Nancy VanReece

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Introduction[edit | edit source]

Nancy Vanreece is a distinguished American strategist, way maker, and business owner known for her multifaceted career in the fields of community development, business, and the arts. She emphasis on the importance of navigating the balance of culture, growth, and advocates for creative opportunities that unlock the full potential of communities, businesses, and individuals. Her active role has paved the way for generating 2 billion dollars in Government budgets. She is actively involved in Metropolitan Planning, Zoning, Convention and Tourism.

Early Life[edit | edit source]

Born on March 13, 1964 in Oklahoma City, Nancy Vanreece moved to Nashville with her wife in 1986 to start a Radio Promotion and Marketing agency straight out of college in Texas. Her agency soon acquired a label, started publishing and eventually sold it to her partner after two consecutive years. Later, she joined the performing rights organization known as BMI where she ended up working for 10 years in Business and Healthcare Licensing.

She alongside her wife bought their first home in Madison, Wisconsin in 1990 and their current home in 2010. The following years saw VanReece making significant contributions in the nonprofit sector, including a notable role as the executive director of the Nashville Shakespeare Festival for three seasons.

As the social strategist and website designer at the Nashville Symphony, VanReece continued to harness the power of strategic communication. This period of her career laid the groundwork for her future role as a Metro Council member, where she would blend her passion for the arts with a commitment to community development.

Entry into Public Service[edit | edit source]

Nancy VanReece's journey into public service began with her decision to run for Metro Council. In her own words, she aimed for "development for us and not to us,". In 2015, she made history as the first openly gay person elected to a legislative body in the state of Tennessee.

Her tenure on the Metro Council has been marked by visionary leadership, focusing on Madison's re-emergence as a musical and creative enclave. Balancing reverence for the area's rich musical heritage with a forward-thinking development approach, VanReece has played a pivotal role in Madison's resurgence.

Madison, often dubbed "the next big thing" in Nashville, has experienced a cultural and development under the guidance of leaders like Nancy VanReece. Collaborating with developers like Keith Samaroo, Madison has witnessed the addition of new street lights, zoning changes promoting diverse development, sidewalk additions, rooftop dining options, and the establishment of music venues.

Exemplified by initiatives like Timberhawk Hall, reflects a commitment to honoring Madison's history while embracing modern growth. Developers like Samaroo, with projects such as Creative Way Village and The Hub at 607, contribute to this development, creating vibrant communities that celebrate the unique history of Madison.

Education[edit | edit source]

Baylor University (1982 - 1986)
Nancy VanReece was undertaking a degree at Baylor University for Radio/TV, Communications, and Marketing. Notably, she served as the Music Director for KWBU Radio. However, her academic pursuits were stopped to launch her own marketing agency in Nashville, Texas.

Progressive Governance Academy (2019)
In 2019, Nancy VanReece participated in the Progressive Governance Academy (PGA), an initiative in collaboration with the State Innovation Exchange (Six) and Local Progress. This pilot project aimed to cultivate the leadership and governance skills of progressive state and local elected officials across the country.

Leadership Tennessee (2020 - 2022)
VanReece's commitment to leadership development led her to join Leadership Tennessee's Class VIII in 2020, an initiative aligned with the mission of tackling state issues head-on. Class VIII's focus on non-partisan dialogue for effective problem-solving resonated with VanReece's dedication to community and public service.

Harvard Kennedy School (Certificate of Completion - Sr. Executives in State & Local Government, July 2022)
Elevating her commitment to public service, Nancy VanReece pursued a Certificate of Completion in Senior Executives in State & Local Government from the prestigious Harvard Kennedy School. This rigorous and highly interactive program immersed her in critical thinking exercises, enabling her to identify feasible solutions to complex problems. The hands-on learning experience with esteemed faculty, colleagues, and policy experts provided new perspectives on the challenges she faces daily. The program not only renewed her sense of passion for her work but also fortified her commitment to the public interest, equipping her with a practical framework for effecting positive change within both the public and private sectors.

Career[edit | edit source]

LDG Development
In her current role, Nancy VanReece serves as the Vice President of Strategic Engagement at LDG Development, LLC. Her responsibilities span both government relations and community engagement, with a particular focus on local artists involved in place keeping and place making for residents. Working primarily in Nashville and Tennessee, she extends her influence to markets in Louisiana, Alabama, North Carolina, Colorado, and other LDG markets. Her belief follows that “everyone deserves a quality place to live”.

Amqui Station and Visitor's Center-Discover Madison
VanReece played a pivotal role as a Board Member and Volunteer Farmers Market Manager at Amqui Station and Visitor's Center-Discover Madison. Where she successfully launched a weekly Producer-Only Farmers Market in June 2014, contributing to the local community's economic and cultural vitality. The Farmers Market Report for 2016 reflected impressive statistics, including visits, museum tours, volunteer hours, and economic impact.

Nashville Symphony & Schermerhorn Symphony
During her tenure as Social Media Strategist and Website Manager for the Nashville Symphony & Schermerhorn Symphony Center, VanReece demonstrated her expertise in developing and delivering online communications strategies. Her efforts led to a significant increase in audience engagement across 11 platforms, generating over 500 conversations a week. The success of her strategies garnered attention from prestigious publications such as The New Yorker Magazine, American Way Magazine, and the League of American Orchestras.

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee
In the role of Consultant and Strategist for, VanReece contributed her skills in researching, designing, and creating award-winning animated videos. She utilized the Prezi platform to explain and define nonprofit giving results.

The Nashville Shakespeare Festival
VanReece served as the Executive Director/CEO of The Nashville Shakespeare Festival, where she demonstrated exceptional leadership. She successfully grew the annual budget from $158,000 to $381,000 during a challenging economic recession. Notably, she founded the Winter Shakes programming at Belmont University and produced eight union-negotiated events in three years.

Temple Hall Recordings, LLC
As President/CEO of Temple Hall Recordings, VanReece led an independent record label startup. Her responsibilities included budgeting, corporate marketing, imaging, and negotiating publishing and recording agreements. She played a crucial role in soliciting new owners and negotiating the sale of the corporation.

Nancy A. Reece Promotions
VanReece owned and operated Nancy A. Reece Promotions, an advertising agency and radio promotion company. In this role, she maintained a call center working with over 200 radio stations on a weekly basis. Her achievements included handling major print advertising buys, and she was nominated for CashBox Magazine Radio Promoter of the Year in 1989.

Beginning her career as an On-Air Radio Personality, VanReece served as Music Director and Radio Personality at three different outlets in Central Texas. Her role involved curating music and connecting with listeners on KWBU, KWTX, and KBBW.

Political Career[edit | edit source]

Nashville Metro Council Tenure
Nancy VanReece served as a member of the Nashville Metro Council, representing District 8, a position she assumed in 2015. During her time in office, VanReece made significant contributions to the community, advocating for affordable housing, sustainable urban planning, and various infrastructure projects. She demonstrated her commitment to the constituents and the city's growth, leaving an enduring impact on District 8. In the 2015 nonpartisan elections for mayor and metro council, VanReece ran a successful campaign, competing against a field of qualified candidates, including Ramona L. Gholston, Nina Ground, Robert Sawyers, Sr., Chris Swann, and Danny Williams. In the initial election, VanReece and Swann emerged as the leading candidates, progressing to a runoff election. Notably, she defeated Swann in the runoff, securing her place on the Nashville Metro Council.

2015 Runoff Election Results
Nancy VanReece: 59.3% (1,347 votes) Chris Swann: 40.4% (918 votes) Total Votes: 2,273

In her first term, VanReece focused on addressing the diverse needs of District 8, ranging from urban development to community engagement. Her initiatives garnered significant support from the constituents, reflected in her re-election victory in the subsequent election.

2019 General Election
In the general election on August 1, 2019, VanReece sought re-election to the Nashville Metro Council to continue representing District 8 but she did not complete the Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection Survey.

Awards[edit | edit source]

  • 2021 InCharge – Government/Politics [link]
  • Nashville Business Journal – Women of Influence Award (Public Policy) [link]
  • Steine Public Leadership in the Arts Award for 2017 [link]
  • Community Advocacy Excellence Award [link]
  • Officer Eric W. Mumaw Community Service Medal [link]

Publications[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]