Executive Circle & Premier Members Continued

Executive Circle

Scott Parrish
Miller & Martin, PLLC

Scott Parrish is Chairman of Miller & Martin, which is Chattanooga’s oldest and largest law firm comprising of approximately 230 employees and attorneys firmwide in four offices across the Southeast. In addition to his Chairman responsibilities, Mr. Parrish, a licensed attorney in Tennessee and Georgia with 30 years of experience, concentrates his individual practice on business litigation, including the areas of trade secrets, class action, professional liability, corporate, securities, contract and product liability litigation. He also provides general counsel and risk management services to several local and regional companies.

Mr. Parrish, who came to the firm upon graduation from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1990, also serves as the chair of the firm's Trade Secrets & Non-Compete Litigation practice group. Named among The Best Lawyers in America© for professional excellence in the area of litigation, he has substantial experience representing clients in federal and state court, mediations and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. Mr. Parrish is married to Laura Parrish and they have 4 children: Lauren, Matt, Lindsey and Sarah.

Matt Partridge
HUTTON

As Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of HUTTON, Matt is responsible for leading all aspects of the company’s finance, accounting, information technology, acquisitions, dispositions, human resources, investor relations and property management activities, with a committed focus to value creation for HUTTON clients and team members.

Prior to joining HUTTON, Matt served as Chief Financial Officer at Agree Realty Corporation where he helped the company double in value over an 18-month period, and before that, Vice President of Finance at Pebblebrook Hotel Trust where he helped the company grow from a $400 million IPO to a $4.5 billion blue-chip lodging REIT.  Matt holds a BBA in Finance from Eastern Michigan University and an MBA from Xavier University. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts.

Mitch Patel
Vision Hospitality Group

Mitch Patel founded Vision Hospitality Group, Inc. in 1997 with the goal of creating a company dedicated to excellence with a focus on community and family. Today, Vision holds a growing portfolio of 37 hotels, including the company’s first boutique hotel, The Edwin, and a pipeline of 9 properties affiliated with premier brands such as Hilton Worldwide and Marriott International.

Mitch has led Vision to be the recipient of many awards, as well as industry media recognition in the fields of development, community service, design and achievement. Most recently, Vision received the Marriott International Development Partner of the Year Award- Full Service, Marriott International Partnership Circle Award, Marriott International Developer of the Year Award- Select Service, Marriott International Serve 360 Award, the Developer of the Year Award for the Hampton Brand by Hilton Worldwide, and the Multi-Brand Developer of the Year Award by Hilton Worldwide.

Mitch serves on the Marriott International Franchise Advisory Council and the Hilton Worldwide Owner’s Advisory Council. Mitch maintains his presence on boards of local organizations that support education and economic development in Vision’s hometown of Chattanooga, TN, and he is an advocate for ending human trafficking in the hospitality industry. His efforts have earned him nationwide recognition, which includes his most recent honor of receiving the NSDAR Americanism Award.

Mitch holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Tennessee.

Todd Phillips
Noon Management, LLC

President, Noon Management, LLC

Todd Phillips began his career in the financial services industry, serving in management for Morgan Stanley’s regional operations in Kentucky and then in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In 2013 he partnered with John Foy to start Noon Management, LLC, a private investment firm specializing in healthcare, real estate development, wealth management and capital investing. Noon Management and their subsidiary companies and investments now serve clients throughout Chattanooga and across the United States. At Noon Management, Todd is focused on managing client relationships and directing the firms’ new business development strategies and resources.

Todd earned his BS in Managerial Finance from the University of Mississippi. He also holds numerous licenses and designations within the financial services industry.

Todd and his wife Cory live in Chattanooga with their four sons. 

Roger Pickett
MurMaid Mattress, Inc.

Roger is president of MurMaid Mattress, Inc, the company his step-father and mother, Elmer and Joy Murray started in 1979. Since joining the family business in 1989, MurMaid has grown from a single location factory direct mattress manufacturer on Lee Hwy to this area’s largest mattress retailer with 1 factory and 12 retail locations.

Roger received his degree in marketing from UT Knoxville. He currently serves on the Cleveland Associated Industries executive committee, is a board member of the non-profit Karis Dental, advisory board member of the Better Business Bureau, and board member of Southern Heritage Bank (a division of First Citizens National Bank), a past Board Chairman of the Cleveland-Bradley Chamber of Commerce, and a former Advisory Board member for People for Care and Learning and United Way’s Center for Social Impact. 

