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VOL. 131 | NO. 54 | Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Grimes Joins Barge Waggoner As Transportation Project Manager

By Kate Simone

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Keafur Grimes has joined Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon Inc. as transportation project manager, bringing with him more than 35 years of experience. In his new role, Grimes manages transportation planning and construction projects to meet federal, state and local regulations; ensures that projects meet quality compliance and assurance standards as well as customer needs; and are delivered on time and within budget.

Hometown: Mason, Tenn.


Experience: I have more 35 years of experience that includes airport design, construction standards and federal land acquisition. Prior to Barge Waggoner, I worked for the Federal Aviation Administration in Jackson, Miss., managing federal programs for general aviation, reliever, and air-carrier airports. I spent 12 years before my FAA tenure with the U.S. Army at the Engineer Research Development Center (formerly Waterways Experiment Station) in Vicksburg, Miss.

Family: Brenda Dee Grimes, wife; three sons; 13 siblings 

Favorite quote: “Soft words turn away wrath; but grievous words stir up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1 

Favorite movie: “The Great Debaters”

The sports team(s) you root for: Memphis Grizzles

What’s playing on your stereo right now? B.B. King

Activities you enjoy outside of work: Youth director and Sunday school teacher (since 1983), I love to motivate youth to always give their best. 

Who has had the greatest influence on you and why? My dad had the greatest influence on me because he had such integrity, was a hard worker and a leader in the community. When he returned from World War II, Father began to farm in Mason, Tennessee. Father rented land for many years, but eventually, his hard work and long hours enabled him to buy his own farm which included a house. He stressed the importance of a great education and doing your best in all you do.

What attracted you to Barge Waggoner? When I started working for FAA in 1992, I first worked with Barge Waggoner engineers. These engineers had such a high level of honesty and desire to perform well and get the project finished on time and within budget. 

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? My greatest accomplishment has been my ability to work with, get along with and build bridges with people from many different races, ages, educational levels and economic backgrounds. I love people.

What do you most enjoy about your work? I enjoy solving complex engineering problems and helping communities improve their transportation systems to better serve their people.

If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? They should seek out others for help, if needed. President John F. Kennedy’s words still motivate me, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”. America needs you to be all you can be.



Marla Brown has been named director of development at Agape Child and Family Services. Brown, who has more than 20 years of professional development and leadership experience, previously served Agape as director of the Families In Transition ministry for more than four years. 

Kelly Smith has joined Renaissance Group Inc. as a BIM coordinator. Smith has more than eight years’ experience and previously worked with an architecture firm based out of Jonesboro and Little Rock, Ark. 

Eric Robertson, president of Community LIFT and River City Capital Investment Corp., has been appointed to a three-year term on the board of directors of the Memphis Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Cathy Simmons has been named board president for Mid-South Spay & Neuter Services.

Simmons, the chief compliance officer at Legacy Wealth Management, will serve a two-year term as president of the board.

FedEx Freight driver Raymond Bradford has been honored with the Master President’s Safety Award, a company honor for 25 years of driving without an accident. Bradford, a city driver based in Memphis, has been a professional truck driver for 31 years and at FedEx Freight for 26 of those years.

Creative Aging has announced its new board officers for fiscal year 2016: Michael Escamilla, Kirby Pines, chair; Jason Gibert, Senior Care Management Solutions, vice-chair; Randy Wright, The Dive Shop, treasurer; and Cathy Ainsworth, secretary. Jennifer Roberts, senior adult coordinator with Memphis Jewish Community Center, has joined the board of directors. 

Creative Aging also has added two new staff members: Deanna Sides, program coordinator, and Kini Kedigh Plumlee, development director.

Dr. Jim Bailey of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center has been awarded $5.2 million in funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Bailey, professor of internal medicine and preventive medicine in the College of Medicine and director of the Center for Health System Improvement at UTHSC, will use the funds to study the effectiveness of patient-driven resources to improve health care for African-Americans who have uncontrolled diabetes and live in underserved areas.

PROPERTY SALES 56 94 12,852
MORTGAGES 23 50 8,053
BUILDING PERMITS 285 422 30,356
BANKRUPTCIES 23 67 6,131