Keep Knoxville Beautiful to host 38th annual Orchid Awards
On Tuesday, February 25, 2020, Keep Knoxville Beautiful will host the annual Orchids Beautification Awards at The Press Room, 730 N. Broadway from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. The deadline for purchasing tickets is Friday, February 21st.
The reception begins at 6:00 with complimentary beer and wine provided by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co, Elst Brewing, and the Brewing & Distilling Center. There will also be a specialty cocktails available for purchase by Post Modern Spirits for $10. Cocktail tickets can be purchased ahead of time with online ticket purchases. During the reception, guests can enjoy live music from Old City Buskers.
Dinner and the awards ceremony will begin at 7:00 p.m. The event will be emceed by Discovery Inc.’s Nicki Collett. Keep Knoxville Beautiful. Mandi McKay, Sustainability Manager for Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. will be the keynote speaker of the night.
Tom Salter, retired Knox County Solid Waste Director and previous Keep Knoxville Beautiful Executive Director, will present the fourth Felicia Harris Hoehne Award to Knox County Community Development Director, Dwight Van de Vate. Nicki will present the Orchids Awards to a winner from each of the following seven categories: Redesign/Reuse, Outdoor Space, Community Space, New Architecture, Public Art, Restaurant/Café/Bar/Brewery, and Environmental Stewardship. These awards are given to the individuals who are beautifying our dynamic city.
Finally, Commissioner Carson Dailey, a longtime advocate for beautifying Knox County, will close the night by presenting the Mary Lou Horner Award to KUB’s The Miller Building. The Mary Lou Horner Award is given to a previous Orchid winner that has improved or remains “orchid-worthy.” A list of all nominees can be found at http://www.keepknoxvillebeautiful.org/orchid-awards.
The deadline for purchasing tickets is Friday, February 21st. Individual tickets are $85 each and tables for 8 are $750. Cocktail tickets are available for $10. Tickets can be purchased at www.keepknoxvillebeautiful.org/orchid-awards/. All proceeds benefit Keep Knoxville Beautiful programs.
Founded in 1978 to help “clean up” prior to the 1982 World’s Fair, Keep Knoxville Beautiful is a local non-profit with a mission to promote a cleaner, greener, and more beautiful community. We pursue this by:
Educating students and the public about waste-prevention, litter, recycling, and environmental stewardship
Facilitating and supporting litter pickups that make our roads and local waterways cleaner
Creating and protecting murals and hosting beautification mobs to make Knoxville a more beautiful and interesting place to live and visit
During 2018-19, we
- Facilitated or supported 192 litter pickups
- Collected 67,368 pounds of litter
- Managed 14 beautification projects
- Reached 3,598 kids with our presentations
- Used our recycling trailer and recycling bins to provide recycling for 15 events
- Worked with 3,674 volunteers
- Facilitated 8,904 volunteer hours
To learn more about Keep Knoxville Beautiful, visit keepknoxvillebeautiful.org
University of Tennessee graduates complete pre-seed funding round
Knoxville, Tenn. – Winter Innovations, Inc., a medical device startup dedicated to developing orthopedic surgical tools, announced that the company received funding from four Tennessee-based investment groups in January 2020.
Winter Innovations was co-founded by two University of Tennessee alumni, Lia Winter and Preston Dishner, who graduated with dual MS-MBA degrees in the spring of 2019. Leading the investment round is the Angel Roundtable (ART), an early-stage angel investor network located in Johnson City, Tennessee. Ballad Ventures, an arm of the Ballad Health integrated healthcare system serving 29 counties in the Northeast Tennessee region, has co-invested with ART. Two groups from Memphis, SAGE Business Advisors and Epicenter, have also contributed funds to Winter Innovations.
Winter Innovations is currently working to launch their flagship EasyWhip™ product, a two-part suturing needle that is used in orthopedic surgery to repair torn ligaments and tendons. The company plans to leverage the recently secured investment capital to perform testing necessary to submit for regulatory clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Lia Winter and Preston Dishner initially founded Winter Innovations during their time in graduate school at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville. They worked closely with the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to transform their idea into a viable company.
The two co-founders competed in numerous business pitch competitions, including the Boyd Venture Challenge at The University of Tennessee, the 36|86 Student Edition Pitch Competition hosted by Launch Tennessee, and Knoxville Startup Day sponsored by Innov865. The company has also won several national pitch competitions in Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, and even Canada. In October, Winter Innovations was featured as one of five finalists in a competition at the United States Patent and Trademark Office headquarters. To-date the duo has won ten competitions, earning over $100,000 to fuel development of EasyWhip™. Last summer, Winter Innovations was a member of the 2019 ZeroTo510 medical device accelerator cohort in Memphis.
“Partnering with ART has already brought us incredible strategic value,” said Lia Winter, co-founder and CEO of Winter Innovations. “They are a diverse group of individuals, each of whom possesses in-depth knowledge from their respective business experience. During the extensive due diligence process, we had the opportunity to meet with members who took the time to get to know the intricacies of our business, challenged us with thought-provoking questions, and provided recommendations or introductions when we needed them. The ART members feel like an extension of our team, which is really what we were looking for in an investor group.”
Winter Innovations was initially introduced to the Angel Roundtable through the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. “Tony Lettich was a judge for the Boyd Venture Challenge when we competed at the UT,” said Preston Dishner, co-founder and COO of Winter Innovations. “He saw our very first pitch and witnessed how we evolved as a company over the span of two years. After we graduated from UT and finished ZeroTo510, Tony invited us to pitch to his investment group, the Angel Roundtable.”
“We would not be where we are today if it weren’t for the assistance that we received from the various organizations that support entrepreneurs throughout Tennessee,” said Winter. “The Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation really helped us get our start and prepared us to become an investable company. Now in addition, organizations like Epicenter, Innov865, Launch Tennessee, Life Science Tennessee, and ZeroTo510 support our growth by providing connections and resources. I think that the diversity of support that we have received from all over the state really speaks to Tennessee’s commitment to support entrepreneurs through collaboration. We are so thankful to be part of this ecosystem, and we are very grateful that our current investors have provided us with the means to achieve our next milestones.”
Knoxville Bar Foundation announces grants for 2020
The Knoxville Bar Foundation was established in 1992 to improve the administration of justice, to enhance the public’s understanding of and confidence in the legal system, and to serve the legal profession. The Bar Foundation has awarded grants totaling approximately $ 455,000 for local law related projects and programs since its inception. This is a meaningful contribution to programs that promote and enable the essence of what we as lawyers seek – liberty and justice for all. Last year the Board of Directors approved fifteen grant requests, totaling $35,000.
In May, 2020, the Knoxville Bar Foundation will again award grants to deserving applicants. The individual grant awards usually are $5,000 or less and the deadline for submitting grant applications is March 2, 2020. Please note that grant funding may not be used for operating costs and endowments. We are excited about this year’s grant program and encourage interested parties and organizations to apply. Submit all grant applications before 5:00 p.m. on March 2, 2020 to Charles Swanson, Chairman, Knoxville Bar Foundation, P.O. Box 2027, Knoxville, Tennessee 37901 or deliver to 505 W. Main Street, Suite 50, Knoxville, Tennessee 37902.
Cubic’s GRIDSMART launches version 19.10
SAN DIEGO – Jan. 30, 2019 – Cubic Corporation (NYSE: CUB) today announced its Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS) business division released version 19.10 of its GRIDSMART System. Available for download today, version 19.10 delivers safety features for all vulnerable road users without charging a premium. Version 19.10 deploys pedestrian and cyclist safety features in the base GRIDSMART System, empowering all communities to protect vulnerable road users without additional fees. GRIDSMART is a complete omnidirectional-imaging, real-time computer vision product, comprising of hardware and software, that works with the traffic controller to actuate intersections for cars and bikes and to provide rich intersection performance data.
“Previously, both pedestrian zones and bikes-in-the-box were only available at an added cost, but our commitment to ‘Improve One Billion Lives Through Intelligence’ made us re-examine this premium,” said Jeff Price, vice president and general manager of GRIDSMART, Cubic ITS. “GRIDSMART is the chosen video detection system in 1,200 communities worldwide and we believe all communities deserve the right to protect their citizens, regardless of budget.”
GRIDSMART uses its fisheye Bell Camera, along with real-time computer vision tracking and deep neural net classification, to track and discriminate bicyclists from other road users as they pass into and through intersections. The system provides improved safety for bicyclists while simultaneously improving intersection efficiency for multimodal traffic.
GRIDSMART introduced pedestrian zones several years ago, allowing cities to extend green time for slower pedestrians in the crosswalk. In 2019, GRIDSMART version 19.3 delivered an entirely new way to manage bicyclists at signalized intersections. The system tracks cyclists as they travel through the intersection, providing the correct amount of green time for individuals based on their chosen path and speed.
The GRIDSMART System exists to improve safety and efficiency in intersections worldwide. Many streets are designed to accommodate drivers in cars, leaving pedestrians and cyclists vulnerable without dedicated bike lanes or proper signal times. Despite the data showing that cyclists and cyclist fatalities continue to increase in numbers, cities may not know there are cost-effective solutions to reduce unnecessary fatalities. The new safety features of GRIDSMART version 19.10 can result in fewer accidents at the intersection, improving safety for all communities.
Pilot Company kicks off ‘Life is Why We Give’ campaign for ‘American Heart Month’
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Jan. 30, 2020) – Pilot Company, the largest supplier of fuel and the industry-leading network of travel centers in North America, today announced the return of the Life is Why We Give™ campaign this February with a goal to raise $1 million in support of the American Heart Association’s fight against cardiovascular disease and stroke. Throughout the campaign, guests are invited to visit any of the 700 company-operated travel centers and convenience stores in the U.S. to participate in the fundraising campaign and 100% of the proceeds will benefit the critical programs of the American Heart Association.
“Our continued support of the American Heart Association and the incredible generosity of our guests and team members has contributed more than $2 million for the Life is Why We Give™ campaign since 2018,” said Ken Parent, president of Pilot Company. “Giving to such an important cause, which affects so many of our loved ones, helps the American Heart Association discover breakthroughs and develop initiatives to save and improve lives. Together, we can help countless people within our communities and around the world who are impacted by heart disease and stroke.”
Pilot Company will kick-off its third year of the campaign with several convenient ways for guests to participate at its stores across the country, including company-operated Pilot and Flying J travel centers, Mr. Fuel, Stamart and Pride locations. To easily find nearby locations, download the Pilot Flying J app. The company also will offer ways to give on its Pilot Flying J website and social channels.
During the month of February, Pilot Company’s fundraising initiatives include:
- Paper Heart Icons: $1, $3 and $5 red hearts will be available for purchase at all locations.
- Pin-Pad Round Up or Donation*: Guests can round up their purchase to the nearest whole dollar or elect to donate other amounts at the pin-pad during checkout.
- Donate Online: A donation link also will be included on the company’s campaign website at pilotflyingj.com/life-is-why throughout the month of February to provide guests another convenient way to donate.
- Social Media Donation: On Valentine’s Day, follow @pilotflyingj on social media for an opportunity to “spread the love” and donate to the American Heart Association.
For each of these contribution options, the full amount will be donated directly to the American Heart Association.
To learn more about Pilot Company and its longstanding commitment to giving back, visit pilotcompany.com/about.
*Certain purchases (including, without limitation, fuel and fuel additives and purchases made on fleet cards or direct bill programs) are not eligible for round-up contributions.
Pilot Company is a growth company focused on innovative solutions across its retail, energy and logistics operations. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Pilot Company supplies more than 11 billion gallons of fuel per year. Its industry-leading network of more than 900 retail and fueling locations provides travelers with convenient stops that offer a variety of amenities and products to make road travel easier. The Pilot Flying J travel center network includes locations in 44 states and six Canadian provinces with more than 630 restaurants, 73,000 truck parking spaces, 5,200 deluxe showers, 6,200 diesel lanes and 35 Truck Care service centers. The One9 Fuel Network connects smaller fleets and professional drivers to the services they need at a variety of fueling locations. The energy division optimizes the sourcing and supply of fuel, DEF, bio and renewables and provides critical hauling and disposal services in our nation’s busiest basins as the third largest tanker fleet in North America. Pilot Company is currently ranked No. 10 on Forbes’ list of America’s Largest Private Companies. Visit www.pilotcompany.com for more information.
We all deserve to live a long, healthy and happy life. However, heart disease and stroke are robbing too many of us of this chance. The American Heart Association is working to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to have a quality of life that they can spend more joyfully with family and friends. When people donate or purchase goods and services from our Life is Why We Give cause supporters, we move closer to creating the quality of life we all desire. Life Is Why We Give aims to inspire consumers to think about their reasons to live healthier, longer lives and to give to AHA for those reasons. For too long, heart disease and stroke have stolen our precious moments. It’s time we fight back together and affirm that we’re more powerful than these diseases… because everyone has a reason to live a longer, healthier life… and that reason is why we give.
Tennessee Valley Corridor National Summit to Convene May 27-28 in Johnson City
Oak Ridge, Tenn. – Top leaders from the Tennessee Valley Corridor (TVC) announced today that Congressman Phil Roe (TN) and the Tri-Cities, TN/VA Appalachian Highlands region will play host to hundreds of top science and technology leaders from across the Tennessee Valley Corridor (TVC), when the organization convenes its annual National Summit at Milligan College in Johnson City, Tenn., May 27-28, 2020.
Representing twelve congressional districts working together across the Tennessee Valley region in Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Alabama, the award-winning TVC regional economic development group has supported federal science and technology missions in the Corridor for more than two decades.
The TVC’s annual National Summit is a two-day event designed to share information and advance collaboration between our region’s top federal assets with key educational institutions, local chambers and civic organizations, businesses, and political leaders.
“There are important federal missions being conducted and tremendous technological discoveries occurring all across the Tennessee Valley Corridor,” said U.S. Rep. Phil Roe. “In hosting the TVC National Summit this year at Milligan College in Johnson City, our region has the opportunity to share our story and to look for ways to partner and leverage the terrific work taking place all across the Corridor.”
Registration for the 2020 TVC National Summit in Johnson City will open soon, but Summit Sponsorship opportunities, which includes registrations and exhibiting at the Summit’s trade show, are available now at www.TennValleyCorridor.org . Organizers suggest signing up early as space for both attendees and exhibits at the 2020 National Summit will be limited.
“The Tennessee Valley Corridor and our National Summit are key to maintaining and advancing the important federal missions and investments taking place across the twelve congressional districts that make up the Corridor,” said Bill Tindal, TVC board chair, and CNS site manager of the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge.
“When we work together, our region can compete against any region in the country in serving our nation and solving many of our most important science and technology opportunities and challenges. We look forward to being in Johnson City to celebrate the past 25 years of working together and to accelerate our momentum for the future,” said Tindal.
Sessions at the 2020 Summit will be devoted to showcasing science and technology in the Tri-Cities region, and key updates and discussions from across the Corridor related to America’s national security, energy and environment, education and workforce, and science and space exploration.
Over the past 25 years, the TVC has worked to advance important federal missions and expand federal investments in the Corridor to create more private sector job opportunities across the region. Today, federal investment in the region tops $75 billion annually and directly employs more than 150,000 across 82 different federal agencies in the Corridor.
In recent months, the Corridor organization has been working to land the new U.S. Space Command in Huntsville, Ala. In a letter sent to U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, the Tennessee Valley Corridor (TVC) Board of Directors strongly recommended Huntsville as the ideal location for the new U.S. Space Command (USPACECOM.)
“Huntsville, which is known as the ‘Rocket City,’ is an ideal location for the new headquarters for a wide variety of reasons, including its infrastructure, proximity to existing Defense Department and civilian space organizations, and highly skilled workforce in space technology,” the TVC letter stated.
“Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville is home to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, the U.S Army Space and Missile Defense Command, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research Development, the Missile Defense Agency, among others. Huntsville International Airport and Cummings Research Park, the nation’s second largest research park, also provide the area with accessibility and proximity to the nation’s top
government and civilian space entities.
“Furthermore, the existing workforce in the area stands ready to meet the challenge of new space missions – and the region’s quality of life and low cost of living will be an added bonus when attracting new talent to the area…The mission support you will find in the region is unmatched and we stand ready to assist in making sure that the organization is successful,” the TVC letter concluded.
For more information about the Tennessee Valley Corridor and the National Summit and to learn how to sponsor the event, visit www.TennValleyCorridor.org , or email TVC Executive Director Darrell Akins, atdakins@akinsps.
Blackberry Farm Foundation donates over $170,000 in 2020
(Walland, TN; January 10, 2020) The Blackberry Farm Foundation announced its 2020 grant recipients totaling over $165,000 towards charities in Blount County. This year’s recipients include Smoky Mountain Heritage Center, New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center, Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, Walland Elementary School, Boys & Girls Club of Blount County, Pellissippi Community College and Special Opps, Inc.
“We are honored to continue our focus on supporting Blount County programs and initiatives that make a strong impact in our community,” says Blackberry Farm Proprietor Mary Celeste Beall. “Supporting educational programming at the Smoky Mountain Heritage Center, Walland Elementary and the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont alongside instrumental funding for large scale projects like New Hope Children’s Advocacy and Pellissippi’s Community training center, we are excited to support programs that help deepen the knowledge and love for places and topics we are so passionate about.”
Blackberry Farm Foundation grants focus on charitable organizations that provide services, education and support for children and foodways-related causes. With the opening of the company’s newest resort, Blackberry Mountain, the foundation expanded its giving to organizations that provide educational opportunities around art, conservation and environmental sciences.
Blackberry Farm and the Blackberry Farm Foundation have donated more than $1.8 million to local charities over the last decade including its most recent gifts totaling $165,000.
“Since the beginning of the Blackberry Farm Foundation in 2012, our goal has always been to drive funds into organizations that can make a lasting impact on this community. We are thankful to the generosity of our guests that visit Blackberry concerts and events, our team and the Blackberry Farm business that all contribute to the funds raised to support programs with a strong focus on the education, support and safety of our community’s children and young adults,” said Matt Alexander, Blackberry Farm President.
Blackberry Farm Foundation provides support to local organizations that support children-focused programing around foodways and conservation. Blackberry Farm is honored to raise funds for recipient charities as part of its annual music concert series and cooking schools through silent auctions. For more information, please visit www.blackberryfarm.com/foundation/
ORNL FCU raises funds for the United Way
Each fall, ORNL Federal Credit Union (FCU) employees join together to raise funds for the United Way. The 2019 campaign theme was “Save the Day with United Way” and employees “came to the rescue” by raising $100,000. Since 2014, ORNL FCU employees have raised over $500,000 for the United Way. The annual United Way campaign is just one way ORNL FCU employees live the credit union motto of ‘people helping people’.
The campaign was led by internal advocates who brought energy, passion, and inspiration to the fundraising efforts. The advocates included Holley Graves, Ellen Hawks, and Missy Strickland.
“This year we tried to focus on educating our employees about the many agencies in our communities that benefit from the United Way,” said Hawks. “For example, a one dollar donation can provide three meals to a family through Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee.”
According to Hawks, money raised for the United Way – including employee donations, ORNL FCU’s corporate match, and internal fundraising activities – contributed to the $100,000 donation.
“The employees of ORNL FCU are amazing, caring, and giving individuals who are passionate about helping others. This year’s United Way campaign is just one example of that,” said Colin Anderson, President & CEO of ORNL FCU.
Knoxville Entrepreneur Center hosting ‘What’s The Big Idea? 48-Hour Pitch Competition’ this February
The Knoxville Entrepreneur Center is reaching out all across the community, on the hunt for the next great Knoxville business idea for their upcoming ‘What’s The Big Idea? 48-Hour Pitch Competition.’
The annual ‘What’s The Big Idea? 48-Hour Pitch Competition’ is a weekend-long accelerator that helps early stage companies work on different aspects of their businesses in order to help them get closer to launching or growing their company.
Submit your application to participate in a weekend of mentoring, designing, and pitching. The winner of the competition will receive $10,000 in expense reimbursement. Work side-by-side with local business mentors to craft the perfect pitch for your new startup business or idea. Applications close February 3rd, http://knoxec.com/what-we-do/programs/whats-the-big-idea/.
The event will take place Feb 28 – March 1.
Tennessee Airbnb hosts earned $43.3 million during biggest weekends of 2019
TENN. — Airbnb, the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company, announced today that its Tennessee host community earned a combined $43.3 million in supplemental income while welcoming approximately 217,000 guest arrivals to the State for the five biggest guest arrival weekends in 2019, including the holidays, Labor Day, Memorial Day and summer travel weekends.
“Last year was a big year for Airbnb in Tennessee – with more travelers than ever before taking advantage of the unique and affordable options that Airbnb offers, while Tennessee residents embraced the large economic opportunity that hosting presents,” said Laura Spanjian, Airbnb Senior Policy Director. “As we jump into a new year, we’re proud of the role our hosts play in expanding lodging capacity during heavy travel weekends while delivering important tax revenue to the state. We hope these insights inspire other families to consider becoming Airbnb hosts.”
The home sharing community provides significant value through expanded lodging capacity for Tennessee communities when hotels sell out during big events. These include sports games, major conventions and concerts, and during summer tourism.
Since March 2018, Airbnb has collected and remitted state and local sales taxes due to an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Revenue. In the first year of the agreement, Airbnb double expectations by remitting a combined $22.4 million in tax revenue to Tennessee. In addition to the agreement to collect state and local sales taxes, Airbnb has agreements with Memphis, Knoxville and Hamilton County to collect and remit their local occupancy taxes on behalf of hosts.
Along with helping hosts earn important supplemental income, Airbnb also helps generate revenue for local economies around the world. According to an Airbnb survey of more than 35,000 responses from our host and guest community in the United States**:
92 percent of Airbnb hosts say they recommend restaurants and cafes to guests.
56 percent of Airbnb hosts say they recommend cultural activities such as museums, festivals, and historical sites to guests.
55 percent of Airbnb hosts say hosting has helped them afford their homes.
On average, Airbnb guests say 41 percent of their spending occurs in the neighborhood where they stay.
Unlike other business models that siphon the money they generate out of communities, Airbnb activity directly benefits the communities our hosts call home. Since Airbnb was founded, hosts keep 97 percent and have earned over $65 billion sharing their homes that many use to pay the bills and pursue their passions.
In addition, in 2019, Airbnb reached a landmark cumulative $2 billion in tourist-related taxes that have been collected and remitted to local governments on behalf of our global host community over the past four years.
Airbnb is one of the world’s largest marketplaces for unique, authentic places to stay and things to do, offering over 7 million accommodations and 40,000 handcrafted activities, all powered by local hosts. An economic empowerment engine, Airbnb has helped millions of hospitality entrepreneurs monetize their spaces and their passions while keeping the financial benefits of tourism in their own communities. With more than half a billion guest arrivals to date, and accessible in 62 languages across 191 countries and regions, Airbnb promotes people-to-people connection, community and trust around the world.
Priority Ambulance now accepting applications for free accelerated EMT class in February
Priority Ambulance is offering the chance to become an EMT for free in just eight weeks. The company is now accepting applications for an EMT-Basic course with free tuition, certification and testing. To further remove barriers to entering the EMS field, Priority Ambulance is also offering a training wage and full benefits package as a full-time employee during classroom hours throughout the course.
Priority Ambulance is offering this course in partnership with Roane State Community College’s continuing education program. Instruction is provided by Priority Ambulance EMS educators.
“The EMS industry has a real need for talented, dedicated students to begin their careers in EMS,” said Priority Ambulance Professional Development and Accreditation Manager. “Priority Ambulance has positions immediately available for these students, and this course is the first steppingstone towards continuing to develop their skills in EMS or entering other areas of the healthcare and public safety field. By providing a free class and a wage for them to complete training full-time, we hope to remove all financial barriers towards that goal.”
Priority Ambulance will accept an initial 12 students into its EMT class in February; however, the company will be operating this course multiple times in 2020. Applicants not accepted into this program will have the opportunity to put their application forward for a second identical class that will begin in early summer.
Those accepted into the free course will be fully trained and onboarded to begin working on a Priority ambulance in eight weeks upon passing the national registry exam. The course is offered with a two-year employment commitment.
To apply, interested individuals should fill out an application at www.PriorityAmbulanceTN.com/TrainingAcademy. The second step is to attend a mandatory open interview session and assessment. Two options are being offered for these sessions:
- Thursday, January 30 at 6 p.m., Priority Ambulance of Tennessee, 910 Callahan Drive, Suite 101, Knoxville, TN 37912
- Sunday, February 2 at 2 p.m., Priority Ambulance of Tennessee, 910 Callahan Drive, Suite 101, Knoxville, TN 37912
Applicants should allot approximately two to three hours in order to complete the interviews and assessments.
“Upon passing their exam, our students are immediately able to work on an ambulance making up to $30,000 a year job,” said Asher. “With a company-sponsored paramedic class, they can advance their career to make up to $45,000 a year in a short time. This is a great opportunity.”
The coursework for the class will begin on Feb. 17 and students will graduate from the course to take their national registry exams in April.
Priority Ambulance provides nonemergency medical transportation serving medical facility partners in Knox and Blount counties and is the 9-1-1 ambulance partner to Loudon County. Priority Ambulance has served East Tennessee since 2014 and is the only national ambulance company headquartered in Tennessee.
This week, Loudon County Commission voted to award Priority Ambulance a new five-year contract to provide 911 and emergency service to the county with an option for another five-year renewal. The students in the EMT-Basic class will complete their ride-along requirements included as part of this course in advanced life support ambulances in Loudon County.
3DIQ Transforms the Recruiting Process with New Integrated Staffing Technology Solution
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – 3DIQ is redefining the candidate submittal process with its first-to-market technology solution and advanced reporting suite. Built on a foundation of artificial intelligence and seamless integration, 3DIQ allows recruiters to edit and submit resumes directly from the Bullhorn applicant tracking system (ATS) and receive real-time notifications when they are reviewed by hiring managers. This increased recruiter efficiency and client engagement drives a faster hiring process and more placements.
“In today’s tight labor market, candidates don’t stay on the market for long. Our tool gives recruiters and their clients an edge when it comes to landing top talent,” said Andy Moss, founder and CEO. “Backed by decades of experience in the recruiting industry, we developed the 3DIQ application to address inefficiencies in the candidate submittal process, ultimately resulting in a better recruiter-hiring manager experience that leads to right-fit hires.”
The benefits of 3DIQ are both practical and powerful. They include:
- Recruiter efficiency. Recruiters can edit, format, brand and submit resumes all within their existing ATS. Recruiters save up to 15 minutes per resume, leading to increased productivity and up to 10% more interviews and placements.
- Enhanced collaboration. 3DIQ streamlines collaboration between hiring managers and recruiters, who receive candidate feedback up to 30% faster. Recruiters are notified in real time when specific hiring managers view and provide feedback on submissions, closing the communication gap and giving recruiters better visibility into hiring decisions.
- Unparalleled usability. 3DIQ is as easy to use as it is powerful. It offers a plug-in-and-go submittal process that fits right into a recruiter’s existing workflows, and pushes client input back into Bullhorn.
- Seamless integration. 3DIQ is purpose-built to be both practical and powerful within the Bullhorn ecosystem. Recruiters can submit resumes, right from Bullhorn, via their mobile devices. There is nothing to download or log in to in order to access the app.
While 3DIQ helps recruiters more efficiently meet their client talent demands, it goes beyond just decreasing time-to-fill. Its reporting suite helps staffing firms analyze key metrics at the recruiter, client, job and candidate level at each stage of the recruiting process.
3DIQ reports that resumes sent to hiring managers via the tool see increased engagement, with resume submissions viewed on average for 67 seconds, far longer than the industry average of 7.4 seconds reported via a 2018 Ladders Eye-Tracking Study. In addition, 3DIQ reports that 51% of resumes are viewed by the client within one hour of being submitted by the recruiter, and 50% of 3DIQ resumes receive feedback (approval or decline by the client) within one hour. Seeing these trends over time can help staffing firms understand what best-in-class clients do that leads to more successful placements.
“3DIQ has modernized how we present candidates to hiring managers which results in more placements and a faster hiring process. It’s a high ROI investment,” said Maurice Fuller, StaffingTec Conference co-founder.
3DIQ is a recruiter’s secret weapon. Its first-to-market technology solution and advanced reporting suite have transformed the candidate submittal process, resulting in more interviews and placements in less time. Purpose-built by staffing veterans, 3DIQ is seamlessly integrated with Bullhorn so recruiters can edit, format and submit resumes without leaving the ATS, and receive real-time notifications when they are reviewed by hiring managers. 3DIQ’s advanced reporting suite delivers powerful analytics at the recruiter, client, job, and candidate level to understand strengths and weaknesses at each stage of the recruiting process.
This increased recruiter efficiency and client engagement drives a faster hiring process and more successful client engagements. 3DIQ clients experience 30% faster feedback and 10% more interviews and placements. For more information, visit www.3diq.com.
Call for Artists for the 49th Annual Spring Tennessee Craft Fair
NASHVILLE, TN (January 23, 2020)—Local and regional craft artisans are invited to submit their artwork for the 49th Annual Spring Tennessee Craft Fair by February 15, 2020. This juried show presents over 200 of the region’s finest craft artists on the lawn in Centennial Park May 1, 2 and 3, 2020. The Tennessee Craft Spring Fair is open to artists 18 years of age or older who are Tennessee residents, artists studying at Tennessee institutions, and residents of contiguous states, which include Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, and Virginia.
Tennessee Craft Fairs are the premier outdoor events for artists to showcase and sell their work by connecting to the community and demonstrating their craft knowledge. One of two signature fairs, held each spring and fall, the Tennessee Craft Spring Fair is the largest craft fair of its caliber in the region, serving approximately 45,000 visitors in Nashville’s high-traffic midtown park.
Through the fairs and a robust calendar of year-round programs, Tennessee Craft continues to inspire future generations of craft artists and collectors. The 49th Annual Spring Tennessee Craft Fair offers cash awards including Best of Show ($1000). Awards support Tennessee Craft’s mission of encouraging artists in their work, developing their craft and elevating their career.
For more information, please visit: http://tennesseecraft.org/craft-fairs.
The Tennessee Craft Fair offers many benefits to participants, including convenient load-in and out directly behind their booth (weather permitting), complimentary breakfast and parking, and 24-hour security, along with professional advertising and promotion. Additionally, each year brings a new panel of jurors.
The deadline to apply is February 15 at http://zapplication.org/event-info.php?ID=7670.
‘What’s the Big Idea?!’ program accepting applications
Ever dream of being on Shark Tank? Have that great idea your mom loves, but haven’t told anyone else about? Know you’ve got the next big thing? Submit your application for ‘What’s the Big Idea?!’ 2020 before February 3rd.
Compete to win up to $10,000 in expense reimbursement in a 48-hour weekend business pitch competition February 28 through March 1. WTBI is Shark Tank meets Lock-In with $10k on the line. RSVP to the finale and pitch competition here.
Work side-by-side with local business mentors to craft the perfect pitch for your new startup business or idea. We have business mentors who can help you with your business plan from start to finish from Legal, Marketing, Finance, Sales, Design, Technology, and more.
‘What’s the Big Idea?!’ 48-Hour Launch is a weekend-long business start-up summit designed to inspire entrepreneurial action. The competition will bring together bright minds over one weekend to participate in an intensive period of prototyping, community building, planning, incubation, and launching.
The winning idea will be advanced to the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center’s CO.STARTERS Program and be eligible for up to $10,000 in business launch reimbursement costs after completing the program.
The Village at Westland Cove apartment project currently in
KNOXVILLE (Jan. 22, 2020) — The Village at Westland Cove, a 240-unit, Class A,
multi-family apartment project situated along Fort Loudoun Lake in West Knoxville, is
currently in its lease-up phase after the final building was delivered in December 2019.
According to StoneRiver Company — the Birmingham, Alabama-based firm whose
Property Management division is managing the site — the project is seeing early
leasing velocity that they anticipate will accelerate even faster during first quarter.
“Thanks to the thoughtful design of its one-, two-, and three-bedroom floor plans —
coupled with its unique lakeside location, luxurious resort-style amenities and easy I-40
access — The Village at Westland Cove is a sought-after living space for Knoxville
residents desiring a vacation-like feel for everyday living,” said Diane Chastain, vice
president of StoneRiver Property Management.
Birmingham-based Capstone Building served as general contractor for the project. In
addition to floor plans offering up to 1,521 square feet of living space, amenities such
as direct access to Fort Loudoun Lake, garages, a swimming pool, sundeck, outdoor
kitchen, picnic area, two on-site dog parks, 24-hour fitness center, cycling room, yoga
room, business center, and pet spa all make for a unique addition to the Knoxville
When asked about StoneRiver’s choice to develop in Knoxville, Welden noted, “We like
the fundamentals of the Knoxville market and are interested in growing our multifamily
portfolio in the area because demand has suppressed vacancies below historical
averages. In this current economic expansion, the city has achieved remarkable
economic growth due to a low cost of living, growth in the hospitality and
manufacturing sectors, and the presence of the University of Tennessee, the U.S.
Department of Energy and Covenant Health — which together employ nearly 30,000
For more information on The Village at West Cove, please visit VillageatWestland.com.
To learn more about StoneRiver Company and its real estate services, visit
Originally founded in 1995 to manage real estate investments for high net worth
individuals, Birmingham, Alabama-based StoneRiver Company has since become a fullservice real estate company that has acquired, developed, leased, managed and sold
real estate with an aggregate gross asset value exceeding $1 billion. StoneRiver
Company currently owns and operates a large multifamily portfolio throughout the
Southeast and is currently fundraising for its Fund II. More information can be accessed
The Lodge at Shannondale to offer upscale independent senior living
KNOXVILLE, Tenn., January 22, 2020- In response to the growing demand for senior living options, Shannondale announced today the addition of The Lodge at Shannondale. This upscale active living community will honor the beauty of East Tennessee. This craftsman style building will be located on Shannondale Knoxville’s campus at the corner of Vanosdale and Middlebrook Pike in West Knoxville. The Lodge is scheduled to open in winter of 2020 with pre-sales now open to the public.
“We’ve seen a significant increase in the demand for quality senior living communities over the past 10 years,” said Todd Taylor, CEO of Shannondale. “As life expectancies continue to rise and people stay active longer, our mission is to build a place where seniors can live their best life. “
Upscale amenities include a fitness and wellness center. The center will house an indoor pool. The lobby area will feature a “Main Street” concept much like Shannondale’s WellPark Rehabilitation Center. The “Main Street” will also include dining options with areas for family gatherings and social events. The interior design will be reminiscent of a mountain chalet complete with a cozy fireplace.
The individual floor plan options will be one and two bedrooms with kitchens with square footage ranging from approximately 771 to1550 square-feet. Interior design options will be available such as flooring and paint color selections. All floor plans will enjoy their own private balcony or patio space.
The Lodge will also offer daily dining, wellness programs, housekeeping, security and generous parking.
Cooper Architecture designed the impressive structure and all its amenities.
Owner Randy Cooper said, “It was important to create a space that feels like home for the residents, a place where we would be excited to live or visit loved ones.”
Construction is currently underway by The Christman Company.
“Watching this come together and being part of something that meets a need in the community is incredibly fulfilling for our company,” stated Vice President Marty Gibbs.
Financing the build is Home Federal Bank.
“We are delighted to assist in facilitating a project that will undoubtedly enrich the lives of East Tennesseans and their families,” remarked President David Reynolds.
“Eventually, most of us tire of home maintenance, yard work and upkeep,” said Taylor. “The Lodge at Shannondale offers stress-free, maintenance-free, safe and socially active living, so seniors can live the best years of their life, their way.”
Shannondale opened its doors in 1967 and has since become a leader in senior living communities, with multiple locations in both Knoxville and Maryville. Employing over 600 highly skilled staff and health care professionals, Shannondale provides a continuum of care enabling residents to retain their independence longer and stay within the same family-friendly community and have “Better Care, For Life”. http://shannondaletn.org/
Priority Ambulance awarded new contract for 9-1-1 ambulance service
with Loudon County, Tennessee
Loudon County Commission unanimously voted Tuesday to award Priority Ambulance a new contract to provide exclusive emergency and nonemergency service to the county.
The vote approves a new contract with an initial term of five years that goes into effect February 1 with the possibility of an additional five-year renewal.
“Priority Ambulance has been an exceptional ambulance service partner for the past five years,” Loudon County Mayor Buddy Bradshaw said. “Not only does Priority provide efficient and effective emergency care to our citizens when they need it most, but they go above and beyond with programs and initiatives that promote better health in our community, such as CPR, first aid and stop the bleed training in our schools and first responders, AED programs and countless hours supporting community events, festivals and parades. We are proud to continue our relationship with them.”
Priority Ambulance also is the contracted provider for the cities of Lenoir City and Loudon. Priority Ambulance provides 9-1-1 ambulance response to all areas with Loudon County at no cost to the county or its cities.
“Loudon County and the cities of Lenoir City and Loudon were among the first communities to choose Priority Ambulance when we established our national headquarters in East Tennessee,” said Priority Ambulance CEO Bryan Gibson. “We value the county’s continued trust in our local team, most of whom are long-time residents of Loudon County serving their neighbors, friends and family.”
In the new contract term, Priority Ambulance also is bringing significant new investment in vehicles and equipment to the area. The company has already placed two new Ford E350 ambulances in the county, customized specifically for Loudon County with a box-style for greater space, and will provide additional new ambulances in 2020 for a total of four new ambulances in the frontline fleet.
Additionally, Priority Ambulance is placing a Lucas 3 automatic chest compression device on each ambulance and with local first responders to extend early intervention for cardiac arrests with consistent, effective chest compressions in the field. A total of eight Lucas devices will be placed in Loudon County – one in each of Priority’s four frontline ambulances and one device will be placed with each of our Loudon County first responders.
The Lucas device automates consistent, uninterrupted chest compressions from arrival throughout transportation. First responders, paramedics and EMTs have hands free to complete other important tasks with the patient during transport, and there is no risk of quality degradation of compressions due to fatigue.
