About 1220 Exhibits

Our Story

1220 Exhibits was founded in 1972 by Jerry Carden and John Cherry, two award-winning advertisers and creators of the international advertising phenomenon, Ernest P. Worrell. Realizing that many of their advertising clients needed exhibit components, but underwhelmed by the lack of creativity in the industry, Carden and Cherry decided to open their own shop… and 1220 Exhibits was born.

Where did the name come from?

Carden and Cherry were seeking an exhibit fabrication firm to produce a three-dimensional marketing piece for one of their clients.  When their search was unsuccessful, they turned to their own talented staff for a solution and opened a small shop across the street from their offices at 1220 McGavock Street.  The project was an unqualified success and launched an ongoing collaboration with the talented team of designers and craftsmen thereafter referred to as “the bunch over at 1220.” Although no longer at this location, 1220 retains the name to remind clients that when working with us, there is strength in numbers.


Our Team

Matt Carden

As part owner and President of 1220 Exhibits, Matt oversees all departments while also personally taking on select projects himself throughout the year. With his father, Jerry, as 1220 Exhibits co-founder, Matt Carden’s investment in this company and each project it undertakes is both personal and professional.

Matt is a graduate of the University of Tennessee with a degree in Business Administration. Previous to his work with 1220, he spent 15 years in executive management with an international transportation company. He joined 1220 in 1997 as Operations Manager where he oversaw all aspects of exhibit production from Project Management to Estimating to Fabrication and Installation. Matt then moved into a sales position where he enjoyed the one-on-one aspects of interacting with clients and developing new business opportunities. His niche market included halls of fame and recruitment center opportunities within the sports domain.

Matt brings over 32 years of experience in sales and management to each of his projects. His portfolio of past projects includes the University of Tennessee, Texas Christian University, the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.

Craig Dunn

As Senior Vice President, and part owner of 1220 Exhibits, Craig Dunn is responsible for leading the sales effort, overseeing current projects and laying the foundation for 1220’s approach to new business development.

Craig came to 1220 as Production Manager in 1999 with an extensive background in fabrication and management. Before this time, Craig worked in a variety of genres of manufacturing from furniture to cabinetry to museum and tradeshow exhibits. Thanks to this experience, he is well acquainted with the complexities of permanent on-site installations and has the necessary resourcefulness to successfully complete even the most complicated of projects.

With this wealth of knowledge and experience, Craig is a keen problem solver who anticipates the needs of both his clients and staff and continually exceeds the expectations of both. His impeccable customer service and advantageous approach to business are proven by his considerable number of repeat clients who continuously place their trust in him and his team such as the Country Music Hall of Fame, Stepping Stones Museum for Children and Momentum Worldwide.

Dan Chadwick

Having joined 1220 in 2000 as an IT Administrator, Dan Chadwick has since transformed the way the company views AV integration into exhibits and is now the director of its AV Department.

Prior to joining 1220, Dan coordinated the setup and operation of what is still Nashville’s only full-service digital graphics bureau, Chromatics. Later, as the owner of Imagic Digital Systems, he consulted on and built high-end digital imaging, 3-D Design and Non-Linear Video Editing systems for commercial applications. From here, he was recruited to head Megatrends Technologies (a hardware provider) as CEO.

Throughout his career, Dan has developed an impressive and technologically well-rounded resume which includes being a beta tester for Intel, Microsoft and Kodak as well as an Alpha tester for the latter. With additional training as a professional photographer, and in cinematography and TV production, Dan received the Thomas Jefferson Presidential Award for the production of a nationally broadcast 30-second TV Spot. In an industry where specialists tend to be one-dimensional, Dan understands both software and hardware, making him a valuable asset to any team in need of AV expertise.

Ray Cardamone

Ray began his career in Connecticut as an Entrepreneur, where he operated a custom home builder and cabinet/trim shop.

Ray relocated to Orlando Florida and worked as an Operations/Facilities manager for a large Credit Processing company. He was responsible for the entire facility and the operations of the Data Center and Redundant Backup Power Systems. After 10 years, he moved to a custom Architectural signage company as their Operations/Production Manager. There, he oversaw Operations and Production, including scheduling of all departments and installs. He then relocated in 2023 to join the 1220 team as the Director of Operations and is excited for this next chapter of his career.

When Ray is not working, he enjoys Motorcycle riding, camping, hiking, fishing, and spending time with family and friends. 


Dennis Harrison

As Controller of 1220 Exhibits, Dennis leads a dedicated staff in maintaining the financial integrity of the organization by overseeing all accounting functions. In addition, he works closely with the principals and operators of 1220 to monitor and report on budgets and project outcomes.

Dennis holds a degree in Business Administration, and an advanced degree in Finance. He brings 25 years of experience in the construction industry to 1220, having worked with both Sub and General contractors. Dennis also has experience in the manufacturing and non-profit industries. His knowledge spans a variety of systems, and he has keen insight into financial analysis, organizational turnarounds, and resource management. Dennis loves working in an environment like 1220 where each day presents a new challenge and opportunity to make a difference.

Ellen Cahalan

As the HR Manager for 1220, Ellen wears many hats. She ensures that all internal processes, from payroll to new hire orientations, are running smoothly. Ellen has a long-time history in Nashville. Even though she’s originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, her family spent every summer here when she was growing up, and eventually moved here when she was in High School.

Ellen holds a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and Land Management from Utah State University. She began her Human Resources career in the hospitality industry at a ski resort in Sun Valley, Idaho. During her career, Ellen has overseen everything from payroll and benefits to DOT and DEA compliance. Additionally, she pursued a government role for some time, supporting approximately 300+ officers and staff within the County Sheriff’s Office.

When Ellen’s not working, she can be found skiing, hiking, traveling, or playing the back nine on one of the many beautiful golf courses here in Tennessee.

Valerie King

Valerie King joined 1220 Exhibits in 1994 as a Project Manager in Museum Services and became Museum Services Manager from 2002 – 2008. Since 2009 she has been Account Executive and has an excellent working knowledge of exhibit methods and materials and enjoys finding solutions for the unique challenges of each project. Valerie understands the importance of coordination and teamwork between exhibit designers, architects, project management and the 1220 craftsmen to ensure a successful project.

Valerie holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Arts Management from Carnegie Mellon University. Her experience also includes working for a non-profit arts foundation and a commercial art gallery.

American Alliance of Museums
Association of Children’s Museums
Association of African American Museums
National Association for Museum Exhibition, Board Member

David Ecrement

As a Senior Project Manager, David Ecrement manages both permanent and temporary exhibits and activations while meeting client expectations, keeping projects on schedule and maintaining budgets. Whether managing a project solo or leading a PM team, David’s attention to detail has proven him successful in bringing to life the design intent of large scale, complex exhibits.

Joining 1220 Exhibits in 2017, David brings with him over 30 years of applicable management experience. Having previously worked in the music industry, David spent a decade in artist and tour management and served as Marketing Director at a label for 7 years. After leaving the music scene, David spent a decade at LifeWay Christian Resources, where he oversaw a team of 7, managed and produced national print and media campaigns and contributed to efforts that grew the chain from 125 to 180 stores. In addition to his managerial experience, David brings with him a background in general construction and carpentry that is the ideal combination for permanent installations.

David’s project portfolio ranges from managing activations at events such as the U.S. Open to installations at Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art and St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital.


Caitlin Hicks

As Project Manager, Caitlin Hicks oversees all aspects of a project, from technical design to project completion, keeping both the client and team moving forward. Whether taking the lead on her own projects or playing an integral role on a Project Management team for a large-scale project, Caitlin keeps projects on schedule and within budget.

Joining 1220 Exhibits in early 2014 as a Graphics Department Technician and promoted the same year to the Project Management team, Caitlin brings her invaluable knowledge of graphics production to project management. With an eye for detail and systematic approach to projects, project details and requirements are met, thus improving performance, productivity and quality of project management. Receiving a degree in Anthropology from Middle Tennessee State University, Caitlin understands the value of client relationships

Prior to joining the team, Caitlin spent time as an Executive Assistant, as well as a representative for a customer research firm recording surveys for government agencies, political candidates, and higher education institutions.

Tom Wolcott

As a Senior Project Manager, Tom oversees every aspect of a project, from final design and engineering through to on-site installation and project completion. One of his primary goals is to safeguard the design teams’ original vision, while developing final solutions that work. Tom will ensure that the project remains on schedule and within budget.

With over 25 years of experience in all facets of museum project management, Tom will serve as
the primary contact and day-to-day coordinator with direct responsibility for all communications between the client and project team. His extensive experience has proven very beneficial to the project team.

Tom has managed numerous large-scale projects for a diverse clientele including Michigan Historical Museum 20th Century Exhibits, Detroit Historical Society Past>Forward Exhibits, Mid- Michigan Children’s Museum, Caterpillar Visitor Center, American Airlines Corporate Museum, and several galleries at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

Tom also has extensive custom fabrication experience, as well as a Bachelor of Science Degree in Manufacturing Technologies from Eastern Michigan University.

