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Titans Join Pinnacle Financial Partners to Host Leadership Tennessee Dinner


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans partnered with Pinnacle Financial Partners to host members of "Leadership Tennessee" Monday at Nissan Stadium.

Leadership Tennessee is a 10-month program that brings together influential thought leaders from diverse backgrounds to not only learn more about the rich cultural heritage of our state, but also tackle tough issues that affect our state's success. Through dialogue and an expanding network, Leadership Tennessee members are taking what they see and learn on a statewide level and put it into action in their own communities. 

Established in 2013, the class includes 40 business, government, education and nonprofit leaders from across Tennessee.

Ron Samuels, vice-chairman of Pinnacle Financial Partners, joined the 2015-16 class and also served on the "Just Build It" committee that helped build Nissan Stadium and bring in season ticket holders.

"This is an action," Samuels said.  "Leaders really value action and this is a leadership program.  Some of the class members have taken off on projects of bringing a new business to their community or helping the state as they go out and recruit companies.

"I was very fortunate to work with the Nashville Sports Council 20 years ago now and we had the desire to have a professional sports team here.  Never in all my wildest dreams would I have thought that we would have been involved in a professional sports franchise, but that was fantastic! We get a chance to help people across the state, feel a part of the Titans organization. We also have the chance to do things like we are doing tonight to bring people together and it's a lot of fun!  We are committed to the community and committed to the Titans at Pinnacle and I love it!" Leadership Tennessee brings together all the disparate parts of our state to build partnerships and unify leaders behind a common cause for the betterment of citizens and Pinnacle takes that mission very seriously. 

Said Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, a guest speaker at the event: "Nashville is a community that says, 'What can I do for you?'"  

Barry discussed the priorities of improving the educational outcomes at public schools, public safety, engaging regional and state partners to develop a unified vision, a plan for transportation, creating more affordable housing options for residents of all backgrounds, including the homeless and veterans, and continuing to grow our economy, while ensuring all parts of Davidson County share in the prosperity.  "Nashville is a special place," Barry said.

 "I am here as part of a program called Leadership Tennessee and it's a group of individual leaders from across the state of Tennessee where we get together for a 10 month period and visit different areas across the state," said Valoria Armstrong, president of Tennessee American Water.  "From a networking standpoint, it has been phenomenal.  For me personally, it's allowed me to learn more about my state of Tennessee, what's happening and really a lot of the great treasures we have that we really don't know about."

 "The Titans have been so gracious to welcome us to the stadium for dinner tonight as we have some conversations about how wonderful our state is and ways we can improve our state and individual communities," said Judge Brandon Gibson. Tennessee Court of Appeals.  "I've been very involved in my community in west Tennessee from a variety of perspectives from before I was on the court and after I was on the court and it's a good opportunity to maybe borrow some great ideas for our own communities."

"Being Tennessee's NFL team, it's an honor to partner with Pinnacle in bringing these visionaries from all over our great state to Nissan Stadium," said Titans Director of Marketing Brad McClanahan. "It's our sincere hope these leaders will take what they learn here and ingrain those ideas into their own communities throughout the entire state."

Members of the 2016-17 Leadership Tennessee class include:

Alamo: Judge Brandon Gibson, Tennessee Court of Appeals

Chattanooga: Steven Angle, chancellor, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; Valoria Armstrong, president, Tennessee American Water; Alexis Bogo, executive director, Hamico Inc.; Bruce Hartmann, president, Chattanooga Times Free Press; JD Hickey, president and CEO, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee; Jill Levine, chief academic officer, Hamilton County Department of Education; Maura Sullivan, chief operating officer, City of Chattanooga

Franklin: Mendy Mazzo, vice president, Skanska; Jerry Stump, president and COO, Volkert, Inc.

Gallatin: Congressman Diane Black, United States Congress

Jackson: Kyle Spurgeon, president and CEO, Jackson Chamber

Johnson City: Bill Greer, president, Milligan College

Kingsport: CeeGee McCord, director, Global Public Affairs and Corporate Responsibility, Eastman; Commissioner Kevin Triplett, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development

Knoxville: Christi Branscom, deputy to the mayor/COO, City of Knoxville; Krissy DeAlejandro, executive director, tnAchieves; Steve Diggs, president and CEO, Emerald Youth Foundation; Justin Maierhofer, vice president, government relations, Tennessee Valley Authority; Steve Mangum, Dean & Stokely Leadership Foundation Chair, Haslam College of Business, University of Tennessee Knoxville; Frank Rothermel, president, Denark Construction; Anthony Wise, president, Pellissippi State Community College

Lookout Mountain: Miller Wellborn, chairman, SmartBank and SmartFinancial, Inc.

Memphis: Greg Duckett, senior vice president and chief legal officer, Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation; Cato Johnson, senior vice president, Public Policy & Regulatory Affairs, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare; Estella Mayhue-Greer, president and CEO, Mid-South Food Bank; Senator Mark Norris, Tennessee General Assembly; Terence Patterson, president, Downtown Memphis Commission; Phil Trenary, president and CEO, Greater Memphis Chamber; Representative Mark White, Tennessee General Assembly

Nashville: Michael Anastasi, vice president of news, USA Today Network – Tennessee; Executive Editor, TheTennessean; Laura Berlind, executive director, The Sycamore Institute; Harold Carpenter, executive vice president and CFO, Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc.; Trish Holliday, assistant commissioner and chief learning officer, State of Tennessee Department of Human Resources; David Mansouri, president, State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE); Pam Brooks Martin, president, Cushion Employer Services; Patricia Shea, CEO, YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee; Dwight Tarwater, counsel to the governor, Governor Bill Haslam, State of Tennessee; LoLita Toney, director of development, National Museum of African American Music; Senator Jeff Yarbro, Tennessee General Assembly

Leadership Tennessee is an initiative of Lipscomb University's College of Leadership & Public Service and their mission fosters collaborative, non-partisan dialogue on issues of state importance connecting a network of diverse leaders and engaged citizens.

About Pinnacle Financial PartnersPinnacle Financial Partners provides a full range of banking, investment, trust, mortgage and insurance products and services designed for businesses and their owners and individuals interested in a comprehensive relationship with their financial institution. The American Banker recognized Pinnacle as the sixth best bank to work for in the country in 2016.

Pinnacle is the largest locally owned bank in Nashville and fourth overall in terms of total deposits. The firm operates 29 offices in Middle Tennessee including 10 in Davidson County, eight in Rutherford County and four each in Williamson and Wilson Counties. Pinnacle is also the official banking partner of the Tennessee Titans.

The firm began operations in a single downtown Nashville location in October 2000 and has since grown to approximately $11.2 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2016. As the second-largest bank holding company headquartered in Tennessee, Pinnacle operates in the state's four largest markets, Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville and Chattanooga, as well as several surrounding counties.

Additional information concerning Pinnacle, which is included in the NASDAQ Financial-100 Index, can be accessed at

For more information about Leadership Tennessee visit

The Titans partnered with Pinnacle Financial Partners to host members of Leadership Tennessee at Nissan Stadium on Jan. 22, 2017. (Photos: Lynne McCracken)

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