Meet the men whose wide ranging talents help make Brentwood a great place to live.
Brentwood Lifestyle is pleased to introduce you to some of the men who make our corner of Williamson County an exceptional place to live. We caught up with them recently in CityPark at The Boardroom Salon to learn more about Brentwood’s Boys of Summer.
Founder and Owner, Principle Cigars
As a college student, Darren Cioffi spent time traveling abroad, building a network of friends in 50 countries which led to his obsession with cigars. “I searched far and wide to satisfy my demanding palette,” he says. “I spent two decades tasting bizarre, rare and outlandish cigars—and I’m fortunate to say that today my library of vintage cigars spans the world with examples dating back to the 1870s.” The Long Island native’s passion for tobacco extends to cigar label artwork, which forms the foundation of his antique paper archives, one of the largest such collections in the world.
Sportscaster, Channel 4 News, WSMV-TV
Joe Dubin became fascinated with television during one of his early jobs as a bartender. “I used to see these guys come in and was interested in the stories they told,” says the former college football player (Samford). Dubin eventually took a job as a cameraman, worked in sports talk radio, and then on air at WKRN-TV. Dubin believes deeply in the philosophy of “if you want something, go do it.” That approach has served him well on air and enabled him to persevere when things weren’t going well. “I was told ‘no’ so many times,” he says, “You have to hold on and prove others wrong.”
Physical Therapist, Entrepreneur, Youth Pastor
Since he was a teenage food runner for the Nashville Sounds, Bryant Hall has aspired to help others and to own his own business. He has seen both to fruition. He has worked for 10 years at Star Physical Therapy in Brentwood as a physical therapist, and serves as a youth pastor at Buena Vista Church of Christ in Nashville. Hall’s father serves as pastor of the church, which is in the process of building a Family Crisis Center for at-risk youth. In 2012, Hall and three partners started their own public speaking, coaching and training business, MTN Universal. Their motto is to “help others to dream big and pursue their greatness.” For leisure, Hall spends time with his wife, Chaitra, and their three sons – Bryant, Jr. (8), Bryce (6) and Braylon (2). He also enjoys traveling and has done missionary work in Honduras.
Chairman and CEO, American Hometown Media
You wouldn’t know by his unassuming nature that Dan Hammond launched the three largest publishing companies in U.S. history. But that’s what the Brentwood entrepreneur was able to achieve by telling “the good news of people living in small towns.” Today his focus is on American Hometown Media, which is, in essence, a “Facebook for recipes.” It consists of the social, vertical website justapinch.com, which houses over 485,000 recipes to date and is the largest online repository of recipes in the U.S. Hammond is also a competitive athlete and will participate in the World Championship Duathlon in Aviles, Spain this month. Earlier this year he placed sixth in his age group in the U.S. National Duathlon. But when asked what inspires him most, he says, “Outside of my faith and spiritually, the truth is I’m a Boy Scout at heart. I like seeing people do good things for one another.”
Chief Marketing Officer, Fulin’s Restaurants
Brandon Lin was a young boy living in China when his father came to the United States and was granted political asylum. Lin immigrated in 2004, and eventually settled in Brentwood with his family. He was born into the restaurant business and was helping to manage the Brentwood Fulin’s while he was still in high school. His proudest moment came when he was accepted to New York University, where he could study and see the part of the country where his father once lived. At age 26, Lin is the Chief Marketing Officer of the Fulin’s chain, which consists of 10 restaurants in Tennessee and two in Alabama. Says Lin, “I have seen my father succeed in this business for his family, and I want to do the same for this community.”
Senior Vice President and Trust Advisor, Regions
Stephen Peluso is just like any other ex-cop bank-executive with a law degree that moonlights as a musician. The Connecticut native left the streets as a New York City police officer to study law, only to move to the Nashville area where he settled in Brentwood and now serves as a wealth manager for Regions bank. But it’s music that is his true passion. He plays piano, saxophone and clarinet but his specialty is guitar. He loves hard rock and has a soft spot for Memphis soul. He is also a dedicated supporter of the performing arts, and sits on the board of the Nashville Ballet and the Nashville Children’s Theater. “I love the variety and diversity of the performing arts in Nashville,” he says.
Steven Rogers has been fascinated by electricity for as long as he can remember and since 1998 has been working as an electrical contractor throughout Middle Tennessee. He received his M.A. license in 2003, and currently owns his own company that takes pride in creating close professional relationships with clients. He enjoys the hands-on aspect of his job and is inspired by the team he’s put together. In his free time, he can be found on local waterways. While he still enjoys waterskiing and wakeboarding, he admits that he spends more time just hanging out than making waves. Rogers has worked on projects ranging from dental offices to restaurants and retail spaces. “There’s always something exciting around the corner,” he says.
Owner/Founder, Eric Stewart Insurance Agency
Eric Stewart moved to Franklin three years ago following a faith-driven, life-changing event. He opened the Eric Stewart Insurance Agency in the Westhaven community of Franklin. “The fun part about this business is that I am building it from the ground up. It is challenging and fun,” Stewart says. “It is important to me that everything we do is done for the right reasons. I strive to provide better coverage and better prices. I don’t care what we do, as long as we do it right.” The youngest of nine children, the Pittsburgh native grew up in a low-income neighborhood where he worked odd jobs before paying his way through college as a coal industry laborer.
Attorney, Bankruptcy Department at Wilson and Associates
As an actual Brentwood native, Michael Wennerlund is a bit of a rarity in these parts. He only left to attend college but returned to attend the Nashville School of Law. In his current role at Brentwood’s Wilson and Associates he enjoys the challenge of being in court. “My role has really changed a lot over time, but it’s been a good, ongoing process,” he says. Wennerlund is an avid sportsman and golfer. He’s played in adult hockey leagues and lacrosse leagues. He currently lives in Crieve Hall.
Visit The Boardroom online at TheBoardroomSalon.com.