Nashville, Tenn. – Francis S. Guess, an ardent advocate for equal opportunity, will address Waller’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day tribute luncheon on Thursday, January 16, 2014, at the DoubleTree Hotel. The theme of Guess’ remarks is “It’s Our Turn,” as it relates to building upon Dr. King’s legacy to foster equality throughout the Middle Tennessee business community.
At the event, Waller will also recognize its annual diversity scholarship recipient, Alejandra (Alé) Dalton, a student at the University of Tennessee College of Law. The scholarship, which is renewable each semester for the three years the recipient attends law school, is the cornerstone of Waller’s effort to support the law school’s diversity recruiting program and honors students whose lives have been guided by the example of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Reservations for the luncheon are required, and interested individuals should call Tabitha Griffith at 615.850.8185 for information.
Guess, 2013 recipient of the distinguished Joe Kraft Humanitarian Award from the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, is widely recognized for his lifelong and candid commitment to equality, justice and the advancement of Middle Tennessee and its citizens.
“We take time each year to celebrate Dr. King’s life and to find inspiration as we make our own individual and collective efforts to carry on his legacy,” said John Tishler, chairman of Waller. “Francis Guess is an eloquent and inspirational activist, philanthropist, businessman and community leader, and we look forward to coming together to renew our focus and to share Francis’ perspective and ideas.”
During the course of a distinguished 45-year career, Guess served 30 years as a member of the Tennessee Commission on Human Rights. Nationally, President Ronald Reagan appointed Guess to the United States Commission on Civil Rights where he served for six years. He acted as Commissioner for the Tennessee departments of Labor and General Services under Governor Lamar Alexander; and provided volunteer support to more than 100 organizations.
Guess serves as the executive director of the Danner Foundation and senior advisor of Seigenthaler Public Relations, Inc. His volunteer commitments include, but are not limited to, board and commission positions with the National Coalition of Human Rights, American Institute for Managing Diversity, Nashville Committee on Foreign Relations, Tennessee Minority Purchasing Council, Tennessee Advisory Committee of the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Governor’s Monitoring Committee. Guess currently serves on the boards of the Tennessee Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission; Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee; Nashville Minority Business Development Fund; Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Board of Officers and Directors; Metro Convention Center Authority; and the Nashville City Club. He is also a member American Legion Post 82-Inglewood and a life member of the NAACP.
Guess, a Nashville native, served in Military Intelligence with the U.S. Army during the Vietnam conflict. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in political science from Tennessee State University and a master’s of business administration from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. Later, he completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard University. He served as executive vice president of The Danner Company, a management and investment firm, and remains the executive director of the Danner Foundation, a family foundation that has contributed more than $10 million, largely to Tennessee programs addressing education and health. He also owns and operates Helicopter Corporation of America (HELICORP).
Waller is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee with offices in Birmingham, Alabama and Austin, Texas. With approximately 200 attorneys, Waller helps clients navigate a diverse range of complex transactional, regulatory and litigation issues across myriad industries. Founded in 1905, Waller has client relationships spanning decades because clients, time and again, come for the lawyer and stay for the firmSM. For more information, please visit www.wallerlaw.com.