Derby Jones grew up in Johnson City, Tenn., where his family was in the newspaper business. His grandfather owned several newspapers throughout the state with the Johnson City Press as the flagship paper. Derby worked at that paper at a very young age doing odd jobs, but when he turned 16 he began his professional career in the advertising department; working every summer and break from school until graduating from college.
Derby graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1989 with a degree in Communications. During college he worked at the school newspaper The Daily Beacon where he served as the advertising manager. He left the family business, but not the industry behind and moved to Nashville in 1994 to work for The Tennessean. Derby was an advertising sales rep and sales manager until October 2006, when he was approached about becoming an investor in Main Street Media.
While with Main Street Media, Derby served as the publisher of the Williamson Herald based in Franklin until he and his father, Tim Jones, purchased the newspaper from Main Street Media (February 2011) and formed CMD Publishing Company. The Williamson Herald first published in December 2005 and Main Street Media purchased it from the four original investors in November 2006. The Williamson Herald distributes 15,000 copies every Thursday throughout Williamson County and is known for their daily news blasts.
In June of 2012, CMD Publishing purchased Southern Exposure Magazine. The established, popular bi-monthly magazine serves as a great compliment to the Williamson Herald and together act as the hub for all things Williamson County. If it has to do with the Williamson County community, “we’ve got you covered!”.
Derby is a graduate of Leadership Franklin (Class of 2007-08) and on the board of directors for the J.L. Clay Senior Center in Franklin. He is also on the advisory board at NHC Healthcare in Franklin and High Hopes. An active member of the Franklin Noon Rotary Club serving as Secretary, Derby will become president of the organization in June of 2013. He and his wife Cassie live in Brentwood with their children, Maggie (8) a third grader at Edmondson Elementary and Derby (6) in Kindergarten. They are members of the Brentwood United Methodist Church.
Derby is an avid fan of University of Tennessee athletics, Tennessee Titans football and the Nashville Predators hockey teams. While a fan of all sports, his favorite is being on the golf course. Derby spends most of his free time with his family and is passionate about the community and enjoys attending events with his family.
Brandy Blanton is the creator and publisher of Southern Exposure Magazine. She has lived in Williamson County since 1976 and is a graduate of Franklin High School (Class of 1985). Blanton created SEM in 2002 with no experience in the magazine business, only armed with a heart for her community and the people in it after living here 30+ years. Along with her talented and dedicated team, Blanton has created a publication that has become a staple of the community.
Blanton also published the Williamson County Fair Guide four consecutive years (2006-2009) and served as the co-creator and publisher of Hills &Hamlets, a monthly publication which focuses on rural life in Williamson County until selling her interest in 2007. She created the Sizzle Awards with FranklinIs.com to recognize the best of the best in Williamson County via an online poll which is celebrating its sixth year. Blanton even hosted her own internet radio show, Southern Exposure LIVE!
Apart from her publishing duties, Blanton has been very active in the community supporting many non-profit organizations through sponsorships, editorial coverage and also SEM’s own events like Turning the Tables or Supper Club which raised money for New Hope Academy, Hard Bargain Mt. Hope Redevelopment, Save the Franklin Theatre, BRIDGES Domestic Violence Abuse Center and THE JAM Summer Music Camp.
Blanton has served on the Board of Directors of Mercy Children’s Clinic (2007-2009), Williamson County Fair Association Board of Directors (2005-2008), Advisory Board of Historic Carnton Plantation, volunteered at Belvedere Commons Memory Care (Volunteer of the Month, January 2010) and is a graduate of Leadership Franklin (Class of 2007). She is currently on the Advisory Board of Mercy Children’s Clinic and a member of the Clean Air Partners of Williamson County.
In October of 2011, Blanton was elected as Alderman At Large for the City of Franklin – the only non-incumbent to place in the top four – receiving 1,427 votes out of the 2,997 cast. She serves on the Budget &Finance Committee, the BOMA representative to Franklin Tomorrow and Sister Cities of Franklin and Williamson County and Chairman of the Tree Commission.
Cassie Jones serves as Director of Sales for Southern Exposure Magazine. Cassie was born in Nashville and attended college at Western Kentucky University. She graduated with a degree in Advertising and a Marketing Minor and has more than 12 years experience in advertising and marketing working for The Courier-Journal in Louisville, The Tennessean and The Rage. She and Derby Jones (SEM owner) met in advertising at The Tennessean and were married in November 1999. Cassie’s biggest accomplishment are her two children Maggie (8) and Russell Derby (6). Maggie is a 3rd grader and Derby is in kindergarten at Edmondson Elementary.
Cassie is enjoying getting back into the workforce after taking eight years off to raise her children and get them both into school full-time. When not working or attending a charity or community event with Derby in Williamson County, you will find Cassie at the ball field cheering on her kids in softball, soccer or baseball. She is also home room mom for Russell Derby’s kindergarten class at Edmondson.
Polly Bibb Douse, Editor in Chief
Polly Bibb Douse serves as the Editor in Chief for SEM. Born and raised in Franklin, Tenn. the local started out as an intern with SEM in the summer of 2005. With a B.A. in English from the Sewanee: The University of the South, Polly enjoys writing, editing and all things Williamson County. Recently, she moved back to the area from New Orleans, La. with her husband and their son Christopher.
Vicki Stout got her Degree in Journalism, 1970, from Tennessee Technological University and began her career with Huntsville Times newspaper. She has been a reporter, writer and editor over the years. She has served in corporate communications, internal and external communications departments with Genesco, and with Nashville area public relations agencies. Currently, she writes for The Tennessean, Southern Exposure Magazine, N’Focus, At Home Tennessee, Atlanta Social Season and Lan “in”, an in-flight magazine with airlines in South America. She also still maintains a PR practice working with corporate, non-profit, and a variety of other clients. She specializes in travel, pets, food, feature, profile, real estate and a variety of other topics in her freelance writing business. Her dog, Puppy Stout, writes a weekly column in The Tennessean in his own voice and he writes pet friendly travel pieces. Vicki’s passions are pets, travel, food………..and life.
Will Jordan has more than a decade of experience in journalism and photography working for both magazines and newspapers. His writing skills were honed during his tenure at the Review Appeal and The City Paper and he paints a visual image with his words like no other. His editorial contributions to SEM are vast and cover all subject matters. However, it is his ongoing feature, “Life With Max” where he shares the ins-and-outs of daily life with his 13-year-old son, that is most popular.
Jordan is a huge asset to SEM because he can not only write well, but he is also an incredibly talented photographer – bringing a photo-journalistic approach to every shot. His scope is vast, capable of shooting everything from live music events, portraits, landscapes and yes, even weddings. Jordan was raised in Franklin and has a deep love for his home, his community and the people who reside here. He is also the owner of Kimbro’s Café located in downtown Franklin which has quickly become a unique hotspot for talent both famous and infamous. And he also owns Carpe Diem, located directly next door, which offers professional session bookings, eclectic vendors, CD Release parties and his own apparel business and latest venture, Vagabond Clothing.
Kelly Spalding is the owner of Kelly Spalding Designs. As an interior decorator, she offers a blend of design and styling packages that embrace all aspects of celebrating your home. Event & Wedding styling and planning services were added after years of planning teacher appreciation luncheons, chairing many fundraising events (from concerts to The Franklin Classic) and several weddings for family and friends. She’s helped her clients bring their ideas to life with her creative expertise and eye for detail. She has worked events with Tim McGraw, JoDee Messina and Eddie George and recently added The Pink Gala, a New Year’s Eve fundraiser, to her list of accomplishments. She brings her expertise and eye for design to the pages of SEM through her regular “Entertaining” features where she has shown readers how to host the perfect event whether it be a football tail-gate, an upscale Halloween gathering or a Summer Supper.
For 35-years, Harry Chapman was a fixture on NewsChannel 5. He served as a news anchor and reporter. But, he probably is best known as the co-host for 23-years of the top rated mid-day program “Talk of the Town,” and as an award winning entertainment reporter. After retiring from NewsChannel 5, Harry accepted a position at Belmont University as Director of Development and Major Gifts. Harry has been honored by the Country Music Association with its Media Achievement Award, the Nashville Songwriters Association International’s Stephen Foster Award and his Alma Mater The University of Georgia, with the John Holliman, Jr. Lifetime Achievement in Mass Media Award.
He contributes to SEM with his regular columns “In Harry’s Words” and “In Tune With Harry” as well as Profiles within the entertainment industry. Harry and wife Angela have been married for 40+ years and have three grown children and four grandchildren. They have been residents of Williamson Country for more than 30 years residing in the Grassland area.
A lifelong resident of Middle Tennessee, Jay Sheridan has covered interesting people and places for a number of local and national magazines. He was a co-author of the book Historic Franklin, as well as the 50-year biography of Mike Curb and Curb Records. He operates Sheridan Public Relations in downtown Franklin, a firm that has been recognized by industry organizations for its effectiveness in media relations and public affairs work. Jay serves as chair of the City of Franklin’s Battlefield Preservation Commission and is active in a number of other community and non-profit initiatives. He lives in Hincheyville with his wife, Jessica, and two daughters, Riley and Reagan.
Pam Horne began writing about Williamson County nearly 25 years ago. A journalist for The Review-Appeal and The Tennessean, her earliest bylines stemmed from courthouse news, but her media experience also includes a three-year stint in Washington, D.C. She served as a press intern for Senator Gary Hart and was on staff of Southern Governors’ Association before moving back home to Williamson County in 1989. After spending several years in public relations and publishing, she opted to take a sabbatical so she could spend more time with her family. She lives in Franklin’s Fieldstone Farms where she and her husband Joe attempt to keep up with their two sons Griffin and Garrison. She has her own company, Pen to Page, whose mission is to tell the life-stories of her subjects—somewhat of a memoir or biography. She also freelances for The Williamson Herald.
A native Mississippian, Baird earned a bachelor of arts degree in journalism and English at the University of Mississippi. As a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, she successfully defended her senior thesis about social media’s impact on the magazine industry. She is a published writer, with credits in numerous publications. She is an account executive at Sheridan Public Relations, a full-service firm specializing in comprehensive strategies that help clients win in the marketplace. You can follow them on Twitter at @sheridan_pr. Previously, she worked at Howard Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., as a marketing and publicity assistant.
Annie Osteen was raised in Tampa, Florida and lived there with her family until she moved to Tallahassee to attend Florida State University. She double majored in English and Secondary Education initially aspiring to become a high school English teacher, however, things changed for her upon graduation. Annie decided to work for the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper in their sales and advertising department. Later, through professional connections, was offered a job doing Marketing for an Assisted Living company where she worked for a few years. It was in this position that Annie realized her adoration for seniors, especially those with Alzheimer’s disease. Later, she was recruited to work for a large Senior Living company in Boston and Annie seized the opportunity to experience life in New England while she had the chance.
After having visited her parents, who had relocated from Florida to Brentwood, Annie had ultimately decided Williamson County was where she wanted to raise her family. Annie moved to Franklin in November of 2006 and will not consider living anywhere else.
Annie is married to the love of her life, Dwight Osteen, who also works in the senior healthcare industry at Grace Healthcare. She has two children; Marlie and Knox and three stepchildren: Valentina, Maria and Drew. When Annie is not being a full-time mother, she works as the Director of Operations for Verble Estate Preservation and Advisors in Brentwood and also writes for Southern Exposure Magazine. Annie’s zealous drive to help seniors navigate their way through the “aging process” will keep her in senior healthcare for many years to come.
Megan Byrd is a native Nashvillian with an inspiring lack of musical talent. Unable to use a capo, but fancying the term, she decided to pursue a career in books. Today, she is a lucky mess of literary fortune. As managing editor at a publishing house of the political and current event persuasion, she spends most of her days spilling coffee on manuscripts and talking with congressmen. On the side, she continues her wordsmith pursuits as writer, editor, and literary consultant—working from any grassy knoll or coffee shop she pleases. And while her experiences have led her to write all over the world, her home base is still in sultry, sweet Tennessee where she resides with a female boxer puppy named Chuck and a yard filled with crabgrass.
JOE BIDDLE, Contributing Writer (image and info coming soon)
JEN COOK, Contributing Photographer
Jen Cook graduated from Watkins College of Art and Design with a Bachelors Degree in Fine Art Photography. In addition to working with the Southern Exposure Magazine, she owns a freelance photography business, Jen Cook Photo and Design and is a partner in a wedding photography business, The Photographix as well as Boudouir by Photographix. Jen has had the great opportunity to photograph many celebrities privately such as Sheryl Crow, Jessica Simpson, Sara Evans, Carrie Underwood, Joe Don Rooney with wife Tiffany Fallon, etc. Her work has been featured under Photographix in both People Magazine and People Magazine: Country Special, Country Weekly, E! News and the Daily 10. Jen lived in Franklin for 10 years and now resides with her husband from London England, Daniel, in Spring Hill. They have recently been blessed with Elsie and Flynn—their adopted twin babies.
Matt moved to Nashville in 1991 for the music business, but also had been a student of photography at Ohio State University where he got his music degree as well. Over the years his love for storytelling has expanded from music and photography to video. More and more these worlds merge as clients look for him to handle the diversity of media demands via his company, Headline Images. Some of Matt’s clients include: Country Music Television, Gospel Music Channel, Great American Country TV, Fireman’s Fund Insurance, Mars Pet Food, Beauti-Control Cosmetics, O’Charley’s Restaurants, Televised Award Shows, NFL players, Miss America, local, regional and national magazines and more. Those projects have been just as enjoyable as the product and architecture shoots for small family owned businesses, because he gets to help tell a story of someone living their dream. So whether it’s a full crew production for a national client, an emerging business with a dream, or an aspiring model, actor or actress, or someone with a dream, there is always a story to capture and tell.
Anthony Scarlati is a fine art portrait photographer and photojournalist known for his soulful and thought-provoking images. A native of Chicago, he has spent more than twenty years working in the entertainment, sports, equine and fashion industries. His exquisite photographs have been displayed in galleries and special exhibits across the country. Published photo credits include numerous entertainment, equine and special interest publications along with fashion layouts and editorial portraits spanning across all genres of music. Now making his home in Middle Tennessee, Anthony is currently a contributing photographer for Southern Exposure Magazine, Nashville Arts Magazine and serves as the photographer for The Franklin Theatre and Loveless Barn’s “Music City Roots.” Recent projects include working with music artists such as Chicago, BB King, Take 6, Jeffrey Steele, Terry McBride, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Skip Ewing, Mark Volman of the Turtles and 2009 Hippy Fest Tour, Vince Gill, Larry Carlton, Steve Cropper and Marty Stuart along with providing photos for various media, CD and website projects. Additional publication credits include BMI Music World, Jazz Times, Country Music Weekly and People.com.