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18 Tennesseans to watch in 2018

Posted on January 2, 2018

All of us as Tennesseans have a chance to help shape our state in 2018 — from how we interact with others to our decisions at the ballot box. 

But there will be some Tennesseans — longtime residents to newcomers to our state — whom we’ll be keeping a close eye on for their contributions next year. 

Editors and reporters across the USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee selected 18 people to watch in 2018, from business and sports to government and entertainment.

Here’s whom and what to watch for next year.

Middle Tennessee

  • Megan Barry
  • Bill Hagerty
  • James E. K. Hildreth
  • John Ingram
  • Julie Mix McPeak
  • Tim Ozgener

East Tennessee

  • Chris Blue 
  • Mary Dillon, 56, Knoxville, Medical Director, Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center

2018 will mark 15 years since Dr. Mary Dillon came to Patricia Neal Rehab Center from a 10-year post in University of Cincinnati College of Medicine’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation — and she’s not worn out her welcome.

In January, Dillon, whom colleagues describe as passionate and a staunch patient advocate, will assume the role of first female chief of staff at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, which houses the nationally known rehab center.

“Every patient thinks they’re her favorite patient,” said Leslie Irwin, center vice president and administrator. “And I think in her heart, they all are her favorite patient.”

  • Whitney Haslam Johnson
  • Jeremy Pruitt
  • Lauren Rider
  • Thomas Zacharia 

West Tennessee

    • Emily Ballew Neff
    • Terri Lee Freeman
    • Marjorie Hass
    • Tami Sawyer
    • Richard W. Smith
    • Orlando “Tubby” Smith

Staff Report | Knoxville News Sentinel

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