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NASHVILLE, TN – The Board of Trustees of Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art has recently appointed eight new Board members. 

“We’re honored and thrilled to welcome new this group of talented and respected community leaders to our dedicated Board of Trustees,” said Jane MacLeod, President & CEO of Cheekwood. “Each of our new trustees offers experience of great relevance and importance to our institution as we continue on our path of exceptional growth .. With their leadership and support, I’m confident that we will take significant steps towards reaching our full potential.” 

The new members will serve three-year terms expiring December 31, 2016. 

Barbara J. Burns is a Kentucky native and a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a BS in Merchandising. Immediately upon moving to Nashville with husband Greg, she became a member of the management team of Castner Knott Co., where she served for several years before retiring to focus on community volunteerism while raising her two children, Ryan and Jillian. During that time, Barbara chaired the Iroquois Steeplechase, the Antiques and Garden Show of Nashville, The Symphony Ball, and worked on several volunteer projects to benefit Montgomery Bell Academy, Franklin Road Academy, and The Junior League of Nashville. Most recently, Barbara served as the Sales and Marketing Manager of NeighborMD Urgent Care before it was sold to CareSpot /HCA TriStar. Barbara has lived in Nashville for 34 years. 

Joan Cheek is a Middle Tennessee native and a real estate broker with Worth Properties. Prior to her real estate career, she worked in film production as a Location Manager throughout the Southeast. Joan is married to Will T. Cheek, Jr., the grandson of C. T. Cheek and nephew of Mabel and Leslie Cheek. Will is an elected member of the Democratic National Committee and serves on its Executive Committee. In addition to being committed supporters of Cheekwood, Joan and Will support other Middle Tennessee causes including the Nashville Humane Association, Adventure Science Center and the Nashville Zoo. Joan is a former board member of the Tennessee Environmental Council, Renewal House and the Belcourt Theatre. 

John Eakin is co-founder and Chairman of Eakin Partners, a Nashville-based commercial real estate firm. John also serves as Chief Manager of several Eakin managed real estate funds, which own about $300 million of properties and actively seek real estate investments and developments. John began his real estate career after graduating from the University of North Carolina in 1977, and has spent the last three decades accumulating extensive hands-on experience in development, leasing and management, as well as developing a strong leadership track record. John serves on several boards locally including Montgomery Bell Academy, The Boy Scouts of America and Tennessee Performing Arts Center. 

Virginia “GiGi” Lazenby is Managing Member, Chief Executive Officer and 100-Percent Shareholder of Bretagne LLC,an
oil and gas production company she founded in 1988. Previously, Gigi served as president of Transatlantic Exploration LTD. She is the Immediate Past Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, where she also served on the Board of Directors, chaired the Political Action Committee, and served on several other IPAA committees. In addition, she is the former President of the National Stripper Well Association. Gigi currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Petroleum Institute and is a member of the National Petroleum Council, a post appointed by the Secretary of Energy. She is also a member of the Kentucky Oil and Gas Association. 

Brian Smallwood
co-founded the architectural firm InForm Smallwood+Nickle in 2001. He is a registered Architect holding membership in both The American Institute of Architects and the National Council of Architectural Registration Board. Brian has a strong background in art, art history, theory, philosophy, as well as both technical and art photography – all of which he integrates into his architectural practice. Brian received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design in 1988 and his Masters degree in Architecture at Virginia Polytechnic in 1994. Brian and his wife Patti have three children. He has called Nashville home for over 12 years. 

James W. Spradley, Jr. is CEO of Standard Functional Foods Group and has been with the organization since he and his family purchased the Standard Candy Company, originally founded in 1901. Together, they successfully transformed its negative net worth into a prosperous, respected company. At the turn of the millennium, James led the company into the nutraceutical and healthy foods category with the launch of Standard Functional Foods Group, Inc., which has since grown to become one of the country’s leading contract manufacturers in nutritional bars and healthy snack bars. James earned his Bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University and his MBA from The University of Chicago. He is a member of the prestigious Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and World Presidents’ Organization (WPO). 

Bruce Sullivan is a retired accountant, having served the Ernst & Ernst team as Technical Partner in the National Accounting and Auditing Department. He also served Ernst & Ernst as Audit Partner and Office Managing Partner, retiring in August 2003 after 30 years to serve as a consultant for the firm, tasked with redesigning their global risk management policies and procedures. Bruce is a Certified Public Accountant in the states of Tennessee, Florida and North Carolina. He is on the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Audit Committee of Healthcare Realty Trust, and on the Board of Directors of Smith Seckman Reid. Bruce has served on the board of the Hundred Club of Nashville, the Society of International Business Fellows, the Nashville Symphony Association, and Nashville Opera. A David Lipscomb University graduate, Bruce is married to fellow Lipscomb alumna Elaine Sullivan, who has served on the Board of the Antiques and Garden Show of Nashville as well as the Cheekwood Board of Trustees from 1999-2005. 

James A. “Jimmy” Webb, III is co-Founder and President of Freeman Webb, Inc., a real estate brokerage, acquisition and management company. Webb is a past chairman of the YMCA of Middle Tennessee and is past president of Sister Cities of Nashville. He is also a founding and current member of the Executive Board of the Nashville Zoo, which opened in 1991. He is the current Chairman of the Board of Directors of Montgomery Bell Academy. A native of Nashville, Jimmy is the son of Caroline and renowned banker James A. Webb, Jr., the former Chairman and CEO of Nashville City Bank. Jimmy graduated from Montgomery Bell Academy and Vanderbilt University and is married to Becky Webb. 

About Cheekwood
Cheekwood is a 55-acre botanical garden and art museum located on the historic Cheek estate. Our mission is to preserve Cheekwood as an historical landmark where beauty and excellence in art and horticulture stimulate the mind and nurture the spirit. Cheekwood is located at 1200 Forrest Park Drive in Nashville, 8 miles southwest of downtown Nashville. New 2014 Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Friday nights May – October open until 10 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults, $12 for seniors, $10 for college students and $7 for children 3-17. Parking is $3 per car. For further information call 615-356-8000 or visit

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