Business Briefs – Sept. 2006


Brooks Fund to sponsor free estate planning seminar

The Brooks Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, a Fund to protect the dignity, safety and health of Middle Tennessee’s LGBT community, announced that a free estate-planning seminar will be held on Wednesday, October 4, from 6:30 to 8:30 at the offices of Junior Achievement, 120 Powell Avenue next to Home Depot at 100 Oaks.

The presentation will be given by attorney Mike Sontag and will focus on health care power of attorney and legal documents for non-married couples. The one-hour seminar will be followed by a reception. There is no fee to attend the seminar, but space is limited, so pre-registration is required. To register, please visit or contact 615-321-4939.

“Every day we hear horror stories of members of the nationwide LGBT community who are denied the rights automatically extended to married heterosexual couples after one member of the couple dies,” said Mike Smith, chair of the Brooks Fund Advisory Board. “Right now, we do not have the same rights as married heterosexual married couples. And until we do, every LGBT person must take the necessary legal steps now to ensure that their wishes are carried out in the event of their death.” 

Michael Sontag is a member of the Nashville law firm of Bass Berry & Sims and serves as chair of the firm’s Tax Practice Area. He joined the firm in 1984, and has practiced exclusively in the tax section with a broad range of experience in state and local taxation, corporate and partnership taxation, estate and gift tax planning, and estate administration. Sontag also is a trustee and former president of the Vanderbilt University/Paul J. Hartman State and Local Tax Forum and is a trustee and former president of the Tennessee Federal Tax Institute.

By supporting and encouraging the development of programs, the Brooks Fund increases philanthropic options and opportunities within the LGBT community. It was named for H. Franklin Brooks, a Vanderbilt professor of French and Italian for 25 years and an advocate for the inclusion of gays in Vanderbilt University’s anti-harassment policies.

Two Nashvillians participating at national journalism conference

Jerry Jones, publisher of “Out & About Newspaper” and associate producer of “Out & About Today Television,” and Christopher Sanders, president and spokesperson of the Tennessee Equality Project, will be part of a panel at the National Lesbian and Gay Journalist Association (NLGJA) at their annual convention “Out in the Sunshine,” in Miami, September 7-10 at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel.

The panel will discuss “Gays Behaving Badly,” and will talk about how coverage of negative issues in GLBT-specific media can sometimes generate backlash from the community they serve.

“Where do publications draw the line, and do some publications do a disservice to the community by not covering all issues,” Jones said. “Does the lack of formal journalism training in many GBLT publications force them to avoid tackling tough issues?”

Jones made the panel proposal several months ago. Other panelists include Chris Crain, executive editor of the “Washington Blade” and co-founder/editorial director of Window Media LLC and JoSelle Vanderhooft, freelance journalist.

“I’m very excited that my panel proposal was accepted and to be serving with such great gay journalists,” Jones added.

Nashville Pharmacy relocates 

In January of this year, Nashville Pharmacy moved to a new location at the corner of 23rd Ave North and State Street, just off of Elliston Place, which becomes Church Street. According to owner Kevin Hartman, “We sought a more accessible location. We love being right in the heart of the city, across from Centennial Park. We now have the advantage of being in a gay area. Our single largest specialty is HIV treatment. The GLBT community feels welcome here… just as it should.”

Customers are welcome to visit the new location, but the majority of prescriptions (nearly 90 percent) are filled by mail or by delivery. For those who do wish to drop by, Hartman commented, “Our pharmacy is more like an apothecary. We carry a number of medicines and prescriptions not available in the chain stores.”

Nashville Pharmacy accepts all insurance and offers free prescription delivery or shipment across Tennessee and nationwide. Nashville Pharmacy accepts new prescription orders by phone at (615) 371-1210 or toll free at (866) 406-9266 (ask for Kevin or Paul). 

Smith joins Nashville Bank and Trust

Jeffrey Smith, who recently competed at the summer Gay Games in Chicago, joins Nashville Bank and Trust (NBT) as a personal banker. Smith comes to NBT having served as a personal banker at Fifth Third Bank in Franklin and at Bank of America in Nashville, where he began his banking career. He holds both bachelors and master’s degrees from the University of Miami and is fluent in Spanish and French.

