Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, August 19, 2022

Newsmakers: Sheriff-elect appoints Bernard chief of staff

Hamilton County Sheriff-elect Austin Garrett has selected Ron Bernard to serve as his chief of staff.

Bernard will oversee the day-to-day operations of the office’s human resources, finance, information technology, maintenance and fuse departments.

He recently completed his 15th year with the HCSO and has more than 25 years of management experience.

Since September 2018, Bernard has held the position of director of information technology and finance for the HCSO.

He began his career with the office in 2007 as its information systems manager.

Bernard has led numerous multimillion-dollar projects throughout his career, including the consolidation of the downtown jail and Silverdale Detention Center. He also helped to implement a new pay plan for sworn personnel and continues to lead the transition and development of personnel following the consolidation of Silverdale.

In addition to these projects, Bernard has spearheaded several technological advancements for the HCSO and helped to ensure the HCSO remained within budget during his tenure as director of information and finance.

Bernard is a graduate of Bryan College and Lakeland Community College. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and an Associate of Applied Business degree in information systems.

Bernard has been married to his wife, Belinda Bernard, since 1987. They have four children and reside in Ooltewah.

Chattanooga State selects Green as TCAT dean

Chattanooga State Community College has tapped Jessica Green to serve as the dean of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology.

Green is on track to receive her MBA from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga next May. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Portland.

Her previous roles at Chattanooga State include officer, counselor and assistant director of financial aid. In 2020, Green began working as the director of student services before being named interim TCAT dean the following year.

While serving in the interim role, Green streamlined TCAT’s services, improved communication with students, created TCAT course listings and served on the Behavioral Intervention Team.

Green’s initial goals include hiring a TCAT student services director, assisting the Surgical Technology program as it transitions from a diploma program to a credit program and overseeing the launch of the Building Construction program and Construction Center.

Collegedale chooses interim airport director

Officials with the city of Collegedale have appointed Ryan Byford to the position of interim director of the Collegedale Municipal Airport. He replaces Chris Swain, who retired in July after 16 years.

Born and raised in the Greater Chattanooga area, Byford developed his passion for aviation at a young age. After he expressed enthusiasm for watching airplanes, his parents would take him to the Collegedale Municipal Airport for its annual open house and various community events throughout the years.

Byford loved being at the airport and around airplanes and “caught the bug” during this time.

He began pursuing his dream of becoming a pilot at the age of 16. He earned his pilot certificate a year later and continues to be involved in aviation.

Byford graduated with a degree in business administration from Southern Adventist University in 2020 and then began working for the City of Collegedale, where he performed clerical duties at the Collegedale Municipal Airport.

Trio to participate in leadership institute

Three Chattanoogans will join the seventh cohort of the Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute, a joint program of the State Collaborative on Reforming Education and The Hunt Institute.

The individuals are: Chad Jaynes, dean of business and industry at Chattanooga State; Sherry Marlow Ormsby, executive director of UTC; and Marco Perez, director of finance and operations at La Paz Chattanooga and a board member of Hamilton County Schools.

CTLI is a one-year program aimed at equipping community and state leaders in Tennessee with the ability to play a leading role in eliminating barriers to postsecondary education and completion.

Over the course of the year, cohort members will meet four times to expand their knowledge about postsecondary policy and practice, learn about best practices to improve postsecondary access and success, and build action plans to accelerate postsecondary success in their own communities.

The group will also work to identify the barriers and equity gaps that exist in Tennessee’s postsecondary system and advocate within their own communities to drive change.

The participants chosen for this cohort were selected through a competitive nomination and selection process.

Chambliss’ Baker joins Game ChangeHer

The Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute has chosen Paige Baker, a marketing and business development specialist at the law firm of Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, to participate in the 2023 cohort of Game ChangeHer, CWLI’s mentor training program.

The 16-session curriculum will offer personal and professional development topics.

After participants work through a module, CWLI will pair them with mentees from Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy.

The program will begin in August and will conclude with a graduation ceremony in May.

Now in its fourth year after being revised in 2019, the program has graduated more than 50 mentors and 100 mentees to date. Before this iteration, the former Women Mentoring Women program graduated more than 200 women during its 10-year run.

Baker holds a Bachelor of Science degree in public relations from The University of Tennessee at Knoxville and is a board member of the Distinguished Young Woman of Soddy Daisy.

Smith to lead marketing for Chattanooga parks

Former WTCV NewsChannel 9 meteorologist Brian Smith will serve as the communications and marketing director for Chattanooga Parks and Outdoors.

Working with Parks and Outdoors Administrator Scott Martin, Smith will design a communications strategy for the department designed to connect residents with Chattanooga’s parks and outdoor amenities. Smith will also serve as the primary media spokesperson for the department.

Smith comes to the city of Chattanooga with over 20 years of experience in communications, broadcasting and public relations. For the past eight years, he worked on-air for Chattanooga’s NewsChannel 9, first as host of “This N That” and then as morning and noon meteorologist.

Before those roles, Smith spent three years as a public relations coordinator for the City of Chattanooga, where he worked with the then-called Parks and Recreation Department to promote the city’s park system.

He says his love for parks and outdoors started at a young age through Boy Scouts, where he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and served as a Venture Crew leader and assistant scoutmaster.

Smith received his bachelor’s degree in communications and meteorology from Mississippi State University. He has volunteered with multiple nonprofit organizations and served on multiple boards, including the American Red Cross and Boy Scouts of America.

Lookout Mountain picks consultant

Brooke Pippenger is now serving as the town consultant for the Town of Lookout Mountain, a role Mayor Walker Jones took on after the retirement of Dwight Montague in 2018.

Before accepting the position, Pippenger worked with the Mother’s Day Out Program at Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church. She began serving as the program’s director in 2012 and eventually supervised a staff of 24 women.

Originally from Knoxville, Pippenger graduated with a liberal arts degree in speech communications from UTK. She then worked in the nonprofit sector, serving as a youth director at the YWCA in Knoxville.

After moving to Chattanooga, Pippenger began a five-year stint working for Siskin Children’s Institute. Her responsibilities included developing and implementing Safety City, a portable city that traveled to local elementary schools to teach injury prevention to children.

Pippenger also served as the coordinator for the Chattanooga SAFE KIDS Coalition. After attending playground safety school sponsored by the National Program for Playground Safety, she helped with the development of the new boundless playground for Siskin.

With her experience in playground safety and accessibility, Pippenger was able to assist with the development of the new Mountain Maze Playground at the town common on Lookout Mountain.

Pippenger began serving on the Lookout Mountain town commission in 2014 in the Parks and Playground role, and in 2020 was elected to serve as education commissioner.