Introducing the Arts Board Matching Class of Spring 2024!

The Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville (ABC) proudly announces the selection of 12 business professionals for the spring cohort of Arts Board Matching! This is the first of two cohorts in 2024, continuing ABC’s efforts to expand the reach of this instrumental program.

Arts Board Matching promotes dynamic leadership in the arts by cultivating the skills needed to be effective, engaged board members and making matches between business professionals and arts organizations in need of adept leaders. Alumni report feeling better prepared for their board leadership roles and arts organizations often return to recruit board members year after year.

Meet the Class of Spring 2024:

Alyssa Macon is the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Manager at AllianceBernstein (AB). In her role, she manages the firm’s global Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), drafts DEI-related communications & presentations, and conducts marketplace research on DEI trends. Prior to joining AB, she spent seven years at Jackson where she was a Product and Competitive Intelligence Analyst. While there, she also co-founded the company’s ERG created to support Black professionals and was a co-chair for three years. She attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham where she studied psychology, holds a Diversity & Inclusion Certificate from Cornell University, and a Board Fundamentals Certificate from the Center for Non-profit Management. Outside of her work at AB, Alyssa is also a Registered Yoga Teacher and teaches weekly classes at a local Nashville yoga studio. And, most importantly, she is a proud mother to her son, a bright MNPS student.

Brett Estenoz (Cigna Healthcare) has been a practicing attorney in the Nashville healthcare industry for the last ten years, primarily focused on corporate compliance. Having grown up in the artist’s haven of Key West, Florida, but then taking a less artistic route in her career, she enjoys patronizing local arts organizations to keep her creativity alive. She has been a Board Member of two community theater nonprofit organizations in the Middle Tennessee area in the last ten years, primarily focused on fundraising and community engagement.

Colin Campbell is a Senior Architect at Dryden Studio, specializing in residential and hospitality projects here in Nashville. He’s worked extensively on difficult design problems ranging in scale from branding and furniture design to new residential construction and master planning urban developments. In addition to his design expertise, Colin is deeply passionate about community service. He actively seeks opportunities to contribute to the well-being of Nashville, collaborating with local initiatives and supporting projects that positively impact the community, reflecting his commitment to making a meaningful difference in the lives of those around him. 

Deke Shearon is a Senior Attorney at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, where he practices as a litigator specializing in complex commercial disputes. A Nashville native, Deke grew up in Bellevue, and attended Montgomery Bell Academy before leaving Nashville after high school to attend New York University for college and law school.  He then practiced law for a decade in NYC, where, among other matters, he represented American Express against the Department of Justice in a high-profile antitrust trial, and served as the chief of staff to the independent monitor appointed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to oversee the Takata airbag recall, the largest automotive recall in U.S. history.

Jenn Carland (DPR Construction) moved to Nashville in 2020. She studied art in college and went on to receive an MFA, as well as graduate certificate in urban and environmental planning. After school, she formed her artist business, called Carland Cartography, where she creates abstract drawings of city street maps. She has shown her work throughout the East Coast; had public corporate art installations in Boston, New York City, and Chicago, and artwork included in Netflix Original Series. In addition to being an artist, she has a career locally in the construction sector where she works to implement sustainable building solutions.  She is excited to use her passion for the arts, interest in architecture and building, as well as commitment to sustainability to make a difference in the world.

Katie Hogrefe is a Nashville-native and a People Talent Specialist at AllianceBernstein (AB). She has been with the company since 2019, working her way up from recruiting to overseeing the firm’s talent programs. In her current role, Katie manages the internship program, new grad program, returnship program, and the young professionals group. She is also completing a 2-year term as co-chair of AB Out, AB’s LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group. Prior to joining AB, Katie worked at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Outside of work, Katie is a self-proclaimed foodie who loves trying new restaurants in Nashville’s booming food scene and experimenting in her own kitchen. She is also a fan of drag and enjoys supporting Nashville’s local queens.

Leslie LaChance (Ostinato Muse) is a writer and editor whose work appears in magazines and journals such as The Nashvillian, The East Nashvillian, Tennessee Home & Farm, Dance Teacher Magazine, Stirring: A Literary Collection, Still: The Journal, and Birmingham Poetry Review. She is a writing mentor for teens with Southern Word and teaches collegiate writing and literature classes. Leslie serves on the board of the expressive arts teaching studio Art & Soul Nashville, and volunteers as a “ROS1 Driver” for the ROS1ders, a cancer patient and research advocacy organization for people affected by the rare ROS1 cancer. She blogs about health, illness, and well-being at Sojourn & Stardust.

Shaped by early and frequent trips to the contemporary wing of the St. Louis Art Museum, Maria Meyer brings her love of art and design to her work as a Senior Interior Designer at Dryden Studio. Her work is driven by providing opportunities for meaningful exchanges between people and the spaces they inhabit. Maria is highly engaged in the Nashville design community. She has volunteered with Nashville Design Week since its inaugural year, and she served as Director of Programming from 2020-2022. Her design focused writing has been featured in Nashville Interiors Magazine and she is an active member of the International Interior Design Association’s Tennessee chapter.

Nicole Briones is an accomplished Fellow with the Society of Actuaries and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries boasting over a decade of experience in the healthcare consulting and insurance industry. She spent most of her career at Mercer, a leading healthcare consulting company, where she held pivotal roles as lead actuary and consultant for major national employers while serving in a leadership capacity as the Strategic Support for the Market Business Leader. Presently, Nicole lends her expertise to Consortium Health Plans, focusing on supporting the Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans.

Sadie Shourd is an attorney with Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP in Nashville, Tennessee. She is in the Corporate & Securities Practice Group and has experience assisting businesses with transactions and general corporate matters across an array of industries, including media and entertainment. She also maintains an active pro bono practice advising nonprofit corporations on corporate governance issues and contractual matters.

Shundra Crumpton Manning is an attorney at Polsinelli PC. Her practice focuses on representing businesses and organizations in litigation matters and disputes with an emphasis on data security incidents and other cyber-related losses and controversies. She works with Polsinelli attorneys to develop outcome-driven litigation strategies aligned with each client’s business goals. In her personal time, Shundra enjoys hiking, binge watching television shows, and occasionally dressing up as a mime and recording videos.

Thalia Ewing aka Muziqueen (The MLC) is a native of Nashville, TN and has an extensive career in the music business that spans over 15 years and includes artist development, copyright, licensing, and royalties. She has worked for some of the biggest companies in music such as Sony Music Entertainment, Sony/ATV Music Publishing EMI Music Publishing and currently BMG Rights Management. She also owns Muziqueen Publishing, an independent publishing company that focuses on urban and pop music. Thalia is also founder of Nashville Is Not Just Country Music. A community-based organization aimed at providing music business education, networking opportunities and career advancement support to urban music creators.