Vanderbilt alumnus named to senior fundraising post
Randall W. Smith, a Vanderbilt graduate and major fundraiser for the school’s Shape the Future comprehensive fundraising campaign, has been named an executive associate vice chancellor for development and alumni relations.
Smith, who began working at his alma mater 12 years ago as alumni relations program coordinator, has served in a variety of roles related to alumni programs and fundraising.
For the past five years as an associate vice chancellor, Smith also worked with key staff and alumni volunteers to improve programs in undergraduate reunion, alumni relations and the Alumni Association Board of Directors.
Smith earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy in the College of Arts and Science. He also was a Brandon Honor Scholar at the Divinity School, receiving his master’s degree. From 1989 to 1996 he worked in the ministry for the Disciples of Christ, serving churches in Tennessee, Kansas and Missouri. Just prior to starting at Vanderbilt, he served as pastor-developer for a new congregation in Lee’s Summit, Mo.
Tractor Supply names Gardner its new VP
Tractor Supply Company announced recently that it has hired Les Gardner as vice president, logistics and distribution.
Gardner will be responsible for the company’s six distribution centers and transportation operations throughout the country.
Prior to joining Tractor Supply, Gardner was vice president of distribution and logistics operations at Michaels Stores, Inc. In that position, he led a network of 10 facilities and three retail concepts for 11 years as the company grew to more than 1,200 retail stores.
He also was responsible for planning, design, building and operational startup of three new automated distribution centers.
Lyric Street Records promotes two staffers
Lyric Street Records has announced the promotions of Theresa Ford and Chris Palmer to senior director, regional promotion for Lyric Street Records.
Ford joined the Lyric Street Records radio promotion department in December 1997. Ford will continue as Lyric Street’s senior director of regional promotion for the southeast region, based out of Charlotte, N.C.
Palmer joined the radio promotion department in January 1998. Palmer will continue as senior director of regional promotion for the northeast region, based out of Nashville.
Communications firm adds former Nissan official as VP
Following retirement from Nissan North America as a senior public relations official, Dierdre Francis-Dickerson has joined Nashville’s Communications Strategies, a public relations and public affairs firm. She moved to Nashville when Nissan relocated its corporate headquarters from Southern California.
As vice president she will be involved with developing client strategies, programs and related policy initiatives.
With 16 years at Nissan, Francis-Dickerson held a variety of senior positions including Senior Manager, Internal Communications; Senior Manager, Public Relations; Manager, Strategic Corporate Relations; Manager, Minority Markets and more.
An accomplished public relations professional Francis-Dickerson is a past Ford Foundation Fellow in Educational Journalism and is the recipient of the Los Angeles YWCA Award of Achievement in Public Relations and the Lulu Award of Excellence in Public Relations. Her broadcast experience includes stints as producer, writer and on-air talent at television stations across the country.
Peter Woolfolk, president of Communications Strategies noted, “Dierdre is an exceptionally accomplished public relations talent. Our clients will benefit tremendously from her experience and background. I am very pleased to have her join this team.”
Francis-Dickerson earned her B.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University, in Boston, Mass., and was a Fellow at the San Francisco Academy, an advanced professional development program for senior public relations practitioners.
FirstBank makes key additions
FirstBank has named two new county presidents and a business banking manager as part of its continuing growth in the Nashville market.
The three banking veterans joining the Nashville leadership team are: David Ott, business banking manager; Clarence Seal, Wilson County president; and Ray Tate, Sumner County president for Lexington, Tenn.-based FirstBank.
Tate will be responsible for overseeing FirstBank operations in the growing community. Most recently, Tate was a financial adviser for Pinnacle Financial Partners in Goodlettsville. He also served as Cookeville city president for First American/AmSouth and a credit analyst for Northwest Financial. He graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in business administration.
As business banking manager, Ott will develop FirstBank’s business banking department in the Nashville market and will work to build relationships with the bank’s business customers. Ott joins the FirstBank team with 24 years of experience in the banking industry, and has held roles at Barnett Bank, Bank of America and SouthTrust. He most recently worked for Wachovia as senior vice president of business banking in the Nashville market.
Seal will serve as FirstBank’s Wilson County president and will play a key role in opening the bank’s first branch office in Mt. Juliet within the next year. Seal has 19 years of banking experience and previously served as community president in Wilson County for SunTrust bank. Seal graduated from Tennessee Tech University.
cj Advertising names six new members
cj Advertising, a Nashville-based advertising agency, recently hired six employees. cj’s newest employees are Byron Fanning, Search Engine Specialist; Rachel Sowell, Front Desk/Media Assistant; Cody Roberts, Web Architect; Jennifer Foster, Accounting Assistant; Chasity Phillips, Yellow Pages Manager; and Lisa Moore, Human Resources Manager.
Established in 1994, cj now has a staff of 40-plus employees enabling the agency to provide clients with the most comprehensive marketing services available for injury law firms anywhere today.
Fanning came on board with the cj team in January 2008 as a Search Engine Specialist. He works hard to increase traffic to clients’ Web sites by improving search engine page rankings. His research ensures the right keywords and phrases are used in content to optimize the performance of the sites, and he consistently submits the sites to major search engines, such as Google and Yahoo!, to document and improve their effectiveness in the market.
cj Advertising welcomed Sowell in January 2008 as a Front Desk Manager and Media Assistant. She is the voice on the phone and the first face clients see when they enter the building. Sowell is also responsible for imputing, checking, and transferring all invoices. During college, she worked at Howard, Tate, Sowell, Wilson, & Boyte and acquired a firsthand knowledge of the workings of a personal injury law firm, which gives her a unique understanding of our clients.
A January 2008 addition to the cj team, Roberts brings together creativity and a strong work ethic as a Web Architect. He balances innovation with user-friendliness to design effective and unique Web sites. He is constantly keeping up with the latest trends in Web development and design techniques to hone his craft and bring the best products to our clients. Before joining cj, Cody worked at The Ad Firm in Troy, Ala., as a Web Developer and Photographer to design and develop Web sites, and was responsible for print layout and product photography.
Foster made the switch from an Intake Specialist at cj’s sister company, Legal Intake Professionals, to an Accounting Assistant at cj in January 2008. She brings crucial customer service and communication skills to her position, where she handles billing, invoicing, and filing to ensure the financial health of cj Advertising.
Phillips joined the cj family in March 2008 as a Yellow Pages Manager. As part of her job, she helps ensure that cj clients get noticed in the Yellow Pages — in other words — make their phones ring. This includes negotiating YP buys, delivering eye-catching, call-to-action ads, and then tracking the calls to make sure cj is doing a great job with placement, design, and more. Prior to cj, Phillips worked as a Senior Public Affairs Specialist with the Florida Lottery, where she managed and oversaw marketing efforts and helped create awareness about the lottery. She was also awarded Gold and Silver Addy Awards for the creation and production of a spot for Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare’s Women’s Pavilion.
Moore joined cj Advertising in March 2008 as a Human Resources Manager. Prior to cj, she was the Director of Human Resources for a large staffing agency for 18 years and handled all human resources and risk management responsibilities with 40 offices located in 10-plus states. Now, as a cj team member, Moore heads all human resource activities for cj, Legal Intake Professionals, and Stuff4Lawyers, as well as any future ventures that cj may undertake.
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