Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, November 4, 2022

Newsmakers: First Horizon names private client relationship manager

Sequan Born Spigner is the new vice president and private client relationship manager at First Horizon. A native of Harlem, New York, Spigner comes to First Horizon after serving in banking leadership at Regions Bank.

Spigner served as Regions’ assistant vice president branch manager in Hixson and East Ridge before joining First Horizon.

Spigner held multiple positions during his seven years at Regions. He served as a referral source for the wealth and investment teams in Chattanooga, led local diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and mentored bankers in sales processes.

The Brandeis University and Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program graduate resides in Georgia.

Aquarium promotes human resources staff

The Tennessee Aquarium has promoted several members of its human resources team. Leah Wilson is now director of human resources, Mara-Lynne Payne is now director of inclusion, equity and diversity, Lyndsey Johnson is now human resources manager and Darleene Cole is now senior program manager of volunteer services.

Wilson has been part of the Aquarium team for 18 years. She worked with the visitor services team before joining human resources in 2012. Over the past 10 years, her responsibilities have expanded into all areas of human resources, including recruiting, training, employee relations, benefits, legal compliance and reporting and information system management.

Wilson is now responsible for developing, evaluating and implementing human resources policies, programs and procedures in compliance with federal, state and local laws and regulations. She also directs the daily functions of human resources while providing leadership to the human resources team.

Payne has served in various roles since joining the Tennessee Aquarium 31 years ago. As membership manager, she promoted member events and directed membership and annual giving efforts.

The Aquarium later expanded Payne’s role to include the supervision of the group reservations team. Later, as brand enhancement manager, she coordinated internal organizational messaging and managed projects that supported the Aquarium’s brand.

Payne is now responsible for developing and implementing strategies that promote an inclusive workplace culture, as well as meeting the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access Action accreditation standards.

She earned an Associate of Science degree in accounting and a bachelor’s degree in human resource management. She is also a graduate of the Inclusion by Design Executive Leadership program and Leadership Chattanooga.

Payne is a board member of Diversity Joint Venture for Conservation Careers and the vice-chair of the AZA Diversity Committee. Locally, she serves as a board member for the Bessie Smith Cultural Center.

Johnson has been a part of the Aquarium’s human resources team for more than a year. She is responsible for daily human resources functions, including orientation, onboarding, benefits and employee engagement.

Johnson earned an Associate of Science degree in business administration from Chattanooga State Community College and a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Cole joined the Aquarium more than 30 years ago as one of the first membership associates. She later moved to the human resources department as benefits coordinator. In this role, she handled administrative requirements of employee benefits plans, provided support to employees and coordinated leave programs.

For the past five years, Cole has managed the volunteer programs and implemented strategies to rebuild the Aquarium’s volunteer base, which diminished during the COVID-19 pandemic.

She is now responsible for recruitment, onboarding, engagement, measuring impact and communicating with the volunteer base as well as developing new opportunities for volunteer involvement.

HCS restructuring talent department

Hamilton County Schools is restructuring its Talent Department to improve customer service and school district efficiency.

The most visible part of the reorganization will be the launch of a Business Partners Division under Director John Steele. Steele brings nearly 30 years of human resources experience to HCS from CHI Memorial, where he served as director of human resources operations.

During his 27 years at CHI Memorial, Steele oversaw human resources operations for three acute care hospitals.

In addition to overseeing the Business Partners Division, Steele will serve as a human resources business partner and work with the Rock Point Learning Community as its point of service for human resources matters.

Four other business partners, each working with a specific learning community, will support Steele. Human resources business partners are responsible for hiring, employee relations, investigations and advising managers on human resources practices.

Existing Talent Department staff assigned to the new business partner positions will served three other Learning Communities, while the Missionary Ridge Learning Community will be paired with Talent Department newcomer Dr. Saunya Goss.

Goss will transition to the Talent Department from her role as principal at East Brainerd Elementary School, a position she has held since July 2020. Goss also brings three years as director of elementary schools in the Opportunity Zone and seven years as principal at Battle Academy to the department.