“Studies show that early intervention and uninterrupted, consistent chest compressions significantly improves survival in patients who suffer cardiac arrest outside of the hospital,” said Priority Ambulance Vice President Rob Webb. “As part of our analysis for this new contract, we analyzed cardiac arrest data within the county to ensure the strategic placement of the chest compression devices. We believe this device will enhance the Loudon County EMS system’s response to cardiac arrests, particularly in the rural areas where first responders are often first on the scene.”
Priority Ambulance will continue to provide free standby service for sporting events, festivals, parades and other community events; and host free CPR, first-aid and public safety classes for the community. Since 2015, Priority Ambulance has trained more than 2,500 individuals in CPR, including every schoolteacher in Loudon County, first responders and law enforcement, and trained 1,135 in bleeding control techniques.
Priority Ambulance serves more than 400,000 patients annually with approximately 3,000 highly trained paramedics and EMTs staffing a fleet of approximately 500 state-of-the-art vehicles with the latest medical equipment and technology. Priority Ambulance operates in 10 states under trusted local brands that provide emergency and non-emergency medical transport services.
The Priority Ambulance family of companies includes Shoals Ambulance in Alabama; Maricopa Ambulance in Arizona; Puckett EMS in Georgia and Southeast Tennessee; Central EMS in Georgia; National EMS in Georgia; Seals Ambulance in Indiana; Kunkel Ambulance in upstate New York; Trans Am Ambulance in western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania; Medshore Ambulance in South Carolina; and Priority Ambulance in east Tennessee. Priority Ambulance also serves Baptist Memorial Health Care facilities in west Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas under the Baptist brand. For more information, go to www.priorityambulance.com.
FB Financial Corporation announces merger with Franklin Financial Network
NASHVILLE, Tenn. & FRANKLIN, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–FB Financial Corporation (NYSE: FBK), parent company of FirstBank, and Franklin Financial Network, Inc. (NYSE: FSB), parent company of Franklin Synergy Bank, jointly announced their entry into a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which Franklin will be merged with and into FB Financial.
Franklin is headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee with 15 branches throughout Williamson, Rutherford and Davidson counties in the Nashville MSA. Franklin is the leading community bank in its primary markets, demonstrated by its strong market shares in Williamson and Rutherford counties. Franklin reported total assets of $3.9 billion, loans of $2.8 billion and deposits of $3.2 billion as of December 31, 2019.
The combination significantly enhances FirstBank’s operations in the Nashville MSA, specifically in the attractive Williamson and Rutherford counties where Franklin has a strong community presence. Pro forma for the transaction, FirstBank’s deposit market share will be #6 in the Nashville MSA, #1 in Williamson County and #2 in Rutherford County.
FB Financial’s President and CEO Christopher T. Holmes commented, “We are very excited to announce our proposed merger with Franklin. Franklin is a well-known, high-service community bank with a leading position in Williamson and Rutherford counties. We are joining forces with the leading community bank in two of the most attractive counties in our market area. We look forward to building on the strong customer relationships that Franklin has fostered.”
Franklin’s CEO, J. Myers Jones, III, commented, “Our team is excited to join the FB Financial family. We believe that this transaction benefits all of our stakeholders, and we firmly believe that we will be better together. Our focus will remain concentrated on our customers, and our ability to serve their needs will be stronger than ever.”
As part of the transaction, key Franklin executives have agreed to remain with FB Financial following the closing and have entered into employment arrangements that will become effective upon the completion of the merger with FB Financial.
Following the transaction, FB Financial will establish a primary operations center and its mortgage headquarters for the combined company at Franklin’s existing corporate headquarters in downtown Franklin, Tennessee.
Following the close of the transaction, three members of Franklin’s board of directors will be appointed to the FB Financial board of directors.
According to the terms of the merger agreement, Franklin shareholders will receive 0.9650 shares of FB Financial common stock and $2.00 in cash for each share of Franklin stock. Based on FB Financial’s closing price of $38.80 per share as of January 17, 2019, the implied transaction value is approximately $611 million in the aggregate or $39.44 per share.
The transaction is expected to be approximately 10% accretive to FB Financial’s earnings per share on a fully-phased in basis and neutral to FB Financial’s tangible book value per share at the close of the transaction. These strong return metrics include a substantial loan mark and achievable cost savings assumptions as well as plans to reduce the risk of Franklin’s balance sheet by exiting approximately $430 million of shared national credits and non-strategic healthcare and corporate loans and paying down non-core funding with the net proceeds.
Additionally, Mr. Holmes commented, “The combination provides FB Financial meaningful earnings accretion, while remaining neutral on tangible book value per share. As in every combination, protecting the balance sheet is paramount, so these financial returns come after taking a conservative approach to the balance sheet; we are assuming a 3.9% mark to loans. We are also assuming 30% cost savings, even though we have significant overlap in our respective branch networks. We will accelerate Franklin’s strategy of exiting non-strategic assets and growing the core community bank. The combined franchise will be well positioned to build on our strong existing customer relationships and grow our greater Nashville area presence.”
The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by both companies’ boards of directors. The merger is expected to close in the third quarter of 2020 and is subject to regulatory approvals, approval by FB Financial’s and Franklin’s shareholders and other customary closing conditions. James W. Ayers, FB Financial’s Executive Chairman and 44% owner of FB Financial, has entered into a customary voting agreement to vote his shares in favor of the transaction. Additionally, each member of Franklin’s board of directors has entered into similar voting agreements.
J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as financial advisor to FB Financial Corporation, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz served as legal advisor. Evercore served as financial advisor to Franklin Financial Network, Inc., and Alston & Bird LLP served as legal advisor.
In addition to the information contained within this press release, an Investor Presentation has been posted to FB Financial’s website (www.firstbankonline.com) and Franklin’s website (www.franklinsynergybank.com) and has been furnished as an exhibit to a Form 8-K filed by each company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
FB Financial Corporation will host a conference call to discuss the announced merger with Franklin Financial Network, Inc. and the company’s financial results at 5:00 p.m. CT on Tuesday, January 21, 2020, and the conference call will be broadcast live over the internet at https://www.webcaster4.com/Webcast/Page/1631/32670. An online replay will be available approximately an hour following the conclusion of the live broadcast.
FB Financial Corporation (NYSE: FBK) is a bank holding company headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. FB Financial operates through its wholly owned banking subsidiary, FirstBank, the third largest Tennessee-headquartered bank, with 68 full-service bank branches across Tennessee, North Alabama and North Georgia, and mortgage offices across the Southeast. FirstBank serves five of the largest metropolitan markets in Tennessee and has approximately $6.1 billion in total assets.
Franklin Financial Network, Inc. (NYSE: FSB) is a financial holding company headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee. The company’s wholly owned bank subsidiary, Franklin Synergy Bank, a Tennessee-chartered commercial bank founded in November 2007 and a member of the Federal Reserve System, provides a full range of banking and related financial services with a focus on service to small businesses, corporate entities, local governments and individuals. With consolidated total assets of $3.9 billion at December 31, 2019, the Bank currently operates through 15 branches in the growing Williamson, Rutherford and Davidson counties and one loan production/deposit production office in Wilson County, all within the Nashville metropolitan statistical area.
Knoxville Firm offers North American analysis for 2020 #WorldPRreport
Knoxville, TN – Knoxville-based Fletcher Marketing PR helped lead the global public relations industry’s analysis of key issues, trends and opportunities facing global PR, with the recent release of the “World PR Report 2020: Agency Views of the Path Ahead,” by the London, UK-based International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO).
ICCO represents 3000-plus PR firms in 66 countries worldwide, including Fletcher Marketing PR. ICCO’s annual World PR Report includes industry assessments on PR agency growth and opportunity; talent development and challenges; digital trends; measurement / evaluation; and client requests.
Mary Beth West, MPRCA, senior strategist with Fletcher PR, authored the report’s North American market analysis, with a summation of critical issues playing out across the continent among PR firms and the clients they serve, such as increasing politicization concerns in the media and consumer spheres, diversity and inclusion, and workforce-development needs.
In addition to North America, the report included regional results for Africa and the Middle East; Asia-Pacific; Latin America; Eastern Europe; the United Kingdom and Western Europe – with summaries authored by such firms as Burson Cohn and Wolfe, Ogilvy and Opinium.
“We are quite proud to have a voice in this year’s ICCO World PR Report, particularly given our profile as a woman-owned firm based in the U.S. Southeast and also specializing in marketing to women,” said CEO Kelly Fletcher, MPRCA.
Kelly Fletcher and Mary Beth West co-host the new Fletcher PR podcast, “Ms. InterPReted” (#MsInterPReted), available for download on Apple podcasts, Google Play, Spotify and other podcasting platforms. With offices in Knoxville and Atlanta, Fletcher Marketing PR uses story-based strategic communications to produce measurable results.
Download the ICCO World PR Report 2020 today: https://buff.ly/2Xdo4CL
Aubrey’s Restaurant opens in Sevierville
Knoxville, TN – Next week, Aubrey’s Restaurants will officially open its newest location in Sevier County. The new location will mark the 14th Aubrey’s opened in East Tennessee since Knoxville native Randy Burleson opened his first location in 1992.
“I have always wanted to be in Sevier County, and have been searching for years for the perfect location,” says Burleson, “We really wanted to be “off the beaten path” and let our Sevierville location serve the local community just like our other locations. We think being in the heart of Sevierville, will allow us to get to know our guests on a personal level, which is something I think makes Aubrey’s special.”
Burleson, a Knoxville native and University of Tennessee graduate, opened his first Aubrey’s in the town of Farragut in 1992. Since then, the company has grown to 14 Aubrey’s locations and has acquired or launched multiple other restaurants including Bistro by the Tracks, Sunspot, Bluetick Tavern, Fieldhouse Social, drink and two Stafanos Pizza locations.
Aubrey’s has always lived by the simple motto of “Real Comfort. Real Food. Real Good”. A commitment more than a slogan, Aubrey’s has consistently demonstrated its dedication to the teachers, students and residents who make the communities in which we serve so great.
The vast majority of Aubrey’s employees live in the same neighborhoods as the guests who visit. In addition, Aubrey’s is committed to serving the highest level of fresh and locally sourced meats, fish, fruit and vegetables possible.
“I’m very excited to finally be open in Sevierville!” Burleson adds, “We hope you’ll come visit us and give us a chance to say hello!”
Eddie Reymond gives big with Valentine 5K
For the 6th year running, Eddie Reymond, heart and soul of ZenEvo Chocolate and area retail stores Eddie’s Health Shoppe, will be supporting the ZenEvo Hot for Chocolate 5K.
The event will take place on Saturday, February 15 with a race start time of 9am, doors opening at 7am. People dress up in Valentine’s outfits, and the event is well-attend by Knoxvillians of all ages. Lots of families, and runners of all skill levels. Prizes are all about chocolate. Please see attached collage of images from last year’s race. Folks come out for the amazing Finishers Chocolate: fruits and cake dipped in ZenEvo chocolate. This is the best community event in February!
Local sponsors will be there: Coffee and Hot Chocolate served by Brynn Coffee, Race Gear/Supplements by The Long Run, and of course the chocolate by ZenEvo Chocolate.
Runningboards Marketing co-founder to stop in Knoxville on January 29th on Southeast tour
In today’s marketing landscape, there are a plethora of options. With brands posting advertisements across radio, podcasts, television and online, it is important to develop a method that marries both digital and traditional forms of marketing to create the strongest results. The advertising franchise brand Runningboards Marketing (RBM) has found a way to combine the best of both worlds with the state-of-the-art Digital Advertising Vehicle (DAV®), pronounced “Dave,” which targets audiences through mobile, customizable and eye-catching ads.
Runningboards Marketing President and Co-Founder Calvin McNeely will be driving DAV to Knoxville on Wednesday, January 29th. The company is seeking to bring its first territory to the area in 2020, and ultimately plans to bring 6 territories to Knoxville. Those six territories would put 10 DAVs on the road and create 25-35 jobs locally.
Runningboards Marketing was founded in 2018 by Calvin McNeely and Zach Yelle who met at church. Yelle had a background in tech production and McNeely is a serial entrepreneur who had founded Atlanta-based airport runway company Hi-Lite Airfield Services. Together, the two created a cut-through-the-noise solution in the advertising space.
“I’ve done a ton of business in the state of Tennessee, rehabilitating runways with my former company. While servicing the McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville, I always found the community to be friendly and hard working. And those are the types of people we’d like to do business with,” said McNeely. “All business owners, no matter the size of their business, know the importance of their network. And if you want to activate your network and expand your reach, you need to communicate the value of your offering in compelling ways and tailor your message for your intended audience. RBM fills a void in the marketplace by giving big and small businesses a chance to get their stories in front of the right people and not lose out to the noise.”
