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INSIDE: Schmoozapalooza Recap pg. 56 + Monthly Economic Indicators pg. 54



Alumni Hall celebrated the grand opening of its newest Knoxville location at 6714 Papermill Drive. Jeff Goodfriend, president, is pictured center cutting the ribbon and is joined by Alumni Hall associates and Knoxville Chamber Ambassadors.




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.






M & M Productions USA (800) 711-0140 Audio-Visual Services

BRONZE PREMIER PARTNERS Fresenius Medical Care (865) 541-1111 Medical Supplies, Sales & Services

Amberleigh Bluff Apartments (865) 357-7753 Apartments American Family Dentistry (865) 240-2091 (865) 809-4491 Healthcare Providers & Services: Dentists C.N. Copeland Electrical Service LLC (865) 804-6663 Construction & Contractors: Electrical Contractors



Davis Accounting Solutions (865) 850-9149 Business & Professional Services: Accounting, Auditing, & Bookkeeping Del-Air Mechanical (865) 525-4119 Construction & Contractors: Mechanical Contractors Doc’s All American Grille (865) 330-0159 Restaurants

Farragut Wine & Spirits (865) 777-2001 Shopping: Liquor & Wine

Marble Alley Lofts (865) 773-6087 Apartments

Flapjack’s Pancake Cabin (865) 362-7575 Restaurants

McLain’s Painting, Inc. (865) 769-8134 Building & Grounds Maintenance: Painting

GemCare Staffing (865) 560-9891 Employment, Career, & Staffing Services Hilton Displays (865) 347-2913 Construction & Contractors: Specialty Services

Dunkin’ Donuts (865) 200-5251 Restaurants

Jackson Terminal (865) 523-9867 Event Planning, Catering, & Venues

East Tennessee Lions Eye Bank (865) 305-9625 Healthcare Providers & Services

Knoxville Chocolate Company (865) 522-2049 Shopping

Easy Money - Chapman Highway (865) 333-7003 Financial Services Edward Jones Investments / Clint A. Foster (865) 692-5095 Financial Services

Loch & Key Productions (865) 851-9101 Broadcast Media: Video Production

Mike Baker Insurance Consulting (865) 399-0518 Insurance: Life Pinnacle Financial Partners - Powell (865) 602-3650 Financial Services: Banks PostNet - Western Plaza (865) 337-7637 Business & Professional Services: Printers Professional Home Services (423) 790-1311 Construction & Contractors Seraphim Plastics (901) 218-7437 Manufacturing: Plastics














K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 48

TEKsystems (865) 292-2360 Business & Professional Services: Technical Services Titan Political Strategies (865) 466-9235 Business & Professional Services: Advertising Agencies Tupelo Honey Cafe (865) 522-0004 Restaurants Waldorf Photographic Art (865) 567-5755 Photography Wilderness at the Smokies Resort (877) 325-9453 Hotels & Lodging WOW Business (865) 357-1824 Broadcast Media: Television Telecommunications: Internet Providers Telecommunications: Telephone


with Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd

As a successful businessman and entrepreneur, Randy Boyd has played a prominent role in helping grow Knoxville’s economy over the years. He has also been significantly invested in improving Tennessee’s workforce through local and statewide educational initiatives like tnAchieves and Gov. Bill Haslam’s Drive to 55. In January, Boyd was appointed by Haslam to be the state’s new commissioner of economic development. The Knoxville Chamber talked to Boyd about his first 90 days in office. CHAMBER: What has been the biggest surprise to you since you took this new position? BOYD: Probably the biggest surprise is the scope of responsibility Economic and Community Development has. It’s not just about recruiting new business, supporting existing businesses, and growing entrepreneurship. We are also responsible for supporting the film and music business, providing community grants for things like downtown facades and other infrastructure, we promote adventure tourism and we recruit people to retire to Tennessee. Most importantly, it’s the ECD team. I can’t say it’s totally a surprise because one could look at the performance of ECD and know that there had to be a great team driving it, but one of the most exciting discoveries is what a passionate, intelligent, hardworking team I am now a part of. CHAMBER: You’ve been involved in sales for many years, and are excellent at delivering a pitch. When you are looking a CEO or site selection consultant in the eye, what’s your pitch on Tennessee for companies considering new locations and expansions? BOYD: Tennessee is an easy state to sell. First, at least 50 percent of every conversation with a prospect is about workforce development and the governor’s education initiatives. The Drive to 55, Tennessee Promise, and Tennessee Reconnect are world-beating selling points. Second, we also have some amazing technology across our state, with Oak Ridge National Laboratory being one of the leading examples. It’s an asset that attracts business to our region, like our recent announcement about CVMR

relocating its headquarters from Canada to Oak Ridge. I’m hopeful we will develop an advanced materials manufacturing and research cluster in this area over the next few years. Third, we have the ability to deliver on our promises. Every state makes lots of promises, but Tennessee has the lowest debt per capita of any state in the country, so we have the balance sheet to back up what we say. CHAMBER: You’ve served on the board of our regional economic development initiative, Knoxville Oak Ridge Innovation Valley. How has that experience prepared you for the commissioner of economic development position? BOYD: Innovation Valley is perfect example of the collaboration we need across the state. I’ve learned very quickly that businesses aren’t choosing a single city or county when they choose to locate, they are choosing a region. Regions must work together to be successful. Of course, it goes without saying that Rhonda Rice and Mike Edwards taught me everything I’d ever need to know about economic development! CHAMBER: What do you see as areas that Tennessee needs to improve in in order to remain competitive? BOYD: We need to continue to develop a highly-skilled workforce. We have world-beating programs, but we don’t have the talent we need yet. Also, we need more sites. ECD is like a retail store. Customers walk in our store looking for product. In our case the products are sites. They are “ready to wear” customers, not “made to order.” They want the product, i.e. the site, now. We need to build our inventory of product across our state. Lastly, we need to continue to build on our strengths of a great transportation infrastructure while keeping our debt and taxes low. CHAMBER: We have some rural areas in Innovation Valley, what things do you see from your lens that supports rural job growth? BOYD: Rural development is a priority for

ECD. In fact, we just appointed the department’s first assistant commissioner for rural development, Amy New. To be successful, we have to develop the educational level of the workforce. Second, we have to help them develop sites so they can be prepared for opportunities when they come. There are only 34 “Select TN” sites across the state. We need more, especially in our rural communities. Third, we want to assist rural entrepreneurship. In today’s world, you can do business anywhere in the world from anywhere in the world. We have dozens of examples of small but global, and very

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“Q&A” continued on pg. 50

“Q&A” continued from pg. 49 successful companies throughout rural communities in our state. ECD’s job is to help every community, but we can have the greatest impact on our rural communities and that is a key priority for us. CHAMBER: When you are selling the assets of Tennessee, what things do you mention when talking about the Innovation Valley region? BOYD: With educational and technology resources like UT, Roane State, Pellissippi State, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology, and numerous private colleges coupled with ORNL, we are easy to sell. The new cutting-edge advanced materials and additive manufacturing research ORNL Director Thom Mason is leading, I’m confident will create an industry cluster in this area. Finally, people want to work where they want to live, and Innovation Valley region is a great place to live. CHAMBER: What person(s) have served as mentors to you in your career, and what advice was given to you by them? BOYD: I have too many to list here, but two of the greatest would be my father,

Tom Boyd, and Don Johnstone, former CEO of Magnavox/North American Phillips. My father always challenged me to think big, to “dare mighty things” (Roosevelt), and to never give up. He also gave me the opportunity to start working on a factory floor when I was eight, and that continued through college graduation. Learning the value of work and the pride workers can have in their jobs made lasting imprint. Dad taught by example and by giving me opportunities to learn what work meant at an early age. Don served as a Board member for Radio Systems Corporation for 15 years and was a great mentor for a CEO. I could write a paper just on the lessons he passed on, such as “the cost of complexity is immeasurable” and “a leader’s first and highest priority is selecting and developing his/her people.” CHAMBER: Economic development is a very broad term – how do you define economic development? BOYD: It is broad, but simple: jobs. High quality, high paying jobs. We are redefining our mission, so this may be premature to state, but it might just be one that aligns with the governor’s Drive to 55: By the year 2025, 55 percent of all the jobs in Tennessee will be high skilled, high paying jobs. Our job at ECD is to make those jobs happen!

Leadership Knoxville Scholars Program Fosters Leadership Education, Community Involvement University of Tennessee students have the opportunity to gain leadership skills and positively impact the Knoxville community through an innovative program created by Leadership Knoxville. The Leadership Knoxville Scholars Program is a collaborative effort between UT and Leadership Knoxville, which allows student leaders to create positive change in the community while developing leadership qualities to help them succeed after graduation. The two-year cohort program provides rising juniors with leadership development training, development of community action projects, guest speakers, and Leadership Knoxville Alumni mentors. “The Leadership Knoxville Scholars Program gives students an opportunity to learn from promising student leaders on campus and proven community leaders in Knoxville,” said Katherine Waxstein, a LKSP alumna. “It also allows for students to envision and create a legacy of meaningful difference and lasting change for both the city and the university.” Each senior student is required to develop a Community Action Project with assistance from their mentor, which identifies community needs specific to Knoxville and promotes change in regard to that specific need. These projects have provided Knoxville with various programs to better UT students and the entire community. Waxstein’s goal was to create a curriculum for UT students that teaches character development to children at urban-based afterschool programs. UT students, trained by staff members of the university’s Center for Leadership and Service, will now have the opportunity to take a three-credit hour service learning course allowing them to teach fifth grade students the character development curriculum created by Waxstein for her capstone project. “I chose to develop the capstone project that I did because I had garnered through my time as a student at the University of Tennessee, and especially as a member of the Leadership Knoxville Scholars program how important and prevalent the ideal of servant leadership was to the Knoxville community,” Waxstein said. “My character development program intends to teach and empower children in Knoxville to become servant leaders within their community.”

Previous Leadership Knoxville Scholar Jake Baker worked to create a program in which the UT Student Government Association would host a day-long conference on UT’s campus for SGA leaders from local high schools to go on a campus tour, have a roundtable discussion, and hear from a keynote speaker on leadership. The event is likely to occur this spring with the project in the hands of current Leadership Knoxville Scholar Connor Dugosh. “During my senior year at the University of Tennessee, I was lucky enough to serve as student body president. When I started to think about what I wanted to do with my Community Action Project, I knew that there had to be a way where I could use my role on campus to better the community in some way,” said Baker. “I thought it would be a great idea to reach out to student leaders from Knoxville area high schools. My idea was to bring these student leaders to campus for a day to show them what it means to be a college student, what it means to be a servant leader, and what it means to be a Tennessee Vol.” Scholars are paired with Leadership Knoxville Alumni mentors from the community to give them advice and help guide them in their efforts. Waxstein and Baker were paired with Jerry Askew of the 1992 Leadership Knoxville class and Susan Richardson Williams of the 1998 Leadership Knoxville class, respectively. The scholars attribute much of their success to the help they received from their mentors. “Since I was interested in government, I was matched with Susan Richardson Williams, who has had a tremendous career in the political field,” said Baker. “She provided me with invaluable career advice, and served as an incredible mentor.” Waxstein shared a similar experience with her mentor, and considers him to be the most humble, gracious, and authentic leader she has ever met. “I have learned so much from Jerry because of his willingness to share generously and honestly about his vast and various leadership experiences,” said Waxstein. “I consider myself to be incredibly fortunate to have him as an example of the leader that I aspire to be in the future.” To learn more about the Leadership Knoxville Scholars Program, visit its website, Chamber intern Jessica Karsten contributed this article.

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Innovation Valley to Host Educators in the Workplace Program this June INNOVATION VALLEY PARTNER PROFILE:

Jefferson County Economic Development

Innovation Valley will be hosting its annual Educators in the Workplace series this June. Throughout the month, teachers from the region will have the opportunity to visit local businesses and learn about the essential skills needed to thrive in each workplace setting. The goal is to help teachers better understand ways to connect what they teach in the classroom to the real world. Every year Innovation Valley partners the Knoxville Chamber, the Blount Partnership, the Roane Alliance, the Loudon County Economic Development Agency, the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, and the Anderson County Economic Development Council work together to organize the Educators in the Workplace series. “It’s important to align our curriculum with what the industry is telling us they need in the future,” said Sharon Shanks, workforce development manager for the Knoxville Chamber. Hoping to attract around 250 teachers, 25 local companies have been invited to participate in this year’s program. Last year, more than 140 teachers from the region had an opportunity to visit 10 companies located throughout Innovation Valley, including Proton Power, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Bush Brothers, Scripps Networks Interactive, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, DENSO, Knoxville Utilities Board, and Ball Corporation. Teachers are not the only ones benefiting from this program –– the businesses do too. “Teachers greatly benefit from the program by discovering new ways to show students the relevance of what they learn in the classroom, and how they can incorporate workplace expectations into their lesson plans,” Shanks said. “And businesses benefit by making connections with educators that will help mold and educate their future workforce.” If you are an educator or business that is interested in learning more about the program, please contact Sharon Shanks at 865-246-2661 or sshanks@ Chamber intern Bridget Stewart contributed this article.

Jefferson County Economic Development serves as the primary economic and business development entity for all of Jefferson County, and is one of eight partner agencies in Innovation Valley, the regional economic development initiative managed by the Knoxville Chamber. Jefferson County is a bedroom community where only 18 percent of the population works in the county. However, it is ripe for economic growth. Located at the intersection of Interstate 40 and Interstate 81, the county’s transportation infrastructure makes it attractive for industrial development. “Since Jefferson County is a small county it does not have a robust budget to market itself to site selectors or national corporations,” said Garrett Wagley, director of economic development for Jefferson County Economic Development. “Being a part of Innovation Valley gives Jefferson County a larger national presence and colleagues that can help spread the word about doing business in the community.” Despite its small size, Jefferson County is positioned for success due to its excellent access to the rest of the U.S. and companies looking to locate in the region are taking notice. Last year both Wetekam Monofilaments, a German-based industrial monofilament yarn manufacturer, and Footwear Industries of Tennessee (FIT), a Chinese footwear manufacturer, announced plans to open operations in the county. “Jefferson County has many projects in the pipeline to assist in the economic prosperity of Innovation Valley,” said Wagley. “The county is the proposed location for a Norfolk Southern Railways intermodal facility, which will make the area even more attractive for shipping local manufacturers’ goods, and logistics companies. In addition, Jefferson County is located in two labor sheds. It can draw workers from both the Knoxville MSA and the Morristown MSA. That is attractive to employers since they may have more options for recruiting skilled staff.” The county is also home to Bush Brothers and Company, which was founded in the Chestnut Hill area of Jefferson County in 1908. Bush’s baked beans are the world’s most popular baked bean brand and its ads featuring Jay Bush and his talking golden retriever, Duke, are one of the most recognized campaigns. The Chestnut Hill plant is among the most advanced canning operations in the nation. Additionally, the Jefferson County Industrial Development Board is actively working to identify and develop a new business park. The county currently has little publically owned industrial land available and has filled most existing industrial buildings. A new business park would be an asset for all of the Innovation Valley. To learn more about Innovation Valley and its regional partners visit its website at Kayla Witt, marketing coordinator for the Knoxville Chamber, contributed this article.

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Bush Brothers CEO Tom Ferriter Talks the Business of Beans with Premier Partners On March 13, the Knoxville Chamber’s Premier Partners were treated to a morning with Tom Ferriter, the president and CEO of Bush Brothers and Company. Sponsored by CH2M Hill, the exclusive event gave Premier Partners a rare look into the company that produces approximately 80 percent of the baked beans consumed in the U.S. Ferriter explained that Bush Brothers started out as a very different company than it is today. He said that when A.J. Bush founded the company in Chestnut Hill, Tenn., in the early 1900s, its focus was tomato canning. However, that changed during World War II, when aluminum was in short supply and the Tennessee Valley Authority’s construction of Douglas Dam put much of the company’s growing land under water. Bush Brothers was forced to reinvent itself and went through several transformations — including a foray into the trucking industry — before becoming the bean-producing company it is today. Ferriter, who joined Bush Brothers in 2002 with Knoxville Chamber President and CEO Mike Edwards, Chamber Chairman Patrick Birmingham, Bush Brothers CEO more than 20 years of experience in the food indusTom Ferriter, CH2M Hill’s Ron Scott and Robert Cook pose for a photo after the exclusive Premier Partner event. try, said it is the company’s flexibility and willingness to adapt, all while sticking to its core principles, that have kept it successful for more than 100 years. “We’re not afraid of changing what we do,” he said. “We’ll change what we “When you start taking out sugar there, a little tomato here, and a little bit of do, but not who we are.” flavor the next time, and then you look at it five to 10 years later, it’s a really differFerriter said the company focuses on financing its future, being a great place ent product,” Ferriter said. “We’ve said we can’t allow ourselves to do that. So to work so it can attract great employees, being a great place to work with so the philosophy is to fill the can up. That’s what the customer deserves.” it can attract great suppliers and customers, and having great products people And of course Ferriter couldn’t divulge the ingredients to the famous secret want to buy. family recipe, but he did conclude with the company’s popular commercial catch“Sometimes I think (Bush Brothers) is viewed as somewhat secretive,” Ferriter phrase: said. “We don’t seek these kinds of forums a lot. We don’t put our name in a “Roll that beautiful bean footage.” lot of places where we are. And that’s because we’re focused on having great Watch the event in its entirety on our YouTube channel, products.” knoxvillechamber. Aside from its 16 flavors of baked beans, Bush Brothers produces 44 other varieties of beans. “A lot of people ask why we’re so crazy about beans. Well, because we think Sponsored by: we can be the best in the world at it,” Ferriter said. “But beyond that, when we think about what consumers need today, we think we have something to contribute. Beans are incredibly healthy.” In addition to being healthy, protein-packed vegetables, beans are affordable to consumers and grow very sustainably, Ferriter said. Ferriter said Bush Brothers takes into account factors like the economy, household size, and diet changes when developing new products and packaging existing ones. However, he said the company hasn’t compromised on quality or ingredients in its products.

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Knoxville Chamber Brings Young Entrepreneurs Academy to Knoxville this Fall Area students will soon have the chance to experience what it’s like to own and run a business, thanks to the Young Entrepreneurs Academy coming to Knoxville this fall. Knoxville’s first YEA! class will start in October and will consist of 24 students between ages 11 to 18. The program will be presented by Pilot Flying J and hosted by the University of Tennessee’s Haslam College of Business. This will be the first YEA! program offered in the state of Tennessee. “We are excited to bring the YEA! program to the Knoxville area,” said Mike Edwards, president and CEO of the Knoxville Chamber. “Making sure today’s students are prepared for tomorrow’s workforce is one of our top priorities. This program provides an opportunity for students to not only learn about business, but also get hands on experience in launching one. Top that off with the classes being hosted at the nationally recognized Haslam College of Business on the state’s flagship campus, and it is evident the kids who participate in the program are going to be a part of something exceptional.” The program requires students to attend three-hour classes over 30 weeks from October through April 2016. In this time, students will brainstorm and form their enterprises, make pitches to real investors, obtain funding, file their DBAs, and by the end, actually launch their own business or social movement. Business mentors and local entrepreneurs across a variety of industries will support the students throughout the program. “The entire community needs to be on board with the Knoxville Chamber’s plans to launch the program this fall,” said Gayle Jagel, developer of the YEA! program. “We encourage local business leaders to become involved with the program and to act as mentors to the budding entrepreneurs.” By partnering with YEA!, both large and small businesses can volunteer their time as business mentors, field trip hosts, guest lecturers, graphic designers, web developers, attorneys, and more. Community support strengthens the program, and the academy strengthens the community. The Chamber is currently taking applications for the inaugural class. Students can download the application from the Chamber’s website, Business leaders and educators can also nominate student they think would be a good fit for the program on the website. Visit the Chamber’s YouTube channel to watch Gov. Bill Haslam discuss the program at

Chamber’s Ashleigh Adkins Speaks at National Sales Training Conference Ashleigh Adkins, the Knoxville Chamber’s membership development manager, lead a training class at the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives National Sales Training conference in San Diego, Calif., on March 26. Adkins’ “Selling for Success” session focused on how to use innovative prospecting techniques and strategies for overcoming difficult sales situations. Adkins was the only chamber account executive invited to teach a course at the conference.


Since 1869, the Knoxville Chamber has been the leading voice for business in our region. Each of these businesses are celebrating milestone anniversaries as Chamber members during the month of April. Thank you for your commitment to the Chamber and the community!



25 – 30 YEARS


20 – 24 YEARS


15-19 YEARS


10 – 14 YEARS


East Tennessee Natural Gas Gouffon Moving & Storage Company, Inc. Johnson & Galyon, Inc. Ambrose, Wilson, Grimm & Durand, LLP BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Cherokee Distributing Co., Inc. Tennessee Valley Fair The Tombras Group Knoxville Harley-Davidson, Inc. Knoxville Area Association of Realtors M. S. McClellan & Company Tennessee Smokies Baseball Club Boy Scouts of America Goodwill Industries - Knoxville, Inc. Hallsdale Powell Utility District Bullock Smith & Partners

1950 1951 1954 1955 1957 1958 1958 1965 1972 1975 1977 1978 1979 1979 1982 1984

O’Neil, Parker & Williamson, PLLC 1989 Customer Service Electric Supply, Inc. 1989 Odom Construction Systems, Inc. 1989 UT Federal Credit Union 1989 ITT Technical Institute 1989 Moxley Carmichael 1990 Loudon County Chamber of Commerce 1991 Schmid & Rhodes Construction Co. 1992 Lance Cunningham Ford 1992 Knoxville Bar Association 1992 Farm Credit Services 1993 Sun Electric Company 1994 Ameresco Federal Solutions 1995 AT&T 1995 Conner Siding & Window Company 1995 Hart Graphics, Inc. 1995 InterFaith Health Clinic 1995 Knox Rail Salvage, Inc. 1995 M & L Sound, Inc. 1995 Michael T. Crawford Agency 1995 Quality Machine & Welding Co., Inc. 1995 Robert A. Brown, CPA 1995 Russell Printing Options 1995 Sperry Van Ness/R.M. Moore 1995

New York Life/Eagle Strategies LLC 1996 Martin Printing LLC 1998 Great West Casualty Company 1998 Gulf & Ohio Railways 1998 Windstream 1998 Roddy Vending Company, Inc. 1998 TDS Exhibits, Inc. 1999 Knoxville Chamber 2000 RIVR Media, LLC 2000 Newport Medical Center 2000 Century 21 Select Properties 2000 Star Construction, LLC. 2000 Alstom Power 2000 Honey Baked Ham Company 2001 WVLT-Volunteer TV 2001 Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies 2001 Hilton Knoxville Airport 2001 Knoxville Convention Center 2001 Appalachia Business Communications 2002 The Park Vista a DoubleTree by Hilton 2003 Dienamic Tooling Systems, Inc. 2003 ARCADIS US, Inc. 2003 WATE-TV 2003 American Trust Bank of East Tennessee Bearden Office 2003 Messer Construction Company 2004 Shopper-News North 2004 American Book Company 2004 Comcast 2004 Comcast Business Class 2004 Swiss Technologies, Inc. 2005 Lincoln Memorial University 2005 NAVARRO Research and Engineering Inc. 2005

K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 53


(February 2015)

NOTES - - Knoxville MSA includes: Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Grainger, Knox, Loudon, Morgan, Roane & Union Counties.

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

HOUSING MARKET % Change Feb. ’14Feb. ‘15

Feb. 2015

Jan. 2015

Feb. 2014

% Change Jan. ’15Feb. ‘15

225,730 401,870 3,022,500 156,213,000

224,080 399,280 3,009,000 156,050,000

225,251 414,254 3,017,000 155,027,000

0.7 0.6 0.4 0.1

0.2 -3.0 0.2 0.8

378,900 2,821,800

378,600 2,818,100

369,300 2,760,800

0.1 0.1

2.6 2.2

12,830 25,970 212,560

14,030 28,490 235,760

14,330 30,100 248,860

-8.6 -8.8 -9.8

-10.5 -13.7 -14.6

5.1 5.8 6.4 5.8

5.7 6.5 7.1 6.1

5.4 6.1 7.3 7.0

-0.6 -0.7 -0.7 -0.3

-0.3 -0.3 -0.9 -1.2

Non-Ag Employment Knoxville MSA Tennessee

Residential Closings Residential Inventory Median Residential Price

Feb. 2015 890 9,149 $149,900

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

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



Knoxville (City)

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

Jan. 2015* 13 13 0

Jan. 2014 24 24 0

% Change Jan. ’14Jan. ‘15 -45.8 -45.8 0.0

Knox Co.

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

86 86 0

71 71 0

21.1 21.1 0.0

Knoxville MSA

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

146 146 0

96 96 0

52.1 52.1 0.0


Total Single-Family Multi-Family

1,703 1,165 538

2,364 1,024 1,340

-28.0 13.8 -59.9

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

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX (CPI) - ALL ITEMS % Change Jan. ’14Feb. ‘15

% Change Feb. ’13Feb. ‘15 -1.6 -1.1

Feb. ’14-‘15

Jan. ’14-‘15

Feb. ’13-‘14

-0.5 0.0

-0.6 -0.1

1.1 1.1

0.1 0.1

% Change Feb. ’14Feb. ‘15

Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee

Feb. 2015

Jan. 2015

Feb. 2014

% Change Jan. ’15Feb. ‘15

44,356,172 66,801,504 559,290,593

60,036,866 88,486,904 801,042,830

41,042,037 61,850,909 519,696,988

-26.1 -24.5 -30.2

8.1 8.0 7.6

12,301,121 18,887,509

17,180,714 26,008,621

11,472,289 17,501,816

-28.4 -27.4

7.2 7.9


Passengers Cargo

Dec. 2014 139,162 6,930,892

Nov. 2014 140,470 5,700,611

Dec. 2013 138,080 6,952,683

% Change Nov. ’14Dec. ‘14 -0.9 21.6

% Change Dec. ’13Dec. ‘14 0.8 -0.3

Source: Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority

Local Sales Tax Knox Co. Knoxville MSA

*All 2015 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

*South – City Size Class B/C


810 9,847 $135,000

% Change Feb. ’14Feb. ‘15 9.9 -7.1 11.0

Source: Knoxville Area Association of Realtors

Available Labor Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee

Feb. 2014

Jan. 2015 793 9,280 $145,000

% Change Jan. ’15Feb. ‘15 12.2 -1.4 3.4

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

Feb. 2015

Jan. 2015

389,679 20,185 18,200 8,167 51,909 45,689 7,789 30,651 48,467 23,798 8,913 81,443 38,633

401,097 21,625 16,043 8,266 56,332 47,593 7,916 31,829 49,368 25,507 8,954 80,972 40,068

384,985 19,499 17,779 8,145 50,124 42,524 7,387 40,011 48,292 22,786 8,565 77,796 36,427

% Change Jan. ’15Feb. ‘15 -2.8 -6.7 13.4 -1.2 -7.9 -4.0 -1.6 -3.7 -1.8 -6.7 -0.5 0.6 -3.6





Feb. 2014

% Change Feb. ’14Feb. ‘15 1.2 3.5 2.4 0.3 3.6 7.4 5.4 -23.4 0.4 4.4 4.1 4.7 6.1 3.3

EST. 1869 For more information on research, contact Joe Riley,

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

K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 54

Rhonda Rice Receives Excellence in Economic Development Award The Site Selectors Guild has presented Rhonda Rice, the Knoxville Chamber’s executive vice president, the Excellence in Economic Development award. Rice received the award at the Site Selector’s Guild 2015 Conference in February. Award recipients were nominated by Guild members and selected based on mastery of process, ingenuity and creativity, going above and beyond, political acumen, staying power, and personal and caring touch. “It is an honor to have been recognized by the Site Selectors Guild,” said Rice. “I am very grateful for the guild’s acknowledgment of my work in economic development, and it would not have been possible without the support of the entire Innovation Valley team. The Site Selectors Guild is a prominent professional organization in the economic development community and this award is a great endorsement of the hard work and dedication we put in for the continued progress of the Knoxville region.” The Site Selectors Guild is a professional association comprised of the world’s most respected site selection consultants. The mission of The Site Selectors Guild is to advance the profession of international corporate site selection by promoting the profession and providing education, networking and other services to those involved in the industry.

Chamber Hosts Legislative Briefing on Education

Pictured left to right: Alan Hill of AT&T, Mike Edwards of the Knoxville Chamber, state Reps. Eddie Smith, Roger Kane, and Bill Dunn.

The Knoxville Chamber hosted the first of its two-part Legislative Briefing series on March 27. Sponsored by AT&T, the first briefing focused on education. State Reps. Eddie Smith, Roger Kane, and Bill Dunn joined in on the discussion, which was moderated by Susan Richardson Williams — chairwoman of the Chamber’s government relations committee. The next briefing will take place on April 17 and will be a wrap up of the legislative session with state Sens. Richard Briggs and Becky Duncan Massey, and state Reps. Joe Armstrong and Martin Daniel.


Zach Collier, CountryWide HR Zach Collier has a penchant for people and hard work. For the past five years, Collier has worked in the staffing and human resources industry, and is now chairman and director of the CountryWide HR family of companies. CountryWide HR is a multi-firm company that handles human resource outsourcing, payroll, staffing and insurance operations. CountryWide HR has 250 clients with business operations in 35 states, generating sales of more than $250 million per year. Collier oversees all aspects of management, including strategic planning, sales and operations, client relationships, administration, and marketing. “We initially began as WorldWide Staffing, which I started more than five years ago,” Collier said. “Since then, we’ve expanded into human resource outsourcing and employee leasing, including payroll, risk management and compliance, benefits and other administrative solutions; making up the suite of services offered by CountryWide HR, Reliant Payroll Services and our staffing franchise model, Countrywide Staffing Solutions Group.” Collier’s background in the human resources industry has been key in his development as a leader and his ability to realize the success that’s created when employers are able to identify, hire and retain star employees. “People are what make companies successful. That’s true no matter what business you’re in,” Collier said. “I discovered that I had a passion for helping people find the right jobs, and employers find the right people. A perfect match can change people’s lives.” Collier said finding the right hiring fit for a client takes hard work and creative solutions. For many employers, identifying the right candidate is only half the battle; the ability to retain the employee is critical. Helping employers provide high-quality benefits and manage their human resource function is key in employee retention. As a manager, Collier promotes a positive, productive work environment across all CountryWide HR companies. “I’m pretty high energy, and I expect the people around me to work hard, too,” Collier said. “We address the hard problems, but we do it in a positive manner, because we all want to get to the same place in the end. We’re growing quickly, so it’s important to be open to new ideas and be ready to change as needed. Our business demands it.” Additionally, Collier emphasizes the importance of giving back to the community with his employees.

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Luau-themed Schmoozapalooza Draws Record Crowd to Knoxville Expo Center A record crowd of more than 600 business people joined the Knoxville Chamber for its luau-themed Schmoozapalooza networking extravaganza on March 3 at the Knoxville Expo Center. The lively event — presented by Comcast Business, Cellular Sales, and Ole Smoky Distillery — featured live music, great food, and more than 90 exhibiting businesses. The evening concluded with a drawing for several door prizes. Deb-

bie Price of Healthy Mind Counseling Services took home a Misfit Shine Fitness and Sleep Monitor, provided by the Chamber; Amanda DeBord of Edward Jones won a GoPro waterproof video camera, courtesy of the Chamber; Candace Anderson of Planet Beach was the winner of Monster DNA on-ear headphones, courtesy of Cellular Sales; and Janet Palombi of Signs for Yall won a Bose Bluetooth speaker, provided by Comcast Business. All guests took home a goody bag, courtesy of Threds.

Vendor Registry’s posed with the company’s tropical-themed booth at Schmoozapalooza on March 3.

Kelsey Roze and Lauren Little of Seasons Catering and Special Events gave guests a taste of their restaurant’s fare at Schmoozapalooza.

Kimberly Long, Terry Smiles, Jan King, Rebekah Broyles, and Doris Ownby of TVA Employees Credit Union got into the luau spirit of Schmoozapalooza with their table of colorful leis.

Firewater Junction entertained Schmoozapalooza guests with their bluegrass sound at the Ole Smoky Distillery booth.

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The Pour Guys serve up samples of Ole Smoky Moonshine to Schmoozapalooza goers.

Chamber account executive Mary McCall take captures Rich DeForrest and Jennifer Moyer in the official Schmoozapalooza photo frame.

Tori Berry of MyNextSuite poses with her booth at Schmoozapalooza on March 3.

Dianna Glandon and Nekol Kincaid of Above the Rest Balloon & Event Designs pose for a photo in their colorful, balloon-built photo booth.

More than 600 guests enjoyed great food and networking at the Knoxville Expo Center for the Chamber’s spring Schmoozapalooza.

Jeff Sweeney, Jon Robinette, and Nathan Robinette of the Casual Pint pose for a photo in front of their Mobile Pint Unit, which provided Schmoozapalooza guests with craft beer throughout the evening.

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Haslam Invites Questions, Suggestions for Second Term at Chamber Breakfast More than 500 members of the business community joined the Knoxville Chamber for its breakfast with Gov. Bill Haslam at the Knoxville Convention Center on Feb. 27. The annual event, sponsored by Stowers Machinery Corporation with support from Alcoa and Kramer Rayson LLP, gives the business community the chance to hear the governor discuss his priorities for the state. This year, with Haslam embarking on his second term as governor, he used the forum to ask the audience what they’d like to see addressed in the next four years. “(As) a governor beginning your second term, and knowing the clock is ticking on what you can accomplish, (I want to ask) what should a governor in that situation focus on and do?” Haslam asked the audience. The audience asked him about healthcare issues, entrepreneurship, diversity in schools, and of course the budget. Haslam said setting the state’s $32 billion budget is definitely one of his biggest challenges each year. “At the end of the day the most important thing government does is set the budget,” he said. “And it’s the most difficult thing, because people think government is trying to decide between good things and bad things when that budget comes. But the reality we’re deciding between good things and other good things, and you just can’t fund everything.” “As a second term governor there’s a little bit of an advantage because you know the issues better, but they don’t get any easier,” Haslam added. To watch the governor’s speech in its entirety, visit the Chamber’s YouTube channel at


APRIL 8 Political Insights Luncheon Featuring Senator Bob Corker

Noon – 1:30 p.m. • Crowne Plaza, 401 W. Summit Hill $30 for Chamber Members; $40 for Non-Members Sponsored by:

APRIL 9 How will Charleston’s $450M Port Project Impact East Tennessee? Presented by Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority 7:30 – 9 a.m. • Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square Sponsored by:

APRIL 9 City Council Special Meeting – Sign Ordinance 5:30 p.m. • Small Assembly Room, City-County Building


APRIL 17 Legislative Briefing 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. • Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square Sponsored by:

APRIL 21 Bright Ideas Seminar: To Friend or Not To Friend: HR in the Social Media Age Presented by Chris McCarty, Lewis, Thomason, King, Krieg & Waldrop 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. • Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square, #201 $25 for Chamber Members; $30 for non-members (boxed lunch included) Sponsored by:


Gov. Bill Haslam spoke to a crowd of more than 500 business people at the Knoxville Chamber’s annual breakfast on Feb. 27.


Gov. Bill Haslam poses with Wes Stowers and his daughter, Lisa Rottmann. Stowers Machinery was the presenting sponsor of the breakfast.

Premier Partner Event Featuring Dr. Joe DiPietro, President of the University of Tennessee 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. • Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square, #201 Exclusive for Premier Partners

APRIL 30 a.m. Exchange 8 – 9 a.m. • All Occasion Catering, 922 N. Central Ave.


Sponsored by:

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

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Commerce - April 2015  
Commerce - April 2015  

The official newsletter of the Knoxville Chamber.