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2024 ATD Nashville Board Members

DeAnne Priddis


DeAnne (Dee) is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Middle Tennessee State University. She has a PhD in Communication (UW Milwaukee) and a MS in Human Resources Training & Development. Her research includes interpersonal and group conflict in families and organizations. Priddis has over 15 years of corporate and nonprofit professional experience primarily in human resources and training prior to her career in academics. She specialized in developing and facilitating onboarding programs and safety training. She is also a Tennessee Supreme Court (TSC) Rule 31 Mediator.

Josh Jeffries


Josh Jeffries serves as a Learning and Development Advisor at Pinnacle Financial Partners. With 25 years of experience in corporate L&D, he has a broad range of expertise that encompasses a variety of disciplines within ATD’s TD Capability Model. Josh has a passion for volunteerism most recently working on the Grant Advisory Committee as a Learning and Development Subject Matter Expert for the American Association of State and Local History and as a Learning Consultant for Unsilenced. Josh holds a degree in Political Science/Sociology from Buena Vista University. In addition, he holds a CPTD certification issued by the Association for Talent Development and a SHRM-SCP issued by the Society for Human Resource Management.

Drew Smith

Past President

Drew Smith is the training director at Quore, a hotel operations software company in Franklin. As one of the first employees, Drew championed the self-guided learning strategy for Quore customers by creating, and now maintaining, the online knowledge base and e-learning courses. He is also passionate about the new hire onboarding experience—he launched “Quorientation” and since has successfully onboarded 13 cohorts. Over the years Drew has worked in various customer service and training roles. He holds a degree in journalism from East Tennessee State University.

Karen Baird

Vice President - Marketing

Karen Baird is an experienced marcomm professional with 20 years of service in diverse industries including nonprofit, publishing, higher education, and healthcare. She developed her passion and interest in organizational development through a decade of work at MIT where she honed skills via projects including employee engagement initiatives, developing and facilitating onboarding programs, and student mentorship/intern management with an emphasis on career development. Karen recently transitioned her career focus to learning and development.

Karen holds certifications in Conflict Management Training from Conflict Resolution@MIT, Talent Optimization from Predictive Index, Instructional Design from ATD, and Social Media Marketing from Boston University. She is a Yellow Belt in the globally recognized Six Sigma methodology where practitioners focus on continual process improvement. Karen earned her B.A. in English from Columbia College, South Carolina and an M.A. in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College, Boston. In her free time, Karen enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, reading, dancing, swimming, and playing ukulele.

Tamara Burnett

Vice President - Member Experience

Tamara Burnett is a proud two-time graduate of Tennessee State University where she earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Professional Studies with a focus in Human Resource Leadership. She has over 16 years of professional experience in housing asset management, human resources, and training. Currently, she serves as the Training and Development Specialist at the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency. In this role, she provides individual career counseling, new hire engagement, management, and execution of all training offerings within the organization.

As a staunch believer in professional development, Tamara remains intentional about seeking out opportunities to enhance her knowledge base and stay abreast of current trends. Resultingly, she holds a SHRM-CP certification issued by the Society for Human Resource Management in addition to a Training and Facilitation, Instructional Design, and Adult Learning Certifications from the Association for Talent Development.

Tamara’s volunteer efforts speak to her passion for giving back to her community; most recently, she’s working along with Big Brothers Big Sisters Middle TN as a Mentor and Budget Coach for Habitat for Humanity. When she is not working, she finds joy in, reading, traveling, and cuddling with her fur babies Lola and Red.

Hope Nordstrom

Vice President - Programming

Hope Nordstrom serves as Special Counsel to the President for Strategy and Associate Professor of Strategic Leadership at Lipscomb University. She is an experienced educational leader with expertise in strategic planning, organizational effectiveness, leadership development, and employee engagement. Hope is a values and habit coach with a passion for helping others maximize professional capacity. Additionally, she assists faculty members in implementing best practices for online teaching and learning. Hope has an Ed.D. in leadership and professional professional practice from Trevecca Nazarene University and her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Tennessee Technological University.

Shelly Reed

Vice President - Conferences

Shelly Reed is a Business Systems Trainer at Harnham, a global recruitment company specializing in data and analytics. She helps recruitment consultants of all levels understand and navigate the complexities of the various systems and technologies Harnham uses through technical training, and supports offices in the United States, United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.

With 13 years of learning and development experience, she has gained expertise in many different areas of L&D. She has a passion for leveraging technology to enhance learning outcomes, as well as gamification.

Shelly has a B.A. in Organizational Communication and Public Relations from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and holds an APTD certification issued by the Association for Talent Development. In her free time, she loves to read, travel, cook, check out restaurants in the Middle Tennessee area, and spend time with her 3 rescue dogs: Traveler, Pickles, and Zoey.

Lisa Baker


Lisa is a Program Manager in Talent Management at Brookdale Senior Living where she is responsible for developing leaders (both current and aspiring). For 20+ years, Lisa has designed, developed, and delivered learning experiences, facilitating and coaching learners both in-person and virtually. Lisa has a B.S. in English Education from Tennessee Technological University and an M.S. in Library Science from the University of Tennessee. Her certifications include Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), Everything DiSC, Lee Hecht Harrison coach, and practitioner of the Korn Ferry competency model and 360 feedback instrument.

Lei Comerford


Lei is a highly effective Leadership Coach, Facilitator and Learning & Development Consultant experienced helping organizations improve productivity, effectiveness, and engagement.  Lei has over 14 years of strategic and operational experience in healthcare specifically the bio-pharmaceutical and pharmacy benefit management (PBM) industries as well as over 5 years in hospitality. Lei has dedicated years delivering best practices in customer service, coaching, mentoring, project management and facilitation to individuals, businesses, and organizations.
Lei is master facilitator certified in a variety of assessment tools and holds the ACC accreditation through the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
She has held many internal leader roles in corporate settings as well as is the founder of her own consulting firm.  She has delivered leadership development programs, implemented internal coaching and mentoring programs, coached 1:1 with leaders at varying levels and has designed annual learning portfolios, team journeys, and onboarding programs.
Lei has a passion for helping others reach beyond their goals through increased self-awareness with an objective to empower effectiveness and engagement with each client!  Lei gives back to the local and global community through volunteer efforts with the International Coaching Federation “ICF Coaches for Good”, The Association for Talent Development (ATD) Nashville chapter and Humanitarian Coaches Network (HCN).  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Resort and Commercial Recreation from Georgia Southern University.

Craig Vining

Director of Administration & Technology

Craig Vining has previously served on the ATD Nashville Board as the VP Finance, President-Elect, President, and Past President and now supports the chapter's administration and technology needs. Craig is a highly accomplished and results driven learning and organizational development leader who promotes continuous improvement to drive company, employee, and client success. He has worked in a variety of industries including healthcare, retail, and hospitality and has over 20 years of experience as a subject matter expert in managing the entire life cycle of training including the design, implementation, and evaluation of enterprise learning projects and initiatives.

Kim Vance

Legal Advisor

Kim is a shareholder in the Labor & Employment Department at Baker Donelson's Nashville office. She has more than 25 years of experience representing management in every aspect of labor and employment law.

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