The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and YP Nashville on Thursday evening recognized 56 young professionals during their 14th Annual Nashville Emerging Leaders Awards event held at Lipscomb University's Collins Alumni Auditorium.

"As the Nashville region thrives, it's critical for our community to retain, attract and inspire action by more upcoming leaders to be a part of the solution in addressing challenges and opportunities that advance our community," said Chamber President and CEO Ralph Schulz. "By recognizing the 2020 NELA finalists, YP Nashville and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce provide an opportunity for more young professionals to learn from peer role models why it's important for each of us to professionally and personally invest in the prosperity of our region."

The NELAs recognized four finalists in 14 industries and were chosen by a committee of industry experts, community leaders and past NELA recipients based on their professional achievement, demonstrated leadership and community impact.

The 2020 NELA winners are:

Architecture, Construction and Engineering

Michael Kenner, founder and CEO, MiKen Development

Kenner handles entitlements, design and his company's day-to-day operations. Dubbed "A More Socially Conscious Developer" by The Tennessean, he has led multiple efforts around affordable housing, including local policy on a Housing Incentive Pilot Program. As a board member of Nashville Civic Design Center and Street Solid and a founding member of TURBO Nashville, community involvement is a priority for Kenner.

Arts, Entertainment and Music Business

Elisheba Israel Mrozik, owner and artist, One Drop Ink Tattoo Parlour and Gallery

Mrozik is a fine artist and award-winning international tattooist who in 2011 became the first licensed black tattoo artist in Middle Tennessee and opened One Drop Ink Tattoo Parlour and Gallery in Nashville. Mrozik is an active member of the community who sponsors charitable events, teaches classes and supports schools and other community-building endeavors. Mrozik is also one of the founding members of the Jefferson Street Art Crawl and North Nashville Arts Coalition.

Community Service and Nonprofit

Amy Merritt Campbell, consultant and co-founder, Elevate Consulting

Merritt Campbell is a consultant who works with nonprofits and other mission-driven organizations and collaboratives to improve their capacity to work together, learn and improve. She is an consultant and trainer through the Center for Nonprofit Management who in her free time is a musician with the Music City Brass Ensemble.

Education

Lindsey Hamilton, director of equity and programming, Nashville Teacher Residency

Lindsey Hamilton began teaching in Metro Nashville Public Schools in 2013 and worked as an English language arts teacher for multiple years. In addition, she coached new teachers in charter networks across Nashville with TNTP from 2013 to 2015. In 2019, Hamilton became the manager of residential development, community and culture with Nashville Teacher Residency and now serves as director of equity and programming. Nashville Teacher Residency recruits, trains and licenses diverse cohorts of aspiring teachers with partnerships in schools across Nashville and Clarksville.

Environment and Sustainability

Meg Morgan, Root Nashville Campaign Manager, Cumberland River Compact

Morgan manages the citywide tree-planting campaign to plant 500,000 trees in Davidson County by 2050. More than 19,000 trees have been planted by the city since 2018, including a record-breaking season during the worst of the pandemic. Morgan leads efforts of campaign operations, community outreach, marketing and communications and partnership development and coordinates the planting of more than 2,000 trees on private property each planting season. She is also a volunteer with the Nashville Wildlife Conservation Center, a trained leadership corps member of the Climate Reality Project and a board member with the Nashville Adult Literacy Council.

Financial Services

Catherine Pariseau Street, Assurance Manager, PricewaterhouseCoopers

In addition to serving her portfolio of private equity-owned, large multinational companies, Street is involved in her firm's on-campus recruiting and is trained as a nationally accredited instructor who teaches annual trainings for incoming and experienced associates. She serves as a board member for the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee and Young Leaders Council. Street also serves on Auburn University's School of Accountancy Advisory Council and is the new membership chair for the Junior League of Nashville.

