Meet the Arts Board Matching Spring 2021 Class!

The Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville proudly announces the selection of 15 business professionals for Arts Board Matching. The first of two cohorts in 2021, this class marks the largest expansion of ABC’s signature leadership and board development program since its inception in 2012 effectively doubling the annual capacity of the program. To date, the Arts & Business Council has trained 110 board members and matched them with 52 arts organizations.

“We’re excited to work with this talented group of business leaders who are passionate about Nashville’s creative community and enthusiastic to serve as current and future board members,” said Jill McMillan Palm, executive director of the Arts & Business Council. “Nearly a decade since its inception, Arts Board Matching continues to grow and evolve—a testament to how engagement in the arts benefits businesses and engagement with businesses benefits the arts.”

Arts Board Matching training sessions provide an overview of the arts and culture sector as well as insights into board governance, fiduciary and financial responsibilities, fundraising, strategic planning, and arts advocacy. The program culminates with the Arts Board Matching Event where participants meet with a variety of arts organizations to find their match. Current arts board members may participate in the training sessions without taking part in the matching process to stay up-to-date on trends and best practices.

The Arts Board Matching Class of Spring 2021 includes:

Heather Crabtree
HASTINGS Architecture

In 2016, Heather Crabtree earned her Bachelor of Architecture from Auburn University College of Architecture, Design, and Construction and joined the HASTINGS Architecture team shortly thereafter. Having always been a problem solver and puzzle lover, Heather has spent the years since tackling design challenges for a range of project types. She has a keen interest in

people, their habits, and their connection to both the built and unbuilt environment and strives to design human-centered spaces that support the social, physical, and community needs of the user. An advocate for social responsibility, Heather enjoys being a member of the HASTINGS HELPS Volunteer Committee and actively seeking out ways to dedicate her time to her community. She has been a member and volunteer at OZ Arts Nashville, an ACE Mentor at Ravenwood High School, and is a LEED Green Associate with knowledge of sustainable practices for the built environment. 

Heather grew up on the coast of South Carolina and as such, spends much of her time in this land-locked state looking for ways to be in the water, including kayaking and hiking.

Lindsay DeCarlo
HASTINGS Architecture

Lindsay DeCarlo never so much as considered a career outside of art and design. She studied Art History and Architectural Studies at Connecticut College and began her professional career in arts education at The Met Cloisters and The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. Moving between New York and Chicago, Lindsay worked at design publications Dwell and Design Bureau and managed communications for Ennead Architects. In 2016, Lindsay joined Nashville-based architecture and interior design firm HASTINGS. As Director of Brand and Communications, Lindsay promotes HASTINGS’s work and people through print and digital media and industry recognition.

Lindsay is a Co-Founder of Nashville Design Week – a non-profit organization founded in 2017 to unite the design community, promote idea sharing, engage the public, and elevate the impact of Nashville’s design economy. She served as Director of Communications from 2017 to 2020 and currently serves as a Board Member and Communications Advisor.

In her spare time, Lindsay is learning to play tennis and forever perfecting her pizza-making technique.

Harmony Duke
Powell Architecture + Building Studio, Local Honey, and Great Feeling Studios

As project manager and systems director for local businesses, Harmony enjoys supporting creative companies to achieve business growth. 

A native Tennessean, she moved to London and graduated with a master’s degree from Goldsmith’s where she interned with the Royal Opera House. She then returned to Nashville and works with entrepreneurs and small businesses in the local creative sector. She is passionate about supporting local companies through organization, management, systems-thinking, and growth. 

A few of the companies Harmony works with include Powell – which has designed and built some of the top hospitality spaces in Nashville, Local Honey – a group of local hair salons, and Great Feeling Studios – a podcast production company. 

Eric Hawkins
HASTINGS Architecture

As an architect, musician and picture book illustrator, Eric is driven by dual passions for design and for shepherding ideas to reality. His interests in various art forms influence his design-thinking, while his commitment to relationships, and his collaborative spirit enable him to guide clients and teams through the challenges of realizing the built form.

In 2018, Eric returned to his native Tennessee to join HASTINGS as a Project Architect and Designer, leading project teams for complex, urban projects. Having previously practiced in Washington, DC, Atlanta and Durham, Eric draws from a breadth of experience with diverse project types in markets around the globe. Since 2005, his built projects have been recognized nationally and locally by the AIA, ARCHITECT Magazine, the Urban Land Institute, NAIOP, The Brick Industry Association, and Metals in Construction Magazine.

Eric holds degrees in Architecture from the University of Tennessee and Virginia Tech.

Mackenzie Koupal
BindTech, Publishers Storage & Shipping, Hampton Inn Massillon

Mackenzie Koupal is currently the Chief Financial Officer of entities that are in the book manufacturing, storage & fulfillment, and hotel industries; however, she has over 20 years of experience in almost every industry including not-for-profit from her years as both a public accountant and a consultant. She specializes in building efficiencies through cash management, better software systems, and cost analysis. She earned a BS in Accounting and an MBA from the University of New Orleans. She was born and “bred” in New Orleans, which has given her a healthy appetite for the culinary, visual and performing arts. On her days off, she is a devoted wife, “chef,” and scuba diver.

Nathan Martin
Big Events

Nathan Martin is a south Alabama native, but has called Nashville home for the last ten years. Nathan has served vocationally in a variety of industries including the medical field, agricultural sales, and scenic carpentry, specifically with Studio Tenn located in Franklin, TN. However, over the last four years he has found his place in the event industry working with Big Events Inc. in Nashville, TN. Nathan excels in the areas of process management, analysis, and problem solving. In his work at Big Events and with Studio Tenn, he loves creating something new and watching a concept evolve from idea to reality. Nathan is recently married and enjoys concerts, backpacking, and spending time woodworking or adventuring with his amazing wife.

Laura Merritt

With more than a decade of litigation experience, Laura Merritt brings a pragmatic approach to intellectual property, business, and commercial disputes. Laura focuses on crafting legal strategies that are suited to her clients’ needs, whether that calls for litigating a case through trial and appellate courts or involves a negotiated settlement to achieve business goals.

Laura has significant experience in trademark and copyright-related matters, helping clients obtain and enforce the legally protectable aspects of their brands and creative works. She works with clients on both the sending or receiving sides of cease and desist letters related to intellectual property claims and provides clients with candid assessments of enforcing and defending against intellectual property claims. Laura regularly practices before the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in cancellation, opposition and ex parte appeal proceedings. She also advises on legal issues surrounding sweepstakes, contests and social media and digital marketing campaigns.

Laura is on the steering committee of Waller’s Women’s Leadership Council and serves as an ombudsperson for the firm. She attended the University of Florida for undergrad and earned her J.D. from the American University Washington College of Law.

Ashley Mintz
Wild Enemy Art

Ashley Mintz is a visual artist and writer creating and residing in Nashville, Tennessee. Mintz began her creative journey when she moved to Nashville to pursue songwriting. Composing and recording her own instrumental music, she has had original music used in independent and short films and a play. She began doing abstract drawings and paintings after having some works chosen for an exhibition for emerging artists. Mintz has since had her art exhibited in galleries, hotels, boutiques, community centers and café’s, among other places. She has also had her art in the background of two films. As a writer of poetry and song lyrics, she often incorporates writing into her paintings and also exhibits poetry and lyrics alongside paintings. She has been invited to read her poetry and perform music at different arts festivals. Ashley regularly teaches her art and writing techniques in art journaling and mixed media art workshops as a way to help others cultivate their creativity and to use art as a way of healing.

Hunter Claire Rogers
HCR Events

Hunter Claire Rogers is the Owner of HCR Events, a company that collaborates with local and national businesses to produce curated events and impactful experiences.

As a native Nashvillian, she has always been a supporter of the local arts scene and has found ways to produce events that connect and grow that community. Before founding HCR Events, Hunter Claire left Nashville to attend the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and the Institute D’Études Politiques in Lyon, France. Upon returning home, she began working with a variety of nonprofits in the arts and transitioned into a career in the music industry at Big Machine Label Group. Hunter Claire returned to the nonprofit world as the Director of Opportunity for the Nashville Fashion Alliance before branching out on her own to focus on event curation.

In addition to HCR Events, she currently acts as the Cities Without Houses Nashville Liaison for Soho House and spends her free time helping local nonprofits produce events, and spotlighting the local arts and fashion communities through the social media presences of RSVP Nashville and Fashion Happening Nashville.

