CityScope Annual Business Issue 2024

Page 1

Photographed at Ruby Falls We’ve assembled a team of well-established and highly experienced financial professionals. It has given us the ability to address every aspect of our clients’ financial needs. And by limiting the number of clients we serve, it allows us to offer an uncommon level of service and maintain our unwavering focus on helping to create quality financial solutions. This is what we bring to the table – and what will ultimately bring you to us. If you are an individual seeking seasoned financial guidance and the comfort of working with an experienced group of advisors who call Chattanooga home, we welcome the opportunity to sit down together. • 877-770-0009 • 423-510-8889 • 1200 Premier Drive, Suite 100 • Chattanooga, TN 37421 Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services are offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. Round Table Advisors is not a registered broker/ dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services.
® // Andy
A convergence of financial knowledge and capabilities. Right here in Chattanooga.
Back row from left to right: Evan Russell, Financial Advisor // Austin Cone, CFP Burnett, CFA // Dennis Wolfe, CPA, CFP Tony D’Andrea, CPA, CFP® // Front row from left to right: Briana Hazelwood, Client Svc. Assoc. // Wendy Railey, Client Svc. Assoc. Julie Elsea, Financial Advisor // Amy Bee, Client Svc. Mgr. // Lisa Listecki, Ops. Mgr. Not Pictured: Deanise Barnes, Office Coordinator
SOLD 423-499-9999 • $16.5M SOLD SOLD


Chattanooga is appealing for professionals in many ways. With the world’s fastest internet, access to rail, water, and major highways, and business-friendly policies, opportunities for entrepreneurs and companies abound. Touting innovative startups alongside deeprooted, family-owned establishments, there is no shortage of hard work and determination in Chattanooga.

In the 2024 Annual Business Issue, we highlight the dedication, leadership, innovative spirit, and achievements of local firms and leaders. Beginning with our article “Milestones,” we showcase local companies who are celebrating decade anniversaries from 50 to 100. The feature “Bootstrap Business Owners” delves into the entrepreneurial spirit of locals who moved to the United States and started businesses of their own. Not to be missed, “A Legacy of Care” provides a glimpse into medical professionals who followed in the footsteps of those before them.

For those seeking advice, many articles await like “Sage Advice” and “Shaping Leaders,” which provide personal guidance from tenured local executives, while “The Whole Being” and “Hiring for Hospitality” provide expert tips for managing people.

Always a pleasure to include, our annual “Gold Club” spotlights those who are excelling in their individual fields and making a difference in their workplaces and communities.

As always, we hope you enjoy this annual issue and join us in celebrating the many unique individuals and companies that fill our area. May you find this issue to be informative, uplifting, and provide you with inspiration for your 2024 professional pursuits.

Happy reading,

P.S. Follow CityScope® and HealthScope® magazines and the Choose
Resource & Relocation Guide® on social media!
Companies 20 Milestones Celebrating Chattanooga Companies’ Anniversaries 36 A Glimpse Into Retail Gift Shop Owners Share Their Stories 54 Regional Reach Chattanooga-Based Businesses Expanding Beyond the City Organizations & People 62 A Legacy of Care Medical Professionals Following in their Fathers’ Footsteps 78 Communication is Key The Importance of This Essential Skill 84 Fostering a Following Business Owners on Cultivating a Community of Customers CONTENTS 20 [ VOLUME 31, ISSUE 5 • ANNUAL BUSINESS ISSUE 2024 ] 36 8 « BUSINESS.CITYSCOPEMAG.COM



130 Industries & Trends 96 The Business of Relaxation Creating Space for Self-Care 108 The Keys to the City The Rise of Auto Manufacturing in Chattanooga Sales & Marketing 118 Zone in on Gen Z How Companies Are Appealing to This Generation 124 Online Marketing Insights on Standing Out Online Innovation & Entrepreneurship 130 Bootstrap Business Owners First-Generation Entrepreneurs Finding Success in the U.S.
Local Leaders in Technology Meet the Winners of the 2023 TechX Awards 10 « BUSINESS.CITYSCOPEMAG.COM

Helping the working world thrive throughout life’s moments®

We could be your neighbor. Or maybe we volunteer together. Perhaps we’re your employer helping you grow your career. Or even your benefits provider. In every case, your well-being is part of our purpose.

We are Unum. And we’re here for you every step of the way.

© 2023 Unum Group. All rights reserved. Unum is a registered trademark and marketing brand of Unum Group and its insuring subsidiaries. 9-23



“When you empower people to do their very best work, everyone wins.”
Becky Farmer, MBA CEO, Center for Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics


Strategy & Leadership

150 Full Transparency Transparent Communication in the Workplace

156 Sage Advice

Words of Wisdom from Local Leaders

162 Shaping Leaders

Top Professionals Reflect on Pivotal Moments


178 The Whole Being How Businesses Prioritize Employee Well-being

184 Hiring for Hospitality Executives Share

How They Select a Successful Team

192 The Gold Club 30 Influential Business Leaders

Life Well Planned. We take pride in supporting the well-being of our clients by providing financial planning and investment strategies based on their specific goals. Raymond James & Associates, Inc. | Member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and federally registered CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete the CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements. Downtown office 537 Market Street, Suite 105 Chattanooga, TN 37402 | 423.756.2371 clevelanD office 3780 Ocoee Place NW Cleveland, TN 37312 | 423.614.1720
First row, left to right: James Phillips, CFP®, Kellye Phillips, CFP®, Betsy Gibson, CFP®, Scott Chadwell, Greg Costello (Complex Manager), Debbie Brown, Mike Brown, Mary Loggins, CFP® Second row, left to right: Emerson Brown, CFP®, Greg Reabold, Joe Johnson, Tyson Asay, CFP®, Chuck Corey, Robin Moldenhauer, Steve Carlson (Branch Operations Manager), Jennifer McIntyre Third row, left to right: Tena Kellis, Barton Close, CFP®, John Grzesiak, CFP®, Darin Hurley, CFP®, Kyle Cooper, Michael Cooper, Brad Perkins, Bob Klose, CFP® Not pictured: Doyle Attaway, Walter Stamper

VOLUME 31, ISSUE 5 | 2024



Sales & Business Development

Sr. Graphic DesignMultimedia

George Mullinix

Cailey Mullinix Easterly

Amanda Worley

Lauren Robinson

Leah Sullivan

Graphic Design Intern Marietta Song

Managing Editor



Rachel Studebaker

Gray Bennett

Kristen Dee

Tory Irmeger

Rinn Smith

Director of Digital Marketing Ruth Kaiser De Backer

Marketing, Events, & Operations Laci Lanier


Anh Bao Tran-Le

Donna Irene Photography Hacker Medias Rich Smith

Sarah Unger

Subscribe to CityScope® or HealthScope® magazines: Call 423.266.3440 or visit or healthscopemag. com and click “Subscribe.” A one-year subscription for CityScope® or HealthScope® magazine costs $18.

To receive advertising information, change your mailing address, or share your views on editorial: Call 423.266.3440 or visit or and click “Contact.”

CityScope ® and HealthScope ® magazines and Choose Chattanooga ® – Chatt anooga Resource & Relocation Guide ® (the magazines) are published by CMC Publications, LLC, a Chattanooga, Tennessee company. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. Views expressed herein are those of the authors or those interviewed and not necessarily those of the publisher, editors, or advertisers. The publisher, editors, and advertisers disclaim any responsibility or liability for such material. All content associated with and included in advertisements (ads, advertorial, and special promotional sections) placed in the magazines are the responsibility of the respective advertiser. CMC Publications, LLC, cannot and does not assume responsibility for any material contained within or associated with any advertisement.

CityScope® magazine

Copyright, CMC Publications, LLC, 1993

CityScope® magazine is a registered trademark owned by CMC Publications, LLC.

HealthScope® magazine

Copyright, CMC Publications, LLC, 1989

HealthScope® magazine is a registered trademark owned by CMC Publications, LLC.

Choose Chattanooga® – Chattanooga Resource & Relocation Guide®

Copyright, CMC Publications, LLC, 2011

Choose Chattanooga® and Chattanooga Resource & Relocation Guide® are registered trademarks owned by CMC Publications, LLC. Choose Chatt™ and Chatt Choices™ are trademarks claimed by CMC Publications, LLC.

CityScope® magazine Southern Gentleman® is a registered trademark owned by CMC Publications, LLC.

Financial Perspectives 204 Breakthroughs The Evolution of Innovations 208 Long-Term Care Insurance Asset-Based Care Explained
Valdivieso, Khaled Albanna, Sujata Singh, and Tracy Duong are among Chattanooga’s business owners who immigrated to the United States to pursue entrepreneurship.
RYAN MAY, BROKER Co-Owner | Vice President Son
| Co-Owner | President Mom Chattanooga’s Leading Independent, Local & Family-Owned Real Estate Company MEET OUR EXCEPTIONAL, PROFESSIONAL REALTORS AT HOMESREP.COM Downtown 423.265.0088| East 423.362.8333 | Signal Mountain 423.886.6577 Managing Brokers | Darlene Brown 423.595.0943 | Diane Burke 423.774.7703 | Desiree Tombul 423.598.2192
BROKER Founder

We recognize the discomfort and pain that are often

with vascular conditions, and that's why we offer timely appointments for relief. We're also proud to be the only vascular practice that accepts selfreferrals, ensuring that our patients have the flexibility and convenience to seek the care they require. At VIC, we offer a comprehensive range of services tailored to meet all your vascular needs. Choose us

your trusted
care provider and experience the VIC difference today!






“A big business starts small.”
- Richard Branson


Celebrating Chattanooga Companies’ Anniversaries


Each year, a new lineup of businesses in the Chattanooga area achieves landmark anniversaries that are a testament to the success of their leadership, goods, and services. Here, we highlight six local companies whose anniversaries are ushering them into a new decade, from 50 years to 100. Read on to learn the origins of these local success stories, what has fueled their growth, and how they are celebrating this milestone.


In-Town Gallery

While today the Scenic City has a thriving arts scene, opportunities for artists weren’t always so abundant. In 1974, a group of artists sought to create a space to display and sell their work. This “daring dozen” began a co-op gallery in The Read House that would become one of the oldest cooperatives in the country. This year, In-Town Gallery is celebrating 50 years of proudly putting artistry and fine craftsmanship on display.

Additional artists joined the gallery in the years after its founding, prompting it to relocate to a new space on Cherry Street. Here, In-Town Gallery began to feature artist shows, invite guests, and host community events. Its growth only continued, and by 1994, the gallery had a roster of 41 artists and was ready to expand once again. It relocated to the Northshore district, which remains the gallery’s home.

To keep operations running smoothly, the gallery added a manager position, which oversees daily activities and community engagement. However, as a co-op, each member artist plays a part in owning and running the business and is essential to the gallery’s success. Current manager, Gail Rich, explains one of the many benefits of this cooperative structure, saying, “There is a huge advantage in having the artists themselves staff the gallery, because they are knowledgeable about the artwork on display. Many customers have a personalized experience of buying directly from the artist, hearing the how, why, and where of the piece they are considering buying.”

In-Town Gallery showcases contemporary, local art and fine craft, presented in a relaxed and knowledgeable way. It offers a tiered membership system to area artists and maintains a thriving calendar of events for artists and community members alike, in addition to displaying its members’ work for sale. “Because we focus on the work of local artists who have varied backgrounds and approaches to their artwork, the paintings, sculpture, and photography on display are unusually varied,” adds Rich.

Much has changed in half a decade, and In-Town Gallery remains committed to keeping up with changing climates. Rich says, “Over the course of 50 years, tastes and attitudes have changed. We must continually capture the interest and support of new generations of art lovers.”

As it moves into its sixth decade, In-Town Gallery seeks to continue to foster the growth of the arts in Chattanooga. More in-house art experiences are in store, including live demonstrations and interactive projects for the community to enjoy. Honoring its anniversary, a retrospective event will take place for the entire month of September, with a celebration planned for September 21, the gallery’s founding day.

Photos Courtesy of In-Town Gallery
1980 Advertisement 2024

T. J. Snow Company

T. J. Snow Company may have been founded on April Fool’s Day, but the resistance welding business has always taken its work seriously. Its namesake, T. J. (Jim) Snow, Sr. founded his company in 1963, investing time and money to build a successful business. This entrepreneurial drive would evolve T. J. Snow Company from an office in Jim’s dining room to a national leader in its industry.

“Initially, the business was a ‘one-man show,’ and my father just focused on generating enough income to give his family a better life,” recalls Jim’s son, Tom. “However, as the business grew, he took great pleasure in hiring people of good character and giving them an opportunity to succeed personally and professionally.”

One of these hires was Mark Pepping, a 53-year veteran of the resistance welding industry who joined the company in 1978. As vice president of sales, he continues to play a crucial role in training a strong sales team. After working part time since its founding, Tom joined the business full time in 1973 as a traveling salesman, saying, “Together, Mark and I built a sales team that is unrivaled in the industry.”

In its early years, T. J. Snow Company provided resistance welding machines largely to manufacturers of household appliances, as well as metal office furniture and fabricated wire products, such as oven racks.

“Resistance welding, commonly called ‘spot welding,’ is not used in manufacturing nearly as much as traditional arc welding,” explains Tom. “The automotive industry is the largest user of the resistance welding process, but unlike today, auto manufacturing plants were scarce in the Southeast during the ‘60s. Therefore, my father had to travel to 11 states in order to have enough business to survive.”

The dedication that Jim poured into his company would pay off, evidenced by a long list of accomplishments and wide range of projects. T. J. Snow Company now employs more than 100 people as it manufactures and supplies new, used, and custom resistance welders, stocks the nation’s largest inventory of resistance welding supplies, and provides resistance welding training with certified instructors.

With automotive manufacturing now thriving in Chattanooga and beyond, T. J. Snow Company enjoys plenty of work in this field as well as rising industries. Tom notes that “although the automotive industry is still the company’s largest market, aerospace customers, such as rocket maker SpaceX, are a growing segment.” He adds, “Serving the resistance welding needs of the automotive and aerospace industries requires us to constantly improve our offerings by staying up to date on the latest technologies.”

Today, Tom serves as chairman and his son, Sam, as CEO and owner, is carrying on Jim’s legacy. Moving forward, Tom says that T. J. Snow Company plans for continued growth through its industry-leading services and additional acquisitions. They will celebrate this spring with a company-wide luncheon, recognizing and celebrating a record year in business.

60 Companies Photos Courtesy of T. J. Snow Company
Tom Snow & Sam Snow
T. J. (Jim) Snow, Sr.

L inda B rock H omes . com L e e B r o c k direct 423.366.8966 office 423.265.0088
Top Residential Agent in Chattanooga since 1999
Recognized as the U.S. Southern Region Top Selling Individual Agent
Closed over one billion dollars in residential real estate since 2000
Selling homes throughout the Greater Metropolitan Chattanooga Area & North Georgia
Recognized as a Chattanooga Times Free Press Best Residential Realtor since 2002 H ome . N o P L ace L ike i t . Relocation Specialist - Locally or Globally - Buying or Selling


Orange Grove Center

In the 1950s, a group of local parents united to create educational opportunity in Chattanooga for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). At the time, it was widely recommended that children with IDD be institutionalized, but these parents believed that their children deserved to receive an education. After raising community awareness and funds, the group secured a building – what had been Orange Grove Elementary School – and opened two classrooms for 30 students in October 1953.

Now called Orange Grove Center, the school was met with strong community support that has only continued to grow since its founding. In the following decades, it would accrue many achievements. By 1956, Orange Grove had secured employment for one of its students, by 1964 its first group home had opened, and by 1970, the Center outgrew its original building and relocated to its current 23-acre campus on Derby Street.

Ahead of its time in providing programs and services to individuals with IDD, Orange Grove has witnessed significant legislation be passed to guarantee educational rights and secure protections for people with disabilities. These laws have included the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1990. Orange Grove also watched as the last state-run institution for IDD closed its doors in 2017, signaling the de-institutionalization the center has advocated for since its beginning. This progress has driven the development of opportunities for individuals with IDD, including those at Orange Grove.

Since its first 30 students in 1953, the center has grown to serve over 1,000 today as it upholds its mission “to recognize, support, and celebrate the qualities of individuals with IDD.” In addition to operating community homes, Orange Grove provides enrichment services such as art, music, and recreation; therapies including physical, occupational, and speech; and transportation. More than 100 local businesses partner with Orange Grove to provide students with pre-vocational services and competitive employment.

Tera Roberts, CEO of Orange Grove, says, “Orange Grove Center has endured over the years because of the tireless dedication of its staff, the families, and this community to providing critical services and programs to people with IDD, and the relentless pursuit of excellence in developing person-centered programs and services that meet the ever-changing needs of the people and community Orange Grove serves.”

She adds that Orange Grove’s vision is to be a movement, not a place, with the goal of “ensuring that everyone enjoys a truly inclusive experience by having partners and a purpose in the greater community.”

Last year, Orange Grove celebrated 70 years of serving individuals with IDD. Reflecting on the center’s history, Roberts shares, “We are very proud of what we have done together in this community to build programs and services to serve people who have much to offer this community, and we are looking forward to the next 70 years.”

Courtesy of Orange Grove Center

HHM has provided accounting and advisory services for individuals and businesses for over 40 years. Let us be your trusted business partner through all your life-changing moments. Discover even more reasons HHM is the right partner for you at

T.U. Parks Construction Company

When sole proprietor T.U. Parks founded his construction company in 1944, he was laying the groundwork for what would become a successful, multi-generational enterprise. His sons, Homer and Clyde “Red” Parks, and son-in-law Clyde Huskey joined his company, T.U. Parks Construction Company, in 1950. After T.U. passed away in 1973, the business was incorporated and in 1987, Red Parks and his son, Larry, became owners. Red retired in 2010, handing ownership to Larry, who now serves as the company’s chairman. Currently vice president of operations is Larry’s son, Robert – the fourth generation of Parks leadership serving T.U. Parks Construction Company.

The family-owned corporation has successfully endured any roadblocks over the years, and built a loyal team along the way. Tenured members of management include Arch C. Willingham IV, who has served as president since 2015 and is in his 39th year with the company; Matthew W. O’Kelley as senior vice president in his 24th year; and Zachary Vaughn as corporate secretary in his 11th year.

T.U. Parks Construction Company has also curated an impressive portfolio of projects. Its work has included commercial chains, the healthcare industry, and high-end residential projects, and to this day, the company remains the Chattanooga area’s largest church builder.

“Our vision is to be the best contractor around by building with integrity, character, flexibility, and quality from all aspects of a construction project. The relationship with the team, especially the client, is key to a successful project regardless of anything else. We want to be our client’s partner … not just a contractor,” says Larry Parks.

When asked what has changed since its founding, Larry says “What hasn’t changed?” He continues, “In the last 20 to 25 years, technology has changed everything from the way we communicate with each other to how we do an estimate, to how we actually build buildings.” Advancements in robotics, laser technology, shop fabrications, and materials have revolutionized the construction industry, and Larry describes keeping up with these latest processes as “a constant learning process.”

Eighty years of constructing buildings for Chattanooga means T.U. Parks Construction Company has left its handprint on the city and its skyline. Notable downtown projects include the Krystal Building, Tallan Financial Center, The Chattanoogan, and the Chattanooga Convention Center. The company has also worked on historic preservation projects from The Read House and the Tomorrow Building to Common House Chattanooga and currently, the Tivoli Theatre.

Looking forward, Larry says the company will remain focused on continuing its trajectory of steady growth in the region. Speaking to the legacy he has both created and carried on, he adds, “Going strong into the fourth generation is a huge success. There are very few privately held or family contracting companies that transcend multiple generations, and we are proud of that fact. Being able to point to some of the area’s landmarks, knowing the company built that building or those buildings on a campus or in a development, is a source of great pride.”

YEARS 80 Companies
Photos Courtesy of T.U. Parks Construction Company
Larry & Robert Parks
T.U. Parks

213 Chickamauga Avenue

Rossville, Georgia

Monday – Friday 10am-5pm

Saturday 10am-3pm

Celebrating 8 7 Years of Selling the Finest Jewelry B rody J ewelers
P latinum G ia certified natural , fancy yellow 7.79- carat radiant diamond with two trillion diamonds totalin G 1.52 carats 12.88- carat G raduated diamond tennis necklace


Chattanooga Tent Company

In 1934, J.P. Nolan founded the Chattanooga Awning and Window Shade Company after seeing a gap in the industry to supply awnings. In time, the company would evolve into a family-run, full-service tent rental and manufacturing company: Chattanooga Tent Company.

Under the leadership of Nolan’s sons, Andy and Danny, Chattanooga Tent established itself as a major supplier and industry leader in the 1970s and has since remained at the cutting edge of tent engineering. In the 1980s, it adopted vinyl fabric, a sturdy and washable material, as its standard and that same decade became one of the first in the country to inventory ClearSpan Structures that could span up to 200 feet without interior poles.

“The leadership of the company has always embraced new technologies and has been a leader in bringing these technologies to our customers,” says president Mike Holland. “We have also been a leader in using new tools for our installation crews, allowing them to work more efficiently and safer.”

J.P. Nolan’s grandson, Holland leads Chattanooga Tent as a third-generation owner and has decades of experience working with the company. “When I first started working in the business in 1976, we traveled mostly in the Southeast region and provided tenting for mostly fairs and festivals,” he recalls, adding that since then, Chattanooga Tent has grown exponentially. Holland lists big-ticket customers the company has since provided rentals for, including the White House, Super Bowl, Olympics, Masters Tournament, and World Series.

Operating for nearly a century means that Chattanooga Tent has endured historic, and sometimes trying, times. During World War II, the company diverted its awning business to manufacture tents and carbine bags for the United States war effort. Chattanooga Tent has also assisted with disaster relief, including the Haiti earthquake of 2010, and remained adaptable no matter the times.

Holland recalls the COVID-19 pandemic and how it proved yet again the importance of adaptability. He shares, “In a matter of just a few short days, events we had on our books for months were being canceled. Between April and June almost 75% of events were canceled.” However, Chattanooga Tent soon received a call about making vinyl walls for a hospital and ramped up production to meet the urgent need. “As the pandemic progressed, tents became popular for social distancing. Now there was new demand for longer term rentals,” Holland adds.

Today, Chattanooga Tent has provided rentals in 38 states and has an office in Nashville, in addition to its Chattanooga headquarters. The seasoned tent manufacturer recently moved from its previous location of 46 years to a larger headquarters on Wisdom Street, more than doubling its space, and will be hosting a combination open house and party celebrating its 90th anniversary this spring.

Holland concludes, “No matter what the next 10 years have in store, we will always remain committed to making it available to our customers.”

Companies Photos Courtesy of Chattanooga Tent Company
You Deserve the Best Creating World-Class Ornamental Iron Since 1979. For a free quote call 423.472.4365 or you can contact us on our website
Handrails Gates Fences Balconies Stairs Structural Projects Facilities

Northside Neighborhood House

Northside Neighborhood House (NNH) was founded in 1924 by a group of women, including Rose Longgley and Emily Page Schlesinger, who had noticed need in Chattanooga’s Northshore community. Wanting to support neighbors living in substandard housing without sufficient bedding, the women began to teach sewing and quilting classes. Also seeing that education was a need, they created courses to promote self-sufficiency and teach valuable life skills, in addition to providing educational resources to children. “The founders were committed to meeting neighbors where they were and responding to needs,” says Rachel Gammon, CEO of NNH.

Since its founding, NNH has grown from one site to five, including three thrift stores, and has 10 full-time coordinators at different schools. In the past 20 years, the organization has increased its budget more than ten-fold to support the large-scale growth it has experienced. Gammon says that this larger team and increased infrastructure have provided NNH with even more opportunities to connect to more neighbors. “Without a doubt, the faithfulness and generosity of our community in supporting the work of the NNH is what has allowed us to faithfully serve our neighbors and grow in our capacity to do so,” she adds.

Gammon acknowledges that the constantly changing needs of the community can be a challenge, but also views this as an opportunity to be the organization that can adapt and meet these needs. She and her team remain flexible while taking their role seriously, with Gammon explaining, “Being the main social service provider in our footprint entails a huge amount of responsibility and funding to ensure our neighbors remain stable and have opportunities to thrive.”

Gammon shares that NNH’s vision for the future is “a thriving community working together to facilitate cross-generational stability, empowerment, and elimination of barriers for our neighbors.” She adds, “This aligns perfectly with our mission to provide a hand up to neighbors living north of the river through education and assistance. At the heart of our mission is being in relationship with our neighbors so that we know their needs and respond to those as the needs of the community change.”

NNH kicked off its centennial year with a celebratory breakfast in February, recognizing key individuals and groups from its past. The organization will continue to celebrate throughout the year at annual fundraisers and a special event, 100 Years of Women and Fashion. As NNH remembers stories of impact and continues its important work in Hamilton County, Gammon says that its “ultimate goal is to continue to be present to serve our community with intentionality, responding to needs and building relationships in order to help our students, neighborhoods, and families thrive.”

Courtesy of Northside Neighborhood House
Groundbreaking Celebration
Rachel Gammon
424 Georgia Ave., Chattanooga TN 37403 Office: 423.551.3279 | Cell: 423.488.1921 SQ1REALESTATE.COM
Bailey Bullard is Chattanooga’s trusted broker for buying or selling. Bailey, along with her accomplished, trusted, and personally vetted team of experts thoughtfully guides clients through every step of the buying, selling, and relocating processes. Your Trusted Real Estate Broker for Chattanooga

From Kindergarten Teacher To Falsely Accused To Attorney At Law

Join forces with Tonya Craft Legal and experience a new standard of legal advocacy. Picture yourself wrongly accused. Your career, children, and freedom in jeopardy, all while the weight of injustice is bearing down on you. This was the reality for Tonya Craft, a dedicated kindergarten teacher whose life was upended by false allegations of sexual abuse. Refusing to be silenced, Tonya rallied a team of legal experts to fight for her innocence. After two years of unwavering dedication, justice prevailed, and Tonya was acquitted of all charges. Now, fueled by her own tumultuous journey, Tonya Craft leads a firm committed to practicing law with empathy, determination, and a relentless pursuit of truth. Trust Tonya Craft Legal to stand by your side, champion your cause, and navigate the complexities of the legal system with integrity and compassion.

423.682.8300 | TONYACRAFT.COM

Our Areas of Practice

Criminal Defense

Family Law

Wills & Trusts

A Glimpse Into Retail

Whether you’re looking for a gift for a friend’s birthday, a new seasonal home décor item, or flowers to celebrate a special occasion, there is no shortage of incredible retail spots in Chattanooga and the surrounding areas to meet your needs. Here, eight local retail shop owners share what makes their shops special and keeps customers coming back.


Genevieve Bond

With more than 250 active vendors contributing to the product offerings of Genevieve Bond, you’re sure to find the perfect gift within the 21,000+ squarefoot gift shop. If you prefer to shop online, the website is conveniently sorted both by brand and price range, letting you easily budget for your finds. There’s no limit to the kinds of products or brands you might find while shopping, with everything from jewelry and Christmas décor to glassware and pillows covering every inch of the store.

Owner Kelly Jolley believes this is something that contributes to the shopping experience at Genevieve Bond, saying “I focus on finding things that are fresh and unusual. Visitors can literally spend hours in the store and still not see everything! Shoppers will find hidden treasures tucked here and there, which keeps them engaged.”

The diverse range of products, hand gift-wrapping, and personalized service are hallmarks of the store. Despite staffing challenges of recent years, the Genevieve Bond team members (fondly referred to as the “Bond Girls”) include two loyal team members, Katie and Beth, who have been with Genevieve Bond for several years. The Bond Girls make sure that the energy and atmosphere of the store curate a special experience for all shop -

pers. “Ideally, we want everyone who visits Genevieve Bond to have such a memorable experience that they can’t wait to share the details with friends and family,” Jolley says. “Give us a glimpse of who you’re shopping for and leave the rest to us – we’ll make sure you knock it out of the park!” These unique experiences have created a loyal customer base and meaningful relationships for Jolley and the Bond Girls.