Will Pitt
Puckett EMS

Will Pitt serves as Vice President of Operations for Puckett EMS, a member of the Priority Ambulance family of companies.  In his role, he oversees a team of professionals responsible for providing ambulance services to five counties and 11 hospitals in the Southeast Tennessee/North Georgia region.  Prior to joining Puckett EMS, he served as the Chief of EMS for Walker County Emergency Services, and in various positions at Hutcheson Medical Center, Orange County Emergency Management, and Duke University EMS. 

Will is involved in many professional organizations, including Chairman for the Georgia Region I EMS Council, Treasurer for the Southeast EMS Director’s Association, and sits on the boards of two industry non-profit organizations.  He holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Columbia Southern University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Anthropology and Anatomy from Duke University.

Amanda Plecas
Volkswagen Chattanooga Operations

Amanda Plecas, APR: Head of Communications at Volkswagen of America, Chattanooga Operation.

Amanda Plecas, APR leads the communications team at Volkswagen of America, Chattanooga Operations. With more than a decade of public relations experience, she has developed award-winning communications programs in the areas of community relations, multimedia, reputation and brand management, video and media relations.

Her success in strategic communications was recognized by PR News in 2016where she was a top-five global finalist for Corporate PR Professional of the Year. She holds an Accreditation in Public Relations, is a certified Public Information Officer and certified in Organizational Compliance/Ethics.

Outside of Volkswagen, Amanda is a part-time faculty member at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, where she teaches public relations writing and crisis communication courses.

Prior to joining Volkswagen, Amanda held a leadership role at a global chemical company’s manufacturing facility where she developed startup strategic communications, government relations, crisis communications, media relations, internal communications and community relations programs. She is the former vice president of Waterhouse Public Relations. Amanda earned a master’s degree in rhetoric and composition and an undergraduate degree in writing from the University of Tennessee. She is a graduate of Leadership Chattanooga.

Denia Reece
Catoosa County Public Schools

Denia Reese has been Superintendent of Catoosa County Public Schools since 2005.  She was hired as a teacher at Graysville Elementary School in 1984.  She was in the classroom for four years, then served in school administration for 17 years prior to becoming superintendent.  Mrs. Reese graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, with an undergraduate degree in elementary education.  She continued her education and earned a M.Ed. from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and an Ed.S. in administration and supervision from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Superintendent Reese is committed to providing a high quality public education, so she is leading the district to open The From HERE to CAREER! College and Career Academy in Catoosa County.  The Academy will form partnerships with businesses and industry to ensure that students are highly skilled to meet workforce demands in the region.��

Janelle Reilly
CHI Memorial

Ms. Reilly assumed the reins as the Market Chief Executive Officer for CHI Memorial in January 2019 after joining the organization as president and chief operating officer in July 2016. CHI Memorial is a not-for-profit, faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to the healing ministry of the Church. Founded by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth and strengthened as part of Catholic Health Initiatives, it offers a continuum of care including preventative, primary and acute hospital care, as well as cancer and cardiac care, orthopedic and rehabilitation services.

CHI Memorial is a regional referral center of choice with 4,700 associates and more than 600 affiliated physicians providing health care throughout Southeast Tennessee, North Georgia and Northwest Alabama.  Prior to joining CHI Memorial, Ms. Reilly served as the chief operating officer and chief strategy officer for Presence Health in Chicago, Illinois. She earned a master’s degree in health administration at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo., and a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry and mathematics from William Jewell College, Liberty, Mo.

Todd Ricke
Sinclair Broadcast Group Chattanooga

Todd Ricke has been with Sinclair Broadcast Group since 1999.  He in the General Manager of the ABC, FOX, and CW stations in Chattanooga. Before he took on the role as GM at the station group in Chattanooga, he served as Director of Sales for the CBS and Telemundo television Stations in Austin, TX.  Before his sales career he was the IT Director for CBS Austin.  Todd also served in the Unites States Air Force.

Jay Robinson
Robinson Team of Keller Williams Realty

Jay Robinson has been a real estate professional since 1988 and he founded The Robinson Team in 1997--over 3000 families have trusted Jay Robinson to handle their real estate needs.

Jay has closed over $1 billion in real estate transactions and has been the top volume real estate agent in Chattanooga for twenty years running.

The Robinson Team sets itself apart from competitors by offering a unique combination of local knowledge, technological expertise, and industry-leading customer service. Jay and our team have immersed themselves in community involvement focusing on programs such as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, The Fuse Program and Habitat for Humanity.

Born and raised in the Chattanooga area, Jay and his wife Ali Robinson are now raising their own family here. He and his team put customer satisfaction first and foremost--in any neighborhood and at any price range.

