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INSIDE: Shrimp Boil Draws Crowd pg. 52 + Monthly Economic Indicators pg. 54


MEMBERSHIP MATTERS EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH

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CHAMBER

TOP ACHIEVERS

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.

The Knoxville Chamber’s June Employee of the Month, Shannon Reeves, presents July’s Employee of the Month, Terry Tabors, with the award. Reeves is a customer service representative for the Chamber and Tabors is the Chamber’s accounting manager.

APRIL STOUFFER

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twitter.com/k_chamber CHAMBER STAFF Doug Lawyer @knoxoakridgeIV Jennifer Evans @knoxevans Kyle Touchstone @knoxecondevguy Mark Field @field101 Michelle Kiely @mkiely1

RENA AMERSON Tillman Companies, LLC

NEW MEMBERS / NEW PREMIER PARTNERS BRONZE Cushman & Wakefield | Cornerstone (865) 450-8883 Real Estate: Commercial WEBTEC Converting (865) 584-8273 www.webtecllc.com Medical Equipment, Supplies, Sales & Services

Ajilon Professional Staffing (865) 690-0055 www.ajilon.com Employment, Career, & Staffing Services Albiston and Smith (865) 539-3515 Legal Services: Attorneys

Allstate - Terry Henley (865) 694-4191 allstateagencies.com/TerryHenley Insurance Attention IT, Inc. (888) 428-8648 www.attentionit.com Computer & IT Services: Hardware/Software Developers Business Performance Matters (865) 438-7735 www.businessperformancematters.com Business & Professional Services: Business Advisors, Coaches, & Consultants CLIMB Works Canopy (865) 325-8116 www.climbworkscanopy.com Attractions & Tourism

Dixie Pixel Photography (865) 238-5864 www.dixiepixelphoto.com Wedding Planning Double Dogs Chow House (865) 470-4447 www.doubledogs.biz Restaurants - Eating & Drinking Places Humana Guidance Center (865) 329-8892 www.humana.com Kimball’s Jewelers (865) 584-0026 www.kimballsjewelers.com Shopping: Jewelry Mountain MotorSports (865) 932-7433 www.mtn-motorsports.com Sports & Recreation: Motorcycles, ATV, & Watercraft

Parker & Lynch (865) 690-0055 www.parkerlynch.com Employment, Career, & Staffing Services Patrice and Associates (865) 312-9041 www.patricecareers.com/dwilson Employment, Career and Staffing Services Premier Martial Arts (865) 690-8819 www.pmaschools.com Education & Training Rafferty’s Restaurant & Bar (865) 539-1323 www.raffertys.com Restaurants - Eating & Drinking Places Robert Fehr, MD (865) 938-5911 www.summitmedical.com Healthcare Providers & Services: Physicians & Surgeons

Rococo Unique Boutique & Print Studio (865) 971-1006 Shopping: Specialty Sagewood Group, Inc. (865) 329-7060 www.sagewoodgroup.com Telecommunications Shoe Carnival Inc. (865) 521-5041 www.shoecarnival.com Clothing & Accessories: Shoes Signmanager Inc (323) 900-0487 Business and Professional Services: Signs Sofas & More (865) 922-4828 www.sofasandmoreonline.com Shopping: Furniture

CONTACT THE KNOXVILLE CHAMBER (865) 637-4550 www.knoxvillechamber.com

FINANCE & OPERATIONS ljohnson@knoxvillechamber.com

THE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (865) 546-5887

MEMBERSHIP mfield@knoxvillechamber.com

PRESIDENT & CEO MICHAEL EDWARDS

DESIGN LADDY FIELDS

WORKFORCE & EDUCATION jevans@knoxvillechamber.com

TENNESSEE SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER (865) 246-2663

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT RHONDA RICE

WRITER ANTHONY WELSCH

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT dlawyer@knoxvillechamber.com

CENTRAL BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT (865) 246-2654 mhummel@downtownknoxville.org

THE KNOXVILLE CHAMBER’S MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

EDITOR LORI FULLER editorial@knoxvillechamber.com

LEADERSHIP KNOXVILLE (865) 523-9137 U.S. DEPT. OF COMMERCE EXPORT ASSISTANCE CENTER (865) 545-4637

K N O KNOXVILLE X V I L LCHAMBER E CHA M B E R | 48 44

The Pour Guys (865) 360-3733 www.thepourguys.com Event Planning, Catering, & Venues:Catering The Tree and Vine, LLC (865) 985-0524 www.thetreeandvine.com Shopping: Specialty TN Med Insurance (865) 660-5151 www.tnmedinsurance.com Business & Professional Services: Business Advisors, Coaches, & Consultants Whittle Springs Golf Course (865) 525-1022 www.golfwhittlesprings.com Sports & Recreation: Golf


More Funding Needed for Schools Campaign Pushes Forward

A

fter months of debate that drew lines between different segments of the community, the Knox County Schools secured an additional $7 million in funding for the 2012-13 school year in hopes of making the community more competitive in the global economy. The figure was substantially less than the $35 millionincrease requested by the School Board, but was welcomed,

nonetheless. The Knoxville business community played a key role in helping to secure the additional resources for the schools, recognizing that the economic prosperity of our community is dependent on a better-educated workforce. The Chamber has been heavily involved in public education reform and has worked closely with the Knox County Schools to improve academic outcomes. Chamber member businesses spoke up on behalf of the budget request in droves, rallying support at community events and working with elected officials as well as volunteers through a grassroots group known as Support our Schools. For perhaps the first time in our community’s history, education was at the forefront of public conversation. “We need to support a tax increase necessary to support the education system our children deserve. That is really how we can build a better economic community and workplace for all of us to thrive in,” Sharon Miller Pryse, founder of the Trust Company, said during an acceptance speech at the 2012 Pinnacle Awards in May. Voices like Pryse’s helped the community take a step forward, but Knox County continues to invest less in its students than surrounding counties, Tennessee’s

other urban areas, and most other communities in the country as a whole. “It’s not enough. We can’t ensure a better educated workforce without funding for the whole plan laid out by the Knox County Schools,” Jennifer Evans, the Chamber’s vice president of workforce development and education said. Still, the effort is a monumental step forward. What started with a unanimous vote by the Knoxville Chamber’s Board of Directors in support the increase in school funding, ended with an unprecedented public display of support. One after another, dozens of parents, Chamber member businesses, and other community members addressed Knox County Commissioners at public meetings in May and early-June. Public outcry in favor of the funding caused opponents of the budget request to conduct last-minute robo-calls filled with partial truths to sway public sentiment. County Commissioners said they heard from more of their constituents on this issue than any issue during their tenure. As of today, there is still some debate over whether the $7 million will be recurring funding. Most believe next year Knox County Schools will have to start over, and if the district is to move forward with their plan to increase student achievement, they will have to ask for $35 million all over again. The school district has asked Knox County’s law director for clarification on the maintenance of effort issue. The $7 million allocated this year will cover an elementary-level reading intervention program designed to get struggling students up to speed. It will also help

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See “Schools” on pg. 50


“Schools” continued from pg. 49 fund additional instruction coaches in the classroom, an expansion of the Community Schools concept (see story below), and a few other initiatives. “If this is one-time money, we’re giving the school district one-year to get results. That’s a pretty small sample size when you’re looking at the future of our community’s workforce. If we don’t see sizable returns in year one, does that mean the funding goes away and we give up on it?” Evans said. Complicating the issue further is the lack of a shared vision on what success will mean for the reading program. At this point, county leadership and the Board of Education haven’t come together to set a benchmark that would indicate the program is working. However, whatever your definition of success might be, the results from the first grade reading-intervention project at five local elementary schools is cause to celebrate: % OF STUDENTS READING ON GRADE LEVEL (FIRST GRADE) School Pre-Intervention Post-Intervention Inskip 28 98 Green 8 87 Beaumont 30 86 Norwood 19 83 Christenberry 26 82 Moving forward and looking toward 2013, the budget will likely remain a hotly debated issue. Commissioners are still asking a lot of questions and many want to be

engaged in the process, learning more about how our public schools work. But at some point, commissioners will be forced to defer to the Knox County Board of Education, the legislative body elected by the people to make decisions as it relates to schools in Knox County. “We can’t expect the county commissioners to know the best thing for every single county department,” Evans said. “Our commissioners don’t have to become subject matter experts on our schools. There has to be a trust and working relationship with the Board of Education.” Knox County Board of Education members say they’re committed to continuing public education reform and accelerating student achievement in Knox County. They will be working with Superintendent Jim McIntyre and the Knox County Schools over the next several months to review and evaluate programs currently in place and decide how to push forward. “We know we’ve made steady academic progress over the last few years, but we really do feel like we need to accelerate our efforts, our work, and really our results for children,” Dr. McIntyre said. “This budget was a very specific attempt to make some investments in education initiatives that we know will make a difference, we know from research and experience, will make a difference in terms of student learning and student outcomes.” The Chamber plans to continue to advocate for better public schools in Knox County to ensure the workforce of tomorrow is competitive. While next year’s Knox County budget plan hasn’t been revealed, the Chamber will continue, under the direction of its board, to not only advocate on behalf of the issue, but also hold the school district accountable for successful outcomes and help ensure the community’s return on future investments.

It Takes A Village: Community School Concept Working At Pond Gap It’s a holistic approach to education and the Knox County Schools say the Community Schools concept is already showing results and there are plans in place to expand the program. Right now, more than 40 students and their families are enrolled in the Pond Gap Elementary school program. Already, absences are down 34% and student discipline referrals are down almost 80%. It’s no surprise academic achievement has increased as well. Early results show more than 40% improvement in overall grades across core subjects. RIGHT: Pond Gap students “I’ve been in education since 1979 collected more than 100 items per grade level to send and I’ve not seen a program that makes to victims of the Haitian this kind of a difference,” Pond Gap earthquake. principal Susan Espiritu said. “This is truly a program that removes the barriers to learning.” The students receive extra instruction, physical education, and other activities. At night, the parents come into the school to attend classes themselves and even eat dinner with their student as a family. At the center of each school a resource coordinator, independent of the school district, reaches out to community agencies and volunteers to bring the community into the school. “All of these different organizations come in and provide support and services to the school-aged children, expanding the sphere of influence and the students’

opportunities to learn and grow,” Jennifer Evans, the chamber’s vice president of workforce development and education said. Randy Boyd funded the program with a significant donation LEFT: The media center at Pond Gap that helped the concept launch Elementary. at Pond Gap in October 2010. Thanks to the donation the school has been transformed. “One thing is apparent…there are a lot more people around the school. There are adults and college kids throughout the building creating increased activity, which helps get the students excited,” Evans said. Bob Kronick, a professor of education at the University of Tennessee, designed the program over the course of several years. Kronick’s expertise, paired with a trip Knox County leaders took to Cincinnati, helped shape the vision for an expanding community schools concept in Knox County. Cincinnati was once considered an academic emergency and is now one of the best urban school districts in Ohio. Based on the success of the program at Pond Gap, Knox County Schools will be expanding the Community Schools concept to Norwood, Lonsdale, and Green elementary schools this school year. If you are interested in volunteering with the program, please contact Jennifer Evans at (865) 637-4550.

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Knoxville Among Nation’s Best Places to Retire

Armed with a consistently strong local economy, low cost of living, and an assortment of high quality medical facilities, Forbes magazine says Knoxville is among the best communities in the nation to retire. Knoxville was among the top-20 in the magazine’s annual “Best Places to Retire” list and was also ranked among the best cities in the United States for “Working Retirement”. The magazine’s annual rankings came out in early July and found that many of the things the Knoxville Chamber and the community are proud of are the same factors leading more retirees to eye the Innovation Valley for their golden years. “There is some crossover between what we hear expanding businesses want and what retirees are looking for,” Doug Lawyer, the Chamber’s vice president

of economic development said. “Even through the recession our local economy remained somewhat insulated when compared to the rest of the country. That keeps factors like unemployment and tax rates fairly steady.” Forbes’ ranking found Knoxville’s average home price of $137,000 to be among the nation’s most affordable. The home of the University of Tennessee was joined on the list by several other college-towns, like Austin, Texas, Bloomington, Indiana, and Columbia, South Carolina. Forbes magazine says they reviewed hundreds of cities in all fifty states for financial factors. The ranking also takes considerations like weather, doctor availability, and crime rates into consideration. To add factors that help contribute to an active retirement, Forbes consulted with Bicycling Magazine.

FIRST Robotics Returns in 2013 FIRST Robotics, a global science and technology competition for high school students, is coming back for the third straight year to Knoxville for the Smoky Mountains Regional at Knoxville Convention Center. In its first two years in Knoxville, the event has proven to bring thousands of scienceenthused students to downtown. The Knoxville Chamber played a key role in bringing a regional competition to Knoxville. Its emphasis on science, innovation, and design makes it an asset for the community and helps inspire local students to think about applying STEM principals that they learn in the classroom. “There is nothing like it,” Mike Edwards, the Chamber’s president and CEO said. “You take the excitement of a high school sports competition, mix it with science, and put it on a stage in front of passionate, rowdy, teenagers and parents. It’s just awesome and inspiring to see our community’s young people compete against the world.” Dozens of teams with hundreds of technology-minded students are expected to pour into East Tennessee March 29-30, 2013. In 2012, teams came from as far away as Canada to get in on the action. To ensure all runs smoothly, the competition is looking for sponsors and volunteers. Several Chamber member businesses like the Tennessee Valley Authority and Oak Ridge National Lab helped make 2012’s event a success. “I have never, never in 20 plus years of doing what I do, seen the level of cooperation and sheer respect for peers that these high school students have

Hundreds of parents and students are expected as part of the 2013 competition in Knoxville

for each other,” Tim Sanderson, a FIRST Robotics volunteer said. “It’s a great way for technology-related businesses in our community to see what high school students are capable of and to get involved in the future of our local workforce,” Jennifer Evans, the Chamber’s vice president of workforce development and education said. “We have several Knox County teams that compete; that means dozens of 15-to-18-year-olds who are getting excited about technology and how to use it for a given purpose.” In 2012, Gibbs, Oak Ridge, Webb School, L&N Stem Academy, Bearden, and Farragut, were among the East Tennessee high school teams that competed. Even more local teams will be involved in 2013, requiring even more mentors and volunteers to support their efforts. To sign up as a volunteer or for more information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Jennifer Evans at (865) 637-4550 or jevans@knoxvillechamber.com.

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MONTHLY ECONOMIC INDICATORS

(June 2012)

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

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

HOUSING MARKET % Change June ’11June ‘12

June 2012

May 2012

June 2011

% Change May ’12June ‘12

243,790 384,570 3,152,900 156,385,000

239,080 377,200 3,114,200 154,998,000

243,340 381,740 3,166,600 154,538,000

2.0 2.0 1.2 0.9

0.2 0.7 -0.4 1.2

337,100 2,683,500

338,500 2,701,500

327,300 2,645,500

-0.4 -0.7

3.0 1.4

Residential Closings Residential Inventory Median Residential Price

June 2012 1,115 14,767 $138,600

May 2012 1,134 14,727 $143,150

June 2011 897 15,886 $154,800

% Change May ’12June ‘12 -1.7 0.3 -3.2

% Change June ’11June ‘12 24.3 -7.0 -10.5

Source: Knoxville Area Association of Realtors

Non-Ag Employment Knoxville MSA Tennessee

RESIDENTIAL BUILDING PERMITS

Knoxville (City)

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

May 2012* 9 9 0

May 2011 16 16 0

% Change May ’11May ‘12 -43.8 -43.8 0.0

Knox Co.

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

75 75 0

78 78 0

-3.8 -3.8 0.0

Knoxville MSA

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

99 99 0

102 102 0

-2.9 -2.9 0.0

Tennessee

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

1,659 1,128 531

963 855 108

72.3 31.9 391.7

Available Labor Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee

17,880 29,440 301,200

15,720 26,030 270,780

21,350 34,840 355,970

13.7 13.1 11.2

-16.3 -15.5 -15.4

6.7 7.0 8.7 8.4

6.0 6.3 7.9 7.9

8.0 8.3 10.2 9.3

0.7 0.7 0.8 0.5

-1.3 -1.3 -1.5 -0.9

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

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

INFLATION RATES - CONSUMER PRICE INDEX (CPI)

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

June ’11-‘12

May ’11-‘12

June ’10-‘11

1.6 1.7

1.7 1.7

4.0 3.6

- ALL ITEMS

% Change May ’11June ‘12

% Change June ’10June ‘12

-0.1 0.0

-2.5 -1.9

*South – City Size Class B/C

*All 2012 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

June 2012

May 2012

June 2011

47,458,318 66,464,916 589,616,339

45,571,873 63,528,658 562,471,681

46,198,607 65,057,712 554,963,608

4.1 4.6 4.8

2.7 2.2 6.2

13,189,970 18,398,079

12,723,236 17,513,991

12,380,494 17,403,623

3.7 5.0

6.5 5.7

% Change June ’11June ‘12 3.6 -2.6 5.0 -0.8 3.1 8.6 8.2 -0.4 0.0 0.1 6.5 6.2 8.9 7.8

Local Sales Tax Knox Co. Knoxville MSA

% Change June ’11June ‘12

% Change May ’12June ‘12

AIR SERVICE (MCGHEE-TYSON AIRPORT)

Passengers Cargo

May 2012 157,152 8,076,221

Source: Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority

Source: Tennessee Dept. of Revenue

RETAIL SALES - NATIONAL (IN MILLIONS OF DOLLARS) Category Total Retail Sales Building Materials Clothing Stores Electronics & Appliances Food & Beverage Stores Food Svcs & Drinking Places Furniture & Home Furnishings Gasoline Stations General Merchandise Stores Health & Personal Care Stores Miscellaneous Stores Motor Vehicle & Parts Sales Non-store Retailers Sporting Goods/Books/ Hobby/Music

June 2012 406,906 27,281 18,526 7,693 53,089 45,415 7,685 46,696 51,191 22,431 10,547 75,955 33,211

May 2012 423,656 30,787 19,904 7,632 54,411 45,967 7,997 48,390 52,312 23,439 10,780 80,176 34,886

June 2011 392,888 28,007 17,637 7,752 51,506 41,806 7,101 46,880 51,193 22,413 9,899 71,537 30,491

% Change May ’12June ‘12 -4.0 -11.4 -6.9 0.8 -2.4 -1.2 -3.9 -3.5 -2.1 -4.3 -2.2 -5.3 -4.8

7,186

6,975

6,666

3.0

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

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April 2012 142,564 7,128,486

May 2011 156,578 7,499,503

% Change April ’12May ‘12 10.2 13.3

% Change May ’11May ‘12 0.4 7.7


Inaugural CEO Circle Class a Hit Now Accepting Registrations For Next Class After overwhelming positive feedback surrounding the Chamber’s CEO Circle program, sponsored by Capital Financial Group, the Knoxville Chamber will launch a second class starting in October. The program helps build business leaders and allow them to work on their business rather than in it. “The CEO Circle has been a hit, there’s nothing else like it,” Mark Field, the Chamber’s senior vice president presented by for membership said. “We’re only a few months in with the inaugural class and our phones are ringing from additional businesses who want the opportunity to be a part of it.” The CEO Circle, sponsored by Capital Financial Group, is designed especially for second stage businesses. These are organizations that typically have 5 to 25 employees and collect more than $1 million in annual sales. At this point in the growth cycle, these organizations have enough employees to exceed the comfortable control span of one leader and benefit from adding managers but don’t yet have a full-scale professional management team. The first group of CEOs started in June with seven business owners taking part.

The class is all about ideas and sharing experiences among a team of peers in a comfortable environment. The CEO Circle format doesn’t allow simply sharing advice; instead participants are encouraged to share experiences that other business leaders can learn from. Cash flow, leveraging assets, and personnel matters are just a sampling of the topics that are discussed. The Chamber program follows the PeerSpectives format, putting business leaders in a room together to discuss the challenges each of them face. The Knoxville Chamber is the first economic development organization in Tennessee to offer the PeerSpectives-style roundtable. The set-up includes safeguards to ensure a balanced discussion with no individual talking too much, or too little. “One of the things that makes the CEO Circle format so appealing is the realtime, on-target feedback. You are surrounded by a group of people who share your frustration, face the same issues you face, and know what it’s like to be in your shoes,” Field said. With that positive feedback, the Chamber is moving forward with a second class. Eligible business owners wishing to take part in the program can contact Mark Field at (865) 246-2607. Kevin Kragenbrink, of Estrada Strategies is trained in the PeerSpectives format by the Edward Lowe Foundation and will continue to facilitate the monthly conversations. The $499 registration cost covers one roundtable each month for 18 months, breakfast at the meeting, as well as the facilitator.

PROPEL MENTOR/PROTÉGÉ PROFILE Protégé: Carolyn Pointer Neil, Elder Advocates, Inc. Mentor: Wayne A. Kline, Hodges, Doughty, and Carson Wayne Kline of Hodges, Doughty, and Carson knows the value an established business can provide start-ups. As a mentor in the Chamber’s Propel Mentor/Protégé program, it’s about giving back to the business community and helping a start-up thrive. “Mentoring provides a vehicle for a starting business to network with business principles from established community resources at the cost of only time and effort - commodities a startup business may have instead of the financial resources to hire such knowledge and experience, which normally they don’t have,” Kline said. Kline’s protégé, Carolyn Pointer Neil of Elder Advocates, Inc., is the spark behind a company that links older residents with resources and services to help ensure successful transitions in their later stages of their life. “We shop for the most appropriate services needed by the elder and help ensure those services productively meet the needs of our clients. We take the confusion out of the maze of health care and supportive elder care,” Neil said. As Neil’s business looks to make the transition from start-up to established member of the business community, having a mentor to learn from can be a significant resource. It’s someone to bounce ideas off of and a wealth of experience to lean on. “As the founder of this new business, I wanted to engage someone to hold me accountable to the business growth and success. Having the resources

of a mentor and the services of this program is helping me keep my business in productive mode,” Neil said. Klein’s legal expertise fits in nicely with the services Elder Advocates provides seniors, making him specially qualified as more than just a seasoned businessman to help Neil tackle the challenges she encounters. Wayne Carolyn “Elder Advocates dovetails with my Kline Pointer Neil practice knowledge and provides me ample fuel to help generate the fire that drives the business engine,” he said. It’s a wealth of knowledge Neil is drawing from as Elder Advocates pushes toward the future. “Goals include business growth via a specific marketing strategy that will lead to financial success for the company. Expanding the range of professionals who are aware of the services of Elder Advocates is key to our growth. Because this is a unique model in elder care services, having a mentor to bounce ideas and potential concerns around with is reassuring and helps me to know the business is protected from certain risks,” she said. For more about Propel’s Mentor/Protégé Program call program director Doug Minter at (865) 246-2662 or email him at dminter@knoxvillechamber.com.

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VIPs Welcome New Tennova Executive to Physicians Regional Dozens of Knoxville Chamber VIPs and Board Members recently welcomed Karen Metz to Knoxville. Coming from a Health Management Associates facility in Little, Pennsylvania, Metz will lead Tennova Healthcare’s Physicians Regional Medical Center, the hospital formerly known as St. Mary’s. So far, the transition to life in East Tennessee for the Alabama native has been an easy one. “I have never felt so welcome anywhere I’ve gone in my life,” Karen Metz, the new CEO of Physicians Regional Medical Center, said. Tennova Healthcare Regional CEO Michael Garfield said there was a huge amount of interest in the top job at the historic facility, with more than 70 applicants vying for the position. With 20 years experience, Metz brings a nursing background to the top office. She says a big part of her job early on is establishing trust between the medical staff and hospital administration. Part of that comes with customer service and investment so the doctors and nurses can do the job they’re passionate about doing. Since Tennova Healthcare started managing the facility, Metz and Garfield estimate they’ve invested around $8 million on facility upgrades that include a second robot to assist in surgery, cosmetic improvements to the facility’s main lobby, and more navigational tools around the hospital. “We’re trying to make it easier for patients and visitors to navigate the facility,” Metz said. “It’s all about customer service.” Tennova and the Chamber teamed up to help introduce the business community to Metz and nurture the relationship between the healthcare facility and other businesses in the community. It’s an effort Tennova has focused on since coming to East Tennessee. “Obviously, our involvement with the Chamber has been high on our list,” Garfield told the crowd. In a healthcare market with a lot of outstanding facilities boasting great doctors, Metz is confident Tennova’s leadership will inspire the entire industry to rise to even greater heights as they serve Knoxville. “I’m the kind of person that’s never been afraid of a challenge,” Metz said. “I think competition drives you to get better.”

Several dozen Chamber VIPs welcomed the new CEO to Physician’s Regional Medical Center at the reception.

Karen Metz, CEO of Physicians Regional Medical Center, chats with Susan Richardson Williams and Matt Chambers.

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TDOT Honors Chamber Ambassadors

PREMIER PARTNER PROFILE

Stowers Machinery Corporation

The Tennessee Department of Transportation recently honored the Knoxville Chamber Ambassadors with a Certificate of Appreciation for their work as part of the agency’s Adopt-A-Highway program. The Ambassadors have been taking care of a stretch of Pellissippi Parkway for nearly a year. The group took on the responsibility outside their full-time jobs and other Chamber responsibilities. “It’s great to see our Ambassadors active in the community. They are going above and beyond the expectations we have for our ambassadors. We’re lucky and proud to have them,” Leslie Smith, the Chamber’s member services manager said. The Ambassador program will be accepting nominations for new members this fall. The program offers Chamber member businesses the chance to work hand-in-hand with the Chamber, providing exclusive access to events in exchange for assisting with logistics, welcoming, and other duties.

Stowers Machinery Corporation is the Caterpillar dealer for a 38-county area in East Tennessee. Based in Knoxville, Stowers Machinery has been part of the local community for more than 50 years. The company offers sales, rental, and product support (parts and service) from five locations in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Crossville, and the Tri-Cities area. Specifically, Stowers serves businesses in a wide variety of industries by providing: • Sales of new and used Caterpillar machines and power generation systems. In addition to the Caterpillar product line, Stowers sells and supports Genie aerial equipment, Finn landscape products, Bandit chippers, Mauldin pavers, GOMACO concrete paving equipment, and Olympian generator sets. • Rental of a wide array of products, including large earthmoving machines, compact construction equipment, aerial lifts, generator sets, water pumps, landscaping equipment, air compressors, and more. • Parts inventory of more than 75,000 line items, offering the ability to fill 98% of customer orders within 24 hours. • Product Support for customer equipment. Stowers’ capabilities are unrivaled in the region, including 276 highly-trained product support personnel, more than 320,000 combined square-feet of facilities, 65 field service trucks, full-service hydraulic and machine shops, a specialized welding and fabrication shop, and a full-service shop for on-highway trucks.

Members of the Chamber Ambassadors Green Committee stand with their certificate from TDOT at their July meeting. Front: Laney Shorter of KCVB, Jill Green BGT Recruiting, Teresa Manning of Woodmen of the World, and Alice Eads of SunTrust Bank: Patrick Mulligan, of Quantum Environmental & Engineering Services, Danny Hastaba of WATE-TV, and Daniel Monday of Slamdot.

The company began in 1960 with 70 employees when Harry Stowers and his two brothers, Bud and Dick, purchased the existing Caterpillar dealership in East Tennessee. In 1993, Harry’s son Wes became the company’s president. Stowers Machinery now employs 350 people with an average tenure of more than 12 years. Stowers Machinery Corporation works to make progress possible in the community by helping its customers acquire and maintain the equipment they need and maximize the value of their equipment investment. The company takes pride in being the undisputed leader for the industries it serves and the employer of choice for the most capable people in the business. Integrity, excellence, teamwork, and commitment allow them to quickly and professionally meet the needs of their customers.

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Business Travelers Latest Innovation Valley Target

UPCOMING EVENTS

Business travelers arriving at McGhee Tyson Airport are getting a feel for the assets of the Innovation Valley before they even walk out the front doors. The latest Innovation Valley advertisement captures a slice of East Tennessee’s natural beauty with a taste of the technological resources available here. The QR code graphic on the coffee cup links mobile devices to knoxvilleoakridge.com which outlines the benefits of establishing a business presence in the area. “When you’re traveling on business, you’re thinking about your business and how to make it better. Coming to the Innovation Valley is one way to give your company a competitive advantage and we want to put our brand in front of those travelers while they’re thinking business,” Doug Lawyer, the Knoxville Chamber’s vice president of economic development said. Installed July 20, the landscape shot is expected to remain up at McGhee Tyson for the next year. With nearly 2 million passengers traveling through the airport concourse each year, the marketing tool provides a significant audience for touting the assets of the Innovation Valley.

AUGUST 15 Bright Ideas: Be Seen and Heard Presented by: Jonathan Patrick, UT Federal Credit Union and Leon Spencer, Mediablox 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square, Suite 201 $25 for members / $35 for non-members

AUGUST 16 Political Insight Event with Senator Bob Corker Noon - 1:30 p.m. Location: Crowne Plaza Knoxville $30 for members / $40 for non-members Sponsored By:

AUGUST 23 Business After Hours: KNS Open at Fox Den Country Club 4:30 p.m. - 7 p.m. Fox Den Country Club, 12284 North Fox Den Drive Sponsored By:

AUGUST 28 Power 30 Speed Networking 4:00 p.m. - 7 p.m. Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square, Suite 201

SEPTEMBER 19 Bright Ideas: Cash Flow - The Lifeblood of Your Business Presented by: Michael Owenby, B2B CFO 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square, Suite 201

SEPTEMBER 27 Exclusive Premier Partner Event featuring Lady Vol Basketball Head Coach Holly Warlick 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Calhouns on the River, 400 Neyland Drive

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August 2012 Commerce  

News from the Knoxville Chamber.