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VOL. 128 | NO. 129 | Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Best Honored for Exchange Club Family Center Work

By Kate Simone

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Dr. Jara Best has received Volunteer Mid-South’s Spirit of Giving award for Adult Volunteer of the Year for her work with The Exchange Club Family Center. Best, a pediatrician, is a member of the center’s board and has served as a volunteer with the facility’s domestic violence programs for children and women, as well as the First STEPS (Skills to Ensure Parenting Success) program.


Education and work experience: Graduated from Millington Central High School and Tennessee State University in Nashville. Completed medical school and residency at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. I have been with Pediatric Consultants P.C. since 2004.

Family: Husband, Kent Jones; and sons Aaron, age 14, Cameron, age 10, and Logan, age 6.

Favorite quote: “Do not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest if you do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9

Favorite movie: “The Help”

The sports team you root for: Memphis Grizzlies (We’ve been season ticket holders since Season 1). Go Grizz!!

What’s playing on your stereo right now? – John Legend, Beyonce and Maroon 5

Activities you enjoy outside of work: I love spending time with my family and friends, traveling and volunteering at The Exchange Club Family Center.

What talent do you wish you had? I wish I could draw and paint. My father and all of his sisters are amazing artists, and I love looking at their artwork.

Who has had the greatest influence on you and why? My mother. After 46 years of nursing, she finally retired two years ago and still volunteers weekly at a homeless shelter here in Memphis.

How did you become involved with The Exchange Club Family Center? A close friend of mine was a victim of domestic violence, and she received services through The Exchange Club Family Center. While helping her through this difficult period, I was able to witness firsthand the awesome work being done at The Exchange Club Family Center for families affected by domestic violence as well as for teenage mothers and their children. I began volunteering at the center soon after that experience.

How has your medical training assisted your volunteer work? My medical training has taught me how to communicate with children of all ages as well as their parents.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? My greatest accomplishments are my three healthy, handsome and happy sons.


What do you most enjoy about your work with the Family Center? I enjoy helping the women in the Women’s Domestic Violence support group and the teenage mothers and their children in the First STEPS program successfully navigate through difficult and often scary life circumstances.


If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? Follow your heart, but take your brain with you.


Financial Federal has added three members to its Commercial Banking division: Benjamin Sutton, assistant vice president of commercial banking; Casey Houston, assistant loan administrator; and Leigh Harwell, loan analyst.

J. Taliaferro M. Oates has joined Mercer Capital as a financial analyst. Oates will provide business valuation and financial consulting services to public and private companies and financial institutions nationwide.

State Rep. Steve McManus has been awarded the National Federation of Independent Business’ Guardian of Small Business award. McManus, of Cordova, is chairman of the House Insurance & Banking committee and a member of the House Consumer & Human Resources committee and the House Rules committee.


University of Memphis provost David Rudd has been appointed to a National Academies of Science committee. He will serve on the Committee on Assessment of Resiliency and Prevention Programs for Mental and Behavioral Health in Service Members and Their Families, which addresses issues related to soldiers’ mental health since the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Five Burch, Porter & Johnson PLLC attorneys have been ranked in the 2013 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as leading practitioners in their practice areas: W.J. Michael Cody and Jef Feibelman, general litigation; and C. Thomas Cates, W. Rowlett Scott and LeeAnne Marshall Cox, real estate.

The Brand Squad and Running Pony Productions have won Telly Awards for their Jubilee Catholic Schools video collaboration in both the non-broadcast, charitable/not-for-profit category and the non-broadcast, fundraising category.

The Arc Tennessee has awarded SRVS its 2013 Agency of Distinction Award. The group also honored Barbara Woods of West Tennessee Homes with the Direct Support Professionals Above and Beyond award; and Jillian Sweet, of On Our Own, with the Ruth Roberts Memorial Award.

PROPERTY SALES 61 262 16,169
MORTGAGES 28 132 10,054
BUILDING PERMITS 88 424 38,360
BANKRUPTCIES 36 92 7,564