Cheekwood Welcomes New Board Members
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Cheekwood welcomes nine new Board Trustees and Advisors whose initial three-year term began January 1, 2023.
New Board Trustees include:
Jacky Akbari is a nationally recognized economic development leader in strategic inclusive consulting.
Founder and Managing Principal at Worthington Advisory, she leads key projects for relocating and
existing businesses. Jacky has been recognized for her impactful work by Nashville Business Journal
(Power 100); Nashville Post (Most Powerful Woman); Nashville Chamber of Commerce (Impact
Award); Tennessee State University (Hall of Fame & Women of Legend and Merit); Nashville Lifestyles
(Women in Business Award); Nashville Business Journal (Woman of Influence); and YMCA (Academy of
Women of Achievement).
Clay Blevins is a career-long entrepreneur, having led, turned around and founded several companies.
He held a 20-year tenure as CEO of Comfort Supply, a regional distributor of air conditioning products.
Currently, he is the co-owner of Blevins, Inc, a national holding company of building products
distributors. He is actively engaged in the business community as well as humanitarian and
Vicki McCluggage first came to Nashville on a visit in 1976 to address the Tennessee State Legislature
on behalf of the US Cotton Council and moved to the city in 2013. A native Californian, Vicki began her
career at CBS Television Network Sales, later moving to LORIMAR Television International to market
and sell their highly successful television programs (including DALLAS; Falcon Crest; The Waltons; Eight
is Enough; and Full House) abroad. Vicki has received the highest Volunteer Service Award from USC
and is a past President of the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts.
Julie Carell Stadler is the owner and CEO of Skyway Studios, one of the largest broadcast and media
production facilities in the state. Along with her sisters, Julie is a co-owner of Carell Family, LLC, a
commercial real estate investment firm based in Nashville. A native Nashvillian, she continues the
family’s legacy of supporting her community and especially the health and wellness of children.
Ryan McLaughlin Wood serves as the UBS South Central Market Executive, responsible for leading the
UBS wealth management businesses in Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama and
Mississippi. She serves on the UBS Leadership Advisory Council, an elite and diverse group of Field
Leaders who work directly with Senior Management to build upon UBS’s success as the preeminent
Global Wealth Management Firm.
New Board Advisors include:
Terry Cook is a 30-year veteran ecologist and conservation leader, who has worked both domestically and internationally seeking innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing environmental
challenges. Terry began his career with The Nature Conservancy in 1992, serving in several capacities
over that time including staff ecologist in Texas, to Director of Science and Stewardship in Washington
State to lead Scientist for the Eastern U.S. Region of the Conservancy. Cook served as State Director for
approximately seven years on the Tennessee Chapter of The Nature Conservancy in 2016, working
across the state on conservation initiatives designed to protect and enhance the health of Tennessee’s
forests, waters, caves, and cities for the benefit of people and nature.
Yuri Cunza is a Hispanic media professional and business and community advocate. He serves as
President and CEO of the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and is co-founder of the
Spanish language newspaper, La Noticia. In 2018, Yuri was selected to serve on the United States
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Yuri received the first Avant-Garde MOSAIC Award
for the “Advancement of Diversity” from the AAF-Nashville in 2015 and has been named to the
Nashville Post’s “In Charge” list of business leaders who are writing Music City’s success story since
Deana Ivey serves as President for the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp and has been with the
organization since 1997, overseeing and coordinating the organization’s marketing efforts as Nashville
became a top global destination. Deana is co-producer of two, award-winning Nashville
documentaries: For the Love of Music: The Story of Nashville and It All Begins With A Song. She is a
recipient of the Nashville Business Journal Women in Music award and the Women in Business award
by Nashville Lifestyles.
Carolyn McHaney Waller is an Affiliate Broker, Real Estate Advisor, Relocation Specialist and New
Home Professional with Benchmark Realty, LLC and works closely with The Word Properties Group.
Previously an Affiliate Broker, Accredited Buyer Representative and New Home Specialist with Zeitlin |
Sotheby’s International Realty, Carolyn is an Awards of Excellence winner and 16-year top achiever in
the residential real estate market. In recognition for her leadership abilities, Carolyn received the
Chairman’s Award for Excellence in sales growth and territorial management in 1995, 1996 and 1998.
Carolyn serves as President of the Nashville Black Chamber of Commerce.
“We are honored to welcome these new trustees and advisors, who bring a wide range of experience,
talent and connections to our board, as Cheekwood continues to serve our community with a diverse
array of public programs and education and outreach offerings,” said Barry Stowe, Cheekwood Board
To read more about Cheekwood’s leadership and board of trustees, visit
With its intact and picturesque vistas, Cheekwood is distinguished as one of the leading Country Place
Era estates in the nation. Formerly the family home of Mabel and Leslie Cheek, the 1930s estate, with
its 30,000-square-foot Mansion and 55-acres of gardens, today serves the public as a botanical garden,
arboretum, and art museum with furnished period rooms and galleries devoted to American art from
the 18th to mid-20th centuries. The property includes 13 distinct gardens including the Blevins
Japanese Garden and the Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden, as well as a 1.5-mile woodland trail
featuring outdoor monumental sculpture. Each year, Cheekwood hosts seasonal festivals including
Cheekwood in Bloom, Summertime at Cheekwood, Cheekwood Harvest and Holiday LIGHTS.
Cheekwood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is accredited by the American
Alliance of Museums and nationally as a Level II Arboretum. It is a three-time voted USA Today Top 10
Botanical Garden and in 2021 was recognized by Fodors as one of the 12 Most Beautiful Gardens in the
American South. Cheekwood is located eight miles southwest of downtown Nashville at 1200 Forrest
Park Drive. It is open Tuesday through Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., with extended days and hours of
operation depending on the season. Visit cheekwood.org for current hours and to purchase advance
tickets required for admission.
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