Nashville, TN
January 12, 2017
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM • Houston Station • $25

Did you miss this year’s event? Catch up with a SOCIAL MEDIA RECAP or join our MAILING LIST to be among the first to find out details for next year’s event.

How does God inspire innovation? Can we really make Nashville better? How do I bring innovation to my sphere of influence? Join us on January 12 for our forum, Redemption Through Innovation.

  • When: January 12, 2017
  • Where: Houston Station (434 Houston St, Nashville, TN 37203)
  • Time: 5:30-8:00 p.m.

Missy Wallace will moderate a discussion with New City Commons Executive Director Greg Thompson, Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall, Vanderbilt MD, Professor and Head of the NIH funded Precision Medicine initiative, Josh Denny, Aspire Health CEO Brad Smith, and Smart City Chair Fallon Wilson. We will investigate questions around creativity and innovation through the lens of the gospel to consider how our work can be utilized to help Nashville flourish.

NIFW will celebrate innovation by awarding a one-time $5,000 grant to an organization, group, or individual supporting and/or encouraging the innovation of others. Entrants will be required to fill out an application and submit a link to a two-minute video by January 4, 2017. Full rules, regulations, and deadlines for the contest can be found below.

After last year’s sold-out event, interested attendees are encouraged to purchase their tickets soon as we anticipate the event will sell out quickly. We hope you will join us.


Innovation Grant

We believe innovation is important to the flourishing of Nashville. In order to encourage innovation, the Nashville Institute for Faith and Work will award $5,000 to an organization, group, or individual supporting and/or encouraging the innovation of others.

The Fine Print: We intend to award one innovation grant of $5,000 but reserve the right to break the amount into smaller grants based on the quantity and content of applications received. To apply for the grant, please complete the following application and submit a two- minute video as described below no later than January 4 at 11:59 p.m. A committee determined by the Nashville Institute for Faith and Work will judge the entries with criteria solely determined by  the committee. Potential finalists may be further interviewed by the committee as needed and determined solely by the committee.  Finalists will be alerted by January 9 and their videos will be shown at the Nashville Institute for Faith & Work’s Winter forum, “Redemption through Innovation.” The award will be given at the event.

The Innovation Grant (“Grant”) is a promotion sponsored by the Nashville Institute for Faith and Work (“NIFW”) and Christ Presbyterian Church (“CPC”). The Grant is not available to any NIFW or CPC staff member, any NIFW commission member or any official paid advisor in the last 12 months to NIFW or CPC.  NIFW reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to award or not award the Grant to any applicant.  The Grant recipient will be required to complete two reports documenting the usage of the money over the term of the Grant. Preference will be given to those doing the work in and for Nashville. The videos of Grant finalists will be shown at the NIFW Winter Forum, Redemption through Innovation, and may be used on the NIFW website.

Questions about the grant process can be directed to


Greg Thompson

Greg Thompson has worked for a number of years in both faith-based and community development organizations, most recently as the senior pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, Virginia. He now serves as an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia, and as Executive Director of New City Commons, a research and consulting team that equips civic leaders for the work of nurturing thriving communities. To learn more, visit

Josh Denny

Dr. Joshua Denny is a Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Medicine, the Director of the Center for Precision Medicine, and Vice President of Personalized Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. His research uses large-scale electronic health record data and DNA to better understand diseases and how drugs work (and how to predict/avoid their side effects). His team has developed new methods to uncover the genetic basis of many diseases and drug responses. Some of these are now implemented in clinical care to make drugs work better. He is also leading Vanderbilt’s effort in the national Precision Medicine Initiative launched by President Obama in 2015. Dr. Denny remains active in clinical care and in teaching medical students and trainees.

Daron Hall

Daron Hall was sworn-in as the 61st sheriff of Davidson County September 2002 and elected to his fourth term in 2014.

Since Hall became sheriff, the Davidson County inmate population has decreased by 26 percent. Under his direction, programming, treatment, and community involvement has become a priority and has led to offenders becoming productive citizens; therefore, reducing over incarceration. Hall has always expressed the desire to celebrate the closing of a jail and, in 2011, he realized that goal and shut the doors of a 300-bed facility. For the first time in Nashville history, fewer jail beds are being built. As he continues this effort, he is also passionate about decriminalizing the mentally ill and currently working towards criminal justice improvements for this population.

During his 25-year criminal justice career, Hall has served Davidson County under three sheriffs. He is on the National Sheriffs’ Association’s Executive Board and Board of Directors; serving as that organization’s Secretary and will become the first NSA president from the state of Tennessee. Additionally, he served as the 101st president of the American Correctional Association and was the first sheriff ever elected to this position in the organization’s 141-year history. Seen as an expert in his field, Sheriff Hall has been interviewed by national and international media outlets including Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, NPR, the New York Times, CNN, and Fortune Magazine.

He is currently a board member of Franklin Road Academy. His affiliations with community organizations over the years include Nashville’s Exchange Club Family Center, Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital; Senior Citizens, Inc.; Boy Scouts Council of Middle Tennessee; the Rochelle Center; and the Alcohol & Drug Council of Middle Tennessee, Inc.

Brad Smith

Brad Smith is the Co-founder and CEO of Aspire Health, the nation’s largest provider of non-hospice, community-based palliative care.  Aspire’s teams of physicians, nurse practitioners, and social workers provide in-home care to patients facing a serious illness across 15 states.  

Prior to Aspire, Brad served as chief-of-staff at the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and as the founding executive director of the Tennessee State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE), a statewide education initiative.  Brad has also spent time working in the White House and at McKinsey & Company. Brad graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University and received an M.Phil from Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

Fallon Wilson

Dr. Fallon Wilson is the Assistant Vice President of Institutional Advancement as well as the Director of STEAMS (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, and Social Justice) at American Baptist College. As the Director of STEAMS, in April 2016, Dr. Wilson inaugurated Nashville first Senior Day where the Chief Education Officer of Google, Jaime Casap, spoke to 300 MNPS high school graduating seniors about social justice, technology, and solving world problems. In addition to her professional work, Dr. Wilson is a member of the Alignment Nashville’s Learning Technology Team, Pencil Board Member, and member of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce Report Card Committee and Prosperity Leaders. Recently, Dr. Wilson has been named by the Tennessean and the Center for Nonprofit Management as one of the top nonprofit leaders in their 30s. Dr. Wilson also co-chairs with the Chief Information Officer of the City and the CEO of the Nashville Technology Council, Connected Nashville: A Vision for a Smarter City which is the City of Nashville’s Smart City working group. Dr. Wilson has a BA from Spelman College and a MA and PhD from the University of Chicago. As a self-proclaimed public interest technologist, she spends her time discussing issues of race, gender, faith, and digital equity. She’s on twitter at @SistahWilson.

Missy Wallace

Missy Wallace became inspired to study faith and work in 2013 after working in the nonprofit sector and corporate America for over 10 years each and realizing that work can be a part of God’s unfolding story if we allow him to guide it rather than our false idols.  During academic divinity study, she wrote a proposal for the Nashville Institute for Faith and work and then had the opportunity to study in an intensive with Katherine Alsdorf, David Kim, and their team at The Center for Faith and Work at New York’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church.  Prior to launching NIFW, Missy worked at Ensworth School from 2003-2015 in various roles in marketing, admissions, and college counseling through the launch and maturation of Ensworth’s high school campus.  Missy joined the nonprofit sector after spending the first half of her career in the corporate world, including several years in consulting at the Boston Consulting Group in SE Asia, NYC, and Chicago; in Corporate Strategy at Time Warner in NYC, and in banking in Charlotte, NC.

Missy received an MBA at The JL Kellogg Graduate School of Business at Northwestern and a BA in Economics from Vanderbilt. She has taken classes towards a Masters in Christian Practice at Lipscomb University, where she wrote a proposal for The Nashville Institute for Faith and Work. She is married to Paul Wallace, who works in the healthcare venture capital industry and has three teenage children.  When she is not working, you can often find her at her favorite place in Nashville, the “red trail” of Percy Warner Park.