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. David Bohan — Chairman and CEO, Bohan Advertising: Company has more than 20 years of experience with offices in Nashville and Knoxville. Client list includes, among others, Dollar General, Jos. A Bank and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee.
2. Jeff Bradford — President and CEO, The Bradford Group: Former Nashville Bannerreporter who has worked in advertising and PR since 1985. Firm represents local leaders in real estate, law and hospitality. Among the youngest individuals ever inducted into Leadership Nashville, which he joined in 1991.
3. Jeffrey Buntin Jr. — President and CEO, The Buntin Group: Leads Tennessee’s largest communications agency. Landed in 2012 heavy-hitters Brookdale and Kirkland’s. Firm has annualized billings of $140 million. Clients have included Burger King, John Deere, Goodyear and Bass Pro Shops.
4. Beth Seigenthaler Courtney — Chairman and CEO, Seigenthaler Public Relations: A member of the nationally respected Seigenthaler clan, whose firm has added to visibility over the last decade through work with Regions Bank and other area financial players as well as the high-profile Grand Avenue livery service.
5. David Fox and Mike Pigott — Partner and Founding Partner/Senior Counsel, McNeely Pigott & Fox: Fox has been with MP&F for more than 20 years. A former reporter in Memphis and Nashville who served as a VP at Atkinson PR before joining MP&F. Pigott made his reputation as a bulldog investigative reporter and senior political writer for the now-defunct Nashville Banner. Knows Metro and state government like few others.
6. Keel Hunt — President and Founder, The Strategy Group: Politics and media veteran who has consulted some of Tennessee’s largest institutions, including HCA, Pilot, Ingram Industries and BellSouth. His book Coup: The Day the Democrats Ousted Their Governor, Put Republican Lamar Alexander in Office Early, and Stopped a Pardon Scandaloutlines the Ray Blanton scandal.
7. Aileen Katcher — Founder, Katcher Strategic Communications: PR pro with more than 30 years of experience. Helped dissolve with partners Katcher Vaughn & Bailey last year. Plans to remain highly visible.
8. Jeff Lipscomb — President and Co-Owner, GS&F: Oversees Green Hills-based advertising agency that bills about $50 million annually. Firm now employs almost 70 people. GS&F developed the Preds’ successful Smashville campaign.
9. Paula Lovell — Chairman and CEO, Lovell Communications: Dropped president title last year, naming Rosemary Plorin to the position. Past chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and a former journalist who offers a strong understanding of the local health care and media industries. Has garnered numerous awards.
10. Arnie Malham — President, cj Advertising: Serial entrepreneur founded nation’s largest full-service ad and marketing agency geared toward personal injury lawyers. Other portfolio companies under his umbrella include call center venture Legal Intake Professionals and Med View Services, which helps injury lawyers screen malpractice cases.
11. Hannah Paramore — President, Paramore Digital: Quintessential early adopter of digital business. Started consulting businesses on Internet presence in 2002. Marketing firm relocated to the central business district from The Gulch last year after opening a branch office in West Virginia in August 2012.
12. John Van Mol – CEO, Dye Van Mol & Lawrence: Firm’s clients have included Psychiatric Solutions and Prison Health Services. Former director of information at the Tennessee Valley Authority. Wide-reaching community service includes current board seats with the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee and the Nashville Downtown Partnership.
13. Deborah Varallo — President, Varallo Public Relations: Energetic marketing and PR expert who always wields a camera. Network links the region’s corporate, community and nonprofit arenas throughout the South. Client lists ranges from financial firms to real estate service companies and numerous charitable organizations.