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Hedge fund declares 5% Delek stake

Investment vehicles affiliated with New York-based Millennium Management have filed papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission saying they have built up their stake in Delek US Holdings, the Brentwood-based oil refiner and marketer. Millennium's managers now control 5.2 percent of Delek US' 59.4 million shares, which are changing hands this morning at about $28.10 (Ticker: DK) and are down almost 20 percent this year. Millennium is the second hedge fund manager in the past month to declare a large stake in Delek. In early July, Steadfast Capital Management said it owned 6.2 percent of Delek.

Aug 1, 2014 10:33 AM

Nissan sales climb 11% in July

Helped by a record month for the all-electric Leaf and strong numbers from its popular Versa and Sentra models, Nissan saw July U.S. sales clock in at 121,452 units. That was an increase of 11.4 percent from the number from the same month the year before and a July record. But it was short of the 14 percent analysts had expected.

Aug 1, 2014 8:53 AM

Chamber, YP name '14 NELA winners

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and YP Nashville on Thursday night unveiled the winners of their 2014 Nashville Emerging Leader Awards. Without further ado, they are:


• Architecture, Engineering & Construction: Alan Hayes, senior associate at Thomas Miller & Partners — Hayes focuses on health care and medical office projects and served as the project architect, prime designer and construction administrator on the $51 million patient tower addition and burn center renovation at Doctors Hospital, a Georgia HCA facility. Hayes serves as board president of ACE Mentor Program of Greater Nashville, an organization that mentors high school students in architecture, construction and engineering, and is on the advisory board of the Academy of Science and Engineering at Stratford High School.

• Arts, Entertainment & Music: Jeff Syracuse, manager of licensing operations at Broadcast Music Inc. — Syracuse helps develop new e-commerce applications and provides user support. He has been an employee of BMI for more than 15 years, starting part-time before being hired full-time after graduating from Middle Tennessee State University. He also represents BMI as an active board member of The Blues Foundation.

• Business Services: Kevin Mahoney, budget director at the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation — Mahoney is responsible for preparation and administration of a $387 million annual budget. Previously, he has served as an accountant for multiple state agencies as well as a financial analyst for Saint Thomas Health, where he developed a user-friendly crosswalk tool for Ascension Health’s planned conversion of more than 70 health systems nationwide.

• Community Service & Nonprofit: Eric Pittel, administrative manager at Vanderbilt University Medical Center — Pittel provides budgetary oversight of all Type I Diabetes TrailNet events and programs, including the Vanderbilt Affiliate Network. He was recognized for his exceptional performance with the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Credo Award in 2013. In 2011, he was appointed director of Vanderbilt Diabetes Family Day Executive Committee to bring together patients, their families and inspiring guests to share insights gained from lives lived well with diabetes.

• Education: Jennifer Berry, academy coach at Stratford STEM Magnet High School — Berry serves as a liaison between faculty and business partners to support the Stratford STEM Magnet School’s learning community as an academy coach. Before coming to Stratford, Berry worked on education policy in Sen. Bernie Sanders’ office on an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship, highlighting her research on the impact of No Child Left Behind and teacher efficacy.

• Environment & Sustainability: Miranda Christy, attorney at Stites & Harbison — Christy handles a range of conservation transactions, including conservation easements and battlefield preservations. She provided legal counsel for the Land Trust for Tennessee and The Nature Conservancy to preserve some of the state’s most precious open spaces, including the largest land protection transaction in Tennessee since the formation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

• Financial Services: John Crosslin, managing audit principal at Crosslin & Associates — Crosslin is responsible for the overall health and growth of the audit department. During his tenure, he has contributed to growing the business by more than 325 percent and helped the firm triple in size. For the last five years, he has worked with an international aid organization to retain compliance with federal and donor requirements to ensure funding and direct aid is given to those who need it most.

• Government and Public Affairs: Emily Mitchell, senior community and economic development manager at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's Nashville branch — Mitchell works with banks, nonprofits and government agencies to develop programs that promote asset building, affordable housing, small business, job creation and other community development initiatives. Mitchell has been instrumental in overseeing a two-year comprehensive project to develop national green building criteria for affordable housing development, which several states and cities have adopted.

