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. Lee Beaman — President, Beaman Automotive Group: Auto magnate owns six-dealership chain that includes a valuable Broadway property he has spent several years upgrading. A long-standing source of substantial political donations for Republican candidates and, therefore, a power broker in statewide GOP circles. Also a major voice of AMP opponents.
2. Ed Braswell — President and CEO, edo Interactive: Founded company that helps retailers offer special deals to customers via bank cards in 2007.Previously was president and CEO of LINK2GOV Corp.
3. Bob Dennis — Chairman, President and CEO, Genesco: Former McKinsey consultant who succeeded company legend Hal Pennington in 2008. Director of Teavana Holdings, Inc., who serves on Metro Nashville’s United Way Board of Directors and the Vanderbilt University Owen School of Management Board of Visitors.
4. Rick Dreiling — Chairman, President and CEO, Dollar General: Former Duane Reade CEO recruited by private-equity titan Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in early 2008 to succeed David Perdue. Opened 10,000th store in March 2012. Named CEO of the Year by trade magazine Supermarket News in 2012.
5. Carrie and Matt Eddmenson — Owners, Imogene + Willie: Business partners, and married couple, who have been a major part of the post-2000 12South transformation with the growth of their boutique denim business. In 2013, moved operations to Marathon Village while maintaining retail space in 12South.
6. Susan Gorney — President, Gorney Realty: Major leasing force for Gulch buildings. Secured Bar Louie, Barry’s Bootcamp, Kocktails & Kouture, Subway, Rumours Wine Bar and Lucchese. Previously served as leasing agent for the Hill Center in Green Hills.
7. Tasha Kennard — Executive Director, Nashville Farmers’ Market: Assumed role in January 2014. Worked with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee for eight years, most recently serving as vice president of marketing and communications. Former marketing manager at Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. and public relations and government relations specialist at The Ingram Group.
8. David Meadows — General Manager, CoolSprings Galleria: Has worked with Chattanooga-based CBL & Associates, which owns the CoolSprings Galleria, since 2006. Notable store openings at the mall in the past two years have included Apple, Ann Taylor, J. Crew, White House | Black Market, The Laurel Leaf, The Art of Shaving and Starbucks.
9. Jad Murphy — General Manager, Opry Mills Mall: Oversees facility highlighted by 17 anchors and about 200 stores, many of them outlets of popular retailers. Owned by Simon Property Group, the mall spans 1.2 million square feet.
10. Ann Patchett — Author, Co-Owner, Parnassus Books Nashville: New York Timesbestselling author and co-owner, with Karen Hayes, of the diminutive Green Hills bookstore. Former recipient of Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, the Orange Prize, the BookSense Book of the Year and the PEN/Faulkner Awards. Her This Is the Story of a Happy Marriagewas released in 2013.
11. Greg Sandfort — President and CEO, Tractor Supply: Took the helm as leader of the Brentwood-based company on Jan. 1, 2013, succeeding James Wright. Company stock has gained 62.5 percent in value from mid-January 2013 to mid-January of this year.
12. Kimberly Savona — General Manager, The Mall at Green Hills: Assumed the post in February 2013. Had spent the past 24 years with Michigan-based Taubman Centers, which owns and/or operates over two dozen high-end shopping centers across the country, including The Mall at Green Hills, which it purchased in 2011.
13. Todd Vasos — COO, Dollar General: Responsible for store operations, merchandising and supply chain. Most recently served Dollar General as EVP and chief merchandising officer. Joined the Goodlettsville-based retail operator in December 2008.