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INSIDE: Member Benefits pg. 60 + Monthly Economic Indicators pg. 63


Bethany Marinac - Exit Real Estate Professional (865) 696-9758 Real Estate: Commercial East Tennessee Electric (865) 609-2788 Electrical Supplies & Services Entrust Direct (865) 226-9590 Real Estate: Title Companies Honey Bee Bakery (865) 444-1106 Restaurants: Sweet Treats & Bakeries Knox Provisions (917) 667-1573 Event Planning, Catering, & Venues: Catering

Superior Carpet & Rug Cleaning (865) 691-5686 Building & Grounds Maintenance: Cleaning Services & Supplies Tenant’s Choice (865) 637-9118 Real Estate: Property Management The 1400 Group (865) 405-5504 Business & Professional Services The French Market Creperie (865) 540-4372 Restaurants

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.


Bellhops Moving (865) 745-0191 Services: Moving/Relocation

RE/MAX Tri-Star (865) 457-9926 Real Estate





Affordable Storage Guys (865) 588-2606 Residential Services: Storage

Nautical Boat Club (865) 234-0000 Sports & Recreation: Watersports








Lalka Tax Services, LLC (865) 692-4829 Business & Professional Services: Accounting, Auditing, & Bookkeeping


Marshall & Bruce Printing and Packaging (615) 428-5946 Business & Professional Services: Printers Michelle Leigh Photography (865) 712-7255 Photography

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Choose Progress. Choose Knoxville.



he Knoxville Chamber’s priorities for this year’s Tennessee General Assembly revolve around issues key to creating a more prosperous Tennessee – education, health and preservation of the state’s business-friendly environment through tax, regulation and other public

policies. The Chamber’s Government Relations Committee began last fall working on its 2018 Legislative Agenda after hearing projections from state Finance Commissioner Larry Martin on the state’s budget, which is expected to be significantly leaner than in recent years. Gov. Bill Haslam has told legislators he expects $350 million in “new money” for the budget, much of which will be consumed by inflationary growth in K-12 and higher education, TennCare, and employees’ health insurance and pensions. It’s widely expected that the Governor’s final budget will contain new funding to address the state’s opioid epidemic, a crisis that is of great concern to employers. With the absence of any large scale initiative -- such as last year’s IMPROVE Act, which contained the largest tax cut in state history while creating dedicated funding for 1,000 road and bridge projects -- the Knoxville Chamber’s priorities reflect interest in building upon the momentum the state has made in improving K-12 education, creating more post-secondary training opportunities and maintaining an environment conducive to economic development. “Our committee, in a very thoughtful manner, sought to focus on those issues that are vital to improving the economic prosperity of our region today and over the long-term,” said Susan Richardson Williams, chairwoman of the Chamber’s Government Relations & Public Policy Committee and the owner

of the public affairs firm SRW & Associates. Mike Edwards, the Knoxville Chamber’s president and CEO, said the agendas serve as the foundation of the Chamber’s advocacy efforts, although it’s not uncommon that an issue will arise during the legislative session that requires quick consideration and action by members who serve on its leadership committees. The Knoxville Chamber creates three legislative agendas, reflecting its collaborations within the wider business community. They include the initial document from the Knoxville Chamber; a second in partnership with neighboring Chambers in Blount County and Oak Ridge; and lastly, one in collaboration with the “Big 4” Chambers. Each has been approved by the respective Chambers’ Government Relations Committee; Executive Committee and Board of Directors. In their letter to the Knox County delegation, Edwards and Williams extended their gratitude to lawmakers for their accessibility and interaction with the Chamber’s members, particularly as bills make their way through the Tennessee General Assembly. Williams and Chamber Chairman Terry Turner, owner of All Occasions Party Rentals, joined about a dozen Chamber members in traveling to Nashville during the Legislature’s opening week to host a reception for lawmakers in partnership with the Chambers in Nashville, Chattanooga and Memphis. Another opportunity to discuss upcoming issues with lawmakers was held on Friday, Jan. 26. The Regional Legislative Agenda Breakfast, sponsored by Comcast and co-hosted by the Blount Partnership and Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce, was in Knoxville this year at the Embassy Suites. The Chamber also hosts local legislators for its upcoming Capitol Connections series which are scheduled for 8 a.m. February 9, March 9 and April 13. Watch the Chamber newsletters and website for more details as to speakers and topics.