Genevieve Bond opened in 2000 and was named in memory of Jolley’s grandmother, Genevieve Pearl Bond. Founding her business “on the value of true gift-giving,” Jolley stays true to these roots by going back to the basics, sharing that those are the key to success. “Be kind, tell the truth (even when it’s not popular), and always play fair.”


Good Kinsmen

Good Kinsmen, located in Chattanooga’s Northshore, offers curated kitchen goods and tableware, special gifts, wedding registry services, knife fitting and sharpening, and more. They are a kitchen and home goods store – but Good Kinsmen stands out amongst others. “We have a distinct combination of tabletop, kitchenware, and antiques,” says co-owner Sean Lawrenson. “Our focus is on curating what we believe to be the finest home goods available, which is evident in the quality and diversity of our offerings.”

Browsing Good Kinsmen’s store or website, you can find an incredible variety of high-quality items often sourced from across the world, such as the popular Japanese Santoku knives typically used for chopping, dicing, and mincing, or Finezza tableware items handmade by artisans in Northern Italy. Despite challenges with the global supply chain, the store’s focus on quality goods is intentional for Lawrenson. “We advocate for products like the Rösle Garlic Press because we genuinely believe it’s the best option available based on our knowledge and experience,” he says. “It will be the last garlic press that you ever buy.”

In addition to these quality products, the shop’s charm comes from other elements like their historic building, elegant and creative décor, and the hand-selected 100-year-old French

tables. “The allure of our store lies in its visual appeal and the unique narrative it presents about the role that tabletop and kitchenwares play in our lives. We have people who literally spend hours just looking around – which we encourage!” Lawrenson says. In addition to the hours spent in the store, guests often find themselves returning. “Our returning customer rate is at 35% and growing, which is something I’m really proud of,” he shares. Lawrenson believes the repeat customers result from a positive shopping experience and trust in the expertise of the team members, who are “dedicated to being experts in our respective fields.” Good Kinsmen’s unique offerings coupled with their expertise is sure to continue to impress shoppers looking for the perfect kitchen tool or registry item.


Joli Jardin

Becca Coleman, owner of Joli Jardin flower and gift shop, recognizes that some people may prefer to shop online rather than at a retail space. “Truthfully, most everyone can find what they need online,” she says. “So coming into our store, picking out your own flowers, and browsing through the carefully curated gifts is an experience in itself.”

The effort Coleman makes to curate a thoughtful space is clear, with many customers commenting that the space feels almost European, with its “moody décor” and feel-good vibes. “It’s a very unique spot in Chattanooga. Everyone always comments on how walking into the store makes them feel like they are walking into a shop in England or France,” Coleman says.

Coleman has accomplished a beautiful blend of local and global sources for Joli Jardin’s products. Inside, endless rows of flowers and house plants adorn the shelves, intertwined with hand-picked gifts such as tabletop books and crystals. The gift items are selected from local brands like Cocoa Asante and Brass & Pebble, as well as specialty products from Australia or England. Many of the flowers come directly from Coleman’s own flower farm, which is where the operation started as a flower truck called Blumenwagen. “We are able to offer a unique variety,” she explains. “We have some customers who

prioritize shopping from local farms, and we love having an avenue beyond farmers markets for them to access these flowers.”

Joli Jardin’s gorgeous interior and unique offerings speak for themselves, but the shop’s team also provide outstanding customer service and flower knowledge that keeps customers returning. “Quality products and good customer service goes a long way! We focus on hiring people who also love the store and the products we carry,” Coleman shares. “Our team inputs their thoughts on the products we pick, so being engaged and excited about what we are selling makes the process come naturally.”

Coleman also believes in knowing your audience and speaking to them often, sharing that they are very engaged with customers through social media and email to inform them when there’s something new in the shop or a seasonal flower is beginning to bloom. This year, Joli Jardin is looking forward to opening a second location in Chattanooga’s Northshore, where the love of all things floral and gifts will continue.

Photos by Sarah Unger

Raspberry Row

Ronnie Spence, Krista Long, & Dana Silvers, Co-Owners

“We make people feel welcome the moment they come through the door by listening to what they need and helping them to the best of our ability,” says Raspberry Row co-owner Krista Long about the kind of shopping experience she creates at her shop in Dalton, Georgia. The family-owned and operated shop offers gifts, registry services, and home décor items to fit any tastes or budgets. They also continue to offer custom lighting services, which has created a niche for the shop. “When my parents founded Raspberry Row, they offered lamp shades and electrical lamp repair because no one else in Dalton was offering such products or services,” she shares.

The store has seen two different locations and has evolved since first opening in 1998, but the family’s focus on building relationships has remained the same. “Since day one, there have been two rocking chairs in the shop to visit with customers, many who have become friends. My parents instilled the value of being unique as well as building relationships and friendships,” Long says. These values have continued to allow Raspberry Row to succeed, now in their 26th year of business.

Located in a historic brick building in downtown Dalton, the shop offers a wide variety of selections from popular brands such as Capri Blue fragrance and beauty products, Glory Haus home décor items, and Vietri Italian dinnerware. Long stays on top of trends and intentionally creates a “well-balanced product mix unique to Raspberry Row.” Purchasing from Raspberry

Row also means your item will be custom gift-wrapped, a hallmark of their store. “Our goal is to make it easy for our customers and for them to leave happy with a beautifully wrapped gift they are proud to give,” she says.

Long attributes the success to her parents and family who have been along for the journey. “My parents began Raspberry Row in 1998, and I came on about a year and a half later. I followed my mother’s lead, Pat Spence, and we operated Raspberry Row until she passed away from cancer in 2019.” Long’s father Ronnie Spence continues to be involved as a co-owner, in addition to her cousin Dana Silvers. “We are blessed to continue Raspberry Row with family and great friends,” Long says. “Without them and the strong foundation laid by my parents, Raspberry Row would not have grown to what it is today.”



Opening her shop in 2020, Blluum owner Christine Waldrop was eager to put her floral and event design experience to practice, while also honoring the women who made her who she is. The Blluum website proudly states: “Blluum’s mission is to cultivate and kindle relationships, like those of Christine and the women who raised her, by harnessing the sentimental.”

Blluum offers stunning bouquets that exude creativity and color, unique event design services, and a wide variety of gift offerings such as hand-poured candles, healthy soup mixes, local art pieces, and children’s books. Intentionality is at the heart of Waldrop’s business practice. Each of Blluum’s floral designs is custom-made, and the gift offerings are hand-picked from other local small businesses or woman- and veteranowned shops. “We try to source all of our products locally or regionally. I’ve got cards from Chattanooga and homemade pastas from Nashville. If they aren’t local or regional, they have a story behind them, like our handmade cards that support refugee women,” Waldrop says.

With a saturated retail market, Blluum still stands out from the crowd. “Finding your niche to answer audience needs is key,” she says. Waldrop has accomplished finding Blluum’s

niche by offering beautiful, quality products but also by focusing on outstanding service and shopping experiences. “Blluum focuses on building authentic and intentional relationships,” she shares. “Everyone knows the experience of going into a store and it feels like you’re being ‘sold something.’ We cultivate a relaxing, pleasant environment that can be as hands-on or hands-off as the client needs.”

Blluum is currently celebrating four years in business. Waldrop reflects on the community that has supported her and the special connections she’s gained as a result, saying, “We’re here because of the community; they have been so supportive. Whether it’s welcoming babies, celebrating birthdays, being a part of wedding days, providing comfort through loss and grief, or those just stopping in to say hello, it is an honor to be a part of these stories.”

Photos by Sarah Unger


Todd Murphy has owned and operated his home décor and gift shop for 22 years. A fantastic accomplishment for any small business, Murphy’s experience is particularly meaningful in that he has seen decades of families walk through his doors. “I’ve watched as couples form families and have children, then those children graduate and become customers in their own right,” Murphy says. “I have gotten to know most of my customers and can remember milestones we shared over the years. The one constant is the relationship you build with customers.”

These relationships are the key to the special retail environment at Chrysalis, where Murphy takes a hands-on, passionate approach. “We still hand write sales tickets. We talk with customers. We answer the phone or will return your call. We can assist you or let you browse. We know our merchandise and can help you make the ‘just right’ decision,” he shares.

Making the right decision for a gift might be harder than expected, with so many options to choose from. Chrysalis stocks everything from luxury bath products, colorful home décor, accessories such as headbands and bags, to chocolates, jewelry and more. During the holiday seasons, the shelves overflow with holiday and seasonal items like themed pillows, ornaments, snacks, and decorations.

When asked what he thinks makes his customers continue to come back to Chrysalis, Murphy attributes it to a combination of service, unique products, and personal connections. “Offering personal shopping at its finest is what we hope to provide. I strive to make each and every experience enjoyable,” he says. “We provide top drawer service, curated advice, create a retail therapy oasis, and offer a diverse array of merchandise you won’t see elsewhere.”

Murphy fondly looks back on his 22 years in Southside Chattanooga as he plans to transition to a space in Ooltewah in the coming months, where he is moving the shop. He is looking forward to the change, saying, “The word ‘chrysalis’ is Greek in origin, meaning ‘new beginnings.’ I will miss downtown, but as one door closes, another opens.”


Bud Floral + Home

From custom wedding floral arrangements to holiday flowers or gifts and even floral subscriptions, owner Jamie Rehm and her team at Bud Floral + Home have your flower and gift needs covered. Bud Floral offers a variety of floral arranging services in addition to balloon garland installations, as well as workshops and classes such as holiday wreath making and Galentine’s arrangements. “We strive to offer high-end fresh florals, plants, and orchids, and pair them with affordable add-on gifts,” Rehm says. “We offer unique florals and designs for events and weddings that set us apart from other floral shops.”

Rehm believes that the shop’s offerings along with the experience of shopping at Bud Floral set her store apart, saying, “When people come into the shop they realize that we offer high-end, fresh flowers daily, and as grab-and-goes, at an affordable price that will get them something different than they see at other flower sources. We have a large range of add-on gifts that enhance the flowers to make the purchase that more special and unique.” In addition to the flowers and gifts available in her shop, she also specializes in weddings and event florals.

Rehm takes a family-like approach to customer service, inspired by the feelings she got at her grandparents’ dining

table. Parties and gatherings meant her grandmother would bring out the finest linens and silver, accompanied by her Grandpa Bud’s “prize-winning flowers,” the inspiration behind Bud Floral and her way of honoring their legacy. This customer service keeps people returning to Bud Floral and is something Rehm emphasizes both in her own approach to the shop and how she trains, and treats, her team. “Your customer is always right. We are all about customer service and making them feel they are part of the family,” she says. “I treat my employees how they would like to be treated; I treat them like family and that carries over to making my customers feel the same way.”

Photos by Sarah Unger



We succeed because we listen to our clients. We collaborate with them and we work to meet their needs. We tailor the homebuilding experience – from design through construction – around them. We invite our clients into our collaborative, multi-media conference center, and we make sure that they have access to the industry’s best and most current materials and finishes through our comprehensive resource library.

The business of building a luxury, custom home really isn’t all that complicated. You just have to be fully committed to a customer-first approach.


The Pine Needle

After needing a gift for their daughters’ swim team coach and driving to Chattanooga to find it, The Pine Needle owner Susan Williams and then business partner Pat Burns recognized the need for a gift shop in Dalton, Georgia. Beginning as a small space in Williams’ backyard for four years, the store has continued to grow and evolve into what it is today. This year, The Pine Needle celebrates 50 years of business.

The 7,000+ square foot space is filled floor to ceiling with gifts, home décor, and wedding registry selections, boasting more than 23,000 products. With this impressive catalog, The Pine Needle draws in plenty of foot traffic for general shopping, but Williams says the brides are the heart and soul of the business. “We have antiques, decorative accessories, a children’s room, and more,” she shares. “Our taste is traditional with a flair of modern – but we lean toward a traditional shop. We have two china rooms, and we’ve been serving brides all 50 years. That’s why we’re still in business – the brides. And all the brides know other brides!”

It’s clear why engaged couples would want to register at The Pine Needle – the store displays brightly lit, gleaming sets of china and unique home décor items for all tastes. Couples can choose from classic, white china pieces to more colorful sets,

shiny silver flatware or modern mattes, and clear or colored wine glasses to adorn their tables.

In addition to the variety of items and selections, customer service is evident at The Pine Needle, from the moment you’re greeted to when you leave with a new home décor item for yourself or a thoughtfully wrapped gift for a friend’s birthday. “With retail, you get to meet people and know your customers. We have good customer service, we’re thoughtful with people,” Williams says. “We offer free gift wrapping and people love the way we wrap.”

As the shop celebrates 50 years and Williams celebrates 83, she is certain about what has helped her remain successful, saying, “God has taken good care of us. He has blessed us over the years with great employees and amazing customers.”



“Thank you, Paula!!!! I can’t tell you how much I admire and respect you for your professionalism, personalism, genuine sincerity, and investment in selling our property, and looking out for our best interest! This is why you’re the Best of the Best!!!!”


• Buyers Real Estate Agent

• Listing Real Estate Agent

• Luxury Properties

• Waterfront Properties

• New Construction

• Mountain Properties

• Condos & Townhomes

• Relocation

• Lots &

• Investors


• Ranked Top 25 Real Estate Agents in Chattanooga for 2023

• Ranked Top 1% of Residential Real Estate Agents of Greater Chattanooga Area for 2023

• One of Chattanooga’s Top Sales Agents for Over 20 Years

• Million-Dollar Producer for 33+ Years

• Over $666,172,444 in Sales

• Voted a Best of the Best Residential Real Estate Agent 11 Times

• Ranked by REAL Trends + Tom Ferry America’s Best Real Estate

• Over 2,000 Settled Real Estate Transactions Overall

• Over 50 Years Combined Real Estate Experience

• Specialized Training and Expertise Through Our Designations

423.355.0311 | Office: 423.362.8333 | Licensed in TN & GA
First Time Buyers & Sellers

Morning Pointe of East Hamilton Assisted Living and Memory Care is Expanding

The Lantern at Morning Pointe, Alzheimer’s Center of Excellence, East Hamilton is anticipated to open early 2025. The build will be Phase II of the senior living campus offering a continuum of care services along with Morning Pointe of East Hamilton, which will transition to an assisted living-only community.

Located in Ooltewah at 1775 Generations Way off East Brainerd Road, this premier memory care community will provide state-of-the-art amenities to future residents. The singlelevel building will be approximately 45,000 square feet and feature 60 memory care apartments. Families can choose from a selection of apartment floor plans, all of which offer open and spacious designs for convenience and safety. Each living space is purposefully designed, from its layout to paint color, to promote peace and calm. Seniors can add their own personal touches and decorate their apartment alongside family to make it feel just like home.

Each Lantern at Morning Pointe community is specially designed for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of memory loss. Every resident is cared for in a structured, homelike environment to help them feel safe and secure. A team of skilled caregivers and medical professionals are available to assist with a wide range of needs, and each resident is issued a 24-hour emergency pendant, giving families peace of mind that help is always available.

As a Lantern Alzheimer’s Center of Excellence, this new campus will provide stage-appropriate care all under one roof. Two levels of care will be available to residents. Lamplight is for early to moderate stages of Alzheimer’s and other dementias and offers seniors an expansive environment that is secure and safe. The Lantern is for more advanced stages and focuses on individual interests, life experiences, and personal strengths. These programs and a dedicated staff will ensure that each resident benefits from personalized and purposeful support.

Like all Morning Pointe locations, The Lantern at Morning Pointe of East Hamilton will adhere to a strong focus on clinical care with physical and occupational therapies, life enrichment and wellness offerings, and intergenerational activities. Daily enrichment programming will include exercise and physical activity; creative, nurturing, and sensory programs; activities to engage the body, mind, and spirit; lifelong learning and cognitive programs; intergenerational programming with local schools and colleges; live entertainment; and more. The new location will also feature Morning Pointe’s Farm to Table program, which provides seniors with local, farm-fresh, and seasonal ingredients during meals. A groundbreaking ceremony will take place at the property on March 22 at 11:30 a.m., where dignitaries from the Chattanooga and Hamilton County area will join Morning Pointe Senior Living leaders to break ground on this new site.

“What an exciting day it will be to break ground on a new memory care campus in this growing and thriving area of Hamilton County,” says Greg A. Vital, president of Morning Pointe Senior Living. “We started Morning Pointe right here in East Hamilton County, and it’s a pleasure to be growing in our backyard and serving our neighbors.”

The Lantern at Morning Pointe of East Hamilton will be the 41st Morning Pointe Senior Living community and the 25th located

in Tennessee. It will join area campuses in Chattanooga, Collegedale, Hixson, and North Georgia, and a network of senior living communities serving more than 2,000 seniors across five states. Located next door to Morning Pointe of East Hamilton Assisted Living and Memory Care, this latest Al zheimer’s Center of Excellence will create a combined campus that provides area seniors with the highest quality of care in the city they have grown to love.

1775 Generations Way, Ooltewah, TN 37363 (Located Behind Publix) (423) 973-0003 |

Regional Reach

It’s no secret that Chattanooga is a great place for local businesses to thrive. In fact, the Scenic City has been named one of the 15 best U.S. cities to launch a business in by MarketWatch. Here, we’re taking a look at five Chattanooga-based businesses that have done so well in the Scenic City that they’ve expanded their operations into other regions. Read on to learn more about what it takes to bring a successful brand into a new market.


Was expanding beyond Chattanooga always a part of your business plan? Our firm started over 150 years ago, so I’m not sure what plans for expansion were considered back then. However, our first serious foray outside of Chattanooga dealt with the opening of an office in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1998. As our practice and client base expanded over the years, we realized that there were considerable opportunities for us in Atlanta, an area that was (and still is) experiencing tremendous business growth. In the years that followed, we have periodically had Chattanooga attorneys transfer to Atlanta. This helped create a seamlessness between the two offices. Twenty-six years later, our Atlanta office is flourishing.

In your experience, what is the most challenging aspect of expanding into a new market? One of the most challenging and important aspects is identifying partners in the new market who have similar values to those we have in Chattanooga. When we established our Atlanta office, we were fortunate to find partners who shared those values. These new attorneys were skilled practitioners who had their own business but put client interests above their own. This kind of sacrifice has been the cornerstone of Miller & Martin’s success over the years.

What advice would you give to business owners who would like to expand their company? Be prepared in advance to address differences in the new markets, whether that is increased competition for clients, different compensation expectations, or differences in expected communication styles. Anticipating how to manage those issues could be the difference in being successful or having an office languish.


Katherine and Paul Schurer Owners, Vinterest

Was expanding beyond Chattanooga always a part of your business plan? It has always been a dream to expand into other markets. We imagine opening stores is like planning a family: we initially planned on having one store, then got the ‘itch’ for a second. Then, opening a third in the Nashville market just made sense for our family. We are always in talks about adding more, but trust God’s timing when it comes to that. We are playing the long game.

In your experience, what is the most challenging aspect of expanding into a new market?

So far, the most challenging part for us has been not being able to be everywhere at once! We have learned to utilize our team instead of trying to do everything ourselves. It is hard to trust your ‘baby’ with someone else, but we have found good leaders in all three markets.

During the process of expansion, has anything come as a surprise to you? From building maintenance issues to customer traffic patterns, each location is different. For example, our Nashville location’s peak time is during the summer, but in Chattanooga, the Christmas season dominates.

What would you say is the most exciting aspect of expanding into a new market? Our once small network has also grown substantially since our 2015 launch. In our Nashville location, we get visits from customers all over the globe. We’ve met celebrities, watched vendors grow to substantial business models, and have witnessed kids grow up over the past nine years. Customers we first met in Chattanooga have supported our Nashville location and vice versa.

In your experience, what is the most challenging aspect of expanding into a new market? You can’t have your finger on the pulse every day, but that’s where great operations come in. Harry T. Jenkins, our COO, has many years managing 1,000 stores in the tire business, so his relationship with the team, developing the culture, and hiring the right people has been key.

What would you say is the most exciting aspect of expanding into a new market?

Offering new local customers an experience they have not had, as well as ‘being the positive ripple’ in new communities by offering great positions for people to grow within our company are both equally exciting for us. ModWash is a fun, woman-owned business.

During the process of expansion, has anything come as a surprise to you?

Realizing that districts need to be formed and filled in around our current locations before we expanded to more states. Our brand name is important, so having multiple locations in a market adds value for our customers. Having a membership and being able to visit any ModWash location in the U.S. is a great perk.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Having the right team to execute is key. I can have a vision, passion, determination, and goal, but if I don’t have the right team to execute, then it’s just a dream.


In your experience, what is the most challenging aspect of expanding into a new market? For a law firm, the challenge in expanding is locating talented personnel who can perform the tasks at the same level of quality required of our staff. In legal defense work, we have clients who look to us with expectations based on previous performance. We must assure clients that our work will continue at the same or higher level.

What would you say is the most exciting aspect of expanding into a new market? It is a great feeling when the planning and execution of expansion come together, and the time and effort are rewarded. It is also rewarding when the staff we recruited perform at the level expected by the client, the client lets us know that they are relying on the staff we chose, and, as a result, our business grows in the expanded market.

What advice would you give to business owners who would like to expand their company? Choose location and staff carefully. Do your homework, and move forward with the right people in place to give yourself the best opportunity for success.

Pay attention to what is occurring outside your business. Communities are rapidly evolving, which can change your client base, their needs, and their expectations. The determination of if and how to adapt may have to be made quickly to keep up or stay ahead of others in the market.

Why did you choose to start your business in Chattanooga? Chattanooga is my hometown. I grew up in the city and have seen its growth and transformation over the last several decades. In the early years, Chattanooga was an okay city in which to do business. Now it is a great city in which to do business. HHM grew alongside our city.

What would you say is the most exciting aspect of expanding into a new market? Giving my partners room to grow is the most exciting part of being in a new market. With each new office, someone from our Chattanooga office has relocated to be in a leadership position and help establish our culture. It is exciting to watch someone that we have hired straight out of college grow within HHM then become a managing partner of one of our new offices.

During the process of expansion, has anything come as a surprise to you? Yes! It is surprising how important it is to make sure that someone from HHM joins a newly acquired firm from the beginning. Culture is so important, and you just can’t transition culture to a new location without someone that knows our culture to have boots on the ground.

What advice would you give to business owners who would like to expand their company? Crawl, walk, and run. Don’t expand too quickly. Fully integrate each new location before moving on to the next expansion project.

Tom Williams Senior Attorney; Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan, PLLC Donnie Hutcherson Managing Partner, HHM

“Bringing together branding, comfort, and formality, commercial design should be warm and welcoming. At Miles and Kirk Design, we are proud of our ability to marry function and beauty for commercial and residential interiors”



Business With a Biblical Perspective

You’ll acquire the skills you need to be successful in today’s workforce based on the biblical principles of honesty, integrity, and high ethical standards.

It’s convenient.

Eight-week online sessions accommodate busy schedules and allow students to accelerate their degree completion.

Courses provide value-added content. Foundations of Business Writing and Research ensures a smooth transition to graduate school. Integrated Business Simulation gives students real-world experience in a controlled setting. The MBA Portfolio class allows students to share relevant projects with prospective employers.

Prep for CPA Review.

Students with an MBA Accounting emphasis may take the Wiley CPAexcel review courses for six of their 12 elective hours.

Call or visit online to find out how you can get started.

• Master of Business Administration

• Dual Degree—MSN and MBA

• Dual Degree—MSW and MBA

1.800.SOUTHERN •

Organizations & People

“Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.”
- Albert Einstein

A Legacy of Care

From generation to generation, the medical profession constantly expands and shifts, but what remains consistent is a need for providers committed to patient care. Here, we take a look across specialties to explore how local physicians were inspired to care for their communities by following in the footsteps of their fathers. These seven physicians reflect on what led them to their current roles, how having a physician parent paved the way for them, and what continually motivates them to provide the highest level of patient care.


Bryn Meredith, DO

Pediatric Diagnostic Associates

Father: Gary Meredith, MD

Dr. Bryn Meredith always knew that he wanted to be a doctor, and this path would end up taking him all around the world and back again to Chattanooga.

Dr. Bryn’s parents introduced him to the medical field early on. His mother worked as a pediatric nurse, and his father, Dr. Gary Meredith, was a pediatrician for over 40 years, so it comes as no surprise that Dr. Bryn followed in his parents’ footsteps. “My father had a huge influence on my life in many ways, and he certainly had a massive impact on my decision to pursue medicine,” says Dr. Bryn. “He really enjoyed what he did. You could tell by his interactions with his patients outside of the office that he made a meaningful impact on the families he cared for.”

Prior to returning to the Chattanooga area, Dr. Bryn worked for four years as a general pediatrician in the United States Navy. This provided exciting travel opportunities for Dr. Bryn’s family, including three years living in Japan. Dr. Bryn speaks fondly of this experience but acknowledges that he was ready for a more permanent medical practice.

“Due to the transient nature of military life, it was difficult to establish lasting relationships with families,” he says. “I was really envious of the wonderful relationships my father established with hundreds of families over his long career, and it was something that really drew me to his practice.”

In 2020, Dr. Bryn joined his father at CHI Memorial Pediatric Diagnostic Associates, where he has the opportunity to interact with patients that are the third or fourth generation of their family to receive care from this practice. Upon Dr. Gary’s retirement in 2021, Dr. Bryn is honored to continue care for several of his father’s patients and their children.

Dr. Bryn’s current medical practice might be more stationary than his time in the Navy, but this work continues to keep him on his toes. He says, “Getting to establish relationships and help guide these families over the next 20 to 30 years is really exciting.”

Dr. Bryn
Organizations & People 64 « BUSINESS.CITYSCOPEMAG.COM
Dr. Gary


Affiliate Broker Licensed in TN

Alexis Willis is a mom, bookworm, yogi and coach. Her day job is helping entrepreneurs create space through commercial real estate.


Affiliate Broker Licensed in TN

Matt comes from a long line of real estate salesmen and developers. It is this legacy of real estate excellence that is the foundation of Matt’s skill in pricing, negotiation, and closing deals. Matt understands the finer details of real estate transactions, and has spoken before the planning commission, board of zoning appeals, city council, and even held private meetings with some of Chattanooga’s former mayors and commissioners. Matt is an expert in all aspects of real estate, and someone you can trust to get the job done.


When buying or selling commercial, turn to the local and connected experts at The Group. Our caring and professional team will get to work right away finding the perfect place for your business. It’s our number one priority to make sure you have a boutique, tailor-made experience.

Call us today and begin your journey with one of Chattanooga’s Top Realtors.


Erlanger Neurosurgery and Spine

Father: Peter Boehm, MD

For Dr. Peter Boehm Jr., it has been an honor to not only follow in the family business, but also to have the opportunity to scrub in alongside his father, Dr. Peter Boehm Sr.

“In the field of neurosurgery, it’s probably not very common to have multiple generations practicing together, but it’s been a great thing for us,” says Dr. Peter Jr. “My father has always enjoyed his career, and that trickled down to me.” The pair can often be found collaborating on patient cases.

The Boehm family tree is host to several other medical professionals in addition to Dr. Peter and his father. His uncle, Walter, was a neurosurgeon, as well as his grandfather, Dr. Walter Sr., who founded the Neurosurgical Group of Chattanooga and the Walter E. Boehm Birth Defects Center. “My dad was the third one to return here after school to practice medicine,” says Dr. Peter. “When it came time for me to decide where to practice, it was a no-brainer from my standpoint. Chattanooga is such a nice city to return to.”

Dr. Peter joined Erlanger Neurosurgery and Spine in 2011, where he performs a variety of brain and spine operations, often with the expert assistance of his father. Dr. Boehm Sr. is able to offer the medical team a wealth of knowledge from over 40 years of experience, as well as mentorship and guidance. “What my father practices, and what he always taught me, is to love your patients, and they’ll love you back,” says Dr. Peter. “We always aim to give the patients the time and compassion they deserve.”

This reciprocity of care has created a fulfilling career for Dr. Peter, and along with his team, he has witnessed countless patients overcome adversities. He says, “Sometimes this job is very challenging and we face tough outcomes, but we also see some miraculous recoveries that exceed anything we can do as physicians. It’s the patients themselves that have done it. The best part of this job is seeing people in recovery.”

Organizations & People
Dr. Peter Boehm Jr. Dr. Peter Boehm
Photo by Leah Sullivan



What does it mean to be the leader in neurosciences? It means being the first team in Tennessee to receive DNV Healthcare's Advanced Spine Surgery Certification. It means housing the region’s only certified comprehensive stroke center, where specialists are on-site 24/7, not just on call. Above all, it means nearly eight decades of innovation. Choose the region's best in neuroscience. Choose Erlanger.

Colton & Bryson

Popp, DDS

Team Popp Dental

Father: Tom Popp, DDS

Brothers Colton and Bryson Popp had a long-standing dream of working together with their father in the dental profession.

“Growing up, my siblings and I would be at the office and see how our father affected peoples’ lives,” says Dr. Bryson. “Seeing Dad make a difference inspired me to do the same.” Dr. Colton echoes this, adding that he decided in early high school to follow in his father’s footsteps. The brothers always spoke about the possibility of working together at their father’s practice, and that dream is now a reality.

Team Popp Dental is a family practice to its core, with Dr. Tom Popp leading the way alongside his two sons and daughter-in-law. Dr. Colton joined the practice in 2018, while Dr. Bryson followed suit in 2022. Dr. Colton coached middle and high school sports during his time in undergrad, which inspired him to specialize in pediatric dentistry. “That is one of the great things about our family,” Dr. Colton says. “In the past, different dental specialties used to have solo practices. We are able to cover three different specialties under the same roof: orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, and general dentistry.”

Having both a parent and a brother with similar interests has helped Drs. Colton and Bryson throughout their career journey. Whether managing the difficulty of dental school or

complexities that arise day-to-day, the brothers have a built-in support system to turn to. “Owning and operating a family-owned dental practice has daily challenges,” says Dr. Colton. “I am so grateful to work with my dad and learn how to navigate those challenges with his experience. It’s exciting to see the amazing ways the dental profession is improving oral health, which translates to overall health.”

The Popp team is able to offer a diverse set of skills united by a central goal. “We have a strong desire to help the people in our community and provide them a service that is both professional and friendly,” says Dr. Bryson. “It’s so rewarding to interact with different members of the community and make a positive impact in their lives.”

Organizations & People
Dr. Colton Dr. Tom
Dr. Bryson
Explore a flexible, high-yield checking account that works as hard as you do. NOW NEXT FUTURE Bonus Rate Checking Matches life at your pace.

Center for Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics

Father: Lee Smalley, MD

The road to becoming a surgeon is far from easy, but Dr. Chad Smalley was encouraged along this path as he saw his own father balance a medical practice and a fulfilling personal life.

“I have admiration for what my father did as a surgical ophthalmologist,” says Dr. Chad about his father, Dr. Lee Smalley. “I think because he managed his medical practice so gracefully and was able to incorporate that into a healthy home life for us, it allowed me to have less reservations about pursuing medicine.”

Although Dr. Chad mirrored his father by becoming a surgeon, he decided to go a different route by studying orthopedics and specializing in knee and shoulder arthroscopy. Refining this subspecialty took Dr. Chad from the East to the West Coast, including a stint working as a team doctor for the San Francisco Giants. Dr. Chad joined the Center for Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics in 2006, and he’s grateful to have settled back in his home state. There was a time, however, when Dr. Chad’s career might have gone a different direction.

“In college, I pursued some art interests as well as the sciences,” he says. “I had to decide between being an artist with a medium like glass or ceramics, or perhaps my medium would be using my hands to help people as a surgeon.” The tactile, fine-tuned nature of arthroscopic surgery has proven to be a rewarding trade for Dr. Chad.

Despite differing specialties, having a father familiar with the medical field has been an invaluable resource for Dr. Chad. “Medicine is a bit of a foreign language,” he says, “so having somebody who speaks that same language is extremely helpful.”

Dr. Chad is excited about some of the cutting-edge discoveries being made in orthopedics, and it all goes back to improving the quality of patient care. He says, “My father and I both went into medicine with the goal of helping people get better by resolving their physical problems. That, I think, is what allows a career in medicine to be sustainable long-term.”

Organizations & People
Dr. Chad Dr. Lee
Photo by Leah Sullivan

Charlie Hooper III, DDS

East Brainerd Dentistry

Father: Charles Hooper Jr., DDS

The foundation of Dr. Charlie’s dental practice is building lasting relationships, which is something he learned long ago from his father, Dr. Charles Hooper Jr.

Growing up, Dr. Charlie was no stranger to dentistry. His father was a dentist and established East Brainerd Dentistry, where his mother managed the office after retiring from nursing. Dr. Charlie’s uncle and grandfathers were also healthcare providers in the medical and dental spheres. Seeing family members in these roles helped Dr. Charlie envision a career path for himself. “The medical field has always been a part of my family,” he says. “Working with my dad professionally just came naturally.”

Although the path of dentistry was clear to Dr. Charlie early on, it was the dedication he saw in his father that made the work more meaningful. Between fishing trips and spending time at the dental practice, Dr. Charlie observed the work ethic his father brought to the profession. “Dad’s attention to detail and tenacity in every job done well drew me in to dentistry and care-giving,” he says. “His natural way with patients and his gentle demeanor were an inspiration. He is patient, kind, and truly enjoys the camaraderie with his patients.” This legacy of hospitality is carried on through Dr. Charlie, who now co-owns his father’s practice alongside two other dentists.

For Dr. Charlie and his father, there is nothing more fulfilling than developing relationships with patients year after year. “We are blessed with a lively practice and have great families who enjoy coming to see us,” says Dr. Charlie. “It is an honor to maintain relationships throughout the years with children who become young adults, then have families of their own who continue to see us.” Now retired, Dr. Hooper Jr. still enjoys visiting the practice often and chatting with patients.

Despite changes to the profession over the decades, Dr. Charlie and his team strive to personalize the practice and create an office that continually feels like “home” to the community. “I am proud to watch our office grow and accept the challenges presented,” says Dr. Charlie. “To restore the smile of someone needing and wanting is truly rewarding.”

Dr. Charlie
Organizations & People 72 « BUSINESS.CITYSCOPEMAG.COM
Dr. Charles
Extraordinary Expertise. Three Decades. LEADERS IN RESIDENTIAL • ESTATES • LAND • COMMERCIAL Commercial Acreage on Highway 153 Hixson, TN $1,950,000 2 Investments, 1 Purchase Cottage and Limited Edition Airstream Sewanee, TN $325,000 Across from Brow 1-Level with Addl. Guest Suite Signal Mountain, TN $899,000 Customize this Luxury Building 30 Min. to Chattanooga Kimball, TN $1,950,000 Charming Personal Residence or Income-Producing Rentals Farmhouse, Guest Cottage, 26± Acres, Pond Sewanee, TN • $1,275,000 423.664.1900 423.413.4507 | Top 1% Chattanooga Realtors • Chattanooga’s First Accredited Land Consultant

University Surgical Associates

Father: Michael Greer, MD

Dr. Stephen Greer had long entertained the idea of becoming a doctor, but it was an experience working in a hospital that cemented his passion for the profession.

“Going into college, I tried to keep my options open,” says Stephen, “But I had a job in a local operating room where I really fell in love with medicine and surgery.” Stephen’s father, Dr. Michael Greer, was also a surgeon and specialized in vascular medicine. “When I started training,” Stephen says, “everybody – including myself – thought I would probably be a vascular surgeon like my father. There were a lot of operations that I enjoyed, but ultimately I had a realization at 2 o’clock in the morning that I was interested in another path.” Stephen decided on general surgery, which offers plenty of variety in his day-to-day.

In 2019, Stephen joined University Surgical Associates, and he finds it continually fulfilling to have a positive, tangible impact on the lives of his patients. The procedures he is able to perform are a testament to the advancements made in the medical field.

“When my father started practicing surgery, there was mostly just open surgery,” he says. “Now, the majority of the cases I do laparoscopically or robotically and are minimally invasive. Incredible advancements in technology over the past 30 years have really improved operations, allowing for patients to have much easier experiences.”

Ongoing advancements require a philosophy of lifelong learning, which both father and son share. In a surgical role, Stephen enjoys educational opportunities with medical students and residents. Dr. Michael has stepped back from surgery in recent years but in no way has left the field. He currently works as interim assistant dean at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Chattanooga.

Stephen is grateful for the work philosophy his father instilled in him, which carries over into his practice. “My father has always been a big patient advocate,” he says. “My whole family has always emphasized doing the right thing, so the base of my decisions is rooted in doing the right thing for the patient.”

Organizations & People
Dr. Michael Dr. Stephen
Photo by Leah Sullivan




















Galen Medical Group

Father: Michael Hollie, MD

Growing up, Dr. Matthew Hollie always had a passion for helping others, and there was only a question of how he would apply it.

“From a young age, I initially wanted to be a veterinarian,” says Dr. Matthew. “As I grew older, I still loved animals, but my heart for people grew.” This shift came about as Dr. Matthew witnessed the impact his father, Dr. Michael Hollie, has had on the community as an allergy and asthma specialist. “I would often see patients of his come up and thank him for all the help he had provided in improving their quality of life and helping them feel better. Seeing the difference he was able to make inspired me to pursue medicine.”

Dr. Matthew practices with Galen Medical Group, specializing in endocrinology and diabetes management. He is one in a long list of MDs in the family, including his father, mother, grandfather, an aunt, and two uncles. “I grew up around medicine,” Dr. Matthew says. “Hearing medically-inclined discussion was a matter of course, and it further piqued my interest and encouraged me to pursue the field.”

With many family members paving the way in the profession, Dr. Matthew has been grateful to turn to those who have walked the path before. “Whether it be tough medical school tests, difficult attendings, or early challenges of life outside of training, having someone who has been through it before can be enormously helpful,” he says. Although the medical field looks different now than it did 20-30 years ago, the Hollies are able to support each other and continue learning how to best provide patient care.

Dr. Matthew and his father may practice difference specialties, but their approach to providing care is universal. “Learning about who your patients are as people – beyond their specific medical issue – adds a personal connection and at times can offer further insight into how to best manage their medical issue,” says Dr. Matthew. He is excited about the future of medicine, especially developments being made for diabetes management options. He says, “What is and will be possible as more and more technological advancement fuels further innovation is really exciting.”

Organizations & People
Dr. Matthew
Dr. Michael

John • 423.316.6475 • Our clients are passionate about their homes, and it is our goal to individualize the home to match the client’s lifestyle. You Dream It. We Build It. Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM) and its subsidiaries in Milwaukee, WI. Sterner Financial is a marketing name for doing business as representatives of Northwestern Mutual. Northwestern Mutual Private Client Group is a select group of NM advisors and representatives. Sterner Financial and Northwestern Mutual Private Client Group are not a registered investment adviser, broker-dealer, insurance agency, federal savings bank or other legal entity. Ranking Published 7/26/23. Data as of 12/31/22. No compensation provided for ranking. Licensing fees apply to use Forbes logo. Research and ranking provided by SHOOK Research, LLC. Rankings and recognitions are no guarantee of future investment success.
Sterner was ranked by Forbes as the #1 Financial Security Professional in TN and #38 nationwide. Al Waldrop was ranked #3 in TN on the Best-in-State list. LET’S GET STARTED

Communication is Key

It’s true – good communication unlocks potential and transforms results. When working remotely, effective communication is especially important to keep team members engaged, boost productivity, and support a thriving company culture. Here, local CEOs and communications leaders speak to the importance of this essential skill for remote and in-person workplaces alike.

Q: How has the remote work environment impacted your approach to communication?

A: Just like a picture is worth 1,000 words, a vocal conversation is worth 1,000 Slack messages. If you want to make sure a message is communicated, pick up the phone, start a call, get on a Zoom – and just have a vocal conversation.

Q: How does communication impact company culture?

A: Great communication does not create a company culture, but bad communication can certainly wreck it.

Q: How do you handle challenges with communication?

A: Is this a one-time communication blunder or a systemic issue? If it’s a one-time “oops”, pick up the phone and have a heart-to-heart with those impacted. If it’s a systemic issue, I can guarantee that it’s either a gap in understanding of the audience, the task, or the process.

Q: What is the key to effective communication?

A: The two must-haves for effective communication are: 1. Know your audience –know what they need, what they need to hear, and how they need to hear it. 2. Be concise – communicate only what needs to be communicated and nothing more.

Q: How do you use communication to keep your team engaged?

A: Frequent vocal conversation is undervalued and it should be made a priority. Find times to have candid, unorganized, vocal conversations to allow back-and-forth communication. This allows space for organic conversation to not only generate new ideas but also to develop empathetic and genuine relationships.

Spenser Kernea

Q: How has the remote work environment impacted your approach to communication?

A: Remote work has its benefits, and it also comes with some challenges. I believe the best communication happens face-to-face. That is more easily accomplished when I am sitting across the table from someone compared to looking at a screen.

Q: How would you describe your communication style?

A: For me, being transparent and direct is how I best communicate. However, I have learned that truth must be delivered with empathy and kindness, or it will not be heard, and relationships will be damaged.

Q: What is the key to effective communication?

A: Effective communication involves expressing one’s thoughts and opinions, but more importantly, it involves hearing the thoughts and ideas of others. More times than not, we learn by listening, not talking.

Q: How does communication impact company culture?

A: To ensure a company culture of trust and collaboration with little to no surprise, it’s important to communicate goals and expectations and hold ourselves and our teammates accountable to those goals.

Q: How do you handle challenges with communication?

A: Giving too little information leaves room for unfounded assumptions. On the other hand, information overload can cause one to lose her audience. Sticking to the facts and important details helps bring balance.

Q: How has the remote work environment impacted your approach to communication?

A: There are more digital tools that I use to communicate that were not as common as before.

Q: How do you use communication to keep your team engaged?

A: I like to engage with employees on a personal level. Having casual conversations with team members helps build trust in each other. I want my team to feel comfortable when approaching me with an idea or providing feedback.

Q: How does communication impact company culture?

A: Good communication fosters a better company culture. Employees create a stronger bond with the organization when they can effectively communicate with the management team.

Q: How would you describe your communication style?

A: I try to be assertive when communicating with my team. I want to express my point of view in a clear and direct manner while still respecting their views and opinions.

Q: What is the key to effective communication?

A: The key is understanding what the message is, who in the organization needs to receive the message, and how the message needs to be delivered.


Q: How has the remote work environment impacted your approach to communication?

A: Not meeting in person – which would allow tracking of tone, inflection, and expressions – definitely can hinder or misconstrue a message that is sent through electronic or digital methods, but video conferencing can help lessen that downside.

Q: How would you describe your communication style?

A: Professionally, I like to be simple, open, and precise. I strive to use the fewest and clearest words within the right context and through the most effective media. I love the back-and-forth of information exchange and the depth that comes from spending enough time in conversation to reach an understanding.

Q: How do you handle challenges with communication?

A: Stopping to think before I speak is one of the most effective approaches for me – deliberately taking the time to mentally prepare. Listening is extremely important here as well, especially since many people are still processing a situation even after they begin talking.

Q: How does communication impact company culture?

A: It is modeled from the top down. Here at Southern, we strive to foster meaningful and supportive conversations with our university students, regardless of the topic or issue. Learning to discuss, listen, and even disagree respectfully are important skills to be carried into the workplace and impact the world in positive ways.

Q: What is the key to effective communication?

A: The key is researching and listening to understand the audience you want to reach. Knowing the communication methods a particular group will most likely respond to is vital for effective communication.

Q: How has the remote work environment impacted your approach to communication?

A: We need to be even more intentional with how we communicate. Remote working relationships reduce spontaneous communication that often occurs easily while in the workplace.

Q: What is the key to effective communication?

A: Regular in person, phone, or video conference meetings need to take place to review progress versus assignments, review priorities, answer any questions or concerns that a team member may have, and provide coaching as needed. Separately, the remote worker should be included in team meetings to ensure that they feel part of the team and have an overall perspective of the goals and objectives for the business.

Q: How would you describe your communication style?

A: Collaborative.

Q: How do you handle challenges with communication?

A: Listen to what needs to be fixed, and then fix it.

Q: How do you use communication to keep your team engaged?

A: Regardless of whether it is in office or with remote workers, ongoing thoughtful communication is needed to ensure that each person understands what is expected of them and what resources are available to ensure that they are successful and satisfied with their work.

Organizations & People


Bridging the Gap: A Compassionate Approach to Divorce

Bridging Divorce Solutions provides couples with a better way to navigate the complicated divorce process. I am a former business owner and educator turned financial advisor. While going through my own challenging divorce, I discovered my passion for transforming divorce using Informed Mediation™ and the Collaborative Process.

My unique approach gives couples the information and tools to take control of their divorce with dignity. Informed Mediation™ is an out-of-court process designed to educate and support couples, promoting joint resolutions.

My work is gratifying because it helps couples transition respectfully into their new lives without the bitterness, time, and expense typically associated with conventional divorces. By fostering communication and understanding during the complicated divorce process and providing the necessary information to make their own good decisions, I help couples navigate their path forward with mutual respect, paving the way for a better life beyond divorce.

Brenda Bridges is NOT AN ATTORNEY AND DOES NOT PROVIDE LEGAL ADVICE. All information she provides is financial or coaching in nature and should not be construed or relied upon as legal or tax advice. Individuals seeking legal or tax advice should solicit the counsel of competent legal or tax professionals knowledgeable about the divorce laws in their own geographical areas. Divorce financial planning is a fee-only process that does not involve investment advice or securities or insurance transactions.

Q: How has the remote work environment impacted your approach to communication?

A: The opportunity to walk the halls or swing by a department to connect with a large number of people has been replaced by more intentional avenues such as virtual meetings, phone calls, and coffee chats. It is harder to connect with those outside my normal scope of interaction, but when I do, we have a more real and meaningful conversation that goes beyond surface-level water cooler chats.

Q: How does communication impact company culture?

A: The true culture that is experienced by the people of the organization is driven by real-life, day-to-day interactions. What we communicate, celebrate, reinforce, and reward becomes the cultural roadmap people follow.

Q: How do you handle challenges with communication?

A: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” doesn’t just apply to exercise and healthy eating habits. To manage challenges on the front end, it’s critical to pull in the right people at the right time at the right level.

Q: How would you describe your communication style?

A: I am naturally a more reserved and introverted person, so the foundation of my interactions has been built on individual relationships. Those relationships are generally defined by genuineness, openness, and authenticity.

Q: How do you use communication to keep your team engaged?

A: Our team is highly engaged, and that is a result of the way the team communicates as they ensure voices are heard, psychological safety is high, and an inclusive environment is fostered.

Q: How has the remote work environment impacted your approach to communication?

A: I believe the core of engaging the remote worker population is the same as with every employee population: Be intentional, be targeted, and meet them where they are. At Unum Group, our robust intranet and internal social media platform are key tools in driving employee engagement.

Q: What makes communication important?

A: In all aspects of life and business, good communication is a critical element of success. Members of our communications team are positioned as trusted advisors, including to the CEO, and this ensures communications has a seat at the decision-making table.

Q: How do you use communication to keep your team engaged?

A: A favorite communication tool of mine is what we call “CEO Quick Connects,” which are live broadcasted events, hosted jointly by our CEO and me. The bulk of time in these short-form sessions is reserved for responding directly to employee questions. Notably, we consistently see nearly 40% of our workforce tuning in each week.

Q: How do you handle challenges with communication?

A: I’ve found there is a strong tendency to jump immediately into the what, how, and who of a situation, as opposed to pursuing the context around why something is happening. When challenges arise, communication needs to start with the why.

Q: How would you describe your communication style?

A: Personally, I prefer a direct and candid approach to communications. I also think candor with compassion can be a powerful combination for effective communication.

Organizations & People
Morgan Hopkins



Incorporate clean lines with floor to ceiling windows or doors to maximize light and create something truly one-of-a-kind.

Incorporate clean lines with floor to ceiling windows or doors to maximize light and create something truly one-of-a-kind.

Andersen has the products and options to turn a vision into reality.

Incorporate clean lines with floor to ceiling windows or doors to maximize light and create something truly one-of-a-kind.

Incorporate clean lines with floor to ceiling windows or doors to maximize light and create something truly one of a kind.

Incorporate clean lines with floor to ceiling windows or doors to maximize light and create something truly one-of-a-kind.

Andersen has the products and options to turn a vision into a reality.

Andersen has the products and options to turn a vision into reality.

Andersen has the products and options to turn a vision into reality.


erolpxehtseitilibissopE a moc.swodniwnesredn nesrednA.noitaroproC2202©nesrednA.noitaroproCllAsthgir.devreser“ agoonattahCrebmuL&ylppuS

Andersen has the products and options to turn a vision into reality. erolpxehtseitilibissopE a


erolpxehtseitilibissopE a moc.swodniwnesredn nesrednA.noitaroproC2202©nesrednA.noitaroproCllAsthgir.devreser“




agoonattahCrebmuL&ylppuSE 906frodnemlE1

agoonattahCrebmuL&ylppuS 906frodnemlE

0555-846-32 /moc.rebmulagoonattahctsae//:ptt

0555-846-32 /moc.rebmulagoonattahctsae//:ptt


1609 Elmendorf St.


Chattanooga, TN 37406


0555-846-324 /moc.rebmulagoonattahctsae//:ptth


Monday-Friday 8-5

Visit our 5000 sq. ft. Showroom Featuring Andersen Windows and Doors Open
/moc.rebmulagoonattahctsae//:ptt MODERN STYLE MADE EASY.
Cagoonattah,TN36047 0555-846-32

Fostering a Following


For any business that has achieved a faithful following, it all began with first-time customers who decided to return. Here, local businesses reflect on how they have created and grown a thriving fan base and offer insight on cultivating a community of customers.


Mad Priest

Coffee Roasters

A small-batch coffee roaster and retailer, Mad Priest Coffee Roasters has fostered a community characterized by quality coffee and conversation.

Q: What creates a repeat customer?

A: Quality and consistency are certainly the driving forces for high retention and repeat customers, but we go a layer deeper. We invite customers to participate in our endeavors of learning and growth. We all evolve, as well as our businesses, and we don’t shy away from sharing that evolution as well as offering transparency of it along the way – and because of this, people feel they are a part of the story.

Q: What are some ways a business can effectively create and nurture a dedicated following?

A: Consistency. Clear and direct communication. Playfulness. Customer engagement and involving them in fun social media experiments, or even including them in the decisionmaking process of something you’re thinking about doing, like a new merch idea.

Q: Which aspects of your business do you believe drive the dedication of your following?

A: The consistency and quality of our product, our dedication to radical transparency, and our excellent customer service, particularly how we handle or respond to issues.

Q: How does your business intentionally engage with this community of customers?

A: We consistently engage in emails and social media campaigns. We host events. We produce education. And honestly, we are simply responsive. Whether it’s emails or Google reviews, we engage. I think that is a crucial part of growing a brand and learning your audience.

Chattanooga Football Club

The professional soccer team Chattanooga Football Club (CFC) has become an integral part of the city’s sports scene and is cheered on by thousands of loyal fans each year.

Q: How would you describe your customer base?

A: Our customer base is diverse and multicultural and has increased and evolved over 15 years. The majority of our fan base is families who enjoy being outdoors and also enjoy sports and entertainment. We have been sustainable over many years due to our fans seeing our club as an important piece of their lives.

Q: What creates a repeat customer?

A: Our customer service, focused attention on customer experiences, affordable tickets, accessible players and staff, and lots of family friendly in-stadium entertainment.

Q: What are some ways your business has effectively created and nurtured a dedicated following?

A: Affordable pricing, easy purchasing options and processes, and great benefits for being a season ticket holder. Groups can find unique fan experiences at CFC matches. We are also heavily engaged with the community in the Chattanooga region. We offer solutions for parents and friends looking for really good entertainment in Chattanooga and solve the “what can we do as a family?” question by providing great food and fun for all the family.

Q: How does your business intentionally engage with this community of customers?

A: We invest in education, health and wellness, and community involvement consistently. We also engage through great storytelling and through authentic connections with both consumers and businesses.

Organizations & People 86 « BUSINESS.CITYSCOPEMAG.COM


A luxurious golf resort located atop Lookout Mountain, McLemore has cultivated a community of residents, members, and guests alike.

Q: What creates a repeat customer?

A: Our level of service is what we are most proud of. The staff at McLemore works really hard to make each guest feel special and taken care of during their stay and that has created a really strong and loyal customer base.

Q: What are some ways a business can effectively create and nurture a dedicated following?

A: Be original. The content McLemore creates and distributes, whether an ad or organic, comes from a dedicated team of creators that share in McLemore’s vision. We do our best to remain true to the physical place, highlighting its beauty and creating interest and intrigue that may capture someone’s attention. We remain true to our brand standards and create authentic, beautiful stories for people to enjoy.

Q: Which aspects of your business do you believe drive the dedication of your following?

A: We remain committed to delivering an ‘Above the Clouds’ experience, as we call it. This means we aim to provide an exceptional experience from check in, to on the course, and after your round or stay. We care how the guests feel after spending time at McLemore. Much of our dedication to that experience can be seen in the quality and management of the course, attention to guest needs and detail, quality of dining options, and new experiences curated to engage and entertain guests.


SquareOne Holdings Executive Team

STIR attracts locals and tourists alike to its prime location at the Chattanooga Choo Choo and has seen a group of dedicated diners regularly return.

Q: What creates a repeat customer?

A: A great guest experience. Our mission at STIR is ‘every guest, every time,’ and we try to create an unmatched dining experience through a combination of made-from-scratch food, craft cocktails, artisanal ice, an expansive oyster and raw seafood bar with a vibrant atmosphere, and outstanding customer service.

Q: What signaled that your business had successfully achieved a following?

A: A combination of increased, consistent foot traffic, the popularity of our dishes and cocktails with our customer base, consistent positive online reviews, and a repeat customer base that our team at STIR has built ongoing relationships with.

Q: What are some ways a business can effectively create and nurture a dedicated following?

A: Every guest, every time. Putting the guest first and providing a consistently good experience for them when they walk through the door.

Q: How does your business intentionally engage with this community of customers?

A: Our STIR management team is on the dining room floor and actively engages with customers while they are in our store. We also launch programmed events such as distillery dinners that bring customers back in for a new experience, our specials program that guests look forward to each month, as well as engagement through social media and direct email communication.

Organizations & People

Be Caffeinated

A convenient coffee shop with drive-thru locations across Chattanooga, Be Caffeinated has become a go-to spot for locals looking for a cup of coffee and more.

Q: What creates a repeat customer?

A: We focus on providing the best experience we can for the customer in a quick interaction in the drive-thru, as well as a great cup of coffee or pastry. We only use high quality, local goods, and bake a lot of our own pastries and roast our own coffee through our sister companies, Morning Bee Bakery & Bagelry and New Wave Coffee. Being quick, effective, and delicious puts us in a great spot in the eyes of our customers.

Q: Which aspects of your business do you believe drive the dedication of your following?

A: We are incredibly invested in our local ecosystem, both by supporting nonprofits through our Giveback Program, small businesses through collaborations and networking, and creatives through partnerships with groups like Walnut Street Publishing and Be The Change Youth Initiative. This makes our customers feel better about spending money with us, as it does not just get them coffee but lets them support local.

Q: How does your business intentionally engage with this community of customers?

A: We are very active on Instagram and Facebook, and we have a lot of fun with limited menus, creative events, and catering for local events as well. We make sure to listen to our customers when they have constructive feedback and try to move forward and not stagnate when possible. We also reshare user-generated content, show up to local events and support them, and allow our spaces to be used for things other than coffee!

The Chattery

The Chattery creates space for adults to learn new hobbies and skills through fun and accessible classes and has grown a following of lifelong learners.

Q: What creates a repeat customer?

A: Offering quality programming and listening to the needs of our students helps us connect with them and ensure they come back for more. Additionally, our vast array of class options not only caters to diverse interests but also presents a unique and valuable opportunity for continuous learning.

Q: What are some ways a business can effectively create and nurture a dedicated following?

A: Creating a true community doesn’t happen overnight. We listen to our attendees through direct feedback and online surveys, but we also try to engage in other ways. Every single person who comes through our classes, whether they were brought by a friend or sought us out on their own, is part of the fabric of our community. We want every participant to feel included, heard, and accepted.

Q: Which aspects of your business do you believe drive the dedication of your following?

A: We exist for any adult seeking a platform to learn, connect, and grow alongside likeminded individuals. The inclusivity of our approach ensures that our services resonate with the entire community. Equally important is our commitment to actively listening to our community. We value and consider feedback on various aspects such as class timings, pricing structures, and the quality of our offerings. We also highly value our local and unique teachers, who bring so much to our organization.

Organizations & People 90 « BUSINESS.CITYSCOPEMAG.COM
Digital Smart Marketing is a division of CMC Publications, publishers of CityScope® and HealthScope® magazines and Choose Chattanooga®, Chattanooga Resource and Relocation Guide® Supported by extensive research, every project is backed by a comprehensive marketing strategy and communication plan. A FULL-SERVICE DIGITAL MARKETING AGENCY Growing Your Business Maximizing Your Return on Investment
ith a proven approach, our clients’ sales conversions have exceeded the industry average by more than 400%. Sales conversions relative to ad spending have exceeded 250x. RETURN ON INVESTMENT SALES Contact us today at 423.227.1692 or go to to learn what smarter marketing can do for your business.


We design and develop websites that are optimized for SEO and gain sales, as well as provide website management services that ensure your site is functional, up-to-date, and content is fresh for your users.


Given a marketing strategy and communication plan for your business, we create ad campaigns, monitor them regularly, and adjust as needed.


We help you decide what platform(s) are best for your business, how to optimize your posts, and if needed manage it for you.

Our SEO services are comprehensive and impact website content and structure, paid ads, and business listings.


We monitor and help you update your reputation on highly trafficked sites such as Google Business Profile, Facebook, and key business listings.


We write, design, and deliver email marketing campaigns based on your marketing strategy and communication plan.


Whether for eyes or ears or both, we develop the content needed for you to successfully achieve your goals and objectives.


We guide you through identifying key components of your business that lead to the most compatible and impactful branding, logo designs, and color palettes.


Our videography and photography services include the latest in equipment, lighting, editing, color correction, retouching, and image storage solutions.


If for any reason you are not happy with the results we will refund the money you have invested with us.

Industries & Trends

“Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.”
- Drew Houston

The Business of Relaxation

Here in Chattanooga, where we have both a booming business scene and a wealth of recreational opportunities at our disposal, it can be easy to get swept up into a fast-paced lifestyle. With so many activities to choose from on any given day, it can be difficult for many of us to find time for peace, quiet, and intentional self-care. Here, we spoke with the owners of four local businesses who have made relaxation a priority for both themselves and their clients. From salons and spas to health and wellness clinics, read on to learn more about how these successful businesses are promoting relaxation in our community.


Bliss Luxury Spa


While working as a massage therapist at Natural Body Spa Chattanooga, Ava Castello quickly became enamored with the spa industry. “I was able to help guests feel better and relax while educating them on the importance of self-care. It quickly became an addiction, and I wanted to bring this experience to the people in Cleveland,” she explains. Castello opened Bliss Luxury Spa in April of 2003 and has continued to foster a love for the business of relaxation since then.

Two years after opening, Castello partnered with Aveda to make Bliss the first Aveda spa in the Cleveland area. “I wanted to provide the most natural, high quality products for our guests. Today, Bliss is still the only Aveda spa in the area, and with this partnership we are able to continuously bring new products and an abundance of education to our guests,” she shares. This education largely focuses on teaching guests the value of self-care and how to properly implement a regular self-care routine. “It has to be a top priority in our daily lives,” Castello explains. “We strive to

educate our guests on the importance of healthy eating, exercise, meditation, stretching, and relaxation.”

For Castello, the best part of working in this industry is creating lasting relationships with clients and seeing the spa’s positive impact on their well-being. “They become family and it’s so rewarding to share in their lives,” she says. This focus on the client experience begins from the moment they enter the spa. “Every spa guest is greeted by a guest care team member and escorted to a locker area where their visit begins by slipping into a plush robe and slippers. They can then either relax in our beautiful whisper lounge or infrared sauna prior to their spa experience. We also provide a refreshment area with an assortment of healthy snacks and drinks,” Castello explains.

With a focus on specially tailored experiences, Bliss Luxury Spa offers a number of massage therapy and spa treatment packages designed to address specific client needs. Castello says, “Massage therapy is our most requested service. Our massage team consists of nine highly skilled therapists offering a wide range of modalities from neuromuscular to Swe-Thai. We offer a true one-hour, hands-on massage experience for each of our guests. Aromatherapy is always included at no extra charge.”

Industries & Trends 98 « BUSINESS.CITYSCOPEMAG.COM

Evans Harrison Hackett PLLC

Corporate • Labor & Employment

Banking & Finance • Life Sciences

Business Litigation

Land Development & Use

Estate Planning & Administration

Health Law • Creditors’ Rights

Family Law • Professional Licensure

Proudly serving the Chattanooga business community

423.648.7890 |

835 Georgia Ave., Ste 800 Chattanooga, TN 37402

REV Optimal Living

After overcoming personal health challenges with natural healing, Drs. Matt and Monica Smith were inspired to open REV Optimal Living, a holistic chiropractic clinic focusing on nervous system regulation in Chattanooga’s Northshore neighborhood. “Health challenges had left us feeling defeated and hopeless, and it wasn’t until we began to understand natural healing that it all changed,” Dr. Monica recalls. “Cultivating our wellness and balancing our nervous systems radically healed our symptoms. Through this experience, we were inspired to help others experience the same healing.”

Since opening REV in 2016, their mission to help others has grown in more ways than one. Dr. Monica says, “Not only have we positively impacted thousands of people in Chattanooga over the past eight years, but we have also added four other family members to support the REV mission and vision as well as two additional employees that FEEL like family!”

With six-way ownership shared between them, the REV family tree has cultivated strong roots in the Scenic City as locals

have fully embraced their holistic approach to healing. “We are chiropractors by license, but practice very differently from the traditional chiropractor (hence why ‘chiropractic’ isn’t in our name). Our approach is extremely gentle and works with the energetics of the nervous system, the master computer of the human body that controls and coordinates all functions,” Dr. Monica explains. “Our main product is our neural integration sessions. Clients love it because they come into our beautiful space, lay on the tables and let their bodies process and heal at higher rates. They leave feeling more like themselves, relaxed, and like they have offloaded a bunch of weight that they had been carrying. They love that they are sustainably healing from within and feeling like themselves again.”

When it comes to self-care, it is important to factor in both the mind and the body for optimal health, and that is the ultimate goal of REV Optimal Living. “Self-care is everything. Those of us who have lost our good health understand that when you lose your health you can’t do anything. Our health should be our number one value because only when we are healthy can we fully show up for our family, friends, business/career, and more – You can’t pour from an empty cup,” Dr. Monica concludes.

Industries & Trends
Photo by Anh Bao Tran-Le

Good Fortune Soap and Spa


When married couple Chris and Steph Gannar decided to go into business together, their goal was to incorporate their shared values of supporting the community and protecting the environment into their business practices. “We bought Good Fortune Soap and Spa a little over a year ago,” Steph recalls. “We looked at several businesses, but after touring Good Fortune, we knew it was where we were supposed to be! It fit right in with our love for all things peaceful and crunchy, and the spa industry is very similar to my background in healthcare.”

Good Fortune Soap and Spa offers a range of spa packages and luxury skincare products that are kind to the planet while promoting self-care and relaxation. “We want our spa to be a space reserved strictly for relaxation and our products to promote health and wellness,” Chris shares. “That’s why our skincare/body products are made with clean ingredients and all our spa services

are geared towards total relaxation. We want everyone who comes in to leave in a tranquil haze and with products they can trust.”

From start to finish, spa services at Good Fortune offer clients a chance to relieve stress and feel better. For example, one of the spa’s most popular add-on services is a hot oil scalp massage, which Steph highly recommends. “You would be surprised at how much tension the scalp carries. If you carry tension in your neck or shoulders, you also have tension in your scalp,” she says. “The scalp massage is done towards the end of the service, making it the icing on the relaxation cake!”

For the couple, Chris says the best part of owning Good Fortune is working together and giving the local community a place to unwind and focus on self-care, which can be difficult for some people to prioritize. “Most things in our lives demand time and energy. It is very easy to get swept up in our busy lives and not even realize how little time we take for ourselves and how exhausted we are emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually,” Steph says. “We can accomplish much more from a place of rest than we can from a place of fatigue. We believe to show up well for others, you must first show up for yourself. So, self-care is one of the most important things to make time for.”

Industries & Trends 102 « BUSINESS.CITYSCOPEMAG.COM
A Higher Standard Our expert team can provide commercial real estate solutions for nearly any commercial or industrial user. 423-755-0844 | | | 423-755-0846 Development • Brokerage

Pasha Salon


Looking your best often goes hand in hand with feeling your best, and hair salons are a great place to accomplish this. With an equal focus on providing an excellent salon experience and maintaining eco-friendly business practices, Pasha Salon offers services that clients can feel good about as well.

It can be difficult for the eco-conscious to relax and indulge in beauty treatments, but Kathryn Werk, owner of Pasha Salon, believes that you can treat yourself to these luxuries without compromising on your ethics. “After doing some research, I was shocked to discover that the beauty industry sends 877 pounds of waste to the landfill every minute,” Werk recalls. “I saw the need for a sustainable and cruelty-free hair salon in my own community, and that’s when I decided to create Pasha Salon. We were the first salon in Chattanooga to partner with Green Circle Salons, and through this partnership we are able to repurpose and recycle at least 95% of all salon waste – including hair!”

With six years in business under her belt, Werk has continued to prove that high-end salon services can be great for clients without being bad for the environment. “We align ourselves with only the most high-end, sustainable, and cruelty-free businesses in our industry. We no longer doubleand triple-book clients; by focusing on one client at a time, we believe we provide the most relaxing and enjoyable experience while achieving exceptional results,” she explains.

For the Pasha Salon team, self-care is more than skin deep. “When we show ourselves love and care, we are able to pass it on! We are kinder to ourselves, and we become kinder people – when you feel good, you do good!” Werk explains. To this end, Pasha Salon is dedicated to providing a relaxing customer experience from start to finish. “You will always be greeted with a smile, and you can relax knowing a highly trained artist is taking care of you,” she says. “I love spoiling our guests with premium chocolates, coffee, luxury teas, cocktails, wine, craft beer, and more. We have acoustic pads throughout the salon to improve the sound and art for people to enjoy throughout our space. Divine pressure-point head massages, hot towel service, scalp analysis and scalp peels, treatments, and oils set the tone for every experience.”

Industries & Trends 104 « BUSINESS.CITYSCOPEMAG.COM



Even if you can’t make this year’s event, you can still make a difference! Scan the QR code below to donate to Love’s Arm! Help provide love, advocacy, and support for women survivors of trafficking, prostitution, addiction, and all types of commercial sexual exploitation.






Photo Courtesy of Volkswagen Chattanooga

How Local Automotive Manufacturing Shapes


In recent years, Chattanooga and the surrounding areas have become attractive locations for automotive and part manufacturers looking for a city to house their operations. Many of these manufacturers, such as Volkswagen and NOVONIX, are focused on the shift toward electric vehicles and sustainable materials. Here, we look back on the history of manufacturing in the area and speak to local business leaders and elected officials who are helping shape the future of automotive manufacturing in Chattanooga.

Early Opportunities in the Industry

The manufacturing industry in Chattanooga has a rich history with many products and goods made in local factories, including cars and car parts as early as 1912. Nyberg Cars was the first automobile manufacturer to call Chattanooga home; Henry Nyberg announced the building of Nyberg Auto Works in an article for a local newspaper in February of 1912. Despite support from the local Chamber of Commerce, Nyberg’s dream was short lived and his factory closed in 1914. Car enthusiasts can still check out a Nyberg-made car at the Coker Museum in downtown Chattanooga.

The U.S. experienced an economic boom after World War II, thanks in part to the transition to peacetime manufacturing efforts and an increase in advertising as televisions became more common in households. Families began to purchase cars and became more dependent on their personal vehicles, and auto ownership doubled from 1940 to 1960. During this time, the tire industry became lucrative due to the increase in the demand for automobiles and the supply of rubber that was no longer needed

for military vehicles. Mitchell Industrial Tire Company (MITCO) opened in Chattanooga in 1953, manufacturing tires for a variety of industries such as off-road vehicles, construction, and airlines. Today, MITCO still operates their plant in South Chattanooga.

During the post-war economic boom, cars quickly became more popular and available, and in 1956, Congress passed The Federal-Aid Highway Act. The $33 billion bill allowed for the construction of the Interstate Highway System, significantly changing the American lifestyle and the automobile industry. Major interstates such as I-40 and I-24 were built during this time, allowing for easier travel within Tennessee and the surrounding states, and making travel on Monteagle Mountain a possibility. According to, “the interstate system in Tennessee played a vital role in our economic growth. In what some have called the largest public works project in our nation’s history, the construction of the 1,105-mile system in Tennessee itself provided jobs for thousands. Interstate 40, a major link across the country, provides access to 20 Tennessee counties.”

Tim Kelly Mayor City of Chattanooga

During the ‘60s, a sharp increase in car crashes and deaths resulted in a federal law that made automobile manufacturers responsible for the safety of their products. This presented a challenge as auto manufacturers needed to heavily invest in materials for seatbelts, stronger door latches, and other safety features, but these adjustments succeeded in increasing the overall safety of vehicles and decreasing motorist casualties.

Consumer preferences began to shift toward foreign vehicles in the ‘70s , causing Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler (often referred to as “The Big Three”) to begin investing in Japanese automakers, and ultimately introducing Tennessee to the possibilities of local auto manufacturing. In the 1980s, Nissan built Tennessee’s first largescale auto manufacturing plant in Smyrna. By the ‘90s, automotive and parts manufacturers began popping up all across the state. General Motors established a Spring Hill, Tennessee, plant in 1990. In 1995, Shiroki built a large plant in Dalton, Georgia, to make window regulators and doors frames, followed by two Tennessee-based plants in Smithville and Gordonsville, producing parts such as seat recliners and adjusters. This trend would prove to continue, with more and more automotive and parts manufacturers putting down roots in the area.

Today’s Thriving Automotive Manufacturing Landscape

Fast forward to today, Chattanooga and the surrounding areas are a hot spot for auto and parts manufacturers. The city is located at the intersection of three major interstates, allowing automotive distributers an easy trip and the ease of one-day shipping to “onethird of U.S. consumer markets,” according to the Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership. Companies are drawn to the area for tax incentives as well as relatively affordable and reliable utilities, in addition to sustainability efforts by the Tennessee Valley Authority. Organizations considering the area are also drawn to the highly-skilled workforce, thanks to several advanced STEM and manufacturing courses and training programs in local schools and universities. As a result of these factors, Chattanooga is now home to dozens of auto and parts manufacturers including key players like Volkswagen, Denso Manufacturing, Gestamp, Plastic Omnium, Faurecia, and NOVONIX.

Industries & Trends
Battery technology company NOVONIX employs roughly 100 team members in the Chattanooga area at their Riverside facility.
Photos Courtesy of NOVONIX
Restoring Lives & Protecting Rights Trial Lawyers in Tennessee and North Georgia 1257 Market St. Chattanooga, TN 423.829.1043 BESTLAWHB.COM

NOVONIX, a leading battery technology company founded in 2013, produces components for lithiumion batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage systems using innovative, sustainable technologies, high-performance materials and efficient production methods. At their Chattanooga plant, they manufacture battery-grade synthetic graphite that boasts a longer life, higher energy efficiency, and reduced waste generation and chemical usage. “These battery materials and technologies will play a significant role in the global expansion of lithium-ion batteries,” says NOVONIX Chief Operating Officer Darcy MacDougald. “Through advanced R&D capabilities, proprietary technology, and strategic partnerships, NOVONIX has gained a prominent position in the electric vehicle and energy storage systems battery industry and is providing a cleaner energy future. We’ve been creating the building blocks for a localized battery supply chain for over a decade and the work we’re doing in Chattanooga is a piece of the puzzle,” he shares.

NOVONIX employs roughly 100 team members at its Chattanooga Riverside facility, which opened in 2021. MacDougald cites the cost of living and talent pool as two major factors in selecting Chattanooga as a home base, in addition to the ideal location. “Chattanooga offers a lot of the things we need as a manufacturing company, but also as a technology company. The city’s central geography positions us close to

many of our partners and suppliers which helps keep things like shipping costs lower,” he says. “We also have access to the Tennessee Valley Authority electrical grid, which is made up of over 50% non-carbon-producing sources of energy like nuclear, hydro, wind, and solar. Prioritizing the use of more sustainable sources of energy is important to us.”

NOVONIX is set to continue growing and expanding in the near future. In October of 2023, they announced that they secured a $100 million grant award from the U.S. Department of Energy to expand domestic production to include high-performance, synthetic graphite anode materials at the Chattanooga plant, which will allow them to double their production capacity to 20,000 tonnes per annum (tpa).

Another key player in the Chattanooga auto manufacturing industry, Volkswagen, recently debuted a Super Bowl commercial featuring the Chattanooga plant. The commercial shows a Volkswagen Atlas passing a Chattanooga city limits sign, and a shiny new electric vehicle at the production facility with “Volkswagen Chattanooga” signage displayed in the background. Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant, located on a large campus in East Chattanooga, currently produces the Atlas, the Atlas Cross Sport SUV, and most recently the ID.4, an all-electric compact SUV. While they will continue to manufacture the additional models, Volkswagen is currently focusing its efforts on electric vehicles including the ID.4.

Industries & Trends
Photo Courtesy of Volkswagen Chattanooga 112 « BUSINESS.CITYSCOPEMAG.COM
Volkswagen’s Chattanooga campus sits on roughly 45 acres in East Chattanooga.

The demand for electric vehicles continues to increase nationally. According to Volkswagen Group of America’s President and CEO Pablo Di Si, Volkswagen plans to introduce “more than 30 new battery electric vehicle (BEV) models in the U.S. by 2030.” They hope to accomplish this through their localization strategy, which helps keep costs lower. “Volkswagen distinguishes itself through its commitment to electrification and localization. Localizing the supply chain for our all-electric ID.4 has made it eligible for the $7,500 federal EV tax credit – something other international automakers haven’t achieved,” says Di Si. “One major challenge all automakers are facing is making EVs more affordable. By localizing our supply chain and meeting the qualifications for tax credits, we’ve made the ID.4 one of the more affordable EVs on the market. Our localization strategy, from working with suppliers to assembling vehicles, presents opportunities for us to further invest in our Chattanooga workforce, create new jobs, and help stimulate our regional economy.”

Since opening in 2011, Volkswagen has consistently increased production and added jobs to their operations, attracting local jobseekers in a variety of ways. “By offering some of the best jobs in Chattanooga that pay well and come with attractive benefits, we’ve been able to meet our staffing needs. We strive to be an employer of choice to attract the talent we need. We have an incredible workforce who take pride in producing safe, innovative vehicles that American families love,” shares Di Si.

After considering hundreds of different locations, Volkswagen chose Chattanooga for a variety of reasons. “Volkswagen looked at more than 300 sites, and Chattanooga quickly became the top choice, providing a construction-ready site and a workforce to power it,” Di Si says. “Chattanooga and Tennessee have a skilled workforce, and local and state leaders who see potential for economic growth.”

Industries & Trends
Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly has been an outspoken supporter of the automotive industry since taking office in 2021.
Photos Courtesy of the City of Chattanooga

Milestones in Chattanooga’s Auto Manufacturing History


Mitchell Industrial Tire Company begins operations in Chattanooga Construction begins on I-40

Henry Nyberg opens Chattanooga’s first automotive plant, Nyberg Auto Works


Congress passes The Federal-Aid Highway Act


I-24 is completed, allowing for travel on Monteagle Mountain

Shiroki builds large auto plant in Dalton, Georgia


1995 Manufacturers Yanfeng and Gestamp announce expansions into Chattanooga


Volkswagen announces plan to build Chattanooga Assembly Plant


Volkswagen and the State of Tennessee announce $1 million partnership to build Volkswagen e-Labs in local schools


Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) announces $5 million investment into continued carbon reduction efforts


NOVONIX opens Chattanooga Riverside facility to produce components for lithium-ion batteries


Volkswagen starts production of all-electric ID.4 model


Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant featured in Super Bowl commercial


A Bright Future Filled With Possibility

Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly is among the local leaders who are highly supportive of Chattanooga’s auto manufacturing industry. Since taking office in 2021, he has been outspoken about the city’s opportunity to be a key player in the automotive industry. “Chattanooga’s central location has set us up to be a cornerstone of manufacturing and logistics – the heart of freight alley. Our city is within a day’s drive of half of our country’s population, putting us in a prime position as the hub of our region’s growing automotive sector,” Kelly says. “This is also just a great place to live. We have unmatched natural resources and outdoors spaces. We are building great parks, capitalizing on our green spaces, and using them to our advantage in setting Chattanooga up to be a global magnet for topnotch talent and industry. Chattanooga is a city of hard workers and forward thinkers. We have the opportunity to be the buckle of the battery belt and the supply chain that extends around the electric vehicle industry.”

Volkswagen’s production and employee base continue to grow, with operations currently supported by 5,500 team members.

Mayor Kelly also believes that the auto manufacturing industry is one of the keys to economic prosperity in Chattanooga, sharing, “It's been said that every politician has a ‘theory of change.’ If so, mine is economic. And the great jobs that Volkswagen and the constellation of automotive suppliers around the industry are bringing to Chattanooga are going to be the primary engine for creating a happier, healthier, and wealthier city, so I am deeply grateful for their presence here and their confidence in us.”

Looking to the future, it’s likely that Chattanooga will continue to be an attractive option for potential auto manufacturing companies. But Mayor Kelly is hopeful for an even more expansive future with a wider variety of jobs related to auto manufacturing. “At some point, I would like to see us go beyond vehicle assembly to not only build vehicles here, but expand our reach into the upper ranks of the industry and attract the higher-wage jobs in design, research, engineering, and management,” he says. “We need to close the gap with larger metros and attract more high-wage, white collar jobs here, and the auto industry is a logical sector in which to make that happen.”

Industries & Trends
Photos Courtesy of Volkswagen Chattanooga
Sales & Marketing
“Master the topic, the message, and the delivery.”
- Steve Jobs

Zone in on Gen Z

Gen Z is a generation marked by diversity, self-reliance, and digital fluency.

As the oldest members of this generation approach their 30s, it’s more important than ever to engage successfully with this socially-minded generation. Here, local executives share how they are finding success in engaging a different generation of consumers with a unique set of values and priorities.


As a 107-year-old brand, MoonPie has had to find ways to continue to appeal to and remain relevant with each new generation with their fresh perspectives and different values and priorities. That said, we find that Gen Z consumers, like the Millennials before them, value authenticity.  Staying “real” and true to our “working man’s lunch” roots, celebrating our unique “s’more” taste appeal and Americana heritage, and gently poking fun at ourselves and this crazy world we’re living in seems to resonate pretty well. MoonPie is “outta this world,” so that platform and brand personality affords us a runway to have fun with it. I hope we get it right more than we don’t, and trust Gen Z to quickly and digitally let us know when we don’t!

As a financial institution founded in 1864, First Horizon Bank has always been committed to adapting to the changing needs of its clients across generations. With the pace of change accelerating at an unprecedented rate, it has never been more important to meet clients where they are – and our service to Gen Z is no exception. Serving Gen Z means being available to provide personalized services while also providing tech tools that make research or account management easier. Gen Zs are acutely aware of customer reviews and experiences. They are also extremely tech savvy and are members of the initial online and social media generation, which is where they receive information and news. Our focus is on making sure all of our banking experiences – whether in person or online – truly consider who we are serving and how they prefer to be served.

Kate Maine

Vice President for Marketing, Communications, and Workforce Development, Dalton State University

As a college, Gen Z’ers comprise much of our student population. Research shows that Gen Z’ers are more likely to attend college than previous generations because their families understand the value of higher education for lifelong earnings potential and career stability and success. Engaging with consumers of any generation requires an understanding of what is important to them, how your product or service may align with their needs, and how they prefer to receive information and engage. Because the students of this generation are digital natives, one way we engage with them is through social media platforms and sites where they are already spending a lot of time. We strive to highlight diverse educational pathways and career opportunities through stories about current students and recent graduates, and we are increasing our use of video to share these stories through the authentic voices of the students and graduates.


Jason Merryman

Vice President for Enrollment Management, Southern Adventist University

Here at Southern Adventist University, we have refined our communications and student experiences to reach Gen Z students as they choose a university. We have adjusted our approach so students can leverage text and email as the primary tools in making their decisions, which has provided higher success rates than phone calls. We’ve found that Gen Z values their parents’ opinions more than ever, so we connect with parents early in the enrollment process and copy them on communications sent to the student to ensure everyone is kept current. Customizing communications to students who show interest at various points in the year has been important as well, so we tailor communications for where the student is in their journey. We also incorporate peer reviews, such as word-of-mouth from former classmates, campus visits, events, and online testimonials to engage Gen Z as they make their decisions.

Darren Hodges

Director, Tennessee Valley Division Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED

For over a century, and that includes 125 years in Chatta-nooga, Coca-Cola has been a global symbol of optimism that has refreshed generations. Gen Z is increasingly becoming a part of our workforce, and their ideas and perspectives will play a role in our future success. In recent years, we have re-examined and revamped our recruiting and training strategies to appeal to this demographic. On the consumer side, Gen Z is indeed a growing market for our industry, and our intent is to better connect with this audience. An example is our Coke Creations brand, which launched in 2022 using a blend of musicians, designers and technology to introduce limited-edition flavors such as Starlight, Dreamworld, and Ultimate. We want to connect with and celebrate the experiences that bring our Gen Z consumers joy. Coke Creations aims to engage and surprise through unexpected tastes and collaborations – something we know our consumers have come to expect from us.

Zac Brown

Chief Talent Officer, Hamilton County Schools

Our new and incoming teachers come to us with a unique and personal commitment to the teaching profession. Not only do they want to find meaning in their work, but they also want to know that the vision for that work and their professional growth are being shepherded well. We work with our innovative talent acquisition team to make sure that the recruitment process is personable and individualized, while also showcasing the district’s dedication to ensuring that every employee is valued through purposeful leadership development and competitive compensation programs. Gen Z knows their value, and we are excited for their commitment to the students of Hamilton County.

Sales & Marketing

Every generation has its unique values and priorities. It’s important to understand the characteristics of each if we want to relate and engage with a particular generational cohort. Our approach with Gen Z hinges on authenticity and digital innovation. Recognizing Gen Z’s value for authentic experiences, we spotlight Chattanooga’s unique cultural and natural attractions through genuine storytelling. This includes leveraging user-generated content, where young travelers share their real experiences. This type of content resonates strongly with their peers. We also embrace digital platforms where Gen Z is investing their attention. Through interactive social media campaigns and influencer partnerships, we create relatable content that sparks their interest in our events and attractions. By aligning our marketing efforts with Gen Z’s values of authenticity, digital engagement, sustainability, and unique experiences, we successfully connect with this dynamic generation, inviting them to explore all that Chattanooga has to offer.

Stacy Lightfoot Vice Chancellor for Access and Engagement, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

At the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, we prioritize engaging and preparing Generation Z students for the dynamic workplace ahead. Understanding their distinct values such as authenticity, inclusivity, and innovation, we tailor our approach to resonate effectively with them. On campus, we cultivate an environment that celebrates diverse viewpoints and backgrounds, fostering a sense of belonging. We offer flexible learning options, integrate cutting-edge technology, and champion initiatives to align with their aspirations. Actively seeking student feedback, we continuously adapt our programs to meet their evolving needs. By embracing Gen Z’s priorities, we deliver enriching experiences that not only enhance their college journey but also equip them for success in the everchanging workforce landscape.

Becky Hansard

Head of School, Silverdale Baptist Academy

Silverdale Baptist Academy recognizes and appreciates the unique perspective that every generation brings to our community. While our core values and mission, which are rooted in God’s Word, will never change, our methods and best practices have evolved over the years. We have intentionally sought more input from our stakeholders by engaging them through roundtable discussions, surveys, and social media platforms. The insight we have gathered has resulted in many positive changes for our students and our community as a whole. Understanding that Gen Z parents value creativity, we have spent the last few years perfecting a unique Outdoor Education Program and have successfully combined that with our long-held Charlotte Mason method of teaching. This enhancement to our pedagogy, combined with the construction of a new center that will house labs completely committed to hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) methods will result in opportunities where creative and experiential learning experiences will abound.

Sales & Marketing
The Mark of Legendary Craftsmanship POOL CONSTRUCTION • POOL RENOVATION POOL HOUSES/CABANAS • OUTDOOR KITCHENS • FIREPLACES 501 Notre Dame Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37412 / 423.443.2989 / Building the world’s finest pools GET IN TOUCH The Generosity Trust 345 Frazier Ave., Unit 205 Chattanooga, TN 37405 423.266.5257 We empower Christian generosity.

Online Marketing

Fostering New Connections and Engaging Your Audience

When done successfully, online marketing can be a powerful tool in driving business growth, reach, and revenue. However, the world of online marketing can be vast and intimidating for businesses big and small, with a plethora of options, strategies, and tools to choose from. Here, local business leaders share how they approach their online marketing to stand out in the crowd.


Chattanooga Whiskey

What are some of the online marketing tools you utilize? We continue to build our community through our social media platforms to keep them informed on product

releases, events, or any news we may have, like winning the Icons of Whiskey 2023 Craft Producer of the Year! We also have a newsletter that fans can subscribe to, where we announce news and our latest batch releases.

How has online marketing contributed to your brand’s success?

Chattanooga Whiskey began with a Facebook post in 2011 with a simple question: “Would you drink Chattanooga whiskey?” We received an overwhelmingly positive response and we knew we had to bring whiskey back to Chattanooga. From there the “Vote Whiskey” campaign was launched with community support behind us. “The Whiskey Bill” passed and was signed into law on May 16, 2013. Chattanooga Whiskey would not be possible without this community, which began by communicating to our fans through social media.

Can you share some of your online marketing process and the strategy behind it? We share as much information as possible on our releases, how they are made, and why they matter to us. Right now on Instagram we are trying to do more moving content like reels, because Instagram pushes those to your followers more. We stay true and authentic to who we are. Any way we can tell our story of going above and beyond to make the best whiskey possible helps us grow fans.

The Double Cola Company

What are some marketing strategies that have been successful for your business? We utilize strategies such as content marketing, SEO, email marketing, social media, paid advertising and

more. It’s important to create a cohesive strategy that utilizes several of these tactics to maximize your online presence and reach your marketing objectives. For example, with content marketing, the key is to offer content that educates, entertains, or solves problems for our audience, with the goal of establishing ourselves as a thought leader and building trust.

How have marketing tools helped you stand out and better serve your clients? Marketing tools have revolutionized the way we attract, engage, and retain customers. By leveraging technology, data, and automation, we can deliver targeted, personalized, and seamless experiences that drive customer satisfaction, loyalty, and growth. Marketing tools help facilitate communication and engagement with existing and potential customers across various channels, provide us with access to valuable data and analytics, and help us gain a competitive edge in our industry.

What challenges do you face in online marketing and how do you navigate them? The online landscape is highly competitive. To navigate this challenge, we focus on differentiation by identifying and communicating our unique value proposition through branding, content, and messaging. In addition, measuring the return on investment (ROI) and accurately attributing conversions to specific marketing efforts can be challenging, so we establish clear goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) for our marketing campaigns. Finally, technology continues to evolve rapidly, so we foster a culture of innovation and continuous learning, and collaborate with technology partners and industry experts.


CHI Memorial

What have been some successful online marketing campaigns for your organization?

We recently ran two YouTube ad campaigns, one for our cancer center and the other for our

stroke institute, and we were extremely pleased with the results. We have an in-house videographer who produces many of our videos, then fine tunes the placement to provide us with the highest return on ad spend. Our latest marketing initiative is aimed at our internal audience. We used crowdsourcing to allow our staff to share their best ideas for the hospital, then the system serves our staff with two different options and the system ranks the options based on the votes.

How does online marketing help your organization stand out?

Online marketing helps us promote the kind and compassionate care of our nurses, physicians, and staff through fun and engaging photos and posts on social media. Paid social allows us to engage our audience with the goal of building preference through relevant and timely messaging. YouTube allows us to keep our brand top of mind with a constant online video presence. We love sharing the wonderful things happening in our healthcare system that benefit our patients. Overall, online marketing helps us create bite-sized content that is easy to share and educates our audience.

How does online marketing help you reach potential customers?

We are able to educate the community about our specialty services and encourage patients to seek care. We use online reputation management tools to ensure accurate information and to generate reviews and address patient concerns. We have used geofencing and geotargeting in our recruiting efforts, service line outreach, and even for our symposiums.

The Finery House

What are some marketing strategies that have been successful for your business? We heavily prioritize viewer engagement. Pairing this with an event-based strategy helps create buzz around our

jewelry launches and in-store experiences, creating trust and growing engagement. Our goals in digital marketing aim to convert browsers into buyers and eventually loyal, long-term customers. Through inbound marketing, we are able to build relationships that drive sales and produce repeat customers. This is developed from a layered ecosystem of content and email marketing, lead nurturing, SEO, marketing automation, and website optimization.

What online marketing tools do you enjoy using? Our marketing efforts on Instagram have developed into an integral part of our business growth and accessibility. Instagram has provided a proficient means to allow our businesses an open door to a larger audience based on demographic and geographic information. After developing an effective strategy, we often present a behind-the-scenes view of who we are. When we remove that veil, it creates mass exposure in a way that other platforms can’t match, helping people feel connected with our products and mission and making it more attractive and trustworthy.

Can you share an example of a recently successful online marketing campaign? Our “Unlock the Ring” campaign was centered around a very successful in-person event, which we attribute to the unique concept and digital promotion. In 2023, we sold 10 times more engagement rings than we anticipated so we decided to give away a $15,000 engagement ring. Promotion for this event was as important as the event itself. We developed an inbound strategy to generate event interest, increase brand awareness, and ultimately drive more conversions and attention.

AEED, Inc. is a full-service mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection and energy consulting, design and building commissioning engineering firm located in Chattanooga, TN. We are licensed in multiple states throughout the U.S. About Us Sustainable, Innovative Engineering Solutions Since 2001. Scan to visit our website Let’s Create Something Great Together! 423.752.3438 408 McCallie Ave, Chattanooga

The Designery

What are some marketing strategies that have been successful for your business? Our blog serves as a hub for insightful articles, design tips, and captivating before-and-after showcases,

allowing homeowners to envision their dream spaces. Our social media strategy revolves around showcasing the beauty and craftsmanship of our projects. We also recognize the importance of being visible to potential customers when they're in search of kitchen, bath, and closet solutions, so we place a significant emphasis on SEO to ensure our website ranks prominently in search engine results for relevant keywords.

How does online marketing help you reach potential customers?

Utilizing online advertising platforms such as Google Ads and social media ads enable us to pinpoint specific demographics, interests, and behaviors. By tailoring our ad campaigns to match the profiles of our ideal customers, we attract more qualified leads and broaden our customer base. By tapping into digital channels, we can connect with potential customers in new markets and demographics.

What challenges do you face in online marketing and how do you navigate them? As the digital landscape continues to evolve, the algorithms of social media and search engines play a significant role in our online visibility and reach. We stay vigilant, keeping abreast of algorithm changes and adapting our marketing strategies accordingly. Additionally, with the increasing focus on data privacy and security, it's paramount for us to handle customer data responsibly and adhere to regulations. We implement robust security measures to safeguard customer information and maintain transparency in our data practices, which fosters trust and maintains our positive online reputation.

One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning®

What are some marketing strategies that have been successful for your business? Prior to implementing digital marketing tactics, we do

a thorough review of our competition and business segment and from that research, create a marketing and communication strategy. The abundance of data available with digital marketing allows us to continually evaluate category trends, competitive initiatives, and what is and what is not working. Additionally, we listen closely to what our customers have to say about our service and their experience with others in our industry. This approach allows us to fine-tune our messaging across all of our digital marketing initiatives so we are able to accentuate why Chattanooga area homeowners should choose One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning®.

What online marketing tools do you find to be the most effective and why? Social platforms have allowed us to raise awareness for our brand and specific offers, such as our 24/7 service, two-year 100% satisfaction guarantee, and “on time or you don’t pay a dime.” In addition, on-page and off-page search engine optimization initiatives, along with Google Ads, ensure we are easy to find when homeowners need our services.

How have marketing tools helped you stand out and better serve your clients? There are several things that help us stand out. First, it is our competitive messaging. Second is the digital marketing tactics that we choose to build awareness for our brand and most successfully reach Chattanooga area homeowners when they are looking for our services. Third is the way our messaging is presented between the use of visuals, video, copy, and special offers so that we stand out and easily convey why we are the best choice for our customers.


Innovation & Entrepreneurship

“The most successful entrepreneurs I know are optimistic. It’s part of the job description.”
- Caterina Fake



What does it take to pull yourself up by the bootstraps? For some, it takes moving to the United States and pursuing a path of entrepreneurship. Here, we spoke with four brilliant individuals who moved to the United States to start thriving businesses of their own. Read on to learn more about their motivation and the incredible work they do.


As the owner of Zen Nail Spa, Tracy Duong champions an inclusive workplace for people with similar backgrounds to her. Duong, having moved to the United States from Vietnam in 1993, learned firsthand the importance of creating an understanding and ethical work environment for first-generation immigrants. Her personal experiences fueled her passion for entrepreneurship and uplifting others, and she opened Zen Nail Spa in 2018.

Duong shares that business ownership has provided her with unique challenges to overcome. In addition to navigating work as a first-generation business

In the nail care industry for 25 years now, she has stayed motivated by her strong desire to lead others by example. The salon has allowed her to provide jobs for family members and other first-generation immigrants, and all the work they do reflects her standard of excellence. In addition to a tranquil and luxe atmosphere, the salon offers classic nail services such as manicures and pedicures, as well as nail enhancement services and facial waxing. Through it all, the Zen team exudes Duong’s passion for creating the best results for each client.

With a reputation for high-quality service and stunning results, it’s no surprise Zen Nail Spa continues to

Innovation & Entrepreneurship
LOCALLY OWNED & OPERATED - ALWAYS THE RIGHT CHOICE Offering outstanding customer service by way of unmatched quality, beautiful designs, and friendly professional service for over 50 years POOL CONSTRUCTION | POOL RENOVATION | CUSTOM SPAS | RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL OUTDOOR LIVING SPECIALISTS - POOL HOUSES, KITCHENS & BARS, FIREPLACES & FIRE PITS 423.298.4002 | Birchwood, TN

For Khaled Albanna, entrepreneurship is an outlet for expressing himself and his love for cooking. He moved to the United States from Jordan in 2010, and during the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, he and a couple of friends began conceptualizing plans for a new restaurant. Inspired by cuisine found in the Levant region – consisting of Syria, Jordan, Palestine, and Lebanon – Albanna wanted to give a voice to the culture and memories of his childhood. Calliope, a modern Levantine restaurant, officially opened

As the first in his family to open a business in the United States, Albanna shares the experience “is exciting, but also a continuous pressure.”

When it comes to challenges in business ownership, his approach is to find a balance between playing it safe and taking chances.

Albanna views each challenge as an opportunity,

always looking for new ways to improve and grow. “In business, there are always challenges,” he says. “To survive, you should always navigate them carefully, find solutions, learn from them, and learn when to take a risk.”

His motivation as an entrepreneur comes from his desire to build a lasting legacy for his family. As a young boy, his mother instilled in him a love for cooking, and through the restaurant, he preserves the passion and traditions he originally learned from her. As the restaurant continues to grow, his goal is to share the flavors of his Palestinian-Jordanian heritage with the next generation. Calliope’s namesake, meaning “the beautiful voice,” exemplifies Albanna’s mission to tell his story through cooking. He shares that his proudest moment has been witnessing the restaurant concept gain more popularity, locally and regionally.

Albanna expresses his thankfulness for the support of the community, family, and the Calliope team, including business partners Joi Mason and Raven Humphrey. “It was a group effort coming up with the concept and putting it together,” he says. “The inspiration was my journey since childhood, the food, the experiences, and memories. We wanted this to be a place that would speak about a culture’s stories through food and help break a barrier.”

Khaled Albanna

Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Criminal Defense ∙ Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Social Security Disability ∙ Worker’s Compensation ∙ Family Law 30 2nd Street NW, Cleveland, TN 37311 LOGANTHOMPSONLAW.COM

Karla Valdivieso, co-founder and CEO of Shappi, empowers Latin American consumers to obtain delivery of their United States products in a faster, more affordable, and reliable manner. Having moved to the United States from Ecuador in 2018, she experienced the challenges of international logistics firsthand, and it inspired her to start a business that would make a real difference. With a mission to provide Latin American consumers with an easier and more reliable delivery method, Shappi was founded in 2018.

Valdivieso says being a first-generation business owner in the United States is “both exhilarating and challenging.” Her business is disrupting a $358+ billion Latin American cross-border logistics market, so resilience and adaptability are key to staying ahead. While facing a multitude of challenges in a competitive market, she has also faced the challenge of balancing work and personal life. She describes the experi-

journey as a way to create opportunities for others and make a positive impact. Shappi enables Latin American customers to order United States products and have them reliably delivered by verified travelers returning from the United States. Her business provides a pertinent solution for consumers who want to shop and ship United States products with ease, and she is most proud of the way Shappi’s impact has exceeded her expectations. As the business continues to grow, the Shappi team of 20 thrives on ingenuity and an openness to learning from successes and failures.

Today, Shappi’s unique “travelogistic” approach to delivery continues to help Latin American consumers receive United States deliveries all year round. Able to ship everything from shoes and perfumes to electronics of all kinds, Shappi’s streamlined delivery process is looking for ways to expand to other countries in 2024. “It’s been incredibly

Innovation & Entrepreneurship SHAPPI 136 « BUSINESS.CITYSCOPEMAG.COM
Chattanooga’s Premier Med Spa Botox Treatments Dermal Fillers RF Microneedling PDO Threads Chemical Peels PCDC Treatments Laser Hair Removal Anti-aging treatments 423.788.2042 5591 TN-153 STE 156 Hixson, TN 37343 with 360+ five star google reviews from satisfied customers, it is our privilege to provide world class service & care to the greater Chattanooga area.

A passion for great food led Sujata Singh to the path of business ownership. She moved to the United States from India in 1998, and her desire for more “genuine food experiences” pushed her to explore entrepreneurship in the hospitality and food industry. Noticing a gap in the Chattanooga food scene, Singh dreamed of offering a fresh, expansive perspective on Indian cuisine. She decided to start hosting dinners in June 2019 to hone her vision, and in the fall of 2022, her restaurant Spice Trail officially opened.

As the first in her family to open a business in the hospitality and food industry, Singh has taken on a wide variety of roles to ensure her restaurant’s success. “I have done every job as a business owner,” she says. “I’ve been a dishwasher, cleaner, front desk person, chef,

patience, determination, and a constant willingness to learn something new.

Support from her family and community – as well as a genuine love for the work – keeps her motivated. As the restaurant has evolved and expanded in new ways, she shares that the amount of support from family members has been tremendous and much appreciated. Whether serving a sit-down lunch, hosting a cooking class, or catering a private event, hearing positive feedback from loved ones and the surrounding community makes all the hard work worth it. For Singh, it’s all about sharing the heart behind the food.

Her passion for Indian cuisine continues to motivate her today. “This project has been a labor of love and has morphed into different things as it has grown into its

Sujata Singh


Innovation & Entrepreneurship
to register today!
Voted Best of the Best Summer Camp, Silverdale Baptist Academy Summer Camps provide your child with opportunities for discovery and growth, wrapped in experiences with academics, the arts, the great outdoors, athletics, and more. We're excited to offer brand new options for Summer 2024!
2023 Scan

Local Leaders in Technology


In a world where technology advances by the day, leading professionals are constantly tasked with finding and pioneering creative solutions to better the world we live in. Luckily, the Scenic City is full of individuals more than willing to take on the challenge. Nonprofit Chattanooga Technology Council (ChaTech) set out to honor these leaders, developers, and entrepreneurs with the Technology Excellence (TechX) awards. Here, we chat with the 2023 TechX winners about their work, their passion, and what innovation means to them.


What aspect of your work are you most passionate about?

Development is always at the top of mind when working with my team or various groups in the community. Within the realm of my control, I give people space to be creative in their approach to solving problems and designing solutions. Our teams do not shy away from healthy conflict; differing perspectives help us make better decisions.

What advice would you give to someone interested in advancing a career in tech?

The work I do did not exist when I was born, nor was it on my radar when entering college. There are so many jobs that will exist in the future that do not exist now. Stay informed on business trends so you have an idea of the skills that are in demand. Beyond that, think of ways you can create what is missing.

What excites you about the future of tech?

While engaging with ChaTech, Girls Inc., and volunteering at Hamilton County Schools, I have seen that we have a talented community that is ready to be a part of something big. STEM is fun, learning is fun; I hope that our youth and adults alike take advantage of their creativity and astonishing brain capacity to be the scientists, technologists, and innovators that our city needs!

What inspired you to pursue this area of tech?

Before DevOps, I managed over 10,000 physical servers. Since that time, automation tools have matured greatly. I’m always looking forward to the next era of automation. Our tools and practices are continually evolving, and in the field of DevOps, we are often the pathfinders.

Why is it important to foster a culture of innovation?

Technology is changing so rapidly, it is nearly impossible to keep up unless you narrow the scope to a specific domain. Innovation enables teams to remain excited about the future, and it keeps energy high for the learning that is required to progress.

What advice would you give to someone interested in advancing a career in tech?

Don’t get overwhelmed by the fast pace of change, but on the other hand, don’t stagnate. Be methodical about your learning and career development. When you encounter something you don’t understand, take the time to learn it thoroughly and share the information because others are probably in the same situation.

Chantée Boykin Senior Manager of Information Technology, EPB IT Infrastructure Award Matt Barlow
Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Cloud Infrastructure Lead, StratusGrid DevOps Leader of the Year Award
The perfect pairing for your next event! Book now for events & catering. & Orange Grove’s mission for more than 70 years has been to recognize, support, and celebrate the qualities of children and adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities. With a passion for learning, engaging, growing, excelling, working, visioning, and collaborating, we invite you to take a tour of Orange Grove and find out where your passions and ours intersect. We are seeking volunteers who want to make a difference and employers who want to hire. Together we can continue to build a community where each one of us has the opportunity to reach our full human potential. LEARN MORE AT ORANGEGROVECENTER.ORG / 423.629.1451 FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL @ORANGEGROVECTR

Tell us a little bit about your work that led up to this award. My passion has been to be a role model for young women, to encourage and inspire them to follow untraditional career paths in STEM, and to help advance our industry well into the next century. Diversity and inclusion is a key aspect to enabling innovation; it’s through different perspectives that we can think outside of our norms and come up with new ideas to improve our businesses and our lives.

What is your proudest achievement?

A few proud achievements include being a mother of two thoughtful and caring young adults, as well as being the first female licensed senior reactor operator, shift manager, shift operations superintendent, and operations director at Dresden Nuclear Plant. Last summer, I was presented with the Leadership Award at the U.S. Women in Nuclear National Conference in Arizona.

What advice would you give to someone interested in advancing a career in tech?

I came upon the nuclear industry by chance. I slowly fell in love with the fact that we were providing clean, reliable energy to power the lives of people every day. That being said, don’t be afraid to explore different possibilities in STEM fields because you might find your passion where you don’t expect it.

What inspired you to pursue this area of tech?

I’m dedicated to using my platform as an LGBTQ+ community leader to create a space where everyone feels safe, accepted, and like they truly belong. Whether you’re non-able-bodied, a racial minority in the U.S., or identify as LGBTQ+, I want to create allies for all those pushed to the margins to build social and fiscal capital in Chattanooga.

Why is it important to foster a culture of innovation?

When we embrace innovation, we can also create an environment where everyone can contribute their perspectives and work together to build a more inclusive and connected workplace. So, how do we foster this innovative culture? We take steps every day to create a working environment where teammates feel they can bring their whole selves to work, feel safe to speak up, and even safer to challenge each other.

What advice would you give to someone interested in advancing a career in tech?

Use it for good. Knowing and thriving in tech allows you to bring it to others in a way that promotes connection based on curiosity, abundance, and creativity. Build access and systems to connect with an inclusive lens. Technology is a tool to connect with people. If we choose to, we can use it to make people feel like they belong, are safe, and connected to resources that refuel and inspire.

Innovation & Entrepreneurship 144 « BUSINESS.CITYSCOPEMAG.COM

What inspired you to pursue this area of tech?

The dynamic nature of the field, coupled with the potential to create meaningful innovations, has been a driving force in shaping my journey. The tech industry has become incredibly inclusive, and you can start at any age. With the vast array of online learning resources available, ranging from interactive courses to community forms, individuals can learn new skills and keep up with trends.

What is your proudest achievement?

Securing this award is a testament to the transformative impact of the program I developed during my internship with CBL. Crafting a solution that addressed specific challenges in the industry showcased my ability to translate theoretical knowledge into practical, winning results. Receiving the TechX award has not only elevated my confidence in my abilities but has also reinforced the value of hands-on experience and problem-solving in the ever-evolving landscape of technology.

What aspect of your work are you most passionate about?

One of the aspects that fuels my passion in my work is witnessing the programs I write come together and feel great satisfaction in watching what I’ve built in action. Whether it’s optimizing processes, developing innovative features, or overcoming complex challenges, the tangible outcomes and the realization that my efforts contribute to functional, real-world solutions are what drive my enthusiasm.

What inspired you to pursue this area of technology?

I continue to be inspired by the joy of learning that is evident when students are engaged in STEM tasks. Utilizing STEM processes and mindsets provides a method to integrate technology, problem-solving, creativity, and curiosity into instruction. Students are more engaged when tackling real-world problems, investigating new ideas, and developing projects and prototypes to demonstrate their learning.

What are some of the most exciting developments within your field?

It is exciting to see students shift from consumers of technology to makers of and with technology. Students are coding apps and video games, digitally designing and fabricating products, and leveraging tech tools to create media to communicate and connect globally. I want our students to be fearless explorers of what could be, not just what is.

What aspect of your work are you most passionate about?

I am passionate about providing STEM and computer science education to early learners. They are often overlooked when considering funding or investment of time in STEM and computer science. I firmly believe that if a kindergarten student can say “tyrannosaurus rex”, they can learn about artificial intelligence and the foundations of complex ideas. Students in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade are the most fearless learners and creative thinkers!

Teddy Cooper Technology Solutions Intern, CBL Properties Emerging Tech Student Award Jessica Holloway Innovation Coach, Hamilton County Schools Tech Educator of the Year Award

Why is it important to foster a culture of innovation?

Innovation is vital to all aspects of tech, not only to help us reach our current goals more quickly and creatively, but also to expand our ideas of what’s possible. There are tools that I use on a daily basis that were pure science fiction when I was growing up. Without a bias for creativity and asking ourselves “what if?”, we risk getting comfortable and telling ourselves that the way we’ve always done things is good enough.

What is your proudest achievement?

Founding Scenic City Summit. I’ve watched it grow from an idea in 2016 to our ninth conference coming up later this year. It’s been amazing to see hundreds of people from the tech community in the region coming together to network, learn, and share ideas.

What aspect of your work are you most passionate about?

There’s a remarkably satisfying element of puzzle-solving involved in troubleshooting, especially on the “back end” where the business logic and data-crunching happens. That sort of problem-solving is tied to mentoring, because I’ve decided that the true “10X developer” who’s so much more productive than average becomes that way by both doing good work and helping their peers get better at what they do.

What inspired you to pursue this area of technology?

As a trained fraud fighter and analytics professional, I have been leveraging advanced technologies for several decades to fight all types of fraud threats. About seven years ago, I realized that if we leverage the same technology and programs we use to fight fraud and money laundering, we could significantly accelerate the detection of human crimes like human trafficking, scams, and child and elder exploitation.

What are some of the most exciting developments within your field?

I am constantly meeting with bankers and providers at all levels who recognize we need to get involved to protect the most vulnerable. I am seeing more movement in the fight against human trafficking, scams, and child exploitation than I have ever seen. For this reason, I’m encouraged every day.

What advice would you give to someone interested in advancing a career in tech?

I find it’s always easier if you start with the problem and then explore how technology can solve it. I interact with many professionals who don’t fully realize their goal because they lack passion for a problem and the language needed to market their solution. Remember that even in technology, people are at the center of business, so find a person with a passion or problem and partner with them.

Branden Schwartz Full Stack Engineer, TVA Software Engineering Leader of the Year Award Ian Mitchell Co-Founder, Mission Omega & The Knoble AI/Machine Learning/Business Intelligence Award
Innovation & Entrepreneurship 146 « BUSINESS.CITYSCOPEMAG.COM

Trailblazing Legal Leadership

Husch Blackwell is a different kind of law firm, structured around our clients’ industries and built on a culture of selfless service. Our 1,000+ lawyers collaborate in Chattanooga and across more than 20 offices nationwide to provide uncommon solutions to our clients’ most complex challenges.

Dedicated to Service 6246 Dayton Boulevard • Chattanooga, TN 37343 423.267.5471 • Committed to Growing Chattanooga Since 1925 Electrical Contracting • Professional Engineering • Industrial Automation Fiber Optic and Computer Cabling Systems

Tell us a little bit about your work that led up to this award. In 2023, I aided in event coordination for local tech and talent acquisition groups such as the CD Techies and the Chattabooleans. Additionally, I utilized social media and online networking platforms to support the delivery of a podcast hosted by AlloHire’s founder Hudson Brock. Through this podcast, we’ve connected the in-person Chattanooga community to a nationwide digital community, allowing for further discussion and collaboration.

What aspect of your work are you most passionate about?

It’s all about the people! At AlloHire, my advocacy for digital marketing and our commitment to using technology stem from a shared goal: to create stronger connections with individuals. In the midst of an ongoing loneliness epidemic, leveraging technology and strategic marketing isn’t just about innovation; it’s about creating meaningful relationships.

In your line of work, why is it important to foster a culture of innovation?

As recruiters operating in a dynamic industry, we recognize the everchanging landscape of the job market. Staying ahead, rather than simply keeping up, requires a commitment to innovation. At AlloHire, we strive to “dare greatly,” inspired by Theodore Roosevelt’s renowned quote. We want to pursue what’s next with such boldness that the possibilities for failure become an integral part of the journey.

Awarded for innovative leadership in his role as chief information officer, Tyson Morris has served the city of Chattanooga in this position since 2022. As CIO, Morris develops and manages technology systems to support city infrastructure in collaboration with public sectors. Originally from Atlanta, Morris previously served in an executive position for the Coca-Cola Company as global head of architecture, platforms, and marketing operations. He brings over 15 years of information technology experience to “Gig City” and is eager to build off the advancements Chattanooga technology leaders have made up to this point.

Leading the city’s Technology Services department, Morris is excited about pioneering data-driven strategies to improve the safety, effectiveness, and sustainability of city systems. Morris’ efforts earned him ChaTech’s CxO of the Year award, which honors a senior technology executive for positive organization impact, innovation, and creativity in planning and deploying enterprise systems, management philosophies, and service to the industry and community.

Tyson CxO
Innovation & Entrepreneurship 148 « BUSINESS.CITYSCOPEMAG.COM

Strategy & Leadership

“Great leadership usually starts with a willing heart, a positive attitude, and a desire to make a difference.”
- Mac Anderson

In recent years, integrating new technology in the workplace has changed the way that businesses communicate, both internally and externally. With more and more remote jobs on the market, effective communication is critical for keeping everyone on

the same page and working toward shared goals. Similarly, with digital platforms bringing businesses closer to their stakeholders than ever before, external communication can be just as important. But how much communication is too much?

Here, local leaders weigh in on the importance of transparency and share helpful insights they’ve gained over the years. Read on to learn more about when, why, and how to effectively utilize transparent communication in the workplace.


“Transparent communication, to me, is the foundation of trust and understanding. In the context of a health insurance company like BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, transparency is about providing our members with information that is easily accessible, clear, and empowers them to make informed decisions about their health coverage. With hospital systems across the state requesting higher rates, we’re the only ones in a position to advocate for our customers and hold the line on rising costs. We owe it to our employer group customers and members to communicate early and often about why we’re negotiating with a provider group or

hospital and what that means for their healthcare coverage. By explaining the changes, providing clear updates, and being available for dialogue, we aim to provide certainty, which helps build trust.

Embrace a ‘no surprises’ approach. This is my professional motto because it encourages accountability. When challenges arise, address them promptly and take responsibility for finding solutions. Continuously seek feedback and actively listen to the needs of your teams and clients. Finally, be adaptable and open to improvement – transparent communication is an ongoing commitment to building and maintaining trust.”

Dalya Qualls White

Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee

“Transparent communication means communicating honestly, directly, and consistently, which builds trust among all parties. As the Synovus customer covenant states, we pledge to serve every customer with the highest levels of sincerity, fairness, courtesy, respect, and gratitude, which we deliver with unparalleled responsiveness, expertise, efficiency, and accuracy. Transparent communication is a core component of this covenant and a foundation for building trust with our clients and communities.

Transparent communication is essential to creating a healthy work environment that fosters collaboration and innovation. With clients, transparent communication is a must for building trust and creating long-term relationships. Always strive to be honest, fair, respectful, and responsive. Consistently delivering on these values should create an environment of transparent communication with both your colleagues and clients.”


“At the Chattanooga Airport, transparent communication builds trust with our passengers. The growth of our airport is dependent on our community continuing to choose to fly Chattanooga, which is why it’s important that they trust us for their travel needs. That means being proactive and transparent in our communication, including with our air carriers and vendors. If there’s screening equipment down or an issue on the runway, we do our best to deliver timely, transparent information because we know it impacts their day.

“Transparent communication, when possible, is essential in developing trust and confidence in the leadership of an organization. When information can be shared among employees and stakeholders, it unites an organization and creates consistent messaging among the group. They feel valued and appreciated when they are included in transparent communication. It is imperative for our employees and stakeholders to know they are valued members of the BoydBuchanan community.

In a school setting, it is critical to share information with families and other stakeholders so they have trust in decision-

Being transparent is about communicating with your clients, customers, or team when times are good and when things have gone wrong. I would encourage other leaders to incorporate regular meetings or engagements to ensure you follow up with your team, customers, and community. While I am not new to the Chattanooga Airport, I am new to the president and CEO position. In this new role, it’s been important to me to meet with as many people in the community as possible, and I’m continuing to schedule those interactions regularly with stakeholders across our region.”

making within the school. However, there may be situations involving confidentiality and legal guidelines that prohibit us from sharing information desired by parents and stakeholders. When these circumstances occur, it can be difficult for others to understand our limitations in being completely transparent.

In any situation, communication is critical to prevent misunderstanding or confusion. Often, false narratives are created when transparent communication is not implemented. Even if you anticipate disagreement, it’s best to be open and provide information, sharing relevant details as they become appropriate for the situation.”

Dr. Renee Murley Head of School, Boyd-Buchanan School

Strategy & Leadership




“Transparency is not an unalloyed good. While transparent communication can be an effective tool when used appropriately, it can also unintentionally cause more harm than good when misused. In the right situation, transparent communication can foster trust, strengthen a team, or reassure a customer. On the other hand, if misused or overused, it can result in precisely the opposite effect than what is desired. If a workplace isn’t willing to learn from past mistakes and move on from them, transparency can be deadly.

My advice to new leaders would be to carefully consider what it is that you’re trying to accomplish. It is especially important to consider what unintended consequences may arise so you can get ahead of those challenges. This will allow you to be more strategic and create an effective communication plan. If transparency is the right course, proceed unapologetically – but I would advise against thinking of transparency as the default approach to all communication.”

“To me, transparent communication means honestly and respectfully sharing what you know in a way that is beneficial to the recipient. I believe transparency is critical for setting expectations, generating motivation, diagnosing issues, and organizational improvement. Transparent communication allows colleagues to levelset expectations, avoid negative surprises, and protect the customer experience.

The reality is that the less clear you are, the more susceptible your audience is to inaccurate assumptions. Poor ‘locker room energy’ can be contagious and spread harmful cynicism. As a leader, the goal is to promote a culture of transparent communication that allows an associate

to step into your office and share what is on their mind with the belief that you care and will help. Otherwise, these situations could be bottled up or shared horizontally without giving leadership the ability to address or clarify a situation.

Transparent communication is also important vertically within an organization. It’s important to avoid shielding upstream feedback that could improve the organization. Building a culture of trust that encourages transparency is the best way to guide a team and keep your finger on the pulse of your business. At the same time, remember to ensure that your transparency is buoyed by beneficial information.”

Strategy & Leadership

“To me, transparent communication means taking accountability and being open, honest, upfront, and clear. Transparent communication, whether it is with internal employees or clients, builds a ‘piggy-bank’ of trust and goodwill. When we inevitably make a mistake, as any human will, the hope is that the piggy-bank should be full enough that the employee or client will extend a certain amount of grace and leeway. Keep that trust piggy-bank as full as possible at all times! One of our technology partners recently imposed a slight monthly price increase,

and this directly impacted the price that we needed to pass on to our clients. We sent a series of emails, texts, and made phone calls, clearly explaining what had happened and how it would impact them going forward. A leader is going to have tough conversations throughout their career, whether they are with employees, clients, vendors, or even peers. While the other party may not like what you have to say, I have found that most will respect your honesty and transparency, even if they do not necessarily like or agree with your decision.”

“Being transparent is especially important in the business of acquisitions and dispositions. With moving timelines and the uncertainty of closings and what future operations may look like, it’s best to be clear with employees throughout the process. I like to tell people we play with our cards face up – we prioritize communicating the overall big picture and end objective.

Our only constant is time. Everyone has 24 hours in a day. To make the most of it, I like to be as transparent as possible from a moral and ethical perspective, but also to not waste time. When it comes to deals,

we hope to win fast or lose fast. Allowing things to happen or not in a timely manner is beneficial for all. Why waste time on a project if it’s not going to be a win-win? If we’re clear and it’s not working out, we’re ready to focus on the next win-win.

Don’t go into business if you’re not prepared to be clear and honest. When managing teams or businesses, you won’t see longevity if you aren’t transparent with your employees and clients. Your reputation is everything, and it’s directly tied to how transparent you are with everyone – employees, clients, vendors, partners, investors, and so on.”


Sage Advice

Individuals at all stages of their careers often seek advice from a trusted colleague or mentor when seeking personal development, hoping to better serve clients or customers, or trying to overcome a difficult situation. Here, local business leaders share advice that has remained with them throughout their careers, and passed down words of wisdom they return to when faced with a challenge.

I worked with my dad for seven years, and he gave me some great advice that could apply to anyone working in any field. It’s applicable to your boss or your customers. When presented with a request, realizing that some requests require time, try to always do three things: 1. Respond with immediate follow-up. Even when you don’t have an answer to the request, acknowledge receipt of the request and that you will be back with a reply shortly. 2. Provide attention to detail. It can take time to get the facts, but supervisors and customers want accurate information that provides sufficient detail.

3. Lastly, show some enthusiasm with your response. Maintaining a positive attitude when dealing with others is so important. Even if the request may not be very important in your eyes, it is to your supervisor or customer. Enthusiasm and a can-do spirit never go out of style.


One of my personal rules in business is to always hire people who are better than you –then learn from the expertise they bring to your organization. Surrounding yourself with subject matter experts is key to success regardless of your industry. If you let them, it could be easy to allow insecurities to keep you from fully leaning on and trusting your team. When you empower people to do their very best work, everyone wins.

Surround yourself with those who are smarter than you. They will help to push you and guide you in ways you could never expect. Do not be afraid that someone knows more than you or is more experienced. Connect and learn from them.

I work in the senior living industry and am surrounded by residents who have had wonderful careers. I seek them out and listen to their stories and advice. There is so much knowledge in experience.

Do not be afraid to ask questions. Lean on your team, trust your gut, and power through the difficult times; you learn who you can be through those times.


Strive to find a mentor in your profession who is invested in you and your long-term success. During your career, you will encounter pressures that are both expected and unexpected. Developing a deep relationship with a successful leader in your organization or industry will provide you a sense of direction when you have lost the path. And you will lose the path. Often, I see younger professionals hesitate to pursue these relationships for any number of reasons or mistakenly expect that mentorship is something that should be given and not earned. Like all relationships, it cannot be a one-way street. You need to be invested in your mentor’s success as well. However, if you can establish that meaningful relationship, your mentor will likely value it as much as you do. If that occurs, you can be assured that you will have a strong advocate invested in you and your success.

To any young person aiming for success in their field – it’s not something that is going to happen overnight. Do everything you can to absorb and digest the information around you and most importantly, keep showing up! So much of learning how systems work and developing skills around leadership, business, and medicine can happen if you keep taking a seat at the table. Never turn down any opportunities where you can be of assistance because the growth and knowledge gained from everyday experiences are immeasurable. It may be a difficult road ahead, but nonetheless rewarding. Every person is capable of bettering themselves and in turn, making a difference around them.

Strategy & Leadership
Visit our downtown Chattanooga location! CHATTANOOGA CLEVELAND EAST RIDGE GUNBARREL HIXSON OOLTEWAH NMLS #604758 Come See What’s So Smart About SmartBank

My career has been dynamic. There have been highs and lows. There have been tears and belly laughs. What has been constant is my desire to improve the lives of everyone I have come in contact with. My advice is: Do what you can; the best you can. Remember who you are, which is not just your career and has nothing to do with fleeting opinions of others. Serve others. Love yourself. Remember and embrace all aspects of yourself. You are more than your career.

Remain teachable.

The Key to Everything , a book by Matt Keller, was an inspiring read for me several years ago. The title immediately caught my attention, for who doesn’t want to know the key to everything? Keller’s key is “teachability,” which he defines as “desire to learn times willingness to change.”

Throughout my life and career, remaining teachable has been an important, yet sometimes elusive element to my success. I’ve attempted to avoid an attitude of “having arrived” while also attempting to cultivate an attitude of being open to new ideas and opportunities. It’s required me to regularly ask myself what is my desire to learn and what is my willingness to change? These aren’t easy questions at times, but they’re necessary for continued growth and development.

For me, teachability has often led to encountering fascinating people and engaging in life-changing experiences.

Strategy & Leadership

Shaping Leaders

Some moments, whether big or small, make all the difference in sparking inspiration, shifting perspectives, or teaching a lifelong lesson. Here, local leaders share a key moment that has shaped how they lead today.

If someone has ever read my bio, or heard me speak, they likely know that my guiding principle as a leader revolves around inspiring others. My personal mantra is, “I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say, ‘Because of you, I didn’t give up!’” I came across this phrase early in my professional career and the words resonated with me. They became the cornerstone of my leadership style. The awareness that others are constantly watching or looking to you for guidance underscores the importance of consistently embodying a positive example. I firmly believe in modeling the behaviors you wish to see in others.

Deacon Hicks Armor Head of School, Notre Dame High School

While I was at BlueCross Blueshield, I was asked to be in an informal training program, where over time I was placed in different areas of the business to see what was a good match. After being in a sales role for eight or nine months, I was made a sales manager. The sales office had not done well the last several years. One day, I received a note that said, “Nothing happens until someone sells something.” I looked at it, and it was unsigned. I had been looking at sales charts, graphs, and analytics, which is good, but hadn’t focused on, “Have we increased our sales?” which was our job. This lesson taught me that you can analyze or predict, but until you figure out your objective and how you’re going to do it, nothing gets done.

Years later, I found out who sent me the note. It was the guy who selected me to be in the training program. He was an intelligent, analytical guy who saw somebody doing the same thing he had done and realized that wasn’t going to work. It taught me that you have to understand what the organization you’re in does, and how to get that done.


Chris Cosby

CEO, Parkridge Health System

My leadership style has evolved over my career, drawing inspiration from the examples set by significant influencers in my life, primarily my parents and a former mentor. My father, a self-made, successful entrepreneur, and my mother, a distinguished healthcare administrator in her own right, project their paths to success to me and live through selfless service to others with humility, dignity, and respect. Moreover, the formative years of my career just out of grad school exposed me to the impactful leadership style of my first hospital CEO. Observing his congenial interactions with patients, visitors, and staff left an indelible mark on me. His genuine interest in getting to know individuals, irrespective of their roles or backgrounds, significantly shaped my approach to leadership. In my career today, I strive to do what is right for our patients and staff and emulate the inclusive and compassionate leadership I witnessed in those who influenced my journey.

Stacy Beaty Owner, Beaty Fabricating, Inc.

I have heard my whole life that “you don’t need to work as much,” or that “you work too much.” I used to struggle a little with that, trying to figure out if I was working too much or not enough. It was about 12 to 15 years ago when I realized that to be the leader in your industry it takes 7090-hour work weeks. It’s like being a heavy weight champion. You have to simply outwork all of your competition. You have to think differently than about 95% of the people, so how you do things isn’t going to make sense to most. You have to do what’s abnormal to everyone else until it becomes normal to you.

Carlos Garcia

President, LogistiX

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic marked a transformative phase in my leadership journey. Given the nature of our business, remote work wasn’t a viable option, as our customers relied on us more than ever. Necessity fueled innova tive solutions to meet our customers’ needs while safeguarding our team’s well-being. Swift adaptation and prioritizing their welfare became impera tive. Implementing safe travel protocols and emphasizing digital collabora tion ensured our services continued successfully. This experience instilled a profound appreciation for individual and collective flexibility and resilience.

The pandemic underscored the need for agile decision-making in an evolving business landscape, emphasizing a human-centric approach. Recognizing personal struggles and adapting to new work dynamics became integral. Today, these lessons guide my leadership style, emphasizing empathy and adaptability. They serve as a perpetual reminder of the importance of compassionate leadership in fostering a cooperative and cohesive work culture.

Strategy & Leadership
Celebrating Over 50 Years in Chattanooga OFFICE • INDUSTRIAL • RETAIL • LAND • INVESTMENT PROPERTY MANAGEMENT 423.267.6549 | 520 Lookout Street, Chattanooga, TN 37403 Full-Service Commercial Real Estate Firm

Director of Marketing and Outreach, Vascular Institute of Chattanooga

Throughout my tenure as the marketing director for the Vascular Institute of Chattanooga, a significant moment that profoundly shaped my professional and personal journey occurred eight years ago. As a supportive partner and dedicated mother, my involvement in this venture was more than a mere professional commitment – it became a personal mission. Our family became intricately linked with the vision of the Vascular Institute of Chattanooga, where a patient-first approach and the mission to save limbs and restore lives became the focal points of our shared aspirations. I was not a marketing person and did not have the background required for this job, but I was determined to succeed because failure was not an option. This transformative experience shaped not only my role as a supportive wife but also influenced my perspective on what it means to contribute to the success of a family venture. It underscored the importance of embracing challenges as opportunities for growth and the fulfillment of working together towards a common goal. Looking back, that moment marked more than just a business milestone – it was a testament to the power of faith, determination, and the unwavering belief that I could play a vital role in the success of VIC in this community.

Debbie Brown

Vice President, Wealth Management,

Raymond James & Associates, Inc. Member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC.

My first full-time job in the financial industry, back in the ‘80s, was working for a local bank. After a few years, the bank ended up being sold. I was 30 and single, so I decided to pursue my dream of being an advisor at a brokerage firm. My boss, a female, harshly told me I would never make it because Wall Street was “a man’s world.” Later that afternoon, I had lunch with my biggest fan, my dad. He was fighting terminal cancer and assured me that if I would always remember where I came from, to keep my strong faith, work hard, and to treat my clients with kindness and respect –I would be a success at anything. That day, I vowed to never discourage anyone from trying to reach their dreams. My motto is to pray often and stay close to people who feel like sunshine. Success is a marathon, not a sprint. This year, I will celebrate 40 years as a financial advisor.

Strategy & Leadership 166 « BUSINESS.CITYSCOPEMAG.COM

At the start of 2023, I had to revamp my law firm as my first paralegal transitioned to a new role. I experienced some trepidation as I anticipated recent changes, but I remained excited and eager to see how God would transform Geeter Law in this new season. This situation shaped my idea of leadership because as I began to vet and add new staff, I recognized how vital it is to have people working for you with the same work ethic and vision for your business. I stand before you now as a serial entrepreneur and owner of Geeter Law Office, PLLC, and Astro Jump of Chattanooga. I can’t explain to you enough about the importance of building a “dream team” for your business. I treat my employees like family because the team you build can truly make or break your business.

Quincy Jenkins, EdD Vice President of Organizational Culture and Engagement, Chattanooga State Community College

Leadership is fundamentally a journey of decision-making, understanding power dynamics, role modeling, and adaptation. When I was promoted to vice president of organizational culture and engagement at Chattanooga State in 2022, with the responsibility of guiding our human resource initiatives, I gained a profound understanding of the critical importance of selfawareness and how my presence and behavior significantly affect others. Transformational leadership transcends authority; it’s about effecting positive change, nurturing teamwork and openness, and propelling forward momentum, all while upholding principles of integrity and ethical conduct. A key lesson for me was the critical importance of forgiveness and kind candor. I use this approach for cultivating trust with my staff, encouraging their empowerment, fostering openness, and championing an environment for reflective learning and accountability. This fusion of forgiveness, self-awareness, and empathetic directness has been so influential that I have integrated these professional values into my wider daily interactions with others.

Strategy & Leadership

An important meeting early in my tenure as the managing partner molded my leadership style. The meeting included two very influential people within our firm with differing views regarding our staff development philosophy. That meeting reinforced the importance of identifying a person’s strengths, then positioning that person to use those strengths for success. In a leadership role, it would be critical to invest in them both financially, and perhaps more importantly, with time. This is consistent with how I was coached as a professional cyclist – “train your weaknesses, but always race your strengths.” As a leader, I am charged with making the most of the resources we have. Investing in our employees is a huge part of that. They are our greatest resource.

Early in my career, I remember that during a conference call a company project manager was speaking to me in a very unprofessional manner in the presence of a client. My boss at the time happened to overhear the dialogue and asked me to excuse myself from the conversation. A few minutes later, the project manager phoned me expressing his apology over the way he conducted himself which indicated to me that my boss took the time out of his day, unsolicited, to ensure that I was treated professionally. I have always remembered that, and I attempt to provide the same level of support for the people who work for and with me. Striving to provide an environment where employees feel supported, encouraged, and uplifted is important.


Alexis Bogo

President, Hamico Inc

The summer between my junior and senior year in college, I went on an Outward-Bound trip in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Colorado. I spent three weeks in the woods with eight other people hiking, rock climbing, repelling, and ultimately peaking at the top of one of the mountains at 15,000 feet. We faced challenges along the way ranging from avalanches to who was going to finish the last 10 bites of oatmeal so we would not have to carry the leftovers. It was physically and mentally the hardest thing I had ever experienced, but it taught me so much about myself. It taught me the power of positivity, the power in leading by example, and the power in the idea that we are always stronger together than alone. Those themes have followed me throughout my career and the experience of Outward-Bound is something I will forever cherish.

Patti Steele

CEO, Builtwell Bank

I learned very early in my career the importance of being a “go-to” person who could be depended on to get things done. Of course, that meant taking on the responsibility for getting things done. When opportunities present themselves to take on more responsibility, be eager and willing to jump in and help. During a key company reorganization several years ago, we needed more resources to accomplish the objectives. Stepping up and taking responsibility for several key initiatives of that reorganization, and guiding those initiatives to successful fruition, resulted in meaningful advances in my career. Develop a mindset that someone has to do it, so why not me. When opportunity presents itself to take on more responsibility, seize that moment! It is a great way to learn new things and grow personally.

Al Waldrop

Private Wealth Advisor and Founding Partner, Sterner Financial

Over the last 34 years, I attribute much of my success to hiring smart, diligent people who I trust to fulfill their roles with minimal management. I learned a valuable lesson about 15 years ago from one of my best team members. I would occasionally handle service requests from clients who called in, assuming that my immediate response was the best service we could provide. I thought I was lending a hand to the team member responsible for that service request, and showing I was a team player. My team member approached me, and very professionally let me know that every time I did that, she felt like I was communicating that I didn’t trust her to do her job. Unbeknownst to me, I was undermining the trust we had built. I am very thankful for that moment and for her confidence to speak up!

Claudia Pullen

Founder, Veterinary Care & Specialty Group

A little over seven years ago, my husband Billy and I had a vision to bring a 24/7 emergency and specialty veterinary hospital offering “big city” services to Chattanooga. At the time, I had no idea just how challenging this vision would be to accomplish. Yet, after many years of hard work and commitment, Veterinary Care & Specialty Group (VSCG) was born! The moment we opened our doors, I realized, “This is it! No turning back!” On every level, financially and conceptually, VCSG was the biggest leap of faith we had ever taken. I do not view myself as a leader, but as a visionary. My vision is often beyond what has been done before around me – the next few projects are going to show that for sure – so I surround myself with the best team possible to ensure that it becomes a reality. A good leader should take the first step, solve problems, and carry a positive attitude no matter the situation. Create the vision, assemble the team, and get it done… because, “if we build it, they will come!”

Strategy & Leadership 170 « BUSINESS.CITYSCOPEMAG.COM
With over 30 years of experience in Nashville, we are excited to bring a new kind of personalized luxury car buying experience to Northshore Chattanooga! Come visit our showroom at 427 Cherokee Boulevard. We would love to show you around and introduce ourselves!  SALES / CONSIGNMENT / CAR SOURCING / APPRAISALS 427 CHEROKEE BLVD., CHATTANOOGA, TN 37405 | 423.362.8888 | NORTHSHOREAG.COM MONDAY-FRIDAY 9AM-6PM | SATURDAY 10AM-5PM Your Commercial Equipment Leasing Specialist MARLIN FINANCIAL — & — LEASING CORP. Serving Customers Throughout the Southeast For 42 Years 423.843.0115 MARLINFINANCIAL.COM

Camille Daniel Chief Banking Officer, RockPointBank

Over the course of my career, I have had the opportunity to work with great leaders who value building relationships and trust between teammates including colleagues and clients. I have learned that investing the time in maintaining those relationships is critical to the success of the team. It’s important to understand the “why” that drives the people on your team. For those of us who have had the unique opportunity to build a new business it’s exciting to see a team come together and share a common goal and the enthusiasm that is generated. Those longstanding relationships became extremely important as we worked to open a new bank in the middle of a pandemic. RockPointBank is comprised of an experienced team of local bankers who share a common purpose and are committed to supporting the growth of businesses in the Chattanooga community. We could not be more proud of the team at RockPointBank and are appreciative of the Chattanooga businesses who we serve as shareholders and clients of the bank.

Founder, President, & Downtown Managing Broker, Real Estate Partners Chattanooga

Many years ago, the real estate office I was managing at the time suffered a tragic loss. This experience taught me a lot about leading in times of grief. I saw firsthand how grief impacts people differently and how their needs from their leadership will vary. I learned that as a leader you must also take steps to process your own grief. I witnessed firsthand how creating the opportunity to pull together as partners during these times brings comfort but also creates a stronger bond for the group long-term. In the past several months, our company has lost two of our dear partners. I am yet again reminded of the lessons learned years ago as I aim to lead compassion ately and wisely while in a season of grief.


People can do amazing things together when they’re empowered to do so. When EPB launched America’s first community-wide, Gigspeed fiber optic network, it took every member of our team to make it happen. Seeing the collective talents of our employees achieve something so monumental demonstrated anything is possible when we trust our team. They continue to prove again and again how strong, smart, and determined they are, and it’s our jobs as leaders to give them the support they need to do great things.

Strategy & Leadership 172 « BUSINESS.CITYSCOPEMAG.COM

During college, while starting a family and career, I worked in housekeeping through a thirdparty hospital contract. When my contract ended, the CEO hired me for a specially created “Special Projects” position. Fortunately, the CEO recognized something in me I didn’t see in myself. In time, I received an opportunity for a position at higher pay and responsibilities, but he didn’t want me to get stuck in a dead-end position. I didn’t understand at the time, and I needed the money. Later, I realized the importance of a knowledge foundation instead of temporary pay rewards. His guidance changed my life trajectory. When I talk to young people (including my children), I encourage them to put in the work, dedication, and time to build knowledge that lasts a lifetime. It’s not about today’s pay but tomorrow’s payoff. I will forever be indebted to David Levinsohn – my friend, mentor, and second dad.

Toccora Johnson-Petersen CEO, Girls Inc. of Chattanooga

Over my 14-year career with Girls Inc. of Chattanooga, the one moment that stands out and has shaped how I lead and operate today was our ability to serve our girls and families during the pandemic. We were able to offer hybrid programming in May 2020 and our doors have remained open since. As an organization and team, we felt it was our responsibility to demonstrate resiliency and determination for our girls, our families, and their communities. During this time, Girls Inc. of Chattanooga hosted the city’s first virtual fundraising and spring break day camp. In addition, we created Girls On The Move and Virtual Family Night initiatives, strengthening our relationships with local businesses, foundations, local and state government, schools, and more. In August 2020, I served as Interim CEO with no blueprint to follow; however, our mission and vision kept me focused. Being a first-time CEO and leading during a pandemic brought forth skillsets and built character that I didn’t know I possessed. As we continue to recover from the pandemic, those newly developed skillsets and innate character have impacted my ability to be an intentional and strategic servant leader.

Opening up a leadership conference 15 years ago, the moderator charged the group with this notion: “Take your job seriously, and yourselves lightly.” By this she meant – leaders should inspire team members and create a vision with their heart, not their mind. Balancing a relentless work ethic and commitment for achievement with the uncanny ability to laugh at yourself is a noble goal for any leader.

We are all emotional beings and are inspired not by stack rankings and spreadsheets, but rather by people who are genuine in their relationships. Leading with our heart will allow us to be more comfortable in our transparency of emotion (both with success and failure) with the team. Lastly, this type of leadership can more easily communicate with honesty and integrity, no matter what the subject matter.


Managing Principal, Windham Brannon

People are rarely shaped by only one prominent moment in their life, but rather through a collective of individual and singular experiences that mold the way they think and lead – including key moments of mentorship. As a native Chattanoogan, I have had the opportunity to work alongside many key leaders who have helped shape this city. The one prominent feature of those I consider to be successful is their genuine respect and kindness toward others, regardless of status or position. These individuals make everyone feel important and remind them often that their success is within reach. This style of mentorship has impacted me the most throughout my career and, as I find myself surrounded by a team who are passionate about serving their clients and community, is something I strive to mimic as Windham Brannon continues its growth in the Chattanooga market.

Matt Brock Founding Attorney, Best and Brock

Several years ago, we had a trial that we were not supposed to win. The client was well aware but willing to take the chance. In fact, part of the reason it was being tried was to add it to other cases that had been incorrectly decided and the hope was to set it up for an appeal. Ultimately, we received a not guilty charge on all counts. It was a pivotal moment in my career that changed not only the way I approach trials but an aspect I try to implement in the culture of our firm. The practice of law is hard, running a business is hard, but if you continue to persevere and believe in what sometimes may seem impossible, you can achieve extraordinary things.

Owner, Yacoubian Tailors

Upon realizing my children were joining the family busi ness, it prompted a strategic shift in our offerings. Evolv ing from a primarily suit-focused store, we diversified to include a broader range of clothing. This transformation in cluded expanding our inventory to feature more casual op tions for both men and women. Embracing this change not only catered to evolving fashion trends but also created a more inclusive shopping experience. The introduction of di verse styles enabled us to appeal to a wider customer base, ensuring our business remained dynamic and relevant. This change marked a pivotal moment in our journey, aligning tradition with contemporary preferences.

Strategy & Leadership 174 « BUSINESS.CITYSCOPEMAG.COM

Given today’s market challenges, working with a local dedicated team driven by a shared vision can make all the difference. Regions Commercial Relationship Managers know that developing a strong understanding of your business and its unique operations helps us provide highly responsive, personalized solutions. Let us leverage our capabilities and create a comprehensive financial strategy to help guide and strengthen your business.

Commercial Banking | Treasury Management Capital Markets | Specialized Industries

Jason T. Allen | Chattanooga Market Executive Commercial Banking Leader 423.752.1508 |

Financial solutions focused on
your business
© 2024 Regions Bank. Banking products provided by Regions Bank. Only banking deposit products are FDIC insured. All loans and lines subject to credit approval. | Regions and the Regions logo are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank. WORK HARD, PLAY HARD. 629 BROAD STREET / YACOUBIANS.COM Shop business wear for men and women in store and online.

Real Estate Developer

I vividly remember in 2001, right after I started working for my father’s real estate development firm, that one of his primary managers, who has always been a mentor to me, came in to his office and very humbly stated that he messed up on a big project. I was expecting to witness a tense moment, but my father calmly asked what the problem was and how we would fix it. I quickly learned two things; the first is that everyone makes mistakes and the second is that if you go to someone with a problem you should have a few suggestions on a solution.

I feel that I’ve operated with that mindset over the last 20 years from both sides of the coin. If I make a mistake, I try to figure out solutions before going to someone and when an employee, contractor, or architect make a mistake, I take a breath and listen to what they have to say and hopefully find a solution to the problem. Sometimes the solutions even make the project better overall.

Several years back an older gentleman came to see me. He had terminal cancer and only a few months to live. He was searching for a firm that would look after his wife’s financial affairs after he was gone. And he’d heard we could take care of that.

He hired us and to this day, his widow is still a client of ours, and we’re her most trusted advisor. We’ve helped her through this stage of life where she’s on her own. This experience really hit home and determined our company’s true purpose. Our focus at Patton Albertson & Miller is a lot more than just helping people manage money. We’re about helping every individual on their life’s journey, whatever that may be.

Strategy & Leadership 176 « BUSINESS.CITYSCOPEMAG.COM


“‘Make something people want’ includes making a company that people want to work for.”
- Sahil Lavingia

The Whole Being

On the heels of the “Great Reshuffle,” during which a record number of workers left their jobs in the wake of the pandemic, it’s as crucial as ever for employers to promote workplaces that support all facets of employee well-being. Whether offering dynamic benefits programs

or intentionally curating company culture, employers play a major role in sustaining team member satisfaction and beating burnout. Read on to learn how local companies are fostering professional environments that support team member well-being in body, mind, and spirit.


Grant Evitts President, Tennessee American Water

American Water has an ongoing focus on employees’ physical, mental, and social well-being through programs built into our everyday work. First and foremost, safety is embedded in all that we do as a critical component of our work culture. Employees have many options such as a wellness program, discounted fitness center memberships, and access to a variety of supports for mental health, family focus, personal finance, and more. In addition, learning resources are available for career growth and professional development. Employee Business Resource Groups bring together employees with similar affiliations, their allies, and those interested in learning more. Through the American Water Charitable Foundation, employees can contribute matching dollars to an eligible nonprofit based on their volunteer hours or monetary donations. American Water’s global approach to wellbeing recognizes that our employees, customers, and communities benefit when everyone involved is healthy and safe.

At Covenant Logistics, we champion a work culture that prioritizes team members’ well-being, growth, and belonging. Our guiding principles of empathy, servanthood, and virtue foster an environment that values holistic wellness, understanding that a fulfilled workforce is the cornerstone of our success. We’re proud to lead by example, cultivating a workspace where employees feel supported, valued, and motivated to excel. The American Trucking Association (ATA) recently recognized our dedication to belonging when we were honored with the 2023 ATA Diversity Equity and Inclusion Change Leader Award. This award celebrates all our team members throughout the Covenant enterprise who go above and beyond to ensure everyone feels valued and that they belong.

At Southern Champion Tray, our commitment to team member well-being is the foundation of our operational success. We offer our team members access to a variety of resources for holistic care and development, such as our on-site gym, which ensures our team members stay fit for the challenges of the manufacturing floor. In the spirit of mental wellness, our on-site counselor provides a confidential space for team members. For ongoing technical development, our formal mentoring program ensures a transfer of knowledge that sharpens the skills of both seasoned and emerging talents. In addition to offering flexible work schedules, we partner with local nonprofits to allow our team members to extend their impact to the community at large. At Southern Champion Tray, our management practices resonate with the rhythm of manufacturing excellence, creating an environment where our team members not only manufacture great products but also craft fulfilling and balanced lives.

Ralph Romero Chief People Officer, Southern Champion Tray

Creating a holistic work culture for the City of Chattanooga that supports employees’ overall well-being requires a multifaceted approach that values diversity and inclusion. We have found that promoting open communication, providing comprehensive wellness programs, encouraging a healthy work-life balance, and offering professional development opportunities and employee assistance programs are the best ways to provide allencompassing employee care. The well-being of our employees is very important as it contributes to their overall satisfaction, productivity, and long-term success within the organization. It is very important that every employee within the City of Chattanooga organization feels supported and empowered to prioritize their physical and mental health.

There are benefits-based ways to promote a more holistically healthy workforce, including providing high-quality health insurance and generous paid time off. However, it’s also crucial to an individual’s overall well-being to feel truly valued. That’s why our leadership team consistently encourages all employees to share new policy and process ideas so we can continuously get better at our jobs and strengthen a culture that supports everyone. We’re also mindful to shine a spotlight on the great work being done across the Smith + Howard Chattanooga office while always celebrating wins, great and small. Key to this actually working, though, is actively listening when talking with our team so we’re fostering a sense of authenticity. You can’t just go through the motions. All of this has to be real, and when it’s done well, it benefits our team more profoundly.


When it comes to protecting what matters most in business and everyday life, at McGriff we believe no one should settle for less than the best. We’re a get-it-done broker, rooted in relationships and driven by a passion to serve. For more than a century, we’ve delivered insurance and risk management solutions that exceed expectations.

Never settle for less. Insurance • Risk Management • Employee Benefits ©2024 McGriff Insurance Services, LLC. All rights reserved. McGriff Insurance Services, LLC is a subsidiary of Truist Insurance Holdings, LLC. Contact your local team for all your risk management needs: Lindy Jackson Property & Casualty Insurance Broker 736 Market Street, Suite 1000 Chattanooga, TN 37402 423.756.0711 Stephen Hungate Vice President, Employee Benefits Insurance Broker

Well-being encompasses all aspects of being human - physical, financial, emotional, occupational, and social. That’s why TVA prioritizes the health of our people in all aspects of life, from fostering new connections to seeking a sense of safety and belonging. Belonging is a human need; in this role, I’ve had many conversations where I’ve walked away learning something new that helps me see a different perspective or where I’ve identified a shared experience that helped foster common ground with that person. Connection is the key to truly understanding the impact of our work, and TVA is committed to supporting our employees, both professionally and personally. We stay curious around the ways in which we can partner with employees and leaders to create welcoming, inclusive work environments where all employees are seen, heard, and valued.

At Volkswagen Chattanooga, we pursue a work culture driven by a peoplefirst mindset, recognizing that our employees are our greatest asset. We’re committed to offering our employees the best work experience possible by creating a culture of listening, which both drives satisfaction and promotes increased productivity and engagement to make our daily operations possible. We’ve implemented several initiatives based on employee feedback, including a partnership with Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union to open a bank branch inside the plant that offers complimentary financial literacy programs to credit union member employees. Maintaining this people-first mindset by listening helped us also become certified as Top Employer this year.

As we weave trust and inclusion into our work culture, we strive to empower our people to thrive professionally and personally. It’s not just about going to work every day. It’s about helping each team member develop skills that contribute to professional successes while also prioritizing their physical and mental well-being.


At our core, we believe in putting people first and nurturing a work culture that embraces the holistic well-being of our associates. Our company ethos centers around the understanding that a positive associate experience translates into a positive customer experience. To foster this, we’ve curated a robust range of benefits – from comprehensive healthcare coverage and financial assistance initiatives to wellness programs promoting mental resilience and a wealth of education and training resources. It is through this thoughtful approach that we cultivate an environment where individuals thrive, ensuring a supportive workplace that enables us to deliver excellence to our customers.

At Miller Industries, we consider it part of our mission to provide employees with the best workplace possible, which includes supporting physical and mental health. By offering a compressed workweek to a majority of our workforce, we can give employees more time off to recharge both their minds and bodies. We provide on-site health screening opportunities, encouraging a more proactive approach to employee health. Additionally, we have roles dedicated to ensuring a safe and ergonomically sound work environment.

However, we know it does not stop there. People today have so many stressors both at work and home. To help employees manage their mental health and navigate difficult times, we offer Employee Assistance Program (EAP) resources at no cost to the employee. Finally, maintaining open lines of communication through townhall meetings, feedback surveys, and open-door access to leadership helps us continuously evaluate and improve what we offer to best serve our workforce.


Hiring for Hospitality

Here in the Scenic City, we pride ourselves on the varied enrichment and entertainment options on offer for visitors and locals alike. None of this would be possible, however, without a devoted and passionate workforce. From customer service personnel and maintenance staff to volunteers and food service professionals, each team member’s contribution sets the stage for unforgettable guest experiences. Here, we ask local leaders in hospitality and tourism how they successfully shape personnel in a dynamic, ever-evolving work environment.


What makes hiring in the hospitality industry unique? Hiring in the hospitality industry is unique with the blend of talent that is required for each property at Vision Hospitality Group, LLC. Each property has its own culture, amenities they are known for such as a rooftop bar, coffee shop, or room design/layout, and location. People who want to work in hospitality bring a special kind of personal care and touch to their jobs you may not see in other sectors.

What steps can leaders take to support employee satisfaction? Vision Hospitality Group, LLC empowers and encourages our leaders to throw lunches, hold special events, nominate and vote on employees of the month, and celebrate diversity in an environment of inclusion. Additionally, we have a unique culture and a central hub where each property can share, at any time, a special event, accomplishment, birthdays, inspirational quote, and holiday fun and cheer!

How has your team adapted to face staffing challenges? At Vision Hospitality Group, LLC we provide training to set employees up for success. We also have dedicated resources through our Gear Up program to upgrade employee skill levels in all aspects of our company: sales, leadership, operations, recruitment, and revenue management, to name a few.


What makes hiring for hospitality unique? In the hospitality industry, hiring isn’t just about finding employees; it’s about welcoming individuals who share a genuine passion for making a difference in others’ lives. The ability to touch lives, contribute to cherished moments, and witness genuine happiness in guests is the most enriching aspect of working in hospitality. A standout hospitality worker naturally wants to make guests feel special, values teamwork, and genuinely cares about creating lasting memories.

What steps can leaders take to support employee satisfaction? Overcoming burnout, talent competition, and adapting to technology require empathetic solutions. Leaders must authentically care, prioritize work-life balance, invest in professional growth, and create a positive culture. Fair compensation, team bonding, and mental health support are crucial. Thanks to our incredible team for being the heartbeat of our journey!

How have the recent years paved the way for the future of hospitality? Recent challenges drive resilience and innovation, embracing technology, flexible models, and sustainability. The industry thrives by being agile, connected to community needs, and committed to health and safety. As leaders in Chattanooga’s hospitality industry, the commitment goes beyond guest satisfaction. It’s about consistently embodying the perfect response, setting a benchmark for excellence, and actively contributing to the community.

Darde Long

President & CEO Chattanooga Zoo

How has your team adapted to face staffing challenges? We are constantly evolving to maintain a staff that is happy at work and passionate about what they do. At the Zoo, we work hard to create a flexible work environment, provide ample training opportunities, and build a positive community. We recognize that, as a nonprofit, it can be hard to compete in terms of salary, but we closely evaluate our finances to provide equitable salaries.

What is the most rewarding aspect of working in hospitality? The most rewarding aspect of working in this industry is knowing that what you are doing is a benefit for everyone in our city, and it will only help to create a better visit for our guests and a better quality of life for everyone in our community. The hiring process is so important because the people in hospitality and entertainment are what make Chattanooga so successful in attracting tourists and enriching the lives of locals.

What steps can leaders take to support employee satisfaction? Lean on your colleagues in Chattanooga and surrounding communities for ideas, training, recognition, and opportunities for collaboration. For example, we often trade tickets with other attractions for our employees to use, and they really enjoy that benefit. If adequate staffing becomes a concern, it’s essential to maintain open communication with employees to avoid burnout and to always reward them when they go above and beyond.

CAMP '24
Summer Camps offer customized schedule options for kids
3 and up! Choose your fun adventure: athletic, academic, STEM, arts & more! Scan
for more info or to
visit: State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, State Farm General Insurance Company, Bloomington, IL State Farm Florida Insurance Company, Winter Haven, FL State Farm Lloyds, Richardson, TX it’s all in the details Find an agent & request a quote at TRIED-AND-TRUE RESTAURANT & BAR COVERAGE WITH NO SURPRISES. SMALL DETAIL. BIG DIFFERENCE. Long-standing industry expertise means that nobody understands the unique challenges of protecting your hospitality business better than Society Insurance. Offering tried-and-true specialized programs for every type of restaurant and bar establishment, we are proud to provide our comprehensive coverage to the Volunteer State.

What is the most rewarding aspect of working in hospitality? Seeing a child’s face light up when they get their first glimpse of a gentoo penguin swimming through the water or hearing the excitement in someone’s voice when they approach River Otter Falls is a kind of joy that is difficult to quantify. As employees, we feel a special connection to our flora and fauna, and seeing that connection translate to hundreds of thousands of people each year is truly the most rewarding experience of all.

What makes hiring in the hospitality industry unique? In hospitality, your applicant pool consists of much more than those who “just need a job.” Our applicants often apply because they have a passion for our industry. For the Tennessee Aquarium, that could mean applicants interested in education, conservation, or simply someone who loves animals or wants to work in an exciting environment each and every day.

How have recent years paved the way for the future of hospitality? Our guests’ expectations are constantly evolving, and we need to meet those guests where they feel most comfortable. For us, this means understanding that our guests are more aware of how many people they are around and will have a better experience if we limit how many visitors we have in a day. By giving our guests the space they need, they’re able to slow down and connect to water and wildlife in a more meaningful way.

Tim Sears

President & CEO Creative Discovery Museum

What qualities make an employee successful in this industry? Employees who are adaptable, enthusiastic, and willing to learn are set up for success from the beginning of their time at an institution like Creative Discovery Museum (CDM). It’s a unique experience to be part of the spark that ignites a passion for lifelong learning, and our staff often enjoy that experience with the children and families we serve.

What steps can leaders take to support employee satisfaction? An area that Creative Discovery Museum excels in is flexibility with employees in any way possible. Staff can bring children to work or work from home (depending on their role) to accommodate a wide variety of circumstances. Staff often mention that this kind of support keeps them from changing jobs, because they won’t be able to find the same flexibility in this field as they can at CDM.

How have the recent years paved the way for the future of hospitality? There is an interesting opportunity for the hospitality and tourism industry to capitalize on the biggest gap during the pandemic – the opportunity to have authentic experiences with other people in a community space. As the industry looks to the future, finding creative ways to communicate the desire for novel experiences will be a continued boost for travel and tourism.


Tim Andrews

What makes hiring in the hospitality industry unique? Finding the right person for the right position is always a challenge – especially for seasonal employment. A pleasant and fun work environment along with competitive pay have become the items we are seeing as best for helping retain our employees.

What is the most rewarding aspect of working in hospitality? Seeing happy guests of all ages. Witnessing the moment they fall in love with the history we share is truly rewarding. We are very fortunate in that many of our employees come to work with a passion and enthusiasm for railroad preservation, which they gladly share with guests. A number of our employees came through volunteer opportunities we offer as well as our summer camp program.

How has your team adapted to face staffing challenges? We have prepared many times by having “floaters” during large events that fill in various roles at a moment’s notice. Often management helps fill in some of these spots – especially during our larger events. We are looking at ways of transitioning from seasonal to more long-term employment opportunities – making it possible for us to retain those employees that need more permanent employment.

Olympia Mason

Director of Human Resources

Ruby Falls

What makes hiring in the hospitality industry unique? Hiring in the hospitality industry is unique due to its emphasis on interpersonal skills, customer service, and the dynamic nature of the work environment. The focus is often on finding candidates who can thrive in fast-paced settings, provide exceptional service to guests, and demonstrate adaptability. The most rewarding aspect of working in hospitality is the opportunity to create memorable experiences for guests from all around the world.

How has your team adapted to face staffing challenges? Our team has proactively addressed staffing challenges by implementing strategic recruitment efforts and fostering an engaging work culture. We also offer flexible scheduling solutions to accommodate the dynamic nature of the industry. Embracing technology for contactless services, emphasizing cleanliness and safety protocols, and redefining customer experiences have become pivotal.

What steps can leaders take to support employee satisfaction? Leaders in hospitality can enhance employee retention and satisfaction by fostering a positive work culture, providing development opportunities, and recognizing and rewarding accomplishments. Additionally, actively seeking employee feedback can contribute significantly to building a satisfied and loyal team in the hospitality industry.


Human Resources Manager & Talent Acquisition Manager

What makes hiring in the hospitality industry unique? See Rock City, Inc. requires a wide range of roles, from first impressions and operations to chefs and event planners. Every day is different, and each role demands a unique set of skills and personality traits, making the hiring process diverse and multifaceted. Great hospitality workers live to serve and seek out ways to impact a person’s experience. The ability to connect with and relate to people from diverse backgrounds, creating positive interactions, is fundamental in a service-driven industry.

What is the most rewarding aspect of working in hospitality? It all comes down to the joy of service and the satisfaction of knowing you have contributed to making someone’s experience delightful and memorable. There are few careers that create lasting memories that people will hopefully repeat and pass on to future generations. This human-centric focus is what sets the hospitality industry apart and makes it a rewarding field for many.

What steps can leaders take to support employee satisfaction? Leaders in the hospitality industry can take several steps to enhance partner retention and satisfaction, recognizing that a content and stable workforce is crucial for delivering exceptional service. Competitive compensation, professional development opportunities, and employee well-being initiatives can reduce burnout and make the work environment more engaging.

Marsha Lacey

How has your team adapted to face staffing challenges? We recognize that change is inevitable and happens quickly, so we have made a conscious choice to embrace it. Our focus is on equipping our candidates and employees with the tools, resources, and benefits they need for success. We also prioritize promoting growth and development from within our organization, cultivating a pipeline of future leaders who resonate with our company culture and values.

What steps can leaders take to support employee satisfaction? At LBA, we understand the importance of creating a total positive team member experience. Employees today want to know that the jobs they are doing are essential to the mission of the organization. They want to feel valued, and they want to have a voice. Leaders who foster a culture that prioritizes integrity, respect, and a focus on the well-being, development, and satisfaction of their employees will be able to maintain a more sustainable workforce.

How have the recent years paved the way for the future of hospitality? The last few years have been tough in many ways, but regardless of our circumstances, we learn to adapt and come back stronger. Overcoming these challenges has required updates to technology and mitigating increasing operational costs while implementing ways to be more environmentally sustainable. Our guests have become conscious of these factors and are watching to see who will take the lead in these areas.



Selected for both their exceptional industry skills and dedication to their workplace and community, the following business leaders make up CityScope® magazine’s prestigious Gold Club this year. Congratulations to these impactful men and women on this well-deserved honor!


Shalin Tejani

Owner, Ribbon and Bows Oh My!

Years With the Company: 12

Shalin Tejani is a proud Chattanooga native and serial entrepreneur with a deeprooted passion for empowering, developing, and connecting people. Co-owner of the nation’s largest e-commerce ribbon retailer alongside Niti Tejani, his wife of 17 years; co-founder and CEO of Legacy Dental Group, a locally owned and operated dental service organization; and founder and managing director of Horizon Hospitality Capital, a hospitality-focused private equity firm, Shalin excels in entrepreneurship and fostering growth and innovation. Shalin serves on several boards including the Tivoli Theatre Foundation, Tennessee Aquarium, and St. Nicholas School, and was in the 2011 inaugural class of “20 Under 40.” A Leadership Chattanooga graduate now participating in Leadership Tennessee, Shalin’s community and professional roles highlight his entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to helping develop the community in which he and his wife now raise their three children, Niyam, Shivam, and Siana.

Amanda Jelks

Managing Attorney, Jelks Law, PLLC

Years With the Company: 9

Amanda Jelks is the owner of Jelks Law, where she and her team help with trusts and estate matters to empower people to protect what matters most – family, dignity, and business. Amanda has spent over a decade helping countless families in Tennessee and Georgia prepare for unexpected life challenges. Amanda’s efforts have been recognized both locally and nationally by several organizations. Most recently, Jelks Law was awarded the Best of the Best award by the Times Free Press for the third year in a row, the Rising Stars Award by Super Lawyers, and Emerging Business of the Year by the Urban League. Amanda has served on several nonprofit boards and strongly believes in giving back to the community through her time, talents, and resources. Amanda currently serves as a board member for the United Way of Greater Chattanooga and The Chattery.

Paige T. Walter

Associate Attorney, Evans Harrison Hackett PLLC

Years With the Company: 2

Paige Todd Walter is a civil litigator at Evans Harrison Hackett PLLC. Walter’s scope of practice includes domestic work, breach of contract claims, property and zoning matters, employment law, and tort claims. She is the vice president for the Southeast Tennessee Lawyer’s Association for Women; a member of the American Inns of Court, the Chattanooga Bar Association, and the Tennessee Bar Association; and a volunteer for the Hamilton County Family Justice Center. In 2022, Walter graduated from the University of Georgia Law School where she exercised her passion for advocacy at the Jane W. Wilson Family Justice Clinic. Walter also enjoyed externing with the city attorney’s office for the City of Chattanooga during her last year of law school.



Ernie Elemento

Vice President, Hamilton Medical Center

Years With the Company: 9

Ernie Elemento joined Hamilton Medical Center as vice president of professional services in 2015. He brings a strong history of operational and administrative experience to Hamilton Medical Center. Service lines that he leads include Imaging and Neurodiagnostic Services, Laboratory Services, Bradley Wellness Center, Hamilton Sports Medicine, Rehabilitation Services, Pharmacy Services, and Peeples Cancer Institute. Previously, Elemento worked at University Medical Center Health System in Lubbock, Texas, as the UMC Southwest Cancer Center administrative director. He has a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from Cebu Doctors University, Cebu, Philippines and a Master of Business Administration from Sul Ross University in Alpine, Texas.

Dean Krech

Managing Partner, JHM Certified Public Accountants

Years With the Company: 32

Dean Krech is the managing partner for JHM Certified Public Accountants and has over 30 years of public accounting experience with JHM. Aside from overseeing firm operations, Krech specializes in the industries of commercial construction, nonprofit, manufacturing, and real estate. As managing partner, Krech strives to build lifelong personal, trusted advisor relationships with his business partners and encourages others at JHM to do the same. Krech has many professional and charitable affiliations, including most recently The Speech and Hearing Center, and loves giving back to Chattanooga’s dynamic nonprofit community. Krech is a passionate, lifelong fan of the Dallas Cowboys and attends games in Dallas with family and friends several times each year.

Matt Jenne

Senior Vice President and Market President, SmartBank Cleveland & Ooltewah

Years With the Company: 6

Matt Jenne holds the position of senior vice president and market president for the Cleveland and Ooltewah area at SmartBank. With over three decades of banking expertise, Jenne demonstrates unwavering dedication to community service. He has notably served two terms as president of the United Way of the Ocoee Region and holds various roles within the organization, including board and executive committee member, community impact team member, chairman of the Personnel Committee, and recipient of the William F. Johnson Community Service Award. Additionally, Jenne plays an active role at City Fields, where he serves as a board member and chairman of the Finance Committee.


Matt McGauley

CEO, FTC Development

Years With the Company: 21

Matt McGauley is CEO of FTC Development and a managing general partner of ASLAN - the parent company of FTC, SVN | Second Story, Tomorrow Building, and Aslan Funds. Since his commercial real estate career began in 2003, he has developed or redeveloped nearly a million square feet in the greater Chattanooga area. McGauley developed and owns the first LEED-certified building in Hamilton County and achieved a Gold Level certification. McGauley graduated from Baylor School (’98) and George Washington University (’02) with a degree in economics, later completing CFA Level I and all core CCIM courses. In 2017, he was elected to the Builtwell Bank Board of Directors. In 2022, Gov. Lee appointed McGauley as chairman of the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) following his appointment to the THDA Board of Directors in 2020. As a believer in investing in good people and diversifying capital, he holds investments in Builtwell Bancorp, Dynamo Ventures, Vision Hospitality, Alderman Enterprises, and Brickyard.

T. W. Francescon, Jr.

Senior Director, Alumni Culture & Engagement, The McCallie School

Years With the Company: 1

T. W. Francescon, Jr. is honored to have served two organizations that value people, culture, and community. In 1999, he joined Southern Champion Tray, a manufacturer of paperboard packaging. He partnered with over 900 team members and customers in 20 countries, most recently as Director of People & Culture Experience. In 2023, he returned to The McCallie School, where he graduated in 1995, and works alongside over 975 students from 19 countries, 200 faculty and staff members, and 8,500 alumni worldwide. He also serves as an elder at Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church and as chair of the Chattanooga Area Leadership Prayer Breakfast, Hamilton County Employee Appeals Board, and S. M. Robertson Police & Fire Christmas Fund. His favorite people are his beautiful bride, Laurel, and their children, Thomas, Noah, and Bella.

Marilyn M. Helms, DBA

Dean, Sesquicentennial Endowed Chair, Professor, Dalton State College

Years With the Company: 24

Dr. Marilyn M. Helms is the dean, sesquicentennial endowed chair, and professor of supply chain management at Dalton State College’s C. Lamar and Ann Wright School of Business in Dalton, GA, an AACSB internationally accredited institution. She also teaches strategic management to graduating seniors at the Hispanic-Serving Institution. She is chair of the CHI Memorial and CHI Memorial Georgia Hospitals Board of Directors. Originally from Memphis, TN, Marilyn holds a Doctorate of Business Administration Degree and an M.B.A. and B.B.A. from the University of Memphis. Dr. Helms is a frequent speaker to local business and industry groups on strategic planning, time management, and supply chain management.



Ruchir Shah, MD

Stroke Medical Director, CHI Memorial Years With the Company: 3

Dr. Ruchir Shah joined CHI Memorial and CHI Memorial Neuroscience Institute as the stroke program medical director. Dr. Shah received his medical degree from M.P. Shah Medical College in India. He completed his residency in neurology at Cooper University Hospital in New Jersey and a fellowship in vascular neurology at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina. Dr. Shah leads a team of neurologists, interventional radiologists, endo-vascular surgeons, and advanced practice providers who provide assessments and treatments to ensure stroke patients receive high-quality, comprehensive medical care. Under Dr. Shah’s leadership, CHI Memorial has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Thrombectomy Capable Certification.

Shewanee Howard-Baptiste, PhD

Vice Provost for Academic Outreach, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Years With the Company: 10

Dr. Shewanee Howard-Baptiste serves as the vice provost for academic outreach at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Her role involves overseeing internal campus grants, faculty awards, professional development opportunities, and fostering partnerships between the academic institution and the local community. Her commitment extends beyond campus borders; she frequently engages in teaching and supporting public health initiatives in Haiti, particularly for school-age children and their families. Dr. Howard-Baptiste serves on the Board of Directors for CEMPA Community Care, the American Heart Association, Chattanooga Preparatory School, Montessori Elementary at Highland Park, and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Her values underscore collaboration, shared governance, and ensuring diverse voices contribute to collective decision-making involving students, faculty, staff, and the community.

Harish Manyam, MD

Chief of Cardiology, Erlanger Years With the Company: 8

Dr. Harish Manyam serves as Chief of Cardiology at Erlanger and Chair of Medicine at UTHSC College of Medicine - Chattanooga. He is involved with multiple research trials including monitoring the recurrence of atrial fibrillation, optimizing programming options in patients with biventricular defibrillators, and the assessment of lead extraction risk. Dr. Manyam was the first in the country to implant an extravascular defibrillator, a remote Bluetooth defibrillator, and a remote loop recorder. He continues to bring cutting-edge therapy, research, and technology to Chattanooga, where he calls “The best place to live.” Dr. Manyam serves as President of the Chattanooga Hamilton County Medical Society and President-Elect of the American Heart Association.


Carrie M. Turcotte

Financial Planner and Investment Strategist, NorthShore Financial Strategies

Years With the Company: 14

Carrie Turcotte and her team are on a mission to empower women with financial confidence. Together, they help clients take control of their future, offering strategies that can eliminate fear and uncertainty about money. As an all-female financial planning firm with over four decades of combined experience, the team at NorthShore Financial Strategies focuses on those who need guidance through critical life transitions. Whether that is preparing for retirement, encountering the complexities of divorce, or coping with the loss of a loved one, Turcotte and her team walk alongside clients as they navigate life transitions. Turcotte is a third-generation advisor. She is credentialed as a certified financial planner, retirement income certified professional, and she has her Series 7, 66, 9/10, and 24 registrations through LPL Financial.

Alan B. Easterly

Equity Member and Management Committee Member, Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan, PLLC

Years With the Company: 35

Alan Easterly is a managing member in the law firm’s Chattanooga office. He received his B.A. from the University of Tennessee in 1985 and his JD from the University of Memphis in 1988. He has been recognized as a Best Lawyer in America in the areas of transportation law, personal injury litigation – defendants, and insurance law. Best Lawyers has also named Easterly a 2020 and 2022 Lawyer of the Year in Chattanooga in transportation law and 2021 and 2024 Lawyer of the Year in Chattanooga in insurance law. Easterly, an AV rated attorney by Martindale Hubbell, has served two terms as a hearing committee member for the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee. He is also a member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, a frequent speaker in the area of transportation law, and was a Vice Chair, Chair, and Chair Emeritus of the ALFA International Transportation Practice Group.

Karlene Claridy

President & CEO, Claridy Communications

Years With the Company: 17

With over 25 years of marketing, community outreach, event development, and public relations experience, Karlene Claridy founded Claridy Communications in 2007. As president and CEO, Claridy works with nonprofits, small businesses, political campaigns, and authors to develop customized solutions, share compelling stories, and promote their products and services. Prior to founding Claridy Communications, Claridy was the public relations manager of EPB. Additionally, she held positions at Nissan Motor Corporation in Los Angeles, Central Texas Council of Governments, and the Virginia Department of Agriculture. Claridy earned a B.S. in Marketing from Hampton University (Hampton, VA) and an MBA from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Presently, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce and Siskin Children’s Institute. Claridy is a graduate of Leadership Chattanooga (‘07) and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and The Links, Inc.



Evan Allison

Attorney, Miller & Martin PLLC

Years With the Company: 26

Evan Allison, a firm partner and licensed attorney in Tennessee and Georgia, represents real estate developers, investors, landlords, tenants, and lenders in all types of commercial real estate transactions. Listed in Best Lawyers for real estate law, his experience includes working with both developers and investors in creating joint ventures for acquiring and developing real property. He has specific experience in the development of multi-family projects, the acquisition, development, and management of medical office buildings, industrial building leases, and restaurant leases. Allison has served on committees for the Hunter Museum of American Art’s Spectrum event and CHI Memorial Foundation’s Pink! gala and is co-chair of the Washington & Lee University Alumni Admission Committee for the Chattanooga area. Currently a member of both the firm’s writing academy and associates committee, he has also served as chair of the firm’s commercial department and as a member of the Policy Committee, the governing board of the firm.

Amie Thomas Eldridge

Chief Financial Officer, NAI Charter Real Estate

Years With the Company: 20

Amie Thomas (Eldridge) has over 20 years of experience providing corporate and financial services for NAI Charter Real Estate. She holds bachelor’s degrees in accounting and finance from University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Fresh out of college, Thomas began her career as an accountant and commercial property manager with NAI Charter. After helping to grow the property management division, she transitioned to controller, and then on to chief financial officer. In addition to her corporate accounting duties, she oversees a commercial property management portfolio valued at approximately $70 million. Thomas is an active member in the NAI Global Women’s Alliance and, in 2022, was honored to be named one of 10 members of the NAI Global Women’s Leadership Mastermind Council.

Evann Freeman

Vice President, Government and Community Relations, EPB

Years With the Company: 5

Chattanooga native Evann Freeman serves as vice president of government and community relations. His responsibilities include leading EPB’s governmental relations and economic development efforts through key relationships with government partners on the local, state, and national levels. Freeman has played a key role in many projects at EPB, including HCS EdConnect powered by EPB, a program that provides free internet to more than 28,000 people in our community. With over a decade of experience in government relations, Freeman has focused public policy efforts on community benefit and coalition building. He serves on multiple nonprofit boards, including the Urban League, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, Tennessee Municipal Power Association, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and Chattanooga Tourism Company, among others. He was recently elected to the board of the Fiber Broadband Association and chairs its Conference Committee.



Dallas Joseph

Chief Financial Officer & Chief Operating Officer, Baylor School

Years With the Company: 24

Dallas Joseph has served as Baylor School’s chief financial officer and chief operating officer since 2000, overseeing the school’s accounting, dining operations, bookstore, technology, security, transportation, and physical plant operations. Joseph joined the independent school sector after serving as vice president of finance at Fisk University in Nashville; Suomi College in Hancock, Michigan; and Shaw University, Raleigh, North Carolina. On the national level, he has held leadership roles in finance and enrollment management and served as board chair of the National Business Officers Association and the Enrollment Management Association. He has served on numerous boards, including RockPointBank, The Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, the Hunter Museum of American Art, and Shaw University.

Martina Suttle Harris, EdD

Dean of Nursing & Allied Health, Chattanooga State Community College

Years With the Company: 10

Dr. Martina Suttle Harris is a native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and has been a nurse for over 30 years. In 2023, Dr. Harris became the Dean of Nursing & Allied Health at Chattanooga State Community College. Dr. Harris’ commitment to community service and advancing the nursing profession locally, regionally, and nationally was recognized with her board appointment by Governor Bill Lee to the Tennessee Board of Nursing. Also, in 2022, she was recognized as a Chattanooga Woman of Distinction. Dr. Harris serves on the board of directors for Journey Health Foundation, Volunteers in Medicine, and the Erlanger Foundation Board. She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Dr. Harris is the proud wife of Gerald Harris and the mother of three amazing adult daughters (Taylor, Sydney, and Tori), and recently a new grandmother to her granddaughter - Tatum Rouser!

James R. Barber

President, The Generosity Trust

Years With the Ministry: 25

Jim Barber has spent his entire 38-year professional career in nonprofit management and fundraising with three organizations: Moody Bible Institute, Samaritan’s Purse, and The Generosity Trust. At Samaritan’s Purse, he was privileged to help launch the Operation Christmas Child outreach in 1993, which has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to over 220 million children in more than 170 countries to date. At The Generosity Trust, he leads a team that manages over 700 active Donor-Advised, Giving Circle, and Scholarship Funds, investing almost $34 million into charitable causes in 2023 alone. He serves on the Board of Calvary Chapel Northside in Hixson and is passionate about helping people walk a path of biblical generosity.


Larvizo Wright

Chief of Staff to the CEO, Unum Group

Years With the Company: 6

Larvizo Wright is responsible for managing critical projects that enable Unum Group’s CEO to spend more time making enterprise-wide decisions, engaging with stakeholders, and driving the company forward. His role helps ensure optimal levels of accessibility and efficiency within the CEO’s work schedule, serving as a strategic partner to the senior leadership team. Prior to this position, Wright served as AVP, Global Corporate Audit. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Beyond his professional endeavors, Wright demonstrates his commitment to the community by serving as treasurer for both the Erlanger Foundation and UTC Alumni Board of Trustees, and he is a 2023 graduate of the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga’s “Inclusion by Design” executive leadership development program. Further, he is a licensed CPA through the Tennessee State Board of Accountancy.

Neha Shah, DMD

Founder, BEAM Pediatric Dental Studio

Years With the Company: 4

Dr. Neha Shah is the founder of BEAM Pediatric Dental Studio and a board-certified pediatric dentist. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University with a degree in biomedical engineering, Dr. Shah completed one of the country’s most prestigious dental programs at Harvard University. Later, she followed her love for helping kids to Chicago, where she trained at the renowned Lurie Children’s Hospital. She is also a proud graduate of Chattanooga’s St. Nicholas School and Girls Preparatory School. Dr. Shah is a member of the American Dental Association, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

J. Eugene Huffstutter, MD

President, Medical Foundation of Chattanooga

Years With the Company: 9

Since serving as president of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society in 2015, Dr. Gene Huffstutter has been a volunteer leader of the Medical Foundation of Chattanooga. He is also a practicing rheumatologist with Arthritis Associates in Hixson. Through organized medicine, Dr. Huffstutter has led many legislative initiatives on behalf of doctors and their patients. He is a volunteer with Southeast Tennessee Project Access and currently serves as the chairman of the Tennessee Medical Association Board of Trustees. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Dr. Huffstutter completed his residency at the University of Oklahoma and a rheumatology fellowship at the University of South Carolina. He is married with three adult children.


Josh Schweiger

Financial Advisor, Edward Jones

Years With the Company: 6

Josh Schweiger is a financial advisor and limited partner with Edward Jones, the largest privately held financial services firm in the industry. He works with multigenerational families and executives to navigate complex investment environments, helping them build comprehensive financial strategies for their current season of life and future generations. Schweiger obtained a Bachelor of Applied Sciences with a concentration in business administration from the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky. He has expanded his knowledge to have a positive impact on his clients’ whole financial picture by earning the Accredited Behavioral Finance Professional™, Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor™, Accredited Asset Management Specialist™, and Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist™ designations. He serves as president of the Red Bank Lions Club and sits on the boards of Lions Club International and the Red Bank Food Pantry.

Don Mueller

President and CEO, Siskin Children’s Institute

Years With the Company: Newly Appointed, January 2024

Although new to the organization, Don Mueller brings over two decades of pediatric healthcare and administration experience to the Institute. Formerly president and CEO of St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, PA, Mueller will oversee all day-to-day operations at Siskin Children’s Institute, strategically guide the organization in reaching its developmental healthcare goals, serving over 7,000 children annually across Middle Tennessee and North Georgia, and act as the main point of communication between the board of directors and nonprofit operations. Additionally, Mueller will foster new relationships to expand the organization’s mission and secure philanthropic support for all developmental medicine and early intervention services.

Bill Crawford

President and CEO, Lawson Electric Co. Inc.

Years With the Company: 38

Bill Crawford has been with Lawson Electric since 1986, starting as a residential electrician after graduating top of his class in the five-year apprenticeship program. His journey to CEO began in 1995 when he left working in the field and joined on as a project manager, tasked with opening an office in Dalton, GA. By 2000, he had built a successful Georgia office and laid the groundwork for the significant growth of Lawson’s Georgia operations. He continued to run operations in Georgia until 2017 when he assumed the role of president and CEO. As CEO, Crawford oversees all aspects of the company’s business functions, providing executive oversight to management teams and guiding the day-to-day operations across multiple locations.



Cara McGowan

Director of Marketing & Communications, Hunter Museum of American Art Years with the Company: 8

Cara McGowan has more than 20 years of experience in the strategic marketing of cultural nonprofits, including eight years in Boston overseeing marketing efforts for WGBH Radio’s broadcast, streaming, and on-demand audio programs and services. At the Hunter, McGowan has expanded the reach and impact of the museum’s marketing. She also oversees the Hunter’s grant writing efforts and plays a pivotal role in driving strategic initiatives. In 2022, she participated as a member of the second cohort of the Southeastern Museums Conference Leadership Institute. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Virginia and has completed coursework in nonprofit management at UNC Chapel Hill. Currently serving on the boards of the Association for Visual Arts (AVA) and the Signal Mountain Library, she has also volunteered with the AIM Center and the Women’s Fund of Greater Chattanooga.

Jason Skinner

Director of Marketing and Business Development, University Surgical Associates Years With the Company: 2

Jason Skinner oversees the marketing, patient/provider experience, and business development functions at USA. He designs, plans, and implements the strategic marketing plans of the practice, serves as the primary media contact, manages community relations and events, and is active in the medical community building relationships with referring physicians on behalf of USA. Skinner serves on the board for the East Tennessee Healthcare Executives Affiliation and the Chattanooga Medical Group Management Association. He has also served on the board of directors for the Midtown Council of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce and has volunteered for Bridge Refugee Services, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Chattanooga, the READ Chattanooga adult literacy program, and others. Skinner earned his undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Alabama, and his MBA from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Tonya Craft

Attorney and Managing Partner, Tonya Craft Legal Years With the Company: 5

Tonya Craft, a remarkable business leader, emerged from adversity as a former kindergarten teacher falsely accused of the most heinous crime imaginable – child molestation. Following her triumphant legal battle, she transitioned to consultancy, dedicating a decade to helping others navigate similar cases while earning her law degree in 2018. Craft, now an accomplished lawyer, author, and speaker, sheds light on the complexities of such accusations through her book Accused and upcoming movie and documentary. Specializing in high-profile cases akin to her own, Tonya Craft Legal also focuses on family law, offering expertise in custody, divorce, and dependency and neglect. In addition to that, Craft represents teachers facing suspension, termination, or criminal charges based on unsupported claims. Craft’s commitment to sharing her journey aims to inspire others, as she balances her multifaceted career with continued dedication to education, albeit outside the traditional classroom.


Financial Perspectives

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
- Mark Twain

Ray Ryan is the president of Patten and Patten, an investment management firm, and a registered investment adviser in Chattanooga. Ray is a CFA charter holder, a member of the advisory board for UTC’s College of Business, and an adjunct professor of finance at UTC. He is a graduate of Princeton University, where he had the privilege of taking a course taught by former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.


Transformative innovations often emerge as if from thin air. They seem revolutionary. Yet, most are evolutionary, constructed on existing technology platforms. They succeed where prior efforts fell short.

The iPhone was not the first smartphone. Google was not the first search engine. ChatGPT was not the first Large Language Model (LLM – a form of generative artificial intelligence, or AI). Ozempic and Mounjaro are not the first GLP-1 drugs approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The FDA recently approved them for weight loss under brand names Wegovy and Zepbound, respectively.


Transformative innovations all achieve mass adoption. Mass adoption requires broad recognition of value. Google and the iPhone were clearly transformative innovations.

Technologists criticized the virtual keyboard of the first-generation iPhone. Some wireless carriers waited until the third or fourth generation to provide coverage. Eventually, proliferation of iPhone apps and an incredible user interface contributed to mass adoption.

Thirty years ago, the novelty of the internet seduced people into staying up all night to surf the web. I never did. I saw little value in entering random web sites into a browser. Then, Google launched, and it was free. Suddenly, the internet had value for me.

The rest is history. Both ChatGPT and GLP-1 drugs have similar transformative potential.

Investor excitement over artificial intelligence and GLP-1 drugs contributed to their dominance over 2023’s stock market. However, neither AI nor the drug class are new. There were previous iterations in development for years.

Early AI models struggled with context. They didn’t “understand” complete sentences. Today, AI embedded in Word and Outlook “reads” sequences of words. Embedded AI models do a reasonably good job highlighting typos, misspellings, and grammatical mistakes. The identifications are helpful, yet often annoying, because AI now insists on finishing sentences.

Early reviews of Copilot, Microsoft’s AI assistant, are mixed. Copilot is Microsoft’s version of ChatGPT embedded in Word, Outlook, Teams, Excel, and PowerPoint. The software upgrade can summarize emails, generate text, create documents, presentations, and spreadsheets. It costs $30 per month. Some commentators already claim increased productivity. However, many beta testers argue Copilot is not worth $30 because it makes too many mistakes.

Without insurance, Ozempic and Mounjaro each cost approximately $1,000 per month. High prices have not, however, discouraged demand. The pharmaceutical companies cannot manufacture enough. Because of supply shortages, market penetration of both drugs is currently limited. That should change quickly as companies are investing heavily to manufacture greater volumes.

GLP-1 drugs are innovative therapies developed using advanced technologies such as micro- and molecular biology; computational biology. Decades of research has furthered knowledge of the human body as a complex, adaptive system. These breakthrough therapies relied on advances achieved by previous developments. Prior type 2 diabetes therapies struggled to achieve mass adoption because of technical limitations or side effects. Ozempic and Mounjaro are more effective than previous drugs with fewer side effects.

Demand for Copilot juxtaposed with demand for GLP-1 drugs provides insight regarding consumer preferences. On one hand, consumers seem unwilling to pay a $30 monthly subscription fee for a software upgrade that could significantly increase productivity. On the other hand, consumers appear quite anxious to pay $1,000 out of pocket each month for therapies that more effectively regulate blood sugar and assist with weight loss.

The lukewarm reaction to Copilot suggests consumers believe its value is less than $30. That perception could change if consumers become confident the AI add-on improves productivity. Consumers need applications to make that assessment. Consider email. Email had negligible value when only a few people had accounts. As more people communicated by email than by other methods, email became necessary and indispensable. It acquired value.

An innovation’s value increases with mass adoption. Mass adoption generally requires price deflation. America Online once charged for email. Today, email is included in network access charges or other applications. Its price is effectively zero. Thus, it is probable the price of Copilot falls to zero while its value increases exponentially. At that point, Copilot could be as indispensable as email, or even displace email as a productivity tool.

Wider adoption of Ozempic and Mounjaro requires price declines. Expanded insurance coverage should help in this process. Current market interest in the drugs suggests their ultimate market value could be gigantic. However, the value of healthcare innovations extends well beyond improved health of an individual. Value includes improved quality of life for a large percentage of the population.

An extensive continuum of care serves the diabetic population, including monitors, devices, and dialysis centers. Diabetes is a particularly pernicious disease that, if left untreated, progresses over time to damage vital organs and systems. By more effectively treating type 2 diabetes and weight loss, these new therapies could reduce prevalence of a long list of complications associated with diabetes. In the process, they could disrupt the established healthcare ecosystem for diabetes management. Eventually, they could achieve market penetration similar to statins, a class of anti-cholesterol drugs. Today, nearly 100 million people in the United States rely on statins. Analysts project market penetration of GLP-1 drugs could reach similar levels in the next five to 10 years. From this perspective, is $1,000 per month justified?

Transformative technologies eventually achieve ubiquity. To achieve ubiquity, innovations need to be transformative. Automobiles. Televisions. Household appliances. Smartphones. Should we add AI and GLP-1 drugs to that list? We shall find out in the next few years.

Financial Perspectives 206 « BUSINESS.CITYSCOPEMAG.COM

Long-Term Care Insurance IN FINANCIAL PLANNING

Asset-Based Long-Term Care May Be Your Best Option

“Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.” This is a phrase many learned at an early age from parents or even grandparents. From Boy Scouts to basic training, being prepared can make the difference between failure and success. This also holds true when preparing for medical expenses down the road. The chances of success for a family’s financial plan may be increased by adding some type of long-term care insurance. With baby boomers’ life expectancy averaging 79 years old, up from 63 in the past, preparing for long-term medical expenses is crucial.

While it is easier to avoid the conversation of preparing for care, today’s choices in longterm care insurance (LTC) make it easier than ever. For generations, traditional long-term care policies have been the go-to in preparing for potential expenses. These policies are still available, and in numerous circumstances most appropriate. However, in recent years a new type of longterm care insurance has surfaced and is providing families more control in their planning.

Julie Elsea is a seasoned financial advisor with a passion for helping clients and their families plan for the future. With over 33 years of experience in the financial industry and wealth management, she offers comprehensive financial services and specializes in areas often overlooked in family financial planning, such as life and longterm care insurance. Julie is proud to be a partner with the Round Table Advisor team.


Asset-Based Long-Term Care Insurance

Comparable to traditional long-term care policies, which provide a pool of money in the future to be used for LTC expenses, asset-based policies provide a similar benefit. A pool of money is paid out tax-free from investments, often higher than the original investment, to cover longterm medical expenses in the future. These expenses can range from the occasional help at home to a full-service nursing home. Compared to traditional long-term care insurance, multiple differences may make asset-based long-term care insurance (ABLTC) more attractive for a family’s financial plan. The ABLTC coverage has not only removed the risk of “use it or lose it” associated with LTC policies, but it also provides clients control over their own plan and avoids future financial surprises. Traditional long-term care, while often considered a more cost-effective way to purchase LTC insurance, carries the continued risk of increased annual premiums for the life of the policy. Using an ABLTC policy, this risk is eliminated. The client chooses the amount of funds he/she would like to invest in their LTC plan. The policy, if approved by underwriting, is written for that contractual premium amount. No surprises down the road, and no risk of ever needing to pay in more once the agreed upon premium has been paid.

One of the more attractive features of traditional LTC insurance is the affordability of premiums and being able to manage cash flow and cover those premiums. A customer can do that as well with the ABLTC. Most companies offering ABLTC policies offer the option to spread the one-time premium over multiple annual payments - sometimes up to 10 years. This helps make this type of policy even more attractive to customers on a budget or trying to manage cash flow and still make future financial plans.

“Having a starting point, knowing the plan, and being able to share that plan with children, family members, or other caregivers can be the most valuable piece of that strategy.”

If, for some reason, a customer decides later that an ABLTC policy is no longer right for their financial plan, most all policies offer some form of liquidation option. And, while a full refund of the original premium may not be available, a significant amount of the premium may be refunded to the owner. A death benefit is provided with these types of policies as well. If a customer passes away without ever needing to use the pool of money provided for LTC, the original premium, and in some cases more, is paid to the designated beneficiary in the form of a death benefit.

Not surprisingly, ABLTC insurance policies are becoming more attractive to clients. Rather than pulling assets from a financial plan to prepare for future medical expenses, assets are simply earmarked as such and remain part of the client’s portfolio.

In the past, self-insuring has been the plan of choice for many to cover future long-term care expenses. In this scenario, instead of working through an insurance company, you set aside money to pay for long-term care expenses as they arise. While often a very viable alternative to LTC insurance, selfinsuring provides no real path for family members when the need arises. What has been set aside is what is available for long-term care and no more.

Planning is Job No. 1

Regardless of what type of long-term care insurance is chosen, planning is job No. 1. Having a starting point, knowing the plan, and being able to share that plan with children, family members, or other caregivers can be the most valuable piece of that strategy. Making financial decisions can be stressful for many. Needing to do it during a time of change and adjustment is infinitely harder. Long-term care insurance can remove lots of those challenging decisions. When a family is facing life-changing decisions for a loved one, financial planning may be the last thing they want or need to think about. However, as mentioned previously, with boomers living longer and advanced healthcare allowing many to live independently longer, the potential for healthcare expenses in the future increases each year.

Understanding Options: Taking a Step

Understanding the options and knowing what is available for financial planning is the first step toward preparing for potential expenses as you age. And, like most things, the first step is the hardest. Most clients learn the reality of the topic is much easier to discuss and explore than expected. If “hoping for the best and preparing for the worst” works well for Boy Scouts and soldiers, they may be equally prudent in financial planning.

Financial Perspectives
Long-Term Care Insurance Products may not be suitable for all investors. Surrender charges may apply for early withdrawals and, if made prior to 59 ½, may be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty in addition to any gains being taxed as ordinary income. These policies have exclusions and /or limitations. The cost and availability of Long-Term Care Insurance depend on factors such as age, health and the type and amount of insurance purchased. As with most financial decisions, there are expenses associated with the purchase of Long-Term Care Insurance. Guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of the insurance company. This information is intended to be educational and is not tailored to the investment or insurance needs of any specific individual. Please consult with a licensed financial professional when considering your insurance options. Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. Round Table Advisors is not a registered broker dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services. Any opinions are those of Round Table Advisors and not necessarily those of Raymond James. 210 « BUSINESS.CITYSCOPEMAG.COM







The Newest Addition, 5090 Outdoor

Immerse yourself in the truly unique experience that is 5090 Outdoor, where the beauty of nature harmoniously blends with premium outdoor furnishings. Their outdoor deck, overlooking the serene Spring Creek, offers a tranquil setting that will inspire your outdoor living dreams. Admire their lush landscape in full fall bloom while enjoying a round of golf on their custom putting green. As the sun sets, their collection of fire pits will blaze, keeping you warm as you build the patio of your dreams.


At 5090 South, they’re more than just a furniture store – they’re a destination of style, sophistication, and inspiration. Stop by their showroom and step foot into a world where design meets desire, and where your dream home comes to life.


Their 5090 Design Center is your gateway to a world of endless possibilities. Their team of talented designers is here to turn your vision into a reality. With their expertise and an exquisite array of high-quality product lines, you can create a living space that reflects your unique style. Customize every piece by choosing from an extensive collection of fabrics, textures, and finishes to craft a look that’s exclusively yours.

5090 South Terrace, Chattanooga, TN 37412 423-468-5090 | 5090SOUTH.COM
555 Walnut St., Suite 280, Chattanooga, TN 37402 | Individual & Family Accounts | Individual Retirement Accounts Taxable Investment Accounts | Trusts & Estates Foundations & Endowments OVER 45 YEARS OF SERVICE Investment Strategies Tailored to the Client
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.