College of Business
Dean’s Advisory Board
Founded by Dean Thomas Payne, the Dean's Advisory Board is dedicated to helping the College of Business fulfill its mission and vision. The diverse group of volunteer leaders assists the college in building closer ties within the communities and industries our graduates serve while providing advice and counsel for strategic direction, curriculum innovation, and access to resources.
- Alfonzo Alexander
Chief Ethics and Diversity Officer
National Association of State Boards of Accountancy
Alfonzo Alexander serves as chief ethics and diversity officer of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and president of NASBA’s Center for the Public Trust (CPT). As chief ethics and diversity officer, Alexander oversees strategic diversity initiatives and ethics compliance for the organization, while facilitating a number of special projects working with the CEO.
Alexander became president of the CPT in January 2012. In his role as CPT President, Alexander oversees this ethics and leadership organization’s day-to-day operations and a growing number of CPT programs. Under his leadership, the CPT has cultivated new partnerships and built programs on nearly 100 college and university campuses across the United States, established Ethical Leadership Certification and Training Programs and grown the Being a Difference Award Program extensively. Alexander joined NASBA in 2006 as a staff director and vice president of the CPT. It was during this time, Alexander developed the strategic plan for the CPT.
Prior to joining NASBA, Alexander served as the regional manager and managing director for the Southeast Region of INROADS, Inc., where he led operations and business development in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. He joined INROADS as managing director of its Memphis office and experienced progressive growth throughout his tenure there. Before joining INROADS, Alexander held several leadership positions in operations management and human resources at the Quaker Oats Company.
In 2015, Alexander rebranded his consultancy to Proventus Leadership Group, LLC. Through this business, Alexander and his team provide leadership and strategic business consulting and training services for companies throughout the United States.
Alexander is a business school graduate of Tennessee Tech University. He also earned an MBA from Lipscomb University and completed an Executive Leadership Program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Alexander is certified through several organizations as a facilitator and is a certified professional coach through Coach Training Alliance. In 2017, he received the Distinguished Alumni award from Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society in Business, and in 2019, he was featured in the February edition of Southwest The Magazine.
Alexander has a passion for working in the community. Currently, he is the vice-chairman of the Ph.D. Project board of directors, and serves on the audit and executive committees of the board of directors for the Memorial Foundation. He is the past chairman of the board for the 100 Black Men of Middle TN. He is also a graduate of Leadership Nashville. Because of his commitment to education, Alexander serves on the Board of Visitors for the Lipscomb University College of Business, the International Board of Governors of Beta Gamma Sigma, and the Metropolitan Nashville Public Education Foundation. Additionally, Alexander is a board member for the New Level Community Development Corporation, Fellowship of Christian Athletes of Middle TN (past chairman), Youth Encouragement Services (advisory board & past president), and is a former member of the Metropolitan Nashville Sports Authority Board of Directors
- Stephanie E. Dedmon
Stephanie E. Dedmon
Chief Information Officer
State of TN
Stephanie Dedmon was named CIO for the State of Tennessee in October 2018. In this role, she is responsible for all operational areas of the state’s central IT organization, Strategic Technology Solutions. This includes managing the team’s IT service delivery, technical infrastructure development, and support and customer service management, and a workforce of almost 1200 IT professionals.
As Deputy CIO, Dedmon was previously responsible for the Enterprise IT Transformation (EIT) initiative that furthered the State’s enterprise IT organization by transitioning over 800 Executive Branch Department IT employees to STS. Prior to being named Deputy CIO in November of 2015, Dedmon served as the Director of Business Solutions Delivery (BSD), also within the Department of Finance & Administration. BSD was created in late 2011 to build a team of experienced senior project directors, project managers, and business analysts to help lead the state’s most complex IT/business solution implementations and improve project delivery success rates.
Prior to joining the State in 2005, Dedmon was an Associate Partner with Accenture in Nashville and served as project director on many public sector software implementations. She holds a Master of Business Administration from Tennessee Technological University (TTU) in Cookeville, Tennessee, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, also from TTU. She achieved her Project Management Professional certification in August of 2012.
Dedmon is a member of the National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO) where she serves as Secretary/Treasurer with the Executive Committee and as Co-Chair of the Innovation Committee. She is a member of the Greater Nashville Technology Council where she serves as the Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair and is a Board Member. She is also a member of Women in Technology in Tennessee and the Nashville Project Management Institute (PMI) chapter. In March 2018, she was named one of Government Technology’s Top 25 Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers for her work on the State’s IT transformation. Stephanie was also the recent recipient of the George H. Bass award for Leadership in Tennessee State Government in October of 2019.