K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 57



1. Support expanded access and affordability to post-secondary

1. Promote continued implementation of the TNReady standards and

education – including certificate and degree programs that align with

assessments to ensure accurate information is provided to educators,

the state’s workforce, in-state tuition for all Tennessee residents, and

families and the wider community regarding students’ preparation for

expanded funding for dual enrollment – to attain the state’s college

continued learning and success in the workforce

completion goal of 55 percent of Tennesseans holding post-secondary credentials by 2025

2. Support an accountability model for Tennessee school systems that includes a measure of quality career and technical education, includ-

2. Promote continued implementation of TNReady standards, assess-

ing industry-recognized certifications and post-secondary opportuni-

ments and their use for teacher evaluations to ensure accurate infor-

ties, to help reach the state’s goal of 55 percent of Tennesseans by

mation is provided to educators, families and the wider community

2025 holding postsecondary credentials

regarding students’ preparation for continued learning and success in the workforce

3. Support health policies, particularly those addressing substance abuse and addiction, which improve the welfare of the state’s work-

3. Support business and affordable housing incentives and tools that


make Tennessee competitive with other states while emphasizing transparency, accountability, and a return on investment

4. Safeguard local governments’ ability to promote economic development, as well as affordable and workforce housing, through public/

4. Support updates to the tax credit structure to incentivize rehabilita-

private partnerships and incentives

tion of historic property to spur job creation and economic development activity

5. Oppose administrative efforts to interpret the tax code as to create new financial burdens aimed solely at the business sector

5. Support access and affordability of medical care – including prevention and treatment of substance abuse/addiction – to provide a

6. Support efforts to preserve Tennessee’s reputation as a welcoming

healthier workforce and to alleviate and prevent increased health

state by opposing discriminatory legislation that hinders its reputation

care costs to businesses

and negatively impacts the economy, jobs and the ability to attract talent

6. Support efforts to preserve Tennessee’s reputation as a welcoming state by opposing discriminatory legislation that hinders its reputation and negatively impacts the economy, jobs and the ability to attract talent

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2018 REGIONAL LEGISLATIVE AGENDA Blount County, Knoxville and Oak Ridge Chambers of Commerce

For more than 25 years the Chambers of Commerce of Oak Ridge, Blount County and Knoxville have worked together to develop a regional legislative agenda to identify state issues of importance and increase job and business growth in the region. The following items will be the primary focus of the joint efforts of the Knoxville Chamber, Blount County Chamber, and Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce during the 2018 session of the Tennessee General Assembly.


To attract, retain and expand business in our region, we: • Support local governments’ continued ability to promote economic development and affordable housing through public/private partnerships (TIF, PILOT, and Housing Tax Credits) and encourage the State of Tennessee to promote and support these efforts • Enhance infrastructure and training incentives and establish technologydriven incentives


To ensure a high-quality, capable workforce in the future, we: • Support continued implementation in elementary, middle and high schools of the TN Ready standards, assessments, and their use in evaluating educators’ effectiveness • Support an accountability model for Tennessee school systems that includes a measure of quality career and technical education, including industry-recognized certifications, work-based learning, dual enrollment and post-secondary opportunities, to help reach the state’s goal of 55 percent of Tennesseans by 2025 holding postsecondary credentials • Support continuation of Tennessee Promise and other initiatives that encourage attendance and completion of post-secondary training • Oppose any state action that would result in mandating the election of school system superintendents


To encourage a healthy workforce while not creating financial burden on employers, we: • Support health policies, particularly those addressing substance abuse and addiction, which improve the welfare of the state’s workforce


To provide the infrastructure needed for business to succeed, we: • Support efforts to recruit low-cost air carriers to McGhee Tyson Airport • Support the efforts to develop the Oak Ridge Airport as planned by the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority

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IT PAYS TO BE A CHAMBER MEMBER With more than 2,200 member businesses, the Knoxville Chamber serves as the collective, influential voice for the regional business community. By investing in Chamber membership, organizations receive exclusive marketing opportunities, discounts and countless opportunities to build meaningful relationships with business and community leaders. Chamber members can start seeing an immediate return on their membership investment by taking advantage of these exclusive offers:

NATIONAL CHAMBER PROGRAM WITH OFFICE DEPOT/OFFICEMAX Businesses of all sizes can save money though the National Chamber Program with Office Depot and OfficeMax. Members save up to 55 percent on 350-plus items that are purchased most often, including special discounts on ink and toner and free next-day delivery on orders over $50. They also get deep discounts on copy and print services, including 2.5-cent black and white copies, 22-cent color copies and 40 percent off finishing services.

