“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”
– Henry Ford
30 Influential Business Leaders
Selected for both their exceptional industry skills and dedication to their workplace and community, the following business leaders make up CityScope® magazine’s prestigious Gold Club this year.
Congratulations to these impactful men and women on this well-deserved honor!
Leadership Development Director, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce
Years with the Company: 1
Toya Moore serves as leadership development director at the Chattanooga
Chamber. In this role, Moore supports the professional development and civic engagement of early career, mid-career, and established professionals by directing the administration of Chattanooga Chamber Foundation’s suite of programs including Leadership Chattanooga, Leadership Chattanooga Alumni Association, Young Professionals of Chattanooga, Protégé Chattanooga, and ChattaNewbies. Originally from Cleveland, Tennessee, Moore earned her Bachelor of Science in applied human science as well as a Master of Education in educational leadership from East Tennessee State University. In 2020, she was honored with the Vanderbilt Division of Administration Service Champion Award. She serves on the Chattanooga State Community College CARES Advisory Board and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.
Attorney, Miller & Martin, PLLC
Years With the Company: 21
Alison Martin, a partner with Miller & Martin, is an attorney licensed in Tennessee and Georgia. A graduate of the prestigious Leadership Chattanooga program, her firm leadership includes serving as a member of the Policy Committee, the firm’s highest governance committee, and formerly as vice-chair of the Litigation Department. Listed among the leading commercial litigators in “The Best Lawyers in America,” Martin focuses her practice on civil litigation, workplace interruptions and accidents, crisis management, and dispute resolution. She regularly counsels clients on risk management, internal investigations, and compliance matters, offering creative and practical solutions to thorny legal challenges. Serving as primary outside counsel to the North America subsidiaries of a global chemical company, she provides board-level trusted advice on a broad variety of commercial, regulatory, litigation, and other legal issues.
C. Douglas Dooley is an equity member and litigation attorney with 34 years of experience handling construction litigation, trucking and transportation law, personal injury law, insurance coverage disputes, workers’ compensation, premises liability, food borne illness cases, dram shop liability, complex litigation, and “bet the company” litigation. He has served on the DRI Board of Directors as the southern regional director, participated on DRI Annual Meeting Committees, and served as the DRI State Representative for Tennessee. He is a past president of the Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association, fellow of the Chattanooga Bar Foundation, fellow of Tennessee Bar Foundation, an active member of the International Association of Defense Counsel, and has served on the Executive Council of American Association of Defense Trial Attorneys.
Partner, JHM Certified Public Accountants
Years With the Company: 19
Sherri Anderson was recently promoted to partner at JHM Certified Public Accountants. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and an associate degree in American Sign Language. Anderson is not only a licensed CPA, but she is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants. Anderson leads audits for nonprofits and construction clients and performs numerous audits in conjunction with compliance under uniform guidance. She is an active member in her community and has served on numerous boards. She is currently on the Audit Committee for the City of Chattanooga.
Senior Manager of Human Resources, West Star Aviation
Years With the Company: 5
With over 30 years of human resources management experience, Tonya McAllister has spent her professional life seeking to help others find careers that are both financially and personally beneficial and rewarding. In April of 2018 she became the manager of human resources for West Star Aviation, and over the course of the last five years, she and her team have grown the workforce from 60 employees to over 350. McAllister serves on the board for the Institute of Aviation at Brainerd High School, a Future Ready Institute. McAllister’s efforts have now earned her the role of senior human resource manager over the Chattanooga and Perryville, Missouri, locations, The Mobile Repair Team, and the company’s four satellite locations.
Co-founder & Creative Director, The Chattery
Years With the Company: 10
Shawanda Mason is an entrepreneur and food writer. For 10 years, she has served as the co-founder and creative director of The Chattery, a Chattanooga-based nonprofit that advocates for enjoyable lifelong learning. In 2010, she created the food-inspired lifestyle site, Eat.Drink.Frolic. where she develops recipes and travel guides for some of her favorite cities. Mason has landed local and national coverage in publications including Food52 and USA Today. She currently serves on the board of the Chattanooga Chamber’s South Chattanooga Council. When she’s not working or testing recipes, you can usually find her hanging out with her husband and daughter.
Director of Development, Hunter Museum of American Art
Years With the Company: 1
Daisy Maurya-Ballard assumed the role of director of development at the Hunter Museum in July 2022, bringing with her a successful career spanning over 20 years in specialty device and pharmaceutical sales as well as healthcare business development and partner relations. Not only is she a graduate of Leadership Chattanooga, but she has also been recognized as a Woman of Distinction. Maurya-Ballard’s commitment to her community is evident through her involvement in various organizations where she has chaired numerous fundraisers, and she has received the prestigious 2021 Leadership Fundraiser of the Year award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She currently serves on the board of directors for Journey Health Foundation, The Lillian Colby Foundation, and UTC Alumni Association.
Katherine Roberts Burger
Owner, K :: A Boutique by Katherine Roberts
Years With the Company: 12
Katherine Roberts Burger spent 10 years traveling around the world as a fashion model doing runway work, print work for editorial, and look-books for designers and catalogs. After retiring from modeling, Roberts Burger moved behind the camera and helped with production and styling for catalog photoshoots. Retail began for her in Chattanooga, and after some time as a consultant and with another boutique, Roberts Burger merged all her different lives in fashion to create K :: A Boutique by Katherine Roberts in August 2011. Roberts Burger wanted it to feel international, reflecting the way she grew up traveling for work, as well as welcoming, as if clients were visiting a friend. K is also very community-minded and hosts “give-back days” for different local schools, nonprofits, and charities.
Ashleigh Jenkins Dieckhaus
Managing Director, Application Solutions, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee
Years With the Company: 12
Ashleigh Jenkins Dieckhaus leads the clinical and communication technology service teams at BlueCross, where she leverages her background as a registered nurse to help drive technical innovation. With over 20 years of experience in healthcare and over 10 years within the technology realm, she’s also known for being service-oriented. Jenkins Dieckhaus seamlessly pairs her clinical knowledge and technical understanding to positively influence health outcomes for BlueCross’ 3.4 million members across Tennessee and around the country.
Founder, S.H.E. Trucking
Years With the Company: 6
Sharae Moore empowers more than 30,000 women and minorities in the transportation industry in her work as a brand and marketing consultant, author, and founder of S.H.E. Trucking. She also serves on the FMCSA Women of Trucking Advisory Board for the Department of Transportation. Moore has been a professional driver since 2014, and her advocacy work has been recognized by various organizations and media outlets, including The White House, Facebook, and National Geographic’s “Breaking Bobby Bones: Ep.7 Truck Star.” She was one of CNN’s 2021 Champions for Change, was named a Legend Driver in National Truckin’ Magazine, and has received the Trucking Industry Trailblazer Award for Diversity and Inclusion.
Vice President of Marketing, Text Request
Years With the Company: 8
Kenneth Burke is the vice president of marketing for Text Request, a business text messaging platform founded and headquartered in Chattanooga. He’s written over 1,000 articles on business growth for outlets including Entrepreneur and “StartupNation.” He found his way to Chattanooga through Covenant College, where he earned a degree in psychology, and describes himself as “a champion for this city and all it has to offer.” In 2022, Kenneth was named a “20 Under 40” honoree and named as Chattanooga’s Tech Marketer of the Year. He’s committed to helping recruit, develop, and retain local talent and is always open to a new book recommendation.
Fabiola Smith joined SmartBank as vice president, regional branch administrator in 2020. A graduate of Bethel University, she went on to receive her MBA in business administration and management with a concentration in organizational behavior. She was also a graduating member of Leadership Chattanooga that same year. She currently serves on the board of Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Chattanooga Area and was previously awarded the Latino Leadership Award. She has volunteered with La Paz Chattanooga, National Coalition of 100 Black Women, 100 Black Men of Bradley County, Cleveland Middle School, and Bradley Central High School.
Director of Social Impact, La Paz Chattanooga
Years With the Company: 11
A first-generation Colombian-American, Vivian Lozano’s La Paz Chattanooga tenure began in 2012 shortly after graduating from the University of Georgia. Over the past decade, Lozano has held multiple positions at La Paz and currently serves as director of social impact, acting as a community spokesperson advocating on behalf of, and driving positive change for, Chattanooga’s fast-growing Latino population. Lozano’s work supports La Paz’s expansive reach. Her heart and tenacity are a driving force as she’s undeniably advanced La Paz’s mission for the past 11 years.
John Brock always knew he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather before him. Like them, he possesses high energy levels, has the technical know-how, and puts his customers first. He graduated from the University of Mississippi with a risk management and insurance degree, and after learning the carrier side of insurance, he moved back to Chattanooga to join the family business. He focuses the majority of his time assisting businesses of all sizes and individuals with their insurance programs. John is involved with the local Associated General Contractors (AGC) Building Leaders Board, is the young agents director for the Insurors of Tennessee, and is a member of the Rotaract Club of Chattanooga.
Senior Vice President of Preconstruction, EMJ Construction
Years With the Company: 16
Alex Miller is the senior vice president of preconstruction at EMJ. Miller attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, earning a degree in civil engineering. During college he was a cooperative education student at EMJ, where he became a project engineer upon graduation. Over the last 16 years, he has held several successive roles and today leads a team responsible for many of the premier construction projects in Chattanooga and across the Southeast. He is proud to have started his career at EMJ where he is a thought leader in the industry.
