Seven Nashville Leaders Join NCVC Board of Directors

Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Nashville COVID-19 Taskforce Chairman Alex Jahangir Among Board Additions.

NASHVILLE – Seven Nashville leaders have joined the Board of Directors of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. They are Alberto R. Gonzales, who served as Attorney General of the United States during the George W. Bush administration, to the role of Legal Counsel; Dr. Alex Jahangir, an orthopaedic trauma surgeon at Vanderbilt University Medical Center who chaired the Nashville COVID-19 Taskforce; Doug Kreulen, President and CEO, Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority; Howard Nuchow, Co-Head of CAA Sports; Marc Sternagel, Area General Manager of the Grand Hyatt Nashville; Claire Whitfield Tucker, recently retired President and CEO Emerita of CapStar Financial Holdings and CapStar Bank in Nashville; and Ben Weprin, CEO and founder of Adventurous Journeys (AJ) Capital Partners with a portfolio that includes brands such as Graduate Hotels, Marine & Lawn Hotels & Resorts and Outpost Residential.

Respected banking executive Kevin Lavender, who is head of Commercial Banking at Fifth Third Bank, will serve a second year as Chairman of the Board of Directors. The NCVC Board represents sectors from both within and outside the hospitality industry to guide the organization during continued growth in both visitation and hotel supply.

“This is an outstanding group of community and business leaders with expertise in the hospitality, finance, health, sports and legal fields, and their guidance will be instrumental as Nashville tourism continues to expand,” Lavender said. “The hospitality industry is a crucial economic engine that provides vital tax revenue, jobs and economic activity, and its long-term success is important for Nashville and Tennessee.”

Hotel revenue and the number of hotel rooms sold continue to reach record levels in Nashville on the strength of leisure visitors and the recovery of convention business. Major events continue to help drive demand in Music City with strong summer performances from CMA Fest, Let Freedom Sing! July 4th in Music City, Music City Grand Prix and Live On the Green. The upcoming Jack Daniel’s New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash will also draw vast numbers of visitors, plus be featured during a five-hour special on CBS.

The NCVC Executive Committee for Fiscal Year 2023 include Lavender as Chairman; Maneet Chauhan, Executive Chef and Partner at Morph Hospitality, as Chair-Elect; Dr. Robert Fisher, Past President at Belmont University, as Immediate Past Chair; Marcus Whitney, Founder and Managing Partner, Jumpstart Nova, as Finance and Audit Committee Chair; and Ellen Pryor, Frist Art Museum’s Director of Communications, as Sales and Marketing Committee Chair.

The NCVC Board of Directors also includes:

  • Patrick Chaffin, Senior Vice President of Asset Management, Ryman Hospitality Properties
  • John Esposito, Chairman and CEO, Warner Music Group
  • Sherry Franklin, Director of Hotel Sales, Renaissance Nashville
  • Eddie George, Head Football Coach, Tennessee State University
  • Kevin Green, COO, Chartwell Hospitality
  • Ken Levitan, President, Vector Management
  • Kimberly Lewis, Owner, Emerson Grace
  • Pat Martin, Martin Investment Group
  • Burke Nihill, President and CEO, Tennessee Titans
  • Butch Spyridon, CEO, NCVC
  • Sarah Trahern, CEO, CMA

The 23-member volunteer board are community and business leaders who represent diverse voices in the Nashville area. The board is charged with directing the organization’s work on behalf of the city, the members of the NCVC and the city’s vibrant hospitality industry.

The NCVC also announced three new members to the board of directors for its foundation, Music City Inc. They are Fabrizio Calvo, General Manager of JW Marriott Nashville; Turner Nashe, Co-Founder at Recover-Health LLC; and Molly Shehan, Entertainment Attorney and Partner at Milom Horsnell Crow Kelley Beckett Shehan PLC. Kreulen will serve as chairman of Music City Inc. and Greg Hill of Greg Hill Management Inc. as vice chairman.


