Nashville’s strong brand highlighted at Invest: Nashville 2022-2023 launch conference

Nashville’s strong brand highlighted at Invest: Nashville 2022-2023 launch conference

Writer: Ryan Gandolfo

2 min read February 2023 The Middle Tennessee business community gathered at Bridgestone Arena for the first in-person Invest: Nashville launch conference since the pandemic, with more than 250 industry leaders and professionals attending the networking and panel discussions.

In her opening remarks at the event, Capital Analytics’ President & CEO Abby Melone provided an overview of the current economic climate of the Middle Tennessee region — highlighting the continued growth over the past year and challenges facing the region. “A key for Nashville and Middle Tennessee moving forward is to continue taking advantage of its strengths,” said Melone.

The city’s history and robust industries from healthcare and music to education and banking were focal points of the event. The leadership summit was kicked off by a keynote speech from Nashville Predators President & CEO Sean Henry, who spoke about Nashville’s brand and how hard it is to replicate the organic growth that’s taken place in the region. “We can say anything and know with confidence that we’re going to bring this to life,” said Henry, while hinting at a future Stanley Cup parade in Music City.

The first panel, ‘Cranes in the sky: How Nashville’s growth has fuelled a real estate boom and how that’s changing development,’ served as an overall assessment around the real estate market in Middle Tennessee and featured distinguished panelists including John Vardaman, business unit leader at DPR Construction, Sean Buck, senior vice president at JE Dunn Construction and Mark Deutschmann, founder of The CityLiving Group. The panel was moderated by The Housing Fund President & CEO Marshall Crawford. Throughout the panel, themes such as resiliency and the diverse economy were covered. Vardaman made note of the need for greater attention during the planning stages of development. “You really do have to look harder at those opportunities and where the financing is coming from. From a construction standpoint, having the right people on the team during the planning phase is even more important now,” he said.

The second panel, ‘Financial Fortitude: How Nashville’s financial leaders are responding to regional growth in a shifting landscape,’ was moderated by Ryan McLaughlin Wood, south central market head at UBS Wealth Management. The panel examined the current interest rate environment, how relationships between financial institutions and clients are evolving and more. The panelists included Johnny Moore Jr., regional president at Truist, Bradford Vieira, executive vice president & regional CEO of ServisFirst Bank and Regions Bank Market Executive Lee Blank.

During the discussion, Moore noted, “Everyone needs to understand the Fed is always in a reactive mode. The only thing about that approach is you’re never going to be perfect. It’s more of a shotgun approach instead of a rifle.”

The final panel, ‘A Complete Ecosystem: How Healthcare & Higher Ed drive economic development across Nashville and provide a unique opportunity for regional growth,’ was led by representatives from the region’s higher education and healthcare sectors and covered the panelists’ innovation plans, partnerships and new programs to leverage the strategic assets in Middle Tennessee. The panel was moderated by Jenny Sauls, director of the School of Nursing at Middle Tennessee State University. The panelists included Belmont University President Greg Jones, Nashville State Community College Shanna Jackson, The Surgical Clinic CEO & COO Chris Stirling and Joseph Webb, CEO of Nashville General Hospital. Webb covered the importance of the two sectors working together. “Ecosystems tend to self correct, you don’t have to worry about artificially impacting it. We’re putting a lot of resources into education because if you want to grow the economy and well-being, you have to focus on investing in education,” he said.

Closing remarks were delivered by Shain Collins, Capital Analytics’ senior executive director, who reminded the attendees of the purpose behind the publication. “A rising tide lifts all boats. It’s really evident from the diverse group of leaders here and speaks to the fact that the work we do in sharing business intelligence is important.” Collins shared his gratitude on behalf of Capital Analytics and announced his excitement for the next edition of the Nashville publication.

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About Capital Analytics & Invest: Nashville 2022-2023

Capital Analytics is an integrated media platform that produces in-depth business intelligence through its annual print and digital economic reviews, high-impact conferences and events and top-level interviews via its video platform, Invest:Insights.

The Invest: Nashville 2022-2023 report provides an in-depth look at what makes the region’s economy tick and the challenges that remain from the perspective of over 200 local leaders and elected officials. 

Invest: Nashville looks at Middle Tennessee’s key industries, including healthcare, financial services, real estate, technology, tourism and infrastructure, that drive the local economy. The area has enjoyed continuous growth and economic expansion in recent years, fuelled by business friendly policies and a number of business relocations and expansions during and after the pandemic. Based on this solid foundation, the region is poised to continue its robust growth in the years to come. 

For more information, contact: 

Max Crampton-Thomas

Regional Editor

305-523-9708 Ext: 233