- Stephen M. Flatt
Stephen M. Flatt
VP, Area Chief Resources Officer
Ascension Saint Thomas
Stephen M Flatt is a results-driven supply chain leader experienced in effectively leading contracting services, operations and logistics optimization, and implementation services for Ascension Saint Thomas.
Flatt joined Ascension Saint Thomas in January 2014 as a Director of Operations. He now oversees all change management solutions for eight acute care Ascension Saint Thomas hospitals and over 120 non-acute clinics, imaging centers, and outpatient centers as Area Chief Resource Officer.
Flatt leads the Ascension Saint Thomas Supply Chain, which received the highest executive satisfaction scores across Ascension in 2019. The team is also recognized for leading all Ascension hospitals in local supply savings dollars recovered in 2019.
He led a relaunch of the PeopleSoft software for the supply chain areas and successfully converted four regional hospitals to Ascension's purchasing and procurement platform. He also facilitated a successful ordering and purchasing system for all Ascension Medical Group clinics.
What he enjoys most about working at Ascension Saint Thomas is combining his faith and values with his career.
Before working at Ascension Saint Thomas, Flatt held the Logistics and Operations Manager position at Mars Pet Care and Director Merchandise Planning and Analysis at Dollar General Corporation.
Flatt holds a Master of Business Administration from Tennessee Technological University and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Middle Tennessee State University.
- Greg Gonzales
TN Department of Financial Institutions
Greg Gonzales is the 18th commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions, who began serving in this role in 2005 and was reappointed by Governor Bill Lee. He has served in the Department since 1986. In this position, Gonzales serves as Tennessee’s chief regulatory officer of all state-chartered depository and licensed non-depository financial institutions. Additionally, he has served as assistant commissioner and general counsel for the Department.
Commissioner Gonzales serves on Governor Lee’s Economic Recovery Group, a public-private partnership that will prioritize connection, collaboration, and communication across industries, the medical community, and state government to safely reboot Tennessee’s economy. Gonzales is a past Chairman of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), which is the professional organization of state banking commissioners in the United States. Commissioner Gonzales, for a number of years, served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Money Transmitter Regulators Association (MTRA), an organization of a majority of the states that regulate funds transfer companies. He serves as Chairman of the State Liaison Committee that incorporates the state supervisory perspective into the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC). The FFIEC affects regulatory guidance on all depository financial institutions in the United States. He served on the U.S. Treasury’s Bank Secrecy Act Advisory Group. Commissioner Gonzales currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission and the Tennessee Collateral Pool Board.
Commissioner Gonzales was born in Cookeville, Tennessee, and graduated Cum Laude in Cursus Honorum with a bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University in 1980. Gonzales served as a research assistant in 1980 to Sir Patrick Cormack, a Conservative Party member of the British Parliament. He earned a law degree from the University of Tennessee in 1984.
- John Hackney
VP for Strategy and Planning
United Health Group
John Hackney serves as the Vice President, Strategy & Planning, East Coast Medicare Advantage for United Healthcare Medicare Advantage Business serving over 6M Medicare Beneficiaries. John has over ten years of experience working for two of the largest health insurers in the country.
John earned a finance degree and MBA from Tennessee Technological University. He has spent most of his career working in finance, quality analytics, and operations. He and his wife have lived in Nashville for over ten years. Extremely passionate about innovation and change management in the healthcare space, he has spent the last five years developing technologies and programs dedicated to better serving customers and provider partners.
- Richard Hill
Shareholder & Managing Director
Emert & Hill, P.C.
Richard W. Hill is a shareholder with Mitchell Emert & Hill, P.C. in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he serves as the firm’s managing director and as either the in-charge or the technical reviewer on each of the firm’s audit and accounting engagements (which are concentrated in the not-for-profit and local government industries). He performs peer reviews for approximately 25 CPA firms annually and has performed peer reviews since 1992.
Richard graduated from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee with a BS in Business Administration, Accounting Major, and currently serves on their Accounting Advisory Board (elected as the first Chair in February 2021). He is a former member of the American Institute of CPAs Peer Review Board serving two terms for a total of five years. He remains a current member of the Board’s Oversight Task Force and was chair for three years. The Oversight Task Force has the responsibility of ensuring the peer review program is administered properly among the 25,000 enrolled firms and the entities who administer the program and has visited 22 such entities to review their processes. He was one of the Peer Review Board representatives on the Auditing Standards Board’s Quality Control Task Force (which issued the current quality control practice aid). In addition, he has served on other Board task forces and on a number of hearing panels for firms and peer reviewers.
