Katherine Forbes, BA'11

Music Technology and Piano Performance | from Raleigh, NC

Owner, Designing the Row and Real Estate Agent, McAlister & Young
Katherine Forbes

How long have you lived in Nashville? I drove here the day after I graduated from Virginia Tech...which means I'm coming up on 8 years in Nashville!

For those new to town, what are some of your favorite things to do? From coffee at Edgehill Cafe, to lunch at Blue Moon Grille and a show at Station Inn, there is so much to do in Nashville. I have a blog post full of ideas!

What do you do, and how did you get into your line of work? I own my own website and brand design company, Designing the Row, and work primarily with musicians. When I was starting my business, I was looking to surround myself with other young women also pursuing their career goals so I started Music Biz Besties which has grown into a membership community of thousands of female musicians and industry professionals from all over the world! And, most recently I got my real estate license and am an agent at McAlister & Young.

I started taking piano lessons over twenty years ago and immediately fell in love with music! I knew from a very young age that music would always be part of my life. My interest in real estate started when my husband and I bought our first house. He's very handy (and has about a million and one different tools) and I love to decorate, so together we make a good pair. We are now living in our 3rd house in 5 years, so during the process of selling our last house I decided to get my license and am excited to be able to help others find their dream home in Nashville too!

Hot Chicken - Yay or nay? NAY

When you’re not working, how do you kick back around town? I'm honestly not very good at "not working" because I seem to turn all of my hobbies into jobs... but I love decorating the house, blogging, running the greenway and kayaking (in warmer weather!), and relaxing on the couch with my husband and dog!

Last question! What’s your favorite concert venue in Nashville? The Ryman! It's a bigger venue but still has an intimate vibe and amazing sound!

In addition to her many talents, Katherine designed koozies for the chapter.

All sales benefit our local chapter and scholarship fund. Visit our shop to buy one today!


Want to be featured? Drop us a line, tnhokies@gmail.com.

Doug Thompson, BA'01

Communication Studies | from Richmond, VA

Director, Talent Acquisition for Bridgestone supporting our Manufacturing and Research & Development space. Simply put, we hire technical talent for the organization

What brings you to Nashville? We moved to Nashville in October 2017 from Memphis where I worked for NIKE leading our North American Distribution recruiting team. I am the Director, Talent Acquisition for Bridgestone. We love it here!

How did you get into your line of work? Well, I knew I wanted to be a professional recruiter from an early age. Just kidding! A friend of mine at VT who graduated a semester prior shared with me that he had landed a position with a IT Staffing Firm (TekSystems) and that he thought it would be something I might like. That lead me to an interview with Apex Systems (one of TekSystems' biggest competitors). The rest is history...

Favorite Nashville Season? Fall!

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What are some of your favorite family-friendly activities around town? Pred and Sounds games, TopGolf, Nashville Zoo, Discovery Center. Anywhere where there is music playing!

For those new to town…Broadway is fun, but the best spots are in the other city neighborhoods (12 South, The Gulch, East Nashville). Spend more time exploring the city than just the HonkyTonk Bars.  

Want to be featured? Drop us a line, tnhokies@gmail.com.

Leah Williams - BS'15

Business Management and History | from Roanoke, VA

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I get to work every day to improve the lives of one of the most intelligent, beautiful and complex creatures on earth.

How long have you lived in Nashville? 3 years - time flies when you're having fun!

What do you do for work? Marketing Coordinator at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee (and own a bachelorette party planning company on the side, as well as a photography business).

How did you get into your line of work? I graduated with a business degree, but I knew I wanted to do something more "exciting" than just sitting at a desk all day staring at Excel spreadsheets or making phone calls. I found out about this thing called the music business, and packed up for Music City! I worked for an agency doing social media, email marketing, graphics, and website maintenance for musicians, Broadway actors, TV stars, and other brands. Within a couple years, I realized my passions didn't completely lie in entertainment. I wanted something more fulfilling, so I traveled for a bit to figure out what fulfillment might be. After working with elephants in Thailand, I noticed a job popped up at The Elephant Sanctuary, just 80 miles southwest of Nashville. They needed someone to do graphic design and video editing for their marketing department, and luckily that was exactly what I had been trained to do when I worked in music. It was the perfect fit and incredible timing! Now I get to work every day to improve the lives of one of the most intelligent, beautiful and complex creatures on earth.

When you're not working, how do you kick back in and around town? I love eating (Burger Up, Taj Indian food, Sam + Zoe's, and Bakersfield are some of my favs), going to dive bars and breweries, seeing movies at the drive-in theater in Watertown, cheering on the Sounds, walking the Pedestrian Bridge for good views of the city, attending Broadway shows at TPAC, going to 12 South for popsicles, watching salsa dancing at Plaza Mariachi, driving outside the city to hike with my dog, and hanging with my fellow Hokies!

Hot Chicken - Yay or Nay? YAY!

Last words... For a fun short day trip, visit the Elephant Discovery Center in Hohenwald (I might be biased though). Broadway is better on the weekdays because it's less crowded :) It's okay to be touristy in your own city sometimes (but not all the time) i.e. Pedal Taverns. Try the taco stands on Nolensville Pike even though they may look sketchy! Football game watch parties at Smokin' Thighs are a blast - come join us! Even though it's not technically Nashville, Franklin also has some fun hangs and good eats.

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Want to be featured? Drop us a line, tnhokies@gmail.com.