021 chair of the Chattanooga Women's Leadership Institute board of directors.

Johnson is a corporate culture and leadership development consultant, coach and speaker who is author of "Relaxed Power: How to live a purposed (not perfect) life." Johnson has a bachelor's degree from The University of Georgia and a master's degree from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She was previously appointed by former Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal to serve on the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning Board and is also a Rotarian, Paul Harris Fellow and alumnus of the Leadership Georgia Program.

In addition to serving as the 2021 Board Chair for Chattanooga Women's Leadership Institute, Johnson also currently serves as a board member for Siskin's Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation. Previously, she served as a board member of the Rotary Club of Dalton, The Urban League of Chattanooga, Launch of Chattanooga, Co-Lab, and the Dalton Convention Center Board as Vice-Chair. She was Vice-Chair of the Dalton-Whitfield Consolidation Commission where she co-authored the Commission's final report. She served on the Dalton-Whitfield Library Board Authority (Chair), and worked as an adjunct professor at Dalton State College for several years.

"Women should never feel the need to abdicate their power," Johnson said. "Instead, they should embrace and mature it in ways that make the world better for them, their families, and their communities. CWLI is here to equip women to do just that."

CWLI has also added three new board members for 2021, including Frances Bayly, a data analyst at Tennessee Valley Authority; Erika Burnett, executive director of the Women's Fund of Greater Chattanooga, and Emily Elord, founder and president of Workzbe.


Thiers, Williams, McClister named CSCC chairs of excellence

Assistant Professor of Journalism Angela McClister along with Registered Nursing program Instructors Ashely Thiers and Brittany Williams were recently named 2020-21 Faculty Chairs of Excellence by Chattanooga State Community College.

McClister is an assistant professor in the Business Division's Digital Media Design and Production program. Her primary teaching duties include courses in journalism, social media, and media law. In addition, she serves as faculty adviser to Chattanooga State's student newspaper, The Communicator, while also serving as State Adviser for the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature (TISL) Media section.

"Our partnership with Chattanooga State goes back several years in recognizing the wonderful educators at Chattanooga State with this First Horizon Business Chair of Excellence," states Jay Dale, Market President of First Horizon Bank. "On behalf of First Horizon, we congratulate Angela as the First Horizon Business Chair of Excellence for a second year in a row."

The recipient of the 2020-21 Erlanger Chair of Excellence for Adults was awarded to Ashley Thiers, while the 2020-21 Erlanger Chair of Excellence for Children was awarded to Brittany Williams.

"Chattanooga State is well known for its outstanding Registered Nursing program and the high quality of its graduates," notes Rachel Harris, interim senior vice president and chief nursing executive at Erlanger Health System."Both of this years' recipients of the Erlanger Nursing Chair of Excellence go above and beyond in their daily responsibilities while also focusing on patient safety and continuous quality improvement, and we are proud to be able to honor and support two outstanding nursing educators," shares Ms. Harris.

The Chattanooga State Foundation Chairs of Excellence program is designed to support and recognize outstanding educators who advance their respective field to their students, the community, and their profession.


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Thrive Regional Partnership announces 5 new trustees

Thrive Regional Partnership is adding five new trustees to its board this year to reflect growing county representation and corporate leadership across the tri-state, 16-county greater Chattanooga region. The newly elected Board trustees are Barry Allen, Mike Costa, Nathan Lee, Jennifer McCurdy, and Harriette Stokes.

"After a year like 2020, we understand now more than ever how important it is to strengthen connections among communities across our region," said Bridgett Massengill, President and CEO of Thrive Regional Partnership. "We are pleased to welcome these new trustees, representing businesses and towns across northeast Alabama, northwest Georgia, and southeast Tennessee, to ensure that we continue to practice

Allen lives in Jasper, Tenn. and has spent 26 years in the banking industry. He currently serves as president of Tower Community Bank in Jasper. Allen has most recently finished an 8-year stint on the board of the Tennessee River Gorge Trust, finishing his tenure as president in 2019 and 2020. Barry also serves on the board of The Battle of Franklin Trust.

Costa is the owner of Costa Media Advisors, an advisory firm focused on media, marketing and management. A career in local television brought Costa to Chattanooga and the Tennessee Valley in 2000. He was general manager of WDSI Fox61 from 2000 to 2004. In 2004, Costa became general manager of WTVC NewsChannel9, a position he held until 2018. In his role as a station leader, he fell in love with this area, its people and its community organizations. He and his team at WTVC were responsible for the book, Chattanooga Heroic Drive: History of a Renaissance, documenting Chattanooga's journey from "America's dirtiest city" to the place ranked #1 by Outdoor Magazine.

Lee is the project manager for the Jackson County Economic Development Authority. In this role, he supports existing industries and recruits new industries into North Alabama. Lee is a graduate of Oklahoma University Economic Development Institute (OUEDI) and Auburn EDAA essentials of Economic Development. Nathan is from Jackson County Alabama and graduated from Pisgah High School. He has a Master's degree from Liberty University and a Bachelor's degree from Covenant College in Organizational Management. Lee has served in the United States Air Force, worked as a mechanic, served as a police officer, worked as a houseparent, and was a career coach in the Jackson County and Scottsboro City School System.

McCurdy was born and raised in DeKalb County, Ala. and is a graduate of Auburn University holding a degree in Health Services Administration. She has served in healthcare marketing for over twenty years and has served as executive director of the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce for three years. McCurdy is a graduate of The Government and Economic Development Institute (GEDI) at Auburn University's EDAA Leadership Institute program. A graduate of Leadership Dekalb, she currently serves on the group's board of directors. In partnership with DeKalb County Economic Development and Tennessee Valley Authority, McCurdy helped spearhead Rising Leaders of DeKalb, a young talent group formed two-year ago in DeKalb County.

Stokes is the director of executive account management and economic development for North Georgia Electric Membership Corporation serving Catoosa, Chattooga, Floyd, Gordon, Murray, Whitfield, and Walker Counties. Stokes has been with North Georgia EMC for nine years. She received a B.S in Mathematics from the University of Florida and a J.D. from the University of Florida College of Law in Gainesville, Fla.

Stokes currently serves on the board of the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority and represents her company with the Southeast Industrial Development Association and the Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership. Harriette has served on many boards including Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce, Ronald MacDonald House, Creative Discovery Museum, St Nicholas School, Chambliss Children's Home and is a past board chair of Junior Achievement of Northwest Georgia.

"Each of the Thrive board members bring local perspective and distinct skill sets to the table," said Connie Vaughan, chair of Thrive Regional Partnership. "As Thrive enters its sixth year, we are pleased to welcome these new members who will help steer the organization's collaborative efforts around infrastructure, community prosperity, and the stewardship of our natural landscape."


CHI Memorial labs earn CAP certifications

The laboratories at CHI Memorial Hospital Chattanooga and Hospital Georgia have been awarded accreditation by the Accreditation Committee of the College of American Pathologists (CAP) based on results of recent on-site inspections as part of the CAP's Accreditation Programs. This is the gold-standard in laboratory accreditation.

CHI Memorial Hospital Chattanooga and Hospital Georgia are two of more than 8,000 CAP-accredited facilities worldwide. The CHI Memorial Hospital Hixson laboratory currently holds the CAP accreditation and is scheduled for its routine survey inspection for re-accreditation in 2021.

"Our lab has been accredited by the College of American Pathologists for decades, but I've never been as proud of our team as this year," said Sanford Sharp, MD, CHI Memorial laboratory medical director. "After a challenging upgrade to the EPIC electronic medical record in November 2019 followed by the global COVID-19 pandemic, we pulled together and excelled during our CAP inspections in October."


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Jennifer Thomas / Contributed photo

Thomas promoted at Southern Heritage Bank

Jennifer Thomas has been promoted to assistant vice president and regional operations manager at Southern Heritage Bank.

Thomas has worked in banking since 2006. Thomas joined Southern Heritage in 2014 and served as teller operations manager until October 2016 when she became a professional learning specialist. In January 2017, she also added the branch manager responsibilities at the Georgetown office until October 2017 when she was named a technical training specialist.

Thomas has served with Junior Achievement as both a fundraiser committee member and classroom teacher in Cleveland and Chattanooga.

"Jennifer's bank operations experience and technical ability make her the perfect fit to fill this critical role," said Lee Stewart, East Region President for Southern Heritage Bank. "She will continue to manage many of her existing training duties and oversee bank operations for the East Region."

Southern Heritage Bank is a division of First Citizens National Bank which is a $2 billion community bank with 26 locations throughout Tennessee.


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Jake Lawson / Contributed photo

Lawson, Harness named leaders at U.S. Xpress

Jake Lawson has been named chief commercial officer, and Justin Harness was promoted to president of the Dedicated division of U.S. Xpress Enterprises.

Lawson will move into Harness's former role leading sales, pricing and customer engagement, while Harness will lead the company's growing Dedicated business.

Lawson comes to U.S. Xpress from Whirlpool, where he held roles leading sales, merchandising, product development and e-commerce for some of the appliance-maker's most popular products, including refrigeration, cooking, dishwashers and laundry. Most recently, he led sales and marketing for the company's largest customer, Lowe's.

"Partnering with our customers and defining the appropriate value propositions are critical for success, and it's exciting for me to really dig in and elevate what sets U.S. Xpress apart," said Lawson. "I also want to focus on our team development to help our people feel supported and mentored, understand their connection to the Company vision, and feel empowered to deliver great results."

As U.S. Xpress moves towards becoming a true digital transportation solutions provider, much of the Company's focus has been on growing its new driver-focused brand, Variant and introducing other innovative digital initiatives. However, its Dedicated division remains a vital segment of the Company's business – accounting for 35-40% of revenue - and key in continuing to grow market share.

Harness spent the bulk of his 20 years with U.S. Xpress in operations.


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John "JJ" Jerman / Contributed photo

"JJ" Jerman receives annual BOMA awards

John "JJ" Jerman, president of Office Furniture Warehouse, LLC and a board member and professional member of BOMA, was presented the annual award for "Professional of the Year" and the "Mike Weaver Volunteerism Award", by BOMA of Chattanooga

"Professional Member of the Year" is provided to BOMA professional members who own or manage real-estate. They also provide exemplary and sustained contributions to the industry, their profession, the community and BOMA at all levels, and is a call to continued leadership and service.

The "Volunteerism" award was created in honor of Mike Weaver, who was a facility manager for EPB and an active professional member of BOMA, who passed away in 2020. He was instrumental in BOMA as a president, holding numerous board positions. He was also active in community service and an advocate for the professional development and growth of the membership.

The Chattanooga Membership votes annually and among its members, JJ Jerman was selected as the recipient of these two awards. JJ has been involved with BOMA for over 11 years, has held several BOMA positions including president and will be the president again of BOMA in 2021.


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Kyle Bryant / Contributed photo

Bryant, Wright join Erlanger Foundation board

Kyle Bryant and Larvizo Wright have joined the board of the Erlanger Health System Foundation for 2021.

Bryant is a partner at Market Street Partners, a certified public account firm in downtown Chattanooga. Bryant earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

"Having grown up in a family of medical professionals I feel that I have a unique perspective on the impact of a hospital like Erlanger providing world class medical care, serving the uninsured and also being one of Chattanooga's largest employers," he said.

Wright currently serves as director of corporate audit at Unum. He also serves as President of Urban League - Young Professionals of Chattanooga, Vice State Director of East TN for Phi Beta Sigma, Fraternity, Inc., and as Minister of Music at his church where he plays the piano. He has a Bachelor's degree in Accounting from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, an MBA from Capella University, and is a licensed CPA.

"The Erlanger Health System Foundation helps the Erlanger Health System to pursue higher level of operational excellence intended to improve the delivery of quality health care to the people of Chattanooga and the surrounding areas," Wright said. "That is a mission I'm happy to be onboard with!"


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Jeff Kotiw / Contributed photo

Trident Transport hires Kotiw as VP of strategic accounts

Trident Transport has recently named Jeff Kotiw as vice president of strategic accounts, a new position for the company.

Kotiw comes from an extensive background in logistics where he spent his first four years in the industry at PFT Roberson as a sales manager after graduating from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Throughout his two-decade long career in logistics, he's held titles such as vice president of sales before moving into the role of vice president of strategic accounts.

"Trident was up against four other companies when I was deciding where I wanted to continue my career," said Kotiw. "The company is on a smaller level and scaling; what this company has accomplished so far and continues to accomplish excites me."

The newly added role to the company is one of many expansions Trident is focusing on in the new year, including the addition of Enterprise Operations and the continued growth of Trident's three branches in Tennessee, Florida, and Minnesota.


Hjelseth to head marketing at the River City Company

River City Company has named Dawn Hjelseth as the nonprofit's new vice president of marketing and communication.

Since 2013, Hjelseth has served as the chief development officer for green|spaces, Chattanooga's sustainability nonprofit. In her role, she was instrumental in the development of programs including Empower Chattanooga, the Chattanooga Green Prix and most recently, the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan. During her time, the organization expanded services to provide energy efficiency education to over 3,000 limited-income households, partnered with 40 local schools to engage over 600 students in STEM activities and implemented a leadership and workforce development program for young adults interested in green construction.

"River City Company is thrilled to have Dawn Hjelseth as a part of our team," said Emily Mack, President/CEO of River City Company. "Her unique and diverse background in marketing, communication, development, programming, and events will be a tremendous asset to our organization. She's a creative and visionary leader that also possesses the technical skill set to excel in this position."

— Compiled by Brandi Dixon

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