BlueCross BlueShield promotes Lisa Lay to head facility management and more


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Lisa Lay / Contributed photo

BlueCross BlueShield promotes Lisa Lay to head facility management

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has promoted Lisa Lay to director of properties and facility management.

As director, Lay will lead properties and facilities management at the 12 BlueCross offices, including construction and remodeling efforts, facility workspace design, employee relocation projects and food services.

Lay, a 27-year veteran of the design industry with both residential and commercial experience, has been part of the properties and corporate services team at BlueCross since joining the company in 1999. She has supported oversight of facility workspace design and implementation as well as relocation plans for the company.

During her time with BlueCross, Lay has helped open six offices in Tennessee. She has played key roles in significant projects including the move to the Cameron Hill corporate campus and the company’s return-to-office strategy after more than a year of remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Lisa has been a great asset to the organization throughout her time with BlueCross, and we are excited to have her in this key role,” said Jeff Sundean, vice president of properties and corporate services.

Lay earned a bachelor’s degree in human ecology with a concentration in interior design from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.


Rise Partners names Sam Berry as development director

Rise Partners has appointed Sam Berry as a senior development manager. Berry interned with Rise Partners in the summer of 2020, before his final year of graduate school to receive a master’s degree in real estate with a concentration in development from Cornell University.

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Sam Berry / Contributed photo

In his new role at Rise Partners, Berry will focus on developing industrial, retail, and build-to-rent residential communities. Initially, he will oversee some of the ongoing Rise development projects.

Berry graduated from McCallie School and from there attended Auburn University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in building construction. He began his career in construction management, working for general contractors and from there, decided to pursue a master’s to transition over to the investment and development side of real estate.

“I am ecstatic to be joining a company that is comprised of true professionals, who are not only experts in their field, but carry a well-regarded reputation amongst their peers and in the communities in which they invest and build,” said Berry.

Matt Phillips, partner at Rise, said Berry “is a rising star with a bright future” and “will play a key role in Rise’s growth trajectory.”


Tennessee American Water names Doug Wagner to head operations

Tennessee American Water has named Doug Wagner as vice president of operations. Wagner will manage the teams responsible for the daily operations in the Chattanooga and Sequatchie Valley Districts.

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Doug Wagner / Contributed photo

Wagner began his career with American Water in 2002 and most recently worked as senior manager for Missouri American Water in St. Louis. He also has served in leadership roles at Illinois American Water, where he was a senior superintendent of operations, and at Virginia and Maryland American Water as a business performance supervisor.

“Doug’s successful track record with environmental compliance, safety focus, implementing efficient processes, and emphasis on teamwork will continue our 130-plus years of quality water service in the Chattanooga community,” said Grant Evitts, president of Tennessee American Water.

In his current role, Wagner will lead the production, water quality and field operations teams in their delivery of clean, safe, reliable water to 380,000 people in the region.


Reliance Partners names Mario Paluzzi as CTO

Mario Paluzzi has joined Reliance Partners as chief technology officer.

Paluzzi will oversee the development of Reliance Partners’ proprietary technology initiatives and spearhead the agency’s innovation strategy to drive solutions in the trucking and freight insurance industry.

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Mario Paluzzi / Contributed photo

Prior to joining Reliance Partners, Paluzzi established, led, and deployed technology teams and transformative innovations across high-growth startup environments as well as multi-billion dollar enterprises. Paluzzi spent 10 years at Coyote Logistics overseeing technology, strategy and delivery. In October 2020, he joined Logistics Dynamics as chief information officer.

“Mario’s extensive experience building technology teams and driving innovation in logistics will be an invaluable asset to Reliance,” said Chad Eichelberger, President of Reliance Partners. “He brings a new perspective into the organization as we continue to develop proprietary technology, algorithms and client solution.”

— Compiled by Brandi Dixon

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