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VOL. 130 | NO. 122 | Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Simmons Joins Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors

By Kate Simone

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Mary Leesa Simmons has joined Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors as vice president – senior asset manager. In her new role, Simmons provides all aspects of property management duties for the firm’s clients.
This includes financial administration, budgeting, reporting, lease administration, contract administration, tenant, client and vendor administration, capital improvements and property inspections.


Hometown: Brownsville, Tenn.

Experience: 25 years with IDI Gazeley, 21 of those years in a property management role, with the past 10 years as vice president – real estate management.

Family: Two four-legged kids: Bogey, a 15-year-old Westie, and Hank, a 3-year-old rescue Shorkie.

Favorite quote: “The waves of the sea help me get back to me.”

Favorite movie: “Pretty Woman”

The sports team(s) you root for: Memphis Grizzlies, Mississippi State Bulldogs

What’s playing on your stereo right now? Amos Lee, Sam Smith

Activities you enjoy outside of work: Interior design, travel, gardening

What talent do you wish you had? I wish I could sing.

Who has had the greatest influence on you and why? My mother, who taught me how to persevere through hard work and dedication; and to never give up.

What attracted you to your company? I’ve always respected and admired the way Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors runs their property management division as well as the many great people that work there.

What are your goals in your new position? To serve my current clients to the best of my ability and to help grow our client base.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? I’ve had many accomplishments throughout my career, but the most recent would be transitioning to a new company while bringing the majority of my clients with me through the smoothest transition I could imagine.

What do you most enjoy about your work? The people. Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors has some of the most caring, talented, fun people to work with.

If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today.

Louie Jiles has been promoted to general manager of Rural/Metro’s Mid-South operations. Jiles brings more than 20 years’ experience in professional care and management within the emergency medical service industry. He has been with Rural/Metro Corp. since 1999 in the Atlanta and Fulton County, Ga., markets.


Jon W. Smith has joined Apperson Crump PLC as a member of the firm. Smith has practiced law in Tennessee since 1991 and is certified as an estate planning law specialist by the Estate Law Specialist Board.

Jordan Moore has joined the Family Safety Center as director of communication and development, a newly created position. Moore is a two-time graduate of the University of Memphis with a Master of Public Administration and also is a certified nonprofit professional.



Memphis Child Advocacy Center has hired Harold Witherspoon III as development director and Kris Crim as prevention director. Witherspoon worked for 21 years at the Boy Scouts of America in progressive management and executive positions, most recently serving as assistant scout executive/chief operating officer with the Central Georgia Boy Scouts Council. Crim worked for the YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South for 16 years in various roles, most recently as regional executive director of the Y-CAP Branch YMCA.

Geotechnology Inc. has added Ryan Farrar and James Hanks as staff engineers and Kelly Townsend as a marketing assistant. Farrar and Townsend will be working out of the Memphis office. Hanks be working with Geotechnology’s Memphis Construction Materials Testing and Geotechnical groups out of the company’s Oxford, Miss., office.

The family of Lloyd Kirkland Jr., including Magistrate Judge Diane Vescovo and her husband, Michael McLaren, have honored him by purchasing naming rights to Memphis Area Legal Services’ small conference room. The room is now called the Kirkland Conference Room.

Four Memphis-area teachers are among 26 selected for the State Collaborative on Reforming Education’s 2015-16 Tennessee Educator Fellowship. They include: Curtis Herring, a grades 9-12 science teacher at Overton High (Shelby County Schools); Amanda Nixon, a fifth-grade teacher at Riverwood Elementary (Shelby County Schools); Angela Staples, a seventh-grade English language arts and history teacher at Elmore Park Middle (Bartlett City Schools); and Tammy Wilson, a first-grade teacher at Farmington Elementary (Germantown Municipal School District).

PROPERTY SALES 36 154 6,546
MORTGAGES 34 94 4,129
BANKRUPTCIES 43 126 3,396