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New Appointment and Re-appointments for the Douglas Henry State Museum Commission

Friday, July 28, 2017 | 03:38pm

NASHVILLE— July 28, 2017—There has been one new appointment and three re-appointments to fill four vacancies on the Douglas Henry State Museum Commission for this fiscal year, according to a release made today. Speaker of the House Beth Harwell appointed Tina Hodges of Nashville as a new member of the commission on July 17, and re-appointed Representative Steve McDaniel of Parker Crossroads on July 1. At the same time, Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally re-appointed Victor H. Ashe II of Knoxville, and Nancy Baker De Friece of Bristol. 

Tina Hodges currently serves as chief executive officer and chief experience officer of Advance Financial, a company she co-owns with her husband and company founder Mike Hodges. Prior to assuming her role as CEO in 2013, Hodges oversaw all retail and call center operations, human resources, and employee development as vice president and chief operating officer. In that time, Advance Financial grew from three locations in Middle Tennessee to more than 50 locations across the state with more than 600 employees. She received a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and earned a certificate in medical technology from Meharry Medical College. Hodges also received a master’s degree in nursing from Vanderbilt University and maintains her license as a nurse practitioner.

Victor Ashe served as the first chair of the State Museum Commission from January 2010 until December 2013. He served as mayor of Knoxville from 1988 until 2003, making him the city's longest serving mayor. He also served six years as a Tennessee state representative and nine years as a state senator. Ashe was appointed by George W. Bush as the 24th United States Ambassador to Poland.

Nancy Baker De Friece was recently re-elected as vice chair of the State Museum Commission, a position she has held since July 1, 2015. She is a former chairman of the Tennessee Arts Commission, and a charter member of the Hands On! Regional Museum, serving on the museum’s Business Council. She has received numerous honors, including the “Arts in Tennessee Award” presented by International Storytelling Center and Bristol Regional Medical Center's Citizen’s Hall of Fame. De Friece currently serves as president of Landmark Realty, Inc., and as a managing partner of Sikorski-De Friece Properties.

Representative McDaniel served as the chair of the State Museum Commission from January 2014 until June 2016. He was first elected in 1988 to represent House District 72 in the Tennessee General Assembly. He has served two terms as caucus chairman and three terms as House Minority Leader. He currently serves as deputy speaker of the House and as the chair of the House Rules Committee; the Ethics Committee; and the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee. He also serves on the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and on the Joint Pensions and Insurance Committee. McDaniel is also a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the nation’s largest legislative member organization.

Thomas S. Smith of Nashville serves as the chairman of the Commission. Other members of the Commission include: Harbert Alexander Sr., Jackson;  Pete Claussen, Knoxville; Walter G. Knestrick, Nashville;  Deanie Parker, Memphis; Representative Charles Sargent, Franklin; Laura Travis, Dayton; Senator Bo Watson, Hixson, and Eleanor Yoakum, Tazewell. Ashley Howell, executive director of the Tennessee State Museum and Tennessee Historical Society President Robert N. Buchanan III, serve on the Commission as ex-officio members.

The public can now find out more information about upcoming commission meetings, committee meetings and agendas, as well as the background of commission members, at the Tennessee State Museum website at:

About the Tennessee State Museum:

The Tennessee State Museum was established by law in 1937 “to bring together the various collections of articles, specimens, and relics now owned by the State under one divisional head,” and “to provide for a transfer of exhibits wherever they may be.”  

Today, the Tennessee State Museum is housed in the James K. Polk building in downtown Nashville, where it has been for nearly 35 years. Gov. Bill Haslam proposed and the Tennessee General Assembly approved $120 million in the FY-2015-16 budget to build a new home for the Tennessee State Museum on the Bicentennial Mall to maximize the state’s rich history by creating a state-of-the-art educational asset and tourist attraction for the state. The governor also announced that $40 million would be raised in private funds for the project.

A 140,000 square foot facility is being built on the northwest corner of the Bicentennial Mall at the corner of Rosa Parks Boulevard and Jefferson Street to tell Tennessee’s story in a way that the museum is unable to do in its current and outdated location by showcasing one-of-a-kind artifacts, art, and historical documents in an interactive and engaging way. 

For further information contact:
Mary Skinner
Community & Media Relations Officer
Direct: 615-253-0103

Tennessee State Museum
Ashley Howell, Executive Director

1000 Rosa L. Parks Blvd
Nashville, TN 37208
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