Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock adds senior executive advisor
Rebecca Ayer , 12-year healthcare and communications veteran, has joined health care public affairs firm Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock as senior executive advisor.
Ayer most recently worked at global public relations agency Hill+Knowlton Strategies. There, she served as vice president and co-led an embedded corporate communications team at Tenet Healthcare, which in 2011 fought off a buyout bid from Franklin-based Community Health Systems.
Ayer also has spent time in Washington, D.C., serving in roles that included director of media affairs for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, director of communications for the Office of Public Health and Science, and in the White House managing health policy projects for First Lady Laura Bush.
Ayer began her work in health care as a public relations manager for Baptist Hospital in Nashville. She also carries experience as deputy political director for the 2002 Lamar Alexander for Senate campaign and worked in the office of Gov. Don Sundquist, as well as in community relations at Bank of America. Ayer earned her master’s degree in mass communications from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Tennessee.
Big Machine promotes GM to COO
Big Machine Label Group has announced the promotion of General Manager Andrew Kautz  to chief operating officer.
Kautz will continue to oversee all operations of the label, spearheading the company's financial, legal, administrative and business development processes.
As one of the original employees when Big Machine opened its doors on Music Row in 2005, Kautz has been instrumental in growing the then start-up with 13 employees to a staff of more than 60, according BMLG CEO and President Scott Borchetta. He has helped drive some of Big Machine’s largest initiatives, including the label’s performance royalty rights agreements last year with Clear Channel and Entercom.
“Andrew has literally been with me before we even settled on the name Big Machine,” Borchetta said in a release. “He bought into the vision from our very first sit-down meeting at the Sunset Grill and has never veered from that vision, he has only added to it. He has been my 'get-it-done guy' from the first moment. This promotion is richly deserved."
Before joining Big Machine, Kautz was COO of The Emerald Entertainment Group.
Kautz, an advisory member of the American Association of Independent Music, earned a bachelor's degree in music business from Belmont University.
Lacayo-Ballard joins First Freedom Bank
Cyndi Lacayo-Ballard  has joined First Freedom Bank as a personal banker in the Providence office.
Lacayo-Ballard was previously a financial consultant at Merrill Lynch in Metairie, Louisiana. She is a graduate of Louisiana State University, with a degree in business administration.