Movers & Shakers

By Updated: February 27, 2019 4:00 AM CT | Published: February 26, 2019 2:48 PM CT

Capt. Alonza “Al” Ross has been installed as commanding officer of Naval Support Activity (NSA) Mid-South. Ross comes to the Millington post after serving as director of the Enlisted Distribution Division at Navy Personnel Command on board NSA Mid-South. He also previously served as the executive officer for the installations Naval Station Newport in Newport, Rhode Island, and Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Ross replaces Capt. Michael S. Wathen, who has served as commander of NSA Mid-South since July 2017 and is leaving to become executive officer of the Naval Leadership and Ethics Center in Newport, Rhode Island.

Michael Medcalf, assistant professor of dance at the University of Memphis, is one of four dance-makers nationwide chosen for Ballet Memphis’ inaugural New American Dance Residency. As a professional dancer, he has been a member and/or guest artist with numerous companies, including Ballethnic Dance Company (Atlanta), David Taylor Dance Theatre (Denver), Groundworks Dance Theatre (Cleveland) and Ohio Dance Theatre. Currently, he develops solo and duet projects for the stage and camera for Michael Medcalf/INVENTIONS. He earned a Master of Fine Arts in dance from the University of Iowa.
The other participants chosen for the inaugural program are Valerie D. Alpert of Chicago; Tommie-Waheed Evans of Philadelphia; and Crystal Michelle Perkins of Dayton, Ohio.
The residency, supported by funding from an ArtsMemphis Enhancement Grant, is aimed at dance-makers interested in exploring the intersection of art and community. The program runs April 15-26, culminating in a community presentation at Ballet Memphis during the final weekend.

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris has appointed two top leaders for the Workforce Investment Network.

  • Kyla Gutierrez Guyette, named executive director of WIN, comes to Shelby County government from Florida, where she was the regional director of ResCare Workforce Services. She brings years of experience in developing individuals with the skills needed by the region’s employers.
  • John Moore, deputy director, will serve as WIN’s administrator of strategic initiatives and partnerships. Moore spent more than a decade either leading or advising the Greater Memphis Chamber.

Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority has promoted Nathan Luce to director of procurement. In his new role, Luce will oversee the operations of the procurement department, which is responsible for managing MSCAA’s purchasing, bidding and contract services, and for coordinating the vendor registration process. He will fill the vacancy created by the impending June 30 retirement of current director of procurement Mahi Chambers.
Luce, who joined MSCAA in February 2009, previously served as manager of engineering and construction, which coordinates many of the construction projects underway at Memphis International Airport. Luce received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Christian Brothers University and a Master of Civil Engineering degree from North Carolina State University.

B.J. Curtis has joined Hi-Speed Industrial Service as chief financial officer. In his new role, he will oversee financial strategy, economic analysis and compliance for Hi-Speed, which specializes in repair and sales of electro-mechanical equipment; service, repair and construction of overhead hoist and crane systems; and predictive maintenance. Curtis previously owned two Arkansas-based ACE Hardware locations and Curtis Lumber Co. Inc. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting from the University of Arkansas.

Brenda Heindl, a volunteer at Southern Reins Center for Equine Therapy in Collierville, has been recognized by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) as its Region 5 Volunteer of the Year. Region 5 consists of PATH Intl. Member Centers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Puerto Rico and Africa. Heindl, who retired from International Paper, began volunteering at Southern Reins in early 2018 as a sidewalker to support participants in therapeutic riding lessons, then grew her contributions to include horse leader, event volunteer and barn volunteer. She was selected as Southern Reins’ 2018 Volunteer of the Year.

Dr. Tommy Coleman has moved his optometry practice to Eye Spectrum and will see patients at the optical boutique’s 7265 Winchester location. Coleman comes to Eye Spectrum after practicing with Target Optical for 15 years. A native Memphian, he graduated Rhodes College in 1988 and Southern College of Optometry in 2001. He was an instructor at SCO from 2003 to 2008 and had been with Target Optical since 2003.

Memphis International Raceway and parent company IRG Sports + Entertainment have added two motorsports industry veterans to the MIR management team. Together they bring more than four decades of operations management and drag racing experience to the MIR team.  

  • Dominic Blasco, general manager at IRGSE-owned Cordova (Illinois) International Raceway, will support Memphis International Raceway on a part-time basis in a management role overseeing operations for all major events. Blasco, a former MIR employee, has an extensive motorsports background that includes event and operations management, drag-strip track preparation and experience with various drag racing events.
  • Bob Fairey continues at MIR in an expanded role that includes management of facility maintenance, operations, special projects and drag-strip track preparation. He will work under Blasco’s supervision.

Church Health has added four members to its board of trustees. They are: Dr. Kathleen Forbes, Academic Group executive vice president, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare; Dr. Alisa Haushalter, director, Shelby County Health Department; Rev. J. Lawrence Turner, senior pastor, Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church; and McLean Wilson, principal, Kemmons Wilson Cos.

Send announcements for consideration to associate editor Kate Crawford at


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