DANCING FOR SAFE HAVEN CAST
Professional Dancer Christopher Wayne (choreography by Christopher Wayne)
Bios coming soon
John Dwyer with Professional Dancer Anne-Marie Fournier (choreography by Ann Marie Fournier)
John Dwyer first joined News 2 as Sports Director in 1996. A 10-time Mid-South Regional Emmy award winner, John hosted and produced the official TV show of the NFL Tennessee Titans for 13 years. He anchored News 2 This Morning for two years and in 2008 became anchor of the Sunday edition of News 2 at 5 p.m. and News 2 at 10 p.m. He continues to anchor Monday through Thursday editions of News 2 at 4 p.m. and News 2 at 4:30 p.m. He also reports for News 2 at 10 p.m. on those days. Prior to joining News 2, John also led sports departments in Jacksonville, Florida (1994-96); Ft. Myers, Florida (1988-94) and his hometown of South Bend, Indiana (1985-88). Dwyer is a 1985 graduate of Butler University, where he majored in Radio/TV with a minor in journalism. An avid runner (or “plodder,” as he likes to call himself), Dwyer runs Nashville’s annual marathon. He accomplished a goal, once thought out of reach, by competing in the Boston Marathon in April, 2009. He relishes summer trips to Holland and trips to Michigan to visit his awesome parents. John and his wife Lynley spend much of their time at home replacing furniture used as scratching posts by their cats, Jack & Diane. Dwyer is a past board president of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
Professional Dancer Anne-Marie Fournier is a native of Toronto and has been dancing for as long as she could walk. Her mother was a lifelong dance instructor and Anne-Marie followed in her footsteps, literally. She has been a ballroom dance instructor for more than 22 years and has competed as a professional on the national level in a variety of ballroom dance styles. She also devotes a large portion of her time to helping charitable organizations, including Safe Haven, Hands on Nashville and the Red Cross. She has also sought out donations and volunteered for a school in a tiny village in West Africa. She performed in the 2011 Dancing for Safe Haven event with celebrity partner Mike Pigott.
Darrell S. Freeman Sr. with Professional Dancer Juanita Simanekova (choreograpy by Juanita Simanekova)
Darrell S. Freeman Sr. is the executive chairman of Zycron, Inc., an information technology services and solutions firm he founded in 1991 here in Nashville. Zycron employs more than 330 professionals across the country. He is also the co-founder of two other businesses: Reliant Bank and Pinnacle Construction Partners. Freeman’s commitment to the community is evident through his service on numerous non-profit boards, and he is a pilot for Angel Flight, which is an organization that arranges free air transportation for charitable and medical needs. His favorite pastimes is spending time with his wife of 22 years and his four children. Freeman holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University.
Professional dancer Juanita Simanekova started dancing at a young age and has enjoyed teaching ballroom and Latin dance in the Nashville area since 2008. A recent Rising Star champion and open finalist, she enjoys working with students of all ages. One of the highlights of her time in Nashville has been working with the Metro Department of Parks and Recreation to help implement their summer ballroom dancing program for kids.
Meredith Libbey with Professional Dancer Michael Hosale (choreography by Michael Hosale)
Meredith Libbey is Assistant to the Director of Metro Nashville Public Schools with responsibility for communications and customer service. She is also a public school parent; her two daughters with husband Phil Ryan attend Metro Schools. She joined Metro Schools in 2010 from Ford Motor Credit, where she was global communications manager with responsibilities that included the company’s North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific & Africa regions. She has an MBA in marketing and organization management from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and economics from Mount Holyoke College. Active in the community, Libbey serves on the boards of Our Kids, Hands On Nashville, WPLN (advisory board), and the Leadership Nashville Alumni Association, She is also a volunteer with Nashville Public Television. While respectful of Fred Astaire, she is a Gene Kelly fan and counts herself fortunate to have the unbelievably patient and talented Michael Hosale as her DFSH partner.
Professional dancer Michael Hosale has more than 19 years of experience and is a solid and well-respected professional ballroom dance instructor. Although he has received many prestigious awards as a competitive dancer, Michael’s true passion is working with his students. This passion has been recognized by numerous accolades and awards acknowledging Michael as a top teacher. His dedication reaches beyond the ballroom by his contributions to several charities. He is currently teaching in the Brentwood and Nashville areas.
Kate Herman with Professional Dancer Dennis Woods (choreography by Dennis Wood)
Kate Herman is President and Publisher of the Nashville Business Journal and has worked in the media industry for more than 20 years. The Nashville Business journal is owned by Charlotte, NC-based American City Business Journals Inc, which owns 40 Business Journals in the United States. Kate has been with the company for 18 years, previously working at the Milwaukee Business journal before relocating to Nashville in August 2006. The Nashville Business Journal provides local business news in two separate products – a weekly paper and on NashvilleBusinessJournal.com, as well as connecting the business community through a variety of events. Since her arrival in Nashville, Kate and the Nashville Business Journal team have created programs and publications for the Nashville business community including the Best Places to Work Awards, Health Care Heroes Awards, 25 Fastest Growing Private Companies Awards, Women of Influence Awards, Most Admired CEO, to name a few. Kate serves on the boards of Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce (as Governance Committee Chair,) Center for Nonprofit Management, Business and Arts Council, American Heart Association and on the United Way Campaign Cabinet. She is a graduate of the Leadership Nashville class of 2009 and is a member of the Downtown Rotary and Lipscomb’s University’s Business Leadership Council. In her spare time, she competes in triathlons and recently completed the Ragnar Relay with a Business Journal team – an overnight team race from Chattanooga to Nashville. Herman and her husband Matthew have three children—ages 17, 15 and 13—and they live in Brentwood.
Professional dance Dennis Wood: Bio coming soon
Vicki Yates with Professional Dancer Jonathan Bungard (choreography by Jonathan Bungard)
When Vicki Yates brings you the news every night at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on News Channel 5, you are benefiting from nearly two decades of experience and award-winning reporting. In addition to her anchoring and reporting duties, Vicki co-hosts the annual Children’s Miracle Network Telethon benefiting Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, a testament to her community involvement both on and off the air. Her career began in Detroit, Michigan in 1973 while still attending college. As a freelance reporter, she worked for Michigan’s number one minority newspaper, The Michigan Chronicle. After two years with The Chronicle, Vicki moved on to Lansing, Michigan to work as a news reporter for WJIM. She drew some tough assignments, including the crime beat and covering issues at Michigan State University. Vicki’s experience and responsibilities grew while working as Assistant News Director, reporter, and Public Affairs Director at WMJC-FM in Detroit. She was responsible for six daily newscasts and two weekly public service programs. From there, Vicki went on to work as news-writer, producer, and news reporter at two other stations in Michigan and Ohio. Vicki’s talent eventually landed her an anchor/news reporter position at WKRC-TV in Cincinnati where her abilities helped make the noon newscast number one in the market. Before joining the NewsChannel 5 team, Vicki anchored and reported at KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for 5 years. Vicki’s accomplishments have earned her such honors as Black Achiever of 1982. Vicki has won five Emmy awards. Her work as reporter, writer, and producer of the mini-documentary, “Bundles of Joy,” won her an Emmy. She won another Emmy in 1996 for a special program about the life of Wilma Rudolph, her third in 2004, and her fourth in 2006 for her weekly segments of “School Patrol.” In 2011, Vicki was invited by the White House to visit Washington, D.C., and she interviewed President Barack Obama one-on-one. Vicki’s spends much of her time on the weekends either watching movies or taking the occasional weekend trip to visit her sons at college.
Professional dancer Jonathan Bungard: Bio coming soon