Business Images Nashville, TN: 2013

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business 速

nashville, tennessee

Startup City

Entrepreneurs find vision, support for ventures

Open Source Tech market draws talent

Off the Charts Music City Center debuts as tourism hits historic high

Sponsored by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce | 2013



Workstyle Open Source


Nashville’s tech market draws talent

Startup City


Entrepreneurs find vision, support for ventures

Off the Charts


Music City Center debuts as tourism hits historic high

A Little Country, a Little Rock ‘n’ Roll 26 Music City evolves into a cultural melting pot of food, fashion and fun

Crossroads for Commerce


Nashville’s transportation network offers logistical advantage

Insight Overview 5


Almanac 6 Business Climate


Energy/Technology 30 Health 38 Education 42 Livability 48 Gallery 52



Economic Profile


On the Cover Set to open this spring, the 1.2-million-square-foot Music City Center will double Nashville’s convention space. Photo by Brian McCord


All or part of this magazine is printed with soy ink on recycled paper containing 10% post-consumer waste.

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l i f e s t y l e | w o r k s t y l e | d i gg i ng d ee p e r | v i d eo | l i n k t o u s | a d v e r t i s e | c o n ta c t u s | s i t e m a p

business ®

editorial project manager Emily McMackin Content Director Bill McMeekin Proofreading Manager Raven Petty

An online resource at

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Content Coordinator Jessica Walker boehm Staff Writer Kevin Litwin Contributing writers stephanie vozza, nan bauroth, kim madlom, jackie dishner, melonee mckinney hurt, melaine kilgore-hill Senior Graphic Designers Stacey Allis, Laura Gallagher, Kris Sexton, Jake Shores, Vikki Williams Graphic Designers Kara Leiby, Erica lampley, Kacey Passmore

Senior Photographers Jeff Adkins, Brian McCord


Staff Photographers Martin B. Cherry, Michael Conti color imaging technician alison hunter Executive Integrated Media Manager mary ann stafford

nashville, tennessee

startup City

Entrepreneurs find vision, support for ventures

Ad Production Manager Katie Middendorf Ad Traffic Assistants Krystin Lemmon, Patricia Moisan

open source

Tech market draws talent

Chairman Greg Thurman President/Publisher Bob Schwartzman

Lifestyle Find out what it’s like to live here and what makes the community such a special place to be.

off the Charts Music City Center debuts as tourism hits historic high

sponsored by the nashville area Chamber of CommerCe | 2013

Executive Vice President Ray Langen Senior V.P./Sales Todd Potter Senior V.P./Operations Casey Hester Senior V.P./Client Development Jeff Heefner Senior V.P./Agribusiness Publishing kim holmberg

Read the magazine on your computer, zoom in on articles and link to advertiser websites.

V.P./business Development Clay Perry V.P./external communications Teree Caruthers V.P./Visual Content Mark Forester V.P./Content Operations Natasha Lorens V.P./travel publishing susan chappell V.P./Sales Rhonda Graham, Herb Harper, Jarek Swekosky Controller Chris Dudley Senior Accountant Lisa Owens

site guide >> Find available commercial and industrial properties with our searchable database.

Accounts Payable Coordinator Maria McFarland Accounts Receivable Coordinator Diana Guzman Sales Support Coordinator christina morgan Sales Support project manager sara quint it director Daniel cantrell Web Creative Director Allison Davis Web Content Manager John Hood Web Designer II richard stevens

Workstyle A spotlight on the region’s innovative companies

success breeds success >> Meet the people who set the pace for business innovation.

Web Development Lead Yamel Hall Web Developer I Nels noseworthy Photography Director Jeffrey S. Otto Creative Services Director Christina Carden Creative Technology Analyst Becca ary Audience Development Director Deanna Nelson New Media Assistant Alyssa DiCicco Distribution Director Gary Smith

Dig Deeper >> Plug into the community with

Executive Secretary Kristy Duncan Human Resources Manager Peggy Blake Receptionist Linda Bishop

links to local websites and resources to give you a big picture of the region. Demographics >> A wealth of demographic and statistical information puts the community at your fingertips.

See the Video Our award-winning photographers give you a virtual tour of unique spaces, places and faces.

guide to services >> Links to a cross section of goods and services special to the community

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Business Images Nashville is published annually by Journal Communications Inc. and is distributed through the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. For advertising information or to direct questions or comments about the magazine, contact Journal Communications Inc. at (615) 771-0080 or by email at

For more information, contact: Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce 211 Commerce St. #100, Nashville, TN 37201 Phone: (615) 743-3000 • Fax: (615) 743-3002

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Nashville Region Ranks Well Creativity, smarts, accessibility and affordability among top 10 reasons to Locate in area Nashville ranks high among the largest 200 metro areas in the world for economic vitality, according to The Brookings Institute’s recent index. The region has experienced tremendous growth in the past decade, attracting top-notch talent and worldclass companies. Here are just 10 of the many reasons why:

1. Skills & Smarts. Along with

cities to visit in 2013, thanks to its diverse restaurants and nightlife.

6. Affordability. Nashville ranks

as the second most attractive business location among mid-sized cities on KPMG’s 2012 Competitive Alternatives study. Highly competitive transportation costs make it a top spot for manufacturers. The area is also consistently recognized as one of the most affordable places to visit and live.

9. Friendly Faces. Economic

growth has not at all compromised the welcoming nature of Middle Tennessee residents, with Nashville making several “friendliest cities” lists over the past decade.

10. Topography & Climate. The Nashville area has a mild climate, verdant landscapes and rolling hills, enhanced by plentiful greenways, thriving youth leagues, and beautiful state, county and municipal parks.

a skilled workforce for advanced manufacturing and distribution industries, the Nashville area is known as the Athens of the South for its presence of nearly two dozen higher-education institutions.

7. Creative Energy. Nashville

2. Ready Real Estate. Besides many high-quality available buildings and land, construction is on the rise. The commercial property market is strong, while diversity of housing options appeals to all types of residents. An ActiveRain survey named Nashville No. 8 for best real estate markets in 2012.

Leisure named Nashville No. 2 for its live music scene, with a nod to the city’s safety, cleanliness and friendly locals. Condé Nast Traveler named Nashville as one of the top 5

3. Accessibility. The region is strategically located within 650 miles of 150 million people and has excellent air, rail and highway access for both residents and businesses. 4. Cultural Inclusiveness. The region is home to many international companies and residents, along with dozens of organizations supporting these diverse cultures. Forbes named Nashville No. 3 in the U.S. for minority entrepreneurs. 5. Cutting-Edge Health Care.

Health care is the region’s largest and fastest-growing industry. No one benefits more than residents, who enjoy proximity and access to leading-edge services provided at state-of-the-art facilities.

overflows with arts even beyond its Music City title. The Western States Arts Federation ranked Nashville No. 4 in the U.S. for creative vitality.

For more information, contact:

8. Epic Entertainment. Travel +


Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce 211 Commerce St., #100 Nashville, TN 37201 (615) 743-3000












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Cheatham County

Riverfront Revitalization

Photo Courtesy of sarah b. gilliam

Maury County

Driving Production After fighting back from the brink of bankruptcy just a few years ago, General Motors is making a $460 million investment to expand operations at its Spring Hill plant in Maury County. The former Saturn assembly plant is producing GM’s new four-cylinder, 2.5-liter Ecotec engines, which will play a key role in the auto giant’s future, powering vehicles like the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu. GM has hired more than 150 workers at the facility and will employ 450 once production fully ramps up.

A group of Cheatham County community leaders is working to develop new revenue streams to accommodate the county’s projected population growth by 2035. Among its efforts is the Cheatham Vision project. Designed to boost tourism in Ashland City and surrounding towns, a centerpiece of the project involves renovating the city’s 200-acre waterfront area, which encompasses a flood plain, several historic sites and abundant developable property. Ideas for the waterfront renovation include paved walking and biking trails, and an outdoor amphitheater, as well as a new marina.

