The 15th Judicial District Bar Association recently appointed a new president, Travenia A. Holden.
Holden previously served as vice president, treasurer and secretary for the organization, which aims to promote and connect legal professionals for the greater good of the community.
Exiting President Jonathan Tinsley, an attorney with Tressler & Associates, said he looks forward to seeing all Holden has in store for members in 2017.
"Travenia is one of the most organized and competent individuals that I know. She will make an outstanding leader for the bar association," he said.
Holden operates a private practice, Holden Law Office, at 1037 West Main Street in Lebanon. She specializes in elder law.
For those who are unfamiliar with the term, elder law is an area of legal practice that places emphasis on issues that affect the aging population and their families. These issues include, but are not limited to, asset management for Medicaid and veterans' benefits eligibility, facility placement, conservatorships, trusts, estate planning and Medicare.
According to Holden, there are less than 10 practices in Tennessee whose sole focus is elder law.
"There are very few of us," she said.
For Holden, choosing the area of practice was very personal. "My father became sick, and I didn't know what to do or who to ask," she explained. "I had been in other areas of practice, but this practice area is where I feel the I am most helping people and making a difference."
Holden lived in Lebanon until the sixth grade, when her parents divorced. Although she moved with her mother and sibling to Michigan, Holden said her parents had a good relationship, and she visited her native town often.
"We spent every summer vacation and holiday break here," she said.
Holden attended Howard University for her undergraduate degree before setting her sights on North Carolina Central University School of Law.
"I have wanted to be an attorney since I was eight years old. I grew up on 'Perry Mason'," Holden added. "That has always been my career path."
She formerly worked for the Tennessee Board of Regents; attorney general's office; Access Health Systems, a corporate managed care organization; and Dodson, Parker, Behm & Capparella, a Nashville law firm.
She is a past Fellow and President of the Elder Law section of the Tennessee Bar Association, member of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys, a member of Life Care Planning Lawyers Association, a board member of Hearthside Assisted Living and more.
Her plans for the 15th Judicial District Bar Association include creating a website.
"I think we have tremendous talent in our attorneys and judges. I want everyone to know who we are," she said.
Another goal is to offer continuing education credits at monthly meetings.
Holden has been wed to her husband, Larry, for 23 years. They have a son, LeeAnder, who is a senior at Adelphi College in New York, and a daughter, Ayanna, who is a sophomore at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville.