Leslie Shankman-Cohn has been elected the 2014 president of the Tennessee Interior Design Coalition, a statewide coalition committed, through legislative and regulatory endeavors, to enhance and protect the right to practice interior design. Shankman-Cohn is a partner in Jill Hertz Interior Design, a division of Eclectic Interiors. She specializes in custom-designed furniture, space planning, furnishings and finishes specifications, universal design, Aging in Style and sustainable design issues.
Experience: Registered interior designer by the state of Tennessee; certified by the National Council of Interior Design Qualifications; professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers; certified Aging in Place specialist; and a certified Green Professional.
Family: Between my husband and I, we have 5 children and their spouses, and 6 grandchildren, all living in different areas of the country!
Favorite quote: “Never assume!”
What’s playing on your stereo right now? Classic Hits 94.1
Activities you enjoy outside of work: Traveling, cooking, entertaining, the arts and community activism.
Who has had the greatest influence on you and why? My parents. My mother was a talented designer who worked hand in hand with my father, an award-winning builder. My mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer when I was born, and my parents fought that battle together, as a team, until her death 27 years later. What is amazing is that my childhood memories are not those of sickness or self-pity, but of joy and wonder. We were always taught to face life one day at a time and live each day to the fullest.
What are your goals as TIDC president? To raise awareness of the practice of interior design and the role professional interior designers have in the total design process, and the effect that we can have in protecting the health, safety and welfare of the public.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? Besides being bestowed with honors by my peers, I am most proud of the National Homebuilders Association 2008 National “Homes for Life” design award for a kitchen I designed utilizing universal design and sustainable design components.
What do you most enjoy about your work? I love that every day and every project brings a different set of challenges and approach. But when a client can utilize and enjoy their home to the fullest extent is my biggest reward.
If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? Put down the gadgets and engage with the people around you! In addition, I would tell them to absorb the world around them and be passionate about what they choose to do.
Dr. Jena J. Steinle has been appointed director of research at the Hamilton Eye Institute. Steinle, who joined the Hamilton Eye Institute in 2007, is an associate professor in the departments of ophthalmology, anatomy and neurobiology and pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.
Shelby County assistant district attorney general Michael R. McCusker has been awarded Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s Hero Award for excellence in DUI prosecution. MADD also honored Memphis police officers Kirby Casey, James Harvell, Toree Dabney, Keland English and Jeramy Cline, and Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies Michael Lange and Carolyn Chambers.
Dr. Lakiesha Crawford has been promoted to medical director of LifeLinc Anesthesia. Crawford will be responsible for analyzing the overall anesthesia needs of clinical sites, providing oversight, scheduling assistance and contributions to operating room management.
LaTasha King has joined Reedy and Co. as the government housing coordinator, responsible for assisting families that are renting homes through the Housing and Urban Development voucher program. Sharbie King and Ryan Anderson have joined Reedy and Co. as leasing consultants, helping people rent homes, view properties and execute leases.
Jeff Higdon, property manager for Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors, has been appointed to the 2014 Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) Memphis Executive Council. Higdon is a certified property manager.
Crystal Dodson has joined Trezevant as wellness program coordinator. Prior to joining Trezevant, she interned at Vanderbilt Dayani Center for Health and Wellness, performing cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and exercise testing.
Randy Parsons has been named vice president of operations for Dunavant Transportation Group. Parsons will oversee terminal operations in Dallas and La Porte, Texas; business development for the Texas and Gulf Coast markets; and driver and employee safety. He worked at Knight Transportation for more than 13 years.
Memphis Area Legal Services has elected its new board officers: Jonathan Hancock, shareholder at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC, president; Mary Wolff, partner at Wolff Ardis PC, vice president; Clayton Purdom, shareholder at Martin Tate Morrow & Marston PC, treasurer; and Rose Benson, program coordinator at Porter-Leath, secretary.