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Stranch joins Harpeth Conservancy as COO, VP of conservation policy

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Grace Stranch

Grace Stranch

Nashville attorney Grace Stranch has joined the Harpeth Conservancy as chief operating officer and vice president of conservation policy.

The Harpeth Conservancy is a science-based nonprofit organization that works to restore and protect rivers throughout Tennessee.

Stranch previously practiced with the Nashville law firm of Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings, PLLC where her practice areas included environmental law. She will remain of counsel at the firm. She earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies at Rhodes College and a law degree at the University of Tennessee College of Law.

“Hiring Grace is part of the conservancy’s strategic plan to continue to expand our staff with leaders who have experience in conservation and environmental policy and science,” said Dorene Bolze, president and CEO of the organization that was founded in 1999.

Stranch received the 2020 Nashville Athena Young Professional Award, which honors emerging women leaders who are accomplished in their professions and who work to improve the lives of their communities. For this accomplishment and for her other work in the community, she was honored by the Metro Council last August with Resolution RS2020-457.   

The Tennessee Supreme Court recognized her pro bono work by naming her an Attorney for Justice in 2018, 2019 and 2020. She was selected and participated in the Nashville Bar Association’s 2020 Leadership Forum, and she co-chairs the Tennessee Bar Association’s Committee for Racial and Ethnic Diversity and is on the Diversity Committee for the Nashville Bar Association.

“Grace has considerable experience in environmental and conservation organizations and will be an immediate asset to the Harpeth Conservancy’s work,” Bolze said.

Stranch has been chair and vice chair of the Sierra Club Middle Tennessee Group and vice president of United Mountain Defense, in which she organized the Appalachian Public Interest Environmental Law Conference.

“I grew up in the Bellevue area of Nashville along the Harpeth River, which is one of the few state scenic rivers,” Stranch said. “I love Tennessee’s waterways, and I’m eager to work to ensure that every Tennessean can rely on clean water and enjoy their local rivers.”

Bolze said Stranch’s work will continue and build upon the work of Jim Redwine, who served for the past five years as the Conservancy’s first COO and vice president of clean water protection. He will now be the organization’s senior policy advisor and will continue his leadership in statewide clean water policy and law.

Redwine chairs the Tennessee Water Groups, a statewide coalition of public interest groups.  He also represents environmental interests as a gubernatorial appointee on the State Water and Wastewater Finance Board. 

“Jim has made significant contributions in reducing pollution into the Harpeth River,” said Courtney Laginess, Harpeth Conservancy board chair and assistant general counsel-intellectual property at FIS. “His efforts are widely recognized in working with state agencies, state legislators, experts and partners to shape clean water regulations, law and policy in Tennessee. We are so appreciative of Jim’s work in positioning the organization to be able to expand.”

Redwine has more than 35 years of experience as a corporate executive and as an environmental and bankruptcy attorney. He headed up all environmental functions in the GM bankruptcy and was responsible for obtaining $500-plus million for the cleanup of GM’s more than 100 contaminated sites. He received the 2011 American Bar Association Award for Excellence in Environmental, Energy, and Resources Stewardship for his work on the General Motors bankruptcy. 

Redwine received a bachelor’s degree and earned magna cum laude from Harvard University and a juris doctorate from Vanderbilt University.

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