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INSIDE: BAH Humbug recap pg. 76


Monthly Economic Indicators

pg. 78




Top Achievers are recognized for their countless volunteer hours and dedication to the Ambassador Program’s mission of serving as an active volunteer extension of the Knoxville Chamber to cultivate, promote, and maintain positive relationships between the Knoxville Chamber, its members, and the community.

AT&T celebrated the grand opening of its new AT&T Experience store at 7041 Kingston Pike in December. Pictured from left to right are Danny Hastaba, Knoxville Chamber Ambassador; Alan Hill, AT&T; Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett; Jason Bingham, AT&T Store Manager; Senator Becky Duncan Massey; Tiekel Finnikin, AT&T; John Sharpe, AT&T; Noah Watson, AT&T Assistant Manager; and Mary Weaver, Knoxville Chamber Ambassador.

With The

JILL GREEN LBMC Strategic Staffing of Knoxville, LLC


LANEY SHORTER Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corporation

CHAMBER STAFF Doug Lawyer @knoxoakridgeIV Jennifer Evans @knoxevans Kyle Touchstone @knoxecondevguy Mark Field @field101 Michelle Kiely @mkiely1


NEW MEMBERS / NEW PREMIER PARTNERS BRONZE Johnson University (865) 573-4517 Education & Training: Colleges Management Solutions, LLC (865) 483-9959 Business & Professional Services: Business Advisors, Coaches, & Consultants ADP (913) 284-1777 Business & Professional Services: Human Resources The ALS Association - Tennessee Chapter (865) 805-9750 Associations & Organizations Ameriprise Financial - Keifer and Tilley (865) 690-6169 Financial Services

Archer Design & Marketing (865) 661-8862 Business & Professional Services: Graphic Designers Automated Imaging, Inc. (865) 249-6043 Office Equipment, Furniture, Supplies & Printing Services: Digital Copying, Printing, Faxing, Scanning Equipment BNL Technical Services (865) 272-0250 Business & Professional Services: Technical Services

Cantrell’s Heat and Air (865) 687-2520 Building & Grounds Maintenance: Air Conditioning, Heating, and Climate Control Holbrook Peterson Smith PLLC (865) 523-2900 Legal Services:Attorneys HTS (865) 539-0911 Transportation

Brown Bag Catering (865) 228-3283 Event Planning, Catering, & Venues: Catering

J. S. Ridenour Properties, LLC (865) 938-1515 Real Estate: Property Management

Burke’s Outlet (865) 470-0766 Shopping: Discount Stores

Jones of Knoxville (865) 661-1415 Construction & Contractors: Residential

KAMA (American Marketing Association, Knoxville Chapter) Koko FitClub (865) 558-1236 Personal Services: Fitness & Well-being Media Pros LLC (865) 247-6968 Business & Professional Services: Promotional Products MedicOne Medical Response (865) 329-0004 Healthcare Providers & Services Petro’s Chili & Chips - Knoxville Food Truck (423) 967-4700 Restaurants - Eating & Drinking Places Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 102 JATC (865) 525-6305 Construction & Contractors: Plumbing

















Ridenour Realty (865) 938-5000 Real Estate: Commercial Ritchie Tractor Company LLC (865) 981-3199 Transportation: Truck/Trailor Sales & Equipment Senior Directory (865) 483-8606 Publishing/Publications Tennessee Riverboat Company (865) 525-7827 Attractions & Tourism The ALS Association Tennessee Chapter (865) 805-9750 Associations & Organizations


The Knoxville Chamber’s Business Retention & Expansion Efforts Before Republic Plastics decided to move forward with another expansion The guidance through the process from the Chamber didn’t cost Republic of their operations at Knox County’s Forks of the River Industrial Park, an Plastics a dime but the grant meant new Republic employees who were added early phone call to the Knoxville Chamber’s during the expansion learned more about Economic Development team turned out to be the company’s manufacturing processes worth $45,000 to the organization. and safety procedures than they might have “We don’t recruit businesses and then without it. The grant money also helped cover forget about them once they start operations,” airfare for situations where the training was not Kyle Touchstone, the Chamber’s economic available locally. development project manager said. “We’re For other businesses considering an expanthere with them all the way.” sion, many similar resources are available; it’s As Republic eyes a sixth plant expanjust a matter of the organization touching base sion and additional jobs for Knox County, with the Chamber and its partners, such as they’ve come to know the Chamber as a Pellissippi State Community College. great resource in the community, facilitating “It could be something like a local business discussions between private businesses and services firm that realized its employees need a number of agencies, all working to ensure to upgrade their accounting knowledge in the expansion goes smoothly. order to help the company remain competiThe City of Knoxville and Knox County govtive and keep their jobs,” Teri Brahams, the ernments contract with the Knoxville Chamber executive director of economic and workforce to recruit new businesses, and just as impordevelopment for Pellissippi State Community tantly, to make sure it can help keep existing College said. businesses like Republic Plastics thriving. In some cases, businesses have even “The Chamber is always looking for approached the Knoxville Chamber different methods to raise awareness of and Pellissippi State with a prospective the programs our business retention and project they’d like to land. In at least one expansion efforts provide,” said Doug Lawyer, example, Pellissippi offered additional the Chamber’s vice president of economic training that directly helped a local busidevelopment. ness expand. That means ever-evolving efforts working “A local manufacturer needed assiswith state and federal agencies to keep up tance in developing standards for weldwith what local businesses need in terms of ing to meet a prospective contract they support and then communicating with Knox were pursuing. Once the standard was County businesses about those resources. adopted, we trained personnel and test“We reach out to these groups and pull ed them to the standard so the company people in to help,” Lawyer said. could prove they could do the work. The With help from the Chamber’s business retention and expansion team, ReIn the case of Republic Plastics, the Chamcompany was awarded the contract as a public Plastics is thriving in Knox County’s Forks of the River Industrial Park ber’s team was able to help the polystyrene result of this effort,” Brahams said. manufacturer land $45,000 in state training grants. Lawyer’s team at the Despite the success stories, one of the largest challenges for the Chamber’s Chamber listened to what Republic needed. They then put Republic’s managebusiness retention and expansion team is getting local business leaders to open ment team in touch with the right people and facilitated the paperwork to make up about what they need to stay successful in East Tennessee. Despite phone it happen. Soon after, the Tennessee Department of Economic Development delivered the grant money.

See “RETENTION” on pg. 74


“RETENTION” continued from pg. 73

calls, online surveys, and awareness blitzes with economic development volunteers knocking on businesses’ doors, many organizations aren’t aware of what reSince starting operations in early 2011, Republic Plastics’ second manufacturing sources are facility is eyeing another expansion out there to help. Those meetings can help shape the Chamber’s priorities and often, lead to policy changes at the city and county or state level. For example, if Touchstone hears from an employer that is having difficulty finding employees with a certain skill-set, he then takes that information back to the Chamber’s workforce and education staff, so they can work with an organization like Pellissippi State to determine the feasibility of additional programming. The Chamber is leading a charge to call on Knox County’s fifty-largest employers. Cumulatively, those businesses provide jobs to about 54,000 East Tennesseans. Their goal is to get face time with the top officer of the company in an attempt to get a frank assessment of what the business needs. “I grew up in a small business, I know how important help can be to a small and medium sized business,” Touchstone said. Often, the things put in place to keep current businesses thriving can have a big impact on luring more potential industry to Knoxville. “We offer the classes at the company’s location after work so it is convenient for the employees. Another example would include a customer service center that needed to train its employees to speak and understand other languages as the company grew its business globally,” Brahams said. As for Republic Plastics, it is in the process of planning yet another expansion at the second facility. “When everybody else was in a recession, we worked harder,” said Terry Kirksey, operations manager at Republic Plastics. “It’s a wonderful business. We’ve been blessed.” Republic manufactures affordable tableware for national chains such as Kroger, Dollar General, and Family Dollar. The past several years have been a boon to the business with intense nationwide demand. In fact, since Kirksey helped open the second Knox County manufacturing facility earlier this year, their production lines have never stopped. As they considered that addition, the Knoxville Chamber’s economic development team has been kept in the loop, looking at permitting processes and tax considerations. Once completed, Republic’s expansion will blossom with much more production capacity and double the fifty employees currently working at the second Forks of the River manufacturing facility. “Everything is going well, if we can get the machines in here we’ll have the second expansion before this building celebrates its first birthday,” Kirksey said. It’s good news for Kirksey, who thanks to Republic’s expansion efforts was able to keep his family in the Knoxville area, and as the company continues to grow its Knoxville-area operations it’s good news for residents looking for a job. “What’s great about our relationship with Republic Plastics is that they not only recognize the resources and information we can provide local businesses, but also they continue to come back to us for assistance. Knowing that we are helping a company through an expansion, which will in turn provide new jobs in this market, is very rewarding,” says Touchstone. KNOXVILLE CHAMBER 74



Percent Proficient and Advanced K-8 TCAP

Knox County





Reading/Language High School









Composite ACT Results



Knox County

21.8% 20.5% 20.4%

State Average Graduation Rates

20.6% 19.6% 19.5%

Knox County Schools

81.4% 86.6% 86.6%

State Average

83.2% 86.1% 85.5%

Dear Knoxville Business Community, Last week the Tennessee Department of Education released the State Report Card, which shows the academic performance and progress made by all of the public schools across the state. The Report Card provides high-level information about the state’s overall performance including individual schools’ graduation rates, Tennessee Comprehensive Achievement Program scores, end-of-course exams, and attendance. Hopefully, you will recall that Tennessee made the right choice by raising academic standards after discovering that it was woefully low in comparison to other states. We were telling our students that they were approximately 90 percent proficient or advanced, when compared to the national assessments they were only showing 25 percent proficient or advanced. There was clearly false advertising going on, to the detriment of our students and our future workforce. Currently, Tennessee Kindergarten through eighth graders are showing 41 percent proficiency or above in math and 54 percent in reading (Knox County K-8 performs at 48 percent and 60 percent respectively), while the national assessment shows Tennessee students at 24 percent and 27 percent proficiency. There is still a gap, but not nearly as wide. Now that we are reporting more accurate depictions of success, our challenge is to figure out how to elevate those numbers so that all students in Tennessee are college and career ready. My job at the Knoxville Chamber is to ensure that we have a skilled and knowledgeable workforce to meet the needs of our existing and future businesses. When I look at the 2011 data, I wonder if we are meeting your needs and if not, will we get there quickly enough? So I ask you, the business community, what are you seeing out there? Is your workforce performing to your expectations? What are your challenges in finding skilled and knowledgeable staff? I really believe that recent reforms in education are moving us in the right direction and that they will help improve student outcomes. But what will it take to move the needle so that our workforce can compete globally?






Knox County 2010 Status Mean Gain

Knox County 2011 Status Mean Gain

Mathematics Reading/ Language









Social Studies











Jennifer Evans Vice President of Workforce Development & Education Knoxville Chamber KNOXVILLE CHAMBER 75

The Chamber’s 6th annual holiday bash on December 8 was another hit with nearly 500 people attending at the Tennessee Theater. BAH Humbug, the Chamber’s holiday themed Business After Hours event, provides the community a fun kick-off to the holiday season and the chance to do some networking. This year’s party once again took place at the Tennessee Theatre and was presented by Comcast Business Class, with production assistance from All Occasions Party Rentals, Bandit Lites and Sound Ventures. All Occasion Catering was the catering sponsor. The Knoxville Photo Booth Company provided a festive photo booth for attendees to enjoy.

To see more from this BAH Humbug ‘11, head to the Chamber’s YouTube channel:

Monthly Economic Indicators

(October 2011)

Notes - Knoxville MSA includes: Anderson, Blount, Knox, Loudon & Union Counties.

WORKFORCE Resident Labor Force Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee U.S.

HOUSING MARKET % Change Oct. ’10Oct. ‘11

October 2011

September 2011

October 2010

% Change Sept. ’11Oct. ‘11

238,700 374,350 3,125,600 154,088,000

238,400 373,700 3,130,000 154,022,000

235,750 370,090 3,077,400 153,652,000

0.1 0.2 -0.1 0.0

1.3 1.2 1.6 0.3

329,100 2,667,900

327,900 2,655,800

327,900 2,643,400

0.4 0.5

0.4 0.9

Residential Closings Residential Inventory Median Residential Price

October 2011 758 14,526 $139,400

September 2011 887 14,950 $138,575

October 2010 721 16,482 $148,250

% Change Sept. ’11Oct. ‘11 -17.0 -2.9 0.6

% Change Oct. ’10Oct. ‘11 5.1 -13.5 -6.3

Source: Knoxville Area Association of Realtors

Non-Ag Employment Knoxville MSA Tennessee


Knoxville (City)

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

October 2011* 6 6 0

October 2010 14 14 0

% Change Oct. ’10Oct. ‘11 -133.0 -133.0 0.0

Knox Co.

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

47 47 0

76 76 0

-61.7 -61.7 0.0

Knoxville MSA

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

64 64 0

106 106 0

-65.6 -65.6 0.0


Total Single-Family Multi-Family

881 797 84

817 717 100

7.8 11.2 -19.0

Available Labor Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee

17,780 29,160 308,520

20,160 32,680 336,580

18,530 30,180 317,080

-13.4 -12.1 -9.1

-4.2 -3.5 -2.8

6.7 7.0 8.9 8.5

7.7 7.9 9.7 8.8

7.0 7.3 9.1 9.0

-1.0 -0.9 -0.8 -0.3

-0.3 -0.3 -0.2 -0.5

Unemployment Rates Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee U.S.

Sources: Tennessee Dept. of Labor & Workforce Development/U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


*Southeast Region Avg. U.S. Avg. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Oct. ’10-‘11

Sept. ’10-‘11

Oct. ’09-‘10

4.0 3.5

4.3 3.9

1.4 1.2


% Change Sept. ’10Oct. ‘11

% Change Oct. ’09Oct. ‘11

-0.3 -0.4

2.6 2.3

*South – City Size Class B/C

*All 2011 building permit data is preliminary and therefore subject to revision throughout the year. Sources: U.S. Housing & Urban Development – SOCDS – State of the Cities Data Systems; U.S. Census Bureau – Building Permits Survey

SALES TAX REVENUE - STATE & LOCAL ($) State Sales Tax Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee

October 2011

September 2011

47,492,760 66,964,693 570,026,876

48,282,162 66,736,310 554,974,531

12,876,645 18,087,721

13,581,667 18,798,525

Local Sales Tax Knox Co. Knoxville MSA

October 2010

% Change Sept. ’11Oct. ‘11

% Change Oct. ’10Oct. ‘11

42,793,416 60,027,476 536,923,389

-1.7 0.3 2.7

11.0 11.6 6.2

12,007,583 16,835,079

-5.5 -3.9

7.2 7.4


Passengers Cargo

Source: Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority

Source: Tennessee Dept. of Revenue


September 2011 152,233 8,145,247

October 2011 386,133 Total Retail Sales 25,718 Building Materials 18,161 Clothing Stores 7,658 Electronics & Appliances 51,650 Food & Beverage Stores 42,035 Food Svcs & Drinking Places 7,176 Furniture & Home Furnishings 44,970 Gasoline Stations 51,148 General Merchandise Stores 22,978 Health & Personal Care Stores 10,587 Miscellaneous Stores 65,679 Motor Vehicle & Parts Sales 31,793 Non-store Retailers Sporting Goods/Books/ 6,580 Hobby/Music

September 2011 381,852 24,887 17,774 7,652 50,464 41,170 7,691 45,333 48,366 22,461 10,387 67,339 31,087

October 2010 361,750 24,196 17,433 7,399 48,945 39,906 7,026 38,954 49,588 22,023 9,922 61,429 28,779

% Change Sept. ’11Oct. ‘11 1.1 3.3 2.2 0.1 2.4 2.1 -7.2 -0.8 5.8 2.3 1.9 -2.5 2.3




% Change Oct. ’10Oct. ‘11 6.7 6.3 4.2 3.5 5.5 5.3 2.1 15.4 3.1 4.3 6.7 6.9 10.5 7.0

Source: U.S. Census Bureau – Advance Monthly Retail Trade Report


August 2011 154,731 8,137,960

September 2010 141,235 8,122,811

% Change Aug. ’11Sept. ‘11 -1.6 0.1

% Change Sept. ’10Sept. ‘11 7.8 0.3

Extreme Volunteers Needed! Federal Bank announced the start of the Family “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” is coming Build Fund with an initial donation of $20,000 to to town to give a deserving family a new home help the family. You can donate money to the fund and shine a spotlight on Knoxville. Knoxville at each of Home Federal Bank’s 23 locations. Chamber Board Member Christi Branscom and It’s going to take hundreds of volunteers to pull her company, Grace Construction, announced off the project which means even East Tennessethe hit ABC show selected Knoxville as its destians who have never picked up a hammer are being nation for an upcoming show recently at a Market recruited to lend a hand. If you’re interested in Square press conference. Grace Construction helping give a deserving family a new home, please will serve as lead builder on the project. visit “We could not be more excited about the Additionally, Grace Construction is spearheading visibility this project will bring to Knoxville,” an “Extreme Volunteers” effort. T-shirts in an approBranscom said. “We will have the opportunity to priate shade of orange bearing a special volunteer showcase the true volunteer spirit for which our logo are available for purchase with donations goregion is so well known.” ing to the Family Build Fund. Long-sleeved t-shirts The show selects a deserving family each are $20 and short-sleeved shirts are $10. You can episode and totally remodels or rebuilds the Christi Branscom announces Grace Construction will be the purchase the t-shirts at the Knoxville Chamber or family’s home. Host Ty Pennington will reveal the lead builder when “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” comes by visiting the Grace Construction website at deserving Knoxville family on January 10 when to Knoxville he knocks on their front door and gives them the “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” airs Friday news. nights at 8 p.m. on WATE-TV in Knoxville. To kick off the drive for volunteers and donations, Chamber member Home

Ambassadors’ Bosses Saluted at Breakfast After supporting the Chamber with more than 2,000 volunteer-hours over the last year, the Knoxville Chamber Ambassadors recently thanked their bosses for giving them the opportunity to network and work more closely with the Chamber. Ambassadors serve a number of roles with the Chamber, welcoming new members, providing valuable staff-support at over 80 events a year, and serving as representatives of the business community. In return, Ambassadors learn great details about how the Chamber works and are often among the first to interact with new and expanding businesses in the community. Thirty-eight Knoxville-area businesses have at least one employee serving as an Ambassador. “We are very lucky to have this group because they go above and beyond what we ask for,” Leslie Smith, the Chamber’s member mervices manager said.

Leslie Smith, the Knoxville Chamber’s Member Services Manager thanks the Chamber’s Ambassadors and their bosses at the recent reception

Local Sports Agent Headlines Premier Partner Event (L) James Clawson, Hunter Baddour, Chad Speck, and Amber Park of Allegiant Athletic Agency (R)Chad Speck addresses Premier Partners inside the Knoxville Chamber’s Market House

Chad Speck, the president of Allegiant Athletic Agency, headlined the Chamber’s November Premier Partner event. His agency, located on Market Square, provides contract and marketing services to professional football and basketball players, including the University of Tennessee’s Eric Berry and Albert Haynesworth, among many others. KNOXVILLE CHAMBER 79


Home Federal Bank of Tennessee Home Federal Bank of Tennessee is a locally-owned, full-service bank serving East Tennesseans through branches in Knox, Anderson, Blount, and Sevier counties. The bank was founded in 1924 on the enduring principle of service – service to its customers and service to its community. Home Federal Bank is one of the area’s leading mortgage lenders and is classified by bank regulators in the highest possible category for capital strength. Bauer Financial Inc., the banking industry’s leading independent bank rating firm, has awarded Home Federal its highest five-star rating for 78 consecutive quarters. Fewer than 10 percent of the nation’s banks earn this superior rating for financial strength. As a hometown bank, Home Federal supports the community philanthropically through significant financial contributions and volunteer labor. In 2010 alone, Home Federal made charitable contributions of more than $880,000. The bank has provided financial resources and volunteer labor to complete 21 Habitat for Humanity homes, more than any other organization in the community. Home Federal’s philanthropic support also goes to educational initiatives, programs that support young people, the arts, health initiatives, the environment, feeding the hungry, and housing. Through its Hometown Heroes program, the bank recognizes leading community volunteers and makes contributions in their names to the volunteers’ charities of choice. The bank is sponsor of Symphony on the Square, a free concert on Market Square by the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra, and in 2010 started the holiday tradition of sponsoring two free showings of “It’s a Wonderful Life” on the big screen at the historic Tennessee Theatre. Home Federal Bank is headquartered in downtown Knoxville and operates branches throughout Knoxville, as well as in Farragut, Seymour, Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Oak Ridge. With more than 440 employees in four counties, Home Federal is a leading employer in our region.

Knoxville TSBDC Increases Resources for Small Business Growth There are now more resources for small businesses in East Tennessee. The Tennessee Small Business Development Center located in Knoxville is doubling its capacity to guide local business owners through strategic managerial decisions. Larry Rossini, the director of the TSBDC in Knoxville, recently announced the center now has four staff members certified to teach the Strategic Management Learning System. SMLS is a battery of 12 different educational modules ranging from financial basics to marketing principles, designed to help small business owners. They are offered to the business community for free through the TSBDC. The move doubles the number of certified staff available to guide businesses through the material and will allow flexibility and specialized attention to meet businesses needs. “We will use it one-on-one rather than in the classroom environment,” Rossini said. “It just works better for business owners not to be committed to a structured day and time.” Business owners can attend the classes at the First Tennessee Resource Center at the TSBDC’s Market Square office in the Chamber or have a business counselor meet with them at their company. While other training programs are available similar to SMLS, Rossini stressed the increased flexibility will be vital to helping the small business community. Many small business owners struggle to balance the demands of running a company with their desire to run the business rather than the business run them. “What you can’t get from other training is a hands-on consultant who will work with you at your convenience,” Rossini said. To learn more about SMLS, visit or contact the Tennessee Small Business Development Center inside the Knoxville Chamber’s offices on Market Square at (865) 246-2663.



Vice President of Finance & Administration Larry Johnson presents Membership Services Manager Leslie Smith with November’s Chamber Employee of the Month award

Knoxville Chamber Recognized Among Nation’s Most “Military Friendly”

Knoxville Chamber Chairman of the Board Mitch Steenrod addresses supporters and the media at the McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base.

The National Veteran Owned Business Association named the Knoxville Chamber among the nation’s most military friendly. The Knoxville Chamber is one of 20 organizations across the country to receive the designation. The Chamber provides staffing to the East Tennessee Military Affairs Council, assists in hosting the annual Veterans Day luncheon, and offers a mentoring program that connects companies with startup business owned by veterans. At a press conference at McGhee Tyson National Guard Base on December 1, Chamber Chairman Mitch Steenrod emphasized the importance of this economic sector in East Tennessee, where military contracts and spending total more than $850 million.


Michael Garfield Chief Executive Officer, Tennova Healthcare

As the son of a nurse and a doctor growing up in Bristol, it wasn’t long after earning his undergraduate degree from Furman University, that Tennova CEO Michael Garfield turned his attention to health care, pursued a master’s in health administration at Tulane, and ultimately wound up back in East Tennessee. Now, he’s closer to the mother and father that helped shape him personally and professionally. “My dad ended up the latter part of his career running hospitals for the Public Health Service. I remember being in his office, wandering the halls with him and enjoyed that life,” Garfield said. In October, Mercy Health Partners transitioned to become Tennova, under the umbrella of Health Management Associates, Inc. The transition provided Garfield the chance to leave his post as a regional operations executive at Community Health Systems in Nashville and move three hours closer to his mother and father. Today, from his sixth floor office at the former Baptist Hospital of East Tennessee campus in South Knoxville, Garfield has taken the reigns of Tennova’s six Knoxvillearea hospitals. The CEO is placing heavy emphasis on physician, employee, and patient relations. As part of building that framework, the management team recently wrapped up meeting with staff at all six hospitals and already have their top priority set: Serve as the top hospital in East Tennessee for patient care. “Much like the foundation of building a house, strategic planning can’t happen before input,” Garfield said. “I think it’s a similar mission to what Mercy did in a lot of respects, but we are out to grow the market, make sure our physicians are equipped with the right equipment, and make sure our employees are engaged and focused on what they’re doing.” Garfield stresses Tennova is in East Tennessee to stay and he’s looking to get more involved in the community himself, even encouraging his co-workers to support South Knoxville businesses impacted by the Henley Bridge closure. A Tennessee Volunteers fan since the early 1970s, Garfield was no stranger to town before joining Tennova, and he says the transition to life back in East Tennessee has been a good one. He and his wife live near downtown Knoxville and love the atmosphere. As he continues to settle in, he’s hopeful another member of the family might also call the area home. Garfield’s daughter will soon be graduating from Marquette University and has the University of Tennessee on her short list of potential graduate schools. “We’re very excited about being here, I’m very excited personally about this,” he said. “I think East Tennessee is very special and that’s because of its people. Very high family values and it didn’t hurt having the University of Tennessee here.” For more from Michael Garfield describing his move to Tennova, check out a video here:


SAVE THE DATE! Join the Knoxville Chamber January 23 for a breakfast with Governor Bill Haslam. More details to come!



Regional Legislative Agenda Breakfast

Networking/Breakfast 7:30 – 8 a.m.; Presentation of Agenda 8 a.m. Knoxville Marriott, 500 Hill Ave, SE $20 for members and non-members

Sponsored by:


Social Media Series – Seminar #1 “Nothing’s Changed, But Everything’s Different Social Media in 2012” Presented by Jeremy Floyd, Bluegill Creative 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square $25 for members and $35 for non-members


Reception Welcoming Mayor Rogero 4 – 6 p.m., Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square


Social Media Series – Seminar #2 “How To Win Friends and Influence Customers with LinkedIn” Presented by Gavin Baker, Moxley Carmichael 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square $25 for members and $35 for non-members


Exclusive Premier Partner Event with Dr. Tom Bogart, President of Maryville College 7:30 – 8:30 a.m., Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square Sponsored by:


Business After Hours Hosted by Jewelry Television 5 – 7 p.m., Jewelry Television Studios, 9600 Parkside Drive Sponsored by:


Social Media Series – Seminar #3 “Social Media Success Stories” Presented by Laura Bower, The Tombras Group 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square $25 for members and $35 for non-members


Social Media Series – Seminar #4 “What Can Plus Add to Your Communications? Using Google+ for Business” Presented by Shane Rhyne, Ackermann PR 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square $25 for members and $35 for non-member

Go to “Chamber Events” on to learn more or register for any of these events. You may also call the events line, (865) 246-2622. KNOXVILLE CHAMBER 82