Barry Ruffalo
Astec Industries

Since August of 2019, Barry Ruffalo has served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Astec Industries. Prior to joining Astec Industries, Mr. Ruffalo was employed by Valmont Industries, a global producer of highly-engineered fabricated metal products, where he had increasingly progressive roles in the areas of Operational Excellence, Energy & Mining and most recently as Group President of Global Engineered Support Structures.  Preceding his career at Valmont Industries, Mr. Ruffalo served terms as President of the Irrigation and of the Infrastructure divisions of Lindsay Corporation, a global leader in proprietary water management and road infrastructure products and services.  Mr. Ruffalo received his Bachelor of Science in Biomechanics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1993 and his Master of Science in Industrial Engineering in 1995.

Keith Sanford
Tennessee Aquarium

Keith has been a Chattanooga resident for over 40 years.  He moved here immediately after graduation from Washington and Lee University and began as a management trainee at First Tennessee Bank now First Horizon.  He spent 36 years there and watched as the bank grew from about $4450mm in assets to almost $2.5 billion.  He spent the last six years as Market President.  In May 2016 he began his second career as President and CEO of the Tennessee Aquarium which is a much more entertaining job.

Larry Schumacher
CHI Memorial

Larry P. Schumacher, System SVP, Operations CEO, Southeast Division CommonSpirit Health. Larry began his role as CEO of CHI Memorial Healthcare in January 2016.  In May 2016, he was promoted to an expanded role of being CEO of Operations for the SE Division of CHI.  With the merger of CHI and Dignity Health in February 2019, Larry was appointed System SVP of Operations and CEO of the SE Division overseeing operations in TN, GA, KY, AR, OH & WV. 

Prior to his relocation to Chattanooga, Larry served as Chief Operating Officer of Hospital Sisters Health System in Springfield, IL.  He holds a BSN from Missouri State University and an MSN in Administration from Indiana University.

Ronelle Sellers
HHM CPA's

From the start of her career as an intern in the marketing department of the Tennessee Aquarium, during its grand opening celebration, to her seven-year stint as a shopping center marketing director for CBL & Associates, Ronelle’s wheels constantly turn with innovative marketing ideas. From trucking in ten tons of sand and creating an eight-foot-tall storybook for in-mall promotions to creating Sweet & Sour, a lead generation campaign delivered to 300 accounting firm prospects, nothing thrills her more than developing results-driven marketing campaigns.

Ronelle has spent the last 20 years as the Director of Marketing for Henderson Hutcherson & McCullough, helping the Firm develop individual and niche marketing plans as well as a marketing rewards program. She thoroughly enjoys coaching and encouraging introverted accountants on the finer points of self-marketing. From new websites to print ads to recruiting and lead generation campaigns, during her tenure the Firm has achieved 11 national accounting marketing awards.

She has spent much of her career dedicated to promoting the City’s newest entrepreneurs. She founded Southside Creative in 2007, and for 13 years she assisted business owners with marketing, branding, and public relations.

As an expert task juggler, Ronelle enjoys volunteering for several non-profit organizations, she is Past Chair of the Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute Board of Directors, chaired the Small Business of the Year Awards for the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce five years, and was on the steering committee to launch the Women’s Entrepreneur Symposium.

Aaron Smith
S & S Auto Repair

Aaron Smith has served many roles over the past 14 years while at S&S Auto Repair. Since 2013, he has directed the corporation as Operation Manager. Now as a third-generation business owner in the Chattanooga community, he is proud to continue his family’s legacy in the automotive industry.

He is an active and participating member of several national automotive organizations that concentrate on fostering the development of small, independently-owned automotive businesses. Smith has recently published opinion articles concerning business operations for national automotive magazines, such as Ratchet &Wrench. 

Mike St. Charles
Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel Inc.

Shareholder and Past President and Managing Shareholder of Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P. C.

Mike is a Chattanooga native and has been with the Chambliss firm since 1981. In addition to advising businesses on the myriad of issues confronting them, he served as the firm's president and managing shareholder for many years, overseeing the firm's professional services and overall operations.

Mike has been involved in numerous civic and charitable organizations, including serving as the Chamber's board chair. He is a proud graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he earned three degrees - Bachelor of Science in Finance, Master of Business Administration and Juris Doctor.

Shannon Stephenson
Cempa Community Care

Shannon Stephenson has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Cempa Community Care since February 1, 2016. As an innovative and strategic leader, she uses her visionary approach to move the agency forward by developing culture, enhancing communication, creating strong alliances, and building high performing teams in a desirable work environment.

A Chattanooga native, Stephenson holds a Master of Business Administration from Lincoln Memorial University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from the Tennessee Wesleyan University. She is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and recently completed the Health Care Executive Program at UCLA Anderson.  Nationally, she serves as President of the Ryan White Clinics for 340B Access. Regionally, she serves as the Past-President for the Association of Governmental Accountants and serves on the TSCPA Nonprofit and Governmental Committee. Locally, she serves as a board member or committee member with several community-based organizations.

Mark Stewart
Bank of America

Mark Stewart is the Senior Relationship Manager in Commercial Banking for the Greater Chattanooga Market of Bank of America Merrill Lynch.  Mark works closely with a professional team of experienced bankers to deliver customers comprehensive financial solutions including lending, treasury management, merchant and equipment financing.  Mark is a 30+ year veteran commercial banker and has been working in the Chattanooga Market for the past 22 years. 

In addition to working with the Chattanooga Chamber, Mark has been an active member of the United Way and other civic organizations.   Mark is an alum of the 1998 Class of Leadership Chattanooga.  Mark holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce and Business Administration (cum laude) from the University of Alabama.  Mark and his wife, Gloria, are residents of Signal Mountain and have two adult sons, John Michael and Justin.  Mark is an avid runner and frustrated golfer.      

Marshall Stout
b+m surface systems

Marshall Stout joined b+m surface systems America as part of the initial leadership team in 2015 and supported the North American market entry for the German-based company that designs and manufactures complete industrial robotic paint lines.  In June 2016, he was appointed to the position of CEO to continue the engineering base sales solution and service team. 

He has received bachelor degrees from UTC in Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration/Human Resource Management. This experience in engineering as well as previous foreign business experience has given him the tools to bridge cultural business differences and lead a technically-oriented team. 

Brett Varner
Mesa Associates, Inc.

Brett currently serves as Mesa's Associate Vice President of the Power Delivery Transmission and Distribution Business Unit. He is responsible for the profit and loss of this business unit as well as the overall management of transmission line design, distribution design, and associated support services. Brett’s prior experience includes leadership positions in Distribution Operations, Transmission Engineering, and Power Delivery Engineering for South Carolina Electric and Gas Company in Columbia, SC. He also served as an Officer in the U.S. Navy and is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

A Chattanooga native, Brett holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University and a Master of Business Administration Degree from the University of South Carolina. He is also a registered Professional Engineer. Brett has served as an Elder at Shandon Presbyterian Church, a member of the Partnership Committee at the United Way of the Midlands, and a member of the Fundraising Committee for the Fallen Linemen Foundation.   

Jim Vaughn
SunTrust Now Truist

Jim currently serves as the Chattanooga Market President for Truist. Jim joined SunTrust in 2013 as the East TN Region President.  In this role, Jim leads the commercial team responsible for delivering the full suite of commercial bank products and services, as well as coordinating the delivery of investment banking and capital markets capabilities offered by SunTrust Robinson Humphrey in a tailored way to meet the needs of the commercial banking clients of SunTrust.

Prior to joining SunTrust Jim served as East TN Region Banking Sales Executive at Regions Bank, where he leads the execution of strategy and delivering the full suite of commercial banking products and services. While at Regions he served as SBA Corporate Operations Manager from 2012-2013 and previously served as Business Banking Sales Executive. Jim started his banking career at Bank of America as a management trainee and advanced into multiple executive roles including Agriculture, Special Assets, Retail, Premier Banking and SBA. He served as Chattanooga Market President 2006-2009 as well as a Credit Solution Executive

Jim is a graduate from University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN B.S. and M.S. Agriculture. He is a graduate of Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University.

Jim is active in the Chattanooga community, currently serving as Chairman of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce and leading the 2040 Economic Development Campaign with a 15mm 5 year goal. He is presently serves on the boards of Hunter Museum, University of Chattanooga College of Engineering and Computer Science and United Way. In 2016 he served as Chairman of Hunter Museum Campaign executing a new concept in fundraising and raised an all-time amount of $350,000. In 2018 he served as the chairman of Cherokee Council Boy Scouts Campaign exceeding $500,000 campaign goal.

Jim W. Vaughn
Mauldin & Jenkins

Jim Vaughn, CPA, is a partner with Mauldin & Jenkins, Certified Public Accountants, LLC. Jim received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Finance from Georgia Southern University.

Since joining Mauldin & Jenkins in 1999, Jim has devoted his career to providing services to financial institutions and private equity funds. As a financial institution specialist, he provides a variety of services to financial service companies including auditing, accounting, SEC reporting, tax, and consulting services.   Jim also advises private equity funds on both tax and financial accounting issues.  Jim is also the partner in charge of the Chattanooga office and leads the firm’s efforts in Tennessee.  Jim is a Certified Public Accountant in the states of Tennessee, Illinois, Georgia and Florida.