• Hospitality & Tourism: Jeni Lind Brinkman, regional director for external affairs at the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation — Brinkman is responsible for outreach to department stakeholders, including local and other government agencies, the regulated community, public interest groups and citizens. She works to promote and support the Tennessee state park system in the Upper Cumberland to increase visitation and partnerships. While serving on the board for the Wilson County Health Council, Brinkman spearheaded Move Across Wilson, a program to combat the obesity rate of Wilson County residents by promoting an increase in overall physical activity and healthier living.

• Human Resources: Jessika Leigh Poirier, partner, recruiter and business development at Vaco — Poirier assesses employer needs, recruits candidates to fill those needs and builds a client base to increase talent options. She was promoted to partner this year. Shortly before her three-year anniversary with the company, she was recognized for being the No. 2 producer nationwide in the staff division. She is on the board of YMCA Maryland Farms, is a member of the Junior League of Nashville and an alumna of Young Leaders Council.

• Legal Services: Mary Taylor Gallagher, member at Gullett Sanford Robinson & Martin — Gallagher is a trial lawyer in Gullett's litigation and labor and employment departments. In addition to general business litigation, Gallagher focuses her practice on defending employers in the railroad, transportation and health care industries. For her work in railroad law, she was appointed as the first female member of the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel Legislative Committee, where she also served as a teacher for their Trial College.

• Medical & Health Care Services: Dr. Carmen B. April, owner and podiatrist at The Foot and Ankle Healthcare Center — April specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of foot and ankle disorders. She started her medical practice at only 30 years old and grew the patient base to 800 new patients in her first 16 months in practice. She is a frequent speaker at health fairs across Nashville and a passionate educator within the community about basic health care for common foot and ankle problems. She created a philanthropic program, Knock Your Socks Off Back-to-School Sock Drive, which has provided more than 2,300 pairs of socks for Nashville children and youth in need.

• PR, Advertising & Marketing: Kearstin Patterson, director of communications and design at HCA Holdings — Patterson leads a team whose members are responsible for the strategic direction and delivery of internal and external communications for IT&S, HCA’s largest corporate division. In her previous role at BioMimetic Therapeutics, Patterson played an integral role in managing the communications, investor, analyst and investment bank relations activity for the company's initial public offering. She is the current president of the Steeplechase Iroquois Alliance and serves on the board and marketing committee for Safe Haven Family Shelter.

• Real Estate Services: Alexander Brandau IV, owner of Alexander Brandau Real Estate Partners at Keller Williams Realty — Brandau has been the owner and lead Realtor for his group since 2006; he has retained 75 percent of his clients compared to the national average of 6 percent. As a 13-year member of the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors, Brandau has won the Gold Award of Excellence four times and has served as a chair for many committees. He is an alumnus of Young Leaders Council and a member of the Phoenix Club of Nashville and Nashville Sports Leagues.

• Technology: Jeff Ker, director of programs at ForceX Inc. — Ker provides program vision and strategic direction for program management across three Department of Defense programs valued at $11.2 million. In this position, Ker has increased the company’s scope of work and value of three contracts by $1 million in less than one year. He served two tours in Iraq as an air mission commander, where he led more than 150 combat missions and flew more than 300 combat hours, without losing any of his soldiers in combat.

Aug 1, 2014 7:16 AM

Cigna-HealthSpring closes on MetroCenter office lease

Cigna-HealthSpring announced the company has signed a 10-year lease for an approximately 51,500-square-foot office building in MetroCenter.

The Medicare Advantage insurer confirmed earlier this month it was considering consolidating its Cool Springs workforce with its existing MetroCenter office space. The company already operates out of two Great Circle Road buildings totaling 175,000 square feet, where the majority of Cigna-HealthSpring's regional workforce is located. About 200 employees are housed in the Cool Springs-based Carothers Building, in which Cigna-HealthSpring's lease will expire in December.

