September 24, 2023


The Number One Source For Business

Holly Bischoff named CFO at EMJ Construction and more Chattanooga-area career moves

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Holly Bischoff

Holly Bischoff named CFO at EMJ Construction

EMJ Construction has appointed Holly Bischoff as chief financial officer, responsible for the overall fiscal functions of EMJ and its subsidiaries and related companies.

She will continue to work with the executive leadership team to establish long range goals, strategies, plans and policies for each while aligning them with the overall mission, strategy and vision of EMJ.

“Holly has been an integral part of the accounting and finance department for many years,” said Burt Odom, president and CEO of EMJ Construction. “She’s been the backbone of the accounting department during her tenure, authored much of the company’s financial direction, forged deep relationships with our financial partners and served as a trusted senior-level counselor to the EMJ Construction executive team.”

After graduating from Tennessee Technological University with a bachelor’s in accounting, she attended the University of Oregon and earned an MBA with a concentration in finance.

She began her career as a senior auditor at Arthur Andersen before moving to Brach’s Confections where she served as a financial reporting supervisor and budgeting and planning manager. Bischoff joined EMJ in 2004 where she has served in successive positions, including controller, vice president of finance and accounting, senior vice president of finance and accounting and interim chief financial officer.


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Emily Russell

Emily Russell joins Safehaven facility

Safehaven, a facility dedicated to caring for brain-injured adults and their families, has hired registered nurse Emily Russell to develop and implement clinical processes for the nursing team.

Russell has vast nursing experience in the adult care field, having worked in home health, long-term care, assisted living and dialysis.

“Safehaven’s mission of providing care and outreach to the brain injury community is one I stand behind wholeheartedly, so the opportunity to come in and be able to make a lasting impact is one I’m incredibly excited about,” said Russell.

Russell’s primary role will be to work with Karen Williams, vice president of nursing.

“Emily is an incredibly well-rounded nurse, having worked with adults whose needs span a wide spectrum,” Williams said. “Both her clinical knowledge and her compassion will be an immense asset to our residents and team members at Safehaven.”


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Darren Strickland

First Horizon names Darren Strickland as loan officer

First Horizon Bank has named Darren Strickland as senior mortgage officer. He will serve the areas of Chattanooga and Cleveland, Tennessee, and North Georgia.

Strickland is a certified mortgage loan officer and a member of the Chattanooga Mortgage Bankers Association.

“As one of the top mortgage loan originators in Chattanooga, Darren has helped thousands of families purchase their new home, refinance their current mortgage and build their dream home,” said Chattanooga market president, Jay Dale. “We are confident that Darren will continue his success with us across the region.”

Strickland graduated from the University of West Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in finance and business administration. Darren is a former president of the Chattanooga Mortgage Bankers Association and a past recipient of the Chattanooga Mortgage Banker of the Year award.


Crye-Leike Relocation wins industry awards

Crye-Leike Relocation Services, a service of Crye-Leike Real Estate, has earned industry awards from Aires, a global relocation management company that prides itself on partnering with the best in the industry, and SIRVA Worldwide Relocation and Moving, a global leader in moving and relocation services.

Aires recently presented Crye-Leike Relocation Services with the 2020 Circle of Excellence award. This award is only presented to companies that exceed Aires’ quality standards and maintain a commitment to exceptional customer service.

SIRVA Worldwide Relocation and Moving recognized Crye-Leike Relocation Services as an A+ Rated Broker.

Crye-Leike Relocation Services assists families, individuals and corporate groups relocating within the United States and abroad.


Evann Freeman, Nicole Barranco named to Chamber board

Holly Sullivan, Amazon’s director of worldwide economic development, will lead the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry and its board of directors for 2021. Sullivan will be joined by business leaders from industry leaders across all three Grand Divisions, including FedEx, Ballad Health, Vanderbilt University, EPB and the Tennessee Farm Bureau Association.

“I look forward to building upon the great progress of prior board chairs in working with our state elected leaders to continue Tennessee’s trend as a top state in the nation for investment to support economic growth,” Sullivan said.

The 54-member board of the statewide Chamber also includes Evann Freeman, director of government relations at EPB, and Nicole Barranco, director of state government affairs at Volkswagen in Chattanooga.


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Robbin Darden

Robbin Darden wins award for Exceeding Expectations

Robbin Darden, lead nurse at The Lantern at Morning Pointe Alzheimer’s Center of Excellence in Chattanooga, has received the Morning Pointe Senior Living Exceeding Expectations award for outstanding service for the Appalachian Region, covering 13 Morning Pointe communities in southeast Tennessee and Georgia.

Independent Healthcare Properties (IHP) and Morning Pointe Senior Living presented its Exceeding Expectations awards every year to acknowledge top performing team members in its 35 communities in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Darden has been with Morning Pointe for 11 years, starting her career as a second shift nurse at Morning Pointe of Hixson before transferring to the resident services director position at The Lantern at Morning Pointe Alzheimer’s Center of Excellence, Collegedale, where she remained for over five years. Now, as lead nurse at the Chattanooga Lantern, she also works with many of her colleagues from her time in Collegedale.

When selecting her as the Exceeding Expectations winner, Morning Pointe leadership cited Darden’s instrumental role in staffing and training in the wake of an EF3 tornado that devastated much of the East Brainerd community earlier this year—including Morning Pointe Senior Living communities on Shallowford Road—as well as her many years of advocacy for associates and residents, as particularly noteworthy.


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Bill Aiken

William Aiken, William Pickering named BTI Client Service All-Stars

William P. Aiken and William H. Pickering, attorneys at Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C., have been honored as 2020 Client Service All-Stars by the BTI Consulting Group. This annual ranking honors outstanding lawyers nominated by corporate counsel of Fortune 1000 companies and other major industry businesses. Aiken and Pickering are among an exclusive group of 475 attorneys selected nationwide for the honor.

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William H. Pickering

Chambliss is one of only 29 law firms that were also recognized as part of BTI’s 2020 Client Service A-Team ranking for “adopting powerful client service initiatives and engaging in meaningful, actionable, and in-depth client feedback.”


Leadership Tennessee announces NEXT class

Leadership Tennessee has selected the 29 participants for the third class of Leadership Tennessee NEXT, a program designed to offer personal and professional career development for Tennessee’s early and mid-career professionals while fostering a greater understanding of Tennessee.

The up-and-coming professional include from Chattanooga Julia Bursch, director of operations and special projects at River City Company; Brittany Ennen, real estate agent for Todd Henon Properties; Evann Freeman, director of government relations and economic development at EPB; Donna Elle Harrison, director of cultural tourism for the Chattanooga Tourism Co.; Ken Jones, director of procurement and vendor relations at EPB; Vendor Relations, EPB (Chattanooga, and PatrickO’Hagan, interim director of the Kimball Site for Chattanooga State Community College

“One thing is evident, the future of the state is bright, with these upcoming leaders,” said Cathy Cate, Leadership Tennessee Executive Director. “Leadership Tennessee has always been focused on building a network of problem solvers who are rooted across all regions of the state and who come together to build a stronger, better Tennessee.”

— Compiled by Brandi Dixon

Information about new hires, promotions and business awards should be sent to [email protected].