Roy D. Vaughn
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee

Roy Vaughn is senior vice president and chief communications officer for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, responsible for all strategic communications functions, including public affairs and media relations, executive and internal communications, marketing, member and provider communications, brand advertising, and digital and social media.

Health care has been his single career focus, creating a depth of expertise in responding to the industry’s unique needs. He is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, the Arthur W. Page Society, and past chair of the Counselors Academy of PRSA. He has been recognized by the Nashville chapter of PRSA with the Hercules Award for his career achievement and service to the public relations profession.

In addition, Roy serves as Executive Director of the BlueCross Foundation, as a board member of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce and its Foundation, and the University of Chattanooga Foundation. He’s also served as a member of the board of trustees for the Middle Tennessee State University College of Media & Entertainment, where he earned his degree.

Taylor Vinson
Lync Logistics, LLC
Greg Vital
Morning Pointe Senior Living
David Wade
EPB

David Wade, President and CEO, EPB of Chattanooga.

As EPB’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, David Wade led the company to build one of the country’s most sophisticated smart electric distribution systems.

David holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and has 30 years of experience in the electrical industry ranging from hands-on construction to engineering.  He currently serves as Chairman of Tennessee Valley Public Power Association (TVPPA).

Using a 100% fiber optic network as its backbone, EPB constructed a

“Smart Grid,” next-generation electric system that includes communication capabilities designed to reduce the impact of power outages, improve response time and allow customers greater control of their electric power usage.

This exclusive capability has attracted worldwide attention and earned Chattanooga, TN the nickname “Gig City."

Barry Watson
SmartBank
Thomas White
Unum Group

Thomas A. H. White is Senior Vice President, Investor Relations at Unum Group. He is responsible for investor relations and communications with rating agencies. He is also responsible for assisting in setting the Company’s corporate philanthropy program. Tom is a member of the Company’s Investment Committee and Capital & Corporate Development Committee.

Tom is a 1980 graduate of The University of the South (Sewanee) and holds a Masters degree in Business from Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management (1982).

Tom joined Provident (Unum’s predecessor company) in May 1982 as an associate financial analyst in the Investment Department. In 1984, he was promoted to financial analyst and in 1986 to investment officer. Tom was named assistant vice president, equities, in 1987 and corporate treasurer in 1989. In 1994, Tom was promoted to Vice President, Corporate Relations. In 2003, he was promoted to Senior Vice President, Investor Relations.

Tom is a member of AIMR - Chartered Financial Analyst and NIRI - National Investor Relations Institute. Tom also is involved with several civic organizations: Chattanooga Rotary; Leadership Chattanooga Alumni Association; United Way of Chattanooga (Executive Committee and Community Investment Committee Chair); Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce (Past Chairman of Board of Directors); Siskin Children’s Institute (Past Board Chair and Treasurer); Big Brothers Big Sisters of Chattanooga; and Chattanooga State Community College Foundation. Tom previously served on the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation Board, and serves as a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Tom and his family live in the North Chattanooga area.

Scott Williamson
Fletcher Bright Realty
Todd Womack
Bridge Public Affairs

Todd Womack is the president and CEO of Bridge Public Affairs, where he leads a team of senior level problem solvers with expertise in government relations, strategic and crisis communications, business development, coalition management, and political consulting, among other issues. At Bridge, Todd is focused on helping clients navigate the nexus of policy, politics and strategy in successfully achieving their state, national and international business objectives.

Prior to starting Bridge in January 2019, Todd built a distinguished reputation as a key advisor to Bob Corker, serving from 2001-2005 as communications director for the City of Chattanooga under then-Mayor Corker, and later serving for 12 years as chief of staff during Corker’s tenure in the Senate. He is Corker’s longest serving aide and remains a principal advisor.

Todd began his career as a public relations specialist at Erlanger before serving as director of public relations and employee communication at Unum Corporation. He is actively involved in the Chattanooga community, serving on the UC Foundation’s Board of Trustees, UTC’s Honor’s College Advisory Board, and as a member of the Chattanooga Downtown Rotary Club. He previously was selected to be a member of the inaugural class of Leadership Tennessee, a statewide leadership education program, and is a Visiting Fellow at George Mason University’s National Security Institute at the Antonin Scalia Law School.

A native of Chattanooga, Todd graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He and his wife Katie have four children, Laura Kate, Rebekah, John and Andrew.

April Wrinkle
JK Group USA, Inc.
Parkridge East Hospital
TN American Water