Nashville movers and shakers recently packed a Power Poll-Nashville luncheon to discuss Nashville’s growth trajectory – how to keep it on track and benefit all the city’s citizens in the process.
"I’ve lived in other cities, including New York and Seattle, and the reason why we returned is because Nashville is still Nashville, but it also has a lot more to offer today than it did 20 years ago,” said Seigenthaler. “And this discussion is critically important to how we define great growth, which directly impacts the next chapter of our great city."
- John Seigenthaler
Defining Great Growth was moderated by FINN Partners’ John Seigenthaler and featured Nashville leaders Butch Spyridon of the CVC, Metro Council Member Freddie O’Connell, D.J. Wootson of Titus Young Real Estate, and Lucy Kempf of the Metro Nashville Planning Department. Panel members shared their thoughts and concerns about managing the city’s growth as Nashville’s popularity continues to run white-hot, impacting city planning, housing costs, traffic, and tourism.
Co-sponsors FINN Partners and Waller partnered with the Power Poll, a Nashville-based media company that surveys the most influential people in markets across the Southeast to produce valuable insight into what business, civic, media and political insiders are thinking.
Look for more Power Poll/FINN/Waller events on issues of importance to cities across the Southeast – coming soon.
Power Poll Moderator and Panelists
John Seigenthaler, Moderator
Partner / DVL Seigenthaler, a FINN Partners company
John Seigenthaler is award-winning communications professional and former anchor and correspondent for NBC News. His public relations expertise includes media relations, corporate communications, social media strategy, reputation management, crisis communications and video production.
Seigenthaler’s extensive journalism career included his work as the anchor for NBC Nightly News Weekend edition for almost a decade. He also appeared on Meet The Press, Dateline, TODAY, Weekend TODAY, MSNBC, CNBC and Discovery Channel.
He is a member of the Newseum and Newseum Institute boards of trustees, the Peabody Awards Board of Jurors and Duke University Alumni Magazine Advisory Board. Seigenthaler is an RFK Journalism Award judge and a member of the Public Relations Society of America. He holds a B.A. degree in Public Policy Studies from Duke University.
President/CEO, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp
Butch Spyridon has served as the head of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp (NCVC) since 1991. Since that time, the NCVC has led the strategic development of Nashville’s hospitality industry, and Music City has evolved into a global, year-round destination, generating over $6.5 billion in visitor spending.
During Butch’s tenure, the NCVC has been involved with development initiatives that include the Tennessee Titans, Bridgestone Arena, Music City July 4th, New Year’s Eve in Nashville, the Music City Center, Music City Walk of Fame, and the city’s first ever branding initiative. In addition, the CVC has produced two award-winning documentary films, including Silver Lion Awards at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Combined with the NCVC ongoing sales and marketing initiatives, Nashville hotel demand has grown faster than any other top 30 US city since 2013 and was named a top destination in the world by multiple publications for six consecutive years.
Spyridon serves on the Executive Committee of the U.S. Travel Association and as Secretary-Treasurer of Destinations International.
Raised in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Spyridon graduated from Vanderbilt University. He is a graduate of the Institute of Comparative Political and Economic Systems at Georgetown University. He and his wife, Sunny, have four children and five grandchildren.
Metro Council Member, Davidson County, District 19
Freddie O’Connell currently serves as the District 19 Representative of the Metro Council for the Metro Government of Nashville & Davidson County. In his role within the Metro Nashville Government, he currently serves on the Planning, Zoning & Historical Committee; the Public Works Committee; and the Convention, Tourism & Public Entertainment Facilities Committee. His prior committee experience includes terms on the Nashville Downtown Partnership Board of Directors, the Central Business Improvement District Board of Directors, the Gulch Business Improvement District Board of Directors, the District Energy System Advisory Board, and the South Central Neighborhood Development Corporation Board of Directors.
Mr. O’Connell is also the Founder of Mimetic Industries. He also serves on the Eakin Elementary PTO and the Salemtown Neighbors Neighborhood Association. He received a BA/BS from Brown University in Providence, RI. He and his partner, Whitney Lee Boon, have a daughter, Halley Ann Boon.
Founder-CEO, Titus Young Real Estate, LLC
D.J. Wootson is the Founder-CEO of Titus Young Real Estate, LLC, a Nashville-based multifaceted real estate company that offers brokerage, property management, and residential construction services, with a primary emphasis on new project development focused on the social impact of development opportunities that add value to local communities.
Originally from Wilmington, Delaware, Wootson earned a Junior College basketball scholarship before going on to play at the Division 1 level at Georgia State University in Atlanta. He later earned a Master of Divinity degree at Vanderbilt University while also starting a career in real estate.
In 2009, Wootson established D. Wootson Real Estate (DWRE) where he learned the business of property and asset management before working in the real estate department at Dollar General Corporation. He founded Titus Young in 2014.
Wootson has served on several non-profit boards in Middle Tennessee including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee, YCAP for YMCA, and Mending Hearts, Inc.
Lucy Alden Kempf
Executive Director, Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County Planning Department
Lucy Alden Kempf was named Executive Director of the Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County Planning Department in June 2018 after two years as manager of the Department’s Land Development division.
She leads a staff of 50 in guiding Nashville and Davidson County’s growth and development, processing development applications, and contributing to the community’s vision and direction for the future.
Ms. Kempf came to Nashville in September 2016 after ten years at the National Capital Planning Commission in Washington, DC, where she was most recently Director of Urban Design and Plan Review and previously served as Senior Urban Planner.
Her responsibilities there included managing the Commission’s Building Height Master Plan and leading analysis of a number of major projects in the National Capital Region, including the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Visitor Center and proposals for the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum renovation, both on the National Mall. She also led review of the final designs of the Eisenhower Memorial and the Kennedy Center expansion bridge.
Ms. Kempf holds a bachelor’s degree in History from Davidson College, a master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia, and a Certificate in Art and Architectural History from Florida State University’s international program in Florence, Italy.