Management Team

Mark A. Medford - Chairman/President/CEO

Before coming to Vining Sparks, Mark was President and CEO of FTN Financial which is a division of First Tennessee Bank, N.A. Mr. Medford served in Public Accounting and Consulting from 1984 until 2001. He was Memphis’s Managing Partner, National REIT Leader, and National Bank and Thrift Tax Leader and served on the Southeast’s Merger and Acquisition Team and on the National Securitization Team, all with KPMG, LLP. Mr. Medford served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Regional Bond Dealers Association. In addition, he has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. He attended the University of Mississippi and graduated with a Masters of Accountancy degree. He also holds CPA and AICPA accreditations.

James L. Vining - Chairman Emeritus

Jim is a former officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and of the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C. As Executive Vice President of Union Planters National Bank in Memphis, Tennessee, Jim managed their investment portfolio and developed the first microcomputer based Asset/Liability and Bond Swap Models. Since founding Vining Sparks in 1981, he has served on the faculties of five schools of banking and has spoken at hundreds of banking sessions on the subjects of investments and investment planning. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University in Industrial Engineering, and has been inducted into OSU’s Engineering Hall of Fame. He completed a M.S. in Industrial Management from Georgia Tech. He is a Trustee of the Oklahoma State University Foundation. Jim taught Operations Research at Georgia Tech for three years.

Kyle Broussard - EVP, Chief Information Officer

Kyle joined Vining Sparks in September 2013 to lead the firm’s technology initiatives, focusing on enhancing the client experience and increasing the firms capabilities through the use of technology. Kyle has more than 15 years experience managing technology projects and programs for large enterprises. He most recently served as the Associate Director of Information Technology at King & Spalding, a Global 50 law firm based in Atlanta, where he was directly responsible for Infrastructure Operations, Service Desk and end-user support in the firm’s 18 locations. He is a former Marine and graduated from Kennesaw State University in Georgia with a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems.

John T. Crawford, Jr., CFA - EVP, Director of Strategic Solutions Group

John joined Vining Sparks in August 2008. His responsibilities include directing the teams responsible for investment strategies, balance sheet strategies, interest rate derivatives (which is offered through Vining Sparks Interest Products, LLC), whole loan trading, institutional asset management, and investment banking services. He has over 30 years experience with financial services companies, including positions as Executive Managing Director / Head of Investment Banking at FTN Midwest Securities from 2004 – 2008, EVP / Treasurer of Union Planters Corporation from 2000 – 2004, and various financial and treasury positions over fifteen years with Bank One Corporation. John graduated from Texas Tech University in 1983 with a BBA in Finance and a BBA in Accounting. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and is a member of the CFA Institute.

Craig Dismuke - EVP, Chief Economist

Craig joined Vining Sparks in August 2007 in the Investment Strategies Department. In 2009, he took over the responsibility of projecting Vining Sparks’ economic and interest rate outlooks. Craig speaks often at industry conferences on the health of the U.S. economy, expectations for interest rates, and fixed income strategies. He is a frequent guest on CNBC, Fox Business, and Bloomberg TV as well as being quoted often in the financial news. Prior to joining Vining Sparks, Craig was a Managing Director in Institutional Fixed Income at Bear Stearns and Company. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Union University and his Master’s Degree from the University of Memphis. He is a member of the Economic Club of Memphis and is a guest lecturer at Rhodes College. Craig is also actively involved with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Mark Evans, CFA - EVP, Director of Trading

Mark has been with Vining Sparks since 1994 and is currently Director of Trading. Mark previously directed the Investment Strategies Department, a group that provides research and technical assistance to the firm’s customers and sales representatives. Mark has written research reports and developed models for fixed income securities, portfolio management, leveraging strategies, accounting, and regulatory issues. He has written articles for numerous trade publications and serves on the editorial board of Bank Asset/Liability Management. Mark earned his B.B.A. in Finance from the University of Memphis and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Allen Riggs, CPA - EVP, Chief Financial Officer

Allen joined Vining Sparks in late 2011 after spending over 10 years as SVP / Controller of FTN Financial, a division of First Tennessee Bank. Allen began his career at Ernst & Young in the national Structured Finance and Securitization Practice in Memphis. He graduated from the University of Tennessee at Martin with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and from the University of Memphis with an M.B.A. in Finance.

Martin F. Shea, Jr. - EVP, General Counsel/Business Development

Prior to joining Vining Sparks in August 2008, Martin served for six years as EVP General Counsel/Chief Risk Officer of FTN Financial which is a division of First Tennessee Bank. From 1997 until 2003 Martin worked in private practice, most recently with Bass, Berry & Sims PLC, focusing on corporate and securities work. Martin earned a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University and his J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School.

Randy Wade, CPA, CFA - EVP, Director of Sales

Randy began his career with KPMG Peat Marwick where he provided accounting and audit services to banks, broker-dealers and savings and loan institutions. After that, he served as Manager of the Portfolio Strategies Department which provides research and technical support for Vining Sparks. Currently, he is Director of Sales and serves as a frequent speaker for industry seminars and has authored numerous articles for trade magazines. He earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from Abilene Christian University.