Josh Denton has practiced law since 1999, representing clients in jury and non-jury trials, appeals, arbitrations, and mediations. Admitted to practice in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana, Josh routinely handles complex commercial litigation, real estate, and zoning matters. He is the chair of Gullett Sanford Robinson & Martin’s litigation section. Josh also stays active in his community. In addition to chairing the NCRC’s Board of Directors, he is an active board member of a local foundation promoting historic preservation. Josh earned his B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Kentucky in Lexington. He and his family reside in Franklin, Tennessee.
Prior to joining NCRC and the world of nonprofit mediation in 2011, Sara Figal was a faculty member of the Vanderbilt University German Department with a research focus on ideas of race and community in the eighteenth century. She earned her B.A. from Yale University and her Ph.D. from Harvard University, and she believes firmly that her commitment to healthy communication is the result of a good liberal arts education. Sara is a Rule 31 listed General Civil/Family Mediator with special training in Domestic Violence issues. She currently serves on the Board of the Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators and enjoys working as a Joy In Learning volunteer at Westminster Presbyterian Church. When left to her own devices, Sara often can be found in her weaving studio or curled up with a book. She lives in Bellevue with her husband, teenage children, and various rescued pets.
Brendi Kaplan is a partner in the firm of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP. She has been actively involved in Nashville’s public and private sectors since 1990. She is a member of the Nashville, Tennessee, and American Bar Associations; serves as a mentor for the Nashville Bar Foundation Leadership Forum; and as a Judge for the BBB’s Torch Awards for Ethical Commerce. Brendi is Rule 31 Listed and a mediator with NCRC. She believes that empowering people with the ability to find solutions to conflicts will prove valuable throughout their lives. Brendi earned a B.A. from Bradley University and a J.D. from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago.
Jessica Scouten has more than a decade of public accounting and litigation support experience. She works with financially distressed enterprises and business units specializing in investigative accounting matters, including fraud investigations, forensic accounting and bankruptcy. Most recently, she led a team of more than 50 staff assisting a law firm investigating alleged white collar crimes where more than 9 million emails and other documents were being mined and analyzed. Industry experience includes manufacturing, transportation, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, municipal governments, and not-for-profit organizations. In addition to being a CPA, Jessica is a Certified Fraud Examiner and a Magna Cum Laude B.S. graduate of Pennsylvania’s Messiah College.
Ellie Wetzel has been a volunteer mediator with the NCRC since 2013. She is licensed to practice law in Tennessee and in her home state of Indiana. She received her J.D. from Indiana University School of Law at Bloomington and her B.A. from Colorado College. Ellie serves as a research attorney with the Metro Nashville / Davidson County Courts, where she focuses on criminal and constitutional law issues. An avid animal lover, she and her Great Pyr are training to be a pet therapy team to provide animal-assisted interventions for patients in recovery and crisis response.
Bette Christofersen was born and raised in the D.C. area. She received her B.S. in Occupational Therapy from Tufts University and her M.S. in Pediatric OT from Virginia Commonwealth U. She practiced OT for 16 years before retiring to raise her children. Since moving to Nashville in 1989, she has been a community volunteer for many non-profits, such as Second Harvest, Nashville Repertory Theatre, Bridges, Monroe Harding, Book’m, and CASA. Since 2011, Bette has developed a new ‘career’ as a Civil and Family mediator for NCRC. Her passions--besides NCRC, family, and friends--include tennis, entertaining, cooking, reading, and travel.
Chuck Hill is a retired academic program administrator from UC Berkeley and a Rule 31 listed General Civil/Family mediator. His private mediation practice focuses on family, civil, and intellectual property disputes. He is specially trained in domestic violence and has been designated Campus Mediator for Meharry Medical College. Chuck holds an appointment with the U.S. Department of Defense as an Ombudsman/Mediator for employers and service members disputing employment status following military deployment with the National Guard or Reserve. Chuck is a graduate of Dillard University, earned a Master’s in Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesota, and has completed post-graduate work at Harvard University.
Will Biggs grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and earned both his B.S. and M.S. from Tennessee State University. He is also a graduate of Nashville School of Law. Will worked as an attorney in private practice and as a project manager with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. While with HUD, he was elected regional vice president in the American Federation of Government Employees, HUD Council 222. Will was hired as general counsel for Metropolitan Development & Housing Agency in 2014 and was asked to assume his current role as Director of Affordable Housing a year later.
A Nashville native, Ron Deal practiced architecture for 10 years and construction law for another eight. In 2006, he was ordained as a Deacon for the Catholic Diocese of Nashville, and since 2008 he has served the Diocese as Project Development Manager, consulting on design, construction, and real estate issues. Ron is interested in social justice and constitutional issues, and serves as a volunteer mentor attorney in the Youth Court for Davidson County. Ron earned a Masters in Urban & Regional Planning and a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a Rule 31 listed General Civil and Family Mediator, specially trained in Domestic Violence Issues.
Phyllis Hildreth is the Academic Director for Lipscomb University’s Institute for Conflict Management. She has served as Chief Counsel for Administration for the State of Maryland, Office of the Public Defender; as a Deputy Secretary for the Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice; and as the first Managing Director for the Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center. She earned a B.A. from Harvard University, a J.D. from the University of Maryland, and a M.A. in Conflict Management from Lipscomb University. Phyllis also serves on the Boards of both the Nashville Metro Human Relations Commission and The Women’s Fund.
Bill Hirschman is an Executive Director and banker with The J.P. Morgan Private Bank in Nashville. He is responsible for delivering the firm’s investing, wealth transfer, credit, and philanthropic services to ultra-high-net-worth clients. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, Bill was a Managing Director with Avondale Partners, a boutique investment bank/institutional sell-side equity research firm headquartered in Nashville. Over 15 years with the firm, he held several leadership roles including Head of Trading, Director of Research and Head of Equity Capital Markets. Bill also worked for Equitable Securities, an affiliate of SunTrust. Bill holds a B.A. in Economics from Washington and Lee University.
Tracy Kane is General Counsel for LeanKit, Inc., a growing technology company based in Franklin, TN. Previously a partner in the Nashville law firm of Dodson, Parker, Behm & Capparella, she maintained a diverse practice drawing from her experience in government, community service, business and international trade to advise start-ups and companies experiencing rapid growth through all their legal needs. She received her B.A. from American University and her J.D. from Vanderbilt University. Ms. Kane is also a mediator. She is committed to public service and community activism, serving on several non-profit boards and professional associations, including the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, the Nashville Bar Association, and Sister Cities of Nashville.
Phylanice Nashe, J.D., CSM, is a co-founder of Innertainment Delivery Systems, LLC (IDS), a Nashville-based educational software, hardware and content company. Formerly, she practiced as a personal injury and landlord/tenant attorney. She earned her J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and completed mediation training at Lipscomb University’s Conflict Management Institute. Phylanice has volunteered as a mediator for the Nashville Conflict Resolution Center’s General Sessions Civil Mediation Program, where many cases involve landlord/tenant issues. Her experience in this area allows parties to resolve their issues amicably. Phylanice enjoys her mediation experiences and is excited to serve as a member of NCRC’s board.
Rosemary Sexton is a graduate of Belmont University, B.S.; University of Northern Colorado, M.A.; and Nashville School of Law, J.D. Rosemary was employed by Metropolitan Public Schools for nine years as an Elementary School Teacher. She was an Assistant District Attorney in the Office of the District Attorney General for 34 years, with practice both in General Sessions Court and Criminal Court. After retirement, Rosemary has continued as an Assistant D.A. on a part-time basis. She began the Warrant Screening Program for the DA's Office. This program has had great success referring quasi-criminal disputes between friends, neighbors, and co-workers to NCRC for mediation. Rosemary knows first-hand that Mediation saves the court system time and money.
David Taylor is a partner in the Bradley law firm in Nashville and has been at Tennessee’s forefront of dispute resolution. He helped found and served as chair of the ADR law section of the Tennessee Bar Association and was appointed to the Tennessee Supreme Court’s ADR Commission. Until recently, David chaired the firm’s pro bono committee. David has served on many nonprofit boards over the years, and presently he serves on the Second Harvest Food Bank’s Board. He is a graduate of Davidson College and the Alabama School of Law. He and his wife Debra have 2 daughters, English and Eliza.
Kristine West has served on the Board of NCRC since 2011. Kristine is Senior Operations Counsel for HCA and has been with HCA’s legal department since 2010. Prior to joining HCA, Kristine was an Associate at Waller Lansden. Kristine received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University and her law degree from the University of Tennessee. Kristine is very proud of Nashville’s success, having grown up in this wonderful city. She feels strongly that NCRC’s work contributes to Nashville being a great place to live for all its citizens.
Robin White is an attorney, Realtor, and Rule 31 listed General/Civil mediator. Robin is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt Law School. She is a member at Waypoint Law, PLLC and is certified as a Business Bankruptcy Specialist. Robin knows that the best outcomes often come from solutions crafted by the parties to the dispute themselves. For that reason, Robin became a civil mediator and draws from her years of representing businesses and business owners to mediate business disputes. Robin is also a realtor with Main Street Real Estate, where she focuses on the purchase and sale of residential and investment properties.
Born and raised in Central Ohio, Molly Williamson received a B.A. in Communications at The Ohio State University before relocating to Nashville in 2008. Since then, Molly has worked at DVL Seigenthaler, A Finn Partners Company, and is now Vice President. She develops, manages, and executes public relations strategy – including media relations, marketing and project/event management – to help clients tell their stories to external and internal audiences. Molly was a peer mediator while in middle school, a skill that served her well as the youngest of four children.