Alumni Board Member Bios
Edward Barker '57
Eddie was born and raised in Chattanooga Tennessee. As a Webb student, he enjoyed sports and what he calls the "Tom Sawyer atmosphere" at Webb, meaning exploring caves, swimming in a stream about 5 miles from the school, running in the cake race, and building relationships with friends and classmates, many of whom he is still close to, today.
Eddie is a lawyer and partner at Barker, Leon, and Fancher L.L.P. in Corpus Christi, TX. He earned his BA from the University of Tennessee and his J.D. from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio. He is a recipient of a Vietnam Campaign Service Medal, an Army Commendation Medal, and has served on many non-profit boards including the Multiple Sclerosis Society, The Hearth Home for the Aged, and the Del Mar Kiwanis Club.
"I have had an abiding love for Webb ever since I graduated," he says. "I tell people that whatever I have become I owe it all to my mother and to Webb School. When I first came to Webb, I was floundering. Four years later I was a confident person ready for the future. Where else can you get that?"
Jack Bailey '72
Jack was born in Nashville, TN. He attended Webb for two years, graduating with the “notorious” class of 1972. Jack attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville where he earned his B.S. in Business Administration focused on real estate and urban development. Jack has worked in commercial real estate appraisal since 1984.
Jack enjoys reading, off-road motorcycles, and his three grandchildren.
In addition to many years of service on the Alumni Board, Jack has been coordinating and hosting class of ’72 gatherings for many years. When asked about his reasons for serving so faithfully on the Webb Alumni Board, Jack says that he serves in order “to support the ongoing efforts to keep Webb School the unique and outstanding institution that it has been for 140 years.”
Wilson Sims Jr. '72
Sims was born in Nashville, TN. He attended Webb for four years before
graduating as an old guard member of the “notorious” class of 1972.
During his Webb years, Wilson served as prefect, was a member of the
social committee, the soccer team, and was voted “friendliest” by his
classmates. He worked in the Webb Admissions Office from 1978-1980 and
has served as class agent for the class of 1972 for many years, earning
frequent recognition for his service.
Wilson earned a B.A. from
the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.B.A. from
Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management. He worked with
not-for-profit organizations in North Carolina for several years before
beginning a consulting practice in Columbia, South Carolina in 1986. He
established Sims & Steele Consulting in Asheville, NC in 1994.
father, Wilson “Woody” Sims Sr. is a Webb graduate of the class of
1942, and currently serves as Trustee Emeritus on the Webb Board of
Wilson is an active outdoorsman who enjoys cycling,
tennis, fly fishing, “slow” food cooking, and many other outdoor
activities. Wilson has remained connected with Webb for many years,
including past service on the Alumni Board and as Alumni Chair of the
Webb Fund. He has been very “energized by the school’s leadership
,” and is excited to commit time to serving Webb’s Alumni Board once again.
Sharon Bell '75
Sharon Bell was born in Shelbyville, TN. She attended Webb for two years and was among the first few classes of young women to graduate from The Webb School since the 1940’s when Webb became an all-boys school. As a Webb student, Sharon was a member of the National Honor Society and the Cum Laude Society. She participated in the Interact Club, Speech and Drama, and the Sawney Yearbook Staff. Sharon remained a leader among Webb alumni, serving on the Webb School Board of Trustees from 1996-2008.
Sharon attended Bell Mont College and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, graduating with a B.S. in Agriculture. She is currently a creator of informational products for the horse industry and is heavily involved with volunteer leadership. Sharon has also contributed time and service to the Jewish Federation of Middle Tennessee, WPLN Nashville Public Radio, Women in Numbers, and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Formerly Sharon was a lobbyist with the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry and headed a residential real estate development company.
George B. Huddleston Jr. '76
George was born in Murfreesboro, TN. He attended Webb for four years, graduating in 1976. George earned his B.A. in Engineering Science from Vanderbilt University. He is currently the President of Huddleston Oil Co. in Murfreesboro, TN.
Webb is a family tradition for the Huddleston family: George’s father, many cousins, all 3 siblings, and both of his children also attended The Webb School.
In addition to many years of service to Webb, the Church and community service are very important to George: he is a founding member of the Fellowship United Methodist Church, is past President and Treasurer of the Murfreesboro Rotary Club, is currently the Chairman of the Murfreesboro Municipal Airport Commission, and is past President and Board member of Community Helpers of Rutherford County. Other service roles to Webb include service as a student member of the Board of Trustees in the late 1970’s, and President of the Webb School Parents’ Association in 2006 and 2007.
