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Business Digest: Hixson joins local law firm [Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn. :: ]
[June 29, 2014]

Business Digest: Hixson joins local law firm [Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn. :: ]

(Chattanooga Times Free Press (TN) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) June 29--Hixson joins local law firm George G. Hixson recently joined the law firm Duncan, Hatcher, Hixson & Fleenor. Hixson is licensed in Tennessee and has been practicing law in Chattanooga for 22 years. He is a member of the Tennessee and Chattanooga bar associations.

Hixson graduated from the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis, and his practice focuses in commercial, retail and residential real estate, acquisitions, financing, development and construction, leasing and sales, general business law and estate planning. Hixson has also served as a certified public accountant.

Phil Fleenor, principal in the firm, said, "George adds greatly to our firm in that he will be instrumental in expanding our estate planning and elder law practice, and he significantly strengthens our existing real estate, leasing and transactional practice areas. George expands the expertise and services we can extend to our clients, and we are very excited to have him with us." ------ Ducker elected vice chairman The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's board of directors has elected Michael Ducker, a Chattanooga native and chief operating officer for FedEx Express, as its vice chairman. Ducker succeeds Tamara L. Lundgren, president and CEO of Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc., and will serve a one-year term.

"In his role at FedEx, Mike has worked tirelessly to advance international trade by providing vital input to trade negotiators working on major pending trade agreements," U.S. Chamber president and CEO, Thomas J. Donohue, said. "For years the Chamber has benefited from Mike's expertise on trade issues and international business, and we are grateful for the opportunity to continue utilizing his knowledge and expertise in the year ahead." Ducker, who has been with FedEx for nearly 40 years, spent four years as president of FedEx Express Asia Pacific in Hong Kong and also led the Southeast Asia and Middle East regions from Singapore.

Additionally, Ducker serves on the advisory committee for trade policy and negotiations for the Obama administration, as well as chairman of the international policy committee. He also serves as a board member of the Coalition of Service Industries, the U.S.-China Business Council, and The Salvation Army.

Ducker earned his M.B.A. from a joint program of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

------ Groves chairs accountants Charles F. Groves III, CPA, of Signal Mountain, was recently elected chair-elect of the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA), the professional association for more than 9,700 CPA's residing and practicing in Tennessee. Groves' term began June 10 at TSCPA's 84th Annual Convention and Educational Conference in Kingsport, Tenn.

Groves is the principal in charge of operations for Decosimo in Chattanooga. He has been a member of TSCPA for 34 years, holding various leadership positions at the local and state levels, including service on the peer review and professional development committees and as president of the Chattanooga chapter.

As chair-elect, Groves will serve on the TSCPA board of directors and council, the governing body of the association which establishes policy for all society activities. He will concurrently serve as a member of the board of trustees of TSCPA's educational and memorial foundation which provides comprehensive continuing education for CPA's and awards academic scholarships to deserving accounting students attending Tennessee's colleges and universities.

------ Gauthier hired as executive chef Kitchen at Union Square has hired David "Spoon" Gauthier as its new executive chef. Gauthier brings a diverse culinary background both as a chef and culinary instructor and will oversee all aspects of the restaurant's cuisine with commitment to a fresh, locally-sourced and regional menu.

Gauthier began his culinary career with a three-year stint as a chef in the U.S. Army before moving to Portland, Ore., for professional training at Le Cordon Bleu. His background includes working in Nashville as a Sous Chef for Bosco's, assistant kitchen manager for Greenlife, now Whole Foods, a lead instructor for Viking Cooking School and as executive sous chef at the University of the South. Gauthier, the son of a chef, grew up in Worcester, Mass., where his Italian family influenced his interest in cooking at a young age.

"We are excited Chef Spoon is joining our team and bringing with him a fresh and creative way of cooking," says Kitchen at Union Square general manager Eve Markowicz. "His vast and impressive culinary experience and support of our farm-to-table practices will be a great asset." ------ Starnes joins Derryberry Callie Starnes has joined Derryberry Public Relations, a full service public, government, digital and media relations, where she will serve as relationship manager for the firm that serves clients throughout the region.

Starnes began her career as a radio reporter at WRGA Radio in Rome, Ga., and spent six years at local NBC affiliate, WRCB, serving as a reporter and anchor. She holds a B.A. in communications from Berry College and is a multi-year winner of the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award.

Starnes is an active volunteer in the community supporting the Chattanooga Women's Leadership Institute, the Kidney Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, Sexual Assault Center of Northwest Georgia and Berry College Alumni Council.

"We are thrilled to have Callie join our growing team," Derryberry Public Relations co-owner, Andy Derryberry, said. "Her skill sets are perfect to meet the needs of our clients, and we know that she will be a tremendous asset to those she represents." To be included, send information to Wesley Holloway at

___ (c)2014 the Chattanooga Times/Free Press (Chattanooga, Tenn.) Visit the Chattanooga Times/Free Press (Chattanooga, Tenn.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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