Leadership

Chenault Sanders, Principal

Chenault Sanders is an executive, entrepreneur, and attorney responsible for the creation of prominent hospitality, media and lifestyle companies across the South. Mr. Sanders founded Blackbird Capital upon his departure from large law firm practice in 2007.

Mr. Sanders is also the founder and CEO of Blackbird Media, the largest independent out-of-home media company in Tennessee. Blackbird Media controls high-quality static and digital advertising properties- many with iconic status.

With a background in complex trust and estate planning, Sanders has done extensive work with closely held investment entities, and has particular expertise in multi-class, multiple-tiered partnership structures, having represented clients in tax motivated transfers with cumulative asset values in excess of $2.0 billion dollars.

Mr. Sanders manages a $150MM private investment vehicle that primarily focuses on alternative investments, including venture capital, private equity, private real estate, and private credit, among other investment classes through a selection of funds.

Mr. Sanders holds a B.A. from The College of Charleston, a J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School, and an LL.M. in taxation from New York University School of Law.

Prentiss Nelson, Principal

Prentiss Nelson is an executive and investor with extensive experience in investment banking and private equity within the financial services, technology, distilled spirits and real estate industries. He leads Blackbird's acquisition and financing strategies.

Mr. Nelson served as a vice president in the Financial Institutions Group (FIG) of RBC Capital Markets, the global investment banking arm of the Royal Bank of Canada, in both San Francisco and New York, where he advised banks, asset managers and specialty finance companies on mergers & acquisitions, initial public offerings, and equity and debt capital raising.

Mr. Nelson served for six years as an artillery officer in the United States Marine Corp, deploying multiple times with 1st Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment to Western Iraq. He holds a B.S. in systems engineering from the United State Naval Academy and an M.B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley's Haas School of Business.

Campbell Steele, Principal

Campbell Steele is Principal and General Counsel of the Blackbird Companies, which includes Blackbird Capital, LLC, Blackbird Media, LLC and other affiliated companies specializing in private equity and real estate investments, emerging restaurant franchising, branding companies, and out-of-home media assets.

 

Blackbird utilizes operating businesses and local and national relationships developed over the time to create and increase value in various assets not only at the enterprise level but also through unique development, equity and private offering structures that maximize revenue and build value in real estate. Blackbird is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee and owns or controls portfolio assets throughout the Southeast and the Gulf Coast.  Blackbird's principals are active as investors, advisors, and owners in the Nashville community.

 

Prior to joining Blackbird, Mr. Steele was a partner at Reno & Cavanaugh, PLLC after several years at Stites & Harbison, PLLC. His practice focused on commercial lending, finance, real estate and corporate law, including the representation of lenders, developers and equity partners in transactions combining multiple private and public funding sources. He is experienced in complex partnership structures and advised clients as to various phases of real estate development, including land acquisition, financing, leasing, disposition, zoning and other land use matters.

 

Mr. Steele holds a B.S. from the University of Tennessee, a J.D. from the University of Memphis School of Law and was recognized in Best Lawyers in America (2020) and Mid-South Super Lawyers (2013, 2014 and 2015).  Mr. Steele is a native Nashvillian whose family has unique ties to the city.  His great grandfather invented Goo Goo Clusters® in 1912 after founding Standard Candy Company, which was a long-time sponsor of the Grand Ole Opry.  He has two Springer Spaniels – LadyBelle Clementine III and IV - and spends much of his time with friends and family at his farm in Fly, Tennessee.

TJ Wilt, Principal

Wilt is a Nashville Native specializing in business operations and small business development. He is a small business owner of Cumberland Transit outdoor store as well as Three Brothers Coffee, both local Nashville businesses. Previously, Wilt has been CEO of ESpaces, Inc., a co-working brand covering the southeast region as well as Vice President at Diversified Trust Company based in Tennessee. 

His management and operation experience extends to several other small business investments under the TSW Investment Company umbrella. Wilt has also served as President of the Board of Trust for Ensworth School and as a trustee of the Board of Trust for Episcopal High School. 

He received his M.B.A. from the Jack Massey Graduate School of Belmont University as well as his B.A. in Finance from Belmont University. Wilt is currently studying to add a degree in Architecture. He has three boys who all attend Ensworth School in Nashville.

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