Rutherford Chamber lands ECD director
The Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce has named a well-known area executive to be its new vice president of economic development.
Brian Hercules  has been president and CEO of the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties since 2009. He will fill the role held for the past seven years by Holly Sears, who will soon leave to lead the Montgomery County Business Development Corporation in Maryland. Hercules will transition into his new role during December and go full time Jan. 1.
Before leading United Way, Hercules spent almost three decades at United Cities Gas Company/Atmos Energy as a sales representative, town manager and sales manager for the company’s three-state Southeastern Region.
“Brian’s understanding of business development, from his 29 years with Atmos Energy, coupled with his broad-based knowledge of utilities and sites, make him a perfect fit for this position,” said Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce President Paul Latture. “In addition, having someone from our own community, who already has great working relationships with key business leaders, is an added bonus.”
Bass adds five associates
Bass Berry & Sims has added five associates to the firm’s downtown Nashville office, which is home to more than 200 attorneys.
The new hires (see photos here ) are as follows:
• Jennie Brooks, top left in our photo, has joined Bass’ corporate and securities practice. Brooks earned her law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law and received a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Tennessee at Martin.
• Stefanie Polauf Carter, top right, joins the health care practice. She also earned her law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law. She attended Vanderbilt University and received a B.S. in Human and Organizational Development.
• John Eason, center right, joins Bass’ litigation practice. He earned his J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School and a bachelor’s in government from Georgetown University. Before joining the firm, he served a one-year judicial clerkship with the Hon. Anita Brody on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
• Anna Gernert has joined Bass’ commercial practice, which focuses on real estate and financial transactions. She earned her law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law and also has a bachelor’s degree in risk management and insurance from the University of Georgia.
• Brad Hart has joined the corporate and securities practice. He earned his law degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law and received a bachelor’s in finance from the University of Kentucky.
Burr recruits Wyatt partner, two associates
Burr & Forman has added three attorneys (see photos here ) to its roster of Nashville-based lawyers, including one former partner at Wyatt Tarrant & Combs.
Brendi Kaplan, left in our photo, has joined Burr & Forman’s banking/real estate and health care practice groups. She had been with Wyatt for five years, having joined after that firm acquired Hollins & Associates. There, she worked with clients on various commercial transactions as well as in the area of public finance, serving as counsel to underwriters, trustees and governmental entities. On the health care side, she has represented hospitals, physician practices and other providers in corporate, regulatory and compliance matters.
Kaplan earned her undergraduate degree from Bradley University and her law degree from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. She is an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Middle Tennessee Chapter of Commercial Investment Real Estate Institute.
Also joining Burr are associates Thallen Brassel and Nina Kumar. Brassel, center in our photo, joins the firm’s tax law practice and was previously an associate with Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy in New York. She earned her undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and her law degree from Duke University School of Law.
Kumar will practice as an associate in the firm’s banking/real estate and health care groups. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland and her law degree from Vanderbilt University School of Law.
“These three new attorneys respond to the increased demand of local legal counsel that we are experiencing in Tennessee,” said Thomas Potter III, managing partner of Burr & Forman’s Nashville office. “Their experience and leadership in their respective industries complements our existing capabilities in Nashville. We are pleased to welcome them to the firm.”
Alive Hospice adds two administrators
Rutledge will oversee the day-to-day operations of three care facilities: Alive Hospice Residence Nashville, Alive Hospice at Saint Thomas Hospital and Alive Hospice at Skyline Madison Campus. The trio of facilities provides around-the-clock care for patients who require an acute level of hospice care.
“Having three inpatient facilities is one of the things that sets Alive Hospice apart in hospice care, and having a first-rate administrator of inpatient care is critical,” Anna-Gene O’Neal, Alive Hospice President and CEO, said in a release. “Darlene Rutledge possesses the knowledge, experience and skill necessary to maintain the standard of care that patients and families expect and deserve at Alive Hospice’s inpatient facilities.”
Rutledge most recently served as clinical manager of inpatient hospice for Duke HomeCare and Hospice and previously held various management roles at Hospice of Palm Beach County for more than 17 years.
Rutledge earned an associate’s degree in nursing from Indian River State College and is certified by the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium.
In her role as home care administrator, Baker will oversees the day-to-day operations of Alive Hospice’s clinical teams that provide in-home hospice care across 12 Middle Tennessee counties.
Baker previously served as clinical director of Alive Hospice’s Murfreesboro-based team of caregivers. A hospice veteran of more than 15 years, Baker also previously served as director of clinical services for the Memphis office of Aseracare Hospice, director of clinical services for Spring Valley Hospice (Olive Branch, Miss.) and director of education and quality improvement at Unity Hospice Care (Germantown, Tenn.).