Governor Names Karen Ward To WGU Tennessee Advisory Board

Wednesday, August 07, 2013
Karen Ward
Karen Ward

Governor Bill Haslam and Western Governors University have named Karen Ward to the advisory board of WGU Tennessee, an accredited, nonprofit, online university aimed at expanding access to higher education for Tennesseans.

Ms. Ward is senior vice president and chief human resources officer for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. She is responsible for properties and corporate services as well as human resources functions across all lines of business for the company, which employs 5,400 workers across the state.

Additionally, Kimberly K. Estep, Ph.D., has been named WGU Tennessee’s chancellor. Estep joins the university after serving as vice president for academic affairs and student services at Nashville State Community College. A graduate of Auburn University, she has more than 25 years’ experience in higher education as both a professor and an administrator. She will be based in WGU Tennessee’s main office in Nashville but will work with higher-education, community, and business leaders throughout the state to increase awareness and establish partnerships.

Other members of the advisory board, which is tasked with providing strategic counsel and guidance to WGU Tennessee, are:

 · John Ingram (chairman), chairman and CEO, Ingram Industries, Nashville

· Jerry Askew, Senior VP, Government Relations, Tennova, Knoxville

· Shannon A. Brown, senior vice president/chief human resources and diversity officer, FedEx Express, Memphis

· David A. Golden, senior vice president, chief legal officer, and Corporate Secretary, Eastman, Kingsport

· Thom Mason, director, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge

· Jim McIntyre, superintendent, Knoxville County Schools, Knoxville

· Ralph Schulz, president and CEO, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Nashville

· John Steele, senior VP, Human Resources, HCA, Nashville Shannon Brown, senior vice president/chief human resources and diversity officer, FedEx Express, Memphis

· Blair Taylor, president, Memphis Tomorrow, Memphis

Kimberly Estep
Kimberly Estep

Lee University Welcomes New Faculty

Lee University welcomed 14 new faculty members this fall, including eight from among the Schools of Music, Nursing, and Religion, along with the Helen DeVos College of Education and the Squires Library.  Lenena Brezna joins the Lee faculty as a lecturer in voice. Prior to Lee, Ms. Brezna taught music appreciation and was a voice instructor at the University of Memphis. She ... (click for more)

Tennessee Treasury Department To Host Series Of Webinars On Saving For College

In celebration of College Savings Month, the Tennessee Treasury Department wants to help make college planning easier. Beginning Sept. 10, the department will host a series of free web-based seminars - or webinars - on topics related to college savings. These webinars will include information about the TNStars 529 College Savings Plan, which allows people to save money for children’s ... (click for more)

Plan Revived For 5-Story Boutique Hotel Next To The Walnut Street Bridge

Plans have been revived for a five-story boutique hotel next to the Walnut Street Bridge. Vision Hospitality Group said the yet-to-be named hotel will provide 90 rooms featuring high-end amenities and exemplary service in the city's art district. Plans for a similar hotel were announced in 2012, but the proposal was later withdrawn. The hotel is slated for 102 Walnut ... (click for more)

Grand Jury Says County Needs To Start "Immediately" On Funding A New County Jail

Members of the Hamilton County Grand Jury said in a final report that the county needs to start "immediately" on funding a replacement for the Hamilton County Jail. The report, read by Foreman Robert Smith, says, "The Jail is near and/or over capacity and understaffed!  Hard-working corrections officers are in constant danger.  Being responsible for 80-100 inmates per ... (click for more)

Better Plan For Walnut Street Hotel

Mitch Patel and his Vision Hospitality Group have unveiled a revised plan for a hotel on Walnut Street. It is much better than the one proposed two years ago. By having no curb cuts on Walnut Street, it makes that special block near the bridge more inviting and safer for pedestrians. Deliveries would be off Riverfront Parkway and hotel access (valet parking) would be off Aquarium ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Al Sharpton’s Wise Remarks

I’ll admit I paid little more than scant attention to the Monday funeral of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by police bullets in Ferguson, Mo., after he allegedly was involved in strong-armed robbery. There are too many tawdry details and, in my way of thinking, there is nothing under God’s sun, absolutely nothing, that gives others the right to riot, burn ... (click for more)