Staff, Fellows and Interns

Nashville Civic Design Center Staff

Staff

Gary Gaston

Gary Gaston

Gary Gaston is the Executive Director of the Nashville Civic Design Center, and also serves as a Lecturer with the University of Tennessee College of Architecture + Design. He joined NCDC in 2002, and has led numerous planning and design efforts for the organization. Gary was a contributor to The Plan of Nashville: Avenues to a Great City, published by Vanderbilt University Press in 2005, and co-authored Moving Tennessee Forward: Models for Connecting Communities, published in 2012. Gary served as the project director and executive producer of the National Endowment for the Arts funded documentary film Design Your Neighborhood; and is co-author of the book, Shaping the Healthy Community: The Nashville Plan, released by Vanderbilt University Press in April 2016. 

Gary is a Tau Sigma Delta Honor Society Silver Medal recipient, and was named by Next City Magazine as a “Next American Vanguard” in 2010; he was a member of the 2010-2011 Leadership Nashville class; is an alumnus of the Young Leaders Council; serves on the board of directors of The District, and has served on the boards of Nashville CARES, Artrageous, LGBT Chamber of Commerce and Historic Nashville Inc., and advisory boards for Transit Now Nashville and Urban Green Lab. 

Ron Yearwood

Ron Yearwood

Ron is a Nashville native, urban designer with degrees in both architecture + urban design. He is the Assistant Director of the Nashville Civic Design Center and coordinates the NCDC's Young Urbanists group, PARK(ing) Day Nashville, PechaKucha Night Nashville, and enjoys urban farming in his community garden. He has a passion for creating and envisioning a more livable, better connected and healthier city. Ron joined the NCDC February 2010 as a design fellow and soon after took on the lead coordinator for Envisioning Nashville 2035, made possible by a grant provided by TDOT and the MPO. This project consists of a series of reports dealing with transportation, public spaces, development and bridge design considerations. Ron co-authored the Center's recent publication Moving Tennessee Forward: Models for Connecting Communities. Ron also actively participates in the ACE mentoring program with Glencliff High school students, as a representative from the NCDC, Vice President of Transit Now Nashville and helps organize TURBO Nashville (Tactical Urbanism Organizers). Ron holds a Bachelors of Architecture from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. As a graduate, he worked as an associate AIA with Gresham Smith & Partners in Nashville, TN. In 2008 he returned to graduate school where he earned his Masters in Urban Design from the ETH, Zurich, Switzerland. Emphasis was placed on the role of urban design as a key discipline in the formation of sustainably built environments.

Melody Gibson

Melody Gibson

Melody is a 2009 graduate from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where she completed a Bachelor of Architecture.  After graduating from UT, she moved to Denver, CO, to teach high school math with Teach For America.  While in Denver, she earned a Masters of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Colorado – Denver.  In 2012, she moved to Nashville where she continues to teach high school math.  With the Civic Design Center, Melody is combining her architecture and education background to work on the Design your Neighborhood project.  She is also excited about the opportunity to expand her knowledge of urban design principles. 

Fuller Hanan

Fuller Hanan

As the Community Development Coordinator, Fuller's current focus is on evaluating the impact of health disparities created by the built environment and providing policy recommendations and design strategy solutions to improve public health in two counties in Tennessee through a Health Impact Project grant funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Fuller serves on the AIA Middle Tennessee Emerging Professionals Committee, is an active member of ULI serving on the Women in ULI committee, and is helping expand the Nashville Civic Design Center’s Reclaiming Public Space initiative as a founding member of TURBO: Tactical Urbanism Organizers.

Fuller holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Auburn University’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture where she participated in the Rural Studio, studied abroad in Ecuador and spent her thesis year at the Urban Studio studying and working with two distinct Alabama communities utilizing an assets-based approach to community and neighborhood planning to develop both short term and long-range plans for preservation, economic growth and an overall improved quality of life. While at the Urban Studio she had the unique opportunity to participate in the Birmingham R/UDAT in response to the devastating April 2011 tornadoes.

Eric Hoke

Eric Hoke

Eric was raised in the Chicago area but now calls Nashville home. He earned a bachelors degree in Interior Architecture from Ohio University and specializes in graphics and 3D models. His thesis, a high-speed rail hub that would be located in Chicago, was designed to connect the Midwest by efficient train travel. Since then he has worked for several design related organizations. He drew construction documents and built a web site for Lake Forest Landmark Development, a residential architecture firm north of Chicago. Eric has also worked in medical design for a company called Clean Rooms West where he drew construction documents and built 3D models for hospital cleanrooms. Leeder, a Chicago based company, commissioned Eric to design dorm room furniture. 

Joe Mayes

Joe Mayes

Joe moved to Nashville from Redmond, Washington in December of 2013 and joined the design center the following March.  Joe earned a B.A. in Economics from York College of Pennsylvania and enjoyed participating in the music department throughout his time in college.  At the design center, Joe researched for the Shaping the Healthy Community: The Nashville Plan publication and helped create the Bankers Alley booklet.  In addition to these publications, Joe organizes events, assists in various TURBO events, and helps research for projects at NCDC.

Jolie Ayn Yockey

Jolie Ayn Yockey

Jolie Ayn Yockey has spent over fifteen years managing, marketing and consulting with organizations of all sizes. Ms. Yockey comes to us most recently from a tenure with Nashville Farmers’ Market in which she developed and executed event, communication and marketing programming. In her previous work with Whole Foods Market Ms. Yockey served as Marketing Team Leader overseeing creative design, donation and sponsorship programs, events and demonstration. Ms. Yockey holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, 32 hours in Masters of Business Administration from Indiana University, and over 500 hours in continuing education programming.    Jolie also currently serves on the advisory boards of Tennessee Organic Growers Association and Transit Now Nashville. 

Jules Shainberg

Jules Shainberg

Jules Shainberg has over thirty years experience in business management and finance.  Her background includes business ownership in real estate and property management, mortgage finance, and accounting.  Ms. Shainberg holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the UALR.  Originally from Nashville, Ms. Shainberg moved back in 2006 and now calls Nashville home forever.  She began working with NCDC in August 2016 and says she finds working with an organization that serves the community so purposefully a wonderful experience.  She looks forward to learning more about urban design and becoming more involved in the community. 

Fellows

Kelsey Oesmann

Kelsey Oesmann

Kelsey earned her Bachelors of Architecture from Virginia Tech in 2014, and spent three years working on mixed-use and multifamily projects in the Washington DC area. She was a member of the 2016 Class of AIA Virginia’s Emerging Leaders in Architecture, and served as the communications coordinator for the 2016 AIA Leadership Institute. After cycling across the country with the nonprofit Bike & Build this summer to raise funds and awareness for affordable housing, Kelsey was selected as an Enterprise Rose Fellow for 2017-2019 and made the move to Nashville. She is jointly hosted by Urban Housing Solutions and is committed to finding innovative ways to meet the growing need for quality affordable housing and great places for people.

Michael Thompson

Michael Thompson

Originally from Minneapolis, Mike received his B.A. in Political Science before spending several years working for an international nonprofit. His time there involved regular travel to roughly 20 different cities across the country, including large urban communities and Native American reservations. Through that work he witnessed the diverse ways in which cities approach design and development, specifically from a grassroots and faith based context.

In 2016 Mike received his M.Ed. in Community Development & Action from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. His emphasis there revolved around housing, public spaces, and the emergence of social capital and spatial identity. Mike joined NCDC in January 2016 and created the Active Building Guidelines in collaboration with TN Department of Health, and the Neighborhood Assessment Toolkit. In addition to these projects, Mike assists with an array of NCDC projects, including management of a statewide taskforce on Health and the Built Environment.

Daniel Toner

Daniel Toner

Daniel graduated from Auburn University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Architecture and a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies focusing in Community and Civic Engagement, Sustainability, and Marketing. While in Auburn’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture he studied in Florence, Italy and participated in the Rural Studio. During his thesis at the Rural Studio, he, along with three teammates, designed and built three shade pavilions for the community at a local public park. The two and a half years in a small town in rural Alabama helped strengthen his belief in the power of community and community based design. At the Design Center, Daniel is working on various projects around Nashville. Additionally, half of Daniel’s week is spent in Hohenwald, TN where he is the Capital Projects Manager for The Elephant Sanctuary.

Billy White

Billy White

Billy moved to Nashville in 2003, and while working downtown, bore witness to how projects like the Public Square, Schermerhorn, Viridian, and removal of the thermal plant transformed Nashville’s core, sparking an interest in urban renewal. Later, Billy fell in love with his first home and neighborhood in Wedgewood-Houston where he became involved with the South Nashville Action People (SNAP). There he worked with the Civic Design Center on a neighborhood study that would lead to a decade of admiration for their leadership and work. Since 2006, Billy has worked at Sitemason, an internet company where he’s a partner, web developer, and product manager. At the Civic Design Center, he works as a technologist and develops original and community features for the website. Billy and his wife Katie spend their free time rehabbing a 1930’s arts and crafts bungalow in the Richland-West End neighborhood.

Interns

Interested in becoming an NCDC Intern?

Find out more information HERE.