The Honorable Alberto R. Gonzales

Alberto R. Gonzales served as the 80th Attorney General of the United States during the George W. Bush administration. Before entering public service Gonzales practiced business law at the Houston law firm of Vinson & Elkins. In 1995 he resigned his law partnership to serve as General Counsel to the Governor of Texas. After three years the Governor appointed Gonzales as Texas Secretary of State. He was subsequently appointed as a Justice on the Texas Supreme Court and elected by the citizens of Texas to serve a full six-year term in the November 2000 general election.  He served in the White House as Counsel to the President from 2001-2005. Gonzales is an Air Force veteran and attended the U.S. Air Force Academy. He is a graduate of Rice University and Harvard Law School. Presently, he is the Dean and Doyle Rogers Distinguished Professor of Law at Belmont University College of Law in Nashville.

Alex Jahangir, MD, MMHC

Dr. Alex Jahangir is an orthopaedic trauma surgeon and a professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Medicine, and Health Policy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He is vice president of business development, vice-chair of orthopaedic surgery and director of the division of orthopaedic trauma at VUMC. Jahangir was appointed to the Nashville Metropolitan Board of Health and served two terms as chair. In March 2020, he was named chair of the Nashville COVID-19 Taskforce by Mayor John Cooper. In this capacity, Jahangir led the response to the COVID-19 pandemic for Nashville, including the development and implementation of policies that mitigated the spread of the virus, increased access to testing and assessment for all in the community, established a robust public health infrastructure, and served as a principal source of information to the public regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in Nashville. He served as head of the Task Force for the entire two years of the Task Force’s existence. At age six, Jahangir immigrated with his family to Nashville, where he was educated in Metro public schools. He graduated from Martin Luther King Magnet High School, received his Bachelor of Science degree from George Washington University, his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Tennessee, and his Master of Management in Healthcare from the Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management. He completed his orthopaedic surgery residency at the Campbell Clinic in Memphis, TN, and his orthopaedic trauma fellowship at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, MN. Jahangir lives in Nashville with his wife Helen, a speech-language pathologist, and their three daughters.

Douglas E. Kreulen

Doug Kreulen is president and Chief Executive Officer for the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority responsible for both Nashville International Airport® (BNA®) and John C. Tune Airport® (JWN®). Kreulen joined the airport authority in 2012 and was named president and CEO in December 2017. Before joining MNAA, Kreulen served four years as director of Operations for Huntsville International Airport, during which time the airport received the highly regarded FAA Southern Region Airport Mark of Distinction Award and FAA Air Carrier Airport Safety Award. Prior to beginning his career in the commercial aviation sector, Kreulen served in the United States Air Force for 27 years, earning the rank of Colonel. An Accredited Airport Executive (A.A.E.), Kreulen is active in a variety of civic organizations including the Tennessee Association of Air Carrier Airports (President), Williamson Inc. Board of Directors (Chair), Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp Board of Directors, Music City Inc. Foundation (Chair), Auburn University Aviation Advisory Board, and is an alum of both Leadership Huntsville and Leadership Nashville. In 2019, the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame selected Kreulen as “Tennessee’s Aviation Person of the Year.” In 2022, several accolades were bestowed to BNA for its outstanding operations and leadership, including: The 2022 Award of Excellence and Airport of the Year award by the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission; Kreulen received the Inaugural Veterans Leader Award by Charlie & Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center at Middle Tennessee State University and has been named one of Nashville Business Journal’s Most Admired CEOs. Kreulen earned Master of Science degrees from National War College and Troy University and a Bachelor of Science from Auburn University.

