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Front Page - Friday, March 16, 2018

Newsmakers: Rafiee joins Community Foundation

The Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga has welcomed Marcus Rafiee to the role of senior director of giving strategies. Rafiee will focus on fostering relationships with professional advisors to offering new philanthropic tools and opportunities for advisors to enhance their ability to serve their clients.

A Chattanooga native, Rafiee served as chief financial officer for McCallie School before joining the foundation. For more than 25 years, he worked as a consulting actuary for Towers Perrin (now Willis Towers Watson) and Deloitte Consulting. He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northwestern University in mathematics and physics.

Rafiee has served on the board of McCallie School and currently sits on the board of Bright School.

Thrive Partnership welcomes Bentley

Thrive Regional Partnership has welcomed Rhett Bentley to the team as communications manager. A native of Savannah, Georgia, Bentley graduated from Sewanee: The University of the South with a major in English. Residing in Chattanooga for the last four years, Bentley has facilitated communications for organizations such as Southern Lit Alliance and the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga.

Bentley lives in the North Shore neighborhood of Chattanooga with her husband, Rob, and two dogs. Outside of the office, she can be found hiking the area’s scenic trails, on her mat at a hot yoga studio, or practicing her fly fishing cast. She enjoys reading and writing about people and places.

Parkridge relocates Hartgrove

Internal Medicine physician Nathan Hartgrove will join the Parkridge Medical Group-East Ridge medical practice on March 19.

Dr. Hartgrove previously practiced for Parkridge Diagnostic Center for over two-and-a-half years before relocating to Parkridge Medical Group-East Ridge, which allows him to fulfill a desire to practice nearer to the community in which he resides.

Dr. Hartgrove graduated from Lincoln Memorial University – DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2012. He completed his residency at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine at Chattanooga, where he served as internal medicine chief resident. He is a member of the American College of Physicians, the Tennessee Osteopathic Medical Association and the American Osteopathic Association.

Dr. Hartgrove enjoys teaching medical students and mentoring pre-med students. He has participated in mentoring programs, such as the FutureDocs Program, which enables area high school and college students to experience a day in the life of a training physician. Dr. Hartgrove is passionate about preventative healthcare and resides in East Ridge with his wife and three sons.

Cooper-Wilkes is promoted

Siskin Children’s Institute has appointed Stephanie Cooper-Wilkes practice manager in the Center for Developmental Pediatrics. During her five years of previous employment at Siskin, she served as the clinic’s billing manager. In her new role, Cooper-Wilkes will oversee patient care, optimize operations and ensure compliance with changes in administrative health-care regulations.

Girls Inc. teen wins $20K scholarship

Girls Inc. of Chattanooga member Hadessah O’Neal has been selected as a 2018 scholarship winner in the competitive Girls Inc. National Scholar Program. A senior at Ooltewah High School, she is among 13 young women around the nation to be awarded a $20,000 college scholarship.

In addition, O’Neal has been early-admitted to the University of Chicago as a recipient of the QuestBridge Scholarship. QuestBridge’s College Match Scholarship recipients are granted admission to one of QuestBridge’s partner colleges with a full, four-year scholarship worth over $200,000. The scholarship is offered as part of a generous financial aid package provided by the QuestBridge college partner that covers the cost of attendance.

Governor honors Williams, Arnold

The 10th annual Governor’s Volunteer Stars Awards ceremony honored volunteers from 57 counties at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs in Franklin on March 11. One youth and one adult volunteer were selected from participating counties to receive the award.

Deborah Williams was named Hamilton County’s adult honoree. Williams became an education docent with the Tennessee Aquarium nine years ago and has accrued almost 2,000 hours of service. She interprets exhibits around the galleries, staffs the touch tanks and engages visitors.

Addie Arnold was named Hamilton County’s youth honoree. Arnold shares her passion for the arts with other children at The Northside Neighborhood House. She began working with the students a couple of Fridays each month last August.

La Paz hires marketing director

Angela Garcia is the new director of marketing and business development at La Paz. Garcia comes to La Paz from her position as key account manager for the Latino market for the Tennessee Valley division of Coca-Cola Bottling United.

Garcia served as the vice chair for the board of directors at La Paz for 2017 and has been involved with La Paz since its inception in 2004.

Garcia moved to Chattanooga in 2002 from her native Colombia, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communication from the University of La Sabana.

Garcia resides in Chattanooga with her husband, Carlos, and their three children. She enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends.

Wilkes is new Bessie Smith president

The Bessie Smith Cultural Center board of directors has selected Paula Wilkes to serve as the center’s new president. Wilkes has been serving as interim president since Nov. 1, 2017. Prior to that, she was director of operations for three years.

Wilkes has an extensive background in the nonprofit sector, including marketing, public relations, event planning, organization management, fundraising and development. She has been an independent consultant for area nonprofits for over nine years.

Wilkes has lived in the Chattanooga area most of her life and currently lives with her husband, Randy, and daughter, Savanna, a senior at Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences.