Congratulations to the finalists of the 2020 Nashville Emerging Leader Awards (NELA)!

The NELAs, an event of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s young professional initiative, YP Nashville, recognizes Middle Tennessee’s young professionals under the age of 40 for significant accomplishments in their chosen career field, as well as their commitment and contribution to the community.

“Talented young professionals are part of the conditions for success to the sustainability and prosperity of the Nashville region,” said Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ralph Schulz.” Through YP Nashville, the Nashville Area Chamber is committed to connecting young professionals to meaningful opportunities advancing the Nashville region and recognizing their leadership and commitment to our community.”

The NELA recognize four finalists and one winner in 14 industry categories: Architecture, Engineering and Construction; Arts, Entertainment and Music Business; Community Service and Nonprofit; Education; Environment and Sustainability; Financial Services; Government and Public Affairs; Hospitality and Tourism; Human Resources; Legal Services; Medical and Health Care Services; Public Relations, Advertising and Marketing; Real Estate Services; and Technology.

Judges of each industry category are leaders in their respective field who review applications and select the finalists and winner based on each applicant’s answers to essay questions, level of professional achievement, demonstrated leadership and community impact.

NELA winners will be announced during the 14th annual NELA Ceremony at a date to be determined.

YP Nashville is presented by Lipscomb University Pfeffer Graduate School of Business. The awards are sponsored by Bradley, Atiba, Lightning 100, Nashville Post, Nashville Scene and Submittable.

Sign up here for YP Nashville communication and to stay tuned for the date of the NELA ceremony.

2020 Nashville Emerging Leader Award Finalists:

Architecture, Construction, and Engineering

  • Mary Melissa Taddeo, Architect, Gresham Smith
  • Michael Kenner, Founder and CEO, Miken Development
  • Kelsey Oesmann, Design Initiatives Manager, Urban Housing Solutions
  • Travis Todd, Principal/Nashville Regional Director, Thomas & Hutton

Arts, Entertainment, and Music Business

  • Elisheba Mrozik, Owner/Artist, One Drop Ink Tattoo Parlour and Gallery
  • Alessandra Alegre, Senior Manager, Special Services & Royalty Compliance, Tri Star Sports & Entertainment Group
  • Jill McMillan Palm, Executive Director, Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville
  • Travis Humbert, Floor Manager, Nashville Symphony

Community Service and Nonprofit

  • Amy Merritt Campbell, Consultant & Co-Founder, Elevate Consulting, LLC
  • Maria Paula Zapata, Associate Director of Education Programs, Conexión Américas
  • Ellen O’Neal, Scholarship Program Specialist, HCA Healthcare Foundation
  • Jennifer Wheeler Buhrman, Chief Development Officer, Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee


  • Lindsey Mattingly, Director of Equity & Programming, Nashville Teacher Residency
  • Melody Gibson, Education Director, Nashville Civic Design Center
  • Jennifer Novo, Executive Director, FUTURO, Inc.
  • Ricki Gibbs, Principal, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Environment and Sustainability

  • Alice Hudson Pell, Associate Director, TennGreen Land Conservancy
  • Meg Morgan, Root Nashville Campaign Manager, Cumberland River Compact
  • Angel Fowler, Senior Regulatory Specialist, (RES) Resource Environmental Solutions
  • Leah Sherry, Executive Director, Turnip Green Creative Reuse

Financial Services

  • Catherine Street, Assurance Senior Associate, PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Sydney Ball, Vice President, Business Development Executive Benefits, NFP
  • Clay Risinger, Portfolio Manager, Fifth Third Bank
  • David Tuchman, Business Process Manager, Caterpillar Financial Insurance Services

Government and Public Affairs

  • Eric Brown, North Nashville Economic & Community Development Manager, Office of Mayor John Cooper
  • Adam Mansell, Director of Research, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development
  • Bishakha Van Voris, Fiscal Director, Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration
  • Lyndi Berrones, Regional Director – Northern Middle Tennessee, Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development

Hospitality and Tourism

  • Olivia Bane,Director of Company Operations, I Love Juice Bar
  • Ann Dee Jones, Vice President, Marketing & Communications, Andrew Jackson Foundation
  • Amanda Stone, Co-Founder & Partner, A&M Agency
  • Ariele Foster, Director of Travel Industry Sales, Virgin Hotels Nashville

Human Resources

  • Artetta Webster, Senior Human Resources Assistant, Nashville Electric Service
  • Matt Dolson, Senior Consultant, Optum
  • Solvig Gentile, Manager, North Highland Consulting
  • Dan George, Founder & CEO, Piper Key

Legal Services

  • Arrin Richards, Associate, Mitchell Sandler LLC
  • Alé Dalton, Associate, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP
  • Cornell Kennedy, Lawyer, Sherrard Roe Voigt & Harbison
  • Jeffrey Zager, Associate, Neal & Harwell, PLC

Medical and Healthcare Services

  • Bradley Bruce, Director of Pharmacy, HCA Healthcare
  • Elizabeth Wood, Director, Leadership Excellence Program, HCA Healthcare
  • Joseph Reilly, Director, Strategy & Performance, Ankura Consulting
  • Kenneth Hohmeier, Pharmacist, Associate Professor, and Director of Community Affairs, University of Tennessee

Public Relations, Advertising, and Marketing

  • Sarah Fletcher, Founder, Greatness Realized
  • Clark Buckner, Co-founder/Owner, Relationary Marketing
  • Lane Jones, Head of Content Marketing, Zapier
  • Mandi Kane, Senior Managing Advisor, Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock

Real Estate Services

  • Elam Freeman, Principal, Ojas Partners
  • LB Tauscher, Affiliate Broker, Zeitlin Sotheby’s International Realty
  • Lewis Agnew, President, Charles Hawkins Co.
  • Lauren Rogers, Community Director at 1200 Broadway, UDR

Technology Services

  • Steve Horvath, Principal, North Highland
  • Drew Hendrickson, Partner, LBMC
  • Terry Vo, External Affairs Specialist, Comcast
  • Melinda Hudgins Noblitt, Senior Manager, Recruiting Programs, Asurion

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