Meet the Arts Board Matching Class of 2018

The Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville announces the selection of 15 Nashville professionals to participate in the 2018 Arts Board Matching program where they will gain the skills to be effective, engaged board members of local nonprofit arts organizations.

The Arts & Business Council believes there are exceptionally talented individuals at all levels within area businesses who can make great contributions to the local arts community. By serving on a nonprofit board of directors, professionals learn to lead and influence people, take risks, resolve conflicts, practice creative decision-making, and help strengthen the community. Arts Board Matching participants gain an extensive and diverse exposure to the arts industry, opportunities to network with arts organizations and other professionals across industries, and the chance to work in a visible role with other community leaders.

Arts Board Matching consists of four half-day workshops that are spread over the course of four weeks in October. Participants experience workshops that provide an overview of the arts and culture sector in Nashville as well as insights into board governance, fiduciary and financial responsibilities, fundraising, and strategic planning. After completing the training, participants attend a speed-dating style Matching Event where they have the chance to connect with arts nonprofits seeking new board members.

The Arts Board Matching Class of 2018 includes:

Wells Beckett

Wells Beckett is an attorney in the Nashville office of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP where he assists privately held and publicly traded companies with corporate and business matters, such as mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and securities offerings.  He has worked extensively with clients in healthcare, manufacturing, information technology and other industries. Additionally, startups and early-stage companies rely on Wells for guidance in accessing growth capital, and venture capital and private equity funds rely on Wells for guidance in structuring their investments in new and emerging companies. Wells earned his J.D., cum laude, in 2013 from the University of Tennessee College of Law where he chaired the Sports and Entertainment Law Society and served as student materials editor of the Tennessee Law Review. In 2010, he earned his BBA, cum laude, in music business from Belmont University.


Allison Dowdle

Allison Dowdle, a Nashville native, is a manager in the Audit and Enterprise Risk Services group at Deloitte. She’s been with the firm since October 2012. During that time, she primarily focused on serving large public clients in the consumer business and manufacturing industries. In addition to my client service role, she is also involved in recruiting, training facilitation and coaching. Dowdle is a CPA with the state of Tennessee and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.



Emeline Dunn

Emeline Dunn is a vice president and client services advisor for Pinnacle Bank, located at the Green Hills Office. Emeline started her banking career at Avenue Bank in 2012 after graduating from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a double major in accounting and finance. Most recently Emeline continued her education by receiving a graduate degree from The Southwestern Graduate School of Banking through the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University. Emeline is currently a member and on the Nominating Committee for The Junior League of Nashville and serves on the board and as the Service Chair for The Rotary Club of Green Hills. Previously, Emeline has been involved with Young Leader’s Council, Oasis Center, Mending Hearts, The Nashville Area AOII Alumni Chapter, and Brentwood Academy Alumni Council. Emeline has a wonderful husband, Brian Dunn, and together they have two dogs and a cat. In her spare time, Emeline enjoys spending time with her family, reading, cooking and exploring nature.


Brett Estenoz

Brett Estenoz is thrilled to join the Arts & Business Council’s Arts Board Matching Program. Brett was born and raised in the creative haven of Key West, Florida, surrounded by a community of artists and performing as an actor and musician with various regional theater production companies and the South Florida Symphony Orchestra. After graduating from college at the University of Florida, Brett moved to Nashville to attend Belmont University College of Law. Since graduating from law school, she has practiced healthcare compliance law in Franklin, Tennessee, for a leading healthcare benefits management company. Brett is currently looking for an opportunity to immerse herself back into the world of the arts and to contribute her legal, compliance, and business skills and experience to the creative community of Nashville.


Valerie McFaddin Fitch

Valerie McFaddin Fitch is senior director of music and media licensing for CMT, TV Land and Paramount Network, part of Viacom Media Networks, where she leads the copyright licensing team in Nashville, Tennessee, handling clearances for television and digital programming, promotions, news, print and film.

Valerie approaches every clearance initiative as a challenging puzzle to solve, applying this method to network projects including CMT Music Awards, Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders: Making the Team, Johnny Cash: American Rebel, Younger and  Next Women of Country as well as brand partnerships involving Aveeno, Pepsi, RAM and Diamond Producers of America. Valerie has successfully negotiated some of the best clearance terms and fees for materials used in these projects including deals with the NFL, NASCAR, college football organizations and Dick Clark Media Archives to name a few.  Valerie has also established long-running relationships with record labels and publishers, striving to establish strategies that seamlessly secure multiplatform, budget-friendly deals appealing to both the copyright holders and the networks.

Valerie holds a BS from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia.


Jacob Giesecke

Jacob is an associate in the finance and restructuring practice group at Waller. He received his BA from Georgetown College (Georgetown, KY), M.Th. from Oxford University, GB (Regent’s Park College), and JD from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law. Jacob is the son of a farming family from Horse Cave, Kentucky where he learned to appreciate the joys of nature and fruits of hard work. He and his wife, Morgane (a nurse practitioner) have a spirited and lively young daughter, Elisa. Jacob enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors, and deep conversations.


Keilani Goggins

Keilani has many years of experience working closely with multiple stakeholders to launch and actively manage large-scale projects. As director of youth at the YWCA of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, she helped launch Girls Incorporated in Nashville. She was also assistant director at Vanderbilt University’s Center for Student Professional Development. Born and raised in Tennessee, Keilani is a product of Tennessee’s public schools. She is committed to empowering teachers, building partnerships, and strengthening public education in the state. Keilani is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, earned a graduate degree from Tennessee State University and is currently pursuing her doctorate at Trevecca Nazarene University. She resides in Middle Tennessee with her husband and two children.


