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  • P. Jeffrey Conn, Phd ('81)

    P. Jeffrey Conn, Phd ('81)

    After graduating from Lee with a B.S. in Psychology, Jeff Conn attended Vanderbilt University where he completed his PhD in Pharmacology before entering Yale for his postdoctoral work. In 1988 he joined the faculty at Emory University where he was promoted to full professor while researching the relationship between neurotransmitter receptors and neurological disorders. In 2000 Dr. Conn joined Merck and Company as the Senior Director of neuroscience before returning to Vanderbilt in 2003 as the founding Director of the Vanderbilt Program in Translational Neuropharmacology and the Director of the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery. Dr. Conn serves on numerous editorial boards and provides scientific oversight to several national organizations including the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research. He is recognized as a pioneer for his innovative approach to drug discovery which calls for collaboration between research universities and drug companies in order to produce superior medical solutions. Dr. Conn is the Lee E. Limbird Professor of Pharmacology. Jeff was the 2008 Alumnus of the Year. He and his wife, Dr. Anita Ball Conn (‘81), have three children and live in the Nashville area.

  • Brad Blackmon ('98)

    Brad Blackmon ('98)

    After finishing Lee with a BA in Communications and Public Relations, Brad went to work for a property management firm out of Chattanooga that took him to Madison, Wisconsin and Spartanburg, South Carolina. His skills as a motivator and team leader took him to the India based communications firm, Lowe Lintas, then to global advertising leader, Wunderman, where he oversaw the Microsoft account while living in London. Brad was promoted up through Wunderman finally reaching VP, Account Director at Washington based RTCRM, a subsidiary of Wunderman. One co-worker said of Brad, “He is a shining star in the agency world.”

    In 2010 he spent a year at the Chicago-based agency Draftfcb before being recruitedby advertising giant Ogilvy and Mather to lead a development team responsible for North American print, TV and web advertising for blue-chip client IBM. Today Brad lives in Manhattan, NY with his wife, April (Nicole) Daniels Balckmon (’99), and their son.

  • Jessica Usherwood ('99)

    Jessica Usherwood ('99)

    Jessica Usherwood, soprano, began her vocal studies at Lee University under the guidance of Virginia Horton. Upon graduation with a Bachelor of Arts in music, she studied with Valija Bumbulis of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee and completed a master’s degree in Voice Performance and Vocal Pedagogy at the Chicago College of Performing Arts of Roosevelt University.

    Jessica has appeared with the Chicago Opera Theater, at the Chicago Cultural Center, and in the celebrated Harris Theater, credited for contributing to the performing arts renaissance in downtown Chicago. Recently she inaugurated Lee University's Distinguished Alumni Recital Series, where she presented a program of American art songs.

    Jessica is the soprano of the International Chamber Artists (ICA). With ICA she has performed works including Mozart's Requiem, Britten's Les Illuminations, and Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915. During the 2010-‐2011 ICA season, Jessica performed works including Ralph Vaughn Williams' Ten Blake Songs and Giovanni Pergolesi's Stabat Mater. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University.

  • Cyndi Joiner ('82)

    Cyndi Joiner ('82)

    After graduating from Lee with a BA in Communications, Cyndi earned an MBA from Pfeiffer University and completed the School of Negotiations program at Harvard. In the business world she quickly developed a reputation for saving money by rethinking how the purchase of goods and services could be streamlined at the corporate level. Eventually her talents were spotted by the global finance giant GMAC, now Ally Financial, where she saved the company more than $150 million. In 2004 she went to work for the Chicago-based Huron Consulting before being hired by the turnaround management specialists, Alvarez & Marsal. Today Cyndi is a Managing Director at A&M and a 15-year consulting veteran credited with saving companies more than $350 million..


    She and her husband, Randy (’80), live in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

  • Herbert Parker ('80)

    Herbert Parker ('80)

    Herbert Parker began his career as a staff accountant at the global power and technology company ABB Group in Chattanooga.  For 28 years he was promoted through a series of positions of increasing responsibility. In 1994, he became Segment Controller for ABB China in Beijing.  In 1998 he was promoted to Vice President and Business Controller for ABB in Zurich, Switzerland. In 2002, Herbert was named Chief Financial Officer of the $12 billion global automation division based in Norwalk, CT.

    From 2008 to present Mr. Parker has served as the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Harman International Industries Inc., a company that designs, manufactures, and markets audio products. In 2012 he was elected to the Board of Directors for TMS International Corp., North America's largest provider of industrial outsourced services to the steel industry.

    Herbert earned a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Lee University.  He continued his education at Harvard Business School, completing the Executive Education program in Financial and Business Management and the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland.  In February 2009, the magazine, Black Enterprise, named Mr. Parker one of the most powerful corporate executives in America.  He currently lives in Weston, CT and is married and with two children, a 14 year old daughter and a 12 year old son.