Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, July 22, 2022

New CBA president has full plate

Chattanooga Bar Association President Lee Ann Adams is now also serving as the president of the board of governors of the University of Tennessee Alumni Association. - Photograph provided

Chattanooga Bar Association President Lee Ann Adams has taken on a second leadership role in her bid to turn 2022 into a blur of volunteer service.

The University of Tennessee Alumni Association inducted Adams as president of its board of governors in June and will welcome her to active duty in August when she’ll participate in a graduation ceremony at the UT Health Science Center in Memphis.

Adams also plans to attend a UT Alumni Association function at the UT Space Institute in Huntsville, Alabama next month.

Meanwhile, Adams is assisting with several upcoming bar association events, including the judicial robing of Michael Dumitru and Boyd Patterson and the bar’s 125th anniversary celebration, all in September.

“I got a little sweaty-palmed the other day while thinking about what August and September are going to look like,” Adams says with a laugh.

Adams is an estate planning and estate administration attorney with Gearhiser, Peters, Elliot & Cannon in Chattanooga, where she’s practiced since graduating from the UT School of Law in 1997.

A Chattanooga native, Adams also earned her undergraduate degree within the UT educational system.

“I received the Andrew D. Holt scholarship from the UT Alumni Association. People who attended a UT school and had a positive experience gave money to the university and allowed me to go to school for free. I earned a four-year degree debt-free, which was a huge gift.

“Those people didn’t know me and didn’t know what my dreams were, they just had a good experience at UT and wanted to help someone else have a good experience, too. Since that benefited me, I feel like I need to give back.”

As UT Alumni Association president, Adams leads a 32-member board made up of graduates from every UT educational institution, which includes campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Pulaski and Martin and the Health Science Center in Memphis.

Adams says the board’s 2022 agenda includes engaging graduates and reviewing alumni services. She’s especially excited about the organization’s career services program, which is designed to help alumni transition to a different job or advance with their current employer.

The path to the presidency of the Alumni Association opened to Adams in 2015, when she became a member of the UT Women’s Council. After later serving as president of that organization, the Alumni Association invited her to join its board of governors.

Adams deflects praise for “giving back” and says she’s one of many UT alumni who are doing their part.

“UT graduates are funding the Promise Scholarship, which over 1,000 students are receiving, and over 800 alumni are tutoring students across the state, so it’s not just money, it’s also time,” she says.

Adams has been tutoring UT students for over a decade.

“Those things benefited me – and now I want to benefit someone else.”

Outside of legal organizations, Adams is a board member of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga and Chattanooga Boys Choir.

At home, Adams and her husband, Tom, will also be moving their two sons back to college in August.

She gets sweaty palms just thinking about it.