Carolyn Griffin Hall

Carolyn Griffin Hall is a native of Atlanta who has made Nashville her home since 1992. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was an Arts Administration Fellow at the National Endowment for the Arts and received a master’s degree in public policy from Vanderbilt University. Carolyn served as the arts and cultural program officer for The Frist Foundation from 1995 to 1999 where she was also involved in planning for the Frist Art Museum. In recent years, she has served as a community grant review panelist for Metro Arts and this past year was a participant in the Metro Arts Racial Equity in Art Leadership (REAL) Program. Carolyn and her husband Hartley have one daughter who is in her first year at Davidson College.


Michael Koupal

Michael is a principal with Elliott Davis, a regional public accounting and consulting firm. He focuses on providing accounting and assurance services to clients in the financial institution industry sector. With over 13 years of experience in public accounting, his experience includes working with financial institutions ranging in size from $100 million to more than $3 billion in assets. Michael’s external audit experience includes both private and public institutions, including SOX 404 and FDICIA requirements.  Michael’s internal audit experience also includes private and public institutions, including assisting in determining and setting up key controls for SOX 404 and FDICIA requirements.  Michael recently transferred to Nashville and is looking to get involved in a local arts board to both give back to the community and to be more involved in the arts community.


Casey Mulligan

Casey Mulligan is a banker with Pinnacle Financial Partners, where she works with a diverse book of both consumer and small business clientele to help them achieve their financial goals. She began her career in finance at Avenue Bank, a small local organization which catered to Nashville’s thriving music and entertainment industry and merged with Pinnacle in 2016. Casey is a young and enthusiastic professional whose 12+ year career in client service-related fields has been continuously driven by her desire to know and engage with as many people as possible. Artistic and somewhat disorganized as a child, Casey was surprised to discover in her adulthood a deeply buried love of organization and accounting methods that when coupled with an innate skill for creative problem solving enabled her to design an enhanced CRM system for a former employer, a version of which was later implemented on a national scale. An active member of the Junior League and STARS Associate board, Casey’s past service in the community has included work with both Monroe Harding Inc., and Crossroads Campus. When she’s not glued to her computer or actively engaging with clients she can be found relaxing with her phenomenal husband Henry and their four rescue dogs.


Jason C. Palmer

Jason is from Bluefield, Virginia and attended the College of William & Mary in Virginia for his undergraduate education.  He majored in government and minored in mathematics. He then attended Vanderbilt Law School and now practices with the law firm of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP.  Jason’s practice involves a variety of litigation matters with a focus on intellectual property litigation, primarily copyrights and trademarks, and entertainment-related matters.


Nikoo Paydar

Nikoo Paydar, PhD, is assistant curator at Fisk University Galleries in Nashville, Tennessee, as well as an administrator for the Fisk Museum Leadership Program and a faculty member in the art department. In her role at Fisk University Galleries she is responsible for a range of programs focused on engaging the community and student body in the university’s collection and curating exhibitions; an upcoming project is Art from Africa of Our Time: African Modernism in America, 1947-67, which she is co-curating with Andy Warhol Curatorial Fellow Perrin Lathrop and Fisk University Galleries Director and Curator Jamaal Sheats. Her research interests include museum interpretation strategies, early twentieth-century Orientalism and American art. She has taught modern art, African art, women and the arts, and art-historical theories and methods. She has presented on and organized conferences in the US, UK, Hong Kong and Russia, and she has contributed to fine art magazines and peer-reviewed journals. She serves as the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries Tennessee State Representative. Prior to her role at Fisk University, she held positions at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, and Moore College of Art & Design and was the Co-Founding Executive Director of Iranian Alliances Across Borders. She is from Memphis, Tennessee. She holds a PhD in art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art and a BA from Tufts University.


Phillip Powers

Phillip Powers, a lifelong creative and career architect, lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife Melanie, but as a Memphis-native and a UT Knoxville graduate, he is passionate about arts development in all corners of his home state.

Phillip has worked at Earl Swensson Associates since 2012. He uses his originality, eye for design, and big personality to serve as a project designer on a variety of projects, including education, community and the arts, healthcare, hospitality, and corporate office facilities. As an architect, he coordinates with clients to help translate their vision into a reality.

He is heavily involved in the community having previously worked with Tennessee Performing Arts Center, Belmont University, the Nashville Ballet, the Nashville Zoo, and participated in events for the American Institute of Architects, the International Interior Design Association, Cheekwood, and the American Heart Association.


Debbie Radish-Respess

Debbie’s career has focused on developing and executing targeted business initiatives that drive customer growth and achieve business objectives. Her expertise includes strategy, compliance, acquisitions, talent management, policies/procedures, organizational development, employee relations, employee benefits, and retirement plans. She’s a highly effective communicator and team leader with proven ability to build long-term relationships across internal and external customer environments built with integrity, confidence, and trust

Most recently, Debbie served as the vice president of human resources for a global, Tier 1 automotive manufacturer. In addition, she has experience in transportation, logistics, business process improvement, supply chain management, and operations.

Debbie is a servant leader at heart and leads by example. She believes that developing a team’s strengths, empowering employees and providing a strategic and achievable vision provides a solid foundation for organizational success.


Rick Whetsel

With a background that includes promoting and producing events, owning and operating venues, as well as artist development, Rick is a 25-year veteran of the Entertainment Industry. Currently vice president of G7 Entertainment Marketing, where he works putting artists and brands together. Rick began his career in Nashville in 1992, when he founded Great Big Shows. His experiences at Great Big Shows allowed him to develop the skillset needed to develop and produce sponsorship driven experiences for Fortune 500 brands. Originally from Sharon, Pennsylvania, Rick attended the University of Pittsburgh and relocated to Nashville in 1991. He enjoys his time here with his wife Erin, and two daughters, Lily and Ruby.