ACCIDENT FUND WORKERS’ COMPENSATION GROUP BENEFIT PROGRAM The Knoxville Chamber partners with Accident Fund Insurance Company of America to bring Chamber members exclusive access to a workers’ compensation group program. Accident Fund’s dividend percentages range from zero to five percent based on each member’s workers’ compensation premium costs and results. Benefits also include: the opportunity for dividend payments based on individual loss history, convenient billing options and free access to Accident Fund’s Loss Prevention Toolbox™.

DISCOUNTS ON DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION AND CONSUMER DATA The Knoxville Chamber’s research specialist can provide member businesses Knoxville-area demographic research and reports at low or no cost, including: Consumer Expenditure Reports, Detailed Demographic Reports, Cost of Living Reports and Income Summary Reports. The Chamber also partners with USADATA to provide members with access to powerful “intelligent data” to connect them with more consumers. Consumer iD is a fee-based service offered to Chamber members at a fraction of the cost of non-affiliated data solutions. It provides consumer-based businesses with Look Alike Profiles that identify the common traits of existing loyal customers and find more people that have similar traits.

rier costs, reducing errors and improving turnaround time. Chamber members receive a significant discount on certificates, based on membership level.

FREE COURSE WITH NEW HORIZONS COMPUTER LEARNING CENTERS Knoxville Chamber members receive one complimentary seat in a Microsoft Office course (Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Outlook) from New Horizons Computer Learning Centers. Valued at $295, this exclusive offer is valid for one year after joining the Chamber.

FREE SALES TRAINING WITH SANDLER SALES KNOXVILLE Member businesses have the exclusive opportunity to send two staff members to two, free 1.5-hour Sandler Sales training sessions valued at $2,040.

SPECIAL OFFERS FROM SLAMDOT Local web design company Slamdot provides Knoxville Chamber members a free digital marketing strategy audit, as well as 20 percent off all digital marketing services.

BIG SAVINGS ON ADVERTISING Knoxville Chamber members receive 25 percent off their first ad in the Greater Knoxville business Journal, Book of Lists or the Knoxville News Sentinel. Member businesses also have the opportunity to advertise with the Chamber on its various platforms - in its weekly e-newsletter; on, or; in company-specific email blasts and in relocation packets.

To learn more about these exclusive savings opportunities or Knoxville Chamber membership, contact Julie Massie at or call (865) 246-2606.

CERTIFICATES OF ORIGIN Certificates of origin (COs) facilitate trade around the world. An important international trade document, COs certify that goods in an export shipment are wholly obtained, produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country. The Chamber’s eCertify platform accepts CO requests online - eliminating cou-

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Chamber, Visit Knoxville Launch Annual Publication BY: JESSICA GUTMAN

The Knoxville Chamber and Visit Knoxville officially released the 2018 relocation and visitors guide on Jan. 25 with a launch party at Pour Taproom. The annual publication features valuable information for anyone considering a move or trip to Knoxville. The two organizations have combined their efforts and partnered on this significant marketing piece for the last four years. More than 200,000 copies of the guide are distributed through the Knoxville Visitors Center, the Chamber, state welcome centers, realtor offices, hotels, attractions, the University of Tennessee, conventions, trade shows and sporting events throughout the year. “Partnerships like this are rare. This is the fourth year we’ve partnered with the Knoxville Chamber to produce this “flipbook” style guide and we could not be more

proud,” said Kim Bumpass, president of Visit Knoxville. “Offering a visitors/relocation guide in one provides visitors with information when considering relocation and those relocating with a ton of information on what to do in Knoxville. It really tells an amazing story for Knoxville.” “We are proud of our partnership with Visit Knoxville on this important promotional piece for our city, county and region,” said Mike Edwards, president and CEO of the Knoxville Chamber. “The guide is a great snapshot of all Knoxville has to offer. Whether someone is seeking a new place to call home, selecting a location for their business to thrive or simply looking for the perfect vacation destination, this guide shows that Knoxville is the place for them.” The Chamber’s Choose Knoxville relocation guide includes stories highlighting the area’s unparalleled healthcare and educational offerings, thriving business ecosystem and eclectic, up-and-coming neighborhoods. Visit Knoxville’s Visitors Guide takes a deep dive into the endless recreational and entertainment offerings in the city and features a list of places to eat, drink and explore. This year’s Knoxville Visitors Guide celebrates the 90th anniversary of the Historic Tennessee Theatre and the success of Knoxville’s own Chris Blue, who is featured on the cover. The publication also includes important city demographics, weather conditions and essential contact information. The guide is available free of charge to anyone interested in visiting or relocating to the area. Knoxville businesses recruiting employees from out-of-market are encouraged to request relocation packets from the Chamber. Learn more by visiting or calling Sharon Meredith at (865) 637-4550.

Knoxville Senators Kick off Capitol Connections with Interactive Panel Discussion BY: AMY NOLAN

Capitol Connections, a three-part series featuring an inside look at the issues facing the Tennessee General Assembly, kicks off on Friday, Feb. 9. Sens. Becky Duncan Massey and Richard Briggs, both Knoxville Republicans, will be the guest speakers with public affairs consultant and political commentator Susan Richardson Williams serving as moderator. The event is at 8 a.m. at the Knoxville Chamber. To register, visit The series – future events are planned for March 9 and April 13 – is sponsored by AT&T and Western Governors University. Both senators sit on the Senate’s Health and Welfare Committee, where legislation involving TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program, and addressing the opioid

crisis must be approved. Briggs, a thoracic and cardiac surgeon, has been vocal about the need to address the opioid epidemic with initiatives focused on medical and pharmacy protocols, as well as treatment and law enforcement. He’s also discussed the value of accepting more federal dollars for the state’s Medicaid program as President Trump has indicated he would allow states more flexibility in administering the program, particularly as it relates to cost containment. Massey is also chairing a joint ad hoc committee on state services for the disabled, with a goal of making recommendations on how to streamline the services and improve their quality, access and affordability. She was also named this year to the Senate’s Finance, Ways and Means Committee, which must approve all budget-related measures. She and Sen. Briggs are members of the Senate Transportation and Safety Committee. In addition, Sen. Briggs was named this year as chair of the Senate Ethics Committee, and he also serves a first vice chair of the State and Local Government Committee.

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Existing Industry Services Support Expansion, Job Growth BY: JESSICA GUTMAN

While announcements of new company relocations create buzz and generate headlines, the majority of new job growth stems from the expansion of a region’s existing businesses and industry. The Knoxville Chamber’s economic development team helps accelerate job growth and business investment by nurturing companies located in the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley and connecting them with essential programs and services. Alex Kleto, manager of existing industries, regularly meets with the region’s existing industries and connects them with resources and area partners to support business retention and growth and to foster the expansion of key industries in East Tennessee. “We know that the majority of our job growth comes from companies that already exist in the region,” Kleto said. “So, my job is to support them by helping them gain access to capital and incentives, connecting them with job-training resources and

working with TVA, KUB and others to drive down operational costs. “These companies have worked hard to build their businesses in this area, and we want to make it beneficial for them to continue to do expand here. It’s definitely important to bring new business to this area, but it’s equally as important to take care of the people that are already here.” Kleto works with human resources and operations managers at area companies to schedule existing industry visits in which she takes a facility tour, learns more about the company and listens to their challenges. “Unemployment is very low right now, so the bulk of my conversations are about finding good people,” Kleto explained. “Companies want to know how to find the right people, how to train them and how to keep them.” Allowing them to talk informally and discuss their challenges helps me identify which resources and partners I can connect them with.” For more information about existing industry services or to schedule a visit, contact Alex Kleto at or (865) 246-2661.

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 Dealers Warehouse Corporation


Shafer Insurance Agency, Inc.


The Junior League of Knoxville, Inc.


First Commercial Real Estate, Inc.

25 – 30 YEARS NHC Healthcare


Lenoir City Utilities Board


New Horizons Computer Learning Center


Steeplechase Apartments


Celeris Networks Consulting Group, LLC


PYA Waltman Capital, LLC


The Joy of Music School


15-19 YEARS


Paine | Bickers LLP



Information Technology Resources (ITR)



Dayton’s Pest Control Services, Inc.


