VOL. 132 | NO. 139 | Friday, July 14, 2017
Another Tiger, Genard Avery, Makes Preseason Watch List
University of Memphis senior linebacker Genard Avery has been named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy preseason watch list. The Nagurski Trophy is awarded annually to the football player voted by members of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) to be the best defensively in the NCAA.
The award has been presented every year since 1993 by the Charlotte Touchdown Club and the FWAA. The award was named for former University of Minnesota and Chicago Bear Bronko Nagurski in 1995.
Avery was a first team, all-American Athletic Conference honoree last season after leading Memphis in tackles for loss (11, for -59 yards), sacks (5) and quarterback hurries (6). He also added two interceptions for touchdowns (vs. Bowling Green, vs. Temple). On the year, Avery ranked second on the Tigers in total tackles with 81.
A native of Grenada, Mississippi, Avery was named the John Bramlett Defensive Player of the Year by the Memphis coaching staff at the end of last season.
Avery is the fifth Tiger in recent days to earn a spot on a preseason watch list. Senior quarterback Riley Ferguson started the week as a member of the Maxwell Award Watch List, center Drew Kyser earned a second consecutive Rimington Trophy Watch List spot and Spencer Smith was one of 29 college punters named to the Ray Guy Watch List and also earned a nomination for the AFCA Good Works Team.
Senior offensive lineman Gabe Kuhn was named to the Outland Trophy Watch List.
The Charlotte Touchdown Club will cut the list to five finalists on Thursday, Nov. 16. The award will be presented Monday, Dec. 4, at the Charlotte Convention Center.
– Don Wade
Lucian Pera Takes Reins Of Tennessee Bar Association
Memphis attorney Lucian T. Pera, a partner at Adams and Reese LLP, has taken office as the new president of the Tennessee Bar Association.
Pera was sworn in at the TBA’s annual convention in Kingsport, Tennessee.
A Memphis native, Pera has practiced law in the city since 1986. He served for 20 years with Armstrong Allen PLLC before joining and helping open the Memphis office of Adams and Reese in 2006.
Pera graduated from Princeton University with honors and earned his law degree from Vanderbilt University School of Law in 1985.
With Adams and Reese, Pera practices in the areas of commercial litigation, media law, legal ethics and professional responsibility.
Pera has also served on the American Bar Association’s policy-making House of Delegates since 1990 and was ABA treasurer from 2011-14. Currently, he serves as chair of the ABA’s Center for Professional Responsibility, the home of the ABA’s core lawyer ethics and professional responsibility committees. He also currently serves as president of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works on open government issues across the state.
– Bill Dries
Rommy Hammond Of Buster’s Liquors Dies
Funeral arrangements were pending Thursday, July 13, for Rommy Hammond of Buster’s Liquors.
Hammond, who owned and ran the family business from 1970 to 2004, died Tuesday at the age of 76.
Buster’s Liquors was founded in 1954 by Hammond’s father, Buster Hammond. The younger Hammond got into the business full-time in 1966 Downtown with Sterick Liquors, located in the Sterick Building, before his father turned over the business to him in 1970 and the store moved east to Poplar Avenue and Highland Street.
Hammond was also an advocate for the liquor and wine business in the city.
– Bill Dries
Karl Dean Campaigns At Memphis PAC Fundraiser
Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean was to be among the speakers at a Thursday, July 13, Memphis fundraiser for the Tennessee Voter Project.
The project is a political action committee formed by state Senate Democratic leader Lee Harris of Memphis to increase voter registration and participation among Democrats.
Dean is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor.
Meanwhile, the contenders, Republican and Democratic, in the 2018 race for governor are moving toward a deadline later this month to report campaign contributions.
In advance of that, Dean has reported raising just over $1 million in six months. Republican contender Randy Boyd of Knoxville raised that much in a single event as did fellow Republican Bill Lee of Franklin.
Earlier this week, Boyd, the state’s former economic and community development commissioner, said his campaign finance report would show contributors in each of the state’s 95 counties.
– Bill Dries
Pinnacle Achieves Status As SBA Preferred Lender
Pinnacle Financial Partners has earned Preferred Lender Status from the U.S. Small Business Administration, a move that will benefit clients seeking an SBA-backed loan.
The firm also earned Community Bank of the Year honors from SBA for the state of Tennessee, an award Pinnacle has won every year since it began giving SBA loans in December 2013.
The SBA Preferred Lender Program streamlines the process of applying for, reviewing and securing financial assistance for small businesses. By taking part in the program, Pinnacle has final authority on SBA lending without requiring each loan to be reviewed and approved by the SBA.
The Community Bank of the Year designation is given to the Tennessee-based bank with the highest dollar amount and number of loans in the SBA 7(a) program within the state.
For the SBA’s fiscal year 2016, Pinnacle extended 20 7(a) loans totaling $9.8 million.
Now that Pinnacle has joined forces with BNC Bancorp, the firm’s SBA program will be based at the combined firm’s office in Greenville, South Carolina.
– Andy Meek