BarberMcMurry promotes Beck & Dobbs

BarberMcMurry has promoted Ryan Dobbs, AIA, NCARB, to Senior Vice President, and named Heather Beck, MBA, APR, WELL AP as Vice President and Director of Communications. 

Beck is the centennial firm’s first female partner. She began her tenure at BarberMcMurry in 2018, quickly rising to the level of Senior Associate and now, Partner. 

“I’m humbled and honored to be the first female Partner at BMA, and I’m looking forward to being part of the firm’s second century of operation,” Beck said. 

At BarberMcMurry, she has led and contributed to initiatives related to company culture, sustainability, community service and outreach, and communications. Last year, she earned her WELL AP — a sustainable design credential focused on the impact of design on human health and wellness. 

She is the immediate Past Chair of the Public Relations Society of America’s Southeast District, which serves six states across the southeast. She is Knoxville Board Treasurer and HR Committee Chair for Girls Inc. of the Tennessee Valley, is a member of the Downtown Knoxville Alliance marketing committee, member of the Legacy Parks Foundation’s Strategic Partners Committee, and a Knoxville Museum of Art Guild member. Beck is also a longtime tnAchieves mentor, and volunteers each year with other women from BarberMcMurry at the Knoxville Habitat for Humanity Women Build Day. 

Beck has won multiple communications awards, including the Volunteer Chapter PRSA’s Harvey I. Cobert Award of Excellence — its highest honor besides the Lifetime Achievement Award. She is an alumna of Tennessee Tech and University of the Cumberlands. 

Beck is a South Knoxville native. She and her husband, Josh, live with their three rescue dogs in Hardin Valley, where they practice regenerative agriculture in a garden that gets bigger every year.  

Dobbs began his career at BarberMcMurry in 2012 and was first named a Partner in 2018. He is a U.S. Army veteran, 82nd Airborne Division, earning multiple commendations while completing two tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and is an alumnus of the Illinois Institute of Technology. 

He serves on the Boards of Directors for the Muse Knoxville, East Tennessee Veterans Memorial Association, Tennessee Architects’ Political Action Committee, and the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital Advisory Board. He is a member of Rotary Club of Knoxville and the FLETCH Society of East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, and is a supporter of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association, HonorAir, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the 82nd Airborne Division Association. 

Ryan and his wife, Mary Ellen, are Lenoir City natives. They have three daughters and spend their time hiking, paddling and camping, or spending time on their growing farm.


BMA hires Drew Newman, AIA, LEED AP

BarberMcMurry has hired Drew Newman, AIA, LEED AP. 

Drew is an Ohio native who earned his bachelor’s from the Maryland Institute of Art and his Master’s in Architecture from the University of Cincinnati. Over the course of his decade-long career, he has worked on projects of all types, including commercial, office, healthcare and education facilities. He has been part of projects that have earned awards from local, regional and national levels of recognition from the American Institute of Architects. 

Drew and his wife, Elizabeth, enjoy traveling and time spent with their three children: Beau, Bennett, and June Ellen.


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