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. Allen Arender — Director of Development, Holladay Properties: Has helped Indianapolis-based Holladay create a presence in the Nashville market. Worked with Cassidy Turley’s Ronnie Wenzler on the BowTruss Building in North Capitol. Now working on The Sheds on Charlotte.
2. Doug Brandon — Regional Managing Principal, Cassidy Turley: Straight-shooting veteran of the CRE trade who oversees strategic and day-to-day operations of Middle Tennessee’s largest full-service commercial real estate office. Once worked within the financial services industry.
3. Joe Cain — Director, Urban Development Department, Metro Development and Housing Agency: Oversees an MDHA department focused on Nashville’s downtown core and the city’s various redevelopment districts. His role at the agency assumes added significance given MDHA Executive Director Jim Harbison was only recently hired.
4. Wood Caldwell — Principal, Southeast Venture: Serves as co-principal with Cam Sorenson of Southeast Venture’s Development Services Division. Southeast teamed with H.G. Hill Realty to develop 12South Flats. Has emerged the past few years as a spokesman, of sorts, regarding Nashville’s built environment. SV is designing Hill’s Hill Center Sylvan Heights.
5. Mark Deutschmann — Founder, Village Real Estate Services: Started Village in 1996, focusing on then-latent condos and older neighborhoods in Nashville’s inner loop. Oversees Core Development, best known for its Werthan Lofts and green developments such as Gale Park and The Chesterfield. Sits on numerous sustainability and New Urbanism boards and operates Village Fund.
6. Tim Downey — CEO, Southern Land: Founded Southern Land in Chattanooga. Company known for its new urbanism Westhaven development in Franklin is now focused on urban projects, including the recently completed Elliston 23 and a mixed-used development proposed for Green Hills that has drawn neighborhood concern due to its 16-story height.
7. John Eakin — Chairman, Eakin Partners: Has developed more than 3.6 million square feet of office product, including Roundabout Plaza and SunTrust Plaza. Oversees with the always-gentlemanly Barry Smith a company that was busy in 2013, paying $51.5 million for four buildings in Grassmere Office Park and starting work on the AmSurg building in Burton Hills.
8. Pat Emery — President, Spectrum|Emery: Cool Springs visionary left Crescent Resources and formed Spectrum Properties/Emery in 2010. Main focus is now Franklin Park, a 71-acre, multi-building mixed-use development in Cool Springs, and a massive mixed-use building to replace downtown’s 1980s-era Nashville Convention Center.
9. Richard Fleming — Principal, Cushman Wakefield Cornerstone: Gentlemanly commercial real estate industry veteran who has overseen more than 1,500 transactions. Is a key member of the team leading leasing at The Pinnacle at Symphony Place.
10. Tom Frye — Managing Director, CBRE: Runs one of the city’s largest CRE offices and, though research reports and letters, is one of the strongest local industry voices. Has extensive experience with construction and financing of various commercial real estate product types.
11. Ed Fulcher — President, Fulcher Investment Properties: Teaming with Parkes Development to reinvent the historic Melrose Theater site in Berry Hill/Melrose. A long-time Nashvillian (and Belmont University grad) who is focused on the transformation of the Eighth Avenue South Corridor.
12. Gary Gaston — Design Director, Nashville Civic Design Center: Mastermind behind numerous high-profile NCDC projects that have helped spur private development. Principal contributor to The Plan of Nashvillewho also serves as a lecturer with the University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design. Studied urban design in Krakow, Poland.
13. Tony Giarratana — Principal, Giarratana Development: Nashville’s “Skyscraper King” has developed three high-rises of 250 feet or taller and has numerous towers planned. A master of urban development and deal-making who also serves as Premier Parking co-owner with Ryan Chapman. Currently developing 21 Elliston.
14. Jimmy Granbery — CEO, H.G. Hill Realty: Mastermind behind the venerable real estate firm founded by a grocer. Hill has transitioned from suburban-oriented development to contemporary urban infill, including projects in 12South (12South Flats) and Hillsboro Village. The company’s Hill Center in Green Hills is a fixture.
15. Nate Greene — Managing Partner, Colliers International Nashville: Veteran brokerage executive who steered former NAI Mathews firm through 2010 switch to Colliers flag as part of a broader shift in affiliations among local firms. Has more than 38 years of industry experience that includes the formation in 1988 of NAI Taylor-Vaughn-Greene.
16. Michael Hayes — President and CEO, C.B. Ragland Co.: Ranks among city’s most vocal advocates of progressive urban development. Spearheaded the landing of Asurion to Ragland’s SoBro building. Serves on Metro School Board and is known for his ready accessibility.
17. Jeff Haynes — Founder, Boyle Nashville: Oversees firm with transactions exceeding $100 million in aggregate value and more than 1 million square feet office. Currently working with Northwestern Mutual to develop major North Gulch tract.
18. Ray Hensler — Principal, Hensler Development Group: High-energy developer is about one year into developing an $80 million, 23-story Gulch luxury condo tower with Stiles Corp. His Adelicia in Midtown ranks among the city’s most attractive tall buildings.
19. Todd Jackovich — Principal, Stonehenge Real Estate Group: Oversees a company that has already finished or started in urban Nashville five multi-unit residential projects, with a sixth on the way. Is respected for developing in a timely and efficient manner.
20. Adam Leibowitz — Principal, Double A Development: Has overseen the development of residential projects in North Capitol and Salemtown. His East Nashville Self Storage operates from a retrofitted structure. Has started on apartment building Amplify on Main, to be located on the city’s east side.
21. Rob Lowe — Senior Managing Director and Principal, Cassidy Turley: Has participated in $338 million in investment sales. Also has transacted more than $636 million of leases while representing tenants and more than 3 million square feet of Class A office space for landlords. Serves on Cassidy Turley board.
22. Steve Massey — Executive Vice President, CBRE: Joined CBRE in 1985 and quickly established his expertise as a specialist of multi-family properties in the investment field. Has successfully handled multi-housing investment properties and portfolios in various markets with total value exceeding $3 billion.
23. Bert Mathews — President, The Mathews Company: Respected community leader oversees development, acquisitions, financing and institutional/investor relations of all real estate marketing activities for both The Mathews Company’s portfolio and third-party properties, representing more than 2.5 million square feet.
24. Thomas McDaniel — Director of Office Properties, Boyle Nashville: Oversees Nashville-area office portfolio that includes more than 1 million square feet of existing space and another 3.5 million square feet in the planning and development stages. Handles Boyle’s leasing, acquisition, development and tenant representation activities for office properties. Teaches part-time at Vanderbilt.
25. Dirk Melton — Development Director, MarketStreet Enterprises: Former Washington, D.C., CRE pro has emerged as the face of MarketStreet’s Gulch development efforts. Stayed busy in 2013 with the company’s completion of Pine Street Flats and start of Gulch Crossing. Earns high praise for being sharp yet down to earth.
26. Ashlyn Hines Meneguzzi — Co-Founder and Principal, Bristol Development Group: Arguably the most powerful woman in the male-dominated local commercial real estate sector. Started Bristol in the late 1990s with Sam Yeager and Dan Daniel. Company is working on Tapestry Brentwood Town Center and is hoping to develop condos in Ovation development planned for Cool Springs.
27. Henry Menge — Managing Director and Principal Broker, XMi Commercial Real Estate: Leads a firm known for its Midtown and Medical District work. XMi most recently has been involved in, among others, a key tract related to Ascend Federal Credit Union and the site home to a former fast food joint on West End Avenue, which is now an AT&T store.
28. Robert Oglesby — Commissioner, Tennessee Department of General Services. Appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam last August. Former state architect who made his reputation at Everton Oglesby Architect (now EOA). General Services, among other tasks, oversees the state’s real estate holdings.
29. Brian Reames — Senior Vice President and Regional Manager, Highwoods Properties: Oversees a portfolio of more than 3 million square feet for the Nashville division and 1 million square feet in Greenville, S.C. Past Nashville chapter president of NAIOP.
30. Rob Schaedle — President, Chartwell Hospitality: Leads a company poised to make a major impact, with work underway on Courtyard by Marriott in Green Hills and a Hilton Garden Inn that will overlook SoBro at Third Avenue and Korean Veterans Boulevard.
31. Mike Shmerling — Chairman and CEO, XMi Holdings Inc.: Unassuming entrepreneur oversees regional empire active in finance, real estate and other industries. Has chaired or chairs Choice Food Group, HealthConnect America and SelectAir, among others. Understands Midtown real estate like few others.
32. Stan Snipes — Senior Advisor, Sperry Van Ness Investec: Left XMi Commercial Real Estate as president and principal broker last year to help upstart SVN, a national power, establish a stronger local presence. His notable projects include the redevelopment of the 100-year-old Duck Head manufacturing building into Midtown Millworks, which is home to the Oasis Center.
33. Jay Turner — Managing Director, MarketStreet Enterprises: Has helpedtransform the once-desolate Gulch into one of the city’s most vibrant mixed-use districts. Sticking to the master plan, MarketStreet has managed to attract hip retailers and added a rental market.
34. James Weaver — Partner, Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis: Major player in urban development projects and fundraising for Democratic political candidates. Under-the-radar attorney/lobbyist is often cast as a fixer for projects in uneasy seas.
35. Jimmy Webb — President and Co-Founder, Freeman Webb Companies: Oversees with long-time friend Bill Freeman a real estate powerhouse. Freeman Webb, one of Nashville’s fastest growing private companies, has approximately 475 employees and manages more than 15,000 apartment units and 1 million square feet in multiple states.
36. Ronnie Wenzler — Senior Vice President and Principal, Cassidy Turley: Known for his work with the Sawtooth Building and BowTruss Building projects. Now teaming with Allen Arender, director of development with Holladay Properties,on The Sheds on Charlotte.
37. Axson West — Principal, Southeast Venture: Joined Southeast Venture in 1988 and built a reputation as a site analyst and land transaction specialist, representing both buyers and sellers. Represented Saint Thomas Health Services in securing locations for its ambulatory care network throughout Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky.
38. Aaron White — Principal and Co-Founder, Evergreen Real Estate: A co-founder of Core Development who later started Evergreen with Hunter Connelly. Company’s most recent urban projects are the completed Hillsboro Row and the soon-to-start conversion to a neo-modernist condominium building of a two-story 1960s-era apartment house located in the Melrose/Eighth Avenue South district.
39. Tom White — Partner, Tune Entrekin & White: A go-to attorney on land-use matters. His work last year to achieve a compromise between the Metro Planning Department and McDonald’s officials yielded a tasteful development at Broadway and 12th Avenue. A long-time city dweller who understands quality place-making more than his critics realize.
40. Glenn Wilson — Founder and CEO, SouthStar: Teams with Glenn McGehee, president and principal, to lead Cool Springs company that paid $25 million for the coveted 145-acre Pickering property, the largest undeveloped tract on I-65 in Williamson County. Plans upscale mixed-use development with multifamily component to be called Ovation.