Middle Tennessee has grown dramatically since we first published an In Charge list in 2010. New companies — homegrown and relocated — have brought to town new leaders of all stripes and our list has evolved and matured accordingly. This year’s collection of business, political and civic leaders numbers about 500 and represents Middle Tennessee’s cream of the crop — people who are “in charge” and giving their best to make this region the best it can be. We thank our friends and colleagues at the Scene and Nfocus for their help creating it.
Lewis Agnew — President, Chas. Hawkins Co.: Named co-leader of long-time firm in October 2016, teaming with chairman Bill Hawkins. Received the 2016 NAIOP Developing Leader Award for Middle Tennessee.
Allen Arender — Director of Development, Holladay Properties: Has helped Indianapolis-based Holladay create Nashville market presence. Now focused on Donelson Plaza shopping center adaptive reuse project, to feature a public library and expected to be finished by year’s end.
Charles Robert Bone — President and CEO, Bone McAllester Norton: Serves as Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency board chairman. Provides legal counsel to San Diego-based Southwest Value Partners, which is undertaking Nashville Yards at former LifeWay campus in CBD and is led by Cary Mack.
Doug Brandon — Managing Principal, Cushman & Wakefield: CRE industry veteran who oversees daily operations of entity that merged with DTZ in 2015. Previously worked at Smith Barney. Joined Cushman in 2006.
Ben Brewer — President, Elmington Capital Group: Teams with Cary Rosenblum (CEO) to lead company that will soon complete apartment building Twelfth & Wedgewood in Edgehill and mixed-used Belcourt Village in Hillsboro Village. Prepping for massive mixed-used project in Edgehill.
Sean Buck — VP, Office Leader, JE Dunn: With local office of Kansas City-based builder since 2003, climbing the ladder ever since. Now working with his sixth title in 16 years. Elevated from group manager role in late 2019.
Jim Caden — Developer and Investor: Gentlemanly industry veteran who has helped lead the evolution of M Street in The Gulch. Part of investor group that sold for $11.5 million a key parcel in The Gulch in August 2019.
Wood Caldwell — Principal, Southeast Venture: The de facto face of company with multiple stars. Kept SEV focused in 2019 with the death of colleague Randy Parham. Serves with Cam Sorenson in SEV’s development services division. Company progressing with Silo Bend project in The Nations.
Bo Campbell — Partner, Real Estate Industry Co-Chair, Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis: Has been involved in several first-time transactions or development deals in Tennessee, including the redevelopment of the former Nashville Convention Center site with the $400 million mixed-use Fifth + Broadway project.
Hunter Connelly — CEO, Village Real Estate Services: Named to role in January 2019 and teams with Principal Broker Zach Goodyear. Previously worked as co-founder with Aaron White at Evergreen Real Estate. Firm merged with Parks in early 2020 but will keep its brand.
Darden Copeland — Managing Director, Calvert Street Group: Leads 2009-founded public affairs firm focused on managing grassroots political campaigns. Works within commercial, retail, industrial and residential real estate sectors via his historic Berger Building downtown.
David Creed — President, Creed Investment: Finished in late 2018 tasteful update of downtown’s The Pilcher Building. Eyeing 2020 start on 20-story mixed-use building Moore in Midtown. Works closely with Stan Snipes, founder of Snipes Properties and a former XMi stalwart.
Roy Dale — CEO, Dale & Associates: Offers 30-plus years of experience in planning, zoning, development and construction management. Teams with right-hand-man Michael Garrigan to lead company involved in countless local projects.
Mark Deutschmann — Chairman Emeritus, Village Real Estate Services: Sold majority interest in Village, which he started in 1996, in January 2019. Oversees Core Development, known for Werthan Mills Lofts and its multiple projects in Wedgewood-Houston.
Sheila Dial-Barton — Principal, EOA Architects: Now the face of firm long led by the respected Gary Everton. Has been with company since August 1997.
Tim Downey — CEO, Southern Land: Leads company known for its mixed-use Vertis Green Hills. SLC sold its 3601 Market, a mixed-use high-rise located in Philadelphia, in August 2018 for $140 million and, in 2014, sold its Elliston 23 for a then-record $287,000 per unit.
Ryan Doyle — GM, oneC1TY: Now in seventh year of leading development of mixed-use oneC1TY, which saw the $80.6M sale of apartment building The Shay in 2019. Broke ground in early 2019 on long-planned hotel to be operated by Marriott.
John Eakin — Chairman, Eakin Partners: Oversees with Barry Smith company that has developed mixed-use mid-rises Roundabout Plaza, SunTrust Plaza and 1201 Demonbreun. Will complete this year nine-story mixed-use building in Rolling Mill Hill.
John Eldridge III — President, E3 Construction: Continues focus on Clifton Avenue and surrounding streets of McKissack Park (which he calls City Heights). Started in 2018 work on Connect at City Heights, to offer office, retail and restaurant space and, potentially, a small grocery store.
Pat Emery — CEO, Hall Emery: Founder of Spectrum | Emery teamed with Fred Hall to create company in late 2017. Company paid about $11 million for Music Row site in 2019 and is now underway with office structure. Nearby stands company’s 18th & Chet office building.
Gina Emmanuel — Principal, Centric Architecture: Teams with Jim Thompson, Justin Lowe and David Plummer to guide forward-thinking design firm. Board member of Catholic Charities of Tennessee.
Meg Epstein — Founder, CA South Development: Working on multiple projects, including those in Edgehill and in North Capitol. Has background in developing sites with luxury homes in San Francisco area.
Bill Freeman — Co-Founder, Freeman Webb Companies: Oversees company with about 450 employees and about 15,000 apartment units and 1 million square feet of commercial property under management in four states. Owns Post parent company FW Publishing.
Gary Gaston — Executive Director, Nashville Civic Design Center: Principal contributor to “The Plan of Nashville.” A TEDx Nashville Fellow who oversees nonprofit that celebrates 20 years of operations this year.
Tony Giarratana — Principal, Giarratana Nashville: Skyscraper advocate who has developed downtown sites on which rise five towers of 200 feet or taller, including the 550-foot-tall 505. Company seeks skyscraper at 900 Church St, which it acquired in 2019 for $6.7 million from the YMCA.
Jimmy Granbery — CEO, H.G. Hill Realty: Has overseen urban infill projects in 12South, Five Points, Green Hills, Hillsboro Village and Sylvan Heights. Though a member of the city’s old school development community, has earned praise for using progressive design and planning concepts. Focused on Publix-anchored project for East Nashville.
John Gromos — Vice President and GM, Turner Construction: Has been with local office of NYC-based Turner since 2004. Company has built, among others, Bridgestone Arena, Hill Center Brentwood, Tennessee State Museum and vertical addition to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.
Chad Grout — Founder and Principal Broker, Urban Grout Commercial Real Estate: Oversees East Nashville-based boutique company focused strictly on marketing and selling properties located no more than three miles from city’s epicenter.
Hayne Hamilton — Nashville Office Senior Development Manager, Panattoni Development: Teams with brother Whitfield on development of Music Row-area sites, including office buildings on 16th Avenue (home to SESAC) and on Music Circle South. Prepping to start work on green-friendly Row office building that required move of Bobby’s Idle Hour.
Kim Hartley Hawkins — Co-Founding Principal, Hawkins Partners: Teams with husband Gary Hawkins to lead influential land planning and landscape architecture firm. Company is contributing to massive Nashville Yards project.
William Hastings — Principal, Hastings Architecture Associates: Teams with David Bailey and David Powell to drive firm designing Asurion building in North Gulch for Highwoods and MCC Roundabout-area tower 805 Lea for New Orleans developer.
Michael Hayes — President and CEO, C.B. Ragland: Pro-community industry official now fully underway in SoBro on Hyatt Centric hotel for ex-Listening Room site. Completed with Hines the mixed-use 222 2nd in SoBro.
