Page 1

INSIDE: Veterans Luncheon Recap pg. 56 + Monthly Economic Indicators pg. 54


Playrite, LLC (865) 584-2818 Construction & Contractors: Specialty Services

3 Dimension Design (865) 385-0509 Architectural & Engineering Services Belnap Group (865) 805-8737 Business & Professional Services: Business Advisors & Consultants Beltone Hearing Aid Center (931) 202-1100 Healthcare Providers & Services Benchmark Physical Therapy - Hardin Valley (865) 690-2690 Healthcare Providers & Services: Physical Therapy Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop (865) 330-3694 Restaurants: Sweet Treats & Bakeries Cate Russell Insurance Inc. (865) 982-4111 Insurance Clancy’s Tavern & Whiskey House (865) 712-1815 Restaurants Cornerstone Dental Associates, PLLC (865) 531-7117 Healthcare Providers & Services: Dentists Courtyard Marriott Pigeon Forge (865) 366-3001 Hotels & Lodging Fritts Financial (865) 675-0000 Financial Services: Planning Ideal Corporate Housing (865) 266-8224 Apartments: Corporate Housing

Lloyd’s Electric Service, Inc. (865) 692-6700 Construction & Contractors: Electrical Contractors Payroll Source Group, Inc. (865) 684-9749 Business & Professional Services: Billing, Payroll, & Collection Services PDS Transportation Services / PDS Express Inc. (865) 512-8881 Transportation: Truck/Trailor Sales & Equipment Personal Auto Locator Service (865) 315-7000 Automotive Sales, Parts, & Service: Pre-Owned Senior Solutions Home Care (865) 539-5224 Social Services: Senior Services Sesco Lighting (865) 633-9288 Building Materials: Lighting

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.


J. Smith Lanier & Co. (865) 588-1763 Insurance

Jubilee LED Lighting (865) 329-7257 Electrical Supplies & Services








Stellar Visions and Sounds (865) 689-2082 Audio-Visual Services The UPS Store - Hardin Valley (865) 249-6943 Business & Professional Services: Mailing & Fulfillment




Digital Crossing Networks (865) 673-9464 Telecommunications

J.C. Holdway Restaurant (865) 312-9050 Restaurants




TRANE (865) 588-0607 Construction & Contractors Tuesday Morning (865) 531-1811 Shopping Vacations with Andi, LLC (423) 286-7475 Personal Services: Travel Wellsley Park at Deane Hill (865) 221-7930 Apartments

Patricia Nash Designs celebrated the grand opening of its new corporate headquarters in a historic industrial building recently renovated by Courtland Group near downtown Knoxville on Oct. 27. Patricia Nash, pictured center, was joined by her husband Jeffrey Nash (right) and daughter Jennifer Evans (left) as well as staff members and Knoxville Chamber Ambassadors. The new corporate headquarters and showroom are located at 1132 N. Sixth Ave.

K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 40



rom music to moonshine, metalsmithing to manufacturing, Knoxville has a rich tradition of crafting and making. East Tennessee has been home to skilled artisans for centuries, and the people of Southern Appalachia are renowned for their ingenuity and do-it-yourself spirit. Today, an emerging maker movement and creative-class environment provides local craftspeople, hobbyists, tinkerers, and micro-entrepreneurs the chance to turn their passions into profit. At the inaugural Make Knox summit in September, Knoxville was proclaimed an official “Maker City” by Etsy, a popular e-commerce marketplace where creative entrepreneurs sell unique, handmade items. According to Etsy, Maker Cities pair strong municipalities that value entrepreneurship, sustainability, and responsible manufacturing with the creative and innovative spirit of the community. Throughout the summit, local makers came together to brainstorm the future of Knoxville’s creative community and discuss how to move forward with the flourishing maker movement. What emerged was a collective desire for the city to provide business resources, create social events, and develop maker-friendly policy to make Knoxville a great place to make. “We are forging a new path in Knoxville,” said Joy

O’Shell, director of outreach and marketing for the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center. “The hard part is getting organized and figuring out what we can realistically accomplish together.”

WHAT MAKES A MAKER? A maker is broadly defined as “a person who makes or produces something.” In Knoxville, this manifests through areas like manufacturing, software development, video production, cooking/baking, brewing, jewelry making, and painting. Many local makers choose to use their creative talents to develop a business around their craft. “As a maker here, you’re drawing on not just the legacy of mountain ingenuity, but also on a tradition of access to research facilities at the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory,” said O’Shell. “You can’t help but make this object or technology you’re being called to make, and you’re compelled to craft something with your hands to solve a problem. Then, if you find there is a customer for your craft or trade, you can start to grow it organically through a number of local markets, shared spaces, tech resources, or even online platforms like Etsy.” Alaina Smith is owner and designer for ColdGold, a Knoxville-based leather goods and geometric jewelry shop. She sells her products on Etsy, at craft

fairs, and is featured at local downtown handmade gift shop Rala. As a local maker, she believes Knoxville’s maker movement is a special one and has worked with KEC to brainstorm ideas for the future of Knoxville’s creative community. “All in all, makers are creative thinkers with a need to create. Hobbies aside, the contemporary maker culture fosters creatives to turn their hobbies into businesses, and our economy is getting stronger because of it,” Smith said. “We are a large enough city to have a focused and strong core group of makers, but not too large a city to have to compete with each other.” In addition to Rala, a popular location for local makers to sell their products is The Southern Market, a collection of 40-plus shops in West Knoxville featuring an eclectic selection of decorative accessories, distinctive gifts, fine antiques, and original art. Southern Market merchants participate in three festivals each year including the annual Holiday Open House, outdoor Spring Fling, and an orange and white tailgate party each August.

A PLACE TO MAKE With a growing community of creative micro-entrepreneurs in Knoxville, there is a need for mixeduse locations for like-minded individuals to gather,

Continued on page 42

K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 41

Continued from page 41 design, create, prototype, and make. “After the Knoxville maker summit, we took an Etsy representative on a small business tour of Knoxville,” said David Harman, owner and founder of Native Maps. “She saw makers working in collaboration with each other. She saw that all of the printmakers not only know each other, but are friends – same with the metalworkers and brewers. She saw a community where creative individuals have the space and support to get their ideas off the ground. In so many words, she told us that Knoxville was better than Brooklyn for makers.” Knoxville is home to approximately 12 makerspaces that offer tools and resources for local creatives to master their craft and share their work with the community. The Central Collective is a creative space that hosts private events, workshops, performances, art exhibitions, and culinary experiences. Its studio is home to Shawn Poynter Photography and is available for hourly rental to both professional and aspiring photographers. The Central Collective Kitchen, home to Dale’s Fried Pies, is a small commercial kitchen certified by the Knox County Department of Health that is available for emerging culinary enAlaina Smith, owner and designer for Cold Gold, hand paints leather in her local studio. trepreneurs. “My husband Shawn and I originally purchased the property that is now The Central Collective beinto the challenges facing local makers in the community. cause we needed space to do our own making – fried pies in my case and photos in Following the inaugural Make Knox summit, City of Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogmy husband’s case,” said Dale Mackey of Central Collective and Dale’s Fried Pies. ero developed a Maker Council consisting of private and public partners who will work “Over time, we thought more about making the space available to other makers – to advance micro-entrepreneurs and manufacturers in the city. chefs, photographers, artists, and craftspeople.” “The Maker Council’s initiative aims to offer the city government insight into how She continued, “It’s been really exciting to be the launch pad for several businesses to grow our maker community and help it thrive,” said Smith, who now serves on the and to give people the opportunity to share their work when they might not otherwise Maker Council. “We will be talking about everything from building codes to local taxes have an easy or affordable way to do that. It’s all about sharing resources and opto maker meet-ups. The council consists of small business owners, local makers, city portunities with the creative community here in Knoxville.” officials, real estate developers, and a few experts in law and business. We’re a large, Similarly, the Hive is a modern bohemian venue that hosts community gatherings, loud bunch, and we’re really excited to be working with one another to grow Knoxville’s private parties, photo shoots, and houses creative entrepreneurs. Its in-house colleccreative community!” tives offer interior design, home and business organization, photography, and floral Micro-business owners face different challenges from a five- or 10-employee enterdesign. prise, yet many government programs for small businesses overlook the needs of the Technology and art collective Knox Makers is a place for Knoxville’s engineers, artself-employed, focusing instead on business growth, finding low-cost loans, or hiring ists, hobbyists, and innovators to work and play. It is a non-profit educational organizahelp. Knoxville’s Makers Council will be in key in supporting the policy needs of local tion that offers lectures, outreach programs, and workshops for members. Woodworkmakers including zoning, permits, and taxes. ing, metalworking, crafting, and electronics zones are equipped with tools and supplies Additionally, KEC is developing maker-specific programming including networking for efficient making. and educational events, as well as providing assistance in discoverability and market“Simply put, a makerspace is a physical location where self-awareness and commuing. nity-awareness meet,” said O’Shell. “We’re putting together a list of these spaces so “Every neighborhood now has its own vibe and identity, and the goods and sermakers who need space can find other makers who have space.” vices coming out of those neighborhoods can represent a complete micro-economy,” O’Shell explained. “When they all come together, you can really start seeing the depth MAINTAINING MOMENTUM of entire movement emerging. It’s very exciting and unique to Knoxville because of the range, expertise, and diversity of what is being made here.” Knoxville is rich with creative talent, and equally creative policymakers. However, For more information about Knoxville’s creative community and a directory of local there is a growing need for these two groups to formally come together to dive deep makers, visit

K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 42

Veterans Honored at Annual Luncheon BY: JESSICA KARSTEN

The East Tennessee Military Affairs Council (ETMAC), in cooperation with the Knoxville Chamber and Blount Partnership, hosted the 34th Annual Veterans Day Luncheon at the Holiday Inn at World’s Fair Park on Nov. 11. More than 400 guests gathered for lunch and an afternoon of recognizing local military units and veterans. WBIR-TV’s John Becker emceed the event, and Colonel David Coggins, commanding officer for the Naval ROTC at Virginia Military Institute, served as guest speaker. “Over 400 people turned out for the 2016 Veteran’s Day Luncheon,” said Col. Owen Ragland, president of ETMAC. “The group included Congressman Duncan, Heather Hatcher from Senator Alexander’s office, and the mayors from Knoxville, Knox County, and Anderson County, along with the commanders from many of Knoxville’s military units. The luncheon was an overwhelming success in demonstrating Knoxville’s appreciation for our military and veteran community and the advocacy and support to meet the unique needs of this community.” During the program, two University of Tennessee ROTC cadets were awarded Westbrook ROTC scholarships. Cadet Colonel Scott T. Lancaster of UT’s Air Force ROTC and Cadet Dominique T. Bowen of UT’s Army ROTC were awarded $500 scholarships in recognition of their dedication to the community and country. Additionally, awards were presented to the recipients of the Tom Parlon and Sam

More than 400 guests attended Knoxville’s 34th Annual Veterans Day Luncheon, presented by ETMAC, at the Holiday Inn at World’s Fair Park.

Hardman Memorial awards as well as outstanding enlisted personnel from area units. The Knoxville Chamber’s Patrice Collins serves as the administrator for ETMAC.

Digital Marketing Series Returns in January BY: JESSICA KARSTEN

The Knoxville Chamber’s annual Digital Marketing Series, presented by BGT Recruiting & Consulting, will take place throughout the month of January. The month-long series offers programming for local businesspeople to learn tips and tricks of successful digital marketing tactics from experts in the field. “We rebranded and expanded our annual social media series last year to dig deeper into the digital marketing tools available to small businesses,” said Lori Fuller, vice president of marketing and events for the Chamber. “Last year’s inaugural Digital Marketing Series was well-attended and informative, and we are looking forward to another great set of seminars this year.” Courtney Herda, founder and CEO of Smarter Searches, will kick off this year’s series with “Maximizing your Marketing on a Shoestring Budget” on Jan. 10. This seminar will provide tips for improving online visibility with minimal financial investment. From creative blog posts to eye-catching social content, there are numerous ways for businesses to implement key messaging and maximize search engine results. On Jan. 17, Mike McDowell, general manager of Social Joey, will present “Le-

veraging LinkedIn for Business Growth.” The seminar will detail how LinkedIn can be leveraged by sales teams, marketers, executives, and small business owners to help grow their business. On Jan. 24, the series will continue with a panel discussion detailing effective ways to utilize mobile marketing and geo-marketing with tools like Snapchat, Google Beacon, and text message marketing. The panel will feature local industry experts including John McCulley, senior web developer for Moxley Carmichael. To close out the series, Holly Yalove, principal and chief strategist at VIEO Design, will present “How to Create an Effective Inbound Marketing Campaign” on Jan. 31. The presentation will feature tips and best practices for each of the six essential steps to an effective inbound marketing campaign. This approach is increasing in popularity and frequently delivering better return on investment for companies. All seminars will take place at the Knoxville Chamber from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cost to attend is $25 for Chamber members and $35 for non-members. For more information or to register for any of these events, please visit the event calendar on

K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 43



Owner: Samira Abdalla

Owner: Kirk Finnerty

Industry Type: Real Estate Development, Prop-


erty Management

Industry Type: Residential Rental Properties,

Describe your firm briefly, and what are your main markets or services? We purchase and renovate low-end real estate – some properties are sold, while others are leased so that our clients are able to afford higher standards of living. Our goal is to gentrify inner-city neighborhoods and allow our clients to subsidize their rent so living well can be affordable.

What is your primary objective over the next year? We want to continue to operate under our model so that we can continue to positively impact the families of Knoxville and surrounding areas. Establishing a strong revenue stream will enable us to increase our inventory, thus providing more housing opportunities.

What lessons have you learned from your mentor? I learn something new every time I interact with Kirk. He has so much knowledge and wisdom, and he freely shares all the lessons he learned throughout the years. The biggest lesson Kirk has taught me is that strategy is key; if a business does not have a clear vision and a plan, it will fail every time. It’s important to pay attention to current events and constantly re-vamp my strategy. Second, he has taught me that failure does not have to have a negative connotation – each setback, each success, and each lesson adds to who I am as a business owner. Lastly, Kirk reminds me that passion is key to any successful venture. If we remain true to what motivates and ignites us, then the fruits of our labor will always be more rewarding. It’s easy to lose your ‘self’ in the business world, but it’s important to never forget why we do what we do.

Rehab Resell

Who has been one of your important mentors and why? What excites me the most about being a mentor it is that I never had one.

What are the benefits of being a mentor? It never hurts to go back and relearn the basics. It puts me back in touch with why I started this business and the dreams that I had for it.

Do you think successful firms should mentor a small firm? If so, why? It is my belief that everyone should have a mentor and a protégé - someone always pushing you to go further and someone that you are always pushing to go further.

What are the three keys priorities small firm owners should consider every day? 1. I’m always surprised when I run across a business owner that has forgotten why they started the business. A business should be there to enhance someone’s life, not control it or dominate it. 2. Finding employees is always a challenge, but finding the employees that get me excited to come in to work is heaven! 3. Just because a business owner is successful at one business does not mean that they will be successful at another business. Keep your feet on the ground.

Why should every business have a mentor? An experienced mentor is always able to provide objective feedback on how to overcome challenges and refine our best practices. Each weakness can be turned into a strength, and that is something only a wise friend can give you.

How has your business or management thinking changed because of your mentor? I’ve realized that quick growth without the proper business structure can be just as devastating as lack of planning. Business is about relationships. Bill Nye said it best, ‘Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.’

Contact Doug Minter at (865) 246-2662 or to learn more about Propel.

K N O X V I L L56 E C H A M B E R | 44

Advanced Manufacturer Locates Global Headquarters in Innovation Valley BY: KAYLA WITT

On Oct. 20, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd announced along with officials from HTS International Corporation that the company will establish its global headquarters and new U.S. manufacturing facility in Knox County. The announcement represents an investment of $21.4 million and 200 new jobs over the next four years for Innovation Valley. “A global company can choose to establish its headquarters anywhere in the world. HTS International’s decision to establish its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Knox County underscores our skilled workforce and the hub of advanced manufacturing activity in Tennessee,” said Gov. Haslam. “Thanks to HTS International for investing in our state and bringing us another step closer to making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high-quality jobs.” HTS International is an advanced manufacturing company that provides engineered thermal management solutions for tooling components in the injection molding and die casting industries. It delivers innovative components, helping clients such as Tier 1 automotive suppliers reduce cycle time and become more efficient through enhanced cooling channels. The operations in Knox County’s Pellissippi Corporate Center will be HTS In-

ternational’s first facility in the U.S. and construction is slated to begin in early 2017. “Knox County is extremely lucky for HTS International to locate its headquarters, research and development, and manufacturing operations in the Pellissippi Corporate Center,” said Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett. “This again stresses the importance of having a ready-to-go business park land so Knox County has a place for next generation technology companies like HTS International. The STEM-rich technology jobs that HTS International will create will provide a better quality of life for our neighbors and for that, I’m grateful.” HTS noted Innovation Valley’s prime business location and proximity to customers as key factors when determining where to locate. In addition to its global and North American headquarters, HTS International plans to house laboratories focused on research and development and metallurgy, and industrial metal additive manufacturing equipment for production in the facility. The facility will include 10,000 square-feet of office space and between 50,000 and 60,000 square-feet for research and development and production. “We are excited to welcome HTS International to Knox County and Innovation Valley,” said Doug Lawyer, vice president of economic development for the Knoxville Chamber. “HTS is delivering high-wage, high-skilled jobs to our region and will be a great asset for our region.”

DECEMBER - MEMBER ANNIVERSARIES Since 1869, the Knoxville Chamber has been the leading voice for business in the region. Each of these businesses are celebrating milestone anniversaries as Chamber members during the month of December. Thank you for your commitment to the Chamber and the community! 31+ YEARS


Lamar Advertising 1953 McDonald’s Restaurants 1960 The Lilly Company 1967 Waste Connections of Tennessee, Inc. 1967 Lawler-Wood, LLC 1975 Hodges, Doughty & Carson, PLLC 1976 Workforce Connections 1979 The E.W. Scripps Company 1981 Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians, Inc. 1982 South College 1983 Kennerly, Montgomery & Finley, PC 1984 The Trust Company 1986

25 – 30 YEARS Dogwood Arts K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc. Kimberly-Clark Corporation Talent Trek Agency HG&A Associates, PC Read Window Products, Inc. Holston Hills Country Club

MEMBER SINCE 1987 1989 1990 1990 1991 1991 1991

20 – 24 YEARS Ijams Nature Center Morris Creative Group, LLC The Willows Apartments Drain Construction Co. Blue Ridge Realty, Inc.

15-19 YEARS

MEMBER SINCE 1992 1993 1993 1994 1996


HealthCare 21 Business Coalition 1997 Southern Safety Supply, LLC 1997 Office Depot 1998 ModernTech Corporation 1998 Bush Brothers & Company 1998 Image Matters, Inc. 1999 Phillips & Jordan, Inc. 1999 Jacobs Engineering Group 1999 Unity Mortuary 1999 The Florence Crittenton Agency, Inc. 1999 The Tomato Head 1999 Threds, Inc. 2000 CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Svcs. of Tennessee, Inc. 2000

K N O X V I L L57 E C H A M B E R | 45

B & T Distributing Company Adams Products Volunteer Ministry Center CDM Smith

10 – 14 YEARS Valliant Harrison Schwartz & Green Fairfield Inn by Marriot - Knoxville East Total Polish Solutions Knoxville Ice Bears Market Realty Cumberland Heights Emerald Youth Foundation Holiday Inn World’s Fair Park Pete’s Coffee Shop Restaurant Crowne Plaza Knoxville Clayton Bank and Trust TAC Air/Truman Arnold Companies Brelsford Properties, GP MediSpa at Knoxville Dermatology Group Tennessee Steel Center Inc.

2000 2000 2000 2000

MEMBER SINCE 2002 2002 2002 2002 2003 2003 2004 2004 2004 2004 2005 2005 2006 2006 2006


(Oct. 2016)

NOTES – Knoxville MSA includes: Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Grainger, Knox, Loudon, Morgan, Roane & Union Counties. October labor force estimates were not released in time for publication

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

HOUSING MARKET % Change Sept. ’15Sept. ‘16

Sept. 2016

Aug. 2016

Sept. 2015

% Change Aug. ’16Sept. ‘16

238,500 422,230 3,175,000 159,636,000

235,850 417,610 3,160,800 159,800,000

228,590 405,890 3,037,500 156,607,000

1.1 1.1 0.4 -0.1

4.3 4.0 4.5 1.9

398,000 2,984,800

394,600 2,958,900

390,700 2,922,100

0.9 0.9

1.9 2.1



11,990 23,550 193,090



4.3 4.7 5.0 4.8

4.3 4.7 5.0 5.0

4.8 5.3 5.7 4.9

0.0 0.0 0.0 -0.2

-0.5 -0.6 -0.7 -0.1

Non-Ag Employment Knoxville MSA Tennessee

Residential Closings Residential Inventory Median Residential Price

Oct. 2016 1,493 8,014 $165,000

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

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


% Change Sept. ’14Sept. ‘16 1.9 1.5

Sept. ’15-‘16

Aug. ’15-‘16

Sept. ’14-‘15

1.3 1.5

0.8 1.1

-0.6 0.0

0.5 0.4

% Change Aug. ’15Aug. ‘16

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

Knoxville (City)

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

Sept. 2016* 23 23 0

Sept. 2015 28 28 0

% Change Sept. ’15Sept. ‘16 -17.9 -17.9 0.0

Knox Co.

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

147 147 0

116 116 0

26.7 26.7 0.0

Knoxville MSA

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

235 218 17

201 179 22

16.9 21.8 -22.7


Total Single-Family Multi-Family

2,128 1,720 408

1,753 1,514 239

21.4 13.6 70.7

Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee

Sept. 2016

Aug. 2016

Sept. 2015

% Change Aug. ’16Aug. ‘16

54,643,155 83,769,806 692,034,963

52,376,079 82,390,003 696,480,972

52,746,036 80,866,636 662,239,049

4.3 1.7 -0.6

3.6 3.6 4.5

14,857,338 23,412,660

14,172,061 22,995,741

14,317,119 22,421,796

4.8 1.8

3.8 4.4

% Change Oct. ’15Oct. ‘16 2.3 2.9 -0.3 -5.6 2.0 2.7 -1.7 -1.0 -3.2 6.4 7.9 2.6 10.0 -1.0


Passengers Freight

July 2016 173,682 7,149,477

June 2016 172,828 7,627,583

July 2015 172,131 6,938,790

% Change June ’16July ‘16 0.5 -6.3

% Change July ’15July ‘16 0.9 3.0

Source: Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority

Local Sales Tax Knox Co. Knoxville MSA

*All 2016 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


1,371 10,035 $158,500


CONSUMER PRICE INDEX (CPI) - ALL ITEMS % Change Aug. ’15Sept. ‘16

Oct. 2015

% Change Oct. ’15Oct. ‘16 8.9 -20.1 4.1

Source: Knoxville Area Association of Realtors

Available Labor Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee

Sept. 2016 1,643 8,387 $162,000

% Change Sept. ’16Oct. ‘16 -9.1 -4.4 1.9

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

Oct. 2016

Sept. 2016

454,520 29,370 20,503 7,755 59,240 55,339 8,818 35,582 53,760 28,306 11,491 91,960 45,588

447,774 29,194 19,573 7,973 57,813 54,307 9,312 34,850 50,417 27,915 10,749 93,862 44,585

444,259 28,546 20,563 8,213 58,065 53,887 8,973 35,932 55,544 26,602 10,647 89,659 41,452

% Change Sept. ’16Oct. ‘16 1.5 0.6 4.8 -2.7 2.5 1.9 -5.3 2.1 6.6 1.4 6.9 -2.0 2.2





Oct. 2015

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 | 46

Female Professional Development Series Continues to Shine BY: JESSICA KARSTEN

The Knoxville Chamber hosted the sixth installment of its Women on the Rise to Shine series, presented by SunTrust, on Nov. 17 at Crowne Plaza Knoxville. More than 160 business professionals gathered to hear a presentation from Dr. Cate Loes of Belmont University about generational differences in the workplace. The lunch and learn detailed each of the generations currently in the workforce and presented tactics for leveraging the unique characteristics of each. “The reason we’re spending so much time talking about generations is because for the first time in U.S. history, we have five generations in the workplace,” Dr. Loes explained. “The youngest of the Silent Generation is 70, and then you have the Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y, and the oldest of Generation Z is 20.” Dr. Loes described various differences between the generations including communication styles, collaboration, community, values, ideas, and motivation. While Boomers have historically been motivated by steady work and salary, generations Y and Z are typically motivated by purpose of work and upward mobility. She showed a brief video detailing some of the major historical events that have shaped the beliefs and lifestyles of generations including the fall of the Berlin Wall for Generation X and the 2008 economic recession for Generation Z. “The economic downturn hit this generation (Gen Z) square in the chest,” Dr. Loes said. “Their parents were losing their homes and their jobs, and their lifestyles were changing dramatically overnight. This generation is having to work through school. So, what we’re seeing this generation has very different perspective on work. They understand economically how work relates to money.” Dr. Loes encouraged attendees to think about various workplace benefits to offer

Harry Gross of SunTrust; Rhonda Rice of the Knoxville Chamber; Kim Jarrard of SunTrust; Dr. Cate Loes of Belmont University; Robyn Askew, chair of the Chamber’s board of directors; Megan Scanlon Roach of SunTrust; and Jim Vaughn of SunTrust at the Women on the Rise to Shine luncheon on Nov. 17.

each generation, as their desires and necessities greatly vary. She also explained how essential it is to understand what is important to each generation and to remain flexible. “Being open to changes and being flexible is going to be critical,” she said. The popular Women on the Rise to Shine series, sponsored by SunTrust, offers female professionals quarterly events designed to recognize and develop women in the workplace. Programming for the series has included lunch and learns, a panel discussion with local female business leaders, and a “Wine and Shes” reception.

RIBBON CUTTING Arsenal Strength Training Facility celebrated the Grand Opening of its new facility on Nov. 4. The new facility is located at 10710 Lexington Drive, just off Lovell Road at I-40.

K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 47

‘Tis the Season in Downtown Knoxville BY: JESSICA KARSTEN

Holiday festivities have kicked off in downtown Knoxville with numerous activities and celebrations for families and people of all ages. Holidays on Ice, presented by Home Federal Bank, provides children and adults the chance to skate day and night, seven days a week, at the open-air ice rink in the center of Market Square through Jan. 8. Bundle up, grab some hot chocolate, and stroll around Downtown Knoxville to enjoy festive decorations including more than 100,000 lights and garlands in the trees, windows, and patios. This holiday season, downtown businesses will be decked out in peppermint-themed decorations to collectively celebrate the season. Visitors and residents of Knoxville are encouraged to make some stops along the Peppermint Trail of Treats through Jan. 8. Downtown restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, bars, and boutiques will feature peppermint specials throughout the season including peppermint coffees, brownies, and cocktails. More than 25 businesses will also be participating in the Elf on the Shelf Adventure through Christmas Eve. Children of all ages can be a part of this community-wide Elf on the Shelf scavenger hunt in Downtown Knoxville. In addition to these activities, there are plenty of additional holiday events occurring downtown throughout the month of December including the WIVK Christmas Parade on Dec. 2; “It’s a Wonderful Life” presented by Home Federal Bank at the Historic Tennessee Theatre on Dec. 11; the classic Tour de Lights on Dec. 16; and New Year’s on the Square on Dec. 31. This jam-packed holiday schedule is organized by the City of Knoxville, Visit Knoxville, and the Downtown Knoxville Central Business Improvement District with support from a variety of sponsors. For more information about holiday happenings or to view “100+ Things to Love and Do this Holiday in Downtown Knoxville,” visit holiday.

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Diversity Champions Group Hosting CEO Summits BY: KAYLA WITT

On Oct. 25, five CEOs from the Knoxville area gathered at the Knoxville Chamber for the inaugural CEO Summit. CEO Summits are a program of the Diversity Champions Resource Group. An initiative of the Knoxville Chamber, Diversity Champions promotes inclusion of all people and businesses into the fabric of economic and social life within the greater Knoxville area. October’s CEO Summit was the first of five that will be hosted over the next year. The purpose of the summits is to gain specific knowledge about diversity and inclusion strategies from businesses across the region, so Diversity Champions can better serve the community by building programs and providing solutions centered on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. “We need to get more CEOs’ support and commitment of regional diversity and inclusion strategies that add to quality of life in the workforce and marketplace,” said Doug Minter, business development manager for the Knoxville Chamber. “Our goal with the CEO Summits is to help executives recognize the return on investment that top-in-class diversity and inclusion strategies can have on organizations.” The CEO Summits sessions are facilitated by Leadership Knoxville on behalf of Diversity Champions. These sessions include members of Diversity Champions and five CEOs from across the region. October’s session included executives from Knoxville Utilities Board, Leadership Knoxville, Knoxville Chamber, Knoxville Area Association of Realtors, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. During each of the Summits, CEOs share best practices on diversity and inclusion in the workplace and also discuss areas where their firms could improve. The Summits are also used to engage high school-aged African-American males. Two students from Knox County’s UUNIK Academy, a program dedicated to helping AfricanAmerican youth become respectful and respectable adults, sit in on each session. “The goal of having student engagement is to show the students how chambers and economic development agencies work and how those functions directly affect them,” said Minter. “After our initial session, the students remarked that every high school student should be learning what they learned. We hope the 10 students who participate in our program will share what they have learned with their peers.” The next summit will be held on Jan. 31. Any presidents or C-Suite executives that would like to participate in one of the Summits can email inclusion@knoxvillechamber. com to learn more


Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon, Inc. Downtown Knoxville is home to engineering and architecture firm Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon, Inc. (BWSC). The firm employs approximately 60 professionals locally and works diligently on projects that improve the quality of life for residents and businesses in East Tennessee and beyond. BWSC was founded in 1955 in Nashville, and has steadily grown since then with its Knoxville office opening downtown in 1972. BWSC moved to an office off Sherrill Boulevard in 2005 and returned downtown in 2016 to renovated space in the Langley Building. The firm provides full-service design for a variety of project types with the local team consisting of architects, engineers (mechanical, electrical, structural, civil, and environmental), landscape architects, and surveyors. “Our local team is proud of the contributions we have made in the Knoxville area and East Tennessee in general,” said Casey Tyree, office manager and vice president. “Being able to experience firsthand the benefits of our projects, whether it’s a park expansion, sidewalk improvement, or utility upgrade, helps us to appreciate the impact of our work.” BWSC’s history of work in the region includes such noteworthy projects as site engineering for the World’s Fair Park during its original development in the 1980s and later design improvements, as well as many years’ worth of projects on every corner of the University of Tennessee (UT) campus. The RecSports complex at UT is an award-winning project designed by BWSC and was followed by a project working for the City of Knoxville to improve sidewalks on Sutherland Avenue near the sports complex. The combination of the projects has had a positive impact on the area for UT students and nearby residents. A number of other recent projects have positively influenced the area in terms of growth and livability improvements. One such project is the design of the new facility for Lifetime Products, a manufacturing firm investing $115 million in the area and expected to create 500 jobs when the plant opens in 2017. BWSC also designed the Ripken Experience - Pigeon Forge Sports Complex. Combining the “Smoky Mountain” style with six baseball fields that mimic major or minor league ball parks, this impressive park is estimated to bring 82,000 visitors to the area over a three-year period, with 30,000 hotel nights booked and a $38 million cash inflow to the local economy. Landscape architects and civil engineers are also hard at work on the Magnolia Avenue streetscape improvement project, furthering the “Complete Streets” effort to invigorate the commercial district, strengthen the neighborhood environment, beautify the area, and increase pedestrian safety. The firm’s local engineers have also worked for several years on downtown’s utility replacement work which included water, wastewater, natural gas, and electric system improvements. More than four miles of water main, some of which was up to 120 years old, and more than three miles of wastewater main were replaced block by block.

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Events Offer Chance to Network with Lawmakers BY: AMY NOLAN

Chamber members will have two opportunities to network with legislators and state officials before the 110th General Assembly begins its work in earnest. “Tennessee on Tap,” hosted by the Knoxville, Chattanooga, Nashville and Memphis Chambers, will be held on Jan. 11 from 5-6 p.m. (Central Time) at the Hermitage Hotel in downtown Nashville. The Nashville reception will be followed by the annual Regional Legislative Briefing scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on Jan. 27 at Calhoun’s in Oak Ridge. The breakfast will also be an opportunity to celebrate Sen. Randy McNally’s expected

election by his fellow state senators as Tennessee’s Lieutenant Governor. McNally, who lives in Oak Ridge and whose district includes a portion of Knox County, has been nominated for the post by the Republican caucus and a formal vote of the entire Senate will occur in January. Both the Nashville reception and Oak Ridge breakfast will offer meaningful opportunities to discuss the Chambers’ legislative priorities around economic development, education, and transportation with lawmakers. Watch your inbox for more details. Questions? Contact Amy Nolan, the Chamber’s vice president for public policy, at


DECEMBER 2 Premier Partner Event featuring Superintendent Buzz Thomas

8 – 9 a.m. • Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square, 37902 This event is exclusive to Knoxville Chamber Premier Partners

DECEMBER 7 Workers’ Compensation Seminar – Protect Your Workers Without Putting Your Business at Risk 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. • Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square, 37902

DECEMBER 8 BAH Humbug! 5 – 8 p.m. • Holiday Inn World’s Fair Park, 525 Henley St., 37902

Sponsored By:

Hosted By: A special thank you to: Special Notes, Above the Rest Balloon & Event Designs, All Occasions Party Rentals, Sysco Go to “Chamber Events” on to learn more or register for any of these events.

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Commerce - December 2016  
Commerce - December 2016