Melanie A. Keller has been named president of Meritan Inc. Keller, who joined the nonprofit social services agency in 2006, previously served as its executive vice president. In her new role, she is responsible for oversight of more than 500 employees and contractors as well as the agency’s $21 million annual budget. Keller also manages its quality improvement and strategic planning efforts.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Health Administration, both from the University of Memphis.
Family: Husband, Stan Keller; three children: Megan, Trey, and Annamarie.
Favorite quote: “The way to get things done is not to mind who gets the credit.”
Favorite movie: “Gone with the Wind.”
The sports teams you root for: University of Memphis Tigers, Memphis Grizzlies, Memphis Redbirds and St. Louis Cardinals (in that order).
What’s playing on your stereo right now? The peaceful and rare sound of silence.
Activities you enjoy outside of work: Working in the yard and time at the lake with my family and friends.
What talent do you wish you had? I wish I could play the piano better. I can play basic songs with sheet music, but I wish I could just sit at a piano and play anything – beautifully.
Who has had the greatest influence on you? I am blessed with supportive and encouraging parents. They taught me the importance of doing the right thing and always believing in myself.
What attracted you to Meritan? Meritan has a long and excellent history of providing quality service to the community. The majority of Meritan’s staff had worked there for decades, and I found the world inside of Meritan to be positive and supportive. I felt at home there right away.
What are your goals in your new position? I have two immediate goals: to make sure that Meritan operates within a balanced budget and to expand Meritan’s skilled medical services.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? I received the parent-of-the-year award for the past two years from my children’s school, Woodstock Middle School. For me, this honor came as a personal affirmation that, although I work many hours, I can maintain a balance between my professional life and my role as a mother.
What do you most enjoy about your work? I work with an amazing group of people at Meritan. They are smart, energetic and fun to be with. I always look forward to coming to work.
If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? You don’t have to have your entire life figured out by the time you graduate high school or even college. But you should always have short- and long-term personal and professional goals to help you stay on track.
Abby Wallace, assistant district attorney for the Shelby County District Attorney General’s office, has been named one of America’s Top Ten Animal Defenders by the Animal Legal Defense Fund. ALDF chose Wallace for criminal prosecution related to abuse at the Memphis Animal Shelter.
Magna Bank chief lending officer Ted Simpson has been promoted to senior executive vice president from executive vice president. Rebecca Floyd has been promoted to department manager for the private banking group. Tiffany Riggins has been promoted to vice president of human resources. And Victoria Barnes has been promoted to assistant vice president and branch manager of Magna’s Cordova branch.
Erinn Figg has joined the Memphis office of Obsidian Public Relations as account manager. Figg previously served as an account vice president at archer-malmo, overseeing the agency’s Verizon Wireless (South Central region) public relations account.
Seth Colley has joined Great-West Financial as regional sales director for its bank markets business. Colley will assist bank advisers in Great-West Financial retirement income and life insurance products to bank clients across Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky.
Timothy Gibson, St. George’s Independent School counselor, has been named a Counselors That Change Lives awardee by the Colleges That Change Lives. The awards recognize counselors who best promote and support a student-centered college search process.
First Tennessee Bank has won 13 national and regional Greenwich Excellence Awards for customer satisfaction in U.S. small-business and middle market banking. Small-business banking awards include: likelihood to recommend, credit policy, financial stability, branch satisfaction, online services, treasury management overall satisfaction, treasury management accuracy of operations, treasury management product capabilities, treasury management customer service and treasury management overall satisfaction – South region. Middle-market banking awards include: overall satisfaction, overall satisfaction – South region and treasury management overall satisfaction – South region.