Nashville Zoo announces new members to board of directors

Nashville Zoo and Zoo Board Chairwoman Julie W. Walker have announced the addition of six new members to the Board of Directors. The Zoo’s new additions to the board of directors include: 

Clara L. Belden serves as the co-founder of The Happy Hour, a service that makes it approachable and convenient for people to seek mental wellness services, including talk-therapy and holistic coaching. She has held leadership roles in Marketing and PR for companies ranging from Equestrian Sport Productions, a mid-size sporting event production company, to multi-billion-dollar corporation Mars Inc. Belden represents Tennessee on the National Committee for Performing Arts for The Kennedy Center, is the volunteer chair of the Associate Board for Gilda’s Club of Middle Tennessee (an affiliate of the Cancer Support Community), and is a member of the Top Tails Society at the Nashville Humane Association.

Mike Bracken practices law in Nashville. He received a BA in Economics & Philosophy from Vanderbilt University and obtained a JD at Tulane University Law School. Bracken worked as an analyst at Merrill Lynch for two years and then moved on to work as an attorney with Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, one of the oldest law firms in Tennessee.

Beth Courtney serves as the managing partner for DVL Seigenthaler, Finn Partners Nashville, TN. Her career began at Hill, Holliday, Connors and Cosmopulos Advertising and Public Relations (Boston), followed by a stint at Projection Public Relations in London. She joined Seigenthaler Public Relations, Inc. in 1987, which is today DVL Seigenthaler. Courtney holds membership with the Academy of Women of Achievement by the Nashville YWCA; she was also awarded the Hercules Award by the Nashville Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and has been named Most Admired CEO and Woman of Influence by the Nashville Business Journal.

Jimmy Granbery is a fourth-generation family member of the 123-year-old H.G. Hill Company and serves as the company’s fourth chief executive officer. He was named CEO in 2002 following nine years as vice president of development for H.G. Hill Realty, taking the helm three years after the company exited the grocery business in 1999. He oversees the company’s privately held real estate portfolio that includes more than two million square feet. Granbery’s community involvement includes serving on the board of the YMCA of Middle Tennessee (chair, 2015-2017) and serving on the Martin Methodist College Board as vice chair. He is also the founding director of the ACE mentoring program.

Allie Hall serves as the leasing associate at Hall Emery in Nashville and is responsible for leasing and marketing of Hall Emery’s Nashville office, which includes properties in Cool Springs and Midtown Nashville. Formerly, she was the associate director of investor relations at Hall Capital in Oklahoma City, OK, where she assisted in marketing and fundraising efforts for the firm’s private equity and real estate funds. She is a developing leader of the NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association and a director at Fred Jones Family Foundation.

Karen Moore serves as the president of Project Redesign, a Nashville-based nonprofit that furnishes low-income housing. She founded this company in 2008. Formerly, Moore was the marketing assistant at Martha White Division of Beatrice Food Company and a sales representative for the Robert J. Young Company. After graduating from the University of Mississippi with her Bachelor’s degree, Moore has founded the Global Leadership Circle, which funds study abroad stipends for Ole Miss students and assisted with many fundraisers through the Ole Miss Alumni Group of Middle Tennessee.

Sandra Morgan serves as the senior vice president of Provider Relations at HCA. Her responsibilities include providing leadership and oversight for HCA’s national Physician & Provider Relations and Transfer Centers programs. Morgan has 19 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. She began her career as a sales specialist with Bayer Corporation. In addition to her professional accomplishments, Morgan has served as chair of the St. Louis Diabetes Coalition Consumer Group and has been a member of the American Heart Association Heart Walk Executive Committee. Morgan has also served on the boards of The Hope Fund and You Have The Power organizations.

Dr. Tim Schoettle is certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery. He has continuously practiced neurosurgery with the Howell Allen Clinic since 1985. Over that time, he has been recognized with many awards from his peers and from his patients. Schoettle has been listed as one of Nashville’s Top 100 Doctors in Nashville Magazine, every year since 2006. Since 2004, he has been selected as one of America’s Top Surgeons by Consumer’s Research Council of America every year. He has also earned the peer-selected recognition of America’s Top Surgeons through Castle Connolly, every year since 2006. Schoettle received the Vitals’ Patient’s Choice Doctor Award, as well as the Most Compassionate Doctor Award, from 2012 to 2018. He has also served as a past president of the Tennessee Neurosurgical Society and a past president of the Vanderbilt Meacham NIS Society.

Alexandra Sollberger serves as principal at Stones River Group where she specializes in media training and engagement, crisis communications, message and content development as well as grassroots coalition building. Most recently, Sollberger was a vice president at a top-ranked, bipartisan public relations and lobbying firm in Washington, D.C., where she provided strategic counsel to a variety of clients. Previously, Sollberger served as a communications director for the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, where she worked as the senior adviser to Chairman John Kline. She also worked closely with Republican leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives, helping to revitalize digital media efforts, design award-winning congressional websites and direct the creative use of social media and infographics.

Monique Odom, director of Metro Parks and Recreation, and Alex Sadler, Roar Corps young professionals group representative, both serve on the Board as ex-officio members.  Young Leaders Council interns for 2019 are David Banks and Jane Cousins.

The new officers of the board include Jimmy Webb, Vice-Chairman; David Manning, Secretary; Ed Goodrich, Treasurer; Julie W. Walker, remains as Chairman.

In addition to newly appointed members, Nashville Zoo’s Board of Directors includes Cynthia Arnholt, Samantha Boyd, Drew Crawford, Lauren Curry, Anne Davis, Laurie Eskind, Will Fitzgibbon, Lily Followill, Ed Goodrich, J.R. Greene, Barbara Hagood, Carl Haley, Jr., Chris Holmes, John Howard, Kent Kirby, John Lueken, David Manning, Alex Marks, Tara Scarlett, Brian Smallwood, Butch Spyridon, Barbara Turner, McArthur VanOsdale, Julie W. Walker, Jimmy Webb and Kimberly Williams-Paisley.

The Zoo has also comprised a group of Advisory Directors that includes former board members and longtime supporters that will serve as advisors to the Board Chairman and Zoo President and CEO, Rick Schwartz.

The Advisory Directors are George Armistead III, Kelley Beaman, Lee Beaman, Kathryn Carell Brown, Renee Chevalier, Neely Coble III, Kelly Crockett Crook, Missy Eason, Jennifer Frist, Rodes Hart, Jim Hunt, Sarah Ingram, Jeff Jacobs, Tom Loventhal, Ellen Martin, Frank McGrew, Richard McRae, Larry Papel, Anne Parsons, Robin Patton, Sheryl Rogers, Charles Sonnenberg, Renata Soto, Richard Speer and Abby Trotter.

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