NCVC Adds Chef Maneet Chauhan, Kimberly Lewis of Emerson Grace and AT&T’s Joelle Phillips to Board of Directors
Trio Representing Culinary, Fashion and Corporate Sectors Expands Diversity of Businesses Represented on Board
NASHVILLE – Three new members have joined the board of directors of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp: Maneet Chauhan, founding partner of Morph Hospitality Group and the chef behind Chauhan Ale & Masala; Kimberly Lewis, owner of the women’s contemporary lifestyle boutique Emerson Grace in 12South; and Joelle Phillips, president of AT&T Tennessee.
“These leaders represent our city’s diversity and attractiveness, and we appreciate their willingness to join the board of the CVC. Maneet is a globally celebrated chef; Kimberly is at the forefront of the city’s fashion and retail scene; and Joelle is one of Nashville’s most respected corporate executives,” said Beth Seigenthaler Courtney, president and managing partner at DVL Seigenthaler, who serves as NCVC board chair. “They each bring immense talent to our board, which can only serve the city better as our tourism and convention business continues to thrive.”
These new board members join existing NCVC board members for FY 17-18: Patrick Chaffin, Ryman Hospitality Properties: Jana Davis, HCA; John Esposito, Warner Music Group; Dr. Robert Fisher, Belmont University; John Fleming, Renaissance Nashville Hotel; Max Goldberg, Strategic Hospitality; Ed Hardy; Laura Hollingsworth, The Tennessean and TN Media; Kevin Lavender, executive vice president and head of corporate banking at Fifth Third Bank; Ken Levitan, co-president at Vector Management; Tony Phillips, Loews Vanderbilt Hotel; Dan Piotrowski, Omni Nashville Hotel; Rick Schwartz, Nashville Zoo at Grassmere; Ronnie Smith, Mid-America regional president at Regions Bank; and Brian Tibbs, Moody Nolan.
Ex officio members include Butch Spyridon, NCVC; Erica Garrison, Waller; Howard Kittell, The Hermitage, who serves as chair of the Metro Tourism and Convention Commission; and Sarah Trahern, CMA.
A recognized cookbook author, TV personality, active philanthropist and chef/owner of Chauhan Ale & Masala House in Nashville, Chauhan is most recently known for her work on Food Network’s “Chopped,” where she sits on the permanent panel of judges and is a James Beard Award for Excellence recipient. She has also competed on “Iron Chef” and “The Next Iron Chef.”
Chauhan’s book Flavors of My World, best portrays her culinary approach—a deep pride in representing her Indian culinary heritage, as well as a love and panache of using spices in an elevated platform, while incorporating the culinary influences of her journeys and experiences.
As a Culinary Institute of America graduate, Chauhan has worked in some of the finest hotels and restaurants in her home country of India and in America. As an Executive Chef she has worked in such successful ventures as Vermillion in Chicago and New York City, where she won Best New Chef. In 2014, Chef Chauhan was invited to the White House by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama as part of the Easter Egg Roll Hunt. She is an invited member of Indiaspora, an organization of the top 100 influential Indian American’s in the U.S., sits on the Board of Society of Fellows of Culinary Institute of America and is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier. Chauhan has been heavily lauded by the media in the U.S. and abroad, including Bon Appétit, Wine Enthusiast, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, New York Post, Times of India, The Telegraph, Crain’s Business, O- The Oprah Magazine, Fortune Small Business and many more. Her multiple TV appearances include ABC’s “The View,” NBC’s “TODAY,” Lifetime Channel’s “Designing Spaces” and Fox News.
Chauhan’s first venture into restaurant ownership, Chauhan Ale & Masala House, opened in October 2014 and is a favorite with both locals and tourists. Chauhan Ale & Masala House is devoted to creating a unique dining experience in the bustling Nashville food scene. The menu is globally influenced Indian cuisine that highlights aspects of the culinary scene not only in Mumbai or New Delhi, but Nashville as well, perfectly combining Indian cuisine with traditional Southern dishes. In 2015, Chauhan launched Mantra Artisan Ales with award-winning Brewmaster Derrick Morse. Located in Franklin, Tenn., the boutique craft beer brewery and taproom produces globally inspired, high-quality craft beers with daring flavor profiles ranging from a classic Belgian style amber to a unique Indian-inspired milk chai stout.
