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Gallatin Men of Influence

Meet four Gallatin men who are making a difference and leading from the front

Article by Scott Bell

Photography by Payton Wright Photography

Originally published in Gallatin Lifestyle

There’s something about Gallatin that just brings a little extra out of people. Our southern hospitality, grit, grace and determination are well-documented; however, it’s the many talented and unique individuals who make Gallatin what it really is: truly amazing. Be it telling the history of our local area, providing medical care to others, helping protect others from cyber threats around the world, or bringing faith-based volunteer opportunities to local students, these four men embody the loving spirit of Gallatin and the volunteer mantra of Tennessee by striving to serve the people around them however they can.


Dr. James Allred, M.D.

Dermatologist, Wellskin Dermatology

Can you point to a moment when you knew that you wanted to get into medicine?

I come from a family of doctors but I didn’t want to go into medicine. My grandfather was in a severe house fire so I spent several weeks with him after my first semester in college in a burn ICU and saw the impact physicians can have on people.

If you had to choose a different profession, what would it be and why?

A long-haul truck driver, being out on the road, listening to music, podcasts and getting lost in my thoughts. America is such a beautiful country and nothing is more meditative than a long drive.

What do you do to maintain a proper work-life balance and how do you disconnect or decompress?

I have five kids so the drive to and from work allows me to put on and take off the physician hat so when I’m home, I’m dad and that’s the most important thing.

What's something you've learned recently that's totally surprised you?

How hard it is to start a small business. I’ve done fairly difficult things in life, but hands down, starting my own business is by far the most difficult thing.

What's one fun fact that no one knows or would believe about you? 

I have been ground shocked by lightning about a half a dozen times. 

What are some of the charities or organizations that you support or work closely with?

The Miracle League in Gallatin that we are sponsors of, as well as the Parks and Recreation Department in Sumner County. We provide sunscreen stations across Sumner County as a good opportunity to promote sun safety for kids who can also develop that behavior and expectation.


Ricoh Danielson

U.S. Army (Ret.), Entrepreneur and Owner of 1st Responder

When and how did you begin working in digital forensics and cyber security?

When I was deployed in Iraq in 2003 - 2004. We were kicking in doors, performing door to door raids, catching bag guys, and during the process, we would find cell phones and computers and take them for forensics. I knew this would eventually come to the consumer market. Then throughout law school, I continued to learn and developed my first digital forensics firm.

How did your military career prepare you for your current profession?

My time in the US Army gave me the ability to "stay the course" regardless of how hard it gets and in the way that I am prepared, relentless, and willing to go the extra mile.

How does your work tie into other passions you have in life?

I believe work is life and life is a work in progress. I love what I do which drives my passion and cybersecurity and digital forensics have become my way of life.

What's one fun fact that no one knows or would believe about you? 

I listen to Smooth Operator by Sade to get hyped up when I am working out or about to give a speech.

What's one piece of advice or mantra you try to live by? 

Fortitude, will and grit: these are the fundamentals that will carry you throughout life.

What are some of the charities or organizations that you support or work closely with?

I have a laundry list: The USO, Fulton Films, Packt Cyber security, over 100 various podcasts and I’m a contributor for TickerNEWs–one of the world's biggest news outlets/media platforms as a cyber security expert.


Ryan Baker

Executive Director, Sumner County Museum

​​How did you become involved with the Sumner County Museum?

I thought I wanted to teach history in grade school. I ended up with a degree in Sports and Tourism. It just so happened that when I graduated from MTSU that the museum was hiring a director. The rest is well, history.

How does your work tie into other passions you have in life?

I like to travel and explore other small towns in the south and check out their downtown squares and other historic sites.

 What do you do for fun? I love to hunt, fish, camp just about anything on the water or outdoors. I also love going to concerts and music and art festivals with my wife, Kim. I have really enjoyed coaching both of my children in soccer and my son in basketball.

What charities or other organizations do you work closely with? 

Most of the historic sites in Sumner County, the Gallatin Chamber of Commerce and Sumner County Tourism.

What's one thing that no one would believe about you?

I am a pretty good rapper.  Anything 90’s or early 2000’s is my jam.

What's something interesting you've learned recently that surprised you? 

I recently learned that all the golf tees that go in the triangle game at Cracker Barrel are made right here in Gallatin.

Tell us a fun fact or story about yourself.

This June will mark the 10th year that I have attended Bonnaroo.  For a week, Manchester becomes the 5th largest city in Tennessee.  


Daniel Becker

Director, Young Life of Sumner County

How did you become involved with Young Life?

I had a Young Life leader show up in my life when I was in high school. In college, I began volunteering as a leader to high school students because I wanted to help students the way Young Life had helped me.

Did you always know you would be working in this field?

I was a business major in college and always thought I would be in sales.

How do you maintain work-life balance? 

One perks of my job is that I make my own schedule, but it’s also one of the burdens. I’ve had to learn to plan downtime with my family on a weekly basis.

What do you do for fun? 

College football is my favorite thing. My other hobbies are golf, Crossfit and snowboarding.

What’s a piece of advice or a mantra you live by? 

Celebrate the temporary.

What’s on the horizon for Young Life in Gallatin?

Young Life at Gallatin High School is starting in August. Our hope is that Young Life becomes part of the fabric of the school and the community for years to come.