Nancy Dickson – President* - Nancy is the Director of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, a professional and leadership development programs for international educational leaders at Peabody College. She comes to Peabody College from LEAD Academy, a public charter school in Nashville,Tennessee where she served as the Director of Operations and a founding team member of the charter school. Additionally, while teaching in Washington,D.C.public schools, she collaborated with National Geographic, Meridian International, and George Washington University to provide city-wide professional development and teacher preparation programming. She holds her Masters of Public Policy degree from Peabody.
Kimberly Vinson – Vice President* – Dr. Kimberly Vinson is an assistant professor in the department of otolaryngology at Vanderbilt University and works as a laryngologist at the Vanderbilt Voice Center. She is also Assistant Dean for Diversity at Vanderbilt University of School of Medicine. Dr. Vinson received a bachelor of science degree in psychology/biology from Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, AL, and her medical degree from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
Nancy Benskin - Secretary* - Nancy is a Senior Vice President of Private Banking for Avenue Bank. Nancy graduated from the University of Kentucky with a BA in Business Administration. She currently serves as Secretary and Board Member for All About Women. She is a past Board member, Development Committee Member, and past chair of The Mad Hatter for the Sexual Assault Center. Nancy is serving on committees for the Ballet Ball and the Symphony Fashion Show. Nancy is also a graduate of the Young Leaders Council, is a member of the Friends of Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, and the Pencil Foundation.
Nancy DeKalb – Treasurer* –Nancy is the Principal of DeKalb Communications. She has more than two decades of experience in corporate and agency public relations and has successfully implemented programs for clients in the civic growth and development, health care, publishing, consumer goods, entertainment and hospitality industries. Throughout her career, she has developed expertise in product branding and promotion. She has also conducted national media relations programs for a diverse group of clients and has managed community education and grassroots advocacy programs for development companies. She is a graduate of Kent State University. She serves on the management committee of Urban Land Institute Nashville District Council, a board member for Nashville Adult Literacy Council, and a past president of Breakfast Club of Nashville.
Sophie Moore – Past President* - Community Health Systems - Sophie Moore is manager of Communications and Public Relations at Community Health Systems. Previously, she served as director of Communications at the Nashville Health Care Council. Before that, she worked for the State of Tennessee, providing communications, media relations and public relations guidance for the Department of Health, Department of Revenue and the First Lady’s Office. Sophie is also on the board of Nashville Emerging Leaders and serves as Sponsor Relations Chair.
Sally R. Smallwood – Founder* - Sally has been actively volunteering since moving to Nashville in 1991: chairing or serving on the committee of over eighty-five programs and fundraisers for various non-profits. In 2002, she founded All About Women. She is also a past president of the Nashville Ronald McDonald House, a four-time Junior League of Nashville Board member, Leadership Nashville alum and Program Co-Chair as well as Vestry member at her church. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, she has been married over 31 years (whew!) to Geoff Smallwood and has two children, Lauren and Andrew.
Elaine Boyd – Elaine Boyd has over twenty-five years of experience with the federal government, private industry and state government in the areas of project management, sales engineering, account management and strategic planning. For the past eight years, she has served as the Strategic Management Director at the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation where her focus is leading the department-wide LEAN initiative, performance excellence and special project implementation. Elaine also serves as the Commissioner’s Designee on the Underground Storage Tanks and Solid Waste Disposal Control Board and Air Pollution Control Board. She has been a member of the Board of Examiners for the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence since 2012. Elaine holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Vanderbilt University.
Sarah Cook – Sarah Cook currently serves as Vice President, Account Services for Healthcare Bluebook where she is responsible for growing current customer relationships through service excellence. Previously, Ms. Cook was Senior Executive Director, Account Management at Healthways where she provided account management leadership for a number of key health plan customers. She also has healthcare provider knowledge, having worked as a clinical dietitian in a long-term care facility. Ms. Cook has her MBA with a Certificate in Sustainability from Lipscomb University. She completed her undergraduate studies in nutrition at Middle Tennessee State University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Through her appointment to the Board of Leadership Health Care, she enjoys staying abreast of the evolving and complex world of healthcare.
Nicole Cottrill – Nicole is a partner at Seigenthaler Public Relations where she conceives and directs strategic communications programs on behalf of SPR’s clients. Nicole has a well-established reputation as an expert on healthcare and science industry issues and trends. Trained as an analyst and researcher, she provides SPR’s clients with unparalleled expertise in these areas, as well as in crisis communications, media relations, corporate partnership and sponsorship development, coalition building and policy analysis. Prior to joining SPR in 2006, Nicole was a Vice President at Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications where she managed the firm’s science, technology and healthcare practice. Before Rasky Baerlein, she held positions at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals of Cleveland. Nicole is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University with degrees in sociology and history.
Mary Falls – Mary is a non-practicing attorney, currently serves on the boards of St. Thomas Health System and Alive Hospice. She is the former board chair of Alive Hospice, Catholic Charities of Tennessee, and numerous other regional non-profit organizations.
Kimberly Franks – Kimberly came to Tennessee over 15 years ago from NE Ohio. Kimberly has always been involved in the healthcare industry and has a love and passion for nurturing and mentoring women less fortunate. She started from a humble background of uneducated and abused women in her family, and experienced domestic abuse first hand in early adulthood. She was the first in her family to go to and graduate from college and she is the only person in her family to pursue post-graduate education. Kimberly holds a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration and in Leadership from David Lipscomb University and is Vice President of Center Applications in the Information Technology department at AMSURG, a company based in Nashville that manages and holds a majority stake in about 247 Ambulatory Surgery Centers located throughout the Unites States. Outside of spending time with family, Kimberly is interested in improving opportunities for women and keeping up with the ever-changing pace of Healthcare across the globe.
Pam Hagy – Pam has worked in accounting and tax since 1987. She started her accounting career with Arthur Young here in Nashville. She has worked for several CPA firms in the Nashville area including having her own practice for ten years in Hendersonville. Currently she works for Flood, Bumstead, McCready, & McCarthy, an entertainment business management firm as a tax manager. She grew up in Abingdon,Virginia where her family still resides. She graduated from the University of Tennessee with majors in marketing and accounting. She has lived in Nashville for the past 26 years and loves it here. Her interests include UT and Titans football, traveling, concerts, movies, and being involved in the community.
Lynley Hammes – Lynley is the owner of LYNE, a design studio focusing on commercial projects, such as corporate headquarters, medical facilities, specialty restaurants and branded hotels. Lynley graduated with a BFA in Interior Design from Watkins College in 2005 and is a National Council of Interior Design Qualification certificate holder and a member of the International Interior Design Association. She also serves on the board of the Tennessee Interior Design Coalition.
Kim Karesh – Kim Karesh has more than fifteen years of experience in client relations, project management and communications. She is currently Director of Account Management at Matrix Medical Network. She is responsible for implementing new clients, resolving client issues, and ensuring the company’s obligations to its clients are fulfilled. Kim began her career as a reporter for WLAC-AM in Nashville, TN and served state and local governments as a spokesperson prior to joining the city’s world-renowned healthcare industry. She earned her Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Broadcasting and her Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Western Kentucky University.
Kay Kretsch - Kay is a multifaceted business leader and change agent with diversified experience in operations, program management, supply chain, business development, and organizational design. Her background includes healthcare, wireless technologies, test publishing, commercial and military avionics, semiconductors, and defense and new technology arenas. Kay is currently working as an operations executive helping companies achieve operational success.
Kim Looney – One of the leading attorneys in the Healthcare industry, clients call on Kim Looney to advise them on day-to-day operational issues such as recruitment and employment, and regulatory issues such as maintaining ongoing compliance with Stark and federal anti-kickback regulations. Recognized for her leadership, Kim frequently speaks at state and national teleconferences and seminars on healthcare topics. Best Lawyers recognizes Kim as a leading attorney in the category of Healthcare Law. Her professional affiliations include being a member of the Tennessee and American Bar Associations; past chair of the Health Law Section of the Tennessee Bar Association; member of the American Health Lawyers Association; fellow of the Nashville Bar Foundation; and member of the Lawyers’ Association for Women. Kim Looney is also very active in the community having served as co-chair of events such as the Heart Gala for the American Heart Association; Bal d’Hiver, the oldest charity ball in Nashville for the benefit of Family and Children’s Service, CASA and the Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation; and Golden Hour, for the benefit of Lifeflight and Trauma Survivors Network for Vanderbilt Medical Center. Kim Looney received her law degree fromVanderbilt University and has been with Waller since 2004.