DAV drives around specific markets so that geo-targeted audiences will have a chance to catch sight of DAV’s displays—and thus receive messaging tailored to their needs, interests and consumer behavior. Large brands like Orangetheory Fitness and State Farm have already jumped on the new digital opportunity.
For more information on scheduling a time to meet with Calvin and DAV on Wednesday, January 29th, please visit: https://rbm-franchise.com/southeast/.
Trane Earns Tennessee Valley Authority’s Excellence in Customer Service Award for second consecutive year
Davidson, NC, January 20, 2020 – Trane®, a leading global provider of indoor comfort solutions and services, has earned the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) Excellence in Customer Service Award for the second consecutive year. This annual recognition honors contractors in TVA’s Preferred Partner Network based on customer survey ratings. Trane received the highest number of customer survey responses, with a maximum possible average rating and perfect score: 5 out of 5. Trane is the only business to receive this honor two years in a row.
Trane’s team of dedicated energy experts in Tennessee work hand in hand with public school systems, community colleges, and city and county governments on numerous comprehensive energy saving projects. When surveyed, these entities positively reflected on Trane’s quality of service and products, delivery, communication, professionalism and ability to navigate the incentives application process.
“Trane is a trusted partner, helping us address the issues in our facilities,” said Chris Marczak, superintendent of schools, Maury County Public Schools. “Their assistance has been absolutely amazing; they are a true partner in helping us, help more kids learn.”
Trane energy projects often include major upgrades to heating and air conditioning systems, LED lighting, plumbing and building envelopes, as well as building automation and control system installations, which save and track energy usage. Many aspects of these projects advance the physical learning environment for students by improving light levels in classrooms, and more closely controlling temperatures and ventilation requirements, which improve indoor air quality. These projects typically require no new tax dollars, and fund themselves through the energy savings they create.
Trane’s performance-based contracts deliver significant energy and operating cost reductions with a guarantee of performance. This structure allows savings to be used as debt service capacity – paying for projects partially or in full, with Trane guaranteeing the energy savings. Trane pursues additional funding resources for these projects through the State of Tennessee Energy Efficient Schools Initiative (EESI), benefitting K-12 customers with a low interest loan from the State of Tennessee.
Since Trane started implementing these guaranteed energy saving projects, Tennessee customers have saved more than $400 million dollars in utility costs – money that can be reinvested in the classroom and the community.
“At Trane, our customers count on us to help navigate the complex energy space and find solutions that create the best environment possible while delivering energy and operational savings,” said Brian Durr, vice president and area general manager for Trane. “We are creating more comfortable places to learn and work and reducing energy use, both of which have a positive impact on our future. We’re honored to be recognized by Tennessee Valley Authority and our customers for this important work.”
KCDC to share updates to Austin Homes master plan at Jan. 27 open house
Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) invites the community to review updates to the master plan for the Austin Homes site at an open house Monday, Jan. 27, from 4:30-7 p.m., at Green Magnet Academy, 801 Lula Powell Drive in East Knoxville.
Attendees can get an overview of the updated master plan and the first phases of development at presentations scheduled for 4:30 and 5:45 p.m.
The Austin Homes master plan is based on months of dialogue with residents, stakeholders and community members in interviews and public meetings. Topics discussed have included options for overall site usage, street layouts, residential building types and use of open spaces, along with research and analyses regarding Knoxville’s housing and retail markets. The Chicago team of Gensler, a global architecture firm based in San Francisco, and Knoxville-based Johnson Architecture are KCDC’s design partners.
“Austin Homes residents, stakeholders and other community members have provided valuable feedback during this master planning process,” KCDC Executive Director and CEO Ben Bentley said. “Due to its proximity to downtown Knoxville, Austin Homes is a unique opportunity for community and residential revitalization.”
Established in 1941, Austin Homes is a nearly 23-acre site located just east of downtown. KCDC will replace the site’s existing affordable housing units and add a mix of housing choices for families and individuals of varied income levels and other appropriate non-residential uses to create a vibrant urban community.
The affordable housing units are estimated to include:
- 129 subsidized units replacing the units on-site at the time of redevelopment
- 71 or more Low Income Housing Tax Credit units, available to families earning 50% of Area Median Income (AMI)
- 110 units available to families earning up to 80% of AMI
- 110 units available to families earning up to 100% of AMI
Austin Homes residents have been provided relocation choices at other KCDC properties, including the revitalized Five Points community and the recently renovated The Vista at Summit Hill, which are both nearby and in the same school district. These residents will have the right to return to the Austin Homes site when the first phases of revitalization are complete. KCDC anticipates breaking ground on the first phases later this year.
Construction will be funded primarily through low-income housing tax credits valued at $13 million from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency. Awarded through a competitive process, the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) is a credit against federal income tax liability each year for 10 years for owners and investors in low-income rental housing. The credits allow KCDC to raise private equity for development.
In December, Knoxville City Council approved $4.25 million in funding for infrastructure improvements supporting the master plan.
Since 1936, KCDC has been dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for the citizens of Knoxville. KCDC’s mission is to improve and transform neighborhoods and communities by providing high-quality affordable housing, advancing development initiatives and fostering self-sufficiency. For more information, call 865-403-1100 or visit http://www.kcdc.org.
Villa Collina bash benefits Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee
Barton Racing and Villa Collina owner Dr. Eric W. Barton hosted a New Year’s Eve bash to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee, resulting in a donation that will provide 30,000 meals to people in East Tennessee.
Following “Bee’s Knees NYE: A 2020 Affair” at Villa Collina on Dec. 31, Barton presented a check for $10,000 to the nonprofit.
“We are grateful for everything Eric Barton has done to help address hunger in East Tennessee,” said Elaine Streno, executive director of Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee. “One in five children and one in eight adults are at risk of hunger in the 18 counties we serve. This donation allows us to start the new year with some momentum as we continue the fight to end hunger in East Tennessee.”
The New Year’s Eve event featured local music and arts performances, a silent auction and a fireworks show to ring in 2020.
“I’m honored to be able to open the doors of Villa Collina for this New Year’s Eve celebration and other events that benefit our community and local nonprofits,” Barton said. “Second Harvest Food Bank provides vital services to East Tennessee. In just a few hours, we were able to raise money to help a worthwhile organization.”
Barton has hosted several fundraising events for nonprofits at Villa Collina, including the 2019 Talk Derby to Me benefiting East Tennessee Children’s Hospital Pain & Palliative Care; 2017 and 2018 events in support of the Knoxville Opera Guild; three years of hosting the University of Tennessee’s School of Music Holiday Musicale; and the 2017 Marine Corps Ball celebrating the birthday of the U.S. Marines.
Second Harvest Food Bank is the East Tennessee region’s largest hunger-relief charity, operating programs in 18 counties. The food bank secures and distributes more than 20 million pounds of food and grocery products annually through a network of 550+ partnering nonprofit organizations such as food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters and schools. For more information on how to support Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee, visit https://secondharvestetn.org/.
AESSEAL announces major investment in US manufacturing division
AESSEAL®, the global manufacturer of mechanical seals and support systems, has increased capacity in its US operations with investments totalling almost $16 million.
Over the past year the AESSEAL group, which is held by Rotherham based AES Engineering Ltd, has ploughed around $11 million into its US manufacturing facility in Rockford, Tennessee. The plant now has six state-of-the-art nine-axes machine tools.
The company will invest a further $5 million in its fully owned subsidiary, MS&S, in Odessa, Texas which primarily focuses on the oil & gas industry. The bulk of the investment will finance the construction of a $3.7 million building having outgrown its current location. This will bring it up to the AESSEAL® standard and further raise the profile of MS&S in the oil & gas industry.
The increased productivity will mean that 85 per cent of mechanical seals and support systems offered for sale by AESSEAL Inc will be made in the USA.
AESSEAL Inc. CEO Pete Rouleau said “This investment represents the confidence the company has in the opportunity for our products in North America and recognises the importance of our ability to manufacture in the USA. Our ability to manufacture locally will further improve what we already believe is the best customer service in our industry, which ultimately will be to the benefit of our customers.”
Chris Rea, Group Managing Director of AES Engineering Ltd, said: “As our US business, AESSEAL Inc, has grown, the group has concluded that investment in the US market is essential to ensure that we continue to be true to our central goal of providing exceptional customer service.
“It is also a sign of confidence in the United States, which is the largest and most dynamic market in the world.”
Beauford Delaney and James Baldwin: Through the Unusual Door opens February 7 at the Knoxville Museum of Art
January 17, 2020 (Knoxville, TN) – The Knoxville Museum of Art presents Beauford Delaney and James Baldwin: Through the Unusual Door February 7-May 10, 2020. This exhibition of 50+ paintings, works on paper, and unpublished archival material examines the 38-year relationship between painter Beauford Delaney (Knoxville 1901-1979 Paris) and writer James Baldwin (New York 1924-1987 Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France) and the ways their ongoing intellectual exchange shaped one another’s creative output and worldview.
Through the Unusual Door seeks to identify and disentangle the skein of influences that grew over and around a rich, complex lifetime relationship with a selection of Delaney’s works that reflects the powerful presence of Baldwin in Delaney’s life. The exhibition draws from the KMA’s extensive Delaney holdings, public and private collections around the country, and rarely displayed papers held by the Delaney estate. KMA curator Stephen Wicks is organizing the exhibition, which is accompanied by a color-illustrated catalogue published by the University of Tennessee Press.
The KMA is proud to hold the world’s largest public collection of work by Knoxville native Beauford Delaney, who overcame poverty, racial discrimination, and mental illness to achieve international renown. The young Delaney’s precocious talent was recognized by Lloyd Branson, Knoxville’s first full-time professional artist, who mentored Beauford and his brother Joseph. By 1929, Beauford Delaney had settled in New York where he attracted a distinguished circle of cultural luminaries that included Georgia O’Keeffe and Henry Miller, but it was the much younger James Baldwin who had the most significant influence on the artist. Baldwin found in Delaney a father figure, muse, and model of perseverance as a gay man of color. Delaney found in Baldwin a powerful intellectual and spiritual anchor who inspired some of his finest works. Encouraged by Baldwin, Delaney left New York in 1953 and settled in Paris, where he lived until his death in 1979 and where artist and writer continued their long and mutually beneficial relationship. Through the Unusual Door presents the story of Baldwin and Delaney in a way that inspires reconsideration of their life circumstances and raises important questions about the nature of the racial and sexual identity barriers they faced.
The exhibition title Through the Unusual Door comes from a passage in Baldwin’s volume of collected essays The Price of the Ticket (1985) describing the author’s reaction to his initial encounter with Delaney in the doorway of the artist’s Greenwich Village studio: “Lord, I was to hear Beauford sing, later, and for many years, open the unusual door… I walked through that door into Beauford’s colors.” This first meeting encapsulates Delaney’s transformational effect on Baldwin’s view of himself and the world he lived in, and set the tone for the painter’s role in the author’s life as a father figure and mentor. Baldwin, in turn, inspired Delaney with his fearless social conscience and commitment to civil rights causes. They helped each other to move beyond the pain and oppression imposed on them by the world.
While no other figure in Beauford Delaney’s extensive social orbit approaches James Baldwin in the extent and duration of influence, none of the major exhibitions of Delaney’s work has explored in any depth the creative exchange between the two. Previous scholarship has almost exclusively emphasized the artist’s stylistic evolution from the 1940s to the 1960s as a function of his move from New York to Paris. Through the Unusual Door posits the idea that this profound stylistic change was in part inspired by the intellectual and personal relationship between Delaney and Baldwin. Ordinary daily observations–reflections in puddles in the streets of Greenwich village or the quality of light filtered through the window of Delaney’s studio in the Paris suburb of Clamart–sparked extraordinary creative exchanges between the two. The exhibition incorporates previously unpublished archival materials and artworks that promise to extend the understanding of Delaney’s aesthetic agenda and range and reveal the extent of his ties to Baldwin.
Acquiring and showing the work of Knoxville native Beauford Delaney has been a longstanding institutional priority for the Knoxville Museum of Art. In the summer of 2017 the museum organized Gathering Light: Works by Beauford Delaney from the KMA Collection, the first-ever showing of its own holdings. Gathering Light kicked off a multi-year, community-wide initiative to honor the legacy of Beauford and his brother, Joseph, under the rubric of the Delaney Project, a consortium of organizations and individuals dedicated to making the Delaney brothers better known in their hometown. The KMA, the East Tennessee Historical Society, Beck Cultural Exchange Center, Marble City Opera, and the University of Tennessee Humanities Center are just a few of the organizations involved in presenting the Delaney brothers to the local community and to the world. The KMA expects Through the Unusual Door to make a significant contribution to Delaney scholarship, raise the museum’s institutional profile nationally, promote the artist’s legacy in his hometown, and enhance Knoxville’s standing as a center for Beauford Delaney studies.
Beauford Delaney and James Baldwin: Through the Unusual Door is made possible by generous underwriting from the Henry Luce Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Art Dealers Association of America Foundation.
Additional events surrounding the exhibition include:
Friday, February 7
KMA Exhibition Preview in conjunction with Alive After Five. Free to KMA Members. Cash Bar. Open to the public.
Saturday, February 8
Winter Family Fun Day celebrating Through the Unusual Door. FREE and open to the public.
The Knoxville Museum of Art celebrates the art and artists of East Tennessee, presents new art and new ideas, serves and educates diverse audiences, and enhances Knoxville’s quality of life. The museum is located in downtown Knoxville at 1050 World’s Fair Park and is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday 10am–5pm, and Sunday 1pm-5pm. Admission and parking are free. For more information, contact Angela Thomas at 865.934.2034 or visit www.knoxart.org.
Leadership Blount accepting nominations for Class of 2021
Nominations for the Leadership Blount Class of 2021 can be made January 15 – February 20, 2020, online at www.leadershipblount.com. Nominees will be notified via email once the nomination is submitted and directed to complete an online application.
The Leadership Blount class year is comprised of nine comprehensive class days and two overnight retreats that are designed to build relationships, enhance leadership skills, increase civic engagement, and to improve community understanding that leads to positive impact in Blount County. Class members will have a direct connection to community leaders and a direct impact on our community.
Leadership Blount’s core program is designed for experienced leaders who are expected to participate through research, group facilitation, and problem solving focusing on our community’s most critical issues. The Leadership Blount experience does not end with the 10-month program. A personal commitment and a class commitment are made to the community for lifelong service. Participating in the alumni organization is expected and encouraged.
Nominees should have a sincere commitment and motivation to serve the community, as well as an exhibited demonstration of leadership abilities. Their work and community service should indicate they have a long-term commitment to Blount County. All class members must have the full support of the organization or business they represent.
No self-nominations or those made by immediate family members will be accepted.
The class of 36 people will be selected by a volunteer committee of Leadership Blount alumni from nominations received from the community. Selection is based upon the quality and depth of the answers provided in the application.
Tuition for the program is $1,500.00; $150.00 of which must be paid by the participant personally. This payment covers all fees and course materials, as well as most meals and transportation. Optional or special activities may require additional costs. A limited number of partial scholarships are available for eligible candidates.
Leadership Blount strengthens our community by educating and inspiring current and emerging leaders to engage in active, lifelong service. A volunteer Board of Directors and an Executive Director oversee the development of curriculum and administration of the program. Leadership Blount is designated by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization.
For more information, please contact Leadership Blount, 865-984-9368, or by email email@example.com.
Y-12 employees support East Tennessee through grants program
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – More than 20 local East Tennessee organizations rang in the new year with additional funding from the Consolidated Nuclear Security (CNS) Community Investment Fund.
Local residents of all ages will soon receive more assistance and local resources thanks to the employees of Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC.
CNS manages and operates the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Y-12 has three missions: maintaining the U.S nuclear deterrent, reducing global nuclear threats, and fueling the nuclear Navy.
In total this year, Y-12 employees awarded 21 grants totaling $117,930 to nonprofit organizations in seven East Tennessee counties—Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Hamblen, Knox, Loudon and Roane.
The CNS Community Investment Fund, created in 2014, is funded by CNS and is managed by the East Tennessee Foundation, which serves 25 East Tennessee counties. The CNS Employee Investment Advisory Committee at Y-12 is a group of employees who serve two-year terms and recommends the distribution of funds. The committee allows employees to determine where corporate dollars are invested in their communities.
The employee committee reviewed dozens of grant proposals this year, conducted staff interviews and made site visits before recommending funding based on the committee’s three focus areas for the year: early childhood education, adult workforce development and transition and elder care.
“There’s a good way and a great way to make grants, and CNS does it the great way,” said Michael McClamroch, president and chief executive officer of the East Tennessee Foundation. “They involve their employees, they do their due diligence and they do their research. This changes and improves people’s lives all across the seven counties and that’s something we need to own, be proud of and celebrate.”
Grant recipients from the CNS Community Investment Fund were honored on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at a reception.
For more information, please contact Jan Elston, Vice President for Competitive Grant Programs for East Tennessee Foundation, at (865) 524-1223, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Jason Bohne, CNS Director of Communications and Public Affairs, at (865) 241-1400 or via email at Jason.email@example.com.
Truist Financial Corporation reveals new visual identity and logo
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (JANUARY 13, 2020) – Truist Financial Corporation (NYSE: TFC) today announced the launch of a bold new look and feel with a signature color and modern monogram logo. Following the completion of the merger of equals between BB&T and SunTrust in December 2019, the visual identity further signals the company’s commitment to inspire and build a better future for clients and communities.
“As a brand, we will innovate and redefine the client experience, making Truist the most client-centric financial services company,” said Dontá Wilson, chief digital and client experience officer for Truist. “Our visual brand identity speaks to the importance of human touch and dynamic technology in delivering trusted solutions to our clients, and is a powerful depiction of our commitment to building the future of finance.”
Truist Purple, the defining color of the new brand, is the combination of heritage BB&T burgundy and SunTrust blue. With the help of human behavior experts, Truist fashioned a signature color that stands out as rich, bold and distinctive, yet warm and inviting.
The monogram is made up of two T’s that mirror the Truist name and represent Touch + Technology. Beginning with the stable and familiar shape of a square, Truist then rounded its corners to demonstrate the security and accessibility that the digital world of today expects.
“This striking visual expression is not what most would expect from a financial institution, and we’re proud of that,” said Susan Somersille Johnson, chief marketing officer for Truist. “Our identity is a symbol of the merger of equals between BB&T and SunTrust, which has brought the best of both brands together to build not only a better bank, but a better future for all who engage with Truist.”
A master typographer custom-made each letter forming the Truist logo. The wordmark was designed to be legible at small sizes and in digital interfaces for the name to stand out. As part of a commitment to creating better experiences, Truist built a typography to serve clients well, no matter what channel they prefer.
Together with global brand consultancy Interbrand, Truist gathered input from its teammates and clients through focus groups, workshops and interviews as part of a rigorous and research-driven approach to develop the brand identity.
In the weeks and months to come, clients will start to see more of this bold new look – on digital platforms, in branches and out-of-home advertising in Miami leading up to the Big Game being held there.
For now, Truist will continue to serve clients through their respective BB&T and SunTrust branches, websites, mobile apps, financial advisors and relationship managers. The transition to the full Truist experience will occur as systems are integrated over the next 18-24 months.
To download Truist’s brand identity assets, such as the logo, visit https://media.truist.com/. For more information, visit www.Truist.com.
Truist Financial Corporation (NYSE: TFC) is a purpose-driven company dedicated to building a better future for its clients, teammates and communities. With 275 years of combined BB&T and SunTrust history, Truist is one of the nation’s largest financial services holding companies offering a wide range of services including retail, small business and commercial banking; asset management; capital markets; commercial real estate; corporate and institutional banking; insurance; mortgage; payments; specialized lending and wealth management. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Truist serves approximately 10 million households with leading market share in many high-growth markets in the country. Truist Bank, Member FDIC. Learn more at Truist.com.
Southern Belle’s Closet Consignment Sale Event to open early in 2020
Now that the holidays are over, brides are hurrying to plan every last detail for their big day, girls are shopping for just the right dress (or two) for formals and Prom and Joy Sabo, owner of Southern Belle’s Closet, will be ready with her annual pop-up sale event in Bearden.
The Southern Belle’s Closet is set to open two weeks early this year on Fri. Jan.17 and will be open every weekend through to Feb. 23 at 146 N. Forest Park Blvd., Knoxville (Between Earth Fare and Ace Hardware in Bearden). That’s two extra weeks for savvy shoppers to find the perfect dress.
Southern Belle’s Closet has been serving the Knoxville area since 2012 and is a seasonal consignment sale specializing in formal wear. From children’s sizes right through to a size 28. Offering flower girl dresses and prom dresses to wedding gowns and mother of the bride outfits.
Southern Belle’s Closet creates a fun and exciting atmosphere to shop next to new and new dresses, with plenty of spacious fitting rooms and helpful volunteers.
Help wanted: Building the skilled trades pipeline for manufacturing jobs
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – Hardin Valley Academy STEM teacher Rudy Furman has a message for East Tennessee high school students looking for an alternative to college.
“Manufacturing jobs are out there locally, but they require training,” said Furman, who teaches physics and chemistry. “Seek out areas you would like to work in and then find a training program that will get you there.”
Furman, along with 23 other teachers from 10 Knox County schools, recently toured auto parts manufacturer SL Tennessee in Anderson County and participated in a panel discussion with business, industry, and technical college leaders.
The educators learned more about science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM, careers in manufacturing and the growing need for a reliable, skilled workforce in the region. Knox County Schools, SL Tennessee, and the Y-12 National Security Complex jointly sponsored the professional development opportunity.
“The takeaway from the day for me was, how can I get students to see the wonderful opportunities that are available to them in their own backyard?” said Furman, who has also toured Denso and other area manufacturing facilities. “My role as a STEM teacher is to help students become aware of opportunities beyond the classroom and post-secondary. I try to tie in curriculum to where it is found in the real world.”
Lori Musico, science department chair at Karns Middle School, said she was pleased to discover local industry job openings that provide on-the-job training and advancement opportunities.
“I want my non-college-bound students to understand that their education and proficiency in math and science translates into skills needed by area manufacturing employers,” Musico said. “Employment in manufacturing is a viable option for students, especially given the excellent starting pay and benefits and opportunities for continuing education and career growth.”
Local industry and students alike often tap into statewide technical training and certificate programs offered by area community colleges and Tennessee College of Applied Technology, with several campuses in the region.
SL Tennessee Operations Manager Scott Laska shared with the STEM teachers that his company, which assembles head and tail lamps and gearshift mechanisms, often supplements in-house training with mechanics, automation, robotics, electronics, pneumatics, hydraulics, and other classes offered by Roane State Community College.
“We work through Roane State a lot for mechatronics training,” Laska said. “Come in with a positive attitude and a willingness to learn, and we’ll teach you what you need to know. We’re growing our labor pool of qualified employees to ensure our future growth in STEM areas.”
Panelist Kim Harris, Roane State’s director of Workforce Training and Placement Services, emphasized that securing a good manufacturing job often involves students, parents, educators, industry, and technical schools and programs all working together.
“Try summer externship opportunities in manufacturing,” Harris recommended to teachers. “Expose your students to this employment sector. Employers are eager to help recruit students as their future workforce. Let them know what is needed and how they can help. Don’t assume they are too busy to get plugged in. Many companies have foundations that could provide grant funds for various projects if they align with the company’s mission.
“We all must work to be more proactive in filling the pipeline with a trained workforce,” Harris said. “Even with automation and robotics, a trained workforce is critical to the success and competitive edge of America’s manufacturers.”
The Y-12 National Security Complex sponsored the teacher in-service as part of its educational outreach efforts to develop the STEM proficiencies the site needs to fill upcoming skilled trades jobs.
“For more than 75 years, Y-12 has been successful because of the exceptional talent and tremendous contributions of its employees,” said Kristin Waldschlager, Y-12’s educational outreach coordinator. “With more than 5,000 employees, today’s Y-12 workforce has a median age of 49. In 2025, 43% of today’s Y 12 workforce will be retirement eligible.”
In addition to Laska and Harris, other panelists included Rick Meredith, president of the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce; Danni Varlan, member of the Tennessee Board of Regents; and Anita Hazlewood, Y-12 chemical engineer. Y-12’s Gene Patterson moderated the panel session.
Knoxville Mermaid Art displayed at Tomato Head
For the months of February-March 2020, illustrator Adam Pernell Deal is showing his ink-and-watercolor artwork for the new children’s picture book Knoxville Mermaid at Tomato Head.
This 400-word children’s book is Knoxville’s first published urban fairy tale. It follows the efforts of the townspeople to catch the freshwater mermaid living in the creeks and rivers of downtown Knoxville, Tennessee. Resourceful and wily, she manages to elude capture until a flood leaves her in the hands of a young boy.
Knoxville Mermaid is written by former Metro Pulse columnist Eleanor Scott, illustrated by Adam Pernell Deal, and bound like a classic fairy tale in pale green cloth with gold stamping. It is for sale at The Book Eddy, Union Avenue Books, Three Rivers Market and other local shops for $30.
Compass Knox’s Jesse Fox Mayshark writes, “Eleanor Scott used to write beguiling columns for Metro Pulse and the Knoxville Mercury about urban nature, the places and ways that East Tennessee geology, flora and fauna interact with Knoxville’s milltown corners and quarries. This enchanting picture book, a labor of love by Scott and her partner Adam Pernell Deal, pays similar attention to one feature of that landscape — our creeks and waterways — and imagines what (and who) else we may share it with.”
Adam Pernell Deal is a freelance illustrator, best known locally as the house artist for the Knoxville Horror Film Fest. He is also known for his album art for many indie labels ranging from metal to experimental jazz. Adam illustrated Knoxville Mermaid in his signature mediums of watercolor and black ink. We’ve posted images of the book and art at the Instagram account @knoxvillemermaid
NAHREP Knoxville kick-off event to be held Thursday, January 23
NAHREP officials announced the launch of a new chapter right here in our own
Knoxville area. NAHREP is a purpose-driven organization that is propelled by a
passionate combination of entrepreneurial spirit, cultural heritage and the advocacy of its members. On Thursday, January 23, 2020 14 board members from the Knoxville, Tennessee real estate industry will take on the role as trusted advisors and passionate advocates to help more Hispanic families achieve the American Dream in a sustainable way that empowers them for generations to come. We are The Voice for Hispanic Real Estate® and proud champions of homeownership for the Hispanic community.
NAHREP-Knoxville will follow the national chapter’s main mission to advance
sustainable Hispanic homeownership by:
- Educating and empowering the real estate professionals who serve Hispanic home buyers & sellers
- Advocating for public policy that supports the trade association’s mission
- Facilitating relationships among industry stakeholders, real estate practitioners and other housing industry professionals
For more information on how to become part of NAHREP-Knoxville mission, please contact MELISSA QUIROS at 865.588.3232 or visit us on Facebook @NAHREP Knoxville
When: Thursday, January 23, 2020, 5 PM – 7 PM
Where: Historic Southern Railway Station
300 W Depot Ave, Knoxville, Tennessee 37917
Education Loan Finance surpasses $1 Billion in student loan refinancing
KNOXVILLE, Tenn., — Education Loan Finance (ELFI), a division of SouthEast Bank, announced today the successful funding of over $1 billion in student loan refinancing and consolidation loans. This funding has positively impacted over 14,500 graduates, parents and cosigners. ELFI customers have reported saving an average of $309 a month or $20,946 in total interest savings over the life of their loan. (1)
Barbara Thomas, Executive Vice President and Head of the Education Loan Finance Division, is passionate about helping college graduates achieve financial wellness and the role ELFI plays in making that happen. “ELFI recognizes the challenges in navigating student loan debt that every college graduate with student loans faces. This milestone, both in terms of the amount we’ve been able to refinance and the savings to our customers, is evidence that consumers who work with ELFI are taking a critical step toward financial wellness and have turned to ELFI to assist them through the refinancing process. ”
The ELFI program began offering student loan refinance products in December 2015. “From the beginning, we felt our student loan borrowers deserved transparent information, a smooth digital experience, and to work with a company that has been committed to higher education for decades.” continued Thomas. “I’m proud that we’ve helped over 14,500 student loan borrowers with competitive products, rates and our unique Personal Loan Advisor (PLA) customer service program to guide them through the process.”
This achievement is also a significant technology milestone for the ELFI Loan Origination Platform, which has simplified the loan application process as it is 100% digital and online. “We continue to make significant investments in our technology platform and our PLA customer service model to ensure that we stay at the forefront of the student loan landscape and offer what student borrowers need in a way that is easy for them to navigate,” said Thomas.
In closing, Thomas added “Our Company’s dedication to serving student loan borrowers is unwavering. We are highly committed to empowering a brighter future for our borrowers and ensure that we are meeting each and every ELFI customer’s needs and student loan refinancing goals by providing a
dedicated Personal Loan Advisor to guide them through the loan process. This unique dedication to personalized customer service with student loan expertise can make all the difference to people who are looking for answers and a better way to manage their student loan debt. Our customers have attested to this top rated customer service delivery model time and time again.” As a reflection of this commitment, ELFI maintains an industry leading an “Excellent” 4.8/5 rating as reported by our customers on Trustpilot.com. These ratings can be found on www.trustpilot.com/review/elfi.com
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Social Media Hashtags: #ELFI, #EducationLoanFinance #EmpoweredByELFI
(1) Average savings calculations are based on information provided by SouthEast Bank/ Education Loan Finance customers who refinanced their student loans between 8/16/2016 and 10/25/2018. While these amounts represent reported average amounts saved, actual amounts saved will vary depending upon a number of factors.
Allied Universal seeks to hire security professionals in Knoxville
Allied Universal, a leading security and facility services company in North America, will host open house hiring events for security professionals on January 15, January 22, January 29, February 5, February 12 and February 19 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the company’s branch office at 11424 Kingston Pike in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Allied Universal seeks to hire over 100 full-time and part-time security professionals. Qualified candidates are asked to bring their government issued ID and resume and must meet the following minimum requirements:
- High school diploma or equivalency
- Be at least 18 years old (21 years old for positions that require driving, with valid license)
- Successfully complete a pre-employment background investigation and pre-employment drug/alcohol test
- Display exceptional customer service and communication skills
- Computer skills to use technology at client sites
Company benefits include medical and dental coverage, life insurance, 401(k) and bonus plans, holidays and more. Allied Universal is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring a diverse workforce.
Applicants may also apply online at this link: https://jobs.aus.com.
Learn more about Allied Universal career opportunities at https://jobs.aus.com/, on Twitter at @AU_Careers and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AlliedUniversalJobs/.
Allied Universal®, a leading security and facility services company in North America with more than 230,000 employees and revenues over $8.3 billion, provides unparalleled security services and technology solutions. With offices located throughout the nation as well as internationally (Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom), Allied Universal is responsible for protecting client sites covering multiple specialty sectors such as higher education, healthcare, retail, commercial real estate, government and corporate campuses, etc. Supported by vast experience gained from being in business for over 60 years, Allied Universal provides proactive security services and cutting-edge smart technology to deliver evolving, tailored solutions that allow clients to focus on their core business. Through world-class customer service, highly advanced systems and cohesive technology solutions, Allied Universal is There for you™. For more information, please visit www.aus.com.
KUB hosting free Public Energy and Water Saving Workshop January 25
KUB will be holding a public energy and water saving workshop to provide the community with valuable information on how to save money on utility bills. Participants of the hour-long workshop will also receive a kit valued at $40 which contains home energy efficiency items such as LED light bulbs, caulk, and weather stripping, which allow what is learned in the workshop to be put into action in the customers home.
Date: Saturday, January 25, 2020
Time: 8:45 – 9:45 a.m.
Where: Mount Calvary Baptist Church
1807 Dandridge Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37915
Registration: Mtcalvaryed.churchcenter.com *Select the Healthier You
Workshop. Register prior to January 12th for a chance to win a gift from Mt. Calvary
Baptist Church. Event Registration is open through Friday, January 24th.
$3,800 Raised for Love Kitchen during 100th Tennessee Valley Fair
KNOXVILLE, TENN. (January 9, 2020) – The Tennessee Valley Fair in partnership with Food City and Wade Shows, Inc. presented $3,800 in Food City gift cards to the Love Kitchen. The donation was presented on in December 2019 at the Love Kitchen located off Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue.
“The Tennessee Valley Fair is proud to present a donation to the Love Kitchen this year. 2019 marks the 19th year the Tennessee Valley Fair has been able to contribute to a worthy organization such as the Love Kitchen.” said Scott Suchomski, Executive Director of the Tennessee Valley Fair, “We at the Tennessee Valley Fair are thankful to have wonderful partnerships with Food City and Wade Shows, Inc. who make this contribution possible.”
The money was raised on Sunday, September 8th during the 100th Tennessee Valley Fair. $1.00 of every ride wristband sold was collected to donate to the Love Kitchen.
This year’s Tennessee Valley Fair will take place September 11th-20th, 2020.
The Tennessee Valley Fair is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization and one of the state’s largest multi-day events attracting thousands of attendees each year. Known for its innovative exhibits, livestock shows, concert series, action sports, exciting rides and variety of unique foods, the Tennessee Valley Fair offers great entertainment for the entire family. The Tennessee Valley Fair is proud to present nightly fireworks sponsored by the Tennessee Education Lottery. For more information, please visit www.tnvalleyfair.org or call (865) 215-1471.
The Tennessee Entrepreneur Initiative launches to empower 10,000 Tennessee entrepreneurs
Nashville, TN: January 7, 2020 – Diane Michel, the founder of Nashville-based company Lady Like Leaders, Michael Dermer, the founder of New York-based 501c3, The Lonely Entrepreneur, and Professional Development Educator, Tracy Davison have partnered to create the Tennessee Entrepreneur Initiative (TEI) to empower 10,000 current and future entrepreneurs with the knowledge, tools, and support they need to succeed while helping Tennessee’s corporate and philanthropic community to enhance their brands and meet their community, diversity, and social responsibility goals.
Of the nearly 500,000 entrepreneurs in Tennessee, 364,000 of those are “solopreneurs” and are highly susceptible to failure. As successful entrepreneurs themselves, Diane, Michael, and Tracy understand the unique struggle for small business owners, each having turned major setbacks into success.
Through this initiative, Tennessee’s corporate and philanthropic community will “sponsor” 10,000 entrepreneurs to receive free access to The Lonely Entrepreneur Learning Community – an online platform that is a one-stop shop for the knowledge, tools and support individuals need to be successful entrepreneurs. The Learning Community, featured in national media outlets such as MSNBC and Forbes, and throughout the world, provides multiple ways for entrepreneurs to get answers to the business and personal challenges they face via a mix of knowledge (online, digestible, and organized teaching vignettes), tools (100s of templates) and support (via interactive weekly coaching and an online community). The Learning Community drastically reduces the learning curve for Tennessee entrepreneurs and enables them to more easily overcome the numerous barriers to success and scale faster.
“We speak “entrepreneur” and understand the challenges of building a company on limited resources, the overwhelm in having to wear all of the hats, and the sense of isolation.” said Diane Michel. “This effort enables entrepreneurs to have a much better chance of success and for organizations to contribute to the success of our great state of Tennessee.”
“TEI helps entrepreneurs through all stages of the process, whether they’re in the dreaming, building, or growing phase. It’s more than an initiative, it’s a give-back movement.” said Tray Davison. “How often does someone accomplish something great all alone? Everyone needs a champion. With TEI, more entrepreneurs will cross the finish line.”
“Everyone understands the importance of the entrepreneur to the success of Tennessee and our nation.” said Michael Dermer. With TEI, everyone wins. Entrepreneurs have a better chance of success. Companies and philanthropies can give back and meet their community and social responsibility goals. Most of all, Tennessee wins. What better way to positively impact Tennessee than by investing in entrepreneurs?”
A special TEI event will be held on January 28, 2020, to inform and educate organizations on how they can empower entrepreneurial groups, including women, minority groups, musicians, youth, veterans, local communities, immigrants, formerly incarcerated, underprivileged, rural communities, and more. For details, visit: lonelyentrepreneur.com/tei
Keep Knoxville Beautiful announces 2020 Orchid Awards nominees
On February 25th, 2020 Keep Knoxville Beautiful will host its annual Orchid Awards dinner, honoring Knoxville’s most beautiful properties, public spaces, and public art. Awards will be presented to winners in seven different categories: Environmental Stewardship, New Architecture, Outdoor Space, Community Space, Public Art, Redesign/Reuse, and Restaurant/Café/Bar/Brewery.
“The nominees for the 38th annual Orchids Awards represent the ever growing development of Knoxville”, stated Keep Knoxville Beautiful Executive Director Alanna McKissack.
The nominees for Environmental Stewardship are the Shelton Group and the new KUB Engineering Building.
The nominees for New Architecture are the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart Jesus, Hardin Valley Middle School, KCDC’s Five Point Phase 3, Regions Bank- Northshore, Summit Corporate Headquarters Office Building, Tate’s School Multipurpose Building- “The Barn”, The Crozier Condominiums, The University of Tennessee Golf Facility, The University of Tennessee Student Union, and the Volunteer Boulevard Parking Garage.
The nominees for Outdoor Space are Augusta Quarry at Fort Dickerson Park, Jackson Avenue- Old City Redevelopment, Jewelry Television Entry Plaza, Randy Tyree Performance Lawn at World’s Fair Park, Suttree Landing Pavilion and Kayak Launch, UT Volunteer Boulevard Streetscape, and Waterfront Drive.
The nominees for Community Space are the All Saints Catholic Church Community Garden, Birdhouse- Porch Restoration, New Hopewell Community School, Marble City Community Garden, and Saint John’s Prayer Garden.
The nominees for Public Art are Cassiopeia-Market Square Garage Mural, KNOX Letters at the Knoxville Convention Center, and the Karns Senior Center- 1 Karns Mosaic Mural.
The nominees for Redesign/Reuse are 822 Sevier Avenue, Chesapeake’s West, Commerce Building- Downtown Knoxville MIG, Cowan Cottage, Elst Brewing + Taproom, Embassy Suites, First Presbyterian Church, Full Service BBQ, Knoxville High Independent Senior Living, KYBRA Athletics, The Press Room, Maple Hall and The Parlor, Market Square Public Restrooms, Park City Improvement Company, SmartBank, The Daniel, The Orangery Village, The Mill and Mine, and The Swift.
The nominees for Restaurant/Café/Bar/Brewery are Bluhen Botanicals Wellness Center, Central Filling Station, Full Service BBQ, Chesapeake’s West, Maple Hall and The Parlor, The Oak Room by Abridged, Elst Brewing + Taproom, and Fin Two.
Additionally, The Mary Lou Horner Beautification Award will honor The Miller Building. This award is given to an Orchids winner from 10 or more years ago that has maintained their orchid-worthy status.
Keep Knoxville Beautiful will announce the winners of the beautification awards at the Orchids Awards Dinner on Tuesday, February 25, 2020, at 6:00pm at The Press Room, 730 N. Broadway. The evening will include live music, a complimentary beer and wine reception, a signature Post Modern Spirits cocktail, dinner, and the awards ceremony.
For tickets, please visit www.keepknoxvillebeautiful.org/orchid-awards/
All proceeds benefit Keep Knoxville Beautiful’s programs.
Founded in 1978 to help “clean up” prior to the 1982 World’s Fair, Keep Knoxville Beautiful is a local non-profit with a mission to promote a cleaner, greener, and more beautiful community. We pursue this by:
Educating students and the public about waste-prevention, litter, recycling, and environmental stewardship
Facilitating and supporting litter pickups that make our roads and local waterways cleaner
Creating and protecting murals and hosting beautification mobs to make Knoxville a more beautiful and interesting place to live and visit
During 2018-19, the organization
- Facilitated or supported 192 litter pickups
- Collected 67,368 pounds of litter
- Managed 14 beautification projects
- Reached 3,598 kids with our presentations
- Used our recycling trailer and recycling bins to provide recycling for 15 events
- Worked with 3,674 volunteers
- Facilitated 8,904 volunteer hours
To learn more about Keep Knoxville Beautiful, visit keepknoxvillebeautiful.org
CapStar Bank Announces Knoxville Expansion
NASHVILLE, Jan. 6, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — CapStar Bank, a subsidiary of CapStar Financial Holdings (NASDAQ: CSTR), announces its expansion into Knoxville with the hiring of five veteran, local bankers, capitalizing on CapStar’s operations and growth in East Tennessee. Amy Pangelinan will serve as Market President. Also joining the team are Commercial Relationship Managers Richard Bettis and Brett Comerford, Client Services Executive Evelyn Hood, and Portfolio Manager Jeff Campbell.
“We are thrilled to be expanding into Knoxville and to welcome this outstanding group of bankers to the CapStar team,” said Timothy K. Schools, CapStar’s president and CEO. “Knoxville is one of the nation’s most dynamic and strongest economic markets but is often overlooked in favor of the region’s larger metropolitan areas. Combined with our recent acquisition of nearby Athens Federal, we are excited to invest further in East Tennessee. In just over a decade, CapStar has established itself as one of Nashville’s leading providers of financial services to small to medium sized businesses, professionals, and their employees through leading responsiveness and superior service. We look forward to similarly demonstrating our differentiated delivery of financial services and establishing ourselves as a leader in Knoxville.”
Knoxville is Tennessee’s third largest Combined Statistical Area (CSA) in terms of population size (1.1 million). It has recently been cited by U.S. New & World Report as one of the nation’s top 50 places to live and Forbes and Livability as one of the nation’s most recession resistant cities. According to FDIC data as of June 30, 2019, 48 banks in the Knoxville CSA hold $22.7 billion in local deposits.
Amy Pangelinan, Market President (firstname.lastname@example.org)
With 20 years of Knoxville banking experience, Amy joins CapStar having most recently served as Knoxville Market President for Highlands Union Bank. At Highlands, Pangelinan’s team consistently ranked at the top across the Company. Pangelinan began her career at SunTrust where she rose to an area manager overseeing 12 locations in Knox and surrounding counties. Subsequently, she served as a Commercial Relationship Manager at BB&T and Pinnacle.
Pangelinan is a native of Kingsport, Tennessee and a graduate of the University of Tennessee where she received her bachelor’s degree in finance. She is a graduate of East Tennessee Regional Leadership, Leadership Jefferson, Leadership Sevier, and a member of the East Tennessee Kidney Foundation, Rotary Club of Downtown Knoxville, and United Way of Greater Knoxville Investment Committee.
“I am excited to be joining CapStar and rejoining Tim in the Company’s expansion into Knoxville,” Pangelinan said. “CapStar excels in relationship banking with a keen focus on flexibility, responsiveness, and customer service. We have assembled a team with over 100 years of Knoxville banking experience, all whom have worked together previously. With the acquisition of several local community banks and the merging of two of our region’s largest banks, this is an opportune time to bring a higher level of service to our customers and community.”
Richard Bettis, Commercial Relationship Manager (email@example.com)
Bettis joins CapStar with over 15 years of Knoxville banking experience most recently served as Commercial Relationship Manager for Highlands Union Bank. Previously, Bettis held Commercial Relationship Manager roles at First Citizens, First Tennessee, and SunTrust each where he was recognized company-wide for customer service and sales leadership.
Bettis is a native of Greeneville, Tennessee and a graduate of Tusculum College where he received his bachelor’s degree in organizational management. He is involved with All Pro Dad’s, The Chairman’s Club, Feeding God’s Children, Habitat for Humanity, Rotary Club of Bearden, and attends and teaches at Northstar Church.
Brett Comerford, Commercial Relationship Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Most recently serving as Relationship Manager for United Community Bank, Comerford comes to CapStar having also held roles as a Credit Analyst and as an SBA Officer. He has over 10 years of Knoxville and East Tennessee banking experience.
Comerford is a native of Athens, Tennessee and a graduate of Tennessee Wesleyan University where he received his bachelor’s degree in business management. He has served as a member of the Athens Kiwanis Club, Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, and partnered with the East Tennessee Small Business Development Center.
Evelyn Hood, Client Service Executive (email@example.com)
Having begun her career at SunTrust, Hood held several roles leading to her position as Business Banking Relationship Manager. Over the past 15 years, she has additional Knoxville banking experience serving as Financial Center Manager at First Citizens and Commercial Relationship Manager at Highlands Union Bank.
Hood is a native of Knoxville, Tennessee and a graduate of South College where she received her associate’s degree in medical assisting. She is actively involved with the Tennessee Small Business Development Center and is completing her final year at the Barret Graduate School of Banking.
Jeff Campbell, Portfolio Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org)
With over 10 years of Knoxville banking experience, Jeff joins CapStar having most recently served as Portfolio Manager for Highlands Union Bank. Campbell began his career at BB&T where he served as Relationship Manager. Subsequently, he served as Loan Officer at TVA Employees Credit Union.
Campbell is a native of Knoxville, Tennessee and a graduate of Tusculum College where he received his bachelor’s degree in organizational management. He serves as the President of the Seymour Area Chamber of Commerce and is a Director of the Tennessee Valley Fair.
Knoxville Advisory Board
Concurrent with the hiring of the new team, a Knoxville Advisory Board has been formed of active, local leaders. Founding members include: David Campbell, DDS – Campbell Dental Care, Allen Carter – President, Athens Insurance, Bruce Hayes – Director Tennessee Small Business Development Centers, and Roger Moore – President NAI Koella | RM Moore. Additional members are expected to added in the first quarter of 2020.
CapStar Bank, with assets of $2.03 billion, provides a relationship-based and highly personal banking experience to small to mid-sized private businesses, professionals, and individuals. Focused on delivering superior flexibility, responsiveness, and customer service, CapStar serves customers through highly-skilled employees, digital channels, as well as 13 locations in seven Tennessee counties. The bank was recognized by Greenwich Associates, an international marketing firm, as a national Customer Service Leader for small business banking.
For more information about CapStar, please visit www.capstarbank.com.
Genera offers partnership opportunities to Tennessee farmers with launch of sustainable ag-based pulp and fiber facility
VONORE, Tenn. – Dec. 17, 2019 – Genera, a Tennessee-based company manufacturing domestically sourced and produced ag-based pulp and molded fiber products, is currently recruiting local and regional agricultural partners to supply the company’s commercial-scale sustainable ag-fiber manufacturing operations.
Genera’s farmer partners will grow crops to supply the company’s Earthable® line of ag fiber-based pulp and 100% compostable food service packaging. These products are clear alternatives to plastic and polystyrene food packaging and household products. Genera’s Earthable® manufacturing plant, scheduled to begin production in 2020, will be the largest fully integrated end-to-end facility in the United States for sustainable ag fiber products. The facility will bring harvested switchgrass and biomass sorghum in from the farm and ship finished fiber goods to customers.
“Feedstock supply is an integral part of our business,” said Kelly Tiller, CEO of Genera. “Our local farmer partners are a critical part of the Genera team. The crops they supply are the foundation of what we do – we couldn’t do it without them. Locally grown crops enable us to have a sustainable, local closed loop manufacturing system, truly farm to table.”
In addition to revolutionizing disposable food packaging and household paper products, Genera is expected to have a major positive impact on the local economy. The company will create more than 80 new skilled and non-skilled jobs at the Vonore facility, and its farmer partnerships will offer a new stable market for these crops to the area’s agriculture industry.
“Farming is a tough business,” said Brad Valentine, Genera’s feedstock manager. “It always has been, but there is a great deal of uncertainty right now in the industry. We are providing an opportunity for security for some of the hard-working farmers who are the backbone of Tennessee’s rural economy. Switchgrass and biomass sorghum are strong crops that thrive in a variety conditions, so our partners will be able to count on regular, reliable income every year. In an industry that’s experiencing unpredictable market swings, that can make a real difference.”
Since announcing in July a $118 million investment to launch the Earthable® line, Genera has announced a contract with national industry leader W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Company and multiple management-level hires.
Farmers interested in partnering with Genera can visit https://generainc.com/farmers/.
Genera, a Tennessee-based biomass solutions company, works to simplify supply chains with domestically sourced and produced ag-based pulp and molded fiber products. Partnering with local farmers, Genera provides a sustainable farm-to-finished product solution for a wide array of applications including compostable food service tableware, to-go containers, packaging, paper, tissue and more. To learn more about Genera, please visit https://generainc.com.
Strata-G and Pinnacle join forces to aid Knox area families in need
KNOXVILLE, TN, Dec. 30, 2019 – Pinnacle Financial Partners and Strata-G announced a joint donation totaling $50,000 to support two important Knoxville institutions. The companies presented checks this morning to Knox Area Rescue Ministries and Westview Community School, part of the Great Schools Partnership. Both work with local families in need and those experiencing homelessness. The donations will go directly to the most pressing needs of families and children in the Knoxville area.
Strata-G recently was honored with the Dream Big Small Business of the Year award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The award came with a $25,000 prize, which Strata-G promised to donate to these two organizations. When Pinnacle leaders in Knoxville heard about this generous commitment, they decided to match the gift with another $25,000 to the same organizations.
“We wanted to use this award specifically to help children and families in Knoxville who are challenged by homelessness and poverty,” said Dan Hurst, Strata-G president and founder. “Knox Area Rescue Ministries and Westview Community School both do wonderful work here, and we are grateful for the opportunity to support it.”
“We’re so glad to join Strata-G in supporting two organizations that help people in Knoxville with their quality of life and education,” said Pinnacle’s Knoxville president, Mike DiStefano. “Investing in our community is part of our DNA at Pinnacle because when you can improve people’s lives, everyone benefits.”
Founded in 2002, Strata-G employs about 240 engineers, project managers, environmental scientists and safety professionals working on environmental, nuclear and utility projects nationwide.
Pinnacle Financial Partners provides a full range of banking, investment, trust, mortgage and insurance products and services designed for businesses and their owners and individuals interested in a comprehensive relationship with their financial institution. Pinnacle earned a spot on FORTUNE’s 2019 list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For® in the U.S., its third consecutive appearance. American Banker recognized Pinnacle as one of America’s Best Banks to Work For seven years in a row.
Pinnacle expanded to East Tennessee in 2007 by hiring a team of local financial services professionals to start an office in Knoxville. Pinnacle now operates five offices in Knox County, one in Oak Ridge and one in Maryville. The firm is the fourth-largest bank in the Knoxville MSA in terms of deposits.
The firm began operations in a single location in downtown Nashville, TN in October 2000 and has since grown to approximately $27.5 billion in assets as of Sept. 30, 2019. As the second-largest bank holding company headquartered in Tennessee, Pinnacle operates in 11 primarily urban markets in Tennessee, the Carolinas and Virginia.
Additional information concerning Pinnacle, which is included in the Nasdaq Financial-100 Index, can be accessed at www.pnfp.com.
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