Phil Bredesen

Phil Bredesen

The Nashville Entrepreneur Center on Wednesday announced its 2021 Hall of Fame inductees. Phil Bredesen, Lucius Burch, Leatrice McKissack and Trisha Yearwood will be honored at the annual NEXT Awards at Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Oct. 25.

The Nashville Entrepreneurs’ Hall of Fame honors individuals who have built a long-standing and meaningful career in Nashville. Previous Hall of Fame inductees include Dolly Parton, Darrell Freeman, Kix Brooks and Cordia Harrington.

“These are some of the most accomplished legends in their industry and in our Nashville entrepreneurial community,” Nashville Entrepreneur Center CEO Jane Allen said in a release. “Through their drive, perseverance and vision, this year’s Hall of Famers are incredible examples who inspire the future generation of entrepreneurs in the world, and as an organization built to support Nashville for years to come, we at the EC are thrilled to honor them and their accomplishments.”

Bredesen was a successful entrepreneur before being elected mayor of Nashville and governor of Tennessee. He founded, grew and then sold HealthAmerica Corp., a Nashville-based health care management company. After politics, he founded solar energy ventures Clearloop and Silicon Ranch, the latter of which has partnered with Shell.

Burch is the chairman and CEO of Nashville-based Burch Investment Group. His near-50-year career in venture capital has been focused on corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and management consulting.

McKissack took control of McKissack & McKissack in the 1980s. Founded in 1905, it is one of the oldest Black-owned design and construction firms in the country.   

Yearwood is a best-selling country music performer and author.

Further, two founders will be honored at the event in the categories of “emerging entrepreneur” for those with companies with less than $1 million revenue and “entrepreneur of 2021” for those with revenues exceeding $1 million.

The finalists for the two awards include:

Entrepreneur of 2021:

  • Deeannah Seymour – pH-D Feminine Health
  • Joan Butters – XSOLIS
  • Silas Deane –VendEngine, Inc.
  • Travis Messina – Contessa

Emerging Entrepreneur of 2021:

  • Deanna Meador – Couture Technologies
  • Joshua Mundy – Pivot Technology School
  • Karen Williams – MinTech Agency
  • Luke Benda – Healing Innovations, Inc.