Howard Nuchow

Howard Nuchow is the Co-Head of CAA Sports, a division of leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA), which in 15 years since its inception has become a market leader in the areas of athlete representation, property sales and sponsorship, brand consulting, and media advisory. Nuchow and his partner Mike Levine oversee the agency’s sports practice and have been featured consistently among the top 50 most influential executives in the sports business by the Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal since 2008. Nuchow is on the board of CAA Eleven, a company he helped form in 2012, which manages the broadcasting, sponsorship, and licensing rights to the 2021, 2024, and 2028 Euro Finals and the European qualifying competitions for the 2022 and 2026 FIFA World Cup, as well as the Nations League, on behalf of UEFA. Prior to joining CAA in 2007, Nuchow was the first employee of Mandalay Sports Entertainment (MSE), one of the premier sports companies in the U.S., which owns and manages professional sports franchises throughout the country. Nuchow was recognized by Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal as one of the Top 40 sports executives nationwide under the age of 40, in 2003 and 2007, and entered its hall of fame in 2008.

Marc Sternagel

Marc Sternagel serves as Area General Manager of the Grand Hyatt Nashville and Union Station Nashville Yards, Autograph Collection. He is responsible for the 591-room, full-service Grand Hyatt Nashville with over 84,000 square feet of meeting space and seven F&B outlets along with the 125-room Union Station Nashville Yards. He previously served as Managing Director of The Roosevelt Hotel New York City; Vice President of Midscale Hotels North & Central America and Caribbean for Accor Hotels & Resorts; and in several other positions with Accor Hotels & Resorts. He has also served in other hotel and resort roles in Germany and Australia. He received his Bachelor in Hotel Management at Hotelschule Calw, Germany and participated in the General Managers Program at Cornell University in Ithaca NY.

Claire Whitfield Tucker

Claire Tucker is a seasoned corporate director, de novo bank founder, and former CEO of a publicly traded bank. Tucker recently retired from her role as President and CEO Emerita of CapStar Financial Holdings and CapStar Bank in Nashville, where she led the de novo establishment of the bank from initial capitalization of $88 million in 2007 through eventual IPO and growth to the $3.5 billion asset institution it is today. Before founding CapStar Bank, Tucker led the $7 billion asset Corporate Bank for First American Bank. A proactive and strategic leader, Tucker served on the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Board of Directors and its Audit and Operating Risk Committee. She is a board member of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC), as well as a Trustee of both Tennessee Wesleyan University and Belmont University. She recently completed multi-year terms on the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, where she chaired the Audit and Finance Committee. Earlier, Tucker was a gubernatorial appointee to the inaugural Board of Directors of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation and served as the Secretary/Treasurer and the Chair of the Audit Committee. Her community volunteer work includes chairmanship of the boards of the Nashville Ballet, St. Luke’s Community House, Second Harvest Food Bank and Nashville’s Table. Ms. Tucker’s leadership and professional expertise have been recognized with numerous awards, including induction into the Leaders in Banking Excellence Hall of Fame at the Tennessee Bankers Association; Project Return’s Founders Award; Distinguished Entrepreneur from Tennessee Wesleyan University; and the EY Entrepreneur of the Year, Financial Services for the Southeast Region. Tucker was named to American Banker’s 25 Women to Watch and Nashville Business Journal’s Women of Influence. Tucker earned a Graduate Degree in Banking from Rutgers University, an M.B.A. from the University of Tennessee/Tennessee State University, and a B.S. in Accounting from Tennessee Wesleyan College.

Ben Weprin

Ben Weprin is the CEO and founder of Adventurous Journeys (AJ) Capital Partners. Mr. Weprin founded AJ Capital Partners in Q4 of 2008, based in Nashville, TN, and has since grown the organization into an accomplished real estate and hospitality investment manager. With investments across the U.S. and internationally, his team develops and operates a one-of-a-kind portfolio of timeless assets and dynamic communities, which span mixed-use, entertainment, hotel, office, multifamily, single-family rental, and retail real estate. AJ’s portfolio includes brands such as Graduate Hotels, Marine & Lawn Hotels & Resorts, Outpost Residential and more. Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Mr. Weprin is a University of Tennessee graduate and holds his Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He lives in Nashville with his wife Mary Ann and their three daughters.

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 and follow us on social media: