Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, June 24, 2022

Chattanooga attorney Watson to participate in Leadership Tennessee

Chattanooga attorney Nicole Watson will join 44 rural and urban leaders in participating in Leadership Tennessee’s Signature Program.

Watson and the rest of the class will spend the next year engaging in collaborative, non-partisan dialogue on issues of statewide importance.

Leadership Tennessee selects a new class of leaders annually to take part in statewide study while visiting different areas of Tennessee, learning best practices and analyzing important issues faced by Tennesseans.

The upcoming class is comprised of members from each Grand Division, including eight leaders from Chattanooga.

Watson is a partner and senior policy adviser with Waller. With more than a decade of government affairs experience, she represents corporate clients, industry groups, professional associations and not-for-profit organizations before elected officials in the Tennessee General Assembly, the U.S. Congress and government officials in numerous local, state and federal agencies.

Before joining Waller, Watson led government relations, public policy and economic development initiatives for a Chattanooga-based law firm. Earlier in her career, she gained government and regulatory affairs experience with Tennessee American Water Company and the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

While attending law school, Watson served as a federal government affairs summer associate for the National Rifle Association and a government relations intern for a bipartisan government relations firm in Washington, D.C.

Former Leadership Tennessee class members Christy Gillenwater, president and CEO of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, and Mike Keeney, attorney with Lewis Thomason in Knoxville, chaired this year’s selection committee, which built the class from over 300 nominations and 100 applications.

The ninth cohort of Leadership Tennessee’s Signature Program will meet for the first time in August.

The additional participants from Hamilton County include:

• Candy Johnson, president and CEO, Urban League of Greater Chattanooga

• Sharon Law, business development manager, Thompson Engineering

• James McKissic, president, ArtsBuild

• Dan Pratt, senior vice president of regional relations, Tennessee Valley Authority

• Shannon Burger Stephenson, CEO, Cempa Community Care

• Tamara Steward, chief equity officer, city of Chattanooga

• Dalya Qualls White, senior vice president and chief communications officer, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee

• Charles Wood, vice president of economic and talent development at the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce

Source: Leadership Tennessee