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Section A

Business & Industry

US Nitrogen Breaks Ground For New Plant. 2 Era Ends, New One Begins, For GreenBank GreenBank.. 4 Jarden Zinc Expands, Partners With Canadian Mint. 3 Tourism Events Provide Boost To Local Economy. 5

The Greeneville Sun March 17, 2012

2012 Benchmarks



US Nitrogen Breaks Ground At Plant Off Pottertown Road BY KEN LITTLE STAFF WRITER

US Nitrogen, LLC is going full speed ahead with construction of its $220 million plant off Pottertown Road, the largest capital investment in Greene County history. Work is under way on the facility that is expected, when up and running, to bring an annual payroll of $4 million to the county. Community support for the facility appears strong, if the hundreds of guests gathered Feb. 18 for a groundbreaking ceremony at the plant site in West Greene County is any indication. US Nitrogen is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Austin Powder Company, of Cleveland, Ohio. The facility will be on a 400-acre site, with about 50 acres housing the actual plant and outbuildings. The five-building complex will be located in an area near the intersection of U.S. Highway 11E and Interstate 81. Liquid ammonium nitrate will be manufactured at the plant, but company officials have emphasized that the chemical is neither explosive nor flammable and that it will be transported elsewhere for its end use. Austin Powder Company itself is a prominent domestic and international producer of explosives used in quarrying, mining, construction, and seismic projects. ANNOUNCED IN 2011 In early 2011, the Greene County Partnership announced the company would make a capital investment of $110 million, with plans to provide 80 full-time jobs and an average annual salary of about $50,000. In February 2011, the Greene County Commission unanimously passed a resolution to rezone the property where the plant will stand. Gov. Bill Haslam came to Greeneville to participate in the formal announcement of Austin


A spirited public hearing was held in the cafeteria of West Greene High School last fall concerning whether the Tennessee Division of Air Pollution Control should grant an air-quality permit to allow the US Nitrogen plant to be built. Standing at right is Roger Jones, chairman of the Greene County Board of Education.









Powder Company’s locating in Greene County. A year later, in February 2012, Shawn Rana, vice president of Austin Powder Company, welcomed a crowd of hundreds to a groundbreaking ceremony for the US Nitrogen plant. “In about 20 months, a state-of-the-art facility will stand on this site, and I hope you all will be here to join us for the ribbon-cutting,” Rana said. “I know there are high expectations for us, and we will work to fulfill them,” Rana added. James Boldt, vice president and chief financial officer of Austin Powder Company, said the plant should be open by the fourth quarter of 2013 or

early 2014. Construction of the plant will provide more than 200 jobs, Rana said. “With the construction work will come jobs for local citizens and considerable local spending for supplies, fuel and materials,” he said. Summers-Taylor Inc. is handling all site-grading work on the project. After grading, concrete work for the five buildings to be built onsite will be completed before construction gets under way. When up and running, the plant will use large amounts of electricity, water and natural gas purchased from local utilities, including an estimated $18 million

annually in natural gas, $5 million annually in electricity, and $1 million annually in water. Company officials said US Nitrogen eventually plans to produce 420 tons of liquid ammonium nitrate per day at the plant. Nitric acid and ammonia will also be made there for use in production of the ammonium nitrate. When it is fully operational, plans call for about 20 truckloads of the liquid ammonium nitrate to leave the facility each day for facilities in other states. Some of the finished product will also be transported in specially designed rail cars.

FIRST LOCAL EMPLOYEE In late summer, the first local employee to be hired at US Nitrogen was introduced to a combined meeting of the Exchange Club of Greeneville and the Noon Rotary Club. She is Chassity Bird, who is the assistant to Rana. Bird typifies the kind of employee that company officials have said for months they would seek to hire. She is a South Greene High School graduate (Class of 1993); received her bachelor’s degree from Tusculum College; and worked seven years in human resources at John Deere Power Products.

zens about potential negative impacts of the operation were aired at a lengthy public hearing held in October 2011 at West Greene High School. The topic was whether Austin Powder Company should receive a permit, later granted, from the state Division of Air Pollution Control that is necessary to build the plant relatively near the high school. The air pollution control division is part of the state Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC). Citizens expressed concern about possible air pollution, water pollution and other health-related impacts. The issue of oversight was raised. “It sounds like Greene County, the State of Tennessee and TDEC are all best friends,” one woman said. Several nearby landowners raised the possibility of diminished property value. Other citizens, however, about 50 percent of the large crowd that turned out for the public hearing, seemed mainly focused on the need for local jobs. James Secrist, whose property is near the proposed plant location, said when he moved to Greene County about 20 years ago, there were few jobs to be had in the West Greene community. “We need jobs, and we need the kind of jobs that Austin Powder brings in,” he said. Secrist made reference to other large industrial operations nearby, such as DTR of Tennessee Inc., that he said have operated for years without incident. “The government has clamped down on all these companies over the years and made them environmentally safe,” Secrist said. “We’ve got to get jobs here in Greene County.” County Mayor Alan Broyles, who spoke at the hearing, also supported plans for the US Nitrogen plant.

CONCERNS AIRED Concerns of some citi-



Lifting ceremonial shovels for groundbreaking in February for the US Nitrogen plant are, from left: John Abe Teague, district field representative for U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-1st, of Johnson City; Iliff McMahan Jr., regional director of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TECD); County Commissioners Robert Bird, Bill Moss and Wade McAmis; County Mayor Alan Broyles; Greeneville Mayor W.T. Daniels; Shawn Rana, vice president of Austin Powder Company; Johnnie Cansler, who sold property to US Nitrogen; County Commissioners Robin Quillen, Jan Kiker and Brenda Grogan; State Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-11th, of Cosby; Kim Ryans, US Nitrogen lab supervisor; County Commissioners Nathan Holt, Ted Hensley and Jimmy Sams; Chassity Bird, first local employee hired by US Nitrogen; State Sen. Steve Southerland, R-1st, of Morristown; Joy Rader, Register of Deeds; Chuck Whitfield, Greene County Partnership chairman; and Tommy Gregg, Mosheim alderman. Sun photo by O.J. Early.

Taking part in the official ribbon-cutting for an expansion project at Jarden Zinc Products are, left to right: Vernon Orr, vice president, Greeneville Local 507-G, US Steel, Paper & Forestry, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial & Service Workers International Union, an employee of Jarden Zinc Products; Paul Dilworth, chief financial officer and chief operating officer, Jarden Process Solutions (in background); Chuck Villa, president, Jarden Process Solutions; U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-1st, of Johnson City; Ian Asken, vice chairman and chief financial officer, Jarden Corporation (cutting the ribbon); Beverley Lepine, chief operating officer, Royal Canadian Mint; Thomas Wennogle, president, Jarden Zinc Products; and Randall Shelton, president, Greeneville Local 507-G, US Steel, Paper & Forestry, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial & Service Workers International Union, an employee of Jarden Zinc Products. Photo special to The Sun. SPORTS TOURNAMENTS, CIVIL WAR TOURISM BOOST ECONOMY


The familiar brass plate with the name “Greene County Bank” that had for decades been affixed to the outside of the main branch of the bank, on North Main Street, was one of numerous bank-related signs covered over in early January with fabric sheaths carrying the bank’s new name, Capital Bank. GreenBank, originally Greene County Bank, was bought in September 2011 by North Åmerican Financial Holdings (NAFH). Sun photo by Jim Feltman.

Susan Whitaker, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, addresses a crowd gathered in August on the lawn of the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site for an announcement about the launch of an “Appalachia: Civil War Home Front” map and guide designed to draw visitors to historic areas of the 13 Appalachian states during the Civil War Sesquicentennial. Greeneville was selected as the State of Tennessee site for the official announcement. Sun Photo by Jim Feltman.

Advertisers Index East Tennessee Manufacturing Services, Inc. .............................................................................................................................................................. 3 Greene County Partnership ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 3 American Greetings..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 5 ............................................................................................................................................................................................ 7 US Nitrogen ................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 8 EPAYROLL Resource Group, LLC .................................................................................................................................................................................. 8 Summers Taylor .......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 9 Greeneville Iron & Metals, Inc. ...................................................................................................................................................................................11 Transport Technologies, LLC. ......................................................................................................................................................................................11 Legal Guide .............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 13 Financial Guide ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................15 Electric Beach Tanning Salon .....................................................................................................................................................................................15 The Greeneville Sun Classifieds .................................................................................................................................................................................15 Jarden Zinc Products .................................................................................................................................................................................................16

Saturday, March 17, 2012



Jarden Zinc Expands, Partners With Royal Canadian Mint BY KEN LITTLE

tion. The Jarden Zinc Products operation in Greeneville has more than 350,000 square-feet of manufacturing space. Specialties of the local plant include zinc casting, rolling and fabricating, but it’s best known for being the supplier of zinc-based one-cent blanks to the U.S. Mint.


The year 2011 was one of growth for Jarden Zinc Products, at 2500 Old Stage Road. Company officials expect more of the same in 2012. “In summary, we’re expecting a pretty strong year. You look at automotive as a pretty big part of our business, and the U.S. Mint has been pretty steady. We continue to solicit and sell overseas coinage blanks, and we anticipate a strong year,” company President Thomas J. Wennogle said in late February. Jarden Zinc Products is the largest North American producer of solid zinc strip and zincbased products. The plant was established here in the early 1970s as Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Co. and later became Alltrista Zinc Products Company. Alltrista changed its name to Jarden in 2002. Jarden Zinc and its predecessor companies here have been making U.S. penny coin blanks since 1981. The mass and composition of the pennies changed to the current copper-plated zinc core in 1982.

US Nitrogen Starts on Page 2 Along with Tom Ferguson, Greene County Partnership president and CEO, Broyles helped spearhead the effort to attract Austin Powder Company to Greene County. “We’re in total support of the US Nitrogen plant,” Broyles said in a statement at the public hearing. “We extend our hand to you in friendship, [and] we wish you many successful days ahead.” “We’re going to work hard to convince residents that this is a safe and clean operation, and focus on the facts,” Boldt said after the public hearing. ‘NEITHER FLAMMABLE NOR EXPLOSIVE’ The ammonium nitrate solution that will be manufactured here is known as ANSOL or ANS. It will be produced for use by Austin Powder — when combined with other substances under certain conditions — as an ingredient in explosives. Company officials have repeatedly stressed in response to the concerns about safety, however, that, by itself, the liquid ammonium nitrate is neither flammable nor explosive. After being manufactured here, they explain, the liquid product would be transported to other company plants elsewhere for combination with other ingredients


Representatives of Jarden Zinc Products received an Export Achievement Certificate from U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-1st, of Johnson City, during an event marking completion of the expansion of Jarden’s coin blank production facility in Greeneville. Shown from left are: Robert Leach, director of the Knoxville U.S. Export Assistance Center, U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Department of Commerce; Chuck Villa, president of Jarden Process Solutions; Rep. Roe; Thomas Wennogle, president of Jarden Zinc Products; Ian Ashken, Jarden Corporation vice chairman and chief financial officer; Mark Blizard, Jarden Zinc Products vice president of coinage sales; and Mark Drury, assistant commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. The company’s products are used throughout the world in the produc-

tion of zinc- and steelbased coins and other industrial zinc items,

including automotive blade fuses. Jarden Zinc has about

200 full-time employees. The company is a division of Jarden Corpora-

to form material for use as explosives. “While we are an explosives company, we aren’t going to be making exposives here. I think that’s an important thing to realize,” Boldt said in February 2011. “I want everyone to be reassured about that,” Boldt emphasized. Company officials have explained that the liquid ammonium nitrate made at the US Nitrogen plant will be transported by highly-trained company drivers operating specifically-designed tanker trucks. The trucks will be designed to keep the product hot as it is shipped to Austin Powder manufacturing sites in other states.

Authority. US Nitrogen regulatory permits issued prior to the water permits include seven air quality-related permits granted by TDEC, and a TDEC stormwater permit issued in 2011.

unanimously approved the Planning Commission’s recommendation for the rezoning following a public hearing, the lawsuit asserts. The lawsuit claims that the action of the county planning commission to recommend rezoning of the property for the industrial plant was unlawful for various reasons related to the process followed by the planning commission. US Nitrogen officials maintain there was no procedural wrongdoing in the process that led to the zoning change

and the subsequent announcement that the company plans to build a facility in Greene County. The civil case appears headed for trial, although no date has been set.

PERMITS GRANTED US Nitrogen has received all permits necessary from state and federal agencies to begin operation. Two federal water permits were issued in January, completing all the required environmental regulatory approvals required for construction to begin. “ The issuance of the permits means that regulators who reviewed the project do not believe that US Nitrogen will exceed thresholds for wetland and stream impacts,” the company said in a release after the permits were granted. One of the two permits is a general license from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The other was issued by the Tennessee Valley

LAWSUIT PENDING Construction plans have not been impeded by a pending civil lawsuit filed last year in Greene County Chancery Court by some nearby property-owners. The legal action claims that the Greene County Planning Commission acted unlawfully in recommending rezoning of property for the plant. Knoxville lawyer Herbert Moncier represents plaintiffs, who include Bradley K. Lowe, a Sevier County resident who owns property near the US Nitrogen site; Randolph Lowe, a Greene County resident whose property is adjacent to the proposed plant; and Junior Belcher and Ivonne Belcher, of Greene County, who own land nearby. Moncier has said the focus of the lawsuit, which alleges violations of the state Open Meetings Act, is to void the February 2011 rezoning recommendation action of the Greene County Planning Commission. US Nitrogen’s plans for the property, and the name of the company itself, did not become public until Feb. 21, 2011. On Feb. 22, the Greene County Commission

East Tennessee Manufacturing Services, Inc.

BRIGHT FUTURE EXPECTED Both government and company officials envision a promising future for US Nitrogen in Greene County. “Austin Powder has a long-standing reputation as a company that builds strong relationships with its employees and is a good place

CANADA CONNECTION One of the Jarden Zinc success stories in 2011 involves a partnership with the Royal Canadian Mint to produce nickelplated dimes, quarters and nickel blanks. An expansion of Jarden Zinc Products’ coin blank production facility in Greeneville last year added about 20 new jobs and strengthened ties between the international corporation and Greene County, Wennogle said. “It’s a multi-milliondollar investment,” he said. “We have added jobs.” The project, he said, “is evidence of our continuing commitment to invest in the business and service the needs of our customers.” Jarden is a licensee with the Canadian Mint to use the Mint’s multiPLEASE SEE JARDEN | 5

to work. “I’m convinced the work force in East Tennessee will help the company grow in productivity and profitability,” said Bill Hagerty, state Department of Economic & Community Development commissioner, after plans to bring the company to Greene County were announced. The US Nitrogen operation should create “a considerable number of spinoff jobs in the immediate area,” Ferguson said. For more information about US Nitrogen, visit


• Chamber of Commerce

• Tourism

• Economic Development

• Keep Greene Beautiful

• Education & Workforce Development


P.O. Box 967, Snapps Ferry Rd., Greeneville, TN 37745

423-639-5759 • FAX: 423-639-8791

The Greene County Partnership exists to provide community leadership, consensus-building and problem-solving through the cooperative efforts of business and government and to serve as a catalyst for positive improvement and change. We are committed to serving the needs of our members, industry, government, business and citizens by: • Providing a forum to identify common problems and develop solutions. • Expanding and diversifying the Greene County economy. • Providing and supporting initiatives that will enhance Greene County’s overall quality of life. • Serving as a common denominator for governmental and community programs. • Cooperating with regional programs of mutual interest. 115 Academy Street, Greeneville, TN 37745 Phone: 423-638-4111 • FAX (423) 638-5345



An Era Ends, New One Begins, For 121-Year-Old GreenBank The Institution Merges Into Capital Bank BY JOHN M. JONES JR. EDITOR

Last year saw the closing of a 121-year era in the history of the community’s oldest independent bank, but the opening of a new era — very different in some ways, but promising. For the financial institution that had opened its doors in Greeneville in 1890 as Greene County Bank — modif ied to GreenBank in 2007 — the year brought a dramatic change of ownership, a dramatic change of name, and an apparent solution to four years of increasingly grave financial difficulties. In the face of those diff iculties, an overwhelming majority of shareholders in Green Bankshares, Inc., the holding company for GreenBank, voted on Sept 7, 2011, to — in effect — sell the bank. The buyer: North A merican Financial Holdings, Inc. (NAFH), a Florida-based bank holding company that brought to the table a lot of banking expertise, some $217 million in cash, and enthusiasm for owning Green Bankshares’ extensive network of Tennessee banks. FOUR YEARS OF CONCERN For Green Bankshares leaders and other shareholders, the decision to sell climaxed four years of growing anxiety — a sharp departure from decades of total shareholder confidence in the bank, its stock, and its future. For many shareholders, including many Greene Countians, the period from 2007-2011 also brought painful financial losses as Green Bankshares’ stock price sank from a peak in the mid-$30s in 2007 to less than a tenth of that amount by last September. Quarterly dividends had been suspended since June 2009, as the bank struggled to preserve cash to backstop non-performing commercial loans. Mainly, the problem loans had been inherited in the portfolios of other banks bought during a major expansion in recent years that extended GreenBank’s footprint as far west as the Nashville area.


Stephen M. Rownd, at lectern, chairman and CEO of Green Bankshares, Inc., presided at a special meeting of shareholders at the General Morgan Inn in September. At the meeting, final action was taken to sell financially troubled GreenBank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Green Bankshares, to North American Financial Holdings (NAFH), a bank holding company. RESCUE OPERATION For a while, profits grew as the bank expanded, and Green Bankshares stock thrived on the Nasdaq National Market, where it had been traded since 2002. But when the U.S. economy all but crashed in the Great Recession of 2008-2009, thousands of commercial real estate loans in banks across the nation collapsed — including many loans held by banks now owned by GreenBank. By last September, most people associated with GreenBank seemed to acknowledge that selling more than 90 percent of Green Bankshares stock to North American Financial Holdings amounted to a necessary — and welcome — rescue operation, to prevent possible forced closure of the bank by federal regulators and provide at least some hope of eventual recovery. Just a month earlier, in mid-August, with quarterly losses continuing and non-performing loans still a major problem, GreenBank had had to agree to enter into a “consent order” with its federal regulatory body, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), to deal with the bank’s capitalization problems. THE AGREEMENT Against that grim background, the owners of an overwhelming majority of shareholders voted to sell to NAFH. The vote came in a brief meeting at Greeneville’s General Morgan Inn, located across the street from GreenBank’s headquarters and main branch. The directors had endorsed the purchase in

early May, but approval by the shareholders and the appropriate federal regulatory body was also required. Stephen M. Rownd, chairman and CEO of Green Bankshares in September, said after the Sept. 7 meeting that the regulatory agency involved, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, had already given its approval to the purchase. North American Financial Bankshares invested $217,019,000 in cash to buy 119,000 shares of Green Bankshares common stock, 90.1 percent of the total stock. Individual shareholders’ common stock in Green Bankshares remained outstanding after the transaction, and was not cashed out, so the shareholders continued to own their stock. The authorized amount of common stock was increased from 20 million shares to 300 million, and the par value was decreased from $2 per share to $.01 per share. But the agreement also permitted Green Bankshares to distribute to each shareholder as of a certain date, immediately prior to the closing of the transaction with NAFH, “one contingent value right (CVR) per share that would entitle the shareholder to receive up to $.75 in cash per CVR at the end of a five-year period based on the credit performance of GreenBank’s existing loan portfolio.” MERGED INTO CAPITAL BANK With the purchase officially approved, GreenBank was quickly merged into Capital Bank, NA, the banking subsid-

iary of North American Financial Holdings. Before the merger, Capital Bank was a $6.6 billion institution with branches in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia — but, until then, none in Tennessee. As a result of the merger, Capital Bank’s assets rose to approximately $7.3 billion, with a total of 149 branches in five Southeastern states, including Tennessee for the first time. NAFH statements explain that the bank holding company was formed in 2009 “with the goal of creating a regional banking franchise in the Southeastern region of the United States through organic growth and acquisition of other banks, including failed, underperforming and undercapitalized banks.” And a news release quoted NAFH Chairman and CEO Gene Taylor as stating, “This investment [Green Bankshares] helps define NAFH as a broad Southeastern franchise. “The fast-growing Nashville and Knoxville markets serve as a natural extension of our western footprint and allow us to integrate our businesses seamlessly. “With the capital from this investment, we believe GreenBank will be well positioned to benefit from an improving economy ...” NEW LEADERSHIP, NEW SIGNS Upon the closing of the merger agreement, Taylor also became CEO of Green Bankshares, and Christopher G. (Chris) Marshall, NAFH Chief Financial Officer (CFO), also became CFO of Green Bankshares.

Numerous other changes have taken place since then. Perhaps the most important was that, with the very large infusion of fresh capital from NAFH, the bank’s capitalization problems disappeared, and the “Consent Order” agreement with the FDIC became a non-issue. In addition, NAFH repaid to the U.S. Treasury the approximately $72 million in federal TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) funds owed by Green Bankshares. The most visible of the changes has been the transformation in signage as the familiar GreenBank signs disappeared early this year at branches across East and Middle Tennessee and were replaced by temporary Capital Bank signs. Plans call for permanent signs to be put in place “as soon as practical,” according to William E. “Bill” Adams, of Greeneville, formerly Chief Information Officer of GreenBank but now Integration and Operations Executive of Capital Bank. In his new role, Adams has two primary responsibilities: leading the integration of the banks that Capital Bank purchases, including GreenBank, and overseeing the bank’s operational departments, based in Greeneville, in Raleigh, N.C., in Burlington, N.C., and in Coral Gables, Fla. Rownd, formerly chairman and CEO of Green Bankshares, is now president of Capital Bank for Tennessee and has primary responsibility for overseeing the bank’s commercial loans and dealing with business customers in this state.

Meanwhile, Scott MacMorran heads up the consumer banking side of Capital Bank’s Tennessee operations. OPERATIONAL CONSOLIDATION As of Presidents Day weekend in February, Adams said, the bank achieved operational consolidation — in other words, the entire Capital Bank footprint throughout the Southeast, including Tennessee, operates with the same systems and products. Finally, while there has not been mass firing of employees, there have been some job losses as a result of consolidation of functions. Top company officials explained in a statement that “As part of the acquisition and integration process, certain departments and positions were consolidated, resulting in the elimination of duplicative jobs across our entire footprint. “Only a small percentage of employees were affected, and the cutbacks included both front and back office positions that will be phased out over the next several weeks and months.” The officials added, “The process leading to job consolidation was thoughtfully considered, and every effort was made to preserve positions for existing associates. “When job elimination was unavoidable, management ensured that employees were given appropriate notice and assistance. “As the bank continues to grow, management is hopeful that it will be able to create attractive new opportunities for some of these experienced bankers.”

Bachman-Bernard’s New GM Site In Former Lawson Location BY JOHN M. JONES JR. EDITOR

The years 2008-10 were three of the most turbulent, and difficult, in the history of the local new-car business, and saw several changes of ownership and dealership. But by early 2011, most of the changes had been completed: • Bachman-Bernard Motors had been named the Chevrolet dealer for Greene County, making the dealership the county’s sole new-car dealer for all makes of General Motors vehicles; • Lennie Lawson had settled in as both the owner of Gateway Ford and the local Ford dealer; • Mazda had transferred to Lawson the Greene County Mazda dealership as well, and OK’d its location at the same site as Gateway Ford. • Kent Bewley had sold all of his auto dealership holdings and was focusing on other business interests. What had not been resolved was the question of whether the former site of Lawson Chevrolet / Greeneville Chevrolet on E. Andrew


Bachman-Bernard Chevrolet-Buick-GMC-Cadillac opened in early August 2011 at the former site of Lawson Chevrolet on E. Andrew Johnson Highway. Johnson Highway would again become a location for new-car sales — and, if so, for what brand(s). That was settled at the end of July 2011, when the former site of Lawson Chevrolet became the new General Motors site for Bachman-Bernard, known as Bachman-Bernard ChevroletBuick-GMC-Cadillac. Meanwhile, BachmanBernard Auto Mall, the large, combined dealership location on Bachman Drive, continued as Bachman-Bernard’s headquarters for the sale of new Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Nis-

san vehicles. All dealerships continued, of course, to sell previously-owned vehicles as well. QUITE A RIDE It had been quite a ride since September 2008, when the Lawson family sold all of its local and area automotive businesses to Kent Bewley and his business partners, Susan Holzschuh and Daniel Johnson. That September turned out, however, to be a landmark month in the most serious period of The Great Recession. All across the nation, the

economy turned down, including the automotive business. The following year, 2009, proved even worse than 2008, and for the new-car business, times were dismal. By the late fall of 2009, Bewley and his partners had sold their Ford and Mazda dealerships to Lennie Lawson, although a formal changeover of the Mazda dealdership to Lawson from his father, Max Lawson, was still being worked out with the company. In addition, Bewley had sold the new-car inventory of the former

Lawson Chevrolet dealership to Champion Chevrolet of Johnson City, and the local lot was empty. In effect, the community was without a Chevrolet dealership for the first time in memory. Behind-the-scenes, however, confidential negotiations were under way involving Bewley; Lennie Lawson; Phil Bachman and Myron Bernard, the owners of Bachman-Bernard Motors; and General Motors itself. And, as noted above, by early 2011, the formal dealership transfers for Chevrolet and Mazda had been resolved.

GM OPERATIONS MOVED By the summer of 2011, the only major question seemed to center on the facts that: • all Bachman-Bernard dealerships — Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, GMC, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Nissan — were located together at 300 Bachman Drive; and • there had been no formal announcement about whether the large, modern former site of Lawson Chevrolet (renamed Greeneville Chevrolet during the period of Kent Bewley’s ownership) at 3365 E. Andrew Johnson Hwy. would have a role to play in the reconfiguration of the local dealerships. The question was answered decisively in early August, when Bachman-Bernard moved all General Motors new-car sales, along with related service operations and parts, about a mile east to the E. Andrew Johnson Highway site. Although sales and other operations began immediately at the new GM location, the formal opening of Bachman-Bernard Chevrolet-Buick- GMC - Cadillac took place over the course of several weeks in November.

Saturday, March 17, 2012



National Sports Tournaments Provide Boost To Economy BY LISA WARREN STAFF WRITER

Tourism has continued to be a bright spot for Greeneville/Greene County despite a lingering slowdown in other sectors of the local economy. Festivals, sporting events, historical attractions and entertainment events continued to draw thousands of individuals to the community from surrounding counties and beyond during the past year. Among local annual events, some of the most popular tourism draws are: the Antique Appraisal Fair and Show in February, the Iris Festival in May, and the Landair Ladies Classic in December. This past December brought the 23rd annual Landair Ladies Classic basketball tournament, which spotlights not only local girls high school basketball teams but also some of the top-ranked teams across the state and region. According to Tammy Kinser, Tourism Director for the Greene County Partnership, this year’s Ladies Classic provided an estimated $100,000 boost to the local economy. Between 4,000 and 5,000 individuals attended the four-day event held Dec. 27-30 at Hal Henard Elementary School gymnasium. Eight teams and their supporters stayed in local hotels and motels, ate in local restaurants and purchased gasoline and other items during the basketball tournament. NAIA GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS The GCP Tourism Department’s recruitment of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Women’s Golf National Championships reaped numerous benefits for the community, including national exposure. There were 25 college teams in Greeneville from across the country vying for the national championship. The economic impact of the May event was more than $300,000 in “new dollars” coming into the community, the Partnership said. Several months later, in October, area golf fans

Jarden Starts on Page 3 ply plated coin technology. Coin blanks are marketed to more than 20 countries through the Canadian mint. In a prepared statement released in 2011, Wennogle said Jarden Zinc Products is “extremely proud of our success in international markets and in our relationship with the Royal Canadian Mint.” “ This investment expands the company’s product range, enhances its capacity to service international markets, strengthens its long-term relationship with the Royal Canadian Mint, and increases employment in the region,” the company said in a news release at the time. Among the countries that recently adopted the Royal Canadian Mint’s multi-ply plating method are New Guinea, New Zealand, Ghana, Oman, Paraguay, Barbados and the Bahamas. A Canadian Mint official described multi-ply plating as a unique electroplating process which deposits thin, alternating layers of nickel and copper over a steel core, or “blank,” to produce high-quality, economical nickel- and copper-based circulation coins. UPGRADES IN THE WORKS Local and state government is returning the commitment to Greene County of Jarden Zinc, providing infrastrucure and training for potential employees. About $700,000 in state funding has been identi-

were invited to attend the NAIA Fall Preview Golf Tournament looking ahead to the 2012 tournament. Women’s teams from 10 states were represented, competing at Link Hills Country Club. The Fall Preview featured many of the teams that expect to be back in Greeneville this May for the 2012 NAIA Women’s Golf National Championships. Link Hills will again be the site of the tournaments. In November, Partnership President and CEO Tom Ferguson announced that the GCP is seeking to extend its two-year contract for the event for a third year, to 2013. 3-ON-3 BASKETBALL Another upcoming sports event that will be drawing teams to Greeneville from throughout the nation later this year is the the Gus Macker 3-on-3 National Basketball Tournament, set for June 23-24. Between 100 and 150 teams are projected to participate in the tournament. The GCP Tourism Department has also been involved in negotiations with at least three other national-level college and amateur sporting events, with the goal of bringing them to Greene County. Bids have been submitted to host the 2013, 2014 and 2015 National Junior College Athlete Association’s Division III Baseball Championship. In addition, bids have also been submitted to host the 2012 Appalachian Conference Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship. VARIETY OF EVENTS Historical attractions, festivals and antiques are also a big part of local tourism. In February, the 7th annual Greeneville Antique Appraisal Fair and Show brought a crowd to Greeneville High School to have their antiques or other treasures appraised by experts and/or shop with antique vendors. The event was sponsored by the Greene County Partnership Tourism Department. Each May, the GCP hosts the Greeneville Iris Festival. The 17th annual event fied to fix an access road in Tusculum that is vital to the Jarden Zinc Products operation. The 650-foot stretch of Ball Road needing repair is near the City of Tusculum and serves as the primary access route to the Jarden Zinc plant on Old Stage Road. After a meeting of local, state and company officials at the site in December, an application was submitted Dec. 16, 2011, to the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) by Bill Forrester, economic development manager of the First Tennessee Development District. Forrester acted on behalf of the City of Tusculum and other project advocates that include Wennogle; John Foster, Tusculum mayor; Tom Ferguson, president and CEO of the Greene County Partnership; Alan Broyles, Greene County mayor; David Weems, Greene County road superintendent; and state Rep. David Hawk, R-5th, of Greeneville. TDOT will survey and design the road, obtain required permits and construct the project at no cost to Tusculum. The acquisition of right-ofway and the relocation of utilities will be paid for on a 50-50 basis between TDOT and the city. Wennogle said in January that the road rebuilding project is “critical” to continued operations at the facility. “It’s great news, and personally, I think the story goes way beyond the road getting fixed. This was a great example of all the entities working together,” he said. “All representatives


The Greeneville Iris Festival each May brings many out-of-town guests to the downtown area. in 2011 brought large crowds to the downtown area. “The streets were full,” said Vickie Andrew, vice president of the Greene County Partnership. “The crowds were great, and our vendors were very, very pleased with the festival,” Andrew said. Several events were held in conjunction with the festival, including the EverGreene Woodcarvers competition and show and the “Whispers from the Grave” walking tour of Old Harmony cemetery. CIVIL WAR EVENTS In August, Greeneville hosted the state press launch of the “Appalachia: Civil War Home Front” map and guide, designed to draw visitors interested in the Civil War to the Appalachian states. The map covers 13 states and 150 destinations, including the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site and 10 other sites in Tennessee. Greeneville was selected as the State of Tennessee site for the official announcement. In addition, the Tourism Department of the GCP promotes the community as a vacation destination through DVDs and advertising, websites, brochures and promotions in magazines. were willing to help and work for the project, and that was great. I was so impressed by the responsiveness of the Tennessee Department of Transportation, and the administration and the governor’s support.” JOB TRAINING GRANT In a jobs-related initiative announced earlier this year, Jarden Zinc was awarded a $20,080 grant to be used for job training through the state’s Incumbent Worker Training Program. Jarden Zinc can use the grant money for public training, private training, or its own inhouse training provider, based on the nature of the training. “By investing in the skills of Tennessee’s workforce, we’re also investing in our future economic success,” said Hawk. ‘COMMITTED TO THE AREA’ Wennogle said Jarden Zinc will remain a part of the local business community for years to come. The addition of more jobs and another production line at the plant are another example of the commitment to the area of both Jarden Zinc and its parent company, he said. “That’s a big plus for us, a significant amount,” Wennogle said. “Jarden Corporation really has been very supportive of Jarden Zinc and the community, and we are in fact committed to the area,” he added. Headquartered in Rye, N.Y., Jarden has more than 24,000 employees worldwide. The company’s website is www.



Greene Co. Partnership Makes Progress On Many Fronts BY RICH JONES ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR

The Greene County Partnership during the past year brought about progress in economic development, sponsored and coordinated successful tourism events and conducted a record-setting membership drive. “Making Things Happen!” is the Greene County Partnership’s theme for 2012, and it could just as easily have been a summary of the organization’s past year. Tom Ferguson, president and CEO of the Partnership (GCP), summed up one of the biggest achievements at the organization’s annual meeting in January. Speaking to the large group of members, he cited the GCP’s assistance to 10 manufacturing companies in acquiring state and local incentives that he said will generate “millions of dollars in new capital investment and nearly 800 jobs over the next three years.” Ferguson also said that “one of the biggest things” occurred in February 2011 when Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty came to Greeneville to join local leaders in announcing the location of a US Nitrogen, LLC plant off Pottertown Road in western Greene County. (Please see related article on Page 2). The US Nitrogen facility, he said, will be a $220 million investment that will employ about 200 construction workers during the construction period, and will ultimately provide a payroll for some 80 full-time employees with an average salary of $50,000 per year. County Mayor Alan Broyles and the Greene County Commission were given credit by Ferguson for their support of the US Nitrogen project. TOURISM’S POSITIVE EFFECT Tourism was also a bright spot during the past year, that saw


Greeneville and Greene County garner nationwide attention by hosting the NAIA Women’s Golf National Championship. The event also provided a significant boost to the county’s financial health. More than 1,030 hotel room nights and an economic impact of $600,000 was realized by hosting the NAIA Women’s Golf National Championships for 25 college teams for five days in May, and a Fall Preview golf event for three days in October, said Tammy Kinser, tourism director of the GCP. As a result, Ferguson noted, the county’s 2011 lodging tax showed an overall increase of 9 percent over 2010. The NAIA women’s golf tournament will return to Greene County in May. WEBSITE EXPANSION The Partnership launched a new website, GreeneCountyProspector. com, in April 2011 that is a tool for industry site selectors and utilizes Geographic Information System (GIS) software. The site features a comprehensive database of commercial and industrial properties and can be used to generate demographic reports. In November, the GCP launched the redesigned Economic Development website, GrowInGreene.

SUN PHOTO BY JIM FELTMAN, a website launched by the Greene County Partnership last April, is a tool for industry site selectors. com Both new websites complement the Partnership’s general-interest website, found online at Chuck Whitfield, president of Laughlin Memorial Hospital, served as chairman of the GCP in 2011, and Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College, was the chair-elect. Both Whitfield and Moody are serving in the same positions this year. MEMBERSHIP DRIVE More than 200 new members were recruited to the Greene County Partnership during 2011. Thanks to the recordsetting membership campaign, the Partnership’s finances improved from a $76,495 loss in 2010 to a $18,581 gain in 2011, Ferguson said. Additionally, the Partnership experienced an all-time high in revenue of $1,058,625, a 36 percent increase over 2010. GCP AWARDS The GCP Business of The Year Award went to Landair and was accepted by Greeneville businessman and philanthropist


Teams of Greene County Partnership volunteers recruited 207 new members during the past year’s membership campaign, chaired by Chris Marsh of Marsh Petroleum Company. More than $52,000 was raised through the campaign. Shown are members of the John Loven Team, which won the prize as top recruiters. Shown, left to right, are: John Loven, of Summers-Taylor, Inc.; Holly Brooks, of Brooks & Malone Plumbing Contractors, who also won the prize for selling the most new memberships and bringing in the highest revenue; Chris Marsh; Tammy Albright, of Takoma Regional Hospital; and Brad Johnston, of Hometown Realty of Greeneville. Scott Niswonger. Landair stepped in and assumed sponsorship of the popular Ladies Classic basketball tournament that for years had been sponsored by GreenBank, which was

sold in September and did not return as a sponsor of the tournament. The GCP Champion of The Year Award was presented to Jerry Fortner, president of C&C Mill-

wright Maintenance Co., Inc., and J&J Warehousing. Fortner was instrumental in behind-the-scenes work on the US Nitrogen project.

Education/Workplace Summit Launches Key Project Of GCP BY RICH JONES ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR

High-ranking representatives of Greene County’s manufacturing and education sectors came together during the past year with one shared goal in mind: getting local students prepared for meaningful, well-paying local jobs. Billed as an Education & Workplace Development Summit, the participants will be the linchpin in devising a plan to vastly overhaul and update how and what students are taught to prepare them for employment in a rapidly-changing global economy. The summit, held in November, was sponsored by the Greene County Partnership (GCP) as one of the organization’s key initiatives. “If attracting new companies is important, we’ve got to solve some of the problems we have,” said Tom Ferguson, president and CEO of the GCP. “This was an important day for this community.” He said the stakeholders in the Summit hoped to “mold a framework for going forward.” The Summit was an outgrowth of a meeting in January 2011 in which Ferguson brought together the Partnership’s Board of Directors. The group identified as a key initiative the development of a structure to bring together schools and the local business community under the umbrella of the GCP to develop and achieve a common vision for the role of education in the county’s economic development. JUST THE FIRST STEP Business and education leaders at the “Summit” in November did not expect to immediately come up with final

structure presently in place; • educating parents on changes in the needs of the modern workplace; • developing clear pathways for students; and • maximizing a $21million Niswonger Foundation “Investing in Innovation” grant which the Foundation received in 2010 from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant will be used over the course of five years to fund the Northeast Tennessee College and Career Ready Consortium. About 26,100 students in 29 local and regional high schools will benefit from the grant. The consortium’s goals include better preparing SUN PHOTO BY JIM FELTMAN students for college or Local educators and business leaders participate in an Education & Workplace Development Summit at the a career and improving G. Thomas Love Boardroom at the Greeneville Light & Power System building. Standing, at upper right, is their chances of successfacilitator Millie Calloway, of the TVA. fully graduating from college. answers. Greetings, Angus-Palm — educating students of today’s graduates; Instead, participants (now Worthington Indus- with the proper tools and • lack of interest in fac- ‘A REAL, LIVE PROCESS’ looked at the meeting as tries), ASG Security, BTL skills to thrive in well- tory jobs, even high-pay“This is a real, live prothe first step in a continu- Industries, CVN Vooner, paying local jobs that ing ones; cess that we want to keep ing team effort designed The Donaldson Company, are in demand in today’s • expectations versus moving,” Ferguson said. to: DTR Tennessee Inc., The world of work. reality on the part of According to Ferguson, • identify problems that Greeneville Sun, John recent graduates enter- the “education commumanufacturers in Greene Deere Power Products, ‘THREATS’ IDENTIFIED ing the work force; nity says: ‘we want to County face as they relate LMR Plastics, and PreCalloway led the group • parents’ expectations do more — we just don’t to education of the local mium Waters. through a process to iden- for their children ver- know what to do someworkforce; and Education entities tify, and later prioritize, sus a future job market times.’ • begin defining what represented were the factors that represent that likely will place less The Summit was organeeds to be done to resolve Greeneville and Greene “threats” to manufac- value on a four-year col- nized by Kelly Burrell, those problems. County school systems; turing and, on the other lege degree than in previ- the Partnership’s Educa“We realize that some the Greeneville-Greene hand, “opportunities” ous generations; and tion & Workforce Develof the most impor- County Center for Tech- that can be built upon. • lack of a true adult opment Director. tant issues confront- nology; the Niswonger A major “threat” identi- center in Greene County The GCP’s Education ing employers today are Foundation; Walters fied by Dr. Lyle Ailshie, for career and technology and Workforce Develworkforce-related,” said State Community Col- Director of Greeneville students. opment program is a Cal Doty, vice president lege; andTusculum Col- Schools, and by Dr. Kirk, retooled and updated of human resources for lege. and many others, was OPPORTUNITIES LISTED version of the previous DTR Tennessee Inc., who Dr. Nancy Moody, pres- stated as “lack of spe“Opportunities” identi- Partners In Education, served as chairman for ident of Tusculum Col- cific skills by job appli- fied by the business lead- which had been headed the Summit. lege, is chairman-elect of cants” for high-demand ers and educators includ- by Burrell. “This summit is going the Partnership. jobs such as welding and ed: The Education and to help us come up with The Summit was facili- electronics. • offering internships Workforce Development action items in the com- tated by Millie Calloway Other “threats” identi- for college freshmen in function of the GCP had munity,” said Greene of the Tennessee Valley fied by the participants the local work force; been renamed and given County Director of Authority. included: • business leaders a broader mission by FerSchools Dr. Vicki Kirk. The educators and • lack of alignment of teaching certain classes; guson in early 2011 to business leaders began a high school classes with • regular meetings of more accurately reflect BROAD REPRESENTATION process that will attempt business needs; the educators and busi- the goal of educating Local manufactur- to pinpoint key areas • lack of so-called “soft ness leaders to continue a viable workforce and ers and businesses rep- for improvement so that skills,” and the lack of discussions; partnering more effecresented at the meet- schools and employers job preparedness and life • capitalizing on the tively with local indusing included American can reach a common goal skills on the part of many organizational infra- try.

Saturday, March 17, 2012



DTR, Tested By Unexpected Events, Emerges Strong BY RICH JONES ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR

Perhaps no event illustrates how the global economy can have an impact on Greene County more than the Japan Earthquake of 2011, a monumental natural disaster thousands of miles from this community that had major implications for DTR Tennessee, the county’s largest manufacturing employer. The aftermath of the tragedy also revealed the spirit of DTR’s local workforce and their cando, giving approach during the crisis. The magnitude 9.0 earthquake on March 11, 2011 was the most powerful to ever hit Japan, and one of the five most powerful earthquakes in the world since modern record-keeping began in 1900, according to Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia. Recent reports confirm 15,845 deaths, 5,893 injured, and 3,380 people known to be missing in the aftermath of the earthquake, which included a tsunami. Estimates by The World Bank place the economic cost at $235 billion, making it the most expensive natural disaster in world history. A part of that cost was borne by DTR Tennessee, a leading supplier of automotive parts for Japanese automakers Toyota, Honda and Nissan. Tokai Rubber Industries, Ltd., in Japan, is the parent company of DTR. While Tokai Rubber had been spared any direct damage from the earthquake, the economic implications soon became apparent. IMPACT ON PRODUCTION The earthquake and its aftermath disrupted vehicle production of companies such as Toy-


DTR and its employees presented a $31,688.49 check to Anthony Morrison, at left, of the Greene County Chapter of the American Red Cross, for disaster relief in Japan. The employees collected $11,688.49 by donations and the company donated $20,000. Shown, from left, are: Morrison, DTR employees Marion Jones, Hayden Futrell and Christy Hetrick. At right is Tetsu Matsui, president and CEO of DTR Tennessee, Inc.

ota, slowed the supply chain, and resulted in a 50 to 70 percent reduction in customer orders in the spring of 2011. The slowdown in customer sales and orders caused DTR to alter its production schedules. DTR employees were asked to curtail their schedules, take some time off without pay, and use vacation time. A statement by DTR in April said: “In response to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, DTR Tennessee has experienced a slowdown in sales and orders from our customers. This has caused DTR to alter its production schedules to meet the demands. “This is a very fluid situation and one that requires us to be flexible in scheduling as we receive news from our customers.

“Each of our customers has made decisions to produce their requirements in different ways. “Due to the complexity of the supply chain and the extent of the situation, we are receiving updates on the schedules on a daily basis. “Finally, we will work with our associates (employees) to minimize the effect it has on their personal situations.” EMPLOYEES RAISE $31,688 In the face of the adversity, DTR employees still found the resources to donate $31,688 to Japan Disaster Relief. “They have been very flexible and understanding,” said Randy Rumbley, senior vice president of manufacturing, in an interview last spring with The Greeneville Sun. “We didn’t lay anybody off with forced layoffs.

We had some voluntary layoffs,” said Cal Doty, vice president of Human Resources at DTR. The plant was shut down on several Fridays. “When they took voluntary time without pay, we [DTR] paid their medical insurance so they didn’t have to worry about that,” Doty said. “We all shared in the pain. We all had to take cuts in benefits and cuts in pay.” Added Rumbley: “You learn about yourself and your people in these hard times.” ONE TORNADO VICTIM Still more grim news befell DTR in the spring of 2011 when employee Shirley McKinney was killed in the tornadoes that struck Greene County on April 27 and 28. Once again employees rose to the occasion.

Forty to 50 DTR employees helped clean up debris in tornado-stricken areas, and some assisted in rebuilding a barn on the Horse Creek property where the McKinney family lives. A year later, things are looking up at DTR’s Midway plant, located on Pottertown Road. HOSTED OCT. CONFERENCE DTR Tennessee hosted the Tokai Rubber Industries Global Quality Conference in October. The annual conference brings together executives from DTR’s parent company from throughout the world. During the conference, DTR executives discussed “safety, quality and the environmental aspects of our company,” Rumbley said. The four-day meeting included 40 company rep-

resentatives who came from Japan, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Poland, Mexico and other countries, Doty said. The representatives stayed in local hotels and enjoyed good weather during their stay, Doty recalled. “Everyone was very complimentary of our area,” Doty said. PROJECTION ‘ABOVE PLAN’ By February of this year DTR’s sales had rebounded to the point that the company projected being “above plan” in the next couple of months, said Doty. “It looks positive right now. Most of our customers are working overtime,” he added. “We have a good group of folks. The trials we’ve had will just make us stronger in the future.”




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2011 Was A Record Performance Year For Forward Air, Inc. BY JOHN M. JONES JR. EDITOR

For most U.S. companies, the year 2011 seemed to be a slow and difficult one in terms of business growth as the nation’s economy struggled to climb back from the worst downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Economists say that, technically, the recession officially began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009. But the effects of what has become known as The Great Recession are, of course, still being keenly felt througout the economy and the country. At times such as these, however, not all companies and economic sectors are affected in the same way or at the same time, and it was perhaps an encouraging indicator for the overall economy that, for Forward Air, Inc. (NASDAQ:FWRD), there was nothing at all slow about last year. In fact, the opposite was true, for it proved to be “a record-breaking performance year” for the Greeneville-based trucking company. IMPRESSIVE TRACK RECORD Forward Air came into The Great Recession with one of the most impressive records of business growth in America, but


rugged years lay ahead. In June 2007, Business Week magazine ranked the company 69th on its list of “100 Hot Growth Companies,” based on the three previous years’ financial performance, including its achievement of average revenue growth of 13.5 percent, average profits of 24.4 percent, and an average return on invested capital of 22.6 percent. But 2007 itself proved to be a very different year, for the nation and for Forward Air itself. As the national recession came on, the company’s net income for 2007 decreased 8.2 percent from 2006, and Forward

Air Chairman, President and CEO Bruce A. Campbell stated in early 2008 that “Without a doubt, 2007 presented one of the most challenging freight environments in the history of our company.” By the fourth quarter of 2008, a year later, the company’s business had gone further downhill. Campbell stated in early 2009 that the preceding quarter had brought “an unprecedented decline in demand for our core airport-to-airport freight services,” with volumes “declining in excess of 20 percent from December of 2007.” Most of the rest of 2009 was even worse than 2008, and the company reported in early 2010 that its operating revenue for 2009 had decreased 12.0 percent from 2008, a drop from $474.4 million to $417.4 million. Campbell also noted, however, that Forward Air was beginning to see an improving trend by the fourth quarter of the year, and the improvement had become clear by the end of 2010. For that year, the company saw operating revenue increase 15.9 percent to $483.9 million from $417.4 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2009. Income from operations was $53.7 million, com-

pared with $18.6 million in 2009, and net income for 2010 was $32.0 million, compared with $9.8 million in 2009. Net income per diluted share for the year ended Dec. 31, 2010, was $1.10 compared with $0.34 in 2009. THEN CAME 2011 That improvement seemed to lay the foundation for the even stronger performance in 2011. The company reported last month that both the fourth quarter of 2011 and the year as a whole had seen double-digit increases for Forward Air in operating revenue. Campbell said in an early-February news release reporting fourthquarter and full-year results that, “We are pleased to announce that a solid fourth quarter completed a recordbreaking performance year for 2011.” The company reported that operating revenue for the fourth quarter of the year, which ended Dec. 31, increased 11.2 percent to $148.2 million from $133.3 million for the same quarter in 2010. Income from operations for the quarter was $23.6 million, compared with $18.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2010, an increase of 26.2 percent.

Net income per diluted share for the fourth quarter of 2011 was $ 0.50 compared with $0.41 in the same quarter of 2010, an increase of 22.0 percent. AND FOR THE YEAR ... Operating revenue for the year ended Dec. 31 increased 10.8 percent to $536.4 million from $483.9 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2010. Income from operations was $77.1 million for the year, compared with $53.7 million in 2010. And the company’s net income for the year ended Dec. 31, 2011, was $47.2 million, compared with $32.0 million in 2010. Net income per diluted share for the year that ended Dec. 31 was $1.60 compared with $1.10 in 2010. NOTES PROGRESS Ca mpbell stat ed in the early-February news release that, “Strong demand for our service offerings produced record-breaking operating revenue, operating income and earnings per share.” “While not a record, our 85.6 percent operating ratio for 2011 was an impressive 330 basis points improvement over 2010. “With the benefit of

the Forward Air business model, which continues to exhibit ample operating leverage, a solid pricing environment and current inventory and shipping trends that favor our expedited time-definite service offerings, our team is anxious to deliver even better results to our shareholders in 2012,” Campbell said. WHAT COMPANY DOES Forward Air Corporation states on its website that it is “a leading provider of time-definite surface transportation and related logistics services to the North American air freight and expedited LTL market.” The company statement continues, “We provide scheduled surface transportation of cargo as a cost-effective, reliable alternative to air transportation. We transport air freight that must be delivered at a specific time, but is less time-sensitive than traditional integrated services. “We have a network of freight terminals located on or near airports in 85 U.S. and Canadian cities, including our central sorting facility in Columbus, Ohio and 11 regional sort centers that create the most effective linehaul network in the industry.”

Three Local Banks Continue To Work Under Agreements With Regulators GreenBank Buyout In Sept. 2011 Ends Consent Agreement

tive federal regulatory bodies. As of late August, American Patriot Bank, Heritage Community Bank, Greeneville FedBY JOHN M. JONES JR. eral Bank, and what was EDITOR then GreenBank were all operating under such The dramatic retreat agreements with their of the real estate market respective regulators. in the last few years has negatively affected large GREENBANK numbers of financial GreenBank’s situation institutions across the changed dramatically on nation by turning many Sept. 7, 2011, when North of their commercial real American Financial estate loans into non- Holdings,Inc. (NAFH), performers. a private bank holding The non-perform- company, invested some ing loans have, in turn, $217 million to buy more put heavy strains on than 90 percent of the the banks’ loan-loss stock of Green Bankreserves, and in some shares, Inc., the holdcases, federal regulators ing company for Greenhave stepped in with Bank. much tighter oversight. The purchase resulted Numerous banks have in the immediate mergbeen shut down entirely er of GreenBank into by regulators. Capital Bank, NA, the Among the financial banking subsidiary of institutions that have NAFH. felt the impact of the The merger, with its problem commercial large infusion of cash, loans have been several immediately resolved Greeneville banks where the under-capitalizafederal regulators have tion problems which stepped in to require had triggered the Conmuch closer regulatory sent Agreement to oversight. GreenBank by the FedAt one point during eral Deposit Insurance 2011, in fact, four local Corporation (FDIC) the banks were operating previous month. under required Consent As a result, GreenOrders/Consent Agree- Bank, now a subsidiary ments with their respec- of Capital Bank, is no

longer operating under the FDIC close-oversight agreement, according to a senior bank official. (Please see related story on Page 4.) American Patriot Bank, Heritage Community Bank and Greeneville Federal Bank do remain under their respective Consent Orders/Consent Agreements. But all three feel that they are making progress in meeting regulators’ expectations, bank spokesmen say. None of the bank spokesmen predicted when their respective institutions might emerge from the agreement with the regulators. That decision, the spokesmen said, would be up to the regulators themselves. AMERICAN PATRIOT BANK A merican Patriot Bank, a subsidiary of American Patriot Financial Group, which is based in Greeneville, has been operating under an FDIC “ceaseand-desist order” since June 2009. “I feel like we’re making great progress,” said American Patriot Chairman Wendy Carter Warner. “We’re very confident in the future.”

Warner noted that, as of Feb. 29, American Patriot Bank had sold the bulding that houses its Maryville branch to First State Bank, of Union City, and plans to close the Maryville branch at the end of this month. At that point, she said,

HERITAGE COMMUNITY BANK Carl T. (Tommy) Burns Jr., president and CEO

of Heritage Community Bank, confirmed this week that the bank was continuing to operate under a Consent Order/ Consent Agreement with the FDIC which dates from April 2010. But Burns added that PLEASE SEE REGULATORS | 13

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Thank You Greene County!

American Patriot would have banking operations only in Greeneville. She said that the sale “was a very positive step for us.”

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We are now proud corporate citizens of your county and want to thank the many, many residents and community leaders who made us feel so welcome. We chose Greene County as the home for US Nitrogen for three major reasons:

Great people. Great location. Great business climate. Our capital investment here is the largest in county history, and it is being made because we believe in you! We look forward to our grand opening in late 2013 and hope you will join us to celebrate.

Just Call Joyce! Joyce Whittenburg (423) 638-8144 185 Serral Drive · Greeneville



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Angus-Palm Is Purchased By Worthington Industries BY RICH JONES ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR

Angus-Palm Industries was purchased by Worthington Industries in January and is now a business segment of the Columbus, Ohio-based metals manufacturing company. Worthington Industries purchased AngusPalm for $180 million in cash and proceeds from a $50 million dividend recently received, according to information provided at the time of the transaction. Angus-Palm, the market leader in the design and manufacturing of high-quality, customengineered operator cabs for mobile equipment, had 382 employees at the time of the sale at its facility in the Hardin Industrial Park on Baileyton Road. Angus-Palm will operate as a stand-alone business segment in the Worthington Industries porfolio of businesses but will now be known as Engineered Cabs. “We have no immediate plans to change anything on the employment front,” said Cathy M. Lyttle, vice president of corporate communications for Worthington, during an interview with The Greeneville Sun in January. Lyttle said South Dakota-based Angus-Palm management teams would remain in place in Greeneville and at other facilities in South Carolina and Iowa. “They [Angus-Palm] have a great work force,” Lyttle said, “and our priority is to maximize the performance of each of the locations.” Worthington Industries (NYSE: WOR) had 2011 fiscal year sales of approximately $2.4 billion. Angus-Palm had $200plus million in revenue


Angus-Palm, located in the Hardin Industrial Park on Baileyton Road, was acquired by Worthington Industries of Columbus, Ohio. in 2011, according to the news release. Worthington employs 8,500 people and operates 76 facilities in 12 countries. FAMILIAR TO FERGUSON Tom Ferguson, president and CEO of the Greene County Partnership, said he is familiar with Worthington Industries from a time earlier in his career when he was involved in economic development in the company’s home state of Ohio. “Worthington is a firstrate company. I would be surprised if they have anything but good news for Greeneville in the future,” he said. ABOUT WORTHINGTON Worthington Industries describes itself as North America’s premier value-added steel processor and as a leader in manufactured pressure cylinders, such as propane, oxygen and helium tanks, hand-held torches, refrigerant and

Home Sales Trend Is Up, But Average Sale Price Is Down BY KRISTEN BUCKLES STAFF WRITER

A three-year slump in the average cost of buying a home in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia reportedly created a buyer’s market in Greeneville early last year as sales of existing homes were up from 2009 and 2010 while the average sales price was significantly down from 2009 and 2010 levels. According to the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors’ (NETAR) December Trends Report, 115 homes were sold in 2011 in Greeneville. That is four more than the 2010 total of 111, and 12 more than the 103 sold in 2009. The 2011 average sale price of $98,952 was almost 21 percent lower than the 2010 average price and 23 percent lower than the average price in 2009. The 2011 total sales volume for Greeneville was $11,379,477. NETAR defines Greeneville home sales as those made in the Greeneville High School zone. Prices in Greeneville were at three-year lows during the first quarter of 2011, which prompted the lower annual price, NETAR President Clarissa Brown said. After that, she said, the average price began performing with — and in some months better than — the averages since 2008. For example, during December 2011, the average regional sales price was $149,367, which is between $3,000 and $6,000 higher than the averages in 20082010. Foreclosures accounted for just over 23 percent of Greeneville’s sales for previously-owned homes in 2011. The national average is about 30 percent, accord-

ing to the NETAR release. However, foreclosures represented only 11 percent of sales in Johnson City, 12 percent in Kingsport and 19 percent in Bristol, Tenn., according to the NETAR report. A similar situation to Greeneville’s existed in Greene County as a whole, rather than just inside the Greeneville High School zone, according to Reneé Dunbar, chairperson for the Greeneville Brokers Council. In 2011, there were 297 homes sold in Greene County (including Greeneville) at an average sales price of $119,486, according to Dunbar, who added that Greene County remains a “buyer’s market.” “As 2012 begins, home sales and pendings have improved from this time last year,” she said. Dunbar also said that she anticipates additional foreclosures to be available in the first half of this year. REGIONAL SALES Home sales during 2011 were up in most counties in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia monitored by NETAR’s Trends Report. Sullivan County was the only county in which home sales were down, at 27 sales below the previous year’s volume. Three Virginia counties — Washington, Scott and Lee — saw an increase in their average home prices. Average sales prices and the number of homes sold were both up in Johnson City. Kingsport also saw an increase in the average sales price, while Greeneville’s number of sales was up. Brown, the NETAR president, said the region’s sales volume increase is encouraging because it shows the market is working its way through the higherthan-normal inventory of homes on the market.

industrial tanks, camping cylinders, compressed natural gas storage cylinders and scuba tanks; in framing systems and stairs for mid-rise buildings; and in steel pallets and racks. Through joint ventures, Worthington Industries manufactures suspension grid systems for concealed and lay-in panel ceilings; laser-welded blanks; light-gauge steel framing for commercial and residential construction; and current and past model automotive service stampings. ABOUT ANGUS-PALM Angus-Palm designs and manufactures highquality custom-engineered open and enclosed cabs and operator stations for a wide range of heavy mobile equipment in several end-markets, including agriculture, construction, and mining. Angus-Palm products are a highly technical and regulated component of mobile equipment that

helps keep operators protected, comfortable and productive. Products range from cabs for small utility equipment to the largest earthmovers in the world. In addition to its South Dakota headquarters, the company operates facilities in Greeneville, in Northwood, Iowa, and in Florence, S.C., with approximately 1,250 non-union employees company-wide. CEO: ‘GREAT ADDITION’ “Angus is a great addition, providing a new manufacturing segment for the company,” said John P. McConnell, chairman and CEO of Worthington Industries. “They [Angus-Palm] are a good fit with our strategic objective to decrease earnings volatility and bring higher value-added manufacturing,” McConnell said. “Additionally, they are a market leader in the custom-engineered cab space, and our compa-

nies have similar peoplefirst cultures.” Angus-Palm has “a dedicated workforce and a great management team with a focus on continuous improvement,” McConnell added. “We are also pleased that we share some significant customers, while providing different products and services. The Angus end-markets will increase our exposure in the construction, agriculture and mining industries,” he stated. “We see opportunities to invest in the business by adding domestic capacity, some expanded capabilities, as well as target international expansion to support customer growth,” he stated in the news release. WORTHINGTON HISTORY The board of directors of Worthington Industries recently declared a third-quarter dividend of $0.12 per share. The dividend is payable on March 29, 2012, to shareholders of record

March 15, 2012. This marks the 177th consecutive quarter that Worthington has paid a dividend since it offered its stock for sale to the public in 1968, according to the company’s website, Worthington Industries was founded in 1955 by John H. McConnell. A statement on the company’s website says that Worthington has grown to become a leading diversified metalprocessing company. “At the core of the company ’s success is the Worthing ton Philosophy, based on the G olden Ru le, wh ich st at es, ‘ Pe ople a re ou r most i mpor ta nt asset.’ “Today, John P. McConnell leads the company as it continues to innovate the industry, partner with its customers and value its employees,” the website states.

Unemployment Remains High, But Recent Trend Is Hopeful BY RICH JONES ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR

Greene County ended 2011 with an unemployment rate that had not been below 10.3 percent since late in the year 2008, a three-year-plus stretch of double-digit joblessness that largely mirrors national trends during the “Great Recession.” The good news is that unemployment reports clearly show a slow, yet positive, trend in reducing the county’s jobless rolls. The Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development each month lists the unemployment rate for each of the state’s counties. Those rates, along with deeper analysis of the numbers, are published monthly in The Greeneville Sun. Using this newspaper’s records of the state’s monthly published accounts, it is possible to compute yearly averages for Greene County that reveal slow, steady, progress on the jobs front. Here are the average Greene County unemployment rates for the most recent three years: • 2009 15.1 percent; • 2010 13.5 percent; • 2011 12.2 percent. In contrast, here are Greene County average unemployment rates for the three years prior to the collapse of the Lehman Brothers investment bank in September 2008, the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history and widely considered to have been a major factor in the “Great Recession.” • 2006 7.8 percent; • 2007 7.1 percent; • 2008 9.1 percent.

• Dec. 10.8 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate ended 2011 at 8.5 percent. Tennessee’s jobless rate was 8.7 percent at year’s end. Of Tennessee’s 95 counties, 21 of them ended 2011 with a higher unemployment rate than Greene County. Of nearby counties, only Cocke County (12.1 percent) and Hancock County (11.2 percent) were higher than Greene County’s 10.8 percent in December. WORKFORCE TRENDS Greene County in January 2011 was reported by the state to have 25,560 persons employed and 3,890 unemployed in a total labor force of 29,450. At year’s end, in December 2011, Greene County had 26,349 employed and 3,210 unemployed in a total workforce of 29,559. Therefore, Greene County had 789 more persons employed and 680 fewer unemployed at the end of 2011 as compared with the beginning of the year. Additionally, the county’s workforce ended the year with 109 more persons in it than at the start of 2011. The above numbers reveal that the county’s workforce remains smaller than it has been in recent years when the nation’s economy was healthier. Looking back at the five years previous to 2011, here are the total workforce numbers recorded at the end of each year in Greene County: • 2010 29,120; • 2009 30,780; • 2008 30,370; • 2007 31,220; • 2006 32,660. Greene County ended 2011 with a total workforce of 29,559.

RECENT TREND POSITIVE The positive downward trend in joblessness from the years 2009 through 2011 increased somewhat STATE JOBLESS RATES Tennessee had the following statewide monthly unemployduring the final three months of 2011, with an average unemployment rate of 10.7 percent for ment rates in 2011, according to the Department of Labor & Workforce Development: those months. • Jan. 9.5 percent; During the three years of 2009-2011, the county’s • Feb. 9.6 percent; unemployment rate peaked at 17.4 percent in July 2009, • March 9.5 percent; a time that now clearly appears to have been the depths • April 9.6 percent; of a national and global economic downturn of historic • May 9.7 percent; proportions. • June 9.8 percent; Greene County’s unemployment rate in 2011 ranged • July 9.8 percent; from a high of 13.2 percent recorded in January, Febru• Aug. 9.7 percent; ary and June, to a low of 10.3 percent in November. • Sept. 9.8 percent; • Oct. 9.6 percent; MONTHLY UNEMPLOYMENT • Nov. 9.1 percent; At the same time, Greene County’s unemployment • Dec. 8.7 percent. rate during 2011 remained higher than most nearby counties during each month of the year. According to the Tennessee Department of Labor NATIONAL JOBLESS RATES Monthly unemployment rates for the nation in 2011 were: & Workforce Development, Greene County’s monthly • Jan. 9.0 percent; unemployment rates in 2011 were: • Feb. 8.8 percent; • Jan. 13.2 percent; • March 8.8 percent; • Feb. 13.2 percent; • April 9.0 percent; • March 12.3 percent; • May 9.1 percent; • April 12.3 percent; • June 9.2 percent; • May 12.7 percent; • July 9.1 percent; • June 13.2 percent; • Aug. 9.1 percent; • July 12.7 percent; • Sept. 9.1 percent; • Aug. 12.3 percent; • Oct. 9.0 percent; • Sept. 12.4 percent; • Nov. 8.6 percent; • Oct. 11.1 percent; • Dec. 8.5 percent. • Nov. 10.3 percent;

Saturday, March 17, 2012



Individual Honors And Recognition Bestowed In Past Year BY O.J. EARLY STAFF WRITER

Bi l l Ca r r ol l , Greeneville Light & Power System general manager, was elected 2011-2012 chairman of the American Public Power Association in June 2011. The American Public Power Association is a national organization representing the interests of more than 2,000 community-owned electric utilities, and the chairmanship is the top elected position of the association. Carroll has been general manager of Greeneville Light & Power System since 1990. Several persons in local business and industry circles received special recognition related to their work during the past year. Those recognized included: Vera Ann Myers, of Myers Pumpkin Patch & Family Farm, won two major awards in January from the Tennessee Motor Coach Association. The group promotes tourism and travel throughout the state. Myers was named “Associate of the Year� and received the “GoGetter Award,� given to the associate who makes the greatest impression on operators during the week-long convention. Myers competed for the “Go-Getter Award� with some of tourism’s biggest names, including Dollywood and Graceland. In addition, she was appointed to a seat on the organization’s board of directors. Scott M. Niswonger was elected to the board of directors of First Horizon National Corp., parent company of First Tennessee Bank, in October 2011. Niswonger, well-known for his philanthropy as well as his business leadership, is chairman and founder of Greeneville-


Vera Ann Myers of Myers Pumpkin Patch & Family Farm, makes a tourism presentation to James Kirk, of Cleveland, Tenn., during the Tennessee Motor Coach Association convention in January in Louisville, Ky. Myers won the Associate of the Year Award and the Go-Getter Award.







based Landair Transport, and is the founder, chairman emeritus and former CEO of Forward Air Inc. John Fisher, a local architect, was honored in July 2011 for adapting a century-old ETSU structure into the East Tennessee State Univer-

sity Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy. ETSU received the Outstanding Adaptive Reuse Award from The Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. Herber t W hitfield Sr., former president of Greene County

Bank, was one of four Tennessee bankers honored for banking excellence by the Tennessee Bankers Association (TBA) in August 2011. Whitfield began working for the former Greene County Bank in 1969, serving as executive vice president, president and


director before retiring in 1990. Gregg K. Jones, co-publisher of The Greeneville Sun and president and CEO of Jones Media, Inc., was named president of the Tennessee Press Association Foundation in June 2011. Jones, a former president of the Tennessee Press Association (TPA), has also served as chairman of the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), is a former president of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association (SNPA) and the SNPA Foundation, and served for nine years, the maximum, as a member of the Associated Press Board of Directors. Pat Hankins, owner of Old Stage Wash House, was elected president of the Tennessee Coin Laundry Association in November 2011. The Tennessee Coin Laundry Association is the state organization of the parent group Coin Laundry Association — a nationwide network of laundry owners, distributors and manufacturers. The Old Stage Wash House, located at Old Stage Road and Snapps Ferry Road, opened in 2007. Betty S. Weemes, founding director of the philanthropic and fund development organization Laughlin Health Care Foundation, was awarded the professional designation of Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) by the CFRE Professional Certification Board in September 2011. At the time of the award, Weemes was one of only two people to receive the professional designation in Northeast Tennessee. Dora Carter Harmon, broker/Realtor with The Brothers Real Estate and Auction Company in Greeneville, was award-

ed Realtor Emeritus Status by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The award was presented based on a vote of the NAR Board of Directors at the NAR conference in Anaheim, Calif., in November. This status has been presented to only 1,600 of the 1.3 million Realtors in the U.S., a news release stated. It was awarded in recognition of 40 years of membership in the National Association of Realtors “and in recognition of valuable and lasting contributions to the real estate profession in the community,� the release stated. John Compton, a former Greenevillian, was named to the new executive position of President, PepsiCo, in March 2012. “This executive position will serve as a key driver for our long-term growth strategy,� said PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi. Compton, a graduate of Greeneville High School and the University of Tennessee, is well known in Greeneville and continues to visit friends here from time to time. Michael Bryan, radio industry executive and former Greenevillian, has been named Clear C h a n n e l / Na s h v i l l e ’s operations manager. Bryan, 33, will oversee the following radio stations operated by Clear Channel in Nashville: Country WSIX; Top 40 WRVW; Urban WUBT; Classic Rocker WNRQ; and Talker WLAC-A. “I can’t imagine a greater honor than being chosen to return to my home state of Tennessee to lead the programming team at ... iconic radio stations in the Music City,� he said. Bryan is the son of Darrell and Naomi Bryan of Greeneville.

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Awards And Honors Received By Several Local Companies BY O.J. EARLY STAFF WRITER

Several companies operating in Greene County received notable awards in 2011. DTR, DONALDSON COMPANY In August 2011, the Tennessee Department of Workforce Development announced that two Greene County manufacturing companies — DTR Tennessee, Inc. and The Donaldson Company, Inc. — had been selected to receive the Commissioner’s Award of Excellence for Workplace Safety. The year 2011 also marked the third straight year that DTR had earned the award. The honors were presented during the 34th Annual Tennessee Safety and Health Congress at the Gaylord Opryland hotel in Nashville. The awards were given based on two primary standards. First, the award honors employers and employees who have worked a select number of hours without experiencing a lost workday case. Second, companies must maintain total injury and illness incidence rates that are below the national average. At the time the award was given, DTR Tennessee, Inc. had 802 employees who, together with their employers, had worked more than 1,485,000 hours without a lost-time injury case, and went 5,272,255 hours since their last lost-time injury. The Donaldson Company, Inc. had 106 employees who had worked a stretch of more that 434,000 hours without a lost-time injury. LMR PLASTICS For the fourth straight year, LMR Plastics was honored as a “Top Performing Strategic Supplier” by the Minneapolis, Minn.-based Donaldson Company. The award is given based on Donaldson’s own criteria-type program — Donaldson Buys Value Program. LMR Plastics, founded



DTR Tennessee, Inc., was honored in August with its third consecutive Commissioner’s Award of Excellence for Workplace Safety from the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development. Accepting the award in Nashville are, from left, Eileene Reynolds, Plant Nurse for DTR Tennessee, Inc., and Neil Gfellers, DTR Safety Engineer. Commissioner Karla Davis, at right, presented the award. in 1973 in Greeneville, has been owned and managed by the Terry Leonard family since 1996. The company manufactures custom plastic injection-molded products and supplies them to a number of industries. LYON METAL ROOFING For the second consecutive year, Lyon Metal Roofing was ranked as one of the nation’s top 5,000 fastest-growing private companies. Inc. Magazine included the roofing business in its annual Inc. 5000 list in December 2011. When the recognition was given, Lyon Metal Roofing, headquartered in Piney Flats and with a sales location in Greeneville, had a threeyear growth rate of 74 percent, and saw its revenue jump from $7.9 million in 2007 to $13.8 million in 2010. Lyon Metal Roofing was ranked the 2885th fastest-growing company on the magazine’s list. SUMMERS TAYLOR Local and regional asphalt pavement projects by Summers Taylor won three separate 2011 Quality in Construction Awards for excellence in construction from the National

David Nester, manufacturing engineer with The Donaldson Company, stands with Karla Davis, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development, after Commissioner Davis presented The Donaldson Company with a Commissioner’s Award of Excellence for Workplace Safety. The presentation was made in a ceremony at the Gaylord Opryland hotel in Nashville. ect began in early spring 2011, and the Washington County project started in early summer 2011. The Interstate 81 project in Greene County was completed in early summer 2011, and the project in Washington County was completed by late summer. The third award recognized the company’s work on Phase II of the Greeneville-Greene County Municipal Airport improvement project. Phase II of the airport project began in early September and finished in December. The overall project is continuing.


Summers Taylor Vice President Ted Lane Bryant, at right, accepts one of the three 2011 Quality in Construction Awards won by the company. Presenting the award is Kim Snyder, 2011 Chairman of the National Asphalt Pavement Association Board of Directors. Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA.) Ted Lane Bryant, Summers-Taylor vice president, accepted the company’s awards at a special ceremony in January 2012 during the association’s 57th annual meeting in Palm Desert, Calif. Bryant said the company won separate national awards for its work on Interstate 81 projects in

Greene and Washington counties, and at the Greeneville-Greene County Municipal Airport. The Interstate 81 project in Greene County was from mile marker 36 to mile marker 45. The Washington County project was for the portion of the roadway from mile marker 49 to mile marker 53. The Greene County proj-

THE GREENEVILLE SUN Current and former staff members of The Greeneville Sun received seven of a possible 14 first-place honors in the Sun’s circulation bracket in the annual competition among Tennessee newspapers that receive the Associated Press report. The 2011 awards, presented in May, honored work completed in 2010. The entries were judged by journalists at AP member newspapers in Oklahoma. Three of the seven first-place awards won by

the Sun went to longtime Staff Photographer Phil Gentry, who took first in: Spot News Photography, where he also won second and third place honors; Sports Photography; and Photojournalism. It was the third consecutive year that Gentry, who retired May 13, had won the Photojournalism category. In two of the three years, including 2011, he won first, second and third places in Photojournalism. Other first-place honors in the 2011 competition went to: Staff Writer Amy Rose, for Daily Deadline Reporting; Sports Editor Wayne Phillips, for Sports-Outdoor Reporting; the Sun staff for Best Website, for the second consecutive year; and the staff in the category of Multimedia, where Sun entries also received second and third place, for a sweep of the category for the second consecutive year. Brian Cutshall is the newspaper’s Director of Online Operations. In July, the Sun wa also awarded First Place for Best Sports Photograph in its circulation category in the annual Tennessee Press Association competition, for a photo by Gentry.

Clinton Foundation Honors Tusculum College Business Program Tusculum College’s “Help Me Help You” program was selected as one of the top innovative programs in the nation by the Clinton Global Initiative University, a national foundation that recognizes i n novative projects with a large impact and global reach. The program and its co-founder, Luis Zamora, a junior business and economics major from Santiago, Chile, will be recognized at the Foundation’s global conference in Washington, D.C., the weekend of March 30. “This is a wonderful achievement and recognition for Luis, his program, and for Tusculum College,” said President Nancy B. Moody. Every year, the Clinton Global Initiative Un iversity rev iews thousands of projects and programs from all over the world in order to select the most promising commitments to action. This year, the commitment made by cofounders Zamora and Rodrigo Gimenez has become the first from Tusculum College and the first from Chile to be recognized by the Initiative. Former President Bill Clinton launched the Clinton Global Initiative University in 2007 to engage the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world, according to the organization’s website, TWO MAIN POINTS At the conference in Washington, D.C., Zamora will be representing not only Tusculum Col-

in January. LOCAL SPONSORS The first year of the program has been funded by sponsors Scott M. Niswonger, the Greeneville businessman and philanthropist; Tom Ferguson, president and CEO of the Greene County Partnership; and Atmos Energy Corp. “It’s an amazing program,” said Ferguson, when informed of the announcement by the Clinton Foundation. “It’s a real success story.” “ This young man [Zamora] is driven and talented,” Ferguson said. “He’s an entrepreneur and is going to be a very successful business person. “It’s just a tremendous recognition to the college and certainly speaks well of Mr. Zamora as a student,” Ferguson added.


This is the inaugural class of the Tusculum College “Help Me Help You” program, recognized in February by the Clinton Global Initiative University. From left to right in the front row, are: Suzanne Richey; Scott M. Niswonger, a sponsor of the program; Kim Ward, Gene Maddox, Lynette Price, Eric Price and Dr. Michelle Freeman; second row: Dr. Tom McFarland, Kalie Smith, Dr. Antonio Bos, Brian Ward, Terry Webb, Kirstie Gust, Felicia Waters and Robin Shepherd; third row: Isiah Lymon, Paul Bergvin, Andreas Jarquin, Matthew McKeever, David Talley, Dr. Greg Hawkins, Steven Hollingshead, Julia Newman and Luis Zamora; back row: Andy Goellner, Samantha Underwood and Steve Gehret.

lege, but also the nation of Chile. Zamora created the program along with Gimenez, in partnership with the University of Chile, located in Santiago, Chile. Gimenez serves as director of operations in Chile. The recognition from the Clinton Global Initiative University includes two main points that Zamora and Gimenez

have committed to: • implementing a small business support program with a focus on theoretical, practical and emotional aspects of “Help Me Help You” in underdeveloped regions such as areas of Appalachia and countries such as Chile, and • sharing the program at no charge with any business student and/or academic institution that would like to implement

“Help Me Help You” in personal skills through their respective coun- a variety of unique, globtries. ally-tested activities. The program at TusABOUT ‘HELP ME HELP YOU’ culum College started in The program, operated fall 2011 with nine parby Tusculum College’s ticipants and eight monibusiness students and tors completing a 10-week students in the Bonner course that aims to creLeader Program, is com- ate a mutual learning mitted to helping its par- environment between ticipants increase profits, students and small-busicreate a business plan, ness-owners. expand their respective The spring semester networks, and improve program had 12 new their practical and inter- participants and began

‘AMBITIOUS ENDEAVOR’ Ferguson recalled that he had met with Zamora when the student was first trying to put together the “Help Me Help You” program. “It was an ambitious endeavor, and he’s pulled it off — and I think it has sustainability,” Ferguson said. The Clinton Global Initiative University challenges college students to address global issues with practical, innovative solutions. Members are encouraged to take concrete steps to solve problems by building relationships, creating action plans, participating in hands-on workshops, and working together as they complete their projects.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Regulators Starts on Page 8 “ Ever y th ing ’s f ine. “ We’re still ver y much in compl ia nc e [w it h t he or der] a nd a lways ver y much concer ned w ith the capita l requirements [ of the order]. “We’re still on the road and still under the order, but we’re making progress.” “We’re just trying to survive this economy until jobs come back and the economy comes back ...”

GREENEVILLE FEDERAL BANK On July 1, 2011, Greeneville Federal Bank entered into “an administrative cease-and-desist proceeding” with the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS), an office of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The OTS was at that time the federal regulatory body responsible for overseeing federally chartered savings institutions. That regulatory role is now handled by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which is also part of the Department of the Treasury. Greeneville Federal Bank, a federally-chartered mutual savings


bank, was originally established as Greeneville Federal Savings and Loan Association in 1960; in January 1993 it changed its charter to becme Greeneville Federal Bank. Greeneville Federal President Brandon G. Hull confirmed in an interview that the bank continues to operate under the OCC cease-anddesist order. He stated, however, “I feel like we’re making great progress. We’re very confident in the future.” He said that, for instance, the bank had increased its provision for loan losses, a factor that is usually a major focus of regulators. Meanwhile, he said, “Our capital

ratios are still good. Our Tier 1 capital ratio is 8.5 percent, and 5 percent is considered ‘well capitaliized.’ “Hopefully, this year will be better [than 2011],” he said. “We have $6 million in reserve for loan losses. “That is four percent of our loans. Most banks have 1.5 to 2.0 percent” in reserve for loan losses. “We’re still loaning money. We’ve made a lot of loans. The only thing we don’t make [as in past years] is commercial real estate loans. Even there, he said, “We can still do it [make commercial loans], but we just have to ‘go through the hoops’ to do it.”

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The new Weigel’s store in Greeneville is the company’s 56th location. The store opened in June 2011 at the corner of Tusculum Boulevard and Justis Drive.

Notable Business Changes In County During The Past Year BY O.J. EARLY STAFF WRITER

Several businesses in Greeneville and Greene County underwent significant change in 2011. Atchley Drug Center changed ownership in June 2011 as Bob Gregg sold his business to a partnership of Corley’s Pharmacy and Will Giddings. The sale came as Gregg retired after 35 years. At the time of the sale, the new owners were Alan Corley; his mother, Mareta Corley; Robert McNeese; and Giddings. Former pharmacist McNeese, however, is no longer an employee or co-owner. Weigel’s, headquarted in Powell, opened its first Greeneville store in June 2011. The Greeneville Weigel’s is at the intersection of Tusculum Boulevard and Justis Drive. A rtistic Printers, a 43-year-old business, was sold to Lisa and Terry Webb of Greeneville in June 2011. The Webbs bought the business from Jerry Sybrant, who started Artistic Printers in his basement in 1968. Artistic Printers produces materials such as letterheads, envelopes, business cards, brochures and church bulletins, and is located at 2465 Snapps Ferry Road. Workers United Local 2408 members ratified a three-year contract with American Greetings, Inc. in October 2011 after nearly three months of negotiations. The contract provides yearly pay raises and the availability of dental and vision insurance coverage. American Greetings’ local operation, formerly known as Plus Mark, is a subsidiary of Cleveland, Ohio-based American Greetings Corporation. The one-million-squarefoot plant, located on American Road in Afton: makes printing and packaging gift wrap; extrudes,


Will Giddings, at left, is the new pharmacist and manager at Atchley Drug Center, taking over from SUN PHOTO BY STEVE HARBISON Bob Gregg, at right, who retired in June 2011 after Jerry Sybrant, at left, sold Artistic Printers, at 2475 Snapps Ferry Road, to Lisa and 35 years at the business. Gregg said he plans to do Terry Webb in June 2011. volunteer work during his retirement.


Foliot Furniture announced that it was moving manufacturing operations out of this plant on Serral Drive in Greeneville. converts and packages ribbon; and packages convenience wrap, which includes gift trims and other related items. Foliot Furniture, a

French Canadian furnituremaker, drastically reduced its Greeneville operations in December 2011. The local plant, located off Serral Drive, trans-

ferred the manufacturing of its contract seating line from its Greenev ille location to production plants in St. Jerome, Canada, and

Las Vegas, Nev. At the time of the transfer, 20 Greeneville positions were affected, all transferred to the St. Jerome and Las

Vegas plants. Fol iot F u r n itu re opened its Greeneville division in 2007, and, as of May 2010, had 80 Greeneville employees.

Major Tort Reform Goes Into Effect, Aiding Business Climate BY RICH JONES ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR

Legislation passed by the Tennessee General Assembly took effect on Oct. 1 2011 with the goal of offering businesses predictability and a way to quantify risk as they decide where to locate. Prior to passage of the Civil Justice Act of 2011, Tennessee was the only state in the Southeast that had no limits on possible punitive damage awards. The legislation, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, RCollierville, Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, and Sen. Jack Johnson, R-Franklin, was part of Gov. Bill Haslam’s legislative jobs package. Passage of the measure was a major accomplishment of the 2011 legislative session, said Sen





Steve Southerland, R-1st, of Morristown. “We should be the number one state to locate your business,” Southerland said.

Several companies and businesses had, in the past, moved to different states because of Tennessee’s former tort law, Southerland said.

“The state has done much to support economic growth,” he said of the new law. The bill aims to make Tennessee more attractive to businesses while ensuring that injured plaintiffs receive all of the economic, quantifiable damages they suffer. “This is very positive legislation for the business community,” said Tom Ferguson, Greene County Partnership president and CEO. “Depending on which survey you read, Tennessee’s business climate always ranks in the top 10 of all the states,” Ferguson said. “This legislation will only improve our standing.” Key provisions of the law are the following: • It clarifies and defines the venue where a business can be sued.

• It places a $750,000 cap on non-economic damages, except in instances of intentional misconduct, records destruction, or conduct under influence of drugs or alcohol. • It raises the cap to $1 million on non-economic damages for catastrophic losses resulting in paraplegia, quadriplegia, amputation, substantial burns, or the wrongful death of a parent leaving minor children. • It places a cap on punitive damages of two times the compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is greater, except in instances of intentional misconduct, records destruction, or conduct under influence of drugs or alcohol. The Tennessee Civil Justice Act applies to all liability actions for injuries on or after the Oct. 1, 2011.

“When we attract businesses, we attract jobs,” Kelsey said at the time of the bill’s passage. “This new law will provide certainty and predictability for businesses that want to locate in Tennessee. “With enactment of this law, Tennessee can become the number one state in the Southeast for high-quality jobs,” Kelsey added. “This new law is much more than tort reform, as we must be competitive with other states,” said Norris, the Senate Majority Leader. “This new law is designed to put us on a level playing field so we have predictability and certainty for businesses which look to locate or expand their operations in Tennessee,” Norris concluded.

Saturday, March 17, 2012



Restaurant Scene Has Variety Of New Offerings, But Ella’s Closes BY KATHY KNIGHT

Saturday and serves home-cooked food. The most popular is the Red Bird Breakfast, which features biscuit, gravy, eggs, choice of sausage or bacon, and tomato. There are daily specials for lunch, but pinto beans and beef stew are made daily. The Red Bird will only be open in the evenings for special events.


During the past year, five new restaurants have opened; four have closed, but two of those have reopened with different names and owners, making a total of seven new restaurants. Possibly the most noticeable change in the restaurant scene came in the closing of Ella’s, the popular restaurant/ music venue on the U.S. 11E Bypass. Financial difficulties were cited as the reason Ella’s closed after bringing nearly four years of “good food and good music” to Greeneville. The restaurant closed Jan. 28, 2012. According to Ella Price, “It wasn’t a decision that we made lightly.” Despite many nights of practically standingroom-only crowds, Price said that the business just wasn’t able to consistently turn a profit, a situation which put a drain on both her own personal savings and the liquid assets of her business partner, Jennie Grigsby Stewart. Two Tastes, One Place on the Andrew Johnson Highway, in the original location of the Homestead Restaurant, went out of business at the end of 2011, but the Homestead has re-opened. The Tiny Diner, located next to Charray Inn on the Andrew Johnson Highway closed but has been reopened as Leisa’s Diner. The Hemlock Hollow Inn and Paint Creek Cafe, at the corner of Log Cabin Drive and Viking Mountain Road, have closed until further notice. ALAMO SANDWICH HOUSE The newest restaurant to open is the Alamo Sandwich House in the Greeneville Express Mart complex at 3100 E. Andrew Johnson Highway. The complex also includes the Greeneville Express Mart (convenience store and gas station), and Express Wine and Spirits. The store, owned by Jason Brandon, seats 38, and is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. The Alamo features, soups, salads, sandwiches, and desserts. Suzanne Starnes is the manager. ASIAN EXPRESS Opening in August 2011 was the Asian Express, which opened in the former McDonald’s location on the Andrew Johnson Highway, next to Central Park. Owner Michelle Guo says that her family had been looking for a good location to have a restaurant specializing in Chinese and Japanese food and thought “Greeneville would be a good place.” Asian Express is open 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. The restaurant features a drive-thru. The menu offers a wide selection of steak, chicken and seafood dishes that are served with fried rice, sweet carrots and shrimp sauce. ARATA-EXPRESS JAPANESE GRILL In November 2011, Arata-Express Japanese Grill opened at 1001 West Main St., offering a variety of traditional Japanese selections available at their drive-thru or interior dining, including hibachi or teriyaki chicken, steak, and seafood. Seating is available for 52 persons. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and is closed on Sunday. Owner David Arata also has a successful business in Morristown on E. Morris Blvd., he told The Greeneville Sun. Arata-Express has eight employees, three of whom are full-time. All entrees and combinations come with fried rice, sweet carrots and shrimp sauce. SALSA’S Salsa’s Restaurant, in the Ingles Shopping


The Alamo Sandwich House, which opened in February, is located in the Greeneville Express Mart Complex at 3100 E. Andrew Johnson Hwy. The Alamo is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week, and seats 38. They serve sandwiches, salads, and soups. Center on the Asheville Highway (Tenn. Rt. 70) opened in June 2011. Salsa’s is owned by Javitr Olivares, who says that he was manager at The Farmers Daughter for about a year, his brother-in-law was a manager at one of the Monterrey restaurants, his sister worked at Monterrey’s and Ella’s, and his wife also was a waitress. “We decided, Why not combine our experiences and open our own restaurant? ” said Olivares. They are open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and employ six full-time people and some part-timers. Salsa’s seats 80 and serves a combination of authentic Mexican food, Tex-Mex and California food. Their salsa bar offers a variety of salsa daily, and they make homemade tortillas, which, according to Olivares, “are very popular with the Greeneville crowd.” HOMESTEAD RESTAURANT Arnold Stills, who originally opened the Homestead Restaurant at 3124 W. Andrew Johnson Highway in 1993, has reopened the restaurant. The spacious facility, which seats 350, is currently open for breakfast and lunch daily from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. According to Stills, in April the Homestead

will extend the hours to include dinner. A buffet can be set up for larger groups, but normally customers just order off the menu, which includes a variety of items, featuring “down-home home cooking.” RED BIRD DINER R oxa n na Jay nes opened the Glenwood Corner Market/Red Bird Diner on Dec. 8, 2011. It is located five miles out Warrensburg Road, next

LEISA’S DINER Leisa’s Diner just opened on Feb. 21. Formerly called The Tiny Diner, it is located at 121 Ser ral Dr ive, to the side of Charray Inn, which faces E. A ndrew Johnson Highway. O wner L eisa R ice says the establishment seats only 17 people at a time, but the primary goal is to ser ve countr y-style, home cooking. Nothing is premade. The Diner features chocolate gravy for breakfast and has a different lunch special each day. Leisa’s Diner is open Tuesday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

to Glenwood Elementary is open from 6 a.m. to School. 2 p.m. Monday through The reason for the name, explained Jaynes, is that the Glenwood Chiefs used to be called Red Birds when she was in school there in the seventh grade. “We wanted to have Open Mon.-Thurs. 10am - 9pm a little restaurant and gathering place for our community,” Jaynes Fri. 10am - 7:30pm • Sat. 10am - 5pm said. She is assisted Home of the “Jolly Ranchers” Candies by her mother, Carolyn Sauceman, and Kathy McCrary. The Red Bird Diner

Tanning Salon

516 Justis Drive

2011 - 2012


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Benchmarks 2012 Section A  

Business & Industry

Benchmarks 2012 Section A  

Business & Industry