Wes sits on the Board of Directors and is an advocate of Country for a Cause, a one-night benefit concert each year hosted during CMA Fest that raises money for the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.
Another Buckingham Leadership Conference is in the books, and our team members had a blast Celebrating & Accelerating at The Alexander Hotel. From a networking scavenger hunt and foundation initiative building bikes to learning from conference speakers and celebrating outstanding team members at our Awards Ceremony, we had a great time connecting with peers and gearing up for a productive year.
Celebrating 35 years as Buckingham Companies, our COO, Scott Sladek, took us through an interesting journey of the evolution of the mobile device from his car phone to the iPhone. He showed us that over time things change but the change is usually better than it was before. Another huge thanks to the Pacer’s drum line for introducing Scott and giving him a proper closing!
Everyone’s favorite speaker from the conference kicked off the event with a moving presentation on the importance of play in the workplace. His story of adversity from a young age to the roles he’s held at multiple Fortune 500 companies, Kevin brought the energy for our team along with many lessons, including:
· It’s easy to be transactional, but you need to be transformational
· Find time to have fun. Play is serious business
· Who’s your CEO (Chief Encouragement Officer)?
· Always be in BETA as yourself
· Stay motivated
· High performance teams are the way they are because they collaborate and are encouraging to each other
· If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough
Other speakers included Beth St. Claire, who discussed the importance of collaborating in the workplace, DJ KB, who walked us through managing difficult conversations, Dr. Rob Bell, who conveyed the value of hinge moments, and Jay Baer, who walked us through the value of Talk Triggers, which Buckingham is rolling out this year.
Our Buckingham leadership team, including Josh Landry, Scott Sladek, and Brad chambers, joined Theresa Rhodes on stage for the Buckingham Insight. Each member talked about what’s to come in the next few years for Buckingham and what we’ve accomplished so far in 2019. A key takeaway from the event was Brad’s community initiative this year with Challenging Heights. Buckingham Foundation is working with the Chambers Family to install a functioning water faucet to a city in Ghana. This will be a year-long project with a lasting impact on the community there.
Our annual conference wouldn’t be complete without our awards dinner. Buckingham team members are nominated by their peers for each award category, and one award is given out to the winner in each department. Congratulations to our award winners!
· Customer First
Accounting Team, Operations (Johanna Bastin, Sean Carothers, Beth Cash, Mike Hassell, Shannon Johnson, Jane Kennedy, Jennifer Macaluso, Chris Myrvold, and Carmen Sporleder)
Sean Morrison, Production
Evan Corcoran, Site
Nicole Wetzler, Operations
Jennifer Salemme, Production
Vanessa Smith, Site
· Positive Attitude
Christina Bledsoe, Operations
Angela Combs, Production
Kristin Haggard, Site
· Community Involvement
Kellie Linzner, Operations
Kristen LaPorte, Production
Harold West, Site
· Exceptional Leadership
Nicole Crosby, Operations
Nate Stoops, Production
Holly Jordan, Site
· Outstanding Performance
Debi Fougerousse, Operations
Dave Joyce, Production
Kristin Edmonds, Site
Other team members that were recognized at Leadership Conference include our Blue Door Society members. This elite group of individuals have been with Buckingham Companies for over five years. Their tenure and dedication to our team is invaluable. Congratulations to the following team members:
Five Year Members:
· Justin Brown
· Jeff Clark
· Justeen Conner
· Doug Hart
· Kevin Kilcoyne
· Rosey Morgan
· Sean Morrison
· Chuck Newton
· Tera Odom
· Scott Sladek
· Shannon Sorrells
· Nicole Wetzler
· Brian Zawadzki
Ten Year Members:
· Tony Anderson
· Tom Clark
· Helenann Klukowski
· Rodney Neubauer
· Buddie Nichols
· Ebony Oliver
· Brad Reed
· Katie Reed
Fifteen Year Members:
· Tim Hinds
· Jennifer Macaluso
· Rose Rigdon
· Jennifer Salemme
Buckingham team members wrapped up the Annual Conference with our Buckingham Foundation Q2 project – building bikes for kids in foster homes with our partnership with Together We Rise. Kids in foster homes may not have as readily available access to toys and personal items to call their own, especially the beloved bicycle. Buckingham Foundation aimed to change that for 80 kids who would be given a brand-new bicycle thanks to the generous donation of Buckingham Foundation and the time and talent of our team members assembling new bikes.
Kudos to our Leadership Planning Committee for their time, energy, ideas and flawless execution to make it an exciting experience for all. We’ve already begun planning for 2020, so if you have any ideas or want to be involved, please contact Becca Manolov.
With another successful conference under our belt, our team is ready to put into place key takeaways we learned from our guest speakers and executive team. We enjoyed celebrating wins and look forward to the bright future of Buckingham. Some say, ‘the best is yet to come’ and we couldn’t agree more!
“Off the Wall on Charlotte Avenue”
Featuring the work of 14 artists, Off the Wall brings a new wave of creativity and inspiration to Nashville.
OCTOBER 8, 2018
It all started after Tinsley Dempsey heard the phrase “creative place-making” at a Nashville convention.
The phrase can be described as “being creative about how you’re utilizing a space,” whether it’s a patio on which vendors can set up spaces or creating more outdoor walkways and areas. The Georgia native, who has a background in art and murals, marks that as the moment her wheels began turning. Four years later, Off the Wall, a 1,200-foot wall made up of 14 murals, stretches down Charlotte Avenue for thousands of passersby to enjoy each day.
Dempsey says Off the Wall’s mission is to promote creative place-making, public art, and development.
“I feel like revitalization and using the built environment that’s already there is an important message, and the art can be really impactful,” Dempsey says. She also explains the domino effect of beautifying a community, saying, “If an area attracts people in a community, it’ll attract businesses and people walking around, so that creates a thriving community in and of itself.”
Off the Wall is located near the new ONEC1TY center and could certainly play a role in the area’s growth.
“It was important to me, for the integrity of curating all the different murals that are on there, to involve contemporary artists because I didn’t really see a lot of that here,” Dempsey says.
The first mural was completed in 2014 by artist Seth Prestwood. The last mural, finished on Labor Day, is by Nashville artist Tess Erlenborn, who plays with the idea of dualities in her art: order and chaos; growth and decay. Her mural consists not of bold, punchy colors but, instead, a softer, muted range of pastel pinks and cool blues balanced out with grays and golden yellows.
“My work is taking ownership over and claiming these feminine symbols and colors and various patterns I find in biology books that represent diseases and decay and making them colorful and light,” Erlenborn says.
The hazy, dream-like mural by another Nashvillian, Julia Martin, can be placed on the other end of the color spectrum with its mix of aqua blue faces and purple legs.
“The majority of my thinking while working on [the mural] was community, community, community—but I still wanted to have a little edge and be a little abstract,” Martin says.
In today’s world of social media saturation, Dempsey acknowledges the exposure a platform like Instagram can give to Off the Wall.
“With Instagram, it goes across the world, and people will come to a place to seek something out, to take a picture in front of, and it’s just amazing.”
She hopes the walls become “a revolving gallery of contemporary mural art.” Dempsey wishes for Off the Wall to inspire future projects in Nashville.
“I hope it puts a thought in people’s minds when they are developing. Maybe developers, maybe commercial owners around here take notice. That’s my real hope, and that green space and public art is included with every project that begins here in Nashville.”
Charlotte Ave; offthewallnashville.com
SEP 20, 2018 5 AM
The Writing on the Wall
The completion of Off the Wall, an inspiring 1,200-foot mural on Charlotte Avenue
by Erica Ciccarone
In 2014, Tinsley Dempsey started pounding the pavement. All she had was a bold idea. She had just moved to Nashville from Atlanta, and a 1,200-foot wall that separated Charlotte Avenue from a lot full of storage units looked to her like a blank canvas.
Dempsey made some business cards and got moving. Calling her project Off the Wall, she approached the lot’s owner. She told everyone her idea — from government agencies to Lyft drivers — and slowly but surely got local sponsors and partnered with nonprofits to make the project a joint effort. Dempsey got local outreach organizations including Room In The Inn, Oasis Center and TN Donates Life involved, and she welcomed businesses on board — as varied as local coffee empire Bongo Java and presenting sponsor Buckingham Foundation, the philanthropic arm of developers Buckingham Companies.
Four years later, the wall is full, with 14 murals painted almost exclusively by locals, among them Brandon Donahue, Tess Erlenborn and Sarah Liz Tate. This week, Off the Wall will celebrate the wall’s completion with a party that will feature food trucks, drinks, music and live painting, plus reps from a bevy of nonprofits and local neighborhood businesses.
It’s notable that not all the artists on the wall typically work on a large scale. A standout piece by Julia Martin features a surrealist park scene with a woman’s face in the foreground. It’s vibrant and sad, like she’s melting into the wind. Omari Booker’s piece shows a young boy and girl sitting cross-legged and exuding a sense of closeness. According to the artist, he and his sister spent every summer at the Hadley Park Community Center down the street. She died in 2002, but you don’t need to know that to appreciate Booker’s deeply felt tribute.
Just as moving is a painting of activist, artist and Those Darlins frontwoman Jessi Zazu. Zazu died in September 2017 at age 28, and she left a massive hole in Nashville’s arts and culture ecosystem — as well as in the lives of those who knew her. According to Dempsey, Zazu lived blocks from the wall, and on her way to the hospital for cancer treatment, she’d tell her mother that she’d love to contribute to it. So when Jessi Zazu Inc., a foundation that memorializes her legacy and work, reached out to Dempsey, she knew it was meant to be. Designed by artist Billy Lilly and painted by Duncan Shea and Jessi’s brother Emmett Wariner, the mural shows Nashville’s own darlin’ with a fearless expression on her face, a curl of hair falling across her forehead, red lips pursed in a smirk. It’s larger than life — just like Jessi was. The foundation is printing T-shirts emblazoned with the image, and they’ll be for sale to benefit the foundation at Off the Wall’s launch.
Some murals in the city signal a kind of status — a New Nashville that’s out to get the attention of cities with a more iconic visual art presence. Dempsey’s commitment to local artists and her partnership with neighborhood organizations, businesses and nonprofits feels homegrown in a way that both elevates the arts and stays connected to the city’s roots.
“I’m not working for Instagram here,” says Dempsey. “I’m looking for community.”