This story was originally published in the August/September 2015 issue of Chattanooga Magazine.
Two years ago, Aricia Gallaher left a marketing and operations management position with a healthcare marketing firm to work for a well established and widely respected law firm—Chambliss Bahner Stophel, PC. The Knoxville native had come to Chattanooga originally to attend the UTC School of Business where she earned a degree in business with a marketing concentration.
Since she joined the firm, her admiration for Managing Partner, Dana Perry, has steadily grown.
“Dana is so involved,” says Gallaher. “I don’t know how she gets everything done.” Perry truly is quite committed to a variety of nonprofit organizations, balancing a heavy daily work schedule while remaining linked into the community. The reputation the 127-year-old law firm has earned for being deeply rooted in the community is a key reason Gallaher wanted to work there. “Dana has definitely encouraged me to take part.”
As a volunteer in the after school program at Girls, Inc. she enjoys the idea of helping young girls become capable and confident at an early age. She is also active in the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce and Chattanooga Room in the Inn. She lives in Lookout Valley with her husband, Rick Mincy and their two English Springer Spaniels.
“Dana is a strong leader who seems to value your perspective, too,” says Gallaher. “And, she really understands business development, which is my area of focus.” The mere fact that Perry is one of the few woman managing partners at one of the largest law firms in the South never fails to impress. Gallaher says the way Perry offers advice and encouragement is important to her. “She always says ‘Have you considered . . .”
Networking is another characteristic of Perry’s, Gallaher has noticed. “She is very willing to connect people with each other,” adds Gallaher. And after a substantial career, Perry is pretty well connected. “A successful career hinges on building and maintain relationships.”
Gallaher feels both appreciated and challenged in her work, saying she doesn’t strive to be a CEO, but is happy and eager to take her department to the next level.