As is our annual tradition, the Post team presents In Charge, a compendium of Middle Tennessee’s top business, political and civic leaders. The 450-plus women and men on our list — our fifth annual — make a positive impact not just on their individual sectors, but on the city in general. These folks are the best of the best — and always “in charge.”
1. Don Abel — President, Tennessee, Fifth Third Bank: Leads superregional power that ranks eighth in local deposits and last summer opened first Chattanooga lending outpost. Inked successful Nashville Predators partnership and in 2013 recruited private and commercial banking execs — although some came after the loss of some key lenders to other local players.
2. Vic Alexander — Chief Manager, KraftCPAs: Leader since 1993 of big hometown accounting and advisory group. Firm has bolstered strong health care and IT consulting practices as well as other divisions and been winner of numerous Accounting Today best-firm-to-work-for awards.
3. Sam Belk — Regional Vice President, Wells Fargo Bank: Launched Wells’ regional operations in 2005 and now oversees business banking groups in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas. Bank last year added Lane Rhodes to lead SBA push and funded construction of Gulch Crossing office building.
4. Mike Blackburn — Managing Partner, Petra Capital: Former Richland Ventures partner and co-founder of regional VC player that last year wrapped up funding of $230 million third fund and backed ambitious new home health venture. Third fund’s investments also include WellNow Urgent Care and Salveo Specialty Pharmacy.
5. Dennis Bottorff — Managing General Partner, Council Capital: One of Nashville’s senior statesmen of finance. Former First American CEO founded Council in 2000 and in 2009 helped launch TNInvestco fund. Member since 1990 of Vanderbilt Board of Trust and chairman of CapStar Bank.
6. Andrew Byrd — Founder and President, TVV Capital: Veteran of old-school middle-market private equity focused on manufacturing companies — think tooling gear, tractors and mixing machinery. Was with local mainstay GenCap America before launching TVV in ’97. Is raising capital for third fund, aiming for $100 million.
7. Crom Carmichael — Venture capitalist, Carmichael & Carmichael: One of region’s most accomplished early-stage investors and advisors. In recent years, has helped build Capital Confirmation, ConsensusPoint and Dataium. Former local political commentator also is CEO of dietary supplements marketer Nashai Biotech.
8. Sid Chambless — Executive Director, Nashville Capital Network: Key player in area’s investment scene via hub that links dozens of angel investors to early-stage opportunities. Sidecar funds — a second launched in 2013 with $10 million — and TNInvestco entity have backed edo Interactive, Shareable Ink and Unity Physician Partners, among others.
9. Kent Cleaver — President and COO, Avenue Bank: Right-hand man to Avenue boss Ron Samuels was named president in April 2012. Has worked in Nashville banking for 30-plus years, leading commercial operations at Union Planters and Regions before helping launch Avenue in 2007.
10. Dan Crockett — Chairman, President and CEO, Franklin American Mortgage: Leads Franklin-based entity that is the 14th largest mortgage banker in the United States. Music City Bowl sponsor has more than 1,000 employees in six operations centers and 40 retail locations throughout the nation. Entreprenuer Center Hall of Fame Inductee in 2013.
11. Dell Crosslin — Shareholder & Managing Principal, Crosslin & Associates: Has built accounting and consulting firm’s presence since splitting with former partner Mike Vaden. Has worked with clients in numerous industries and in 2013 moved team to new Astoria building in Green Hills.
12. Greg Daily — CEO, Charge Payment: Builder of PMT Services and iPayment returned in late 2012 with First Avenue Partners-backed venture that has snapped up companies in Georgia and New York and now processes almost $2 billion of transactions annually. Eyeing other acquisitions in still-fractured industry.
13. Townes Duncan — Managing Partner, Solidus: Ex-Massey Burch partner who launched Solidus in 1997 and has become one of the region’s most prolific early-stage investors. Solidus’ ecosystem now includes a TNInvestco fund, several Jumpstart ventures, Seed Hatchery, Venture Incite and other resources.
14. Vic Gatto — Partner, Solidus Co.: Massey Burch alum who has become an important locus in city’s start-up scene. Has played point on development of JumpStart and Solidus’ TNInvestco fund. Tech Council board member who specializes in health care and tech deals.
15. Richard Herrington — President, Franklin Financial Network: Veteran bank leader who quickly led latest venture to consistent profitability and in November announced $38 million purchase of Murfreesboro’s MidSouth Bank. When completed, deal will put the bank on cusp of region’s top 10 for deposits.
16. Dan Hogan — COO, CapStar Bank: Former Fifth Third regional chairman who joined downtown-based CapStar in late 2012 after consulting for several months during American Security acquisition. Brings big-bank know-how to management team with ambitions of regional growth and public listing of stock.
17. Chris Holmes — President and CEO, FirstBank: Added CEO title year ago after 2012 promotion from chief banking officer. Has beefed up FirstBank’s bench strength and added suburban branches. Big focus area in 2013 was mortgage lending, with top execs from West Tennessee and Alabama relocating to Cool Springs hub.
18. Matt King — Managing Partner, Clayton Associates: Runs investment process for Clayton’s funds and has been lead investor on about 20 deals, including 2013 investment in North Carolina-based Clinical Ink. Came to venture capital after career in banking and office products. Clayton has now invested in nine companies from fifth fund.