He is a member of the Peer Review Committee of the Tennessee Society of CPAs (currently serving as chair). He previously served as committee chair from 2008-2011 and as chair of the East Tennessee Report Acceptance Body from 1998 to 2008 and 2016 to 2018. Richard has been a discussion leader on a variety of peer review and quality control topics and is one of the few instructors approved to teach the state-required professional ethics course for Tennessee. He has authored/co-authored articles on peer review for the Tennessee CPA Journal.
In 2019, he was one of the first 20 public accountants selected to participate in a new initiative with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) to add practitioners to accreditation teams. As of February 2021, he has participated in three accreditation visits and is scheduled for three more visits in 2021.
He is a lifelong member of Washington Pike United Methodist Church in Knoxville and chair of the finance committee for many years. Away from work, he and his wife Deanna are diehard fans of the Green Bay Packers, enjoy traveling in the US and abroad, and cruising in their 1971 Buick Riviera.
- Bruce Livesay
Retired Chief Information Officer
First Horizon Corporation
Bruce Livesay is the former EVP and Chief Information Officer for First Horizon Corporation, a position he held between August of 2008 and June 2020. He was a member of the Executive Management Committee and led the information technology and bank operations functions. As CIO, he was responsible for ensuring that the company’s information technology strategy and back-office processing functions aligned with strategic business objectives. Livesay oversaw a budget of over $150 million and led a team of over 1200 employees. Specific business functions under Livesay’s leadership included:
Technology application development Bank deposit operations Data centers and infrastructure Item processing Technology data and voice networks Retail and wholesale lockbox Technology operations Consumer and commercial loan processing Technology risk management Consumer and commercial call centers Information security Consumer, small business and commercial mobile and online banking Data management and strategy Technology strategy Project management office Fintech strategy
Noteworthy accomplishments included:
- Established a talented and internally recognized team of leaders for the technology and bank operations functions to position the corporation for growth and future success.
- Developed strong business relationships and partnerships between the line of business and support functions.
- Formed and led the Technology Subcommittee of the Board of Directors.
- Led digital banking, introducing mobile banking for consumer, small business, and commercial customers, and migrating consumer and small business banking to next-generation technology platforms.
- Led the technology and bank operations functions through multiple, significant M&A transactions.
- Formed and chaired the internal investment review and prioritization function.
- Led the centralized, internal project management office and introduced agile development processes and practices.
- Established and led an internal fintech strategy group that introduced solutions using artificial intelligence and blockchain technology (cryptocurrency).
- First Horizon was recognized on multiple occasions as an innovative provider of technology solutions to meet changing customer demands. First Horizon was recognized as the winner of the Info week 500 award for business innovation in the banking segment.
- From an initial state that severely lacked past investment and maintenance, Livesay led a dramatic wave of technology renewal that established the foundation and back-office business processes to support the needs of the corporation as it experienced explosive growth from $24 billion to $83 billion in assets. The corporation completed multiple mergers of equal and multiple acquisitions that represented the largest transactions in the 156-year history of the company. Those technology solutions and business processes remain the foundation that is still in use today.
Livesay has more than 33 years of experience in the information technology industry, with prior experience at Bank One, Fidelity Information Services (formerly Alltel Information Services), and Regions Financial Corporation. He began his career with the financial services group of Andersen Consulting.
Livesay is a summa cum laude graduate of Tennessee Technological University, with a B.S. in mathematics and minors in computer science and electrical engineering.
- John McDearman
Chief Executive Officer & Chairman of the Board
Wilson Bank & Trust
John McDearman is Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Wilson Bank & Trust, a $3.3B community bank based in Lebanon, TN, which has 28 offices in 9 Middle Tennessee counties. His service at the bank includes various roles spanning 22 years. John’s leadership has fueled
Wilson Bank & Trust’s successful expansion into a number of new markets over the last 10 years. His passion lies in marketing, business development, new product offerings, and enhancements, as well as serving others.
John is active in his local community and has served in leadership roles of various civic and non-profit organizations like United Way, Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce, Empower Me Day Camp, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Lebanon Noon Rotary, Cumberland Region Tomorrow, Boy Scouts of America as well as his church, First United Methodist Church in Lebanon. He and his wife, Kathy, have four children JC, Eli, Mark, and Mia.