Richard Stackenwalt

As a Senior Project Manager at 1220, Richard can provide a comprehensive and inclusive approach to managing a project. Richard has extensive experience participating in multidisciplinary teams that supported from projects from $25 thousand up to $50 million. His projects have varied from highly technical, engineering driven product development projects to purely creative projects that started life as the figment of an artist’s imagination. Installations have included major theme parks, retail establishments, restaurants, immersive entertainment facilities, museums, and tradeshows. 

During his career, Richard has held positions that include Fabricator, Installation Lead, Designer, Field Operations Manager, Product Development and Design, Project Manager and VP of Production. He’s worked directly with virtually every field in Design and Construction. His degrees are in Mechanical Engineering and Structural Design & Construction Engineering Technology from Penn State University. Richard’s career diversity has led to his unique ability to understand the challenges facing each him and his team and connect to them through his experience. He sees every member of the team, from the carpenter to the owner, as playing a critical and valuable role in the success of the project.

Emily Bell
As a Project Manager with over 20 years of experience, Emily is on the 1220 Project Management team, and oversees every aspect of a project from technical design and engineering to final on-site installation and completion. She places a high value on client relationships, and believes communication is key to success. Emily’s positive attitude, tireless energy, and problem-solving skills help keep her projects on schedule and within budget. Prior to joining the team at 1220, Emily served as Key Account Manager at an award-winning INC 500 “America’s Fastest Growing Private Company”. She also led the Account Management team, implementing and overseeing a team approach to project management and client services. Emily enjoys cooking, hiking, traveling, history, and is an avid reader (usually reading at least 3 books simultaneously). Her interest in history was instilled by her grandfather’s stories from World War II and a collection of photos and documents from her great-grandfather’s service as a diplomatic liaison during the construction of the Panama Canal.”
Barry Owen

As Estimating Manager, Barry Owen is responsible for managing and scheduling 1220’s estimating department as well as ensuring the accuracy and authenticity of each estimate.

Since joining 1220 in 1985 as a builder, Barry has held the positions of Installation Supervisor, Purchasing Manager, Production Manager and Estimator, all of which lend expertise to his leadership role. Having been involved, in one way or another, in every museum 1220 has undertaken for the last 30 years, Barry’s vast and diverse experience with all of 1220’s internal departments as well as prequalified subcontractors aid him in bringing creative and cost effective solutions to his estimates. His thorough knowledge of exhibit fabrication and installation is an invaluable resource to 1220 and its clients when looking for design solutions and value engineering alternatives.

Melinda Oblinger

As Scenic Services Manager, Melinda is directly responsible for the oversight and implementation of all scenic elements at 1220. With a strength in creative problem solving, Melinda can artistically turn any concept into a reality.

Joining 1220 in 2016, Melinda brought with her over 30 years of experience in the scenic field. With a degree in Theatre from Stephens College, Melinda began her career as a Set Designer and Scenic Artist, gradually moving from Theatre into Scenic fabrication. Working both as an artist and eventually managing several different scenic shops, Melinda has dedicated her career to the Scenic field. As both Manager and Charge Artist, her responsibilities included the managing of artists, ordering of materials, tracking budgets and meeting deadlines. Melinda’s philosophy is to understand the clients’ vision, perform her own research and develop the best plan to meet the project parameters and design intent. Whether in-shop or on-site, Melinda and her team create with quality, durability and professionalism in mind.

With Melinda’s experience comes an eye to detail and an exemplary work ethic. Because of her theater background, she thrives in a team environment. Melinda has an extensive list of past clients, and prides herself on the percentage of repeat clients.

Brendan Rauer

As the Technical Director and CNC lead for 1220 Exhibits, Brendan is responsible for managing the technical and CNC department as well as the technical drawings and documentation produced. He ensures the integrity, functionality and execution of designs and building techniques is met for museum exhibits, interactive environments and tradeshows. Brendan is heavily involved in overseeing project elements from the beginning and helps determine the best build solution while retaining the design intent.

Relocating to Nashville from Cokato, Minnesota, Brendan holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental and technical studies from St. Cloud State Minnesota. Prior to working at 1220, Brendan spent time fabricating commercial and residential millwork products, as well as teaching high school students carpentry, welding, engineering and CAD classes.

Brendan’s breadth of both technical and construction knowledge enables him to look at the process in its entirety and create efficient systems to streamline production and fabrication. When not at work, Brendan enjoys spending time outdoors hiking or can be found on a field with the Nashville Hurling league where he serves as the game developing officer.

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