Rutherford County

High-Tech Fashion Haven Rutherford County is home to a new distribution and fulfillment center for Saks Fifth Avenue designed to better serve its online customers around the world. Located in La Vergne, the 564,000-square-foot facility uses high-tech, robotics-based warehouse systems to fulfill online merchandise orders placed at To fill the facility’s 250 full-time jobs, Saks is partnering with the Tennessee Career Center, which will provide initial candidate screening.



Dickson County

Open for Business

Williamson County

In December 2012, Dickson County welcomed the opening of a final 12-mile section of State Route 840. The Murfreesboro-to-Dickson highway that was initiated in 1986 now has all 78 miles open to traffic. Dickson County officials say the opening of 840 will help local industries ship products south, allowing them to bypass traffic in Nashville and reach I-65 directly through the route. State Route 840 will also allow travelers headed to Chattanooga to connect to I-24 from Dickson. Tennessee Department of Transportation officials estimate the opening of 840 will reduce the number of cars and trucks traveling through Nashville by 8,800 vehicles daily.

Headquarters for Growth Jackson National Life and MedSolutions are expanding their headquarters in Williamson County. By 2013, Jackson National Life plans to add 60,000 square feet of office space to the 90,000-square-foot office it moved into in 2011. As part of this expansion, Jackson has created 750 jobs, among them 20 programming positions to complement its 30 IT employees who relocated to Tennessee from Michigan. MedSolutions plans to invest $16 million to expand operations at its Franklin headquarters, creating more than 260 new jobs over a three-year period.

Davidson County

Wilma Rudolph’s Legacy Lives On Aegis Sciences Corporation held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in June 2012 at the site of its new state-of-the-art, 70,000-square-foot sports testing center in MetroCenter. Named the Wilma Rudolph Sports Testing Laboratory in honor of the Tennessee State University graduate once known as the fastest woman in the world, the lab will provide cutting-edge sports, forensic, pain management and life-sciences testing services to help safeguard the integrity of sports leagues and provide local authorities and medical examiners with advanced testing capabilities. Once fully operational, the lab will create about 100 jobs.


Brentwood/Franklin/Cool Springs With thoughtful amenities and comforting personal touches, our Wingate by Wyndham Brentwood/Franklin/Cool Springs hotel is designed to make travel easy. Conveniently located off Interstate 65 and less than 30 minutes from downtown Nashville. Our Brentwood, Tenn., hotel is near Nashville International Airport – perfect for business or pleasure. • Minutes from downtown Franklin, Nashville City Center and Cool Springs Conference Center • Free hot breakfast • Free Wi-Fi • Outdoor pool • Fitness center • Whirlpool • 24-hour business center w/free copy, fax and print services • Conference facilities available

1738 Carothers Parkway Brentwood, TN 37027 (615) 277-8700

Almanac Sumner County

Molding Business The plastics industry is growing in Sumner County, thanks to recent expansions by manufacturers like ABC Group Fuel Systems, Salga Plastics and Weir Minerals-Linatex. ABC Group Fuel Systems is investing $5 million to expand operations at its Gallatin facility, creating 114 new jobs. Salga Plastics is spending $2 million to upgrade production equipment and create 100 jobs. Weir Minerals-Linatex, formed from a recent merger between Weir Minerals and Linatex, is expanding operations at its Gallatin plant, adding 26,000 square feet to its facility and creating 26 new jobs.

Robertson County

Full Speed Ahead Portland-based Kyowa America Corporation has opened a new production plant in Robertson County, representing a $12 million investment. Kyowa chose Robertson County for its newest manufacturing facility in part because of the area’s skilled and readily available workforce, which the company is drawing on to fill the plant’s 160 new jobs. Another benefit of Kyowa’s new location is its proximity to nearby automobile manufacturers, which will enable the plant to better serve customers while also reducing shipping costs.

Wilson County

Injecting Investment Two medical equipment manufacturers, Permobil and Coeur Inc., are expanding in Wilson County. Permobil has developed a 17-acre facility for its North American Operations Center, which makes powered wheelchairs. This $12 million investment provides about 80,000 square feet for manufacturing and 40,000 square feet for corporate offices. The company has also installed a $450,000 solar panel array that will offset the site's power consumption by as much as 30 percent. Coeur Inc., a designer and manufacturer of cutting-edge medical equipment, plans to expand its Lebanon operations, which serves as its corporate headquarters, increasing production and creating 100 new jobs.

Montgomery County

Keeping Customers Connected Massachusetts-based Agero has opened the doors to a new call and data response center in Montgomery County to enhance its customer service capabilities and cement its position as an industry leader in providing roadside assistance and vehicle connectivity services. The company invested $8.2 million to develop the 53,000-square-foot facility – its sixth North American call and data response center. Agero selected the center’s location after scouring the U.S. for 16 months and choosing Clarksville over 19 other finalist cities. The center is expected to create 500 jobs by the end of 2013.


Business Climate



Forward Focused

Jobs, talent, quality of life put the Nashville area at the top of U.S. growth cities

Story by Stephanie Vozza


M a r t i n b . C h err y

ashville’s economic development vision is clear – 20/20, in fact. With eyes on growth and diversity, the city and its 10-county area have become one of the hottest markets for investment and jobs. How did it create the buzz? “We’ve made great strides with our Partnership 2020 initiative, which takes a regional approach to growth,” says Ralph Schulz, president and CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. “It’s essentially a set of strategies and funding streams delivered over 20 years through the chamber.” A public and private initiative, Partnership 2020 works with 400 community leaders on four areas: job creation, talent development, quality of place and regionalism.

$2.2 Billion in Investment “Job creation is our core economic development,” Schulz says. “It’s recruiting new companies to the region and keeping our existing companies growing and happy.” It’s working. From July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012, the Nashville region announced 154 relocations and expansions, adding 14,185 new jobs for a total of $2.2 billion Downtown Nashville is a hot spot for expanding companies and tech firms.


Tractor Supply headquarters

in capital investment. Much of this growth was in the area’s target industries such as corporate headquarters, health care, technology, music and entertainment, advanced manufacturing and supply chain management. Tractor Supply and Dollar General, two of the nation’s fastest-growing retailers, are expanding their headquarters, as is Mars Petcare. Saks Fifth Avenue opened a distribution center in La Vergne, and Amazon. com built new fulfillment centers in Murfreesboro and Lebanon. Nissan rolled out its all-electric Leaf vehicle from its Smyrna facility. General Motors restarted operations at its Spring Hill plant. Tech companies ServiceSource and Asurion are growing their operations in downtown Nashville, and the area continues to attract corporate headquarters like Brentwood-based Delek US Holdings, which operates refineries as well as retail and logistics divisions. Developing Talent Creating jobs is one thing. Filling them is another, and Partnership 2020’s talent development focus works on making sure the region’s workforce matches employers’ needs. This means enhancing public education, from kindergarten through high school, as well as higher education. The



Dollar General headquarters

area’s 18 colleges and universities are an asset for economic development, says Janet Miller, chief economic development director and marketing officer for the Nashville Area Chamber. A ready workforce brought ServiceSource to Nashville in 2008. Keith Leimbach, senior vice president and general manager, says his company hires employees right out of school, and Nashville quickly made the top of the company’s list when it was looking to add a new location. “Nashville is very talent-rich,” Leimbach says. “There’s a great candidate pool here. It’s also a pro-business community. The cost of living is exceptional. It’s a place where folks can graduate from school and afford a house in a short period of time.” Cultivating Quality of Place, Regionalism Tennessee is also one of six states that don’t have a personal tax on earnings. For companies considering relocation, this gives employees a pay bump and lowers their tax burden, Miller says. An attractive cost of living is just one of the area’s livability assets. From its airport to its parks to its professional sports and entertainment scene, Nashville’s quality of life helps attract and retain companies. The Chamber’s focus on regionalism is the piece that bridges the rest, Miller says.

“Our customers look at the market that way,” she says. “They look at us as a 1.8-million-person engine and not the political boundaries that surround us. As a result, we work together to create a strong foundation.”

nashville’s top 10 rankings No. 1: Destination on the rise, top U.S. growth city No. 2: Most cost-attractive business location, startup paradise No. 4: Economic strength, creative vitality No. 5: Fastest-growing job market, ease of starting a business No. 7: Best city for finding employment now No. 8: Best real estate market, top culture cities No. 9: Best big city for finding jobs, U.S. cities getting smarter the fastest No. 10: Best for business and careers, best city for tech jobs Sources:, Trip Advisor, UHaul, The Atlantic Cities, ActiveRain, Young Entrepreneur Council, Kiplinger, Western States Arts Federation, KPMG,, Policom,

Core Comeback New jobs, investment pump energy into downtown Nashville Downtown Nashville exudes energy, and it’s attracting a growing list of companies and residents. “Downtown Nashville offers a creative and vibrant urban work-live environment,” says Courtney Ross, vice president of economic development for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. “Companies and their employees are attracted to the walkable amenities and thriving culture.” Existing businesses like Louisiana-Pacific Building Products are expanding their downtown operations, while new ones, from tech companies like Asurion to law firms like Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, are quickly moving in. The boom in jobs downtown is also bringing more residents, restaurants and entertainment venues to the city’s core.

New mixed-use developments under construction are capitalizing on the influx. Rolling Mill Hill, a 34-acre downtown site that formerly housed Metro General Hospital and the Metro government vehicle fleet center, is being transformed into a mixed-use area for Nashville’s creative community. Rolling Mill Hill’s six trolley barns are being converted into apartments and office space for companies like Emma, a Nashvillebased email marketing agency that moved its headquarters to the site. A mixed residential and retail development is also in the works for the 12South neighborhood, which is currently home to restaurants, boutiques and condominiums. The new 15-story, 1.2 millionsquare-foot Music City Center, opening in May 2013, will double the city’s existing meeting and exhibit

space and bring more conventions to town. The Omni Music City Convention Center Hotel, opening across the street from the convention center, will contain 80,000 square feet of meeting and event space and 800 rooms and suites, as well as restaurants, lounges and a spa. Infrastructure improvements, such as the expansion of Korean Veterans Boulevard, have helped impact growth downtown, Ross says. A bus rapid transit system – a seven-and-a halfmile connector from Five Points in East Nashville to White Bridge Road in West Nashville – will create potential for downtown expansion and alleviate parking concerns. “All of the movement into downtown Nashville has created a momentum that is not slowing down,” Ross says. – Stephanie Vozza



Open Source Nashville draws tech firms, talent Story by Nan Bauroth Photography by Brian McCord


ashville has caught the digital beat. In the past decade, the area’s 43 percent growth in data processing and systems design is one reason Forbes recently ranked Nashville the 10th best U.S. city for tech jobs. “With our creative culture, central location, low taxes and warm climate, tech jobs are booming,” says Liza Lowery Massey, president and CEO of the Nashville Technology Council. Encouraged by these cultural and quality-of-life advantages, major tech companies are expanding their Nashville footprint. ServiceSource, a global leader in service revenue management, recently enlarged its downtown Nashville sales center and regional headquarters in a multimillion-dollar investment that will create hundreds of new jobs. Law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman also chose downtown accessibility when relocating its headquarters to Nashville, leasing 44,000 square feet for its global operations center that will house 150 professionals. Another big tech player, Asurion, a worldwide provider of technology protection services, is bringing 500 jobs to its

new office in the SoBro District’s Ragland Building. Attracting IT Workers Long known for its leadership in music and health care, Nashville has diversified its industry base to include corporate operations, advanced manufacturing and supply chain management, opening opportunities for the tech sector at every juncture and creating a thriving IT job market. “Technology is woven into all of our target industries, so it’s natural to focus on the workforce,” says Courtney Ross, vice president of economic development for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. “The 18 colleges and universities here have 100,000 students, supplying a huge pool of talent. The fact that almost 60 percent of them choose to stay here because of the quality of life is a big selling feature for this region.” Nashville’s tech sector is growing so fast that information technology positions remain unfilled, and, as a result, companies are recruiting talent from across the country. To help address the need for tech workers, the Nashville Area

Clockwise from top: ServiceSource is growing its regional headquarters in downtown Nashville; Asurion’s expansion is bringing 500 jobs downtown; San Francisco transplant Kate O’Neill, owner of [meta]marketer, runs a tech-based consulting firm in Nashville.


Nashville’s talent is a key selling point for firms like ServiceSource.

Nashville’s collaborative culture has helped Kate O’Neill’s firm thrive.




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New home of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, Emma and other future tech firms

Looking for an IT job in the Nashville area? Check out the newly launched www., a virtual marketplace where job seekers can search for openings in Nashville’s IT market and post their resumes for consideration by area employers. The site also includes testimonials from industry leaders on living and working in the region, plus information and statistics about cost of living, amenities, entertainment venues, neighborhoods and more.


Chamber has teamed up with the Nashville Technology Council, the city of Nashville, Williamson County and area businesses to launch WorkIT Nashville, a collaborative regional marketing campaign to recruit IT workers to the area. The Chamber is focusing on a multifaceted, short-term strategy to attract IT workers, while the Council is concentrating on developing a long-term pipeline of IT talent through educational and training programs. A few years ago, the Chamber envisioned an entrepreneur center to nurture the high number of creative thinkers f locking to the area. Today, the Entrepreneur Center, whose motto is “turning ideas into reality,” fosters innovation and entrepreneurship by helping startups launch and create jobs – many of which are tech-based. “The culture of co-writing and collaboration is a definitive feature of Nashville,” says Kate O’Neill, a onetime songwriter and founder and CEO of [meta] marketer, a marketing analytics and optimization consulting

firm she started after moving to Nashville from the San Francisco area. “That carryover from the music scene to the community and into the business world is a distinct competitive advantage.” A Hip Place to Be Another advantage? Nashville’s eclectic cultural mash-up of diverse music and urban ambiance is a magnet for cool-seeking techsters. The city’s creative cultural scene recently landed it among GQ’s “America’s Best Cities for Hipsters,” and its arts, nightlife and pro sports offerings rival that of many bigger cities.

No state income tax and a low cost of living make Nashville more affordable than many of its larger counterparts, and those who want to live and work downtown have plenty of options, with increased residential and office space in the revitalized SoBro and Gulch districts, as well as new spaces for creative class workers in the Rolling Hill Mill area, where the Entrepreneur Center is relocating. As the Nashville Technology Council’s Massey says, “You have a vibrant tech community here that is more collaborative and close-knit than in any other city I’ve ever seen.”

vanderbilt students put tech knowledge to use Students at Vanderbilt University are so tech-savvy they have their own mobile application team. Nicknamed VandyMobile, the organization develops free apps on iOS, Android and Windows of value to the Vanderbilt community. All work is open source under a pending Creative Commons Non Commercial/Share Alike license. Along with learning software development and conducting cutting-edge research in computer science, the group connects with local software and IT firms throughout the Nashville area to network and learn from industry experts. Numerous VandyMobile alumni now work for local IT startups that have been incubated through the Nashville Entrepreneur Center.




Startup City Entrepreneurs find inspiration, support for ventures

Story by Kim Madlom Photography by Martin B. Cherry & Brian McCord


ntrepreneurship is, at its core, a creative activity, which makes Nashville an attractive environment for up-and-coming entrepreneurs. The city recently ranked second on the Young Entrepreneur Council’s list of “startup paradise” cities, thanks to its commitment to serving entrepreneurs through various initiatives, access to venture capital, and programs at area universities like Vanderbilt, Belmont and Lipscomb designed to support the next generation of entrepreneurial talent. “Innovation is disruptive,” says Alison Lynch, director of entrepreneurial growth and engagement at the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. “Innovators take a problem and turn it on its ear to find a solution. That’s what we see happening here in our entrepreneurial community.”

Innovative Ideas Lynch cites PatientCredit as one of the innovative companies finding solutions for Nashville’s

health-care industry. PatientCredit solves health-care providers’ problems in collecting patient payments not covered by insurance reimbursements by connecting to the providers’ existing billing systems and initiating direct, respectful contact with patients. The company was among the finalists for the 2012 NEXT Awards, sponsored by the Nashville Area Chamber and the Entrepreneur Center to recognize the accomplishments of individuals and companies in the region. Other finalists included emids, a leading provider of global IT solutions for the health-care industry, and Shareable Ink, whose digital pen records doctors’ notes and transfers them into an electronic format. In addition to driving innovation in the health-care industry, Nashville’s entrepreneurs are making names for themselves in technology, entertainment and digital media., for example, is a self-publishing platform that lets users easily create personal Web pages that

may contain business information, a resume, a birth announcement, etc. Mentors, Capital Equals Success The Entrepreneur Center’s president and CEO, Michael Burcham, says the city fulfills entrepreneurs’ four critical requirements: access to mentors, access to investors/capital, access to support resources and a methodology to turn their idea into a business. A public-private partnership, the Entrepreneur Center provides a front door for innovators. “We screen new business concepts, give entrepreneurs feedback and coaching, provide mentors, support them through a process to turn their idea into an investable business and then make the introductions to the investors,” Burcham says. The mixed-use space under development at Rolling Mill Hill, where the Entrepreneur Center will relocate in 2013, is already luring existing companies,

Nashville is a hotbed for entrepreneurs and home to innovative startups like PatientCredit, emids, Shareable Ink and


More than $1.4 billion in venture capital invested in area startups over past decade Source: Nashville Venture Capital Report: 2001-2011

startups, artists and professionals into a space where they can interact and collaborate. Financing is vital to startups, and programs like Jumpstart Foundry, TNInvestco, INCITE, Launch Tennessee and the Nashville Capital Network play key roles in finding funding to get ventures off the ground. “We are here to help promising entrepreneurs and startups

navigate the capital market and connect with investors who help with the financing and also incorporate their relationships, expertise and networks to help make these new companies successful,” says Sid Chambless, director of the Nashville Capital Network (NCN). Since 2003, NCN’s angel investors have invested more than $31 million in 28 Nashville startups.

As Nashville’s entrepreneurs build success for themselves, the Chamber provides opportunities for them to work within the community, understanding that today’s innovators are interested in the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit. “Our No. 1 initiative is education, and entrepreneurs want to be part of that mission,” Lynch says. “They want to be engaged in educating and mentoring tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, and we provide those opportunities. Young entrepreneurs don’t want death by committee; they are doers, and we help channel that energy and creativity to make a difference.”

Nashville offers entrepreneurs a wealth of mentors and resources, says Entrepreneur Center president and CEO Michael Burcham (pictured at top left).



Social Enterprise Thrives Commitment creates commerce in Nashville As a first-year medical student at Vanderbilt, Ravi Patel’s work in a free clinic taught him that access to healthy food can be limited. Today, his Nashville Mobile Market operates out of a 28-foot trailer set up as a grocery store aisle that visits communities identified as “food deserts” and provides access to lowcost fresh food. The Mobile Market has become a model for other cities around the country, but it began like any entrepreneurial enterprise – with an idea, a business plan and a need for capital. Patel drew up the plan in 2010, secured initial grant funds and received substantial help in building the trailer from hundreds of Vanderbilt students.

“We’re at a point right now where we can cover almost all of our costs,” Patel says. “Even if we never hit complete profitability, we are meeting our goal of providing healthy food to people who would otherwise not have access.”

Making a Difference For nearly a decade, Ten Thousand Villages, a fair trade retailer of artisan-crafted home decor, personal accessories and gift items, has been operating in the Green Hills area of Nashville, thanks to volunteers who want to support the principles of fair trade and empower artisans in developing countries. Another successful social enterprise is Thistle Farms, a

nonprofit that supports women recovering from addiction, abuse and prostitution at Magdalene, a residential rehab center. The nonprofit employs 40 residents and graduates who manufacture, market and sell all-natural bath and beauty products in more than 200 retail stores around the world. Thistle Farms and Magdalene founder Rev. Becca Stevens was recently recognized for her efforts by President Obama during a White House ceremony honoring “Champions of Change.” Entrepreneurs with a desire to serve can learn more about opportunities for social enterprise through the Nashville Social Enterprise Alliance. – Kim Madlom

Ten Thousand Villages in Green Hills




Off the Charts Nashville-area tourism hits a historic high

Story by Jackie Dishner


usic City is on the rise. Again. Nashville’s tourism industry hit a record high in 2012, with a surge in hotel bed tax revenues and the city’s recognition as a top meeting destination. That momentum is expected to grow even more with the opening of the $585 million Music City Center this spring and the completion of the 800-bed Omni Hotel next door, along with an expansion of the Country Music Hall of Fame, which will take place in 2014. Nashville’s unprecedented tourism spike began three years ago, prompting the city to increase its bed tax and add a $2/night room fee to manage the growth – and it’s only continued. Now with the convention center’s debut and ABC’s new television show, Nashville, city leaders are preparing for another increase in

the 11 million who visited last fiscal year. The city is already reaping the benefits of the show’s “free marketing,” says Butch Spyridon, president and CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau. With promotional billboards up nationwide, he expects it to have a huge impact on Nashville. “It’s prime time. It’s network. It’s reasonably accurate. It’s good,” Spyridon says. By 2016, he calculates a 10 percent increase in the number of visitors to the region. Cultural, Recreational Attractions expand Nashville’s reputation as Music City has extended beyond the country and bluegrass music that first made it famous. Most nights of the week, visitors can find a variety of live music playing at venues throughout the city.

“You can be exposed to practically every genre of music,” says Rick Schwartz, president of the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, the area’s most popular attraction outside of music. The zoo, now undergoing a $130 million expansion that includes construction of a 27-acre African exhibit, topped 750,000 visitors in 2012. Its biggest draws include clouded leopard cubs and a baby giraffe exhibit, events such as Brew at the Zoo, and one of the country’s largest community-built playgrounds. “We are definitely on track to be one of those zoos that becomes a must-see,” Schwartz says. “This, of course, has a huge economic impact on the city as visitors stay an extra day, extend hotel bookings, go to restaurants and visit other local attractions.” Nashville continues to add to its wealth of cultural attractions.

From left: Nashville’s $585 million Music City Center opens in May 2013; The Zac Brown Band performs at the CMA Music Festival; Outside of music, Nashville’s top tourist draws include the zoo, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts and recreational fun like canoeing.


Where Legends Have Stood Legends and rising stars alike have performed at the Ryman Auditorium, which Pollstar magazine named Theatre of the Year in 2012 for the second consecutive year. Called the Mother Church of Country Music because it was built as the Union Gospel Tabernacle in 1892, the auditorium was the home of the Grand Ole Opry. Ryman got a new stage in 2012, replacing the one on which Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley once played.

Hotel with History hermitage hotel is a nashville landmark Built in the popular Beaux-Arts style in 1910, the Hermitage Hotel (above) in downtown Nashville still charms with its ornate architecture and dÊcor. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and within walking distance from the famous Ryman Auditorium, the hotel recently ranked among the 100 Best Hotels in the World and as one of the top five Best Large City Hotels by Travel + Leisure magazine. Food critics praise Executive Chef Tyler Brown for his farmfresh and seasonal Southern cuisine and spirits in both the property’s Capitol Grille restaurant and historic Oak Bar.



Various museums, including one honoring Johnny Cash and another celebrating AfricanAmerican music, are either under construction or in the planning stages. The city’s expansive water park, Nashville Shores, which also hosts a wine festival and lakeside concerts, just added a zipline/ropes course. Opry Mills recently reopened its regional shopping outlet, the largest in the state. And fine dining is Nashville’s fastest-growing entertainment segment, with restaurants rushing to serve the demands of business and leisure travelers. Regional Tourism Draws Visitors Surrounding counties are also contributing to the area’s tourism boom. Regional attractions include historic downtown tours in Williamson County, hiking and canoeing in Cheatham County, bass fishing in Sumner County, and sporting events and tournaments in Rutherford, Wilson and Montgomery counties. Mona K. Herring, vice president of the Rutherford County Convention & Visitors Bureau in Murfreesboro, says the counties tend to “piggyback off of Nashville quite a bit.” “We each have our own niche. Sports is ours,” she says of Rutherford County, which is home to an indoor horse arena for equine events, a dirt bike racing coliseum and venues that host youth sporting tournaments and championships. “We realize the visitor does not know where the county lines are, nor do they care,” she says. “So we like to spread the wealth.”

Clockwise from left: The century-old Hermitage Hotel is known for its lavish decor; The Ryman Auditorium is one of the country’s most hallowed live music halls; Guests can lodge in luxury at the Omni Hotel, opening in 2013; Fans enjoy the annual CMA Music Festival; Carolina Still plays an acoustic show at Loveless Barn.


A Little Country, a Music City evolves into a cultural melting pot of food, fashion and fun Story by Melonee McKinney Hurt Photography by Jeff Adkins & Brian McCord




hen Nashville is mentioned in publications like GQ, The New York Times and Food & Wine for anything other than country music and its stars, it’s a big deal. But when the area is repeatedly included in stories because of its hipness among the young, rich and beautiful set – that signals change is in the air. While Music City will always embrace its country music roots,

the area is broadening beyond those borders and becoming known for its variety of independent restaurants, unique fashion retailers and designers, craft breweries, homegrown record labels, grassroots festivals and a music scene that is anything but country. Meg MacFadyen, owner of Art & Invention Gallery, which is a fine art, craft and original furniture

Little Rock ‘n’ Roll shop located in ultra-hip but lowkey East Nashville, says she felt that a new scene was already evolving when she moved here in the early ‘80s. It’s a sentiment she has maintained. “It’s still like a best-kept secret around here,” MacFadyen says. “It’s because people are picking up on exactly what I’ve felt all along. There are so many creative people here aside from the musicians.

Other arts are becoming remarkable here.” Nashville Rocks In addition to the live country, R&B and jazz all over town, rock acts are calling Nashville home. Rockers like the Kings of Leon and The Black Keys live and record here. The White Stripes’ Jack White relocated here and even planted his label, Third

Man Records, within earshot of Broadway’s fiddles and steel guitars. Along with the ever-broadening music scene come places to buy vintage music, such as the legendary Grimey’s New and Preloved Music, which is expanding its space on 8th Avenue South and offers everything from the vinyl press of the new Avett Brothers record to in-store signings from Nashville’s own Civil

Third Man Records

Imogene + Willie

Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden

Yazoo Brewing Company


Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden

Third Man Records

Art & Invention Gallery

The 5 Spot

Wars. And dance lovers can groove to new and old favorites every Monday night at 5 Spot’s weekly “Keep on Movin’ Dance Party,” which GQ named one of the “most stylish parties in America.” As the music and art scenes grow and blossom, so are other areas that naturally intertwine, such as fashion and food. Restaurateur Randy Rayburn, with his Cabana and Sunset Grill in Hillsboro Village and Midtown Café on 19th Avenue, is setting the proverbial bar pretty high. Newcomers Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden and No. 308 in East Nashville, as well as The Catbird Seat on Music Row and City House in Germantown, each bring a unique dining experience to the area. Vegetarians and allnatural enthusiasts have places to congregrate with the opening of The Wild Cow, The Green Wagon and The Turnip Truck. From Craft Breweries to Fashion Houses Nashville isn’t known just for places that serve food and beer – companies that make food and beer are also getting attention. Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Company, a “bean-to-bar” chocolate maker that creates its Southern Artisan Chocolate right




here in Music City, has graced the pages of Food & Wine magazine. And what Southern city wouldn’t be proud of its breweries and distilleries? Joining the established and wildly popular Yazoo Brewing Company and Jackalope Brewery, both based in The Gulch, are Fat Bottom Brewing, Broadcast Brewing Company and Corsair Artisan Distillery. Corsair owner Darek Bell says Nashville has a great tradition when it comes to spirits – both legal and illegal, even moonshine back in the day. He saw the craft spirits movement happening on the West Coast and wanted to bring it to Nashville. “It’s great to be here where people intrinsically understand whiskey and spirits, and they have a great appreciation for it already,” he says. Mention Nashville’s fashion sense and one immediately thinks of the bedazzled Manuel suits topping off a pair of cowboy boots. Manuel is still designing here, and he’s got some company. Bootmaker Peter Nappi brings a bit of Italy to Nashville’s historic Neuhoff Meat Packing plant, and Imogene + Willie makes and sells its upscale denim designs on 12th Avenue South.



P h o t o C o u r t e s y o f A i r S t r i p Tec h n o l o g i e s


Digital Remedies Nashville’s medical IT industry develops cost-effective cures for health-care paper trail Story by Nan Bauroth

Startup Fever According to a 2012 report by the Health Care Council and Nashville Capital Network, in the past Left to right: From its regional office in Nashville, AirStrip Technologies develops applications that send patient data to mobile devices to give physicians remote access to records.

P h o t o C o u r t e s y o f A i r S t r i p Tec h n o l o g i e s


ashville’s information technology sector is getting into wellness. As large and small health-care institutions face the daunting challenge of new federal guidelines for unifying the deluge of patient data, local tech companies are prescribing digital remedies. The health-care industry’s rush to go electronic by 2015 or face penalties has propelled Nashville’s health-care IT (HIT) industry into the forefront of software innovation for management of electronic health records (EHRs). The goal of these software solutions is better access and delivery of health-care data in order to improve care without harming the bottom line. Given Nashville’s dominant position as the health-care capital of America, the HIT community springing up around it is ideally suited to address this need. “As home to headquarters of the majority of investor-owned hospital management companies, Nashville offers a unique combination of expertise in health-care facilities management and health information technology innovation,” says Caroline Young, president of the Nashville Health Care Council. “Innovations developed in Nashville will influence the HIT landscape nationally as they are implemented throughout these hospital systems.”




Brian McCord

Brian McCord

decade venture capital firms have invested $950 million in Nashville-based health-care companies, with HIT startups among the biggest beneficiaries. Young points to Shareable Ink and Ingenious Med as examples. Named one of America’s most promising companies by Forbes in 2011, Shareable Ink has an enterprise cloud platform to deliver a clinical documentation solution for transitioning into EHRs, while Ingenious Med offers physician-driven Web applications to manage clinical workflow. Other Nashville startups receiving seed money include PharmMD, which provides medication therapy management via a 360-degree patient health record; NuScript Rx, which creates a virtual “in-house pharmacy” for long-term care facilities; and PharmCom, which developed a cyber window into its own 24/7 pharmacy for long-term care nursing stations. On the doctor/hospital side, iPractice Group sells integrated software to help smaller physicians’ offices transition to EHRs, while Entrada created a cross-platform workflow solution to protect physician productivity during this transition phase. Qualifacts implements Web-based EHRs for behavioral health agencies, and ReDoc sells documentation

and management solutions for therapists. With demand for remote access to EHRs growing, AirStrip Technologies creates software that sends patient data from hospitals to a clinician’s mobile device. The firm debuted the technology in 2006 and develops applications for it from its regional office in Nashville. To mitigate risk, ProviderTrust Inc. sells software credentialing and information management solutions for health-care facilities, providers and staffing agencies. Medalogix offers medication-centric predictive modeling software that provides daily reports on homebound patients to help hospitals avoid federal fines for high re-hospitalization rates. To maximize this explosion in Nashville HIT startups, Health Care REIT is constructing OneCity, a 19-acre HIT research and development park. Plans call for the project to become an innovation hub for universities, institutions, companies and suppliers. “The executives in our health-care community have strong track records of success in entrepreneurship and innovation,” Young says. “Nashville offers an unparalleled business environment for health-care companies looking to relocate or expand operations here.”

Clockwise from top: The brainchild of president and CEO Steve Hau (pictured at bottom right), Shareable Ink helps hospitals with electronic health record implementation; Hospitals benefit from patient data technology developed in Nashville.


Crossroads for Commerce Nashville’s transportation network offers logistical advantage



Story by Kevin Litwin

m a r t i n B . C h err y

Nashville is home to three major interstates: I-24, I-40 and I-65.

“All interstates intersect in downtown Nashville, which gives our city a huge advantage for distribution, warehousing, manufacturing and logistics companies,” says Courtney Ross, vice president of economic development for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. Music City accommodates more than 150 truck terminals and is just a three-hour drive to Louisville’s UPS shipping hub and

Memphis’ FedEx headquarters. The area’s logistical assets recently caught the attention of national distributors like Saks Fifth Avenue, which opened a 550,000-squarefoot warehousing center in La Vergne, and, which constructed fulfillment centers in Lebanon and Murfreesboro. Infrastructure enhancements are also in the works including an extension of Korean Veterans

Nashville International Airport

Jeff Adkins


strong transportation network is one of the many hallmarks of doing business in Nashville, and the area’s logistical advantage continues to spur growth in everything from corporate headquarters to supply chain operations. Located within 50 percent of the U.S. population, Nashville’s three interstates – I-24, I-40 and I-65, all of which are connected by bypass route 440 – are a distributor’s dream.


Boulevard downtown as well as transit projects, which will eventually connect Nashville to outlying areas like Clarksville, Columbia, Dickson, Gallatin, Murfreesboro and Springfield via commuter passenger rail.

Jeff Adkins

Ready-Made Routes The city is already ideal for commercial rail service with CSX and two short-line carriers in operation. CSX, which operates a division headquarters in Nashville, recently expanded its major Radnor rail yard and upgraded its intermodal terminal. “Nashville is very competitive for rail projects, especially when hauling by rail is a requirement for a deal with prospective companies looking to relocate,� Ross says.

Top to bottom: CSX operates a division headquarters in Nashville; Nashville International Airport serves 10 million passengers per year.



As for barge shipping, the Port of Nashville sits conveniently on the Cumberland River and its nine-foot-deep navigation channel. “People don’t think of Nashville as a port city like perhaps New Orleans, but Nashville offers barge-shipping access to the Ohio River, the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico,” Ross says. Air Apparent Commercial air access is another asset of the region. The Nashville International Airport, which just celebrated its 75th anniversary, recently completed a major terminal renovation and upgraded its roadways and parking areas. Its newly consolidated rental car facility

is within walking distance of the terminal. “We are approaching 10 million commercial passengers a year and recently added nonstop flights to Boston, Newark, Cleveland and New York’s LaGuardia,” says Emily Richard, Nashville International Airport assistant vice president of strategic communications and external affairs. “Counting all the employees at restaurants, shops, airlines and other on-airport operators, there are now 7,000 people who work at the airport on any given day.” The region is also home to the John C. Tune Airport, one of the state’s busiest general aviation airports located on Nashville’s west side. Both airports contribute

a combined $3.75 billion annually in total economic activity, including more than $1 billion in yearly wages. “Nashville International added a CareHere retail health-care clinic and wellness store in July 2011, becoming the first airport in Tennessee to offer such a facility,” Richard says. “A big reason for the airport’s continued success is that Nashville has a diverse economy with tourism, health care, higher education and technology industries. We have a robust mix of business and leisure travel, so we aren’t totally dependent on one or the other like many airports in America. That is certainly advantageous for us and our community.”




Raising the Bar Nashville’s leading industry elevates the level of care regionally and globally

Story by Melanie Kilgore-Hill Photography by Brian McCord


ome to a strong, diverse health-care cluster, Nashville is shaping the medical landscape regionally, nationally and globally. More than 250 health-care firms, including BlueCross/BlueShield of Tennessee, Community Health Systems and HCA, operate in the area. Many work on a multi-state, national and international basis, supporting more than 200,000 jobs locally and 400,000 jobs globally. Overall, Nashville’s health-care industry contributes an economic benefit of $30 billion locally and $70 billion in revenue globally. Leading that effort is the Nashville Health Care Council (NHCC), an initiative of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. The Council, founded in 1995, supports the growth of Nashville’s leading industry through high-level programming and networking opportunities. Its Leadership Health Care program nurtures the talents of emerging leaders and offers nearly 700 members the opportunity to

further their industry knowledge through monthly meetings, industry tours and networking. In 2013, NHCC will launch the Fellows program, a legacy initiative designed to cultivate a select group of next-generation leaders. The program will consist of multiple daylong sessions that highlight business strategy, leadership and lessons learned through four decades of Nashville health care. “Health care is Nashville’s most important economic engine, and over the past year we have seen continued growth in the industry,” says Caroline Young, president of the Nashville Health Care Council. “Nashville’s dynamic health-care cluster truly sets our community apart in terms of industry expertise and innovation.” Profitable Partnerships In 2012, Nashville’s Saint Thomas Health system launched a pilot program with a group of the nation’s leading health-care companies. The result: MissionPoint Health Partners, an innovative platform for the delivery of

integrated health-care services in Middle Tennessee. MissionPoint partners include Saint Thomas Health’s five regional hospitals and 200 affiliated physicians, Cisco Systems Inc., Crimson Services, YMCA of Middle Tennessee and Applied Health Analytics. “It’s appropriate that these health-care leaders would come together in Nashville – the capital of the U.S. health-care industry – to develop an innovative response to the nation’s need for a new way to experience, deliver and receive health care,” says Michael Schatzlein, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Saint Thomas Health. “MissionPoint is reflective of our broader approach and directives from Ascension Health to provide holistic, reverent care to the communities we serve.” Advances in Care, Technology Another game-changing partnership includes the recent joint venture between HCA’s TriStar Health and CareSpot to open 15 urgent care centers throughout Middle Tennessee in

Nashville’s Saint Thomas Hospital is one of several area hospitals launching innovative health-care partnerships.


2013. TriStar Health is the region’s largest, most comprehensive health-care provider, with 12 hospitals and 13 imaging centers in Middle Tennessee and South Central Kentucky. The new partnership makes CareSpot and TriStar Health the leading urgent care provider in Middle Tennessee. “Urgent care is an important aspect of TriStar’s vision to provide our community with a quality, comprehensive health system,” says Steve Corbeil, president of TriStar Health. “The new urgent care centers will enhance health-care services provided by our primary care physicians and deliver a more rapid, less expensive alternative to emergency room visits for nonemergency injuries and illnesses.” TriStar Health is also collaborating with MinuteClinic, the retail health-care division of CVS Caremark, to provide medical expertise, referrals, and patient education and disease management information for visitors of the walk-in clinics and to integrate their medical records systems to streamline communication on patient care. Nashville is also a key player in medical technology. Rapid electronic registration technology developed by LifePoint’s Sumner Regional Medical Center is reducing emergency department wait times, while MissionPoint Health Partners’ new Virtual Care Network is integrating real-time video conferencing and advanced medical devices to improve rural access to specialized medicine.

vanderbilt university researchers look ahead working to make health care more attainable Vanderbilt University researchers are taking steps to ensure health care is accessible to millions. In 2012, the team was selected to produce a tool that will predict and map out hot spots where shortages of primary care providers might occur in 2014, when millions will access health care through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Funded by the State Health Access Reform Evaluation (SHARE) program of the



Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the program seeks to fill gaps in research related to state-level implementation of the ACA. Vanderbilt University Medical Center scientists are using a technique called microsimulation modeling to scale down the effect of a national policy to local regions. The Vanderbilt model will be the first that can be used to estimate the local impact of the ACA within any state.

Cutting-Edge Care Nashville’s top health-care providers expand services, add to accolades Nashville’s biggest health-care providers, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, HCA TriStar and Saint Thomas Health, continue to grow and earn national recognition. Vanderbilt Medical Center recently ranked among the leading Most Wired Hospitals in America by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine for the eighth year. “We have more than 70 top professionals working in our biomedical informatics department, making sure that our two hospitals and many clinics are completely wired with regard to computers, patient records, surgical equipment and so forth,” says John Howser, Vanderbilt University Medical Center assistant vice chancellor for the Office of News and Communication. Other accolades for Vanderbilt are its medical and nursing schools, ranked among the top 15 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt’s rating as the No. 1 children’s hospital in America by U.S. News. “We are Tennessee’s only complete solid organ transplant center – heart, kidney, liver, lung – and also perform pediatric heart transplants,” Howser says. The number of heart transplants at Vanderbilt continues to grow, along with its research in cancer and stroke treatment. The hospital recently completed a $30 million, 33-bed, 30,000-square-foot expansion of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital and is planning another at its branch in Williamson County, which is also home to a new $7.6 million neuroscience laboratory. Middle Tennessee’s largest health-care system, Hospital Corporation of America & TriStar Health System, is recognized for its patient safety and cancer programs as well as technological advances in its cardiac care. HCA

TriStar’s area facilities include Centennial Medical Center, Skyline Medical Center‚ Hendersonville Medical Center‚ StoneCrest Medical Center in Smyrna and Horizon Medical Center in Dickson. Truven Health Analytics recognized Saint Thomas Health in 2012 for its safety, oncology and cardiology programs. Its advanced treatment for brain tumors is

offered at its new neurosurgical center. Saint Thomas Health oversees facilities such as Saint Thomas Hospital, Baptist Hospital, Middle Tennessee Medical Center, The Hospital for Spinal Surgery and Baptist Sports Medicine. A $110 expansion is under way at Saint Thomas Hospital that will include a new six-level patient tower. – Kevin Litwin





Schools of Thought Regional colleges, universities designing degrees to meet needs of top industries

Story by Kevin Litwin Photography by Brian McCord


ashville has been getting national attention lately for its reputation as a “brain magnet” – and for good reason. More than 60 percent of college students in the 10-county area stay in metropolitan Nashville upon graduation. The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce would like that number to be even higher, so the organization is working collaboratively with the region’s 18 universities and colleges to make sure students are exposed to curriculum and career training that meet the needs of local employers. “The Chamber has formed close relationships with faculty members who meet with us in workforce study sessions to see how college output is matching business needs,” says Rebecca Leslie, Nashville Area Chamber vice president of talent development.

Industry-Focused Degrees, Training Nearly all of the colleges and universities in the metro area offer innovative academic programs designed to prepare students for the region’s top industries and job market. Vanderbilt University’s School of Medicine recently revamped its curriculum to better equip future physicians for rapid changes in the health-care industry, and the university is also offering a new doctorate in educational neuroscience. Lipscomb University, which recently opened a newly accredited pharmacy school, offers master’s degrees in sustainability, health-care informatics and information security, while its School of Professional Studies is working with local industries to design new degrees. “We are creating new degrees that respond to workforce

development challenges,” says Charla Long, School of Professional Studies dean at Lipscomb. “If a Nashville-area company knows it will soon need more employees, we work with that company to put together an education program to train employees specifically in what the company is seeking.” An Assessment Center opened on Lipscomb’s campus in January 2013, Long says, so the university can meet with companies from a wide range of industries to develop customized programs to help them train future employees for jobs. “For example, we recently worked with 40 administrators from a large nursing home company to formulate an academic program that addresses the many changing aspects of the aging services industry,” Long says. “That customized program has given the administrators updated skills they

Home to a newly accredited pharmacy school, Belmont University continues to add to its health-care programs.


needed to better position their company in the future.” Other local colleges working closely with industries to meet workforce needs include Austin Peay State University, which designed a new chemical engineering technology degree to train workers for the Hemlock Semiconductor plant opening in Clarksville, and Trevecca Nazarene University, which debuted a new bachelor’s degree in health-care IT in fall 2012. Meharry Medical College is constructing a state-ofthe-art simulation and clinical skills center to educate aspiring physicians, and Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro is building a $127 million science building to address the local need for more college graduates in hightech STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) jobs.

Jeff Adkins

Focus on Digital Media, Publishing Best known for its music programs, Belmont University, home to a newly accredited pharmacy school, now offers an MBA for health-care professionals as well as an expanded curriculum for digital media. “We actually have a vision for 2015 that we want to be Nashville’s university with all of our academic efforts going toward what is good for this city,” says Thomas Burns, provost at Belmont University. A growing niche in the region’s billion-dollar health-care industry prompted the university to introduce a doctorate in nursing practice, Burns says. “Studies show that today’s hospitals – especially in the Nashville metropolitan area – want their top nurses to have doctorates rather than master’s degrees in nursing practice,” he says. And because Nashville is second only to New York City in publishing, Belmont is planning to launch a four-year bachelor’s degree in publishing for the fall of 2013.



“It will include all phases – books, magazines, digital – with no other university in America offering such a program on the undergraduate level,” Burns says. “Belmont will also introduce a four-year bachelor’s degree in motion pictures beginning in the fall of 2013, focusing on videography and the behind-the-scenes aspect of the industry. It will be important to the rapidly emerging feature film industry in Nashville.”

Top left: Vanderbilt University is revamping its medical program to better equip future physicians for changes in the health-care industry. Bottom left: Lipscomb University works with area employers to design degrees in high demand. Right: The Vanderbilt School of Medicine now offers a doctorate in educational neuroscience.

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Students get hands-on experience in news broadcasting at Hillwood High School in Nashville.

Field of Dreams Metro students explore opportunities through career academies Students can get a taste of the business world at Hillsboro High School’s international business academy, while aspiring physicians can develop clinical expertise at Hillwood High School’s health academy and future techies can experiment with virtual networks at Overton High School’s technology academy. All 12 zoned high schools in the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools system are working to get students careerminded through the Academies of Nashville program. Students take their regular classes while also enrolling in a personalized academy, which partners with businesses, nonprofits and colleges to teach them about today’s and tomorrow’s careers and provide them with experience. “Six years ago, Metro Schools decided that their high schools weren’t performing to the level of community expectation, with an overhaul needed for how high-school students learn in Nashville,” says Marc Hill, chief policy officer for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. “The Academies model – a school within a school – was chosen, with the Nashville Chamber helping to get business leaders involved.”

Graduation Rates Up Students in the city’s 12 high schools first learn about the program in ninth grade in a Freshman Academy, then are involved in the initiative in grades 10-12.

“For example, McGavock High School has a CMT Academy of Digital Design & Communication, so teachers integrate examples of design and communication into their algebra classes, history, English and so forth,” Hill says. “As a result, graduation rates are up and the dropout rate is down throughout Metro, and people across the country are contacting us for more information about The Academies of Nashville.”

From Orchestra to Rap The Academies fall within five broad career groupings: arts, media and communications; business, marketing and information technology; engineering, manufacturing and industrial technology; health and public services; and hospitality and tourism. The groupings are based on the Chamber’s workforce projections of highly skilled jobs that will be created in the next 10 years in Nashville. “And because Nashville is Music City, another program in place is Music Makes Us, with classes in country, rock and rap supplementing the traditional curriculum of orchestra, choir and band,” Hill says. “Instruction in songwriting, production and other skills such as DJ-ing have been added to music theory and other existing offerings – all to get students more engaged in their studies and feel more prepared for life after high school.” – Kevin Litwin





Best of All Worlds Nashville’s many amenities, attractions make it a coveted place to live

Story by Jessica Walker Boehm Photography by Jeff Adkns & Brian McCord


t’s no secret that Nashville offers a high quality of life. In addition to its mild climate, low cost of living, high median income, and access to world-class hospitals, schools and higher education institutions, the city is a welcoming community with plenty of fun things to do. Not only locals are taking notice. In 2012, Nashville scored a spot on Bloomberg Businessweek’s list of America’s Best Cities and was also named the top U.S. Growth City by U-Haul. Where to Retire magazine cited the Nashville area as a top retirement destination, and a Harris Interactive poll named it as one of the top places where Americans most want to live. Caring Community Nashville’s friendly, philanthropic spirit sets it apart. To connect with service opportunities, many residents turn to Hands on

Nashville (HON), one of the area’s most prominent volunteer resource centers. HON works with more than 700 Middle Tennessee nonprofit organizations, schools, government agencies, businesses and other groups to identify needs and match volunteers based on their interests and availability. The organization features an Opportunity Calendar on its website,, where volunteers can search for opportunities to serve. Erika Burnett, HON’s director of community programs, says the resource center helped connect more than 125,000 volunteers with opportunities during the aftermath of Nashville’s 2010 flood, recording more than 91,000 service hours. “The community of volunteers in Nashville is very robust, multifaceted and multicultural,”

Burnett says. “There are no limits here.” Dedicated to feeding the hungry, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee serves 46 counties in Middle and West Tennessee, collecting food from various sources and delivering it to 400-plus partner agencies and emergency food box locations. In Davidson County alone, the organization distributed nearly 60,000 emergency food boxes and fed more than 135,000 people during the 2011-2012 fiscal year. Music, Arts and Sports Nashville’s many cultural and entertainment choices contribute to the city’s fun, welcoming vibe. An 85-member orchestra, the Nashville Symphony is known for stellar concerts at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. The symphony, which has won seven Grammy awards, draws approximately 200,000 attendees

Clockwise from left: Cyclists ride over the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge near downtown Nashville; The Schermerhorn Symphony Center showcases Nashville’s Grammy-winning orchestra; Hands on Nashville connects volunteers with service opportunities.


Above: The Frist Center for the Visual Arts introduces new exhibits every six to eight weeks. Right: The Tennessee Titans NFL football team plays at LP Field, which seats about 69,143 fans.

annually, nearly 20 percent from outside the United States. “People can expect to experience music-making at the highest possible level,” says Alan Valentine, director of the Nashville Symphony. The Grand Ole Opry House and the Ryman Auditorium are popular live music venues, hosting artists from all over the world. The Tennessee Performing Arts Center sets the stage for theatrical performances, while the Belcourt Theatre offers independent, foreign and first-run films. Nashville’s arts community is buzzing with activity, thanks to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts and Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art. “We work hard to make Cheekwood a place that engages every visitor, whether it’s a painted masterpiece in our



museum, 50,000 tulips in bloom, the incredible views and vistas from the mansion, or an interactive exhibition designed for climbing and exploring,” says Claire Brick Corby, who serves as Cheekwood’s vice president of marketing and sales. Nashville offers plenty for sports fans, too, with the NHL

Nashville Predators hockey team, NFL Tennessee Titans football team and the Nashville Sounds minor league baseball team. Golfers can find an array of local courses to enjoy, such as McCabe Golf Course and Ted Rhodes Golf Course, while area lakes provide opportunities for boating, fishing and kayaking.

Hit The Trails In 2012, Nashville’s Edwin and Percy Warner parks – generally known as the Warner Parks – earned a spot on Women’s Running magazine’s list of the top five trail running destinations in the United States. Together, the Warner Parks cover 2,684 acres and include cross-country running courses, hiking trails, athletic fields, golf courses, picnic areas and more. Both listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the parks, which attract 500,000 visitors annually, are located nine miles from downtown Nashville. To learn more about places to get active in Nashville, visit


Downtown Nashville skyline Photo by Martin B. Cherry




Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center Photo by Martin B. Cherry



visit our

advertisers Ascend Federal Credit Union Colliers International Cushman & Wakefield – Cornerstone Commercial Real Estate Services Diocese of Nashville Drees Homes Ensworth School Gallatin Economic Development Agency Harding Academy Highwoods Properties Maury County Chamber & Economic Alliance Metropolitan Nashville International Montgomery Bell Academy Paro South Tennessee Technology Center at Nashville The Bank of Nashville Trauger & Tuke Attorneys at Law Williamson Medical Center Wingate by Wyndham magnuson-hotel-cool-springs/


Ad Index

1 Ascend Federal Credit Union 29 Colliers International 2 Cushman & Wakefield – Cornerstone Commercial Real Estate Services

41 Maury County Chamber & Economic Alliance

37 Metropolitan Nashville International

45 Montgomery Bell Academy

33 Paro South 46 Tennessee Technology Center at Nashville

55 Diocese of Nashville

C3 Drees Homes

55 Ensworth School

51 The Bank of Nashville

C4 Gallatin Economic Development Agency

56 Trauger & Tuke Attorneys at Law

56 Harding Academy

C2 Williamson Medical Center

13 Highwoods Properties

8 Wingate by Wyndham

economic profile Business snapshot The Nashville region encompasses 10 counties, including the population centers of Murfreesboro, Clarksville and Franklin, and has a combined labor force of 878,980. Top industries in the region include advanced manufacturing, transportation and logistics, music and entertainment, health care, and communications and information technology.

Population (2011) Region: 1,787, 652 Cheatham County: 39,078 Davidson County: 635,475 Dickson County: 50,081 Maury County: 81,509 Montgomery County: 176,619 Robertson County: 67,106 Rutherford County: 268,921 Sumner County: 163,686 Williamson County: 188,560 Wilson County: 116,617

Median Household Income (2011) Nashville MSA: $49,992

Per capita Income (2011) Nashville MSA: $42,129

Educational Attainment (2011)

Major MSA Population Centers

For population 25 years and older


Bachelor’s Degree: 20.3%

609,644 Clarksville:

136,231 Murfreesboro:

111,327 Franklin:


Associate Degree: 6% Graduate Degree: 10.4%

Housing Market (Nashville-Franklin) Median Home Cost: $189,580 Average Rent: $796

Nurturing the Spirit • Inspiring the Mind A Co-Educational Day School Serving Kindergarten through Eighth Grade

170 Windsor Dr. • Nashville, TN (615) 356-5510

Top Employers Vanderbilt University, 21,398 HCA Holdings, 7,000 Nissan North America, 6,600 Saint Thomas Health Services, 6,500 Gaylord Entertainment Co., 4,000 The Kroger Co., 3,500 Asurion, 3,500 Electrolux, 3,300 Randstad, 3,260 Shoney’s Inc., 3,000 Sources:,, ACCRA Cost of Living Index 2012, Bureau of Economic Analysis

For more in-depth demographic, statistical and community information on Nashville, go to and click on Facts & Stats.

Ac ADemy


U.S. Average = 100 Orlando, 97.7 Atlanta, 96.9 Austin, 95.6 Nashville, 88.9

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Tr auger & Tuke Attorneys at Law (615) 256-8585

Serving the community for 30 years