BiS: BusinessInSavannah.com - Business news for the creative coast.

Newsmakers

  • West
  • Hammock
  • Platt
  • Thompson
  • White
  • Buss
  • Dickinson
  • Haslam
  • Ingram
  • Deshpande
  • Hunter
  • Puhala
  • Voss
  • Heath
  • Conner
  • Kleisner
  • Beier
  • Eskew
  • Kempson
  • Melilli
  • Neises
  • Kole
NEW HIRES/PROMOTIONS
 
NICHOLAS (NICK) PUHALA
New job title: Director, agency operations
Company: Seacrest Partners Inc.
Duties: Work with management team to enhance the client service procedures, reinforce quality control protocols, and maintain affiliations with key partners and key insurance markets.
Related experience: Vice president, Savannah and Jacksonville offices of USI Insurance Services; management and client executive positions, Hilb Rogal and Hobbs, BB&T Insurance Services, and Willis.
Education: BBA in management, University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business.
 
GEORGE L. LEWIS 
New job title: Attorney
Company: Lewis Law Group
Duties: Primarily personal injury law
Related experience: Partner in Spiva Lewis LLC.
 
VAN HEATH
New job title: Director of operations
Company: Speros
Duties: Manage daily operations of the information technology and telephony departments; project planning and management.
Related experience: IT operations manager, Speros
Education: Bachelor of Science in computer information systems and a minor in IBM enterprise computing, DeVry University; Networking specialist degree, Ogeechee Technical College.
 
JEANA MELILLI
New job title: Education and community outreach coordinator
Company: Savannah Philharmonic
Duties: Plan and implement community and education outreach work in the Savannah area.
Related experience: Founding member of the Savannah Baroque and the Vista Ensemble, playing Baroque flute in each.
Education: Bachelor’s in flute performance, The Catholic University of America; master’s in flute performance, Northwestern University.
 
BERNIE BEIER
New job title: Vice president, commercial lending
Company: First Chatham Bank
Related experience: Banking industry, most recently at BB&T
Education: Bachelor’s from Georgia Tech
 
MICHELE INGRAM
New job title: Assistant vice president, deposit operations manager
Company: First Chatham Bank
Related experience: Banking industry, most recently at Bank South and The Coastal Bank.
Education: Degree in business administration, Brevard Community College
 
ELIZABETH BUSS
New job title: Regional manager
Company: Kole Management Co.
Duties: Oversee operations of KMC’S nine Savannah area apartment communities, including the Palms Apartment property in Charleston.
Related experience: District manager or property manager with Carter-Haston Real Estate Services, High Associates, LTD & General Investment and Development.
 
RYAN P. ESKEW
New job title: Tax Manager, Savannah office
Company: Messina & Associates Ltd.
Duties: Service clients with tax planning and preparation, as well as developing and expanding regional clientele for the firm.
Education: Master of Science in accounting
 
DOROTHY KEMPSON
New job title: Director, Armstrong Liberty Center, Hinesville
Company: Armstrong State University
Related experience: Armstrong Liberty Center; center assistant director of academic support; center interim director.
Duties: Oversee Hinesville location, increase enrollment, expand student support services.
Education: Masters of education in adult education, masters in professional communication and leadership, bachelors in criminal justice and in associate of arts, Armstrong State University.
 
KATHY PLATT
New job title: Registrar
Company: Armstrong State University
Duties: Oversee the Office of the Registrar, 
including curriculum, registration, transcripts and degree completion; responsible for maintaining the academic records of the university.
Related experience: Armstrong’s Office of the Registrar
Education: Bachelor of science in psychology, Armstrong State University; Master’s in education, adult education and community leadership, Armstrong State University
 
ROBERT WHITE
New job title: Senior IT 
technician
Company: Speros
Duties: Develop, test and evaluate software for the technology department’s integration solutions systems.
Related experience: IT management, networking and systems administration and engineering, for companies like Life Systems Inc., JCB North America, and Savannah Technical College.
Education: Bachelor’s in information technology, Armstrong State University; associate’s degree, computer information systems, microcomputer specialist, Savannah Technical College
 
CHETAN S. DESHPANDE
New job title: Orthopaedic physician
Company: Chatham Orthopaedic Associates
Duties: Specializes in orthopaedic trauma, joint replacement, and complex limb reconstruction.
Related 
experience: Director of Orthopaedic Trauma, 
Memorial University Medical Center.
Education: Boston University, New York Medical College; Internship and residency, St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, Paterson, N.J.
HONORS/AWARDS
 
Armstrong department head appointed to state board
Anne Thompson, who serves as Armstrong State University’s head of the Rehabilitation Sciences Department, has been appointed to the State Board of Physical Therapy by Gov. Nathan Deal. Thompson, who is also the university’s director of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, will be sworn in on Nov. 15. She earned an doctorate in education from Georgia Southern University, a master’s in physical therapy from Duke University and a Bachelor’s in psychology from the College of William & Mary.
 
Conner Law Group in Best Law Firms list
The Conner Law Group has been listed in the 2017 edition of Best Law Firms jointly announced by U.S. News - Best Lawyers. Managing partner Mike Conner has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America for eight consecutive years, and The Conner Law Group has now been ranked in Best Law Firms in each of the past six years in the categories of personal injury litigation - defendants and personal injury litigation - plaintiffs.
 
Savannah Music Festival names officers, board 
Savannah Music Festival welcomes a new chairman, officers and eight 
additional 
members to its Board of 
Directors. New officers are: Chairman of the Board David T. Neises, Vice Chairman Bill Dickinson, Secretary Harold Yellin, Treasurer Stephen Rabinowitz, immediate past chairman Ron Whitaker, and chairman emeritus Bob Faircloth. New board members are: Emily Dickinson, executive vice president for Wet Willie’s Management Corp.; John H. Haslam III, financial advisor for Palmetto Financial Group; Holden T. Hayes, regional president of South State Bank; Ted J. Kleisner, retired chairman, president and CEO of Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Co.; Jeff Kole, president of Kole Management Co.; Vicki McElreath, retired as managing partner of Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP: Carolinas; community leader Pamela Voss; and Vincent West, who started and/or led numerous businesses in glassware, real estate development, outdoor advertising and building materials.
 
Hammock named among top 10 in client satisfaction
The American Institute of Real Estate Professionals recognized Pamela Wood-Hammock as a 2016 10 Best Real Estate Professionals for Client Satisfaction. Hammock is with Lighthouse Point Realty and The Credit Lady.
 
Hunter named among top 10 in client satisfaction
The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys has recognized Attorney William J. Hunter as a 2016 10 Best Personal Injury Attorneys for Client Satisfaction. Hunter is a 
personal injury attorney for Oliver Manner.
 
Oliver Maner in Best Law Firms list 
Oliver Maner LLP has been
 named by U.S. News - Best Lawyers as one of the Best 
Law Firms for 2017. Oliver Maner was selected for its areas of practice in commercial litigation, legal and medical malpractice law, personal injury litigation, real estate law, tax law and trusts & estates.

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