Central States Business Center
The Central States Business Center is a group of local offices representing Principal® in Tennessee and Kentucky. We are dedicated to helping individuals, businesses and their employees achieve financial security and success in our communities. We proudly represent Principal with integrity and professionalism.
Working with us
If you’re interested in working with us as an advisor, we’ll provide you a professional and supportive environment that helps you build your knowledge and skills. Learn more about what it’s like to work with us and meet our management team.
See our office locations & advisors
If you’re looking for a financial services product, we can help you find a local financial professional at Principal® to discuss your financial needs, as well as purchase life insurance, annuities, securities and investments.
Our alliances & associations
- Autism Tennessee Society of Middle Tennessee
- Boys and Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains
- Brentwood YMCA
- Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce
- Feed America First
- Habitat for Humanity
- Junior Achievement
- Kiwanis Club of Sevierville
- Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
- Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic
- Nashville Chamber of Commerce
- Nashville Chapter Society of Financial Service Professionals
- Oakland Chamber of Commerce
- Richmond Chamber of Commerce
Do you want to make a difference and help others solve problems? We do too. That’s why we want to talk to you about your future with Principal. Whether you’re just getting started or ready to move your business in a new direction, we’ve got your back.
An inclusive culture and tools to build your career
The one thing we have in common is that each of us is different. That’s why we seek diversity in the people we hire. Our inclusion extends to the way we do business with a flexible work culture. That may mean you want to focus on a specific market, be a solo practitioner or join a team. No matter what you choose, we’re here to give you the right tools to build your confidence and help you succeed.
Meet the management team
Now that you know a little about our business center, we’d like to tell you about the amazing folks you’ll be working with.
Eric Howell ChFC® - Regional Managing Director
Eric leads the business center with over 28 years of experience in meeting the diverse financial needs of individuals, professionals and the small to mid-size businesses. His team focuses on the culture of heartfelt relationships; Eric believes unequivocally that clients understand the value of relationships and seek trusted advisors who will guide them in their individual journey toward success. Active in industry organizations such as NAIFA, GAMA, and the Society of Financial Services Professional (FSP), where he currently serves as a board member for the Nashville Chapter; a graduate of University of Tennessee with a B.S. in Business Administration, Eric currently resides in Brentwood.
Karla Davis - Associate Managing Director
Karla brings to the Central States Business Center five years of experience in the financial industry and an excitement in helping families and businesses reach their financial goals. She received her Bachelor's in Media Management and Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Karla is a member of the Nashville Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, and the Nashville Songwriter Association International (NSAI). Karla is an avid singer, having preformed at The Grand Ole Opry and The Ryman. She was even a Top 16 contestant on The Voice! Outside of work, Karla is an active volunteer with Brightstone, where she helps adults with special needs, as well as with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Karla and her fiancé Taylor have one dog, a miniature dachshund named Mimi.
Kira Deck FLMI, MBA - Operations Manager
Kira oversees operations of the Business Center, assists the management team with agency onboarding and development, monitors budgeting, handle compliance activities as well as leads and directs administrative staff functions. Kira joined Principal Financial Group in 2010 as a Sales Support Specialist and was promoted to Operations Manager in September 2013 with a primary focus of ensuring all clients, representatives and employees of the business center receive a high level of support and service. Kira and her husband, Kevin, reside in Franklin, TN with their two daughters.
Sarah Lindsay - Sr. Marketing Coordinator
Drawing from her previous experiences as a Financial Representative and General Agent’s assistant, Sarah was the ideal addition to our Business Center to provide marketing and admin support to our advisors. Sarah is passionate about helping advisors realize their business plans either through working their natural market or by attracting new business through marketing objectives and resources, local branding and increased social media presence. Originally from England, Sarah moved to the United States 18 years ago, having lived in Germany for four years before that, she now resides in Collierville, TN with her husband Grant, they have two children.
Sarah Zinnel - Recruiting Support Coordinator
Sarah brings to the Central States Business Center over three years of recruiting and HR support experience in the staffing industry. She specializes in candidate experience and delivering quality recruiting support. Sarah is a dog enthusiast who has a personal goal of visiting one global location per year. She is dedicated to continuous education and personal improvement through overcoming fears, learning new skills, and being open-minded.
Laura Sperduto - Sales Support Specialist
Laura joined the Central States Business Center in July 2013 as private staff for two financial professionals; in October 2014 she transitioned into the Sales Support Specialist role as a Principal employee for the Brentwood office. Laura processes all new business and provides administrative support for management and multiple financial professionals, acting as a liaison with home office departments including underwriting and sales support. Originally from Boston, Laura and her husband, Pat, moved from Florida to Tennessee in 1996, where they now call Brentwood home, with their three children.
Morgan Dezenski - Marketing Support Coordinator
Morgan has been in the marketing industry since 2016, with three years previous experience with Access Systems as a Marketing Coordinator specialized within the information technology industry.
Morgan earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration – Marketing and Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication – Public Relations from Drake University where she was a winner of the Clarion Award – Community Relations Campaign from the Association for Women in Communication and a winner of the Merit Award – Community Champion from Central Iowa PRSA. She is currently a member of Drake University’s Central Iowa Regional Alumni Board – Philanthropy Chair and a member of Iowa American Marketing Association’s Board – Director of Collegiate Relations.
Morgan is an avid hiker and outdoors lover who has a personal goal of visiting 30 national parks before turning 30. She also shows Arabian and Half-Arabian horses on a local, regional, and national level.
Interested in meeting with an advisor near you? Great! Check the list below to see who’s available in your area and learn more.
109 West Park Dr., Suite 430
Brentwood, TN 37027
Directions to the Nashville office
605 Chestnut St., Suite 300
Chattanooga, TN 37450
Directions to the Chattanooga office
1444 Horn Street, Suite 102
Clarksville, IN 47129
Directions to the Clarksville office
8113 Laurel Falls Lane
Knoxville, TN 37931
Directions to this Knoxville office
218 S. Peters Road
Knoxville, TN 37923
Directions to this Knoxville office
51 Germantown Court, Suite 101
Cordova, TN 38018
Directions to the Memphis office
104 Sunset Ave.
Richmond, KY 40475
Directions to the Richmond office
The financial professionals of the Central States Business Center are licensed in AK, AL, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, NC, NH, NY, OH, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, WA, WV, and WI to offer insurance products, life insurance (including variable life), annuities (including variable annuities), securities and investment advice.
This site is not a solicitation of interest in any of these products in any other state.
Insurance products from the Principal Financial Group® are issued by Principal National Life Insurance Co. (except in NY) and Principal Life Insurance Co. Securities and advisory products offered through Principal Securities, Inc., 800/247-1737, member SIPC. Principal National, Principal Life, and Principal Securities are members of the Principal Financial Group, Des Moines, IA 50392.
* Advisors marketing under DBA are not an affiliate of any company of the Principal Financial Group®.
Important Consumer Information: The Central States Business Center Financial Professionals of Principal Securities may only transact business in a particular state after licensure or satisfying qualifications requirements of that state, or only if he or she is excluded or exempted from the state's registration requirements. Follow-up, individualized responses to consumers in a particular state by any of the Financial Professionals of Principal Securities that involve either the effecting or attempting to effect transactions in securities or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation, as the case may be, shall not be made without first complying with the state's requirements, or pursuant to an applicable state exemption or exclusion. For information concerning the licensure status or disciplinary history of a broker-dealer, investment adviser, BD agent or IA representative or any financial institution he or she represents, contact your state securities law administrator.
The Financial Professionals of Principal Securities are licensed in a number of states to offer insurance products, and life insurance (including variable life), annuities (including variable annuities), and are securities and advisory registered in a number of states This site is not a solicitation of interest in any of these products in any other state.
Principal Life maintains certificates of authority to transact insurance in all 50 states. Principal Life NAIC identification number is 61271. Principal National NAIC identification number 71161.