Movers & Shakers

By Updated: February 20, 2019 6:37 AM CT | Published: February 20, 2019 12:35 AM CT

Black McLaren Jones Ryland & Griffee P.C. has added two attorneys to its staff.

  • Megan Arthur, previously a shareholder at Evans Petree P.C., concentrates the majority of her practice in the area of family law. She also has extensive experience in the areas of insurance defense, medical malpractice and other complex civil litigation. Arthur earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern Methodist University in 2000 and her law degree from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in 2006.
  • Amy Sterling, previously an attorney at Bass, Berry & Sims, joins the firm to continue to expand its practice in the areas of securities litigation, insurance defense, and commercial and business litigation. Sterling’s legal expertise involves federal and state business litigation with a focus on representation of brokerage firms, financial institutions and registered representatives in securities litigation, arbitration and regulatory matters. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration from Belmont University in 1999 and her law degree from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in 2006.

Phillip Burnett of Memphis, a former chief staff executive for the National Cotton Council, has been awarded the council’s 2018 Harry S. Baker Distinguished Service Award. The annual award honors an individual who has provided extraordinary service, leadership and dedication to the U.S. cotton industry. Burnett earned a business administration degree from the University of Mississippi in 1966 before joining the NCC as a field representative. He was named the NCC’s assistant Washington representative in 1972, then returned to the Memphis office in 1977 as an assistant to the executive vice president, a position he held for four years before joining the Cotton Board. He returned to the NCC in 1989 in the dual role of executive vice president and CEO. Burnett later was named president and CEO of The Seam, a Memphis-based company that had begun operating as the world’s first completely online, anonymous exchange for cotton trading. Having retired from The Seam, he continues to serve on its board as an industry consultant.

The Memphis-based National Cotton Council has elected its 2019 leaders, including these members of the cotton industry from the Memphis area:

  • Joe Tillman and Bobby Walton of Memphis, and William Barksdale and Jeff Johnson of Cordova were re-elected as NCC directors.
  • Former NCC chairman W.N. Mallory Jr. of Memphis and former council CEOs Phillip Burnett and Mark Lange of Memphis and Gaylon Booker of Germantown were re-elected as board advisers.
  • Ricky Clarke III of Cordova was elected first vice president of Cotton Council International (CCI), the export promotion arm of the National Cotton Council. Barksdale also was elected as a CCI director.
  • Steven Dyer of Cordova was re-elected as a CCI director.
  • Tommy Moore of Somerville will serve as secretary of the council’s Tennessee-Kentucky state unit.

Diversified Trust, an independent comprehensive wealth management firm, has promoted three staff in its Memphis office:

  • Vince Chamblee, promoted to senior vice president from vice president, is responsible for management and oversight of client relationships and business development. Chamblee graduated from the University of Mississippi and the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College with a Bachelor of Accountancy and a Bachelor of Arts in economics and public policy leadership. He is licensed as a certified public accountant in Tennessee and holds the CFP certification awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.
  • Jim Gilliland, promoted to principal from senior vice president, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Public Administration-Finance from Columbia University in New York City.  He received a certificate in financial planning from Christian Brothers University. 
  • Hadley Miller, promoted to principal from senior vice president, earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Washington & Lee University. In addition, Miller completed the New York University program in financial planning and holds the CFP certification awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.

Jackie Prester, a shareholder in Baker Donelson’s Memphis office and chair of the firm's Financial Services Transactions Group, has been recognized in EB-5 Investors Magazine's list of “Top 15 Corporate Attorneys.” The annual list recognizes attorneys for their work in areas including corporate, litigation and immigration law. Honorees are selected through an EB-5 industrywide vote and input from the magazine's editorial board and in-house team based on candidates’ experience, track record and reputation within the EB-5 industry. Prester serves as securities counsel for public companies and routinely advises companies raising capital through private placements of securities, as well as offerings registered with the SEC. She has particular experience advising clients on securities issues relating to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. 

Robert Hardwick has joined Pickering Firm Inc. as a project manager. In his new role with the full-service engineering, architecture and surveying firm., he will oversee each step of the design process for multiple projects and manage various teams for project delivery. Hardwick, a University of Memphis graduate, has nearly 30 years combined experience in the fields of architecture, construction and project management. He previously served First Horizon National Corp. as assistant director vice president of corporate properties, where he oversaw all construction and design as well as physical/electronic security for the corporation and all of its subsidiaries. 

Regional accounting firm Alexander Thompson Arnold PLLC has added two tax managers in its Memphis office.

  • Micah Duke is responsible for assisting clients in tax compliance, tax consulting and tax planning with the goal of minimizing tax consequences, helping clients plan for growth, and managing various tax engagements. Prior to joining ATA, Duke was tax manager for CBIZ MHM LLC in Memphis. He is a certified public accountant and holds a bachelor’s degree and Master of Science in taxation from the University of Memphis.
  • Amanda Barnett primarily is focused on providing year-round tax consulting and business assistance to various clients such as small businesses as they grow and change. Her services include  tax compliance, tax consulting and tax planning with the goal of minimizing tax consequences. She previously worked in the tax department as a manager with Fouts & Morgan CPAs in Memphis from 2014 until joining ATA in December 2018. Barnett received both a Bachelor of Accountancy and a Master of Taxation from the University of Mississippi.

Southwest Tennessee Community College’s Police Services/Public Safety Department is one of three national finalists for the American Association of Community Colleges’ (AACC) 2019 Awards of Excellence in the category of Community College Safety and Planning. The category recognizes exemplary practices and innovation in campus safety and emergency response strategies, programs and procedures. The other finalists are College of DuPage in Illinois and Rockland Community College in New York. The AACC, the primary advocacy organization for the nation’s community colleges, will announce the winner at its annual convention April 13-16 in Orlando, Florida.

Simon Davies has joined Running Pony Productions as post-production supervisor and editor. Will Knight has moved into a new position as project manager/client service at the full-service production and post-production company, and Mike Griggs has joined as a director of photography. 

Lehman-Roberts Co. has been awarded a 2018 Quality in Construction Award, for excellence in construction of an asphalt pavement, from the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA). The company, a provider of highway paving, construction and aggregate services, won the award for the I-269 project in DeSoto and Marshall counties in Mississippi. Lehman-Roberts joined forces with Eutaw Construction Co. to bid and build the project, which included 465,000 tons of asphalt.

Winola Watson has joined Crye-Leike Real Estate Services as a licensed Realtor affiliated with its Bartlett branch. Watson specializes in first-time homebuying, relocation, residential and empty-nester services. Prior to starting her real estate career, she worked in the banking industry for eight years as a branch service leader.

Coldwell Banker Collins-Maury has been named a Platinum Award winner by Cartus Broker Services for outstanding performance during the past year. Platinum is the highest level of the Excellence Awards presented to principal brokers. The recognition is based on performance results related to a wide variety of metrics, including customer service, cost management and effective analysis and marketing of homes. Cartus Corp., a provider of employee relocation solutions, will present the award at the 2019 Cartus Broker Network Conference, held March 17-19 in Las Vegas.

Send announcements for consideration to associate editor Kate Crawford at


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