Alumni Board Member Bios
Wilson Sims Jr. '72
Sims was born in Nashville, Tenn. 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, S.C., 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.
Webb Follin '73
Webb Follin, III was born in Nashville, Tenn. He arrived in
Bell Buckle in the fall of 1969 and graduated in the spring of 1973 as a member
of the Old Guard. In addition to being a prefect, playing on the soccer and
basketball teams, Webb was also a member of the social committee and athletic
council. Since graduation, he has served as a student trustee, class agent, and
member of the Board of Trustees.
Webb attended the University of Alabama earning his B.A. in Communications in 1978. Beginning in 1985, he began working in the investment and redevelopment real estate business, where he continues today. He also founded a bottled water company in 1990, ultimately selling the operation in 2000. In his spare time, Webb enjoys many outdoor activities including fishing, hunting, and landscaping.
Currently serving as class agent and as a member of the Alumni Board, Webb states, "I grew and learned so much during my four years at The Webb School. Serving on the Alumni Board provides another opportunity to help the school so that others might also benefit from a Webb education."
Bob Davies '74
Moe Hill '75 Moe Hill was born in Nashville, Tenn. He attended Webb for four years, graduating in the class of 1975. While there, he played on the soccer team, was a prefect, was elected class president his last three years, and was president of the honor council. As a member of Interact, he scooped ice cream at Miss Jeanne's, and enjoyed an occasional chocolate shake on the house!
Moe attended Sewanee and graduated with a degree in English. He is the owner and president of a residential painting company, which he started soon after college. He and his wife, Jess, have three children. Moe enjoys reading, golf, guitar, travel, hiking, and time with his family.
Moe has served as a student trustee, class agent, and is proud to serve on the alumni board again so that he can give back to the school that has given him so much.
George B. Huddleston Jr. '76
George was born in Murfreesboro, Tenn. 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, Tenn.
Webb is a family tradition for the Huddleston family. George’s father, many cousins, all three 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, Tenn. 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, vice president of sales for IBM, and vice president 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!”
Irv ashford '87
Irvin Ashford, Jr. is senior vice president of corporate and public affairs, director of community development and external affairs for Comerica Bank. He graduated Webb in 1987 after coming to Tennessee from New York City. After Webb, he graduated of Oberlin College in Ohio, and earned dual master’s degrees – one in Public Affairs from the University of Texas and one in Business Administration from the University of Dallas.
Irv credits Webb with transforming his life, as part of remarks he shared with students at Webb in the fall of 2013.
“Webb opened the door to a world that had been closed to me previously. It was my navigator.”
Irv joined Comerica Bank in 2000 and is very involved in the community and civic organizations. He received Comerica’s Volunteer of the Year Award and the Chairman’s Outstanding Achievement Award for leadership and quality. He was named to the 2007 United States delegate class of the British-American Project. Irv is also a Woodrow Wilson International Studies and Public Policy Fellow, an American Marshall Fellow, and a Zeit-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius Fellow. In 2008, he earned the Dallas Business Journal’s Minority Business Leader Award for his work and outstanding leadership in the business community.
His civic and community involvement includes serving on the board of directors for the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, The People Fund, Kym’s Kids, Nova Charter Academy, Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau. He also serves on the Dallas affiliate board of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and the Texas Women’s Empowerment Foundation. Irv is a lifetime member of The National Black MBA Association and a member of the Urban Financial Services Coalition and the National Forum of Black Public Administrators.
curtis jenkins '92
Benjamin W. Blakeley '93
Ben was born in Boston, Mass., 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 a 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, vice president 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, Tenn. 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 longtime faculty members, 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, Tenn. 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 (three of which were acquired as strays around Bell Buckle!) Her family is active in St. Phillip Church in Franklin, Tenn.
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.”
Ted goodman '02
Caitlin R. Roberts Jennings '03
Caitlin Roberts Jennings was born in Manchester, Tenn. 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 married to her Webb sweetheart, Thomas Jennings ’03.
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, Tenn., before opening Roberts Insurance in John Roberts Toyota/Nissan in Manchester. 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.”
Hudson Byrd '05
Hudson Byrd was a boarding student for four years. While at The
Webb School, he played lacrosse and ran cross country. Hudson was a member of
Son Will Society, president of the Young Republicans, served as senior class president and graduated in 2005 as a member of the Old Guard.
Hudson graduated from the University of the South in 2009 with a B.A. in European History and a minor in Religion. During his time there, he was a member of the Order of the Gownsmen, an academic honors society. After Sewanee, he moved to Washington, D.C., in early 2010, where he began working for Congressman Larry Bucshon of Indiana. During his nearly two and a half years, Hudson served as an assistant then legislative correspondent while also working with communications and serving as a source for agricultural issues and legislation. In early 2013, Hudson returned home to Charleston, Mo., to assist his brother, Nelson Byrd ‘99, in the transition and growth of Byrdland Farms Inc. As the fourth generation to be involved in farming, Hudson and his brother have pushed to implement new technology, update grain facilities, and continue efforts to focus on soil fertility and conservation. Hudson is also involved with wildlife and habitat management. Currently, he splits his time between Charleston and Nashville to explore additional interests.
Hudson’s family has a long connection with Webb and he is proud to carry on the tradition of involvement with the school. “I think there is a reason that consecutive generations of families believe in a Webb education,” he said. “My experiences with those who taught me remain invaluable. My time at Webb inspired my interest in numerous subjects and molded my view of individual character. I think the next few years hold great opportunity for Webb, and I am excited to be a part of it.”
sarah delisle '05
DeLisle is originally from Murfreesboro, Tenn., but currently resides in
Nashville. She attended Webb for six years and was a member of the Ancient
Guard. She received a Summa Cum Laude Bible with an Honors Diploma when she
graduated in 2005. Sarah also received the Anna Landis Hightower Award for
graduating at the top of her class. During her time at Webb, Sarah served on
the Honor Council for six years, and she was vice president her senior year.
During her senior year, Sarah also served as the president of the Student
Activities Council and Interact Service Club. Some of Sarah’s fondest memories
were when she was on stage, participating in numerous Webb productions.
After graduating from Webb, Sarah attended Vanderbilt University. She graduated summa cum laude with high honors in 2009 with a double major in Early Childhood Education and Child Studies. While at Vanderbilt, Sarah served on the Vanderbilt Honor Council. Based on Sarah’s GPA and service, she was selected to represent Peabody College as the Banner Bearer during her graduation in 2009. Sarah graduated from Vanderbilt again in the spring of 2010 with a Master’s in Learning and Instruction.
Sarah taught kindergarten and third grade in a Metro Nashville school. She returned to Vanderbilt, where she currently serves as the educational consultant and coordinator of the kindergarten through sixth grade programs at Vanderbilt Programs for Talented Youth. In her spare time, Sarah is involved in the Vanderbilt Young Alumni and attends many Vanderbilt football and basketball games along with her older brother Michael, a 2002 graduate of Webb. Sarah also enjoys participating in a variety of service opportunities through her involvement with Junior League of Nashville.
Sarah is excited about serving on Webb’s Alumni Board. “I think Webb’s leadership team, board members, and staff have found a wonderful balance between tradition and innovation. I am excited for Webb’s future, but I am also reassured that Webb alumni can always “come home” to a recognizable place that is so special to so many people,” she said.
Chase Spurlock '05
Chase was born in Murfreesboro, Tenn. 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 Ccair 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