George is an outdoorsman who enjoys hunting and fly fishing, and he is also a licensed pilot who enjoys flying for recreation.
Of his service to Webb, George says, “I seek to serve the school than has served such a formative role in my personal goals, values, relationships and outlooks on life. Long before Rev. Rick Warren (founder of Saddleback Church) wrote ‘The Purpose Driven Life,’ Sawney Webb taught us to make a difference with our lives. From his death bed, Sawney said: ‘Give my boys my love and tell them to lead a large life. A large life is no mere piffle but one that makes the world better because you have lived…When you come to the end, you will find that the only things that are worthwhile are character and the help you have given to other people…And don’t forget, don’t do anything that you’ve got to hide
Charlie Palmer '77
Charlie was born in Shelbyville, TN. He attended Webb for one year: that year made a lasting impact on his life and desire to give back to Webb.
Charlie attended Auburn University and earned his B.S. in Biology from Emory University in 1982. A 1983 graduate of the Computer Science Graduate Program at the Citadel and College of Charleston, Charlie’s initial career path took him into technology. He was General Manager of Omega Software, Director/General manager for RSM Honeywell Systems, and sales manager for BULL Information Systems, VP of Sales for IBM, and VP of ORACLE practice at Earnst & Young, LLP, in addition to a brief time as an Investment Banker with Merrill Lynch. Today Charlie is General Manager of Palmer Designs in Atlanta, land developers and timber farming/management.
Charlie is an avid golfer, and also enjoys yachting, aviation, performance boat racing, and rock climbing.
Of his service to Webb, Charlie says, “I love meeting alumni and friends of Webb! It’s very fulfilling to witness Webb’s success!”
Mary Chamberlin '83
Mary was born in Atlanta, GA. She attended Webb as a boarding student for two years – although she did not graduate from Webb, Mary’s friendships and service keep her connected with the Webb community. Mary attended Georgia Southern University, Clayton State, Kennesaw State, and Georgia Perimeter College. She has worked in sales with Grainger Industrial Supply for 16 years. Mary’s interests include history, travel, and cooking. Mary’s service as class agent has re-connected many of her Webb classmates to Webb.
Sandra Berns Press '85
Sandra Berns Press was born in Washington, DC. She attended Webb as a boarding student for two years, graduating with the class of 1985. As a student, Sandra was a member of the Student Council and the Interact Club. She earned a B.A. from Wheaton College and an M.A. from Duke University. Sandra remained connected to Webb after graduation thru her close Webb friends and her friendship with the Lagler family. She pays her Webb experience forward thru her own service as a teacher: Sandra taught ancient medieval world history for ten years and most recently AP Psychology at the high school level.
Sandra’s interests include business and world travel. She is excited about her recent return to the Nashville area and her ability to serve thru the Alumni Board’s special project committee.
Barbara Grobicki '86
Barbara is from Knoxville, TN and attended Webb for 4 years, graduating in 1986. She has served as class agent since graduating, and this is her second time to serve on the alumni board.
Barbara graduated from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 1991 with a B.A. in Urban Studies. She is currently the Director of Development for UT's College of Business Administration. In addition to her volunteer service to Webb's alumni board, she also serves on the boards of Knoxville Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Blount Mansion, and Kingswood School, a children's home in Grainger Co.
"Webb had a very formative influence on me and what I have become and the person that I am," said Barbara. "I appreciate the privilege of being able to continue being involved!"
David McElroy '86
David McElroy is originally from Huntsville, Alabama. He attended Webb as a boarding student for four years, graduating as a member of the Old Guard with the class of 1986. As a Webb student David served on the Sawney and Oracle staffs and was a member of the History Club. In his senior year David was voted “wittiest” by his classmates and received the Carl Mallory Harwell III Award at graduation.
David is a graduate of Emory University with a degree in Economics and History. He received his M.B.A in Finance from Georgia State University. David also serves as a Trustee for Georgia Community Support and Solutions and has served on The Webb School Board of Trustees as the Chairman of the Investment Committee for The Webb School Endowment.
David has 18 years of financial industry experience and has held senior positions in client service and sales at Invesco and Cornerstone Investment Partners. David joined RidgeWorth Investments in March 2009 and is responsible for Consultant Relations and Institutional Sales in the South.
