Page 1

INSIDE: Premier Partner Reception Recap pg. 55 + Monthly Economic Indicators pg. 54


Southeast Financial Credit Union Berry Funeral Home

(865) 588-7687

(865) 577-6666

Financial Services: Credit Unions

Funeral Services State Farm - Penny T. Kleinschmidt Kendall Electric, Inc.

(865) 688-5072

(865) 546-8755


Construction & Contractors: Equipment/Supplies Electrical Supplies & Services: Distributors

Tennessee Clean Water Network

Industrial Supplies & Services

(865) 522-7007

Valley Proteins

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.



DANIEL MONDAY SLAMDOT, INC. Florists, Nurseries & Garden Centers

BASE TIER MEMBERS Vanessa Brown State Farm ATION Group, LLC

(865) 671-6868

(865) 888-0040



(865) 522-4825


3RD PLACE Restaurants

Webservio Inc.


(865) 692-5425 Colby’s Photography

(865) 924-1455

Computer & IT Services: Web Design & Hosting Photography



Weaver Funeral Home

(865) 288-7891



Employment, Career, & Staffing Services

Funeral Services



The Flower Pot

(865) 588-3868



Associations & Organizations

Big Kahuna Wings



(865) 933-3481 Manufacturing


You Relax iMassage (815) 218-4143

Duck Donuts

(865) 236-1393

Personal Services: Fitness & Well-being

Restaurants East TN Tree Service, Inc. (865) 806-7320 Building & Grounds Maintenance: Landscaping Holston Methodist Federal Credit Union (865) 865-4920 Financial Services: Banks Lori Foster Myers, Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace, Realtors (865) 801-0777 Real Estate

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


From left to right: (1) Mike Edwards, president and CEO of the Knoxville Chamber, discusses the Tennessee Big 4 Chambers Legislative Agenda at a reception attended by state lawmakers. (2) City Councilman George Wallace, from left, visits with Gov. Bill Haslam and Jerry Askew at the Tennessee on Tap reception in Nashville. (3) Rep. Bill Dunn, left, and Gene Patterson of CNS/Y-12 National Security Complex. (4) Lawmakers and Chamber members filled the Grand Ballroom at the Hermitage Hotel.

Legislative Priorities Build Foundation for Healthy Economy


he Knoxville Chamber’s board of directors has approved legislative priorities for the Tennessee General Assembly that reflect the building blocks of a thriving community -- education, economic development, health care, and transportation. The 2017 Legislative Agenda is created by the Chamber’s 40-member Government Relations & Public Policy Committee and forwarded to its board for approval. “This year, we had quite a bit of discussion around health care and transportation, as both areas are expected to be impacted by President Donald Trump’s administration,” said Susan Richardson Williams, owner of public affairs firm SRW & Associates and chairwoman of the Chamber’s Government Relations & Public Policy Committee. “Our committee works very hard, and very respectfully of each other, to reach consensus on priorities that will benefit the business community,” Williams added. Mike Edwards, the Chamber’s president and CEO, described the Legislative Agenda as a “living document” that sets out the organization’s statement of principles regarding legislation. The document will guide the Chamber’s decisions on

whether to support or oppose bills, he explained The agenda includes six pillars: • Promote continued implementation of rigorous K-12 standards and aligned assessments to continue development of a high-quality workforce • Support strategies to reach the state’s goal of 55 percent of Tennesseans with postsecondary credentials that meet the region’s workforce needs • Support initiatives that will expand access to medical care to Tennesseans to support a healthy workforce and slow rising costs to businesses • Identify and implement a solution for long-term transportation funding to cover maintenance of infrastructure, as well as current, backlogged, and new projects identified by the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization • Safeguard local governments’ ability to promote economic development, as well as affordable and workforce housing, through public/private partnerships (TIF, PILOT and Housing Tax Credits) • And support efforts to require out-of-state companies with significant online sales within the state to collect and remit sales taxes in order to level the playing field for Tennessee businesses that sustain our state’s economy and add enor-

