Nashville architect builds new firm

A Nashville architect and dedicated supporter of the GLBT community recently embarked on a new phase in his distinguished career.

After three years in collaboration with Ridley Wills and Wendell Harmer at Pond|Wills LLC, Van Pond, Jr. has opened his own firm, Van Pond Architecture (VPA). VPA provides architecture, planning, design consulting and related design services to clients in the residential and boutique commercial markets.

Pond has practiced architecture in Tennessee for over seventeen years. His experience includes residential, commercial, renovation, restoration, master planning and construction administration. He credits much of his previous success to his past business relationships.

"Over the years, I have had the great fortune of having worked with and for some of the most talented people in Tennessee," he said.

Pond has been a board member at the Brooks Fund since 2005. He's also a past president of the GLBT Chamber of Commerce, and had previously served for five years on the Nashville CARES board of directors. That devotion to community service extends to his new practice. Pond blends technical know-how with a keen sense of personal communication.

"I feel my particular talents are having great design with a great moderating voice for the project. This job requires a good set of people skills," he said.

Pond admits that the economic climate makes it difficult for small businesses to have success. He remains confident that his tailored approach to each project will pay dividends. Though he's struck out on his own, the basis of his business hasn't changed.

"Everything (my clients) have come to know about my commitment to design, collaboration and creative approaches to everyday functional challenges is still here," he said.

In his daily routine, Pond appreciates the intensely collaborative experience of finding the right fit for a project. An architect is a negotiator, Pond says, and it requires a strong set of people skills to maximize a project's potential.

"With a design, you want to touch people's hearts and minds," he said. "My goal is to bring their dreams to reality and also try things that are a little outside the box. What I do is try things that are a little different from the norm."

Pond currently focuses on residential properties, he plans to concentrate on more commercial and institutional projects in the future.

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less