Bob Higgins

NASHVILLE, TN — The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors has elected Bob Higgins, president and CEO of Barge Design Solutions, as Chamber board chair, along with new board officers and seven new board members. Higgins succeeds immediate past chair Wanda Lyle, retired managing director and general manager of UBS Business Solutions Nashville.

Higgins, a U.S. Air Force Veteran and licensed professional engineer, has been with Barge Design Solutions since 1996 where he started as an intern after graduating from Vanderbilt University with a degree in civil engineering. For the past 13 years, Higgins has led the firm as president and CEO through a successful re-organization and has expanded the firm’s reach across the Southeastern United States and beyond.

His passion for leadership and company culture helped him lead the creation of the Barge Leadership Institute, a customized training program for current and future leaders of the firm. This passion has also extended to the creation of leadership programs within the industry and other organizations. He is a member of the National and Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers (TSPE) as well as the American Society of Civil Engineers. As an active member of the Nashville and Middle Tennessee community, in addition to the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Higgins sits on the board of the Nashville Downtown Partnership, Ascension Saint Thomas, and is Vice Chair for the Vanderbilt School of Engineering Board of Visitors.

Joining Higgins are 2022-23 Nashville Area Chamber board officers including:

•  Immediate Past Chair, Wanda Lyle, retired managing director, general manager, UBS Business Solutions US LLC | Nashville

•  Vice Chair, Al Pramuk, P.E., chairman, Gresham Smith

•  Secretary, Carol Yochem, president, Middle Tennessee Region, First Horizon

•  Board Governance Committee Chair, Jeff Drummonds, CPA, managing partner and CEO, LBMC

•  Finance & Audit Committee Chair, Terry Hardesty, national partner and director relations, Deloitte

•  General Counsel, Kolin Holladay, shareholder, Polsinelli PC

In addition, Lee Blank, Middle Tennessee market executive of Regions Bank, will serve as chair of Partnership 2030, the Chamber’s regional economic development initiative. Blank replaces outgoing P2030 chair Dr. Wright Pinson, deputy CEO of Vanderbilt Health System, chairman of Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network and deputy CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

“The Nashville region has long benefitted from strong business leadership attentive to the needs of the community,” said Chamber President and CEO Ralph Schulz. “We are fortunate that these leaders have agreed to serve the Nashville region during this pivotal time as we continue to create economic prosperity by facilitating community leadership.”

New Members of the Nashville Area Chamber board of directors are:

•  Missy Acosta, director of corporate communications and public relations, Delta Dental

•   Teresa Broyles-Aplin, president and CEO, Nashville Electric Service

•  Sam Davidson, CEO and co-founder, Batch

•  Clay Hart, executive vice president and senior lending officer, Pinnacle Financial Partners

•  Kolin Holladay, shareholder, Polsinelli PC

•   Hal Lawton, president and CEO, Tractor Supply Company

•  Burke Nihill, president and CEO, Tennessee Titans

The new and returning board members and Chamber officers assumed their roles beginning July 1. To view the full Nashville Chamber board, visit

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce is Middle Tennessee’s largest business federation, representing nearly 2,000 member companies. Belong, engage, lead, prosper embodies the Chamber’s focus on facilitating community leadership to create economic prosperity for Middle Tennessee. The work of the Nashville Area Chamber is supported by members and sponsors; the Chamber’s Pivotal Partners (a partnership at the highest level for all Chamber programs and events) are Bass, Berry & Sims PLC, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Community Health Systems, Gresham Smith, and Regions. Together with its affiliates, the Nashville Chamber works to strengthen the region’s business climate and to enhance Nashville’s position as a desirable place to live, work and visit. 

For more information, visit