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VOL. 132 | NO. 207 | Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Pettit Joins Food Bank As Chief Development Officer

By Kate Simone

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Attorney Peter Pettit has joined Mid-South Food Bank as chief development officer following his recent retirement as a partner in the Memphis office of Bass, Berry & Sims PLC. In his new role, Pettit works closely with food bank leaders to develop strategies and relationships with major gift donors, and specifically is working to complete the $12.5 million “Hunger to Hope” capital campaign.

Pettit reports Mid-South Food Bank has received $11.5 million in pledges to date for the project, which will allow the food bank to consolidate its operations into a larger, refurbished warehouse at Perkins Road and Lamar Avenue.

Hometown: Native Memphian

Experience: Graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in economics and J.D. in law. I was general counsel of Occidental Petroleum Hotel Corp. in London, developing mainly Holiday Inns in Europe and North Africa. I returned to become a partner in Canada, Russell & Turner (now The Wyatt Firm). Got into the corporate arena again as president of Malone & Hyde Financial, a captive finance company for the second-largest food distributor in the country. As former CEO of Seven Oaks International, I took it private. That led to my most interesting experience as part owner and manager of Deep Water Cay Club, a world-class fishing resort in the Bahamas. Came back to my real profession to help start the Memphis office of Bass, Berry & Sims, where I retired last August.

What talent do you wish you had? I wish I could paint as well as any of the Impressionists.

Who has had the greatest influence on you and why? My grandfather, J.R. Buchignani. He was a wise, successful businessman who repaid the depositors of his bank that went under during the Great Depression out of his own holdings. He was all about taking care of family.

What attracted you to this role with Mid-South Food Bank? I am a trustee of the Plough Foundation and reviewed the Food Bank’s well-written request for a capital campaign contribution. I was compelled by the need and significant savings of $360,000 annually, and we voted to grant $1 million to the project. I was looking for something significant to do. After a tour with the CEO Estella Mayhue-Greer and campaign chair Pat Danehy, I was hooked. MFSB has a great reputation in the community and nationally with a coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for the last seven years.

Along with your professional experience as an attorney and corporate executive, you’ve served on several nonprofit boards. What role do corporations play in helping nonprofits move forward? Most nonprofits have experienced significant if not total reductions in government funding. Corporations have stepped in the breach and become the go-to lifeblood, especially for operating needs as many foundations prefer capital projects. Corporations want accountability and ideally something their employees can volunteer for.

What are your goals in your new position? Raise the final $1 million to reach a $12.5 million goal by Dec. 31. Eliminate food insecurity in the MSFB footprint by 2022.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? Understanding and believing I am saved by faith in Christ and grace and marrying Corinne Rogers 45 years ago in London.

What do you most enjoy about your work? Humility and smiling.

If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? Seize the Day! Unselfishly.





Kristin C. Dunavant has joined the Memphis office of Bass, Berry & Sims PLC as a senior corporate attorney. In her new role, she counsels public and private companies in a variety of corporate, transactional and securities law matters. Dunavant previously served as assistant general counsel at Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings LLC. 

Brandon Musso has joined Vaco Memphis as the director of business development for the logistics division of Vaco, a talent search and placement firm for the logistics and transportation industry in Memphis; Nashville; Birmingham, Alabama; and St. Louis markets. Musso has more than 15 years of experience in third-party logistics, most recently serving as the director of logistics at ReTrans in Memphis.

Ron Brandon has been named chief financial officer and vice president for administration and finance for Christian Brothers University. Brandon comes to CBU from the Catholic Diocese of Memphis, where he served as chief financial officer. In his new role, he’ll oversee all financial functions, along with food management, human resources, purchasing, facilities

administration and bookstore management.

Stephen E. Alway has been named dean of the College of Health Professions at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He will begin his new appointment Dec. 15. Alway comes to UTHSC from the West Virginia University School of Medicine, where he served as chair of the Division of Exercise Physiology, executive chairperson of the Department of Human Performance and Applied Exercise Science, and senior assistant dean for research and graduate studies.  

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee has recognized Saint Francis Center for Surgical Weight Loss with a Blue Distinction Center Plus designation in bariatric surgery. The Blue Distinction Center designation honors health care facilities that demonstrate more affordable care and deliver quality specialty care. The Saint Francis center also has been named an Optum Health Center of Excellence for Bariatrics, which designates programs that perform more successful bariatric procedures and have better quality outcomes than many other facilities nearby.

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