Jeff Haynes — Founder, Boyle Nashville: Oversees firm working with Northwestern Mutual and Northwood Ravin to develop Capitol View sites in North Gulch. Teams with Thomas McDaniel, Boyle’s director of office properties.
Ray Hensler — Principal, Hensler Development Group: Known for $80 million, 23-story Gulch luxury condo tower Twelve Twelve. His Adelicia in Midtown ranks among city’s most attractive residential buildings. Eyeing 2020 start on Rolling Mill Hill residential tower.
Bob Higgins — President and CEO, Barge Design Solutions: Has served in current roles since 2009. Joined Barge in 1996 as an intern following graduation from the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering.
Kelly Knight Hodges — Market Vice President, Corporate + Urban Design, Gresham Smith: During her roughly 19 years at Gresham Smith, has worked with Jackson National, the State of Tennessee, Ramsey Solutions and Schneider Electric.
Jason Holwerda — Partner, Brokerage Services, Foundry Commercial: Coordinated the 2018 purchase of brokerage business of OakPoint Real Estate’s Nashville office. With that deal, industry veteran Rick Helton joined Foundry, giving company a strong one-two punch.
Tom Hooper — Managing Director, JLL: Teams with co-Managing Director Bo Tyler to oversee national power’s Nashville office. Oversaw in 2019 the Nashville office’s addition of property management and retail brokerage services. Also last year, JLL’s capital markets unit added industry veteran Tarek El Gammal (from SEV) as senior vice president.
Bill Hostettler — Principal Broker, HND Realty; Chief Manager, Craighead Development: Affable old-school industry veteran (about 39 years in the business) focused on developing reasonably priced condos and townhomes.
Michael Kenner — Owner, MiKeN Development: Focused on the city’s once-primarily working class west side. Known for mixed-use The Phoenix and residential project Treaty Oaks, both in The Nations. Now focused on work in Charlotte Park.
Stephen Kulinski — Managing Director, CBRE: Assumed current role in 2015 after 31-year career as an architect, most recently with Gresham Smith. Has served as president of local NAIOP chapter. Known for having insider info.
Derek Lisle — Co-Partner, Cottingham Capital Partners: Partners with Michael Young at locally based company focused on Salemtown and Germantown.
Rob Lowe — Senior Managing Director, Cushman & Wakefield: With company for almost 23 years. Has participated in more than $1 billion in investment sales and handled more than $1 billion of leases while representing tenants and more than three million square feet of Class A office space for landlords. Works closely with Ronnie Wenzler, Cushman executive director.
Bert Mathews — President, The Mathews Company: Community leader drives development, acquisitions, financing and institutional/investor relations for The Mathews Company. Also a partner with Nashville office of Colliers International. Teaming with Seattle-based Eagle Rock Ventures on WeHo micro-housing project.
Steve Massey — Executive Vice President, CBRE: Joined company in 1985 and quickly established expertise as multi-family properties specialist in investment field. Has been involved in deals with properties representing more than $6 billion in collective value.
Bruce McNeilage — CEO and Co-Founder, Kinloch Partners and Harpeth Development: Has garnered local headlines the past few years for his work in South Inglewood (Solo East), Williamson County (Fairview Station) and in the Crooked Creek and the Derryberry Estates subdivisions on the Maury County side of Spring Hill.
Janet Miller — CEO and Market Leader, Colliers International | Nashville: Former Nashville Area Chamber ECD leader who moved to Colliers in July 2014. Firm is strongly involved with Nashville Yards.
Todd Robinson — President, ESa: Veteran health care building designer who joined the firm in 1981 and in 2018 was named to The College of Fellows of The American Institute of Architects. Works in tandem with Chairman Dick Miller, who has been with the firm since 1967.
Lee Mollette — Founder, Mollette Investment Services: Prepping to begin work on seven-story condominium building Contralto at Midtown intersection of 15th Avenue North and Church Street.
Bob Nichols — President and CEO, Ragan-Smith Associates: One of city’s most esteemed manmade environment industry officials, having joined Ragan-Smith in 1979. Vanderbilt grad volunteers for YMCA of Middle Tennessee.
Al Pramuk — Chairman and CEO, Gresham Smith: Firm (which changed named in 2018 from Gresham Smith & Partners) is architect-of-record for Fifth + Broadway and contributing strongly to Nashville Yards.
Brian Reames — Senior VP and Regional Manager, Highwoods Properties: Steers company that developed SoBro site on which sits 30-story Bridgestone Americas Tower. Is now focused on developing North Gulch site with building to house Asurion.
Ben Rooke — Regional Vice President, Brasfield & Gorrie: Started career at Brasfield & Gorrie in March 2000. In current role since July 2018.
Mary Roskilly — Principal, Tuck-Hinton Architects: Partners with Co-Principals Chuck Miller and Joshua Hughes to oversee one of city’s most established architecture companies. Firm moved in 2018 to May Hosiery Co-Op in Wedgewood-Houston from SoBro.
Mike Shmerling — Chairman and CEO, Clearbrook Holdings: Opened with Tony Giarratana Pearl Street Apartments in 2017, with the two friends also having partnered to develop 1818 Church. Works closely with Henry Menge, managing director and principal broker with Clearbrook (formerly known as XMi Holdings) sister operation FifthGen.
Barry Smith — Co-Founder and President, Eakin Partners: Combines with John Eakin to form experienced duo. Former executive VP and principal of now-defunct Grubb & Ellis/Centennial Inc. Company developing Rolling Mill Hill site with Eakin Plaza, slated to open this year.
Fleming Smith — Principal, Smith Gee Studio: Teams with fellow principals Hunter Gee, Dallas Caudle and Greg Tidwell at architecture firm focused on boutique projects in The Nations, Germantown and Wedgewood-Houston.
Warren Smith III — CEO, Avison Young: Ex-Cushman & Wakefield | Cornerstone CEO leads local office of Canadian-based heavyweight. Former partner and president of Mid-South Financial Corp. and ex-president and CEO of Q10 | Vista Mortgage Group.
Tim Stowell — Managing Member, Corporate Real Estate Advisors: Tenant representative who is effective in assessing CRE numbers and spotting trends. Focuses on lease deals.
Lizabeth Theiss — Business Development Director, DPR Construction: Joined company in mid-2019 after having served in a similar role with Crain Construction, which she joined in 2004. Skilled at marketing, media relations and business development.
George Tomlin — President and CEO, GBT: Drives Brentwood-based now focused on developing urban Nashville sites with mixed-use large-scale buildings to supplement its owning/leasing of big-box suburban retail buildings. Company plans to start work this year on towers downtown and off West End.
McClain Towery — President, Towery Development: Has experience with projects located in or near 12South, Edgehill Village, The Nations and East Nashville.
Jay Turner — Managing Director, MarketStreet Enterprises: Teams with Joe Barker and Dirk Melton to lead company focused on The Gulch. MarketStreet will finish office building Three Thirty Three this year.
James Weaver — Partner, Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis: Influential player in shepherding urban development projects through Metro Planning and fundraising for Democratic political candidates. Representing Chicago-based Monroe Investments related to its planned River North development.
Tom White — Partner, Tune Entrekin & White: Veteran attorney whom opponents concede is likable and fair. With colleague Shawn Henry makes for an effective combo related to land-use legal work. Co-founded firm in 1978.
D.J. Wootson — Principal, Titus Young Real Estate: Focused on North Nashville work. His 1821 Jefferson mixed-use building offers 18 apartments and retail.
Manuel Zeitlin — Owner, Manuel Zeitlin Architects: Oversees boutique design firm whose 21st century aesthetic (seen at, for example, Chelsea and the TAR Building) typically is either strongly embraced or not. Announced in late 2019 firm is employee-owned by 11 other partners. Retained 60 percent ownership.
Lee Zoller — Principal, Division Street Development: Commercial real estate industry veteran founded company in mid-2017. DSD is focused on boutique projects and is aligned with Gulch office of Toronto-based Avison Young.