The new lease is for the Corners I office building located at 601 Mainstream Drive in MetroCenter.

Aug 1, 2014 7:00 AM

Permit issued for One Hundred Oaks-area project

Gallatin-based real estate investment firm Green & Little LP has secured a permit related to its project planned for a light industrial site located at 2926 Kraft Drive east of Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks. The permit is valued at $1.3 million, with Crain Construction to serve as general contractor.


Aug 1, 2014 6:45 AM

Summer lull: Area job growth slips back below 3%

June's job growth numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics didn't deliver great news. The 2.8 percent increase from mid-2013 is absolutely nothing to sneeze at, but it is the lowest number since December. Notable drivers of the slowdown were the information and finance sectors, which are both clearly shrinking, as well as manufacturing, which grew at less than half its Q1 average.

On the flip side, construction, professional services and hospitality employers continue to chug along. But getting back above 3 percent and staying there until we get to 2015 will require other sectors to play a healthier role.


Jul 31, 2014 2:10 PM

NES board taps Mendes, Paz-Bernstein

The Nashville Electric Service Electric Power Board announced today the appointment of local attorney Robert J. Mendes as chair and restaurateur Irma Paz-Bernstein as vice chair.

An attorney at Frost Brown Todd, LLC, Mendes concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial litigation, business bankruptcy and business transactions. He has served on the NES board since 2011 and served on NES’s audit and ethics committee for two years.

Mendes attended the University of Chicago Law School after receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Illinois in 1988.

A native of Guadalajara, Mexico, Paz-Bernstein is co-owner of Nashville-based Las Paletas Gourmet Popsicles. She graduated with a communications science degree from Univa in Guadalajara before attending the University of California at Los Angeles to finish her education. She was a television producer for nine years before relocating to Nashville.

Paz-Bernstein has served on the NES Electric Power Board since 2013.

NES’s five-member board is appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the Metro Council to serve five-year staggered terms without pay.

Jul 31, 2014 1:00 PM

Marathon Village-based distillery lands permit

The owners of Nelson's Green Brier Distillery have landed a permit for continued construction at their bourbon production facility at 1414 Clinton St. in Marathon Village.

Tandem Construction will handle the work for what the permit, valued at $602,000, notes is office and retail space.

"It was our sincere conviction, that we bring the family whiskey business back to life and we have been fortunate that many who appreciate bourbon have welcomed our product into their homes, restaurants and bars in the past several years, said Andy Nelson, co proprietor of the company with brother Charlie Nelson. “Now we have the opportunity for the public to see the fruits of our labor in Nashville."


(Photo credit courtesy of Nelson's Green Brier Distillery)

(Andy Nelson, left; Charlie Nelson, right)

Jul 31, 2014 12:15 PM

Compass EMP to launch fourth ETF

Compass EMP officials announced today the company will launch on Friday an exchange-traded fund that targets small-cap stocks with low-volatility profiles. 

To be called the Compass EMP U.S. Discovery 500 Enhanced Volatility Weighted Fund and created by Compass EMP, the fund is the Brentwood-based investment management firm's fourth. It will focus on small-cap companies with consistent positive earnings (at least for their four most recent quarters) and weighted based on the volatility of each stock, according to a regulatory filing. Stocks with lower volatility receive a higher weighting, and stocks with higher volatility receive a lower weighting.

The fund offers an annual expense ratio of 0.68 percent, or $68 for every $10,000 invested. Its launch was made public via Nasdaq electronic notification.

Compass earlier this month launched its first three funds — all volatility-targeting securities in the “smart beta” category. (Read more here.)

Jul 31, 2014 11:43 AM

Brookdale wraps up Emeritus buy

Brookdale Senior Living has put a bow on its acquisition of rival Emeritus, a nearly $3 billion deal that creates a company with more than 1,100 properties in 46 states. As part of the purchase, Emeritus President and CEO Granger Cobb, pictured here, has joined the board of Brentwood-based Brookdale.

SEE ALSO: Brookdale inks Emeritus purchase deal from back in February

Jul 31, 2014 9:48 AM