Connections: Spring 2016



Joe and Jane Zazzi Mitchen celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary Nov. 2, 2015, on a cruise to Bermuda. While working for Olin Industries in New Haven, Connecticut, Joe helped plan the now Ham- den Church of Christ. The couple moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1955. When the South Baton Rouge congregation was formed in 1975, Joe was one of the first three elders, and Jane was a volunteer secretary. After Joe retired from Ethyl Corp. and Jane retired from Louisiana State University, they moved to Texas. Joe served as an elder for South Corpus Christi Church of Christ, and Jane began quilting blankets for families and babies at risk. They moved back to Baton Rouge in 1998 to be closer to their children. The Mitchens have six living children, 16 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. (822 Carnforth Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70810)


Van Ristau retired from his position as chief technology officer of DLT Solutions LLC in January. He has served in the U.S. Naval Reserve as a submarine officer; managed international projects in Africa and the Caribbean; and participated in research and development and production projects for defense subsea and airborne systems in the U.S., Canada, Italy, Korea, the United Kingdom, Australia and Singapore in technical and management roles, most notably as vice president international for Atlantic Research Corp. Prior to his employment in 2006 with DLT Solutions, he co-owned an international consulting practice for 10 years. During retirement, when not home in Virginia with his wife, Mary, he continues to sail as a watchstander on the Dutch clipper ship Stad Amsterdam.


Linda Frost Branam is a full-time senior technical director with 19 years of experience. She also is
a part-time freelance copy editor doing business as Branam Creative Services. She was a member of the copy editing team for the third book in Michael J. Sullivan’s Riyria Chronicles series,

The Death of Dulgath. Most recently, she copy edited Sullivan’s The Age of Myth. She considers the guidance of Mary Ann Peden-Coviello (’71),

herself a freelance copy editor, foundational to her success. (5310 Keller Springs Road, #613, Dallas, TX 75248)


Judy Adams Ruth retired from Freeport- McMoRan copper mine where she worked as an administrative assistant/copper ship coordinator for 22 1/2 years. Her husband is Charles. (P.O. Box 542, Tyrone, NM 88065)


Dean Turner has been named CEO of Abbeville Area Medical Center in Abbeville, South Carolina. He has more than 25 years in the health care management industry and is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and Health Financial Management Association. He and his wife, Kathie, have three children and three grandchildren. (26 Bainbridge Way, Bluffton, SC 29910)


Gail Alan Gregg has been promoted to deputy superintendent for Abilene Independent School District. He oversees the areas of student and administrative services, leadership development and district policy documents. His wife is Joan Hogg (’79). (4558 Cougar Way, Abilene, TX 79606)


Richard B. Bentley began working for House of Refuge in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in January 2015. House of Refuge is a Christian organization that rescues women and children who have been forced into prostitution. (Street 464, House 7B, Phnom Penh, Cambodia)

Dian Pritchett Eddleman has been named president-elect of the Southern Division of the National Association for Music Education, an organization that supports music education and advocates at the local, state and national levels. Eddleman will serve on the national executive board, which sets policies for music education, for a six-year period. She is the first woman to hold this o ce. (196 Hughes Road E., Jackson, TN 38305)

Je Fox has been named director of social services at AGAPE. He is responsible for foster care, family preservation services, maternity care and adoption services in the Middle Tennessee region. He has a M.S.S.W. from University of Tennessee. He is married to Donna Jo McDonald. (P.O. Box 110172, Nashville, TN 37222)

Duane Stuart has moved from serving as minister

of the Annapolis Church of Christ in Arnold, Maryland, to serving as minister of Warsaw (Indiana) Church of Christ. His wife is Sharon Holderby (’73). (1912 E. Main St., Warsaw, IN 46580)


Barry Wheeler has been selected as head volleyball coach and the department chair of health, physical education and wellness at Crowley’s Ridge College in Paragould, Arkansas. His wife, Lynette Gardner, is a paraprofessional. They have two sons, Logan (’10) and Brandtly, a senior at Harding. (7605 Country Club Lane, Houston, MO 65483)


Frank Smith and his business partners recently acquired Principal Technologies Inc., a specialty recruiting firm for professionals in IT, engineering, accounting and human resources. He is co- founder, chairman and president of Strata Leader- ship and is a certified public accountant. He and his wife, Heidi Fecht, have three children. (10601 Pond Meadow Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73151)


Je Moore has been named director of marketing and communications for Arkansas Economic Development Commission. He has worked in the field of communications for more than 24 years. He is married to Stacey. (630 Lake Tree Lane, Sherwood, AR 72120)

David Perry is chairman of the board for Fort Gibson Chamber of Commerce and works at Budo Perry Financial Services. He serves on the Eastern Oklahoma library board and is a deacon at Fort Gibson Church of Christ. His wife, Sara Varner,
is a second-grade teacher at Fort Gibson Elementary. They have three children, Hannah,


Dian Pritchett Eddleman has been named president- elect of the Southern Division of the National Association for Music Education.


Mark Nolan Halbert joined the Tupelo, Mississippi, office of Phelps Dunbar LLP as a partner practicing in the area of litigation with a focus
on employment law. He has more than 20 years litigation experience and is married to Julie Crosswhite. (1203 Antler Drive, Tupelo, MS 38804)


Scott and Kathy Meadows Genry announce the adoption of a daughter, Alexandra Lanning, Oct. 13, 2015. They have another daughter, Lainie. Scott recently began working as information security analyst for University of North Georgia in Dahlonega. (348 Robinson Ridge Road, Dahlonega, GA 30533)


Dave Combs, vice president of distribution for Deutz Corp., has been elected to the board of directors of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. He has spent more than 20 years in the diesel engine business working in various roles ranging from product management to executive leadership. He is married to Connie Barnett. (902 White Aster Court, Dacula, GA 30019)   


Brent D. Coffey has been awarded the National Cancer Institute Director’s Merit Award for his work on the development of the NCI-MATCH Clinical Trial. (518 Jacala Terrace, Rockville, MD 20850)


Daniel and Elizabeth Sewell Giger announce the birth of a daughter, Sophia Grace, Feb. 20, 2015. They have three other daughters, Analise, Natalie and Samantha. (2905 Essington St., Bloomington, IN 61705)


Justin and Sarah Lacey announce the birth of a daughter, Harper Lynn, Nov. 26, 2015. Justin is in his third year as director of communication at Westbury Christian School, and Sarah is a sixth- grade counselor at Salyards Middle School. (1602 Enclave Parkway, #1902, Houston, TX 77077)

Susan Sneed Sheppard earned a master’s degree in chemistry from Texas A&M-Commerce in December 2015. (2529 Albemarle Drive, Farmers Branch, TX 75234)

Brian Whitt has been named as a member of the 2016 40 Under 40 by the Albany Business Review. He is the chief operating officer for DWM Facilities Maintenance and earned his MBA from University at Albany. He is married to Katie Meeks (’00). (2445 Nottingham Mall, Niskayuna, NY 12309)


Kimberly Starr McCleney received the DAISY Award in May 2015. She is assistant nurse manager and labor and delivery nurse at Littleton (Colorado) Adventist Hospital. (1556 Hermosa Drive, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126)

Scott Smith has been hired as sports director of WTVT-TV in Tampa, Florida. He is only the fourth sports director in the station’s 66-year history.


Graham and Carrie Springer Cook announce the birth of a daughter, Florence Emma, June 18, 2015. Carrie left an eight-year federal librarian career to become a homemaker, and Graham is the owner of Partners Realty in Montgomery, Alabama. (460 Pine Forest Drive, Wetumpka, AL 36093)

Andrew Dallas Goodman has been hired as aide to Arkansas Senate President Pro Tempore Jonathan Dismang (’01). He previously worked in the land commissioner’s office. His wife is Chelsea Wilson (’05). (101 Maple St., Cabot, AR 72023)

Jenny Roberts Simmons joined Hulled Dermatology as a physician assistant. She is a member of the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants and the Arkansas Academy of Physician Assistants.


Vaughanda Bowie (M.Ed.) has been named as one of 15 semifinalists for the 2016 Arkansas Teacher of the Year award. She teaches fourth-grade science and literacy at West Magnet Elementary School of Visual and Performing Arts in Batesville. She also works in the community as a registered adult volunteer leader with Boy Scouts of America and volunteers at Old Independence Regional Museum. She and her husband, Kevin, have two sons. (11 Dogwood Lane, Batesville, AR 72501)

Michael (’06) and Sarah Crist Davis announce the birth of a daughter, Caroline Camille, Dec. 10, 2015. They also have a son, Benjamin. (1115 Hem- lock Ave. S.W., North Bend, WA 98045;


Mike Hernandez III (M.Ed.) was appointed to the board of the Universal Service Administrative Company, a nonprofit entity that operates under the auspices of the Federal Communications Commission and oversees broadband subsidies. He is superintendent of Hot Springs School District and received his doctorate from Harding in 2015. (451 Lakeland Drive, Hot Springs, AR 71913)

Danny and Leslie A. Galloway Mayberry announce the birth of a son, Joshua Blaine, Oct. 10, 2015. (4271 Fm 1565, Caddo Mills, TX 75135)

Natalie Oliver married Jared Dockery (’94) June 6, 2015. Natalie works as a manager and IT sup- port at Good Measure Market in Searcy, and Jared is an associate professor of history at Harding. (410 N. Oak St., Searcy, AR 72143)


Chris and Heather Marie Davis Nelson announce the birth of a son, Braxton Edward, Jan. 2. Chris is a biomedical engineering post-doctoral fellow at Duke University, and Heather is a family nurse practitioner. (4130 Garrett Road, #338, Durham, NC 27707)


Brice Priestley is an audit associate of Montgomery Coscia Greilich LLP in Plano, Texas. His wife is Jacey Kerby. (1955 Market Center, #1235, Dallas, TX 75207)


Erica Tremaine married Benjamin Foss Nov. 28, 2015. Erica is the executive assistant to the presi- dent and guest services coordinator at Sterling (Kansas) College, and Benjamin is a farmer. (17709 W. 56th Ave., Sterling, KS 67579)

Categories: Connections.

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