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First Day Conversations with Mayor John Cooper

9/30/2019
Katie Lentile

This morning Mayor John Cooper begins his first day of work as Nashville Davidson County’s ninth Mayor.

In keeping with his focus on Nashville’s teachers and schools, Mayor Cooper’s first meeting is with Nashville Public Schools interim Director, Dr. Adrienne Battle. Later in the day, Mayor Cooper will be meeting with Finance Director Talia Lomax-O’dneal and other members of the Metro Finance Department.

Mayor Cooper announced several important appointments to his team as well as other changes in the administration.

Brenda Haywood has joined the Cooper administration as Deputy Mayor for Community Engagement. Brenda Haywood, who represented District 3 on Metro Council, serves as Associate Minister at St. John Missionary Baptist Church and is the founder of Royal Heirs Youth Academy, a youth and family empowerment nonprofit. A Nashville native, Haywood was the first African American student to walk through the doors of Stratford High School in 1963, followed by three others, integrating the school. Haywood later earned her Bachelor's degree from Tennessee State University and Master's degree from Vanderbilt University. A retired Metro Nashville Public School teacher and administrator, now a volunteer chaplain for incarcerated youth, Haywood serves on the Board of Nashville Prevention Partnership and the Homeless Veterans Foundation.

Kevin Crumbo, a noted finance expert and philanthropic leader, is joining the Cooper administration as Metro Finance Director. Ms. Lomax-O’dneal has decided to step down as Finance Director but will be staying in Metro and assist with the transition.

Kevin brings a deep expertise in finances, accounting, financial forensics, and restructuring to Metro Government, as well as a history of deep involvement and commitment to Nashville’s nonprofit sector.

Mr. Crumbo currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Pine Haven Family Office, which manages a portfolio of public and private investments. Previously, he served as the member-in-charge of KraftCPA’s Turnaround & Restructuring Group, where he advised public and private operating companies, commercial and investment banks, law firms, trusts, and nonprofit organizations. In 2017, Mr. Crumbo was awarded the Outstanding Professional Award by the Tennessee Turnaround Management Association. Mr. Crumbo has an MBA from Vanderbilt University and serves as an adjunct law professor at the Vanderbilt Law School. His certifications include Certified Public Accountant (CPA inactive), Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF), Certified Insolvency and Restructuring Advisor (CIRA), Certified Distressed Business Valuation Analyst (CDBV).

In addition to his work in finance, Mr. Crumbo has long of involvement in Nashville’s nonprofit sector. He is current Board Chair and past Treasurer of the Nashville Symphony. He also serves on the board of the Nashville Habitat for Humanity. Past board memberships include the Adventure Science Center, the Crisis Intervention Center, Historic Nashville, the Nashville area American Red Cross, the Nashville Chamber of Commerce International Business Council, the Nashville Zoo, and the Tennessee Justice Center.

Kristin Wilson, former Deputy Chief Operating Officer for the City of Atlanta, is joining Metro as Nashville’s new Chief of Operations and Performance. Kristin Canavan Wilson has 20+years experience in strategy, operations and analytics/performance management in both public and private organizations. She comes to Metro as most recently the Head of Business Analytics for Nashville's property insurance company Velocity Risk Underwriters. Prior to this role, she was the Deputy Chief Operating Officer for the City of Atlanta under Mayor Kasim Reed, where she played a key role in managing Atlanta's operating departments, establishing a performance management approach to operations and finance and successfully driving high-impact programs such as fiscal strengthening and improving customer service. Prior to this, she held leadership roles at information services firm LexisNexis and consulting firm Oliver Wyman.

Dr. Paulette Coleman who earned her Ph.D. in urban planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is being appointed to the Board of the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency. She replaces Ralph Moseley, the retired chairman and chief executive officer of Southwestern/Great American. Mr. Moseley was appointed to the MDHA Board in November 2007 and served as Board Chair from December 2011 to September 2018. In addition to being appointed by mayors and governors to posts on numerous boards and commissions, Ms. Coleman has had a distinguished career as a university professor, executive director of the National Council of Negro Women, and interim administrator of the NAACP Nashville branch. Currently, she serves as Chair of the NOAH (Nashville Organized for Action and Hope) Affordable Housing and Gentrification Task Force. Ms. Coleman also earned a bachelor’s degrees from Fordham University in African and African-American Studies, and completed a certificate program in Museum Studies from Harvard University.

In the days and weeks to come, the Cooper administration will be filling other positions and making additional announcements. One third of the positions in the Mayor’s office will continue to be filled by current staff. Mayor Cooper is excited by the opportunity to recruit new talent to Nashville while retaining staff with broad knowledge of current Metro operations and initiatives.

On Wednesday, October 2, Mayor Cooper will also visit the Dupont Tyler School at 9:15 a.m. He will then continue to meet with department heads.

On Tuesday, October 1, Mayor Cooper will begin meeting with meeting with Metro department heads. Tomorrow evening, before the Metro Council meeting, he will host a reception for members of the Metro Council, department heads, and their families in the Mayor’s Office. Mayor Cooper will then address the Metro Council. In his remarks, Mayor Cooper will invite the Council to work with him and his administration to address Nashville’s needs and meet our priorities. This meeting will be open to the media.