A full-service bank, NBT provides private banking, wealth management and trust services. NBT is located at 4525 Harding Pike, in Nashville. Smith may be reached at (615) 515-1700.

Historic Stahlman transforms into loft-apartments  

After undergoing nearly two years of renovations, one of Nashville’s oldest office buildings, The Stahlman, is now open to residents.

The top four floors have been refurbished and are ready for occupancy. Renovations to transform the 12-story Stahlman building into a high-end apartment building continue on the lower floors.

The 142 unique, loft-style apartments include studio, one- and two-bedroom floor plans, and eight live/work spaces.

Twenty percent of the apartments will be designated as affordable housing units for residents with incomes between $28,000 and $34,500 for one person and $34,000 to $39,400 for two people.

Stahlman Redevelopment Partners, an entity formed by Bert Mathews, president of The Mathews Company, and Martin Heflin, managing director of M2H Group, has been working on the space since January 2005.

“We’ve all known the Stahlman Building for years, but being able to get inside of it and see the great craftsmanship and the unique architectural features has truly made this renovation a labor of love,” Mathews said.

The developers have preserved the original tile floors, and restored marble wainscoting, hardwood floors and crotch mahogany doors. The units feature 12-foot ceilings, which expose the original plaster detailing for a modern feel.

The Stahlman Building was built by newspaper publisher Edward Stahlman at a cost of $1 million and was designed by Tennessee’s first formally trained architect, James E.R. Carpenter, who also designed The Hermitage Hotel, Vanderbilt University’s Joint University Library and some of the most prestigious homes on New York City’s Park Avenue. The Stahlman Building first housed the Fourth National Bank, and the bank’s original vault is still in the basement.

For more information on The Stahlman, visit or call Vanessa Brown at (615) 242-3777 in the leasing office to set up a tour.

September pet seminar to be held in Nashville

Guest speakers Cindy Martin, Rob Blizard, and Jeannie Seely will speak at a local Humane Society seminar on September 28. The talk is entitled “Providing for your retirement and your pet’s future without you.” The event is free and will be held at 3102 West End Avenue, Tower One at 6 p.m., September 28. Free hors d’oeuvres will be served. For more information, email

The national Humane Society recently supplied a pet estate planning article entitled, “Prepare your estate plans to provide properly for your pet,” to “O&AN’s” Web site. The article can be found in the living section.

Art and Soul has open house

Art and Soul will hold an open house on Sunday, September 10, from 3 to 6 p.m. Art and Soul is a studio dedicated to artistic growth, creativity development, healing and transformation through the arts. Visual, kinesthetic, and auditory practices are used to access and exercise each of your creative channels. These non-verbal activities open the conditioned to creative flow, intuition and authentic expression. By focusing on the inner connection, spontaneous creations of beauty, wonder and complexity come into being naturally and effortlessly.

Art and Soul is located at 2305 12th Avenue South in Nashville. The phone number is (615) 460-1161. Visit them on line at

Gardner named hospital chaplain in North Carolina

Tricia Gardner, known to many in Vanderbilt’s GLBT community as the former divinity graduate student who served as coordinator of Vanderbilt’s office for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender life, has accepted a position as hospital chaplain at Presbyterian Hospital in Huntersville, North Carolina (located north of Charlotte).

Gardner, who has just completed her chaplain residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, received a Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt Divinity School. She has been involved in youth and family ministry for the past fifteen years, working in churches in the South and the Pacific Northwest. She is a member of the United Church of Christ.

“[The North Carolina Hospital] is a 70-bed hospital located in the same community where I have family,” Gardner said. “The hospital is really about excellence and I like that a lot.”

Gardner will be the only chaplain at the hospital, which is part of the larger Presbyterian Hospital system. She said she would have a parish nurse and an intern working with her.

“This truly feels like a call and a new ministry,” she said. “Not to mention my family is ecstatic about me moving there.”