19. Mark Mattson — Chief Credit Officer, CapStar Bank: Key lieutenant to CEO Claire Tucker who oversaw integration of American Security Bank & Trust portfolio and has brought on senior lenders in several areas to counter rise in loan paydowns. Previously served as a managing director at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.
20. Rob McCabe — Chairman, Pinnacle Financial Partners: Co-founder with Terry Turner of Nashville’s largest homegrown bank. Spent two decades rising in the Knoxville banking scene. Has played key role over years in company’s successful recruitment of experienced bankers from range of regional rivals, which has resulted in enviable steady loan growth.
21. Rob McNeilly — Chairman, President and CEO, SunTrust Bank: Oversees SunTrust’s retail, commercial and wealth and investment management business in Nashville area, including the company’s significant Music Row operations. Previously area executive VP and commercial banking line of business manager for SunTrust.
22. Clayton McWhorter —Chairman Emeritus, Clayton Associates: One of Nashville’s financial titans and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center’s first chairman. Co-founded VC firm in 1996 and also created LifeTrust America. Has been part of leadership teams at Columbia/HCA, HealthTrust, Ingram Industries and CCA, among others.
23. Stuart McWhorter — President, Clayton Associates: Helped found firm in 1996 after working at Tenet and helping found OrthoLink. Chairman and CEO of Medical Reimbursements of America and chairman for Censis Technologies. Clayton has managed four funds that have invested more than $125 million in about 100 Southeastern companies.
24. David Morgan — Founder and Co-Managing Partner, Lattimore Black Morgan & Cain: More public half of duo (with Mike Cain) that leads region’s largest CPA and advisory firm. Works with family-owned businesses and heads up firm’s family office practice. Was named in 2008 by Accounting Today as one of 100 most influential people in industry.
25. Bill Nigh, President and CEO, The Bank of Nashville: Named in 2010 to take over from Hunter Atkins. Came to town from sister bank Trust One in Memphis and has added several respected execs to core team — most recently a private banking chief. Plans to relocate team of 60 to regional HQ in under-construction Gulch Crossing.
26. Doyle Rippee — President, Middle Tennessee Region, First Tennessee Bank: Senior commercial banker who was recruited by First Tennessee in early 2009 to build that book in Davidson County. Previously ran corporate banking at Regions/Morgan Keegan and was Tennessee president for Bank of America from 1997 to 2000.
27. Ron Samuels — Chairman and CEO, Avenue Bank: One of Nashville’s most tenured bankers who ran regional operations of First Union, Union Planters and Regions before assembling investor group that launched Avenue in 2007. Has led Avenue to more than $900 million in assets and last year launched medical/professional group with SunTrust alums.
28. Jim Schmitz — Area Executive for Middle Tennessee, Regions Bank: Leads Nashville operations for Regions, which last year lost top spot in area deposits market share rankings. Relocated regional HQ to One Nashville Place in mid-2013. Named to position in 2007, the year the bank merged with AmSouth in a $10 billion deal.
29. Pat Shepherd — CEO, Avondale Partners: Runs Nashville-headquartered national investment banking firm that he co-founded in 2001 and that services private and public middle-market companies as well as institutional investors in North America and the United Kingdom. Former J.C. Bradford & Co. stalwart.
30. Ronnie Smith — President, Mid-America Region, Regions Financial: Joined Regions in 1981 but arrived in Nashville in 2012. Oversees banking operations in the Mid-America region, which includes Middle and West Tennessee. A member of the company’s operating committee.
31. John Stein — Tennessee President, Bank of America: Oversees BofA’s state network of retail branches as well as Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust offices. Top health care executive in BofA system who also has helped bank maintain local deposit market share post-recession, which last year led to No. 1 ranking as Regions retreated.
32. Claire Tucker — President and CEO, CapStar Bank: Co-founded CapStar in 2007 with backing from members of Frist and Turner families. Grew organically until 2012 purchase of American Security Bank & Trust and early this year moved into mortgages with purchase of Farmington Financial. CapStar passed $1 billion asset mark in late 2012.
33. Terry Turner — President and CEO, Pinnacle Financial Partners: Co-founder of largest Nashville-based bank, which now has $5.4 billion in assets. Former retail and investment division leader at First American who is eyeing M&A opportunities while overseeing organic growth push that has brought in $700 million in less than two years.
34. Phoebe Venable — President and COO, CapWealth Advisors: Joined CapWealth in March 2011 from SunTrust’s GenSpring family-office division. Named president a year ago and now oversees $600 million and about a dozen people in Cool Springs. Also helped in late 2013 launch CapWealth venture that markets investment reporting tools.
35. Ward Wilson — Regional President, U.S. Bank: Has maintained regional deposit market share for country’s No. 6 bank around 3.5 percent and relocated area HQ to AT&T Building. U.S. Bank has Midstate’s third-largest branch network with 53 locations.
36. Tom Wylly — Senior Partner, Brentwood Capital Advisors: Has been part of more than $6 billion worth of financings and M&A deals, specializing in health care and information technology transactions. Former co-head of corporate finance department at J.C. Bradford who has been key figure in growth of Nashville Capital Network.