VOL. 133 | NO. 151 | Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Hale Named Principal Owner At Pickering Firm
By Michael Waddell
After 17 years with Pickering Firm Inc., James Hale has been tapped as one of the architecture and engineering firm’s principal owners. As director of finance and administration, Hale is responsible for overseeing all financial operations of the firm and the day-to-day fiscal management of the company. Hale, who is based in Pickering’s Memphis office, also oversees all accounting and administrative staff, including human resources and IT.
Experience: After earning his BBA from Mississippi State University with a major in banking and finance, Hale spent 12 years working in various positions in banking and loan servicing in Memphis, Atlanta and Dallas. At Pickering, he worked for 14 years as human resource manager before becoming the firm’s director of finance and administration three years ago.
What led you to want to have a career in finance and administration? Money, what else? Seriously though, even as early as middle school I remember being fascinated by finance, stocks and the ins and outs of a corporation’s monetary operations. To this day, the more I learn, the more I realize there is so much more to know.
What attracted you to working at Pickering? After returning to Memphis from a consulting position in Dallas, I was looking for a midsized firm that I could join for a more permanent career. Pickering was and continues to be the perfect fit for me. The CFO hired me as the HR manager and I progressed to my current position when she retired.
What are a couple of notable local projects Pickering is working on now? Pickering has had the opportunity to work on many notable projects in the past, including the Memphis Zoo, Kroger Union Avenue renovation and Nike Distribution Center expansion. A couple of current projects would include Cooper Tire facility in Marshall County, Mississippi; Mississippi River Park; widening State Route 57/Poplar Avenue in Collierville; and the Cossitt Library renovation.
What are your goals in your new role? On the financial side, I strive to make sure that Pickering is in the best financial position possible so that our employees can continue to provide for their families and “service and good work” for our clients. This is also important so we can take advantage of any potential growth opportunities to continue providing “service and good work” for another 70 years and beyond. On the human side, I want to keep the family feel that I have always taken pride of at Pickering. We are not just a place to work but also a big extended family. We work together to make this company the success it is, and the commitment that our staff (and their families) bring to Pickering must be reciprocated by the firm to continue our success.
What do you most enjoy about your work? Working with good, professional people toward a common goal, which ultimately benefits us all and our community. There is very little I don’t enjoy about what I do.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? Becoming a principal with Pickering, where I can work with my colleagues to direct our firm now for future generations to take over.
What talent do you wish you had? I wish I could tell a joke – I always mess up the punch line.
Who has had the greatest influence on you and why? My parents. Both came from a rural farming community in Mississippi and are the ultimate evidence that hard work and a commitment to family can take you far in life. Any success I have to this day ultimately reflects back on the lessons they taught me growing up.
Away from work, what are your interests? I enjoy spending time with my wife and family, my dogs, and riding my motorcycle.
If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? Build relationships. Find people who inspire you and push you to do better each and every day.
Dr. Valeria Raquel Mas has been named director of transplant research for the UT/Methodist Transplant Institute. She will also hold the Transplant Institute Endowed Professorship in translational research at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Dr. Mas previously served as a tenured associate professor of research surgery at the University of Virginia, where she directed the Translational Genomics Transplant Laboratory, and previously was co-director of transplant research.
Eric D. Robertson, president of Community LIFT and River City Capital Investment, has been chosen to serve on Iberiabank’s first Community Advisory Board. The non-fiduciary advisory board will provide Iberiabank guidance on strategic, marketing, product and service initiatives to assist low- and moderate-income and minority communities and will help the company monitor progress made under its Community Plan. Robertson has more than 17 years of experience in economic and community development.
The M&A Advisor has awarded Bass, Berry & Sims member Richard F. Mattern an Emerging Leaders Award in the Legal Advisor category. The awards recognize professionals younger than 40 for their accomplishments in mergers and acquisitions, financing and restructuring. Mattern is a member of Bass, Berry & Sims’ Corporate & Securities Practice Group. Since joining the firm in 2016, he has helped to revitalize the corporate practice in its Memphis office and relaunch the firm’s REIT corporate practice.
Leadership Germantown, a non-profit organization that works to develop well-informed and effective community leaders, has graduated a new group from its six-month program. The Class of 2018 graduates are Laura Barden, Gail Braddock, Victoria Bryan, Sonja Butler, Megan Collins, Kate Crowder, Doug Cummings, Sanjay Dave, Naser Fazlullah, Linda Fisher, Lee Grinspan, Price Harris, Antroya Hawthorne, Julia Kempka, Russell (Lance) Kruchten, Sarah McBride, JR Parsons, Lauren Raymer-Hayes, Linda Rosenblatt, Bob Rudisill, Michael Shelton and Amy Taylor.
The College of Pharmacy at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center has been ranked in the top 20 in two measures of excellence. UTHSC’s College of Pharmacy is now No. 20 in annual research funding from the National Institutes of Health, according to a new listing published by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, an increase from No. 23 last year. NIH funding has grown at the college from approximately $3 million in 2011 to approximately $8 million today. UTHSC’s College of Pharmacy is also ranked No. 17 among 140 colleges of pharmacy across the country by U.S. News & World Report, based on an annual survey of academics at peer institutions.