The Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville (ABC) is pleased to welcome five new board members and one Young Leaders Council (YLC) intern to its board of directors. The new directors—Larry Abel, Khrys Hatch, Jamie Kent, Brynn Plummer, and Nancy VanReece—will each serve a three-year term which began on November 1, 2021. The YLC intern is Jacquelyn Wahlberg, who will serve for a one-year internship.
“This year’s board class is an especially exciting group of creative business professionals that truly embody the mission of the Arts & Business Council,” said ABC Executive Director Jill McMillan Palm. “Our board of directors is a dedicated team of community leaders committed to providing education, resources, and opportunities to sustain Greater Nashville’s creative community, and we are excited to add the talent, expertise, and energy of these new board members into furthering our mission.”
In addition to electing new board members, the Arts & Business Council also named new officers for 2021-2022. Kearstin Patterson, of HCA Healthcare, is the 2021-2022 board chair. Thor Urness, of Bradley, is vice chair, and Mike Koupal, of Elliott Davis, is the treasurer. Kelly Frey, of Worldwide Stages, is the immediate past chair.
The Arts & Business Council fills an important and unique niche in Nashville’s cultural community as the first and only private sector organization of its kind dedicated to providing resources and support to help organizations and creatives of all artistic disciplines at all career stages. The full list of the Arts & Business Council board of directors can be found on our website.
LEARN MORE ABOUT ABC’S NEWEST BOARD MEMBERS:
Dreamer-In-Chief, Abel McCallister Abel
Larry Abel was born in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma and graduated from The University of Oklahoma. After starting out as an art major with a minor in music, he switched gears and graduated with a BBA in Accounting. After working in the insurance field with CNA, his original artistic desires refused to be stifled. He started a confection design wholesale business which subsequently sold and then he joined a national confectionery retail chain as head of Visual Merchandising and Marketing. From there he joined M&M / Mars as a Sr. VP of Marketing overseeing and re-designing the M&M’s World Retail store in Las Vegas, NV. Having spearheaded one of Mars’ brands presence into the Hollywood arena, he soon left Mars and founded larry abel / de-signs, LLC. Originally founded to create brand marketing experiences at high profile red carpet entertainment events, the company, now named Abel McCallister & Abel, LLC and over 18 years is one of the premier experiential event production agencies in the country. Larry is married to his husband and business partner, Raymond McCallister and they are proud parents to Olivia (Abel) Minatrea and Anna Abel, both working side by side with their dads in the family business, and papo and pat pat to Grayson and Willow.
Musician // Manager, Capital Formation; Launch Tennessee
Khrys Hatch is a musician, actor, and entrepreneur. He currently leads LaunchTN’s capital initiatives with the goal of increasing access to capital across the state, including managing Launch Tennessee’s Impact Fund as they make direct investments into early-stage Tennessee companies. He also works with investors from around the country to identify and connect them to promising TN companies for investment. Outside of LaunchTN, Khrys is an active musician and can be heard at venues around Nashville. Khrys is a Nashville native and Summa Cum Laude graduate of Fisk University. He is also an HBCUvc Fellow and a class 74 graduate of Young Leaders Council. He also served as the Arts & Business Council’s Young Leaders Council Board intern from 2020-2021.
Musician // President, The Band Ambassador Media Group
Artist, entrepreneur, and lobbyist Jamie Kent has forged a unique path of his own through the music industry over the last decade. He’s been called an “Artist You Need To Know” by Rolling Stone, and dubbed one of the “Most Fascinating People of 2020” by Nashville Lifestyles Magazine. As an artist, he has notched over a thousand shows under his belt, ncluding concerts with icons ranging from Reba to Huey Lewis & The News. His last album “All American Mutt”, debuted at #16 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart, and his songs have been heard across network television in shows and commercials. Beyond his own music, Kent has emerged as a key voice advocating for and on behalf of the creative community in Tennessee A registered lobbyist and marketing strategist, Kent’s experience and approach are uniquely his own. He has developed festival activations for Fortune 500 companies, brokered wide ranging endorsement deals, and most recently launched Musicians for a Smokefree Tennessee, building a 60 member coalition from the ground up and lobbying at the state level for musician’s public health. His story and strategies aim to unite the creative community on behalf of issues across the political spectrum, based around the belief that the voice of the artistic community truly has the ability to innovate advocacy, that in turn, impacts policy.
Vice President, Inclusion & Community Relations; Nashville Entrepreneur Center and Founder; Disscocialite Design Co.
Brynn Plummer is a career inclusion and equity professional who currently holds the position of Vice President, Inclusion & Community Relations at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center. Born and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina, Brynn moved to New York City to attend Columbia University where she majored in Comparative and Postcolonial Literature. After college, Brynn moved to Nashville in 2011 to teach middle school humanities, and to earn a Master of Arts in Education from Lipscomb University. Since that time, she has worked in the nonprofit and public sectors on a range of topics from k-12 education to progressive politics to startups and entrepreneurial ecosystem building through multiple national and global organizations including Teach For America, Teach For All, Deloitte, Culture Shift Team, Nisolo, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, UBS, American Family Insurance and Verizon Wireless. As it pertains to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, Brynn’s specialty areas include multipartial facilitation, intersectional analysis, systems audit, communicating across power differentials, normalizing divergent cultural patterns in the workplace, and implementing DEIB practices in startup environments.
Brynn lives in East Nashville and enjoys gardening, interior design, road trips, and supporting independent musical artists. Brynn is also the founder and head designer of Dissocialite Design Co, an apparel and goods company creating products to normalize and destigmatize mental illness through the beauty of design.
HON. NANCY VANREECE
Vice President, Public Affairs & Business Development; The Roots Barn
Nancy VanReece’s mission is to advocate creative opportunities to help communities, businesses, and individuals achieve their full potential. Hon. Nancy VanReece is also the Vice President of Public Affairs & Business Development for The Roots Barn. She is a brand builder and an advocate that concentrates on the client experience, contributing a long strategic vision with a keen eye for relationship building.
Nancy VanReece is the first openly out lesbian elected to a legislative body in the State of Tennessee. She is the Nashville and Davidson County Metro Councilmember responsible for surging popularity and citizen activism in District 8, which includes parts of North Inglewood, Maplewood, and Madison. She was selected by the Nashville Business Journal as one of the most Influential Women of the Year in 2019 and NashvillePOST list of inCharge in Government Policy in 2020. She is a member of Leadership Tennessee Class VIII 2020-21. She has also begun work in 2019 on the Advisory Council to the Nashville Sports Authority to bring professional women’s sports to Nashville. She served as Chair of the Convention & Tourism Committee during part of her first term 2015-2017. She is an At-Large Board Member of the National League of Cities Elected Officials constituency group and the Nashville Predators GUIDER Board. She has paintings showing in six cities, three universities, and two countries.
VanReece was also a trailblazer for more than 25 years in the music business, as well as served as the Executive Director/CEO of The Nashville Shakespeare Festival from 2007-2009; the first Senior Director of Partnership Development at Cool People Care, Inc.; and as a strategist for GivingMatters.com, and the Nashville Library Foundation. She was the first new media consultant for the Transit Alliance of Middle TN. Nancy was the Vice President of Business Development for Batch USA for nearly five years in which time the growth of the company’s revenues more than doubled.
JACQUELYN WAHLBERG (YLC INTERN)
Strategic Development Specialist; Meredith Corporation
Jacquelyn is a naturally curious person and loves learning about her clients, their businesses, and their goals. She’s a trusted advisor and a consultant with a proven recording of delivering new customers and generating bottom-line results. Her affinity for data matched with a love for creative storytelling makes her a versatile strategist. She loves playing with her Chihuahua, Rico, and cooking in her spare time.
About the Arts & Business Council
The Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville leverages and unites the unique resources of the arts and business communities to create a thriving, sustainable creative culture in Nashville. We accomplish this through five main programs: Volunteer Lawyers & Professionals for the Arts, Periscope: Artist Entrepreneur Training, Fiscal Sponsorship, Education for the Creative Community, and Arts Board Matching, among many other resources and opportunities.