published Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Business Digest: Dr. Ponce heads bariatric surgeons

Local bariatric surgeon Jaime Ponce is the new president of the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery, the largest society for the medical specialty.

Dr. Ponce became president at the ASMBS annual meeting in San Diego. He is the director of the Hamilton Medical Center Weight Management and co-director of the Memorial Hospital Bariatric Program.

One of the nation's leading bariatric surgeons, he has helped more than 3,000 patients manage obesity and related medical problems through minimally invasive weight-loss surgery.

Coxwell joins Cornerstone Bank

Cornerstone Community Bank of Chattanooga has appointed John H. Coxwell Sr. as executive officer. Coxwell previously worked for 30 years as a certified public accountant and financial institution specialist. He has worked for Deloitte & Touche and Hazlett, Lewis & Bieter, PLLC. In his new role with Cornerstone, he will be responsible for working in conjunction with President Frank Hughes to oversee and manage all bank operations.

"We are extremely pleased to welcome John aboard," Hughes said. "He brings a wealth of expertise and in-depth knowledge that will make him an outstanding co-leader with me and a tremendous asset to Cornerstone."

Originally from Waynesboro, Miss., Coxwell moved to Chattanooga in 1988. He has served on the boards of the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera and READ Chattanooga (now Re:Start -- The Center for Adult Education), where he also served as board president. He is a former member of the Kiwanis Club of Chattanooga and Chattanooga Downtown Rotary Club.

McDonough chairs litigation

Miller & Martin PLLC has appointed Travis McDonough as chairman of the firm's litigation department.

McDo-nough concentrates his practice in the areas of corporate disputes, white-collar criminal defense, class actions, intellectual property rights and other complex litigation. He previously served as vice chairman of the firm's litigation department beginning in 2007.

"We are thrilled to have Travis lead our litigation team as the department continues to grow," said Jim Haley, chairman of the firm. "His depth of expertise and dedication to the firm makes him invaluable to the future success of the department."

Established in 1867, Miller & Martin PLLC today is a full-service regional law firm with offices in Atlanta, Chattanooga and Nashville.

Williamson joins local law firm

J. Matthew Williamson, a native of LaFayette and graduate of LaFayette High School, has joined Womack, Gottlieb and Rodham, P.C., in the general practice of law.

Following a semester at Oxford University in England, Williamson graduated magna cum laude from the University of Georgia in 2008 and earned his law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law in May of 2011 and passed the Georgia Bar in May of 2012.

His experience includes posts as intern with the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Juvenile Courts, student attorney with the University of Maryland Appellate Advocacy Clinic and law clerk with the Maryland Office of the Public Defender.

Williamson also clerked for Bodie, Dolina, Hobbs, Friddell & Grenzer, P.C., and is a member of the American Bar Association, the Maryland State Bar Association and the State Bar of Georgia.

FinishMaster adds Chattanooga site

FinishMaster has opened a branch in Chattanooga with an office and sales outlet at the Uni-Select Auto Plus store at 2605 Duncan Ave.

Daniel Courtney, president of FinishMaster, said the new locations "promote the opportunity for body shops to now have a one-stop shop, making their order process more efficient."

Wilkinson earns certification

Nick Wilkinson, director of development for Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise Inc., has earned the certificate of graduation from the National Community Development Lending School.

The school offers detailed training on the practice of community development lending from a faculty of experienced finance professionals and is presented biennially by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Other sponsors of the National Community Development Lending School include the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the U.S. Department of Treasury, Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.

Wilkinson, a native of Chattanooga and graduate of the University of Georgia, has served as CNE's director of development since October 2010.

To submit business promotions, awards and other announcements, contact Deputy Business Editor Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or at 757-6318.

about Dave Flessner...

Dave Flessner is the business editor for the Times Free Press. A journalist for 35 years, Dave has been business editor and projects editor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, city editor for The Chattanooga Times, business and county reporter for the Chattanooga Times, correspondent for the Lansing State Journal and Ingham County News in Michigan, staff writer for the Hastings Daily Tribune in Nebraska, and news director for WCBN-FM in Michigan. Dave, a native ...

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