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Class of 1986

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Class Notes are posted in the order they were received, with the newest posts on top.

Do you have news you would like to share or just want to let everyone know what you are up to these days? Submit your class note online, email Class Notes or call 615-322-2606.

Weldon WIlson and his wife Elaine are donating a generous gift of $17.5 million to add to their scholarship fund at Vanderbilt Law School. Posted 6.6.22

John Hoskins Foster is now serving as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors at Falck Renewables Spa as of February 2022. Posted 3.21.22

Karen A. Reardon, Associate Professor, and her colleagues at La Salle University have edited and published In Living Color: An Anthology of Contemporary Student Writings on Race (2020) available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites. Read more about the book here. Posted 10.9.20

Kitty Delany and her husband Jim Delany, recently retired Big Ten Conference commissioner, have returned to Nashville after 30 years in Chicago. They are building a home in Nashville. Posted 9.22.20

Henry P. Dove, longtime chief trial counsel for the Talbot County State’s Attorney’s Office, has joined the Easton law firm Kopen & Collison. Posted 4.2.20

Turney P. Berry has been recognized in the 2020 Kentucky Super Lawyers list. Posted 3.27.20

Cynthia Reisz (BA’80) has been named president-elect of the American Health Lawyers Association. Cynthia is a member at Bass Berry & Sims, where she serves on the firm’s executive committee.

John Quinn has joined locally based firm Neal & Harwell as of counsel.  Read more:  Posted 10.11.18

A second career academic after practicing law for 25 years, Dr. Karen A. Reardon (‘86) was tenured and promoted to associate professor in the Department of Management and Leadership of La Salle University in Philadelphia.  Posted 9.14.18

Karen Reardon successfully defended her doctoral dissertation entitled “Examining the Critical Role of Social Capital in Entrepreneurship: A Qualitative Study of Emerging Nonprofit Organizations” on July 29, 2016. On August 19, 2016 she received her Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology from the University of Michigan. Karen is an assistant professor in the Management and Leadership Department of the La Salle University School of Business in Philadelphia where she teaches business law, ethics and dispute resolution. Posted 11.14.17

Jeffrey L. Deitch of Durango, Colorado died June 25. He was 60.  He earned his undergraduate degree from Stanford University before earning his law degree from Vanderbilt. In Durango he assumed many roles. He was a KDGO radio disk jockey, a broadcast news TV journalist, a lawyer, a political activist who ran for a seat in the state legislature, a writer, a playwright, actor, director and local musician. As a serious lawyer, he fought hard to help as many people as he could. After retiring as a lawyer, he traveled the world, conducting wine tours of Germany, and studied and received accreditation as a wine expert. He is survived by his brother Mark, and sister, Marcia Kalman. Posted 8.1.17 

Adam Peck has been named to the Chambers USA 2017 Guide for Litigation: General Commercial. Adam is partner at Lightfoot, Franklin, White in Birmingham, Alabama. Posted 6.15.17

Beverly Salhanick will chair Helldorado Days, a western-themed festival held annually in Las Vegas. Beverly is the sole practitioner of Beverly Salhanick, Esquire in Las Vegas. Posted 3.23.17

Robert Lee Hines Jr. (MBA '86) is now serving as general counsel and corporate secretary at On-Ramp, Inc. Robert was previously general counsel and secretary of Radiant Logistics, Inc. Posted 9.15.16

Judge Jeffrey Scotty Bivins was unanimously elected by his fellow jurors to serve as the new Tennessee Supreme Court chief justice. He replaces current chief justice Sharon Lee. Posted 9.15.16

Henry Phillips Dove married Nancy Ruth Tabor December 14, 2015 in Easton, Maryland. Posted 5.3.16 

Jonanthan Neal Ledsky , principal in the Chicago office of Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek, is co-leading the firm’s class action litigation team. Posted 5.3.16

Turney P. Berry joined the Louisville office of Wyatt Tarrant & Combs as partner where is leader of the firm’s trust, estates & personal planning service team.  Turney has been recognized by the Texas Bar Foundation for co-authoring the “Outstanding Law Review Article” of 2015, titled “Retaining, Sustaining and Obtaining Basis,” and published in Texas Tech’s Estate Planning and Community Property Law Journal in January 2015. Posted 4.5.16

Phillip Hampton Street (BA’82) joined the Atlanta office of King & Spalding as partner in the firm’s healthcare and FDA & life sciences practices. Previously, he was the chair of the Atlanta healthcare practice at Paul Hastings. Posted 2.25.16

Barbara Dale Holmes was sworn in as a federal magistrate judge at a ceremony October 7 in Nashville, Tennessee. She started work as a magistrate judge in August and replaced Magistrate Judge Juliet Griffin, who retired July 31. Additionally, she has been installed as the 34th chair of the Tennessee Bar Foundation, a philanthropic organization. Posted 11.3.15

Richard Evans Gazala's (BA’83) short story collection, Trust and Other Nightmares, has been released internationally as an audio book. The collection is narrated by Roberto Scarlato of Chicago, who has over 30 audio book narrations to his credit. Richard is currently working on his third book, following publication of his award-winning thriller, Blood of the Moon, and Trust and Other NightmaresPosted 8.25.15

Mary Barrett Brewer was part of a panel of attorneys that nominated this year’s recipient of the George Barrett Award, an honor named for her father, George Barrett, a well-known Nashville attorney famed for his role in the civil rights and labor movements. Mary is an attorney with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Nashville, Tennessee. Posted 4.26.15

Patrick Beauregard Mason, former principal of the Mason Law firm in Memphis, has formed the Mason Zoccola Law Firm with partners William Zoccola and John Zoccola. The merged firm will offer legal and accounting services, including trust and estate administration, probate matters, tax consulting and preparation, and business planning. Posted 1.2.15

Judge Jeffrey S. Bivins was sworn in Wednesday by Gov. Bill Haslam as the newest justice on the Tennessee Supreme Court. He took the oath during a standing-room-only ceremony at the Franklin Theatre in downtown Franklin. Judge Bivins succeeds Justice William C. Koch Jr., who retired July 15 to become dean of the Nashville School of Law. Bivins' judicial experience includes serving on the state Court of Criminal Appeals since 2011. He has also served as circuit court judge in the 21st Judicial District and assistant commissioner and general counsel in the state Department of Personnel. In addition, he has worked in private practice with Boult Cummings Conners & Berry in Nashville. Posted 8.12.2014

Beverly SalhanickBeverly Salhanick was elected and installed as chair of the board of directors for the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Lodge 1468. Beverly is an 18-year Lodge member and also serves as co-chair of the Whiskerino Committee of Helldorado, a community event that celebrates Las Vegas heritage and raises funds to benefit Las Vegas organizations for children. Posted 8.12.2014



Two law firms headed by Vanderbilt Law alumni—Baker Donelson, headed by CEO Ben C. Adams '81, and Alston & Bird, headed by Managing Partner Richard Hays '86—were recognized among Fortune Magazine's 2014 list of the "100 Best Companies to Work For." Baker Donelson ranked 31st and Alston & Bird 40th, and both firms were among the top five in the "professional services" category. Posted 1.17.14

Ralph Peter Dudziak has joined Loeb & Loeb's Chicago office as a partner in the finance department. Ralph will focus his practice on a wide array of matters for U.S. and international institutions, including banks, leasing companies, investment banks, aircraft companies, insurance companies and other institutional investors. In addition to his position with the finance department, Ralph will also be a member of the firm's energy practice group. Prior to joining Loeb & Loeb, Ralph was a partner in the Chicago office of Foley Lardner. Posted 1.14.14

John William Hargrove , a Birmingham partner at Bradley Arant Boult Cummingsand chair of the firm's labor and employment practice group, has been elected as a Fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Election as a Fellow is the highest recognition by one's colleagues of sustained outstanding performance in the profession, exemplifying integrity, dedication and excellence. John will be formally installed as a Fellow November 9, in New Orleans, at an induction dinner during the American Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section's Continuing Legal Education Conference. Posted 7.15.13

Cynthia Young Reisz (BA'80), partner at Bass Berry & Sims, has been elected to the board of the American Health Lawyers Association, becoming the first attorney from the firm to do so. Cynthia has been with Bass since 1986 and is a member of its health care and corporate/securities practice groups. She has served in several previous roles with the AHLA. She is the past chair of the association's Physician Organizations Practice Group and was the chair of the Planning Committee for the 2013 AHLA Physicians and Physician Organizations Institute. Cynthia also co-chaired an AHLA task force that wrote a handbook on representing physicians in 2006 and continues to serve as an editor of subsequent editions. Posted 5.21.13

Joan B. Tucker Fife has been named managing partner of Winston & Strawn's San Francisco office. Joan leads the firm's San Francisco labor and employment group and is known for her representation of companies in wage-and-hour class actions. Posted 9.24.12

Karen A. Reardon, a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Michigan, has been appointed Assistant Professor of Business Law in the Management and Leadership Department of LaSalle University's School of Business in Philadelphia. Karen, an attorney and mediator, joins the faculty at LaSalle after practicing law for twenty-five years in Chicago. Karen and her husband, Dan Luchay together with sons, Robert (15) and Walter (13) now make their home in Margate , New Jersey. Posted 8.1.12

Jeff Bivens was appointed by Governor Bill Haslam to the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. He will serve on the court for the middle section of Tennessee. As a circuit court judge, Jeff presided in Hickman, Lewis and Perry counties. Before becoming a judge, he was a partner with Boult Cummings Conners & Berry (now Bradley Arant Boult Cummings) in Nashville. Posted 10.17.11

Richard Gazala (A&S '83) recently released his second book, Trust and Other Nightmares, an anthology of five scary short stories published exclusively as an e-book. Posted 10.17.11

Peter Sutherland has joined Lee Smart in Seattle as a shareholder. He will focus on insurance defense and general litigation. Posted 10.17.11

Stuart Starry has founded a new company, Quickpoles, that will debut his invention - a ski pole that attaches to the ski binding to make skis easy to carry -- at the Snow Sports Industries of America's 2011 Snow Show in Denver. After earning his J.D. at Vanderbilt, Stuart practied aviation law for 17 years, arguing cases for American Airlines, TWA and others, before founding his own residential contracting business, Contemporary Classic Homes. His "Quickpoles" a result of two years of tinkering during 2007 and 2008 while in business as a residential contractor. A native of Twin Falls, Idaho, Stuart has been an avid skier since childhood. Posted 3.10.11

Jeanna Brannon has retired from the practice of law after 25 years with the firm of Morris, Manning & Martin. Jeanna and her husband Robert intend to travel and work with a non-profit organization, Start With One International, Inc., which focuses on water, health and education matters in Kenya. Posted 1.28.11

Mary Barrett Brewer has been appointed as Chief Counsel for the Nashville Field Office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. After earning her J.D., she worked as a clerk for the Honorable Thomas A. Higgins, U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Tennessee, practiced at Branstetter, Stranch and Jennings in Nashville, TN and then was a Staff Attorney for the Tennessee Supreme Court. In 1991 Mary joined the Nashville HUD office as an Attorney Advisor. She has spent the last nineteen years working with all program areas in all three Tennessee Field Offices. Posted 1.3.11

Geraldine Skupien '86 died at her home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania October 7, 2009 after a valiant battle with cancer. She is survived by her sister Janet, and brother and sister-in-law Charles and Deborah. 

David T. Burrowes, 47, died Dec. 27, 2007 after a courageous battle against Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He was preceded in death by his father, Robert E. Burrowes. He is survived by his wife Jennifer, his children Colin and Lindsay, his mother Irene Allegar, his step-mother Ona Burrowes, and his sister Sarah Dupree. A resident of Glenview, IL, and a West Coast transplant, David worked as an attorney for the Chicago law firm Boundas Skarzynski Walsh & Black. He was a UCLA Bruin fanatic. He was an avid golfer, a great story-teller, a loving husband, a devoted father, and a generous friend.

Laura Turea Hanson of Atlanta, wife of Bradley E. Wahl and loving mother of Evan Russell Wahl and Julia Lynn Wahl, died March 7, 2007, after a long and courageous struggle with cancer. Born February 2, 1959, in Macon, GA, Laura graduated from the Colorado Rocky Mountain School in 1976 before attaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History and English from the University of Oregon. She later earned her JD at Vanderbilt University Law School, where she also met her husband. Laura practiced law in New York City before devoting herself to her children and community activities. She actively participated in her children's schools by reading to classes and regularly assisting teachers.

Laura was a gracious, witty woman with an adventurous spirit. Among her many interests, Laura loved to travel, had a great appreciation for art and was an accomplished equestrian. An avid reader, Laura was a dedicated member of several book clubs, including her beloved Sofa Babes Book Club, through which she met some of her closest friends. A lifelong Shakespearian devotee, she was an active member of the Anne Hudgins Shakespeare Class. All of those who knew her were inspired by her elegance, style, courage, strength of will and character.

In addition to her husband and children, Laura is survived by her mother Deyerle Anderson of Seattle, Washington; her brother Dr. Reid Hanson of Auburn, Alabama; her cousin Denny and husband Sam Jones of Macon; her great aunt Laura Nelle Anderson O'Callaghan of Macon; her aunt Katherine Anderson; cousins, Josh, Adam, Jason, and Sarah Bleibtreu of California as well as an adoring extended family and a vast circle of close friends. She was predeceased by her father Russell Hanson and her brother Peyton Anderson Hanson. Laura's family extends its gratitude to their many friends, colleagues and neighbors for all of their help over the years. 

Beth Waters, 45, of Tampa, Florida, died peacefully at home surrounded by her children and friends December 8, 2006, after a courageous battle against breast cancer.

A graduate of Cornell University and Vanderbilt Law School, Beth was general counsel, vice president and secretary of Lykes Bros., Inc. Caring and committed to her family, friends and community, Beth was Chair of the board of directors of The Spring of Tampa Bay, on the board of trustees of the mayor's beautification program, vice president and board member of the FE Lykes Family Foundation, board member and counsel of Dream A Dress, board member of the John D. Gorrie Foundation at Gorrie Elementary School, and a member of the Athenian Society. She also was a member of Leadership Florida and Leadership Tampa and selected to Florida Trend's 2006 Legal Elite.

She is survived by her children Austin and Esme Yarnell; parents, Lloyd and Ruth Waters; grandmother, Mae Iskin; sister, Debra Waters; and brother, Stephen; sister-in-law, Sharon; and nephew, Travis Waters. 

David F. Gore passed away May 9, 2006. David was an attorney in Nashville for 20 years, most recently with Stewart, Estes and Donnell.