Susie Higginbotham, President
Susie Higginbotham is the President of Higginbotham CPA Group, PC. Her company has served hundreds of individuals and business owners since 1977, helping them to make better financial and tax choices for themselves and their businesses.
Susie graduated from David Lipscomb University and began her career with King Hahn CPAs in San Antonio, then with the Tokyo office of Price Waterhouse Coopers. In 1971 she came home to Nashville, to accept the position of Chief Accountant for Hospital Corporation of America.
Susie served in past years as the Chairman of the Board of Hospital Hospitality House and on several other nonprofit boards. Her work with End Slavery Tennessee began in 2009.
Her husband Tony has been in non-profit management for many years; he is now a principal in the consulting firm Higginbotham, Drescher, and Burgess, LLC. They have four children and three grandchildren, and are both active in the ministries of The Village Chapel.
Whitney Akin is originally from Memphis, Tennessee. She completed her undergraduate studies at Samford University, earning a bachelor's degree in Journalism/Mass Communication. She has worked as a buyer and managing partner for The Bride Room in Nashville and also in management for Barneys New York. Apart from spending time with family, her hobbies include travel, tennis, event planning and movies.
Whitney enjoys living and serving in the community in Nashville. She volunteers her time weekly at The Next Door. She has also chaired the auction for Cause for Paws, a fundraiser for the Nashville Humane Association. She and her husband Will are members of Covenant Presbyterian Church, where they both enjoy helping with Room in the Inn.
Brandi is a native Tennessean. She is owner and operator of PhysioFit Nashville. She is an exercise physiologist who specializes in exercise prescription and active wellness development for both the individual and the corporate setting. She started her personal training business in her garage six years ago and has grown the business to an 8,400 sq. ft. facility and a team of five exercise physiologists. Brandi has an M.S. in Exercise Physiology and is also a published writer and nationally recognized presenter. Brandi is a veteran of the United States Navy and served aboard the USS Nimitz during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
During her free time Brandi loves to backpack with her two rescue German shepherds. She has volunteered her time with various organizations in Middle Tennessee including Thistle Farms, Habitat for Humanity, and Need Link Nashville.
Bill Decker, Vice President
As the founder and managing member of Decker Wealth Management LLC, Bill’s primary responsibilities include the fiduciary development and application of investment strategy for clients of the firm.
Bill’s career experience includes 12+ years with Morgan Stanley where he served as Senior Vice President – Investments and 5+ years with US Trust/Bank of America where he served as Senior Vice President & Private Client Advisor. At both firms, he focused on wealth management for high net worth individuals and families.
Bill completed his undergraduate studies at Baylor University, earning a bachelor’s degree with a public administration major. After applying this mix of economics and political science to his first job with the City of Los Angeles, he earned an MBA from Pepperdine University. Post-graduate studies have included a number of corporate-sponsored opportunities unique to the financial services industry, including an intensive program held onsite at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.
In addition to Decker Wealth Management LLC, Bill serves in board and leadership positions for several private companies and local organizations, including Brentwood Academy, Leadership Nashville, and The Village Chapel. He and his wife Courtenay have four children.
Mark is the Vice President, Chief Labor and Employment Counsel for HCA Holdings. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa and Vanderbilt University School of Law. After graduating from law school, Mark served as a JAG in the United States Air Force. After completing active duty, he was in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia for several years. He moved to Nashville in 1990 to work with HCA. Mark has also been an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt Law School. He and his wife Deborah have three children and two grandchildren.
Kye is Vice-President of Human Resources, Safety and Aviation for Rogers Group, Inc., a $500MM, 1,350 employee crushed stone and construction company headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. His 30 year business career has included time with Exxon Company, USA, in real estate and automotive manufacturing.
He is a graduate of Abilene Christian University with an Industrial Management degree and is a Six Sigma Black Belt.
Kye is a former board member of Affordable Housing Resources. Outside of work, Kye enjoys travel, the outdoors, and family.
Julie Hunt is President of Production 101, Inc. and a full-time champion for children. Her passion for teaching kids and parents to be smart about life has lead her to writing, producing, and starring in five DVD training programs which are taught all over the United States and several foreign countries.
She is the former parenting columnist, writing as the Virtual Mom, for The Tennessean in Nashville.
Julie is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and her outside interests include gardening, kayaking, and playing with her grandson.
Marilyn completed her undergraduate studies at Vanderbilt University, earning a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She worked as a buyer at McClures Department Store and is a licensed Real Estate agent. She was a founder co-owner and buyer at The Holding Company, an organization store.
Marilyn has served the community through volunteer positions with many organizations such as The Eve of Janus, Tri Delta’s charity benefiting The Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Program at The Monroe Carroll Children’s Hospital, Nashville Junior League, The Cumberland Science Museum, Habitat for Humanity, Preston Taylor Ministries, Harding Academy & MBA parents groups. Marilyn and her husband Elliott have two grown children and one grandchild.
Born in Mississippi, Emily grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. After high school, she attended the University of Mississippi where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in History and English. Following her undergraduate work, Emily moved to Washington, DC, where she served as a White House intern under the George W. Bush administration followed by an internship for the Haley Barbour for Governor campaign in Jackson, MS. Thereafter, Emily attended law school and obtained her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Mississippi. Emily has lived in Nashville since graduating from law school in 2006. She formerly practiced law at Feeney & Murray before taking a position with the Metropolitan Department of Law, where she is currently employed.
In her free time Emily practices and teaches yoga at Hot Yoga Plus and enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with her husband, Travis, and their son, Charlie.
Callen is originally from Selma, Alabama and received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. She moved to Nashville in 2003 to work for McGuigan & Associates, LLC, where she became a Certified General Appraiser. Recently she was recruited by Colliers International as a Valuation Specialist to specialize in multi-family and national net lease property appraisal.
Callen and her husband, Michael Martin, a Nashville native, were married in 2006 and have 3-year old twins, Scott and Selma. Callen loves working part-time for Colliers and volunteering at Westminster School for Young Children, Room in the Inn, the Belize Project and the Early Childhood Department at Covenant Presbyterian, where her family worships.
Christy Pennington, Board Intern
Christy completed her undergraduate studies at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, earning a B.B.A. in business, with a major in marketing. After working in the corporate sector for a few years, she attended law school at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. Currently, Christy is a contract attorney at a prestigious Nashville law firm and is pursuing a Master's Degree in Conflict Management from Lipscomb University.
Christy is now an active member of Junior League of Nashville, where she serves on the Community Impact Committee, and recently completed the Young Leaders Council board training program. She is also a member of the American Bar Association, Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators and Williamson, Inc. Christy is currently licensed to practice law in the State of Texas and is working toward becoming licensed to practice law in Tennessee.
Christy and her husband Chris are members of Brentwood United Methodist Church and are proud parents of Sophie (11), Piper (5) and Paisley (3). Christy and Chris enjoy spending their time watching their girls perform in various sports (lacrosse, volleyball and dance) and occasionally attending country music concerts and festivals.
Nick grew up in west Tennessee, living on a farm in Brighton and attending high school in Memphis.He met his wife Whitney, a Nashville native, while they both attended Vanderbilt University. Nick completed his degree in Mechanical Engineering before moving to Wichita, KS to work for Cessna Aircraft on the design of the Cessna Citation CJ4.
Nick left his career as an engineer and obtained his certified finanical planner certification. He is a Wealth Management Advisor with Northwestern Mutual, helping his clients with retirement income planning. Nick and Whitney live in the Green Hills area of Nashville along with their two sons. The Pilkingtons are members of Midtown Fellowship Church’s 12 South congregation. Whitney is an avid runner, while Nick enjoys backpacking, cycling, and fishing.
Lee Tabor, Treasurer
Lee Tabor, CPA, is a senior analyst in the Valuation, Litigation and Business Transition Services Group of Lattimore Black Morgan & Cain, PC (LBMC), one of the Southeast’s largest accounting and business consulting firms.
Lee graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2008 with his masters of accountancy. After graduating, Lee worked for KPMG in Memphis as a senior auditor before accepting his current position here in Nashville with LBMC in June of 2012. He brings a broad range of experience in providing auditing services for clients in a variety of industries including financial services, not-for-profits and manufacturing. Lee is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants.
He is also a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters and he and his wife, Jenny, are active members of Cross Point Church.
Beth Wright, Secretary
Beth Bradfield Wright is Vice-President for Corporate Communications and Strategic Marketing for Capella Healthcare, based in Franklin, TN. Prior to joining Capella Healthcare in 2010, Beth was Director of Marketing Services for LifePoint Hospitals® in Brentwood, TN. and prior to that, worked in hospitals affiliated with HCA for 27 years.
She is currently serving on the Editorial Board for Marketing Health Services magazine, published by the American Marketing Association and on the PR Task Force of the Federation of American Hospitals.
In 2009, Beth received the prestigious “Best in Show” Achievement in Marketing (AIM) Award from the Nashville American Marketing Association for a colorectal cancer education campaign that generated over 15,000 calls for free at-home test kits.
A graduate of Leadership Sumner, Beth served as President of the Goodlettsville Chamber of Commerce in 2007. She serves on the Board of You Have the Power, a victim advocacy organization, and has worked on the task force for the National Weekend of Prayer to End Trafficking and Slavery. As a member of Toastmasters International, Beth served as District Governor for Georgia’s 200+ clubs in 1989-90, achieving President’s Distinguished District honors.
A native of Rome, Georgia, Beth graduated from Shorter University with a bachelors’ degree in communications. She and her husband David are active members of Long Hollow Baptist Church.