Ryan is the Director of Communications and Legislative Affairs at the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability. Ryan has worked as an advocate for older Tennesseans and those with disabilities for the past 15 years. Ryan believes that all older Tennesseans deserve to age with dignity.
Nashville Pride Board, President
Joey Leslie is a storyteller and problem solver who’s career has spanned Journalism, Marketing, and Business Strategy since he moved to Nashville in 2007. He currently works as Innovation Discovery Partner at Bridgestone Americas where he pushes his teammates outside their comfort zone to talk to customers, identify problems, and design elegant solutions for real people using the principals of human-centered design.
His prior roles include Managing Editor & Creative Director of Tennessee's largest LGBT publication, Out & About Newspaper; Brand Manager at Southcomm Inc.; and Product and Retail Marketing Specialist at Bridgestone Americas.
Outside the office, Joey is actively engaged in the community and currently serves as President of Nashville Pride and a board member of Nashville Education, Community, and Arts Television (NECAT Nashville).
Metro Nashville, Chief Diversity Officer
Michelle Hernandez-Lane was appointed by Mayor Megan Barry as Metro Nashville’s first Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) on April 8, 2016. In this role, Michelle is charged with implementing the Mayor's agenda to ensure that all parts of Metro Govt. are diverse and inclusive. Michelle’s career with Metro Govt. began in 2001 as she worked to develop the existing small business program. In 2008, Michelle began her role as Director of the Office of Minority and Women Business Assistance and implemented a program designed to promote the inclusion of minorities and women in the City’s procurements. In 2013, Michelle was appointed by Governor Bill Haslam to the Advisory Council on State Procurement. Michelle holds a B.A. from Fisk University, an M.S. from Cumberland University. Michelle has called Nashville home since 1993 and hails from Palm Springs, Ca.
MP&F, Vice President
Javier Solano has 15 years of experience managing marketing communications campaigns, including award-winning efforts on behalf of the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Department of Labor and the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority. While at MP&F, Javier has received the staff-selected Best Writer award four times and the MVP award twice. He is a frequent presenter on communications strategies, including media relations and Latino outreach.. He is also one of the staff’s media trainers, leaning on his 10 years of experience as a reporter, mostly with the Orlando Sentinel.
Before his arrival at MP&F in 2001, Javier worked for two Chicago Tribune-owned newspapers, most recently the Orlando Sentinel, where he covered sports and general assignments for six years. Born in Santa Marta, Colombia, and raised in metropolitan Washington, D.C., Javier graduated from Columbia University in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in English.
Moderator Kia Jarmon
The MEPR Agency, Owner / Creative Director
Kia Jarmon has earned her stripes and more as one of the community’s leading public relations and brand strategists through her work for The MEPR Agency, which she launched in 2006. Jarmon has been recognized by the Middle Tennessee Diversity Forum as the “Woman to Watch.” Additionally, she has received the Nashville Business Journal’s ““Top Forty Under 40” and “Women of Influence” award in the Entrepreneur category and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s “Top 30 Under 30”. She also serves on the YWCA Junior Board Committee, is a board member and public relations co-chair for the Tennessee Latin American Chamber of Commerce, has been appointed by Mayor Karl Dean to serve on the Nashville Farmers Market board, and serves as a part of the Metro Human Relations Commission Support Fund Advisory Board.