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
CEO

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
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT

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.

Don Chadwick
VICE PRESIDENT

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.

Valerie King
ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

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.

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

Kayla Johnstone
DIRECTOR OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

As Director of Project Management, Kayla Johnstone oversees a team of 9 project managers who direct every project from fabrication kick-off to final completion. Kayla drives the department and is a resource on all aspects of project management.

Kayla earned her Bachelor’s Degree in English with a minor in Art History from Middle Tennessee State University and received her Master’s Degree in Arts Administration from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She joined the 1220 team in 2015 after serving as a Project Manager/Designer for the Ambiance Group where she selected artwork to be displayed for corporate projects, monitored project budgets, production and installation for all assigned projects. Prior to the Ambiance Group, Kayla was Project Coordinator for the Frist Center for the Visual Arts where she spearheaded multi-year exhibition planning including team and project scheduling and coordinating contract agreements. Kayla’s extensive knowledge of and experience in the industry made her a natural fit for Director of Project Management and she was promoted to that position in early 2020.

Kayla’s ability to plan for long term projects has made her a staple on larger projects as she understands material lead times and project deadlines to fit them into a schedule for the exhibition to open on-time. She is available to consult on alternative materials to respect the project’s budget and armed with prior design work experience, she can assist with placement of exhibit components to ensure a seamless flow in the story depicted. Treating each project as her own, Kayla utilizes a communications first approach with each client ensuring each unique vision becomes a reality.

Barry Owen
ESTIMATING MANAGER

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.

Mike Oehrlein
PRODUCTION MANAGER

Mike began his career in the trade show business over 33 years ago. He started as a bench carpenter, then became a CNC operator. From there Mike became a shop foreman and moved into a CNC programming role. After 12 years, he progressed to the position of Production Manager. Mike was with his previous company for 26 years.

Before coming to 1220, Mike was mainly involved with trade shows and permanent installs, for which he installed and supervised others. Making the move to 1220 has enlightened him to the museum side of the business he says. “I see it is somewhat similar to trade show life but at the same time a completely different and exciting sector,” he noted.

Mike has always held himself to an extremely high standard, regarding work and finished products. He recently relocated from Pennsylvania to join the 1220 team and is excited for this next chapter of his career.

 When Mike’s not on the job, he enjoys a relaxing day of fishing, or can be found playing a round of golf on one of the many gorgeous courses located in middle Tennessee.

David Ecrement
SR. PROJECT MANAGER

As 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
SR. PROJECT MANAGER

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
SR. PROJECT MANAGER

As the Project Manager, Tom oversees every aspect of your 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. Although Tom has only recently joined forces with 1220, his experience working previous successful projects will be 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 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 BS degree in Manufacturing Technologies from Eastern Michigan University.

Brendan Rauer
TECHNICAL DEPARTMENT MANAGER

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.

Melinda Oblinger
SCENIC DEPARTMENT MANAGER

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.

Ellen Cahalan
HR Manager

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.

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