In an expression of his personal sense of value for Webb, David says “I have not only been honored to be a Webb School graduate, but proud to have served the school. Webb had such a impact on my life, every day I have a reminder of the values that I will carry with me the rest of my life
Julie Newton Anderson '90
Julie was born in Florida and grew up in Virginia and Manchester, TN. She attended Webb for three years. She married James Anderson ’89; they have two children who are current Webb students: Jack and Gray.
Julie earned a B.A. from the Newcomb College at Tulane University; she spent her Junior year of college abroad at St Andrews Scotland. She is currently a freelance writer and a standardized test creator for Discovery Education. One of her writing projects is affiliated with fellow Webb alumna Alli Summerford Deming ’90. http://www.liketotally80s.com
Julie is motivated to serve on the alumni board by her affection for Webb and her desire to contribute to the school and community.
Benjamin W. Blakeley '93
Ben was born in Boston, MA and now lives in Atlanta, GA. He was a boarding student at Webb for six years, graduating as a member of the Ancient Guard with the class of 1993. As a student Ben was a member of the Student Council and served on the Honor Council from 1988 through 1993. He was a member of the National Honor Society, the Cum Laude Society, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Latin Club, and played Varsity Soccer, Baseball, Tennis, Golf, and Lacrosse.
Ben attended Davidson College where he earned his B.A. in History; he earned his M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 2004. Ben’s career includes experience as a real estate analyst with Costar Group, Director of Research with Colliers Turley Martin Tucker, Manager of Real Estate Capital Markets with Ernst & Young, VP of Finance and Acquisitions with Julian LeCraw & Co. He is currently in Real Estate Investment Acquisitions with Metzler Realty Advisors in Atlanta.
In addition to his service to Webb as Class Agent and Alumni Board member, Ben is involved with the Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church, Junior Achievement, Habitat for Humanity, the Urban Land Institute, NAIOP, and the University of Tennessee Alumni Association. His personal interests include fly-fishing, soccer, hunting, and reading.
Ben is married to Rachel Blakeley, and they have two children, Meg and William.
Jennifer Rupley Smith '93
Jennifer was born in Bell Buckle, TN. She attended Webb for five years, graduating as a member of the Ancient Guard with the class of 1993. As a student she was involved in many activities, including the Son Will Society, the Oracle staff, the Spanish Club, Interact Club, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She also won the Erin A. Hinkle award and the Studio Art Award. She remained connected to Webb after graduation thru her service as a class agent. Webb is certainly a Rupley Family tradition: Jennifer’s father and mother are former long-time faculty, and Jennifer’s brother Jeff graduated from Webb in 2002.
Jennifer attended Belmont University where she earned her B.S. in Marketing and became a member of Phi Mu National Women’s fraternity. She worked in healthcare marketing for 15 years. Her current interests include caring for her twin daughters, volunteering for Habitat for Humanity and MOPS International, and travel.
Erin Henrick '94
Erin is from Shelbyville, TN. She came to Webb in 1990 and graduated in 1994. As a Webb student, she was involved in volleyball, softball, drama, choir, the honor council, and many different clubs and activities.
After Webb, Erin earned her B.A. from the University of Georgia, and later earned her M.Ed. and Ed.D. from Vanderbilt University. Erin returned to Webb after graduating from UGA to teach 9th and 11th grade English and work in the residential community, serving many different roles, including Davis and Cooper Farris Dorm Head, Director of Activities, and Director of Residential Life. She now works at Vanderbilt University as a project manager of a NSF grant, researching instructional improvement in middle school math in large urban school districts.
Erin enjoys spending her free time with her family (husband Josh Henrick '94 and young children Luke, Audrey and Jake, and four aging dogs (3 of which were acquired as strays around Bell Buckle!) Her family is active in St. Phillip Church in Franklin, TN.
Erin wanted to serve on Webb’s alumni board because, "I have strong connections to Webb as a high school student and as a past faculty member. As a professional educator, I want to give back to a school that shaped who I am in so many different ways.”
Stuart M. Smith '99
Stuart was born in Mountain View, MO. He was a boarding student at Webb for four years, graduating as a member of the Old Guard with the class of 1999. As a student he was a member of the Son Will Society, the cross-country team, and the Lacrosse team.
Stuart attended the University of Missouri at Columbia, receiving his B.S. in Forestry. He is currently forest manager and project manager at family-owned Smith Flooring, Inc, and is pursuing an M.B.A. at Missouri State University. Stuart is also president of both the Mountain View Rotary Club and the heart of the Ozarks United Way Board.
Of his desire to serve Webb on the Alumni Board, Stuart says that he would like to “impact Webb as positively as it impacted me.”
Lindsey Grissom Fournier '01
Lindsey was born in Shelbyville, TN. She attended Webb for six years, graduating as a member of the Ancient Guard in 2001. As a Webb student Lindsey was a member of the Oracle staff, the Son Will Society, received the MVP Award in Varsity Girls’ Soccer and was voted Most Athletic by her peers. Lindsey was also very involved with the Outerlimits program and received a Wilderness Skills academic award at her graduation. Webb is a family tradition for Lindsey: Lindsey’s sister Lauren graduated in 2003 and her sister Karly is currently a Webb student. Lindsey is married to her Webb sweetheart, Tryon Fournier '00. They have two daughters, Amelia and Ruby.
Lindsey earned a B.S. in Marketing and Management from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She returned to Webb to serve as Assistant Director of Admissions until 2009, and today she is a Development Coordinator for the Middle Tennessee Medical Center Foundation.
Lindsey served as the chair of Webb’s 2010 Alumni Reunion. She says she serves on the alumni board “as a way to give back to Webb and to try to make it a better place for its students, faculty, and alumni.”
Rachael L. Spangler '01
Rachael was born in Chattanooga, TN. She attended Webb for four years, graduating as a member of the Old Guard with the class of 2001. As a Webb student, Rachael was a member of the Student Council, the Cum Laude Society, received the Vanderbilt Book Prize, and multiple awards in Softball and Basketball. At her Webb graduation Rachael received a Magna Cum Laude Bible, an Honors Diploma, and the President’s Award for Educational Excellence. Rachael is married to her Webb sweetheart Nick Spangler ’01; her brothers Matt Layman ’03 and Rhett Layman ’07 are also Webb Graduates.
Rachael attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville College of Architecture and Design. She is currently an architect and the Green Building Coordinator at Johnson, Johsnon, Crabtree Architects in Nashville.
Rachael enjoys travel, hiking, cooking, and home-brewing beer. In addition to her service on the Webb Alumni Board, she is also involved with Habitat for Humanity. Rachael says of her service on the Alumni Board that she wants to “give back to a wonderful community that has given me so much.”
Caitlin R. Roberts '03
Caitlin Roberts was born in Manchester, TN. She attended Webb for three years, graduating with the class of 2003. Caitlin currently serves as co-class agent for the class of 2003. As a Webb student, Caitlin was a member of the Son Will society, Interact Club, the Young Republicans, and a member of the girls’ soccer and basketball teams. Her brother John Roger graduated from Webb in 2006. Caitlin is currently engaged to marry her Webb sweetheart, Thomas Jennings ’03, on May 14, 2011.
Caitlin attended Lipscomb University where she earned her B.S. in Marketing and Business Management. She spent three years with the Civic Bank and Trust in Nashville, TN before opening Roberts Insurance in John Roberts Toyota/Nissan in Manchester, TN. Caitlin enjoys travel, reading, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.
Of her enthusiasm for Webb, Caitlin says, “I love Webb! I hope to make a difference in the Webb community while keeping the traditions that make Webb unique
Chase Spurlock '05
Chase was born in Murfreesboro, TN. He attended Webb for six years before graduating as an ancient guard member of the class of 2005. Chase served as president of the Student Council his senior year, in addition to service on the Honor Council and membership in the National Honor Society. At his Webb graduation Chase received a Summa Cum Laude Bible, Honors Diploma, and the President’s Award for Academic Excellence.
Chase recently earned his B.S. with Honors in Biology from the University of the South at Sewanee, graduating Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. While a student at Sewanee, Chase progressed to Student Fire Chief of the Sewanee Volunteer Fire Department and Chair of the Honor Council. Upon graduation he received the University of the South’s highest service honor, the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Medallion, awarded to the graduating senior who “best exemplifies character, leadership, and service to the University and to the Sewanee community.”
Chase is currently a graduate student at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. His career interests include medicine and biomedical research. His research at Vanderbilt investigates therapeutic targets in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory disease.
In addition to his studies, Chase is an active outdoorsman who enjoys hunting, fishing, shooting sports (trap and sporting clays), and wetland management and conservation.
Of his service to Webb, Chase says, “Webb holds a special place in my life. Throughout my Webb career, I learned a great deal about leadership and the importance of honor. I look forward to working with other board members to strengthen the Webb experience for every member of our community