Barbara Mathieson – Barbara is a search engine marketer for Lionzone, a local internet media company. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Previously, she has worked as a print production director for several national publishers. She is a docent at the Nashville Zoo and also serves on the board of Friends of Shelby Park.
Amy Mazzo – Amy has more than 10 years of experience in the health care sector, including fundraising, business development and project management. Most recently, she was Manager – New Markets, Healthcare Center of Excellence for Skanksa. Amy was responsible for researching, developing, implementing and evaluating new services specific to local healthcare markets across the US, as well as cultivating new business partnerships. Previously, she was COO of the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island based in NY that serves as an umbrella for public and voluntary agencies serving Long Island’s poor and vulnerable individuals and families. Before that, she was Director, Programs and Communications at Friends and Relatives of Institutionalized Aged in New York City. Additionally, Amy’s husband is Joe Mazzo, newly appointed COO of River Park Hospital, a joint venture of Saint Thomas Health and Capella Healthcare.
Gracie Porter - Gracie has served as an educator for more than forty years. Thirty-four of those years, she was a teacher, librarian and a principal with the Metropolitan Nashville Public School System. She was elected to the Metropolitan Nashville Board of Education in 2006 for a two-year term and ran unopposed for re-election in 2008-2012. She was twice elected by her peers to serve in the position of Vice Chair, and twice as Chair the position she held until August of 2012. She spent seven years at Middle Tennessee State University as an adjunct professor in the department of Elementary and Special Education from 2004-2007. Gracie served proudly for her community and takes great pride in helping to make the Nashville community a better place for everyone. She is married to James Porter, Jr. and they are the parents of two adult sons and the grandmother of two lovely granddaughters, Ashley Ariana Porter and Kiaya Janette Porter.
Melissa Puri - Melissa is a healthcare veteran, having spent the last 15 years in the healthcare industry. She is an integral part of the Mobile Health team for Verizon Wireless, a dynamic team founded to address gaps in healthcare. Her primary responsibilities are to lead large healthcare partners through clinical studies to achieve outcomes. Melissa is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives (former Executive Board Member) , Leadership Healthcare, Women’s Political Collaborative of Middle Tennessee (current Executive Board member and All About Women (2012 President and current Executive Board member). Melissa is married to Chris, a healthcare attorney and they have one son, Colin.
Betsey Usher – Betsey is the manager of events at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, providing strategic leadership in the creation, execution and growth of various events for all constituents of the School. She also co-oversees social media strategies to safely and effectively brand the School to internal and external audiences. Betsey’s background includes stints in development at several colleges and health care institutions, financial education and newspaper distribution. She has a B.A. in political science from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland and a M.Ed. from Vanderbilt.
Shelley Walker – Shelley is assistant director of communication and media relations for the Tennessee Department of Health, providing internal and external communication, media relations and public relations services. She has previously served as a public relations specialist for Tennessee State University, and has more than ten years of experience as a local television news producer in Nashville. Shelley serves as Tennessee’s voting member in the National Public Health Information Coalition, and has special training in emergency and crisis communications.
Patricia H. Wesson - Patricia is the SBA Business Advocate of the year recipient and past chapter president of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NWBO). She is also President and Chief Advocate of Contracts For Women, Inc. dba ContractsforWomen.com. The company provides certification, registration, and advocacy services to women business owners seeking government and corporate contract opportunities. www.contractsforwomen.com
Digital Creative Director and UX Designer, redpepper
Dean, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
Charlene M. Dewey, MD, M.Ed., FACP
Co-Director, Center for Professional Health, Associate Professor of Medical Education & Administration, Associate Professor of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medical
Marilyn Dubree, RN, MSN
Associate Hospital Director, Patient Care Services, Chief Nursing Officer, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Liz Allen Fey (Past President)
CEO, Management Solutions Group
Executive Vice President & CFO, AmSurg Corp
Barbara N. Haynes
Former Judge, Third Circuit Court, Metro Government of Nashville & Davidson County
Barbara Mendel Mayden
Principal, Young Mayden Connect
Susan Short Jones (Past President)
Senior Corporate Counsel, HCA
Senior Vice President, Programming, Great American Country
Virginia Trotter Betts
Former Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities