Neal & Harwell attorney James R. Kelley is the first recipient of the Nashville CARES Iris Buhl Philanthropy Award. Nashville CARES is Tennessee’s largest HIV/AIDS service organization.  (Learn more about Nashville CARES at

The organization planned to honor long-time donor, cherished friend and valiant champion of Nashville CARES, Iris Buhl, with a philanthropy award at its virtual gala that was held on August 22, 2020. But sadly, Iris Buhl passed away on August 11th, before the award could be bestowed.

“We decided to rename the award, The Iris Buhl Philanthropy Award, with its first recipient to be given to long-time CARES supporter James R. Kelley,” says Amna Osman, CEO of Nashville CARES. “Jim is an incredible champion and advocate of the work we do at CARES. Whether serving as a former board chair, providing financial support or being a host for our annual Dining Out For Life event, he does everything with passion and generosity. CARES is fortunate to have a friend in Jim Kelley and we are thrilled to have him as the first recipient of this award.”

Jim handles matters on behalf of corporate and individual clients throughout the U.S. He is recognized by Chambers USA for Bankruptcy/Restructuring in Tennessee and Best Lawyers® for his work in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law.

Jim’s service extends beyond the firm, as he has been a long-time volunteer and leader for numerous civic and professional organizations, including: Nashville CARES, Past President and Board of Directors; Oasis Center, Past President and Board of Directors; Family and Children’s Service, Past President and Board of Directors; and American Bankruptcy Institute, Fellow and Past Chair of Taxation Committee.