Katherine Smalley
Bass, Berry & Sims

Katie Smalley is a Nashville native and is so excited to be joining the Arts and Business Council’s Arts Board Matching Program this spring! Her lifelong appreciation for the arts inspired her to participate in this program so she can give back to the local creative community that has been hit particularly hard over the past year. Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of her favorite activities included attending live theater, film and comedy performances. A graduate of Centre College and the University of Tennessee College of Law, Katie is an associate at Bass, Berry & Sims PLC where she advises clients in a variety of commercial finance and real estate transactions. In her free time Katie enjoys baking, travelling, spending time with her dogs and cheering on the Vols, Titans and Preds.

Sarah Stewart

Sarah Stewart is an associate in Bradley’s Corporate and Securities Practice Group, representing public and privately held companies in connection with mergers and acquisitions, financing transactions, securities offerings and a variety of other general corporate matters. Having previously worked in the not-for-profit sector, Sarah is looking forward to serving the Nashville arts community following her participation in the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville Board Matching Program.

Julia Sweitzer
VF Workwear

Process-oriented from an early age, Julia was the only student in her third grade class to successfully direct her teacher to make a glass of chocolate milk (and an exceptionally chocolatey one at that) in an instruction writing assignment. A love of understanding processes and systems led Julia to a degree in economics and a business management career path. Exposure to Design Thinking while working at POLITICO in DC opened a door to a new way of approaching business problems. Julia honed in on the complexities of the ever-changing fashion industry, moving to Nashville to cut her teeth in the industry at the Nashville Fashion Alliance (NFA). She now brings her problem-solving skills to work as a Merchandiser at VF Workwear and as a Board Member and Co-Founder at Nashville Design Week.

Ginny Webb

Ginny Webb is a native Tennessean – born here in Nashville and grew up in Chattanooga. Ginny studied architecture at the University of Virginia and dabbled in art and art history. Before graduating, she studied abroad in Copenhagen and studied furniture design where she got to design and build her own chair. Following graduation, Ginny moved to New York City and worked on the restoration of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Later, she attended Virginia Tech for her masters in architecture – where her thesis focused on urban farming and food systems in East Nashville (influenced by her summer at the Nashville Civic Design Center). For the last ten years, Ginny has been designing a variety of work for higher education, K-12 schools, restaurants, and commercial office space. Her passion for architecture is very much rooted in the arts – where she finds both respite and inspiration. For the visual arts, Ginny is most drawn to landscape paintings and dream of being a travel watercolor sketch artist. And if she possessed the talent, she would also dream of being a concert pianist or trumpeter for the symphony. Ginny lives in Bellevue with her husband and two daughters.

Betsy West
Mars Petcare

Betsy West is a communications professional with over a decade of experience across federal government, non-profit, and consumer packaged goods. She currently works in Strategic Business Communications at Mars Petcare, headquartered in Franklin, TN. Prior to joining Mars in 2016, Betsy began her career working for U.S. Representative Jim Cooper in Washington, D.C. After several years in government, she pursued an opportunity in the non-profit sector and went to work for two national non-profit organizations based in D.C. Betsy is passionate about sustainability and corporate social responsibility and is motivated by her desire to make a positive impact through her work. She is skilled in organizational change management, public relations, and strategic communications. Born and raised in Nashville, Betsy holds an M.B.A. from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management and a B.A. in Psychology from Sewanee: The University of the South. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her friends, family, and rescue dog, Louie.

Samuel Wible
HASTINGS Architecture

Samuel Wible joined HASTINGS in 2017, bringing with him two decades of previous experience. After ten years living and working in Chicago, Sam relocated to Nashville in 2007 where he worked on notable projects including the Music City Convention Center and the Belcourt Theater. His portfolio is wide-ranging and covers several building typologies including academic, residential, and mixed-use. Sam received his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1195 and his Master of Architecture from Yale University in 1998. Sam’s personable and thoughtful demeanor allows him to navigate complex projects and multiple stakeholders with ease. As an Associate, Sam mentors and guides young architects through the design and construction process, as well as fostering professional development. Sam is inspired by travel and challenges anyone to find a destination that isn’t worth a second trip. He believes there is something interesting about culture, architecture, music, or cuisine no matter where you go.