Chauhan was the 2016 Event Chair for March of Dimes Signature Chef Auction and selected as one of The Nashville Business Journal’s 40 under 40 list, as well as Nashville Lifestyles Women in Business, which honors local women who are at the top of their industry. Chauhan resides in Franklin, Tenn. with her husband and two children. She is committed to her new Southern home, forming Nashville-based Morph Hospitality Group in 2016. The group recently opened Tansuo, a contemporary Chinese restaurant, and The Mockingbird, an elevated diner concept.
Kimberly Lewis is owner of Emerson Grace, a women’s contemporary lifestyle boutique in 12South, a neighborhood that has become a top shopping destination in the city. The store features fashion-forward clothing and accessories, and a seasonal series called “The Local Focus,” highlighting regional brands.
Lewis has always had a career in the retail and wholesale fashion industry, holding executive management positions with Ralph Lauren, GUESS, and BB DAKOTA. As vice president of stores for BCBGMAXAZRIA, Lewis launched the company’s first expansive retail effort. She later operated her own retail and wholesale consulting firm in Los Angeles. Lewis is a fashion inspiration and has helped cultivate the retail landscape in Nashville.
Joelle Phillips has served as president of AT&T Tennessee since 2013. She brings more than a decade of telecommunications industry experience and nearly two decades of experience in the legal profession to her current position. As president of AT&T Tennessee, Phillips works closely with community and business leaders, elected officials and others at AT&T to continue delivering advanced communications technologies, including mobile 4G LTE and other broadband services, to consumers and businesses.
She is also responsible for managing AT&T’s extensive philanthropic and community engagement efforts in Tennessee. Phillips serves as a board member for several community organizations, including the boards of the United Way of Middle Tennessee, the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, Jobs for Tennessee Graduates, Leadership Nashville, and the Tennessee Business Roundtable. As chair of the Drive to 55 Alliance, she works with other Tennessee business leaders to advance the goal of ensuring that 55% of Tennesseans have a college degree or certificate by the year 2025 and to recruit mentors for the Tennessee Promise scholars program. Phillips is a frequent writer and speaker on topics ranging from technology and law to education and communications policy and has been invited to deliver remarks at industry association meetings, schools and civic organizations, as well as providing testimony on telecommunications policy reforms before legislative committees.
Phillips is a 15-year veteran of AT&T and its predecessor companies. Beginning in the legal department, she moved through positions of increasing responsibility at the state and regional level. She has been recognized by the Nashville Business Journal’s peer-selected “Best of the Bar” awards as Corporate Counsel, as well as a Telecommunications specialist. Prior to joining AT&T, Phillips practiced law with firms in Nashville and Atlanta and served as a judicial law clerk to U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Rhesa Hawkins Barksdale.
Phillips is a summa cum laude graduate of Washington and Lee University School of Law and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Birmingham-Southern College in Theatre. Phillips joined AT&T as a lawyer, but her interest in communications technology predated her work as a telecom lawyer. Phillips is a native of Auburn, Ala., and her father, Dr. Sidney Neal James, taught electrical engineering at Auburn University for 35 years. In addition to his academic career, James worked with NASA and with South Central Bell on telemetry and other communications issues. Phillips is married to fellow W&L Law alumni Brant Phillips. Brant is a partner with Nashville-based Bass, Berry and Sims Law Firm, where he is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and co-chairs the firm’s Securities and Shareholder Litigation Practice Group.
The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp
The mission of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp is to maximize the economic contribution of the convention and tourism industry to the community by developing and marketing Nashville as a premier destination. Visit the NCVC’s website at www.visitmusiccity.com and follow us on social media: