Meet Carina Qualls of Meharry Medical College
Behind every successful university president is someone who is keeping that president on top of things. Meet Carina Qualls.
As chief of staff to Anna Cherrie Epps, Ph.D., president and CEO of Meharry Medical College, Carina acts as a liaison to other departments and assists the deans’ offices for the three schools on campus to orchestrate “anything the president needs implemented.” This is her second administration at Meharry; she started work as an executive secretary to Epps’ predecessor.
Carina, who is originally from the Philippines, has lived all over the U.S. as an Army brat, from Washington State to Fort Polk, La., and southern Alabama, which, she admits, was a bit of a culture shock. “I’ve lived half of my life on the West Coast and half of my life here in the South.”
Clearly, the South stuck with her. She moved to Nashville to attend Fisk University, which, like Meharry, is one of the country’s most prestigious Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She earned her B.A. in political science at Fisk and afterward met her husband, Errol. The two are raising three children, ages 3 to 11, here in Nashville.
“It’s a great place to raise a family,” says Carina, 33. “I’ve seen Nashville grow and develop so much over the years, and now, there are exciting and productive businesses, startups and corporate headquarters that have made Nashville their home.”
Carina, who joined the City Club in July 2014, enjoys everything from the social aspects to the networking opportunities.
“I never saw a lot of advertising about the Club, which I liked,” she says. “When the organization mentioned accepting new Young Executive members this year, I decided to apply.”
She also likes the prime downtown location, which offers a great view of LP field, and looks forward to taking advantage of perks like the club’s concierge service and deals on events from the Nashville Symphony to Predators games.
“You constantly meet people all over the city, but the City Club brings a certain level of professionalism to the mix,” says Carina Qualls. “You never know who you’re going to see, from presidents and CEOs of major corporations here in Nashville to government officials. Everyone learns something about the members through positive interaction with each other. The caliber of individuals you come in contact with is remarkable.”