Brian Hunt Named President of Southern Champion Tray and Other Career Changes in the Chattanooga Area


Contributing photo by Southern Champion Tray/Brian Hunt

Brian Hunt Becomes First Non-Family Member to Serve as President of Southern Champion Tray

Southern Champion Tray has named Brian Hunt as president, according to an announcement from the Chattanooga-based paperboard packaging maker, according to a company press release.

Hunt succeeds John Zeiser, who had served as chairman since 1993 and recently celebrated 40 years with the company. Zeiser will become chairman of the board and his brother, Bruce Zeiser, will serve as vice-chairman.

Hunt, who has served as chief operating officer for Southern Champion Tray for the past five years, is the first non-family president of Southern Champion Tray and will be responsible for the overall strategic direction of the 850-employee company. Southern Champion has operations in Chattanooga, Mansfield, Texas and Fairfield, Ohio, and has a 300,000 square foot expansion underway in Chattanooga.

“I am grateful for the trust the Zeiser family has placed in me to lead the company,” Hunt said in a press release regarding his appointment. “I am fortunate to work with an incredibly dedicated team every day and am inspired by their dedication and drive to succeed. I am honored to have this opportunity and look forward to continuing our 95-year history of service. customers who trust us with their packaging needs.”

A graduate of Auburn University, Hunt joined Southern Champion Tray in 1999 after working as a plant manager for more than nine years at Sonoco.

Chattanooga State Names Bennett Vice President for Student Affairs

Chattanooga State Community College recently appointed Amanda Bennett as vice president of student affairs, effective July 1.

“Dr. Bennett has served admirably as Acting Vice President of Student Affairs since January 2021 and has done an outstanding job,” Chattanooga State President Rebecca Ashford said in a press release. “We conducted a national search, and Dr. Bennett’s experience and accomplishments made him the first choice for this important position. I look forward to his continued leadership at Chattanooga State.”

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Contributor photo by Chattanooga State/Amanda Bennett

Bennett has held several positions since arriving at Chattanooga State in 2006. Her past experience includes academic advisor, engineering technology specialist, program director of the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies, director of the Teaching Honors and Leadership and Acting Vice President of Student Affairs, before being named Permanent Vice President.

Bennett holds a doctorate in instructional leadership from East Tennessee State University, a master’s of education in student affairs administration, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology, both from the University of Georgia.

Ziebold joins FirstBank as Head of Development

Lauren Ziebold has joined FirstBank as a Business Development Manager/Relations Manager in the Chattanooga Market. Ziebold will be responsible for helping to grow the bank’s market share by actively seeking new opportunities and building relationships with the community.

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Contributed photo by FirstBank/ Lauren Ziebold

“Lauren’s experience in the financial industry, as well as her local connections, make her an ideal addition to the FirstBank team,” said Jim McKenzie, president of FirstBank’s Chattanooga Market, in a press release. . “She has a passion for giving back and being an active part of the city’s success, so I know she will thrive as part of our community approach to banking.”

Ziebold brings with her six years of financial experience. Prior to joining FirstBank, Ziebold was a Loan Consultant at LoanDepot and also spent five years at Chartway Federal Credit Union in Virginia Beach as a Talent Acquisition Specialist and Home Loan Consultant.

“Being born and raised in Chattanooga, I’m passionate about seeing this community continue to thrive,” Ziebold said. “FirstBank’s focus on local decision-making will allow me to create more opportunities for local customers to achieve their financial goals.”

Ziebold graduated from the University of Alabama.

Opening of the United Country Real Estate franchise in Soddy-Daisy

Local real estate professional Brandon Olinger announced in a press release the opening of his new United Country Real Estate franchise in Soddy-Daisy.

The new franchise, United Country Real Estate – Southeast Land Solutions, will provide comprehensive real estate services in Hamilton and surrounding Tennessee counties.

Olinger and his team specialize in land, farmland, hunting properties, retirement properties and country homes for sale.

United Country – Southeast Land Solutions offers a unique website strategy of local office and agent websites, plus hundreds of exclusive national, state and regional real estate-like websites.

Erlanger promotes Duffy and Winks to hospital leadership positions

Erlanger announced the promotion of Katie Duffy to vice president of operations for Erlanger Health System and Tyler Winks to general manager of Erlanger East and North hospitals.

Duffy was previously senior director of the pharmacy system for Erlanger. She has been part of the Erlanger team for over 15 years and has over 15 years of clinical experience and over 10 years of operational leadership experience, both inside and outside the pharmacy.

Duffy earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Mercer University, a doctorate in pharmacy from Mercer’s College of Pharmacy, and a master’s degree in business administration from Mercer’s Stetson-Hatcher School of Business. She completed her one-year postgraduate residency in Erlanger, where her project on antimicrobial stewardship led to the program that is still in place today.

Winks joined Erlanger in July 2021 as Vice President of Operations. He has over 11 years of clinical and hospital operations management experience. He began his career in the medical field as an MRI technologist and quickly rose to a management position, where he assumed responsibility for the administrative and clinical operations of medical imaging and other ancillary services and support at several Kentucky hospitals.

Winks also served as Senior Director of Hospital Operations and Rehabilitation Services at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia. In this leadership role, he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the main campus and health complex in Lorton, Virginia. In addition, he was the senior head of the rehabilitation service line and the wound and hyperbaric program.

Winks holds a bachelor’s degree in imaging science from Morehead State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Public Education Foundation appoints White as head of research

The Public Education Foundation has promoted Keith White to vice president of research and effectiveness, according to a press release.

Since joining the Public Education Foundation 10 years ago, White has worked to advance the organization’s use of data to enable the foundation to better serve public school students in County County. Hamilton and evaluate the impact of Public Education Foundation programs such as Camp College, Step Up Chattanooga and the Inspire Project.

“PEF is thrilled to recognize Keith’s extraordinary work with this promotion,” Public Education Foundation President Dan Challener said in the same statement. “His thoughtful and rigorous research and evaluations have improved all of PEF’s programs.

— Compiled by Brandi Dixon

Information about new hires, promotions and business awards should be sent to [email protected]


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