Thursday, May 23, 2024

Memphis People in Business: May 16, 2024

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Here’s a look at promotions, hirings, movers and newsmakers in the Memphis area business scene:

Semmes Murphey Clinic neurosurgeon Kenan Arnautovic was named First Vice President of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies. The collective of 129 neurosurgical societies worldwide appointed him to the role, in which he will serve as a voting officer for the federation dedicated to improving neurosurgical care, training and research worldwide. Arnautovic joined Semmes Murphey in 2003 specializing in brain tumor treatments and complex spine diagnoses.

Marie van der Merwe, an associate professor in the College of Health Sciences at the University of Memphis, recently received the 2023 Higher Education Science Educator of the Year Award from the Tennessee Science Teachers Association. This statewide award recognizes leadership roles in promoting science and outstanding contributions to science education that positively impact the community. Van der Merwe earned her doctorate in molecular pharmacology from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and received her postdoctoral training in the Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The Society of Entrepreneurs recently hosted its New Member Reception and introduced into membership were Chris Brubaker, Brett Grinder, Fred Grinder, Justin Grinder and Stacy McCall. During the festivities was the announcement of the 2024 recipient of the Master Entrepreneur Award, Bob McEniry. The award is given in conjunction with Junior Achievement of Memphis and the Mid-South, to the Society of Entrepreneurs member who best exemplifies the full range of characteristics necessary for membership. McEniry is retired Chairman of nexAir, a multigenerational company with headquarters in Memphis that was founded in 1940 as Standard Welders Supply and was purchased by McEniry’s father in 1950.

Iris Restaurant Group, which owns the brands Restaurant Iris, The Second Line, The Swamp Bar at Second Line and Iris Etc., is expanding ownership by adding father-daughter team Tim Romanow and Kimberly Guthrie of Romanow Guthrie Investments. The two will add to the current ownership of Chef Kelly English, and Steve and Sylvia Richey.

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis appointed four new members to its Community Development Advisory Council. Among them is Keith Turbett, community development manager of First Horizon Bank, Memphis. The council keeps the St. Louis Fed president and Community Development staff informed about relevant issues in the Eighth District and suggests ways to support local community development efforts.

The board of directors of the architectural and engineering design firm Allen & Hoshall elected Michel Lebel as a member. He is senior principal and lead architect, overseeing project teams in the Memphis headquarters, as well as in Mississippi and East Tennessee. He joined the firm in 2013.

Baptist Heart Institute at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis added Dr. Padmaraj Duvvuri to its Advanced Heart Failure Program. Duvvuri earned his doctorate at Shri Vasantrao Naik Government Medical College in Yavatmal, India, and completed a fellowship in general cardiology at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Illinois, and a fellowship in critical care medicine and advanced heart failure cardiology at Cleveland Clinic.


Rhodes College has joined the American Talent Initiative, a collective of 137 top public and private colleges and universities across the nation working collaboratively to expand access and opportunity for highly talented low- and moderate-income students. Formed in 2016, the initiative is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and coordinated by the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program and Ithaka S+R. Members include regional and flagship public institutions and leading private colleges and universities.

Compiled by Daniel Ginsburg

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