- Amy Blaylock New
Amy Blaylock New
President and CEO
Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce
Amy Blaylock New was named president and CEO of the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce in March 2020 following a 10-year stint in governmental affairs as well as work in rural, economic, and community development. In accepting the position, she became CEO and President of six organizations housed within the Chamber of Commerce including the Highlands Economic Partnership, the Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, the Public Building Authority, Leadership Putnam, the Leslie Town Centre, and the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce.
Preceding her chamber work, Amy served as the Government and Community Affairs Director of Programs for the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. In her two years at VUMC, Amy served as the local and state liaison for the VUMC adult hospital, Monroe Carrel Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital, Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital, Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital, and the 150+ service locations within the Vanderbilt Medical Group network. Her work spanned from serving as the community liaison of the organization to managing VUMC’s chamber memberships as well as serving as one of the three registered lobbyists on behalf of the hospital system to the Tennessee General Assembly. She was also charged with developing and overseeing community engagement plans in relation to acquisitions and new locations within the VUMC system.
Amy also served as the first-ever Rural and Community Development Assistant Commissioner for the State of Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, serving within Governor Bill Haslam’s administration. During her appointment, TNECD launched an $8 million Rural Development Fund and passed the Rural Economic Opportunity (REO) Act of 2016 adding an additional $45 million in program funds since creation and restructured the job tax credit to be more accessible for small businesses. The fund has produced more than $500 million in programs and projects to date. She also spearheaded a statewide task force addressing rural development needs. The Governor's Rural Task Force brought together 21 local, state, and federal partners to identify, design, and implement more than 20 programs and initiatives that led to a $65 million infusion in Rural Tennessee. In addition to the REO Act, Amy led the passage of the Broadband Accessibility Act which included the deregulation for eligible providers and added a grant program totaling more than $30 million in infrastructure expansion. She oversaw more than $400 million in state and federally funded projects to enhance economic and community development throughout the state.
Prior to her appointment, Amy served as the state’s ThreeStar community development director, where she worked to restructure and expand Tennessee’s economic development efforts targeting a community asset-based planning approach. This approach worked in tandem with a grant program to support local initiatives around education, workforce development, safety, health, and fiscal responsibility.
Before moving to Nashville in 2010, Amy served as an account executive for MMA Creative Marketing Firm developing business plans, brands, and social media efforts. She also worked in local print with the Upper Cumberland Business Journal and was the Business Profiles Host for PBS’s WCTE.
A native of Monterey, TN, Amy was raised on a tobacco, cattle, and hog farm and comes from a family dedicated to public service. She is a graduate of Tennessee Tech University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration while working in various local government and chamber of commerce roles in her home county of Putnam. She was in the inaugural graduating class of Tennessee Certified Economic Developers through the University of Tennessee’s Center for Industrial Services. She is currently pursuing her master’s in Leadership and Public Policy through Lipscomb University as the first-ever Haslam Scholar.
Amy is actively involved in the state as a member of The University of Tennessee’s Certified Economic Developer Advisory Board, WCTE-PBS Board of Trustee member, the Tennessee Lobbying Association, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D.) Executive Board, Upper Cumberland Habitat for Humanity, Leadership Tennessee, and various other non-profit committees.
Amy resides in Cookeville, Tennessee with her husband Jake and daughters Lily Kate and Sadie.
- Steve Treece
A proud alumnus of Tennessee Tech University, Steve earned a degree in marketing in 1994 and MBA in 1996. Following graduation, he began his career in the insurance industry working for State Farm in Murfreesboro, TN. He credits the position at State Farm with teaching him valuable lessons on empathy, honesty, and trustworthiness. After leaving State Farm, he joined the Tennessee State University family where he worked as the bookstore director for over twenty-one years. During that time, he helped thousands of young men and women transition from student to young professional.
He returned to the insurance business in 2018 by founding the Treece Agency in Smyrna, TN. The goal of the Treece Agency is to become a trusted Allstate agent in the community and to build relationships that last a lifetime. Steve and his wife, Shannon, have two sons, Jordan and Mason. Mason has continued the family tradition (Shannon is also a two-time graduate of TN Tech) of becoming a Golden Eagle and is enrolled as a freshman at TN Tech studying computer science and cybersecurity. In addition to serving on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Business, Steve serves on the advisory board for the Office of Multicultural Affairs.