League of Women Voters of Knoxville and Knox County

Mortgage Investors Group



Tennessee Minority Supplier Development Council 2000

Radio Systems Corporation


Long, Ragsdale & Waters

Legacy Supply Chain Services


Bristol Motor Speedway



Knoxville Pediatric Associates, P.C. Clinch Location

Emerson Process Management – Reliability

10 – 14 YEARS


Four Points by Sheraton Knoxville


Rebecca Bell Jenkins, Attorney At Law


Parker Shiflett & Company, Inc.


Panera Bread


FirstBank 2006

Bass, Berry & Sims, PLC


Security Central Storage


Service One, Inc.


Graphic Creations, Inc.


Crowe Horwath LLP


Smalley Manufacturing Company, Inc.


Deerfield Resort/Mt. Cloud


Hunter Development Company, Inc.


Crown Title Insurance Agency, Inc.


Clayton Volvo



House of Thaller, Inc.


True Grip & Lighting


Dermatology Associates of Knoxville, P.C.



20 – 24 YEARS


Elavon 1996

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Cumberland House



(Dec. 2017)

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. ’16Nov. ‘17

Nov. 2017

Oct. 2017

Nov. 2016

% Change Oct. ’17Nov. ‘17

237,000 418,370 3,206,300 160,466,000

236,960 418,320 3,214,000 160,465,000

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

0.0 0.0 -0.2 0.0

-0.3 -0.5 1.1 0.6

402,100 3,065,400

398,700 3,049,200

400,400 3,026,700

0.9 0.5

0.4 1.3

6,810 13,160 107,000

6,130 11,940 97,900

9,360 18,340 145,600

11.1 10.2 9.3

-27.2 -28.2 -26.5

2.9 3.1 3.3 3.9

2.6 2.9 3.0 3.9

3.9 4.4 4.6 4.4

0.3 0.2 0.3 0.0

-0.1 -1.3 -1.3 -0.5

Non-Ag Employment Knoxville MSA Tennessee

Residential Closings Residential Inventory Median Residential Price

Dec. 2017 1,409 5,973 $175,000

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. ’15Nov. ‘17 0.7 0.5

Nov. ’16-‘17

Oct. ’16-‘17

Nov. ’15-‘16

2.1 2.2

1.9 2.0

1.4 1.7

0.2 0.2

% Change Nov. ’16Nov. ‘17

Knoxville (City)

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

Nov. 2017* 20 16 4

Nov. 2016 26 26 0

% Change Nov. ’16Nov. ‘17 -23.1 -38.5 100.0

Knox Co.

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

121 117 4

121 121 0

0.0 -3.3 100.0

Knoxville MSA

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

225 207 18

215 201 14

4.7 3.0 28.6


Total Single-Family Multi-Family

1,853 1,576 277

1,808 1,504 304

2.5 4.8 -8.9

Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee

Nov. 2017

Oct. 2017

Nov. 2016

% Change Oct. ’17Nov. ‘17

51,940,892 80,370,697 716,158,221

54,392,418 84,462,112 733,842,073

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

-4.5 -4.8 -2.4

-1.7 -0.9 4.0

14,826,008 23,567,529

15,449,034 24,685,121

14,652,595 23,138,859

-4.0 -4.5

1.2 1.9


Passengers Freight

Oct. 2017 199,990 6,821,083

Sept. 2017 160,128 6,702,496

Oct. 2016 185,153 6,749,074

% Change Sept. ’17Oct. ‘17 24.9 1.8

% Change Oct. ’16Oct. ‘17 8.0 1.1

Source: Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority

Local Sales Tax Knox Co. Knoxville MSA

*All 2017 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


1,370 6,775 $162,000



% Change Oct. ’16Nov. ‘17

Dec. 2016

% Change Dec. ’16Dec. ‘17 2.8 -11.8 8.0

Source: Knoxville Area Association of Realtors

Unemployment Estimates Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee

Nov. 2017 1,543 6,540 $176,000

% Change Nov. ’17Dec. ‘17 -8.7 -8.7 -0.6

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. 2017

Nov. 2017

563,953 29,079 34,904 12,676 67,201 59,506 11,789 38,513 79,014 31,169 12,226 100,375 75,996

500,177 31,653 24,696 10,433 61,205 54,343 10,717 38,824 64,245 27,510 11,264 95,071 62,386

542,055 27,311 34,520 11,988 64,583 57,295 10,966 35,465 76,128 30,692 12,105 100,414 68,911

% Change Nov. ’17Dec. ‘17 12.8 -8.1 41.3 21.5 9.8 9.5 10.0 -0.8 23.0 13.3 8.5 5.6 21.8





Dec. 2016

% Change Dec. ’16Dec. ‘17 4.0 6.5 1.1 5.7 4.1 3.9 7.5 8.6 3.8 1.6 1.0 0.0 10.3 -1.5

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

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

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Propel Protégé Profile The Knoxville Chamber’s Propel mentor/protégé program pairs an established community business leader with a protégé who is relatively new to business.

Firm: Hasty Waste Owner: Ed Schmitt Email: Phone: (865) 408-8037 What is your professional background? Like most kids, I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps. I have been able to do that to a large extent. This journey led me to earn degrees in both engineering and business while working in the recycling industry for over 20 years. This has provided me the opportunity to work with exceptionally innovative entrepreneurs in small businesses focused on household and electronics recycling. Over this time, the packaging and recycling industries have gone through many changes that allow people to easily recycle much what a household discards. As a result, recycling services for multi-family communities have become an area of opportunity, and industry surveys indicate the most requested amenity for these communities is doorstep trash service. These factors led to the development of Hasty Waste as a Knoxville- based company serving multi-family communities with exceptional doorstep trash and recycling service and more.

What does your firm offer its clients? Hasty Waste’s core service is doorstep trash and recycling collection which offers residents convenience, cleanliness and efficiency. Residents no longer have to carry trash across the community in the freezing cold or put it in their car to get rid of it. Additionally, while our porters are onsite providing service, they collect litter, communicate to management any items noticed like a broken water line, service pet waste stations and clean up around the trash and recycling areas. As we serve the management and maintenance teams, they are able to remain focused on their resident’s needs, and this ultimately increases resident satisfaction. What makes your firm unique? Our focus on serving the community with excellence leads us to customize service plans that fit the needs of each community individually. We partner with the community manager to phase in service without negatively impacting their budget, and implementing service can start at any time. We also focus on clear and regular communication through observation and maintenance reports as needed and monthly service summary reports Our friendly and courteous porters greet residents while we are in the community and carry dog treats to spread the love with our four-legged friends. We also have a partnership with BioPet allowing us to offer the proactive pet waste management PooPrints System. Who are your perfect clients? Our perfect clients are multi-family communities looking to enhance their resident retention rate, offer a new amenity to distinguish themselves in the market, offer residents a recycling solution or resolve a problem around the community waste area. We would love to speak with any community managers, maintenance professionals or residents about serving in their communities.

Gubernatorial Candidates Talk Education in Moderated Forum BY: JESSICA GUTMAN

More than 1,200 people gathered at the 2018 Gubernatorial Forum on Education at Belmont University’s Curb Event Center in Nashville on Jan. 24. Five of Tennessee’s leading gubernatorial candidates answered questions related to education during a forum moderated by Rhori Johnson, NewsChannel5, and David Plazas, USA TODAY Network – Tennessee. Topics ranged from teacher pay and training to student achievement and Career and Technical Education (CTE). Participating candidates included former state Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd, businessman Bill Lee, former Nashville Mayor Karl Deen, Tennessee House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh and Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell. Former state Sen. Mae Beavers and U.S. Rep. Diane Black, who are also running for governor, did not attend. The hour-long event was hosted by the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE), Belmont University, the USA TODAY Network – Tennessee and the NewsChannel5 Network, along with support from numerous state partners including the Knoxville Chamber.

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The first forum of the 2018 gubernatorial election focused on the candidates’ priorities for education in the state of Tennessee.

PREMIER PARTNER PROFILE Smart strategy, creative thinking. Ackermann Marketing & PR is a team of senior-level marketers who create out-of-thebox, research-driven big ideas. For businesses in search of national awareness, successful product launches or targeted marketing, the firm’s experience ranges from start-ups to multi-national corporations. Ackermann Marketing and PR is a 36-year-old, full-service marketing and communications firm headquartