Vanderbilt Distinguished Visiting Professor, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham to headline Nashville Downtown Partnership event

Nashville Downtown Partnership is teaming up with Vanderbilt University and Pinnacle Financial Partners to bring the esteemed author and historian, Jon Meacham, to downtown’s biggest business event. The Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, Oct. 18, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Music City Center promises to deliver a compelling discussion about downtown Nashville’s period of tremendous growth.

(Photo credit: Heidi Ross)

Meacham published “The South’s Red-Hot Town” in TIME magazine in March 2014, and it is credited as being one of the important writings to start turning heads from around the country and unveiling the transformation that was underway in Nashville. His persuasion piece made a mark. As we approach the 10-year anniversary of the article, Meacham will share his thoughts on where that momentum has brought us, where we are poised to go, and challenges that may come our way.

Meacham is a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, holds honorary doctorates from several well-established universities, and is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Vanderbilt University. For the third year, Vanderbilt has partnered with Nashville Downtown Partnership to bring speakers that address topics meaningful to urban development and the academic institution and helping to build the business leaders of tomorrow.

“All Nashvillians have a stake in the health of downtown, and that includes the students, faculty and staff of Vanderbilt, who live, work, learn and play here,” Chancellor Daniel Diermeier said. “Jon Meacham’s influential article heralded for many that Nashville was leading a national shift in cultural, intellectual and innovative influence away from the coasts and toward the South. That shift continues today. Vanderbilt is proud to be part of it, proud to be part of the fabric of Nashville and proud to co-sponsor this event.”

Longtime supporter Pinnacle Financial Partners is co-presenting this year’s keynote speaker. “Downtown is the neighborhood we all share,” Pinnacle Chairman Rob McCabe said. “Pinnacle has long been committed to supporting the mission and staff of the Downtown Partnership, and this year it is our pleasure to assist in bringing Jon Meacham to this signature annual event for all to hear his insights.”

This event also recognizes individuals and businesses that are shaping and transforming the downtown neighborhood. Award winners are selected in the categories of Live, Work, Play and Invest and are announced at the event.

Tickets to the partnership’s Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon are available for purchase at

About Nashville Downtown Partnership

Organized in 1994, Nashville Downtown Partnership is a private-sector nonprofit corporation and membership organization whose core purpose is to “make downtown Nashville the compelling urban center in the Southeast in which to live, work, play and invest.” For more information, visit