Government and Public Affairs

Eric Brown, North Nashville Economic and Community Development Manager, Office of Mayor John Cooper

A Nashville native, Brown was coordinator of economic opportunity and empowerment/youth development before taking on his current role. Before joining the mayor's office, he worked as statewide political director for Phil Bredesen for U.S. Senate and was the lead organizer for the Children's Defense Fund Nashville team. Brown has a bachelor's degree from American Baptist College and two master's degrees from Vanderbilt University.

Hospitality and Tourism

Ann Dee McClane, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Andrew Jackson Foundation/Andrew Jackson's Hermitage

McClane leads integrated marketing and communications strategies to promote the mission of the Andrew Jackson Foundation and drive awareness and attendance of The Hermitage. She has served on the board of directors for L'Evate and Nashville Children's Alliance and is a founding board member of Jazz Empowers. She is also involved with communications for Hermitage Hills Baptist Church.

Human Resources

Dan George, Founder and CEO, Piper Key

George is a globally recognized strategic workforce planning and people analytics professional with more than 15 years of experience guiding both Fortune 100 businesses and growing startups to better manage their workforces. He began his career in consulting at Accenture and then transitioned to working in house with companies such GE Capital and Bridgestone Americas. With Piper Key, he is focused on delivering workforce optimization services to HR and finance teams. Additionally, George is chair of the Nashville Analytics Summit and an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management.

Legal Services

Arrin Richards, Associate, Mitchell Sandler

Before joining Mitchell Sandler, Richards was an attorney at Neal & Harwell, where he focused on corporate transactions and civil litigation. He has served as vice chair of the Metro Nashville/Davidson County Government Board of Ethical Conduct, is a past president of the Napier-Looby Bar Association and served as a big brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee. Richards has been a member of 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee, where he raised more than $15,000 to provide resources to further the academic and social development of young black males in the region.

Medical and Healthcare Services

Elizabeth Wood, Director of Leadership Excellence Program, HCA Healthcare

Wood’s work at HCA focuses on a dynamic executive development program that equips leaders to build strong teams and deliver exceptional patient care. A 2018 honoree of Nashville's Top 30 under 30, Wood enjoys being connected to the community through the Junior League of Nashville's board of directors, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House.

Public Relations, Advertising and Marketing

Clark Buckner, Co-Founder and Partner, Relationary Marketing

Buckner works with mid- to large-sized organizations seeking to leverage podcasting in their content marketing strategies. By partnering with global PR firms such as Finn Partners, Relationary serves dozens of clients from health care to technology as well as brands such as Jack Daniel's. Additionally, Buckner is a team member at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and lead organizer of the Nashville Podcasters meetup.

Real Estate Services

Elam Freeman, Founder and Principal, Ojas Partners

Freeman specializes in servicing developers and emerging brands who helps clients understand of what it takes to successfully merchandise and brand developments and entire neighborhoods. She specializes in identifying vision-aligned partners, understanding evolving neighborhood needs and tapping her local and national networks to craft strategic plans. Freeman sits on Walk Bike Nashville's board of directors and is an active member of the Wedgewood-Houston community.

Technology Services

Melinda Hudgins Noblitt, Senior Manager of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Asurion

Noblitt develops Asurion’s internal and external programs to drive diversity and inclusion through recruiting partnerships, employee resources groups and educational programs. Last year, she led efforts to create a software engineer apprenticeship for employees — the first of its kind in Tennessee — which went on to win the Greater Nashville Technology Council's 2021 Diversity Initiative of the Year Award. In 2019, Noblitt co-launched the Lipstick Economy Podcast to explore all aspects of marketing to women. She serves on the Futuro executive board and Advancing Women in Nashville’s programming committee and is a member of Together in Digital and Nashville Cable.

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The presenting sponsor of the NELAs is Lipscomb University’s Pfeffer Graduate School of Business. Additional sponsorship is provided by Bradley, LBMC, Lightning 100, the Nashville Post, Atiba and Submittable. Pivotal Partner sponsors include Bass Berry & Sims, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Community Health Systems, Gresham Smith and Regions.

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