Founding Attorney, Best & Brock, PLLC
Years With the Company: 6
Chattanooga native Matt Brock began his professional career in real estate and e-commerce business, which were both fundamental in the way he approaches his current career as managing partner of Best & Brock. Best & Brock is a law firm focused on criminal defense and personal injury in Tennessee and North Georgia. Brock attributes the success of the firm to their focus on continuing education and their emphasis on working as a team. Throughout his leadership, the firm has grown from three employees to now over 10. He consistently speaks at national conferences and is currently focused on becoming a certified lawyer scientist.
Director of Finance, Cempa Community Care
Years With the Company: 6
Juan Camargo graduated from Bryan College with a Bachelor of Science in business management. Since becoming director of finance in 2017, he has expanded his knowledge in nonprofit taxation issues and accounting procedures, practices, and regulations. He has also grown in his ability to determine feasibility of services within budgeted parameters, making recommendations regarding fiscal practices. As finance director, Camargo is responsible for managing the daily financial needs of Cempa Community Care. He also develops the annual budget with agency grant budgets including budget narratives and justifications and provides guidance and support to directors and other team members where needed. Lastly, he provides strategic guidance regarding the related policies, processes, and systems necessary to manage the organization’s financial operation.
Vice President, NAI Charter Real Estate
Years With the Company: 6
Frazier is the third generation of the DeVaney family to work for NAI Charter Real Estate. A Chattanooga native, Frazier attended The McCallie School and Sewanee: The University of the South before joining his family’s business in 2017. As vice president, DeVaney oversees the business development and operations of NAI Charter, is a full-service commercial broker, and leads the property management division, which has an asset value exceeding $50 million. DeVaney, a member of Rotaract, serves on the Commercial Advisory Board for the Greater Chattanooga Board of Realtors, is president of Building Owners and Managers Association of Chattanooga, and is currently chairman of the Metropolitan Ministries King Oehmig Memorial Classic.
Gary Sanders serves as the managing executive for McGriff Insurance Services, which dates its roots back to 1887 in Chattanooga. Sanders and his team specialize in commercial insurance, employee benefits, risk management solutions, and personal lines. With over 15 years of insurance experience, Sanders collaboratively works with business owners and individuals to provide solutions to complex insurance needs. Alongside Sanders’ professional career in insurance, he served as a volunteer football coach at Baylor School for several years and volunteers with the Greater Chattanooga Colon Cancer Foundation as a survivor and volunteer.
Interiors Project Manager, Tinker Ma
Years With the Company: 5
Vanessa Vereschak has more than 15 years of design experience. After earning a bachelor’s degree in architecture from California College of the Arts, Vereschak returned to New Jersey where she worked on high-end residential projects including additions within urban neighborhoods, interior renovations of downtown lofts, and custom, ground-up homes scaling up to 10,000 square feet. At Tinker Ma, Vereschak has worked on projects ranging from small residential to large commercial. She has quickly built an impressive portfolio of projects utilizing digital design and custom fabrication. Her experience, eye for design, and motivation have propelled the success of Tinker Ma’s interiors team.
Claudia Williamson Kramer, Ph.D.
Probasco Chair of Free Enterprise, Professor of Economics, Director, Center for Economic Education, UTC Gary W. Rollins College of Business
Years With the Company: 3
Claudia Williamson Kramer is a professor of economics at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Gary W. Rollins College of Business and holds the Probasco Distinguished Chair of Free Enterprise. In addition, she is director of the Center for Economic Education, serves as editor of the Journal of Institutional Economics, and sits on the editorial board of the Public Choice journal. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from West Virginia University and has published more than 50 journal articles, co-edited two books, contributed multiple chapters to books, and written book reviews and policy briefs. Her research interests lie at the intersection of applied economic development and political economy. A common thread of her work is the combination of incentive and knowledge arguments revealing interesting, and at times, unconventional results.
Shelia C. Boyington, P.E.
Co-founder & CEO, Thinking Media
Years With the Company: 26
Sheila Boyington and husband Dane began Thinking Media with a goal of creating user-friendly edtech for education. Named twice to the Inc. 5000 list, Boyington is considered a successful entrepreneur leading these efforts, understanding how to navigate government adoptions, creating relationships with state leaders, and driving results through her innovative strategies. A local active philanthropist and board participant, she serves as the board chair for Erlanger during their transition to a 501(c)(3). As an accomplished woman in STEM, she has been a key leader growing Million Women Mentors – a national effort to encourage more girls and women to pursue STEM careers. Her proudest achievement is being a parent to two accomplished daughters, Priya and Nisha.
Associate Attorney, Warren & Griffin, P.C.
Years With the Company: 7
Thatcher Smith spent his first two years with the firm as a runner, three years as a law clerk, and now two years as an attorney. Graduating first in his class with highest honors from Duncan School of Law, Smith received a total of 16 CALI Excellence for the Future Awards as well as the Lincoln Lawyer Award for Outstanding Character. Smith is a licensed attorney in both Tennessee and Alabama, and possesses a passion for speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Since beginning the practice of law in 2021, Smith has recovered more than $2 million for his clients, both in and out of the court room. Smith’s work ethic, dependability, communication skills, and compassion make him an outstanding advocate for those injured by the negligence of others.
Senior Vice President, Rock Point Bank
Years With the Company: 2
Susan Spletzer has more than 22 years of experience in the banking industry and joined locally owned and managed RockPointBank in the summer of 2021. Her area of expertise has been primarily in the private banking arena assisting high net worth/high income earners with complex banking needs. Spletzer enjoys working on personal and commercial lending deals and finds it rewarding to provide creative solutions to client requests. She prides herself on building long lasting, meaningful relationships with her clients. Outside of the office, she enjoys all things outdoors – camping, hiking, and boating, and is an active member of the 100+ Women Who Care and the Estate Planning Council of Chattanooga. She and her husband attend Holy Spirit Catholic Church.
General Manager, The FEED Co. Table & Tavern
Years With the Company: 7
In his seven years with The FEED Co. Table & Tavern, Mike Erhardt’s role has evolved from bartender to general manager. He uses his years of industry experience to oversee all aspects of business – from daily operations and guest satisfaction to financial forecasting. Erhardt studied at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, Northeastern University in Boston, and American University in Paris. Following school, he taught English in South Korea and Costa Rica before moving back to the United States to continue his teaching career. Seeking a change of pace, Erhardt found his calling in hospitality. The challenging yet rewarding position allows him to cultivate and maintain relationships that are unique to the trade.
Founder & CEO, Croft & Frost
Years With the Company: 11
J.D. Frost is the founder and CEO of CROFT & FROST. With both a CPA designation and an MBA degree, Frost advises businesses on more than just their financials; he utilizes four foundations of wealth creation to help his clients, partners, and employees build courage and create wealth. As an entrepreneur, he knows what it takes to start – and scale – businesses and has used his years of experience in accounting to build a solid foundation for every one of his clients and partners. Frost takes a holistic approach to finances, accounting, and wealth creation by understanding the person behind the decision. He believes that to achieve one’s personal, professional, and financial goals, one must change the way they think.
Partner, Husch Blackwell
Years With the Company: 10
Andrew Hodgson handles all phases of commercial real estate transactions from negotiation through due diligence and closing. Enjoying the challenge of each property being unique, Andrew represents sellers, landlords, buyers, and tenants nationwide in sophisticated real estate transactions for retail, industrial, and office properties. At every stage of a transaction, he works closely with clients to strategize a successful deal; collaborates with municipalities, title companies, brokers, and escrow agents; and astutely overcomes obstacles as they arise. He guides clients across multiple industries, including helping clients in the cannabis and alcohol & beverage sectors as they navigate quickly changing regulatory issues of development, leasing, and tenancy.
Timothy B. Ballard
Attorney, Evans Harrison Hackett, PLLC
Years With the Company: 1
Tim Ballard recently joined the law firm of Evans Harrison Hackett (EHH) as a shareholder. His practice primarily focuses on domestic relations (“family law”), and he has extensive experience litigating not only complex divorces and custody disputes, but cases involving contested adoptions, grandparent visitation, and nearly everything in between. He is proud to have joined EHH and hopes to add to the firm’s already considerable reputation for professionalism and legal prowess. Ballard is a member of the Ray L. Brock and Robert E. Cooper American Inn of Court and has served as a board member for the Chattanooga Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, for five years. Ballard and his wife are members of First Presbyterian Church and are expecting their third child this summer.
Chattanooga native Kim Reddish has been a nurse for over 25 years. She completed her Bachelor of Science in nursing at the University of Tennessee and a Master of Science in nursing at Southern Adventist University. Reddish has held national and regional corporate roles as an executive in operations and has served as a nurse advocate. This gives her the unique perspective of being able to speak the business language while understanding what it takes to care for patients at the bedside. With this incredible insight, Reddish has a bright future with Tennova Healthcare – Cleveland as chief nursing officer, with goals of creating a dynamic and caring culture that not only capitalizes on individual talents but demonstrates innovation in recruiting, onboarding, and retention.
Managing Partner, Logan-Thompson, P.C.
Years With the Company: 13
Matthew Coleman is the managing partner of Logan-Thompson, P.C., the largest law firm in the 10th Judicial District. His practice focuses on insurance claims and complex civil litigation. He graduated with honors from Lee University and obtained his J.D. from Appalachian School of Law. In addition to being a top producer at Logan-Thompson, Coleman has served as president of the Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club, Mainstreet Cleveland, and was elected to the school board for Cleveland City Schools. Coleman served in Afghanistan as a Special Forces Green Beret in 2002. Matthew’s life embodies the Rotary motto “service above self.”