“Legislative” continued on pg. 50

K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 49

“Legislative” Continued from page 49

mous value to our communities The Chamber’s priorities virtually mirror the Tennessee Big 4 Legislative Agenda, adopted by Chambers in Chattanooga, Nashville, and Memphis in addition to Knoxville. About 30 local chamber members traveled to Nashville on Jan. 11 to present the Big 4 agenda at a well-attended reception – billed as “Tennessee on Tap: Chambers Crafting Prosperity” – at the Hermitage Hotel. Gov. Bill Haslam joined the Chamber CEOs at the podium, from where he gave Knoxville Chamber members specifically a shout-out for making the trip and praised business leaders for their willingness to be engaged in state government. A week later, the governor introduced the IMPROVE Act, “Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy.” The bill contains a transportation plan that will keep Tennessee a pay-as-you-go state and its roads debt free. The plan would increase the road user fee by 7 cents a gallon and 12 cents for a gallon of diesel fuel. Fuel taxes would be indexed and capped to the Consumer Price Index to keep pace with inflation. Money for the transportation fund would also be raised by increasing car registration fees, as well as levies on alternativefuel and electric vehicles and rental cars. Gov. Haslam’s detailed plan also cuts the sales tax on groceries, makes Tennessee’s franchise and excise tax on manufacturers more equitable with neighboring states, and

continues to cut the Hall Income Tax. This legislative session will mark the first in which the Tennessee Senate will be led by a Knoxville-area lawmaker. Sen. Randy McNally, an Oak Ridge Republican whose district includes part of Knox County, was unanimously elected Lieutenant Governor by his colleagues. McNally’s achievement was celebrated at the Regional Legislative Breakfast hosted by the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce on Jan. 27.

MORE OPPORTUNITIES EXIST FOR CHAMBER MEMBERS TO ENGAGE WITH LEGISLATORS THIS WINTER The first of three Capitol Connections panel discussions is scheduled for 8 a.m. Feb. 17. Rep. Harry Brooks, chairman of the House Education Administration Committee; Rep. Roger Kane, chair of the House Education Instruction & Programs Subcommittee; and Rep. Bill Dunn, member of the House Education Instruction & Programs Committee, will field questions from Susan Richardson Williams and audience members. Transportation will be the topic of the second event on March 24 featuring Sen. Becky Duncan Massey and Rep. Eddie Smith. Both are members of Transportation Committees, where bills regarding transportation funding must emerge to be voted on by the House and Senate. Capitol Connections is made possible by sponsors AT&T and Western Governors University (WGU). Amy Nolan is vice president of public policy for the Knoxville Chamber.

Knox County General Assembly Delegates Lt Gov. Randy McNally

State Sen. Richard Briggs

State Rep. Rick Staples

State Rep. Harry Brooks

(R – Oak Ridge)

(R – Knoxville)

(D – Knoxville)

(R – Knoxville)

District 5: Anderson, Loudon and portions of Knox counties • In office since1987 CONTACT: Phone: (615) 741-6806 Email:

District 7: portions of Knox County • In office since 2014 CONTACT: Phone: (615) 741-1766 Email:

District 15: portions of Knox County • In office since 2016 CONTACT: Phone: (615) 741-0768 Email:

District 19: portions of Knox County • In office since 2002 CONTACT: Phone: (615) 741-6879 Email:

State Rep. Eddie Smith

State Rep. Bill Dunn

State Rep. Roger Kane

(R – Knoxville)

(R – Knoxville)

(R – Knoxville)

District 13: portions of Knox County • In office since 2014 CONTACT: Phone: (615) 741-2031 Email:

District 16: portions of Knox County • In office since 1994 CONTACT: Phone: (615) 741-1721 Email:

District 89: portions of Knox County • In office since 2012 CONTACT: Phone: (615) 741-4110 Email:

State Rep. Jason Zachary

State Rep. Martin Daniel

(R – Knoxville)

(R – Knoxville)

District 14: portions of Knox County • In office since 2015 CONTACT: Phone: (615) 741-2264 Email:

District 18: portions of Knox County • In office since 2014 CONTACT: Phone: (615) 741-2287 Email:

State Sen. Becky Duncan Massey (R – Knoxville)

District 6: portions of Knox County • In office since 2011 CONTACT: Phone: (615) 741-1648 Email:

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Learn Campaign Fundamentals at February Workshop BY: AMY NOLAN

Are you considering campaigning for elected office – or helping someone who is– and don’t know where to start? “Campaign 101,” a workshop for potential candidates, campaign managers, and volunteers, will cover the rules and regulations, fundraising, getting your message out, and other fundamentals of seeking elected office. Presented by Leadership Knoxville, “Campaign 101” will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18 at the United Way of Greater Knoxville, 1301 Hannah Ave. The registration fee of $50 covers lunch, snacks, and workshop materials. Scheduled speakers include Drew Rawlins, executive director of the Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance, and Cliff Rodgers, administrator of Knox County elections, who will discuss rules and regulations of campaigns and campaign finance laws. Other speakers will include Susan Richardson Williams, a veteran of political campaigns and fundraising; Jack McElroy, editor of the Knoxville News Sentinel; and Clay Crownover, a social media consultant with deep campaign experience. Current and former elected officials will also offer their tips and share their experiences as they sought public office. The workshop comes at an opportune time – five new City Council members will

be elected this year as current members are term-limited. The first day to pick up nominating petitions is Feb. 17, and the qualifying deadline for candidates is May 18. “Because civic engagement is a core principle of our organization, we feel this is a great way to educate and empower individuals considering elected office by bringing together great speakers and subject matter experts to offer advice on the mechanics of political campaigns,” said Tammy White, president and CEO of Leadership Knoxville. “The workshop will also help citizens who want to become more involved by helping a candidate or encouraging friends to seek public office.” Co-sponsors of the workshop include the Knoxville Chamber, Knoxville News Sentinel, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of East Tennessee, United Way of Greater Knoxville, Knoxville Area Urban League, Knoxville Area Urban League Young Professionals, United Way Young Leaders Society, Young Professionals of Knoxville, and the League of Women Voters. The workshop is open to residents of the greater Knoxville region. Register online at by clicking the “Campaign 101” button. For more information, contact Daryl Brady at Leadership Knoxville at (865) 523-9137.

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Chamber, Visit Knoxville Launch Annual Relocation, Visitors Guide BY: JESSICA KARSTEN

The Knoxville Chamber and Visit Knoxville officially released their annual relocation and visitors guide on Jan. 26 with a reception at Five Bar. The 2017 publication features valuable information for anyone considering a move or trip to Knoxville. The two organizations have partnered on this important marketing piece each of the last three years. “The working partnership that Visit Knoxville has with the Knoxville Chamber and its members is amazing,” said Kim Bumpas, president of Visit Knoxville. “This is the third issue of the Knoxville Visitors and Relocation Guide that this partnership has produced. Combining the Visitor Guide and the Relocation Guide allows us to provide an abundance of information to expanded audiences and keep stats and information consistent. This guide really speaks to the team spirit of the Knoxville community.”

She added, “We are grateful for the opportunity to show the world that Knoxville is not only a great destination, it’s a great place to live and grow businesses.” “This annual publication is an important promotional piece for our city, county, and region. It provides a great snapshot of the amenities Knoxville offers visitors and residents, alike,” said Mike Edwards, president and CEO of the Knoxville Chamber. “We are proud of our partnership with Visit Knoxville and of our collective efforts to market Knoxville as a great place to visit and live.” The Chamber’s Know Knoxville relocation guide includes features highlighting the area’s healthcare options and education offerings, as well as the resurgence of Downtown Knoxville. Visit Knoxville’s Visitors Guide takes a deep dive into the endless recreational offerings in the city and features a list of restaurants, entertainment options, and more. The publication also includes important city demographics, weather conditions, essential phone numbers, and citywide listings of attractions. The guide is available free of charge to anyone interested in visiting or relocating to the area. Knoxville businesses that recruit employees from out-ofmarket are encouraged to request relocation packets from the Chamber to help sell the community. Learn more by visiting know-knoxville or call Sharon Meredith at (865) 637-4550.

Women on the Rise Luncheon to Explore Conflict in the Workplace BY: JESSICA KARSTEN

The Knoxville Chamber will present its next Women on the Rise to Shine event, sponsored by SunTrust, on Feb. 15 at the Knoxville Marriott. Shannon Schultz, leadership consultant and owner of Schultz Consulting Group will present “Conflict in the Age of Wisdom.” The presentation will explore conflict with a new lens and teach attendees how to leverage natural relationship strengths to transform the hotspots in their organizations into reliable paths for growth. Schultz will provide a fresh perspective and powerful techniques to increase individual and collective effectiveness in workplace conflict management. After working in product development and internal consulting for Delta Airlines,

Schultz launched her own company in 2003 to support leaders driving largescale organizational change. Since then, she has consulted and coached clients including Kimberly-Clark Corporation, JetBlue Airways, and Honda Motor North America. “Conflict resolution is a crucial part of every facet of our lives as women - from work, to family, to friendships - and the ability to successfully navigate conflict can strengthen relationships and build trust,” said Meghan Scanlon Roach, managing director at SunTrust. “I’m looking forward to this luncheon where we will gain knowledge and learn tips for managing conflict as female professionals.” The popular Women on the Rise to Shine series was launched in 2015 by the Knoxville Chamber and SunTrust. The series features quarterly events designed to recognize, develop, and inspire female professionals with programs ranging from lunch and learns to “Wine and Shes” receptions. While the content is female-focused, men are not only invited, but encouraged to attend. The Feb. 15 lunch and learn will be held from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Knoxville Marriott. Tickets are $30 for Knoxville Chamber members and $40 for non-members. Table sponsorships are also available. To register for the event, visit

K N O X V I L L56 E C H A M B E R | 52

Networking Event at Strayer University Draws Crowd BY: JESSICA KARSTEN

The Knoxville Chamber hosted a Business After Hours evening networking event at Strayer University on Jan. 26. Nearly 120 people came out for a night of networking, eating, and drinking at the university’s Knoxville campus on Parkside Drive. Four lucky attendees took home door prizes. Matt Wilmoth of; Katherine Shidler of Marriott International, Inc.; and Dean Palombi of Realty Executives took home Strayer University goodie bags. Alla Naslimova of PerfectServe, Inc. went home with a $100 Visa gift card. SPONSORED BY:

Strayer University hosted a Business After Hours on Jan. 26 at its Parkside Drive facility.

FEBRUARY - 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 February Thank you for your commitment to the Chamber and the community! 31+ YEARS


Deerfield Resort/Mt. Cloud


10 – 14 YEARS



Elavon 1996

Hunter Development Company, Inc.


Shafer Insurance Agency, Inc.


Mortgage Investors Group

Clayton Volvo


Homestead, Inc.


House of Thaller, Inc.


The Junior League of Knoxville, Inc.



Lenoir City Utilities Board


New Horizons Computer Learning Center


Steeplechase Apartments



Paine | Bickers LLP


Celeris Networks Consulting Group, LLC



Information Technology Resources (ITR)


PYA Waltman Capital, LLC


Dayton’s Pest Control Services, Inc.


The Joy of Music School


Tennessee Minority Supplier Development Council 2000

Radio Systems Corporation


Long, Ragsdale & Waters


Volunteer Realty


Knoxville Pediatric Associates, P.C.


Legacy Supply Chain Services



Rebecca Bell Jenkins, Attorney At Law


Bristol Motor Speedway


Parker Shiflett & Company, Inc.


Panera Bread


Four Points by Sheraton Knoxville Cumberland House 2005

Bass, Berry & Sims, PLC


Security Central Storage


FirstBank 2006

Crowe Horwath LLP


Service One, Inc.


Smalley Manufacturing Company, Inc.


Dealers Warehouse Corporation

League of Women Voters of Knoxville and Knox County First Commercial Real Estate, Inc.

25 – 30 YEARS NHC Healthcare


Emerson Process Management – Reliability Solutions-MHM

20 – 24 YEARS Graphic Creations, Inc.

15-19 YEARS



K N O X V I L L57 E C H A M B E R | 53


(Dec. 2016)

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 Nov. ’15Nov. ‘16

Nov. 2016

Oct. 2016

Nov. 2015

% Change Oct. ’16Nov. ‘16

237,670 420,630 3,171,500 159,451,000

238,430 422,100 3,175,300 159,783,000

229,520 407,810 3,057,100 157,340,000

-0.3 -0.3 -0.1 -0.2

3.6 3.1 3.7 1.3

400,800 3,018,300

400,800 3,005,100

395,300 2,962,200

0.0 0.4

1.4 1.9

9,360 18,340 145,600

9,850 19,330 154,200

10,170 20,210 165,600

-5.0 -5.1 -5.6

-8.0 -9.3 -12.1

3.9 4.4 4.6 4.4

4.1 4.6 4.9 4.7

4.4 5.0 5.4 4.8

-0.2 -0.2 -0.3 -0.3

-0.5 -0.6 -0.8 -0.4

Non-Ag Employment Knoxville MSA Tennessee

Residential Closings Residential Inventory Median Residential Price

Dec. 2016 1,370 6,775 $162,000

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

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


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

% Change Nov. ’14Nov. ‘16 1.4 1.2

Nov. ’15-‘16

Oct. ’15-‘16

Nov. ’14-‘15

1.4 1.7

1.4 1.6

0.0 0.5

0.0 0.1

% Change Dec. ’15Dec. ‘16

Knoxville (City)

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

Nov. 2016* 26 26 0

Nov. 2015 27 7 20

% Change Nov. ’15Nov. ‘16 -3.7 271.4 -100.0

Knox Co.

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

129 129 0

96 76 20

34.4 69.7 -100.0

Knoxville MSA

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

223 209 14

175 131 44

27.4 59.5 -68.2


Total Single-Family Multi-Family

1,816 1,491 325

3,038 1,239 1,799

-40.2 20.3 -81.9

Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee

Dec. 2016

Nov. 2016

Dec. 2015

% Change Nov. ’16Dec. ‘16

52,480,346 78,940,758 671,592,137

52,833,811 81,076,038 688,893,234

51,439,763 74,787,896 649,485,006

-0.7 -2.6 -2.5

2.0 5.6 3.4

14,482,405 22,707,506

14,652,595 23,138,859

14,491,482 21,691,442

-1.2 -1.9

-0.1 4.7


Passengers Freight

Oct. 2016 185,153 6,749,074

Sept. 2016 159,134 7,381,459

Oct. 2015 173,400 6,546,071

% Change Sept. ’16Oct. ‘16 16.4 -8.6

% Change Oct. ’15Oct. ‘16 6.8 3.1

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


1,318 8,499 $152,500


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

Dec. 2015

% Change Dec. ’15Dec. ‘16 3.9 -20.3 6.2

Source: Knoxville Area Association of Realtors

Unemployment Estimates Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee

Nov. 2016 1,405 7,513 $164,900

% Change Nov. ’16Dec. ‘16 -2.5 -9.8 -1.8

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

Dec. 2016

Nov. 2016

541,175 27,276 34,232 12,622 65,139 57,389 11,183 33,850 75,127 32,007 12,321 99,161 68,366

468,555 29,095 23,326 10,159 59,339 53,089 9,870 33,121 60,520 27,832 10,723 88,819 54,523

518,253 27,044 33,123 12,933 62,673 54,585 10,762 31,512 76,391 30,387 11,683 92,316 61,947

% Change Nov. ’16Dec. ‘16 15.5 -6.3 46.8 24.2 9.8 8.1 13.3 2.2 24.1 15.0 14.9 11.6 25.4





Dec. 2015

% Change Dec. ’15Dec. ‘16 4.4 0.9 3.3 -2.4 3.9 5.1 3.9 7.4 -1.7 5.3 5.5 7.4 10.4 -3.1

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

Chamber Thanks Premier Partners at Annual Reception


Vaughn & Melton Consulting Engineers


More than 60 people gathered at the Stables at Hunter Valley Farm on Jan. 19 for an exclusive Premier Partner appreciation reception hosted by the Knoxville Chamber. Guests enjoyed an evening of networking with other Premier Partners, eating delicious food provided by Copper Cellar Family of Restaurants, and exploring the unique venue at Hunter Valley Farm. Chamber Premier Partners are recognized as leaders in the community and make a vital commitment to the economic development of the region. Their contributions provide critical funding for the Chamber’s economic development activities including recruiting new companies to the area, nurturing entrepreneurs, and assisting existing businesses as they grow and expand. The Chamber hosts a reception each year to thank Premier Partners for their enhanced investment in the organization and community. For more information about becoming a Knoxville Chamber Premier Partner, contact Michelle Kiely at (865) 246-2617.

From left to right: Joe Ledford of Michael Brady Inc.; Chamber President and CEO Mike Edwards; Knox County Commission Chairman Dave Wright; Patrick Birmingham, past chair of the Chamber’s board of directors; and Knox County Commissioner Bob Thomas at the Chamber’s 2017 Premier Partner reception.

It’s all about commerce and community. When you get up in the morning, do you think about the water you use to take a shower and brush your teeth? Do you give any thought to where water goes after flushing the porcelain throne? When it rains or snows, do you ponder how the storm water gets from the puddled roadway back to the flowing waterway? On your daily commute, trip to run an errand, or journey on a family vacation, do you think about how the paved paths and bridges you travel came into existence? For Vaughn & Melton, these questions are constantly at the forefront of any day. Why? Because it is what they do – they make sure people across the Southeast can work, live, and play by designing the things one may take for granted – structural foundations, roadways, bridges, sidewalks, water and wastewater systems and treatment facilities, storm water systems, and more. “These seemingly mundane modern human necessities are why Vaughn & Melton exists – to help keep the flow of commerce and community – and football - moving forward for your family, your hometown, your state, your region,” said Becky Rehorn, corporate director of marketing. What started as a two-person firm in Middlesboro, Kentucky, on Feb. 20, 1967, is now a thriving organization with more than 230 employees in 15 offices across five Southeastern states. Over the last 50 years Vaughn & Melton has helped more than 100 state, municipal, and county governments in achieving goals for infrastructure enhancements. “We are honored to be a part of something that helps people in the communities we serve,” said David Harrell, regional vice president. “Reflecting back on our growth, 1998 was a particularly good year. As a graduate of the University of Tennessee, 1998 was the year the Volunteers won both the NCAA National Football and Women’s Basketball Championships and it was the year Vaughn & Melton entered into the Knoxville market,” Harrell continued. One of Vaughn & Melton’s most memorable projects should be familiar to any Knoxville resident or University of Tennessee fan. It is the Cumberland Avenue Corridor Project, and it is scheduled to be completed in August 2017. Vaughn & Melton will have achieved another major milestone with the completion of a project that began as a conversation in the late 1980’s. “Cumberland Avenue – ‘the strip’ - is the icon of student life and game day for my alma mater. It will be a very good day to see the completion of a project that has been on the table for many years”, Harrell stated. “It is a legacy project for Vaughn & Melton, and one day when my own children look back, I hope they can say ‘well done, Dad.’ It is this type of feedback I am looking forward to for the future of our company.”

More than 60 guests gathered at the Stables at Hunter Valley Farm for a Premier Partner appreciation reception on Jan. 19.

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Young Entrepreneurs Academy Students Prepare for Pitch Competition BY: MEGAN WRIGHT

The second class of the Knoxville Chamber’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is approaching its midway point, as students finalize their business plans and prepare pitch presentations. Since early October, 20 middle and highschool students from across Knox County have The Knoxville Chamber’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy visiting been working hard to beCapstone Concepts’ First Watch for a class field trip. come the next generation of entrepreneurs. Starting with the idea generation and market research phase, the students moved into prototype and business plan development, and are now finalizing brand identity and presentations. During the weekly classes, students have been exposed to the diverse opportunities and skill sets of entrepreneurs through their instructor, Haseeb Qureshi of AudioHand, guest speakers, and field trips. Students had the opportunity to visit Local Motors’ state of the art micro-factory and learn about franchising at Capstone Concepts’ First Watch in Bearden. The students will pitch their refined ideas to a panel of local investors in a Shark Tankstyle competition for the chance to receive funding to launch their businesses. The Investor Panel will take place Feb. 21 from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Relix Variety Theatre, and the public is encouraged to attend. HERE IS A PREVIEW OF THE STUDENTS’ BUSINESSES AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS: • Connor Allen, Clayton Bradley Academy Corporate Keystone - a human resources development software Mentor – Mike Caffrey, InfoSystems

• Cole Davis, South Doyle High School & Tejes Gaertner, West High School Team Huddle – conducting surveys and collecting big data from high school athletes to improve product development Mentors – Doug Minter, Knoxville Chamber & Brandon Bruce, Cirrus Insight • Sophie Foster, West High School Stay Rosy – an upcycled and repurposed vintage clothing line Mentor – Taurean Minefield, Pop Demand • Lillian Patty, Nature’s Way Montessori & Courtney Lam, Bearden High School In-house Greenhouse – indoor container herb gardens Mentor – Ian Dovan, Seeds of Change • Lezly Monterrosas, Eagleton Middle School & Callie Fulghum, CAK Homeschool Hands & Paws – dog collar charms that raise money for animal abuse Mentor – Kenneth Herring, Chuck Carringer’s Executive Coaching • Graylin Nocus, Homeschool Living HisStory – a wholesome online book and toy store supporting traditional values Mentor – Corrie Olson, DiFi Solutions • Sydney Parsley, Farragut High School Around the Corner Frames – custom picture frames Mentor – Whitney Biggs, The University of Tennessee • Sanam Patel, West Valley Middle School My Cut Counts – a campaign to raise money for cancer research while donating hair Mentor – Jim Brown, M&M Productions • Elena Reineri, Bearden High School ENR Jewelry – handmade jewelry Mentor – Whitney Biggs, The University of Tennessee

• Jaylen Baylock, L&N STEM Academy Heart-to-Heart - a community building, story-sharing website Mentor – Patrick Wade, Pat Summit Foundation

• Joshua Walker, West High School Bewachen – 3D-printed marker tags for paintball and airsoft players Mentor – Brad Miller, Code Tank Labs

• Ella Blair, Gresham Middle School Zer0 Power - decorative safety wall outlet covers Mentor – Tanika Harper, Elite Facilities Maintenance

• William Walker, Bearden Middle School Puppy Hut – a dog bed with built-in storage for travel Mentor – Patrick Rathbun, Answer Financial Megan Wright serves as program manager for the Knoxville Chamber’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy.

• Aidan Cantu, Farragut Middle School Onward Electronics - a built-in retractable wall phone charger Mentor – Josh Goldman, Power Systems • Rylan Cantu, Farragut Middle School) Sleep Gear - a hood with a built-in pillow for travel Mentor – Cory Alexander, US Bank • John D. Cobb, Clayton Bradley Academy & Alexander YarKhan, L&N STEM Academy RefugeeLikeMe – a website to humanize refugees through story sharing and raise funds for local refugee resettlement agencies Mentor – Drocella Mugorewera, Bridge Refugee Services

K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 56


BEING AN EFFECTIVE MENTOR, PROTÉGÉ BY: DOUG MINTER It is a popular notion that every small business owner should have a mentor and there is no better mentor than a business leader who has endured the trials and tribulations of directing a thriving business. The Knoxville Chamber sat down with Propel mentor Rick Stone, past president of Sea Ray Boats, to discuss mentoring and its potential impact on a small business owner.

Why do small businesses need a mentor? Everyone needs a mentor, especially small business owners. I think it is important that you have people who are independent of your inner circle RICK STONE to bounce ideas off of and get input you may not otherwise recieve. A mentor can provide a depth of understanding that you may not have or a new perspective.

How does one find a mentor? Of course one source is the Propel Mentor/Protégé Program at the Knoxville Chamber. Mentors can come from the everyday conversations that you have. Mentorship is advice. It can come from conversations at church or the car wash. The owner of the car wash may be around and you strike up a conversation that may give you some crumb of advice that you can utilize. You have to be aware and have your headlights on.

Why should a successful person be a mentor, and what is a key benefit? At the highest level, communities do better when everyone in the community is successful. You may be successful in your business or silo of activity, but you don’t get better when others are doing poorly. Mentoring is actually a way to make you better. When you are in a place with a lot of young businesspeople, having interactions with them is invigorating.

What are the attributes of a good mentor? Someone who is successful with some history of success to draw upon. I have found a lot of times in life that those who have the least experience or knowledge about a topic are usually the most emotional about their opinion. Conversely, if you are deep in knowledge and understand things you have a visual fence around the issue or business, you can take it a little more calmly. Mentors should be looking for land mines on behalf of the protégé.

What are the attributes of a good protégé? A protégé has to be interested in success! They have to know what it is they are in business to do. If the protégé looks at a mentor as a source of a new customer list, they are probably looking at it improperly.

What are the three things every protégé should do to prepare for 2017? Number one is to have a good financial understanding of the condition of the company, and be prepared to monitor and measure it on an ongoing basis. Focus on the things you can control while working diligently on the things you can’t control, such as sales. Secondly, you should focus on personnel. Make sure you have the right people doing what they need to be doing when they need to do it. Third, you have to know your customer and keep knowing them. If you do these three things, you will be successful.

How do you know when you’ve found the right mentor? It is not any different than any other relationship. A mentor is someone you have a relationship with either conversationally or more formal. There has to be communication and it needs to be somewhat mutually-beneficial for the relationship to be effective.

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


Feb. 15 Women on the Rise – Conflict in the Age of Wisdom

Presented by: Shannon Schultz, Schultz Consulting Group 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. • Knoxville Marriott – 501 E. Hill Ave $30 for Chamber Members; $40 for non-members, $320 table sponsor A lunch will be provided for all registrants SPONSORED BY:

Feb. 17 Capitol Connections 8 – 9 a.m. • Knoxville Chamber – 17 Market Square, #201 SPONSORED BY:

Feb. 21 Young Pilot FlyingEntrepreneurs J is a proud sponsor of the Academy! 11 Annual Pinnacle Business Awards. Investor Panel th

6 - 8 p.m. • Relix Variety Theatre - 1208 N Central St. SPONSORED BY:

Feb. 26 What’s the Big Idea!? Finale 6 – 8 p.m. • Scruffy City Hall - 32 Market Square PRESENTED BY:

March 2 Spring 2017 Schmoozapalooza 4 – 7 p.m. • Knoxville Expo Center – 5441 Clinton Hwy $200 member standard table, $300 non-member standard table, $550 premium table PRESENTED BY: Go to “Chamber Events” on to learn more or register for any of these events.

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February 2017 Commerce  
February 2017 Commerce