FYI: Business News and Notes

APPOINTMENTS, PROMOTIONS.Ben Leedle Jr.—named president of American Healthways Inc., a Nashville-based disease management company, replacing Rich Rakowski. Leedle previously served as


Ben Leedle Jr.—named president of American Healthways Inc., a Nashville-based disease management company, replacing Rich Rakowski. Leedle previously served as the company’s chief operating officer.

Emma Jo Kauffman—named senior director of investor relations for Goodlettsville-based discount retailer Dollar General Corp. She most recently served in a similar role with AutoZone Inc., based in Memphis.

Hugh Lombardi—named senior vice president, general manager and chief operating officer of Gaylord Entertainment Center (GEC). As such, he will manage and direct day-to-day operations of the one million-square-foot multi-purpose facility for Powers Management. Lombardi previously worked in Michigan where he handled concert bookings for the Palace of Auburn Hills and several other venues. He replaces longtime GEC GM Russ Simons, who resigned in March.

Christine McCarthy—named executive director of the Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity. She previously served as a senior vice president and chief financial officer for Nashville’s Werthan Packaging Inc.

Todd Smith—named director of communications at FISI-Madison Financial in Franklin. Smith previously served in a variety of public relations roles with Gaylord Entertainment Company


Bone Law PLLC—changed the practice’s name to Bone McAllister Norton PLLC to reflect names of partners Mike Norton and Sam McAllister who joined the firm in April and May, respectively. The pair joined firm founder Charles Bone from Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs. Bone headed Wyatt, Tarrant’s Nashville office until late last year. Other former Wyatt, Tarrant attorneys recently added to Bone McAllister’s payroll include: William “Paz” Haynes III, Evan Gower and Charles M. Walker.

Hall, Booth, Smith & Stover—tapped local music attorney Derek Crownover to open the firm’s new Nashville office. Crownover is charged with growing the Atlanta-based firm’s entertainment practice and will be joined by relocating Hall Booth partner, Karl Braun. The firm also has offices in Tifton, Brunswick and Albany, Ga.

Stokes Bartholomew Evans & Petree—named Albert Bart a principal in its Nashville office. Bart practices in the firm’s corporate and securities law group, focusing on corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and the representation of public and private companies. He joined Stokes Bartholomew in 1996.

Trauger, Ney & Tuke— announced that partner Bob Tuke has been elected president of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys. Tuke, an adoption expert, helped draft the complete revision of Tennessee’s adoption code. He is the first Tennessean to head the 13-year-old association.


Codigent Solutions Group Inc—sold a 53% stake in the privately held Franklin-based company to First Consulting Group Inc. (FCGI) of Long Beach, Calif. Under terms of the deal, FCGI paid $5 million in cash for a majority stake, with a 2004 earn-out provision that could pay Codigent Chief Executive Tim Unger and other minority shareholders another $5 million in First Consulting shares. Codigent provides software programming and IT consulting to the health care industry. It services more than 400 hospitals across the nation and reported 2001 revenue of about $5 million.

Ernst & Young—recently acquired the Nashville and Chattanooga offices of rival accounting firm Arthur Andersen. In Nashville, Ernst & Young said that it planned to keep about 65 tax and audit professionals. This number includes some administrative and support staff and represents less than half of the employees who worked in Andersen’s Nashville office. With the acquisition of Andersen’s significantly smaller Chattanooga office, Ernst & Young will employ more than 45 tax and audit professionals there.

Travelink—acquired Avanti Travel of Bristol, Penn., near Philadelphia. The purchase follows a pair of local acquisitions earlier this year (First Discount Travel and Cruise Time) by the 8-year-old, Nashville-based travel agency. Avanti has about 21 employees and reported $16 million in sales last year.

The Brown Schools—completed the “last of several important assets sales” for the company in June with the divestiture of Cumberland Hospital in Virginia, according to Chief Executive Marguerite Sallee. Ardent Health Services, a Nashville-based operator of behavioral hospitals in 11 states, purchased the 84-bed facility. Sallee said the sale of non-core assets will allow The Brown Schools to focus on its core business of providing education and therapeutic services for troubled adolescents, as well as strengthen its balance sheet. The company, which also is headquartered in Nashville, sold three other facilities in 2001.


CBRL Group Inc. —announced a third quarter profit increase of 40% over last year. The Lebanon, Tenn.-based company announced net income of $20.6 million, on revenue of $505.1 million, for the quarter ending May 3. This compares with net income of $14.6 million, on revenue of $468 million, for the same period last year. CBRL Group is the parent company of Cracker Barrel and Logan’s Roadhouse restaurants.

Corrections Corporation of America—announced in late May that it had been awarded a much-anticipated contract to house some 1,500 criminal alien inmates in the Federal Bureau of Prisons system. The three-year agreement could generate up to $109 million in revenue for CCA over the life of the agreement. CCA will house the inmates at its idle McRae Correctional Facility in Georgia.

Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. —began trading on NASDAQ’s small-cap market in late May under the symbol (PNFP). Pinnacle Financial, the parent company of Nashville-based Pinnacle Financial Bank, previously traded on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board. Pinnacle president and CEO Terry Turner, said the NASDAQ listing will “provide broader visibility for our stock and increased liquidity for our shareholders.” The company has roughly $192 million in assets.

Province Healthcare—switched its stock from NASDAQ to the New York Stock Exchange in June. The company’s new ticker symbol is (PRV).

ShoLodge Inc.—announced a first quarter loss of $903,000, or 18 cents a share, for the three-month period ended April 21. This compares with a first quarter gain of $1.6 million, or 26 cents a share, for the same period last year. The Hendersonville-based hotel franchiser cited smaller profit margins from the sale of assets and a decline in same-store hotel revenue for the loss. ShoLodge is the franchiser of 70 Shoney’s Inns and Suites. After completing the acquisition of the franchise rights of GuestHouse Inns, all of the company’s properties will be branded under the GuestHouse name.


Coldwell Banker Commercial—confirmed in May that it is trying to establish a Nashville affiliate. The firm has been scouting the Nashville market for several months now, meeting with local firms and individuals. Its interest here comes as parent company Cendant Corp. tries to revive and expand the once-dormant Coldwell Banker Commercial brand. The firm recently established offices in Birmingham and Huntsville. Successfully opening offices in Nashville and Atlanta should give Coldwell Banker Commercial a strong regional presence.

EP Real Estate Fund—purchased Burton Hills I and II office buildings from Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers for an undisclosed sum. Located in Green Hills, the two high-profile buildings total about 220,000 square feet of Class A office space. EP Real Estate Fund is headed by John Eakin, chairman of Eakin Properties, which is the fund’s general partner. Cornerstone Real Estate is an affiliate of MassMutual Insurance Co. The transaction is among the latest in which local investors have taken control of Nashville-area commercial properties from out-of-state funds.

K&M Enterprises—sold its 120,000-square-foot office building at 330 Commerce Street (formerly the J.C. Bradford & Co. building) to locally based Ferrari Partners for an undisclosed sum. K&M, a real estate partnership that includes Walter and Bill Knestrick, Steve Massey and Doug McDowell, purchased the property and three other buildings in October 2000 for $13.3 million. All have since been sold. County Music Television is the primary tenant in the 330 Commerce Street building.

Woodland Studios—purchased by Nashville songwriters and musicians Gillian Welch and David Rawlings for an undisclosed sum. The famed recording studio, a longtime favorite among county and bluegrass legends, is located in the Five Points area of East Nashville. It totals more than 11,000 square feet and has been vacant for more than a year. Welch and Rawlings say they plan to use the site to house their own label, Acony Records.