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. Paul Ballard —CEO, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Nashville and Davidson County: MTA head since 2002 and linchpin of local and regional public transportation efforts, including the drive to institute The Amp bus rapid transit system connecting the city’s east and west sides. Also manages the Music City Star commuter rail line.
2. Ed Cole — Executive Director, Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee: Affable mass transit expert who has commendably represented the pro-Amp coalition with his respectful tone and reasonableness toward the anti-bus rapid transit folks. Previously served as the chief of environment and planning for the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
3. Randy Curran — CEO, OHL: Joined OHL in 2011 with background that included leading global, high-growth companies. Previously served as board chair of RDA Holdings, a $1.8 billion media company and operator of Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. OHL provides supply chain management solutions related to transportation, warehousing and export consulting services.
4. Sherry Stewart Deutschmann — Founder and CEO, LetterLogic: Leads what the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce annually lists among Middle Tennessee’s 50 fastest growing companies. Publicly acknowledges with no discomfort she holds her employees in equal regard to her clients. Considered one of the city’s most innovative and progressive company leaders.
5. Carl Haley Jr. — President and CEO, Grand Avenue: Ex-health care industry exec oversaw the August 2013 sale to Gray Line of Tennessee of Grand Avenue’s motor coach and mini bus division. Serves now as Gray Line chief revenue officer and on the company’s board while still CEO of Grand Avenue and its livery business.
6. Dave Huneryager — CEO, Tennessee Trucking Association: Unassuming leader of independent nonprofit group that was founded in 1930 as the Tennessee Motor Truck Association. Does strong work despite lacking a large staff and wide-ranging resources.
7. David Ingram — Chairman and President, Ingram Entertainment Holdings: Owns and operates (independent of his well-known family) the nation’s largest distributor of DVD software. Privately held company is also a major distributor of audiobooks, video games and related products. Company operates 15 sales and distribution centers.
8. Orrin Ingram — President and CEO, Ingram Industries: Leads holding company that includes barge business Ingram Marine and publishing services company Ingram Content. Vanderbilt grad known for his work with university’s board of trust. Prominent civic advocate and volunteer, including as chair of Nashville Area Chamber’s Education 2020 committee.
9. John Schroer — Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Transportation: Former Franklin mayor succeeded Gerald Nicely in 2011 as head of Tennessee’s highways, aviation, public transit, waterways and railroads. Has served the Middle Tennessee Metropolitan Planning and Organization as a committee member and the Regional Transit Authority as treasurer.
10. Michael Skipper — Executive Director, Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization: The numbers/details man behind region’s push to expand mass transit. Works with various government and private-sector leaders throughout Middle Tennessee. MPO’s executive board last December OK’d $4 million in spending for proposed bus rapid transit system The Amp, while releasing a map illustrating transit-planning elements over the near-, mid-, and long-term.
11. Rob Wigington — President and CEO, Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority: Oversees operation of Nashville International and John C. Tune airports. Has expanded markets to and from which BNA carriers serve. MNAA released last December a report showing its two airports contribute more than $3.5 billion in economic impact on Middle Tennessee.