Countless hours of blood, sweat and tears - and lots of late beer- and pizza-filled nights - make up the force behind the Next Awards. Learn a little bit about the team below.


Chris Cotton // APPLICATION POLICE

This home-renovation mastermind is shaking things up this year for all things Next. New categories? New applications? New process? No problem.

GRADI ELLIS // Director of First on the Dance Floor

A world traveler who has killed her own chicken, this guacamole and salsa addict is creative in all aspects of life - whether through designing beautiful typography or gutting and renovating her new home.

Lindsay chambers // grammar snob

She discovered her first typo when she was 4 and has been a compulsive editor since then. life aspirations include going to as many concerts as possible between reading, eating and sleeping – and if you wake her up before 9 a.m., you’d better show up with a cat and a mimosa.

CLARK BUCKNER // #NEXTNASH HYPE MAN

Passionate about nashville's tech and startup community, clark gives others a voice by being our podcast extraordinaire. he and his wife hope own a dog named sassy - a nod to hope's southern sass and his interest in an efficient software-as-a-service workflow

KELLI NOWERS // CHIEF PARTY STARTER

When Kelli isn't honing her foodie skills by scoping out the newest restaurant, she's coming up with ways to make a difference in the world, connecting the entrepreneurship community and being a yogi.

OLIVIA LEOW // HERDER OF CATS

A Snoop Dogg karaoke regular, this new mom loves to snuggle the world’s cutest baby. Maybe she raps lullabies, too, we don’t know. She’s always searching for ways to make everything more fun - including Next!

COURTNEY Cotton // QUEEN OF MAKING THINGS LOOK PRETTY

When she's not listening to metal, playing some sort of music instrument or cooking any type of carb, Courtney leads creative direction, marketing and dabbles in music production.

LAUREN GREGG // CFO (CHIEF FUN OFFICER)

A cheeseburger lover who coined the term “redhead feisty,” Lauren is our idea generator and emoji fiend who enjoys spending her time with her new cat, Sophia Loren. And, Go vols!

PAIGE ANDERSON // EVENT NINJA + CHIEF DRINK TICKET HANDER-OUTER

More organized than a filing cabinet, our resident redhead and mini-martha-stewart loves football season, fall and 'merica’s capital. Her childhood dreams included winning SuperMarket Sweep because there's nothing more exciting than running through the grocery store.