2021 In Charge – Finance

Each year, our In Charge list brings together business, political and civic leaders from all corners of the Middle Tennessee landscape. This year's list is our 12th iteration and features roughly 500 people driving change across the region. We thank our friends and colleagues at the Scene and Nfocus for their help in creating it.


Vic Alexander — Chief Manager, KraftCPAs: Joined one of the region’s largest accounting and advisory firms in 1982 and was named its leader in 1993. Advisor to businesses in a wide range of industries who was, among other things, president of the Nashville City Club board and treasurer of the Center for Nonprofit Management board.

DeVan Ard — Chairman, President and CEO, Reliant Bancorp: Has built Brentwood-based bank via M&A (Community First in 2018 and Community Bank & Trust and First Advantage in 2020) and organically in Murfreesboro and Chattanooga. This year also focusing on cost savings and digital projects.

Sam Bennett — Office Managing Partner, KPMG: Last year took over Big Four firm’s local office from James Powell and now also oversees firm’s Knoxville group. Moved to Tennessee in 2004 and specializes in working with clients in the consumer, retail and industrial manufacturing sectors.

Seth Bernstein — President and CEO, AllianceBernstein: Has led asset management firm since 2017 after spending more than three decades at JPMorgan Chase. Team will eventually hire 1,250 for Fifth + Broadway headquarters.

Denny Bottorff — Chairman, CapStar Financial: Former First American CEO who helped organize CapStar in late 2000s and co-founded Council Capital. Has served on boards of Ingram Industries and Vanderbilt University, among others.

David Briggs — President, Fifth Third Bank (Tennessee): Longtime commercial banker who last year took over from Mickey McKay as the latter got called up to Cincinnati. Joined Fifth Third in 2018 after long stint at BofA followed by being market president of Capital.

Kate Burke — COO, AllianceBernstein: Former chief talent officer who was chosen in mid-2019 to take over operations from longtime exec Jim Gingrich. Joined AB in 2004 to be part of its institutional sales team.

Barney Byrd — President and CEO, Gen Cap America: Founded firm focused on smaller companies — revenues are typically between $10 million and $200 million — in 1998. Began investing from current $250 million fund in 2016.

Sid Chambless — Executive Director, Nashville Capital Network: Connects 100-plus investors with promising startups via four funds. In mid-2020 completed 50th investment; recent local success stories include XOi Technologies, JumpCrew and Groups360.

John Crosslin and Justin Crosslin — Co-Managing Principals, Crosslin: Jointly lead CPA firm (with Bryan White heading up IT services group) founded more than three decades ago. Combined, have three-plus decades of experience with firm.

Tony Detter — CEO, Asurion: Joined mobile device insurer and tech support giant in 2003 and was its chief commercial officer before taking top job. New headquarters near Nashville Yards that will consolidate four area offices is nearing completion.

Aaron Dorn — CEO, Studio Bank: Former U.S. Marine Corps officer and Avenue Bank exec who led team that raised $46 million in startup capital and opened its doors in 2018. Lender grew assets to $400 million and posted its first quarterly profit last year.

Jeff Drummonds — CEO, LBMC: Led LBMC’s tax group before taking top job in 2015. Has in recent years built out offerings with acquisitions of locals W Squared and Think Data Insights as well as Atlanta accounting software firm and North Carolina Microsoft system specialists.

Chase Gilbert — CEO, Built Technologies: Co-founded with Andrew and Scott Sohr construction loan management software firm that processes $40 billion-plus in loans annually. Investors include Goldman Sachs and Regions Bank and client base has grown to 120+ institutions and thousands of builders and contractors.

Parker Griffith — Southeastern Market Director, Robert W. Baird Private Wealth Management: Former Morgan Stanley branch manager who has led Baird’s area team since 2012. Has shown ambition by signing office lease at Broadwest and recruiting Columbia team from Morgan Stanley.

Tina Hodges — CEO and Chief Experience Officer, Advance Financial: Former nurse practitioner leads consumer lender that now employs about 1,100 and has more than $320 million in revenue. Has built online lending operations to nearly 20 states.

Michael Holley — Member, Bass Berry & Sims: Firm partner since 2013 who specializes in working with PE firms and other investors. Works with LFM Capital and American Physician Partners, among others, and advised Servpro on its recapitalization with Blackstone.

Chris Holmes — CEO, FB Financial: Has led FirstBank parent since 2013, overseeing loan growth, 2016 IPO and a number of acquisitions — including local rival Franklin Synergy Bank — that have grown asset base to more than $11 billion.

Denise Horvath — Market Director for Tennessee and Alabama, JPMorgan Chase: Leading ambitious retail growth push — most recent neighborhoods include downtown and Cool Springs — for country’s largest bank, which has in recent years also stood up area middle-market lending and private banking teams.

Gordon Inman — Director Emeritus, FirstBank: One of region’s most veteran bankers and entrepreneurs and a top revenue producer at FirstBank. Helped launch the former Franklin National Bank and was with Fifth Third, which bought Franklin National in 2004, until 2012.

Grant Jackson — Managing General Partner, Council Capital: Joined Green Hills-based firm in 2008 as a general partner and has been its leader since 2016. Last fall capped its fourth fund at $200 million.

Mike Johnson — President and Head of Corporate Banking, PNC Bank Tennessee: Veteran commercial lender who in early 2018 moved to Pittsburgh-based PNC after nearly 18 years at Wells Fargo’s local operations. Leads team based in SoBro and building out a retail network with offices downtown and in Franklin and Hendersonville.

Kevin Lavender — Executive Vice President and Head of Commercial Banking, Fifth Third Bancorp: Former state banking and finance commissioner who was named a Fifth Third EVP in 2016 and now also oversees the bank’s large corporate commercial verticals, capital markets, specialty lending and treasury management businesses.

Gaylon Lawrence — Owner, F&M Bank, Fourth Capital, Volunteer State Bank: Has deployed chunks of family wealth in Middle Tennessee’s banking sector since 2015, most recently rebranding former Tennessee Bank & Trust into Fourth Capital. Also owns 6%+ stake in CapStar.

Wanda Lyle — Managing Director and GM, UBS Nashville: Spearheaded Nashville expansion of global financial blue chip. Large downtown operations hub supporting various business units is now home to more than 1,500 people.

Joe Maxwell — Managing Partner, FINTOP Capital: Serial fintech entrepreneur and adviser who led and sold Investment Scorecard and Shareholder InSite, among others. Firm’s $50 million-plus fund has invested in locally based software developer Core10, among others.

Rob McCabe — Chairman, Pinnacle Financial Partners: Co-founder of Nashville’s largest homegrown bank and its Tennessee chairman since acquisition of BNC Bancorp in mid-2017. Built banking career in Knoxville and rose to vice chairman of former First American.

John McDearman — President and CEO, Wilson Bank & Trust: Took over top spot at $2.8 billion suburban powerhouse from co-founder Randall Clemons. Joined bank in 1998 and had been EVP from 2009 until becoming president two years ago.

Rob McNeilly — Tennessee Division CEO, Synovus Bank: Four-decade banking veteran who in 2017 moved to regional holding company after leading regional operations of SunTrust since 2005. Active in community through Leadership Nashville, YMCA, and other groups and is chairing 2021 United Way campaign.

Johnny Moore — President, Mid-West Tennessee, Truist Financial: Longtime leader of SunTrust’s Memphis team who was tapped in 2019 to run region for combined SunTrust-BB&T organization. Also oversees bank’s work with small and mid-sized companies.

Tyson Moore — Market President, Bank of America: Thirty-year Merrill Lynch veteran who was picked in early 2017 to succeed John Stein as leader of BofA’s 14-county regional franchise. Continues in Merrill market executive role he took on in summer of 2011.

Tim Pagliara — Chairman and CEO, CapWealth Advisors: Launched Cool Springs firm in early 2000 and has led growth to nearly $1.2 billion in assets for 600+ clients. Prominent voice on national debt and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac restitution issues.

Dawn Patrick — Nashville Managing Partner, Cherry Bekaert: Leads local efforts of firm that in late 2017 bought Frasier Dean & Howard. Leads Cherry Bekaert’s practice working with technology, health and life sciences and industrial firms.

Pepe Presley — Chairman, President and CEO, Cumberland Trust: Leads one of region’s biggest trust operations, which passed $3 billion under administration in 2018 and now employs more than 100. Formerly headed up personal trust services at SunTrust.

Jim Regnier — Managing Partner, BKD: Oversees Nashville and Bowling Green offices of national CPA and advisory firm, where he has spent more than 20 years. Specializes in tax and consulting work after transitioning from focus on audit, governance and regulatory issues.

Doug Rohleder — Office Managing Partner, Ernst & Young: Health care specialist who was named office leader in 2018 as Big Four firm’s team relocated to 222 2nd tower. Before that was firm’s assurance managing partner for Southeast region.

Ron Samuels — Vice Chairman, Pinnacle Financial Partners: Sold Avenue to Pinnacle in 2016 and has since helped lead the bank’s music and entertainment industry group. Always-around veteran of more than four decades in Nashville banking and community affairs.

Jim Schmitz — Nashville Market Leader, Elliott Davis: Longtime Regions Bank regional president who joined accounting and advisory firm in early 2019 to spearhead growth push. Active in community via United Way, Chamber and other groups.

Tim Schools — President and CEO, CapStar Financial: Former National Commerce Financial and South Financial Group exec who moved to town in 2019 to take over from founding CEO Claire Tucker. Has overseen several community bank purchases and stronger push into Knoxville.

Bill Spitz — Co-Founder and Principal, Diversified Trust: Firm he helped launch here in early 2009 now manages more than $6.5 billion for families, foundations, retirement plans and others. Was treasurer and vice chancellor of investments for Vanderbilt from 1985 to 2007.

Terry Turner — President and CEO, Pinnacle Financial Partners: Co-founder of largest bank based in Nashville, which has grown to $35 billion in assets in 12 markets. Has pushed into Atlanta and is eyeing market share growth in key former BNC markets such as Charlotte.

Bradford Vieira — Regional CEO, ServisFirst Bank Nashville: Led Alabama bank’s expansion into Tennessee in 2013 and has overseen steady growth to about $800 million in loans — nearly 10 percent of ServisFirst’s total portfolio.

John West — Office Managing Partner, Deloitte: Firm veteran of more than 20 years who was tapped last year to lead nearly 400-person Middle Tennessee team. Growth leader for the Nashville audit and assurance practice and lead recruiting partner for Tennessee.

Ward Wilson — Regional President, U.S. Bank: Joined nation’s No. 5 bank from First American in 2000 and has led its Middle Tennessee operations since 2005. Team has clung to No. 7 area market share spot, growing deposits to $2.3 billion.

Tom Wylly — Senior Partner, Brentwood Capital Advisors: Former Bradford partner who has been involved in more than $6 billion worth of deals and helped scale Acadia Healthcare and emids, among others. Key backer of Nashville Capital Network.

Carol Yochem — President, Middle Tennessee Region, First Horizon Bank: Veteran leader who took over Middle Tennessee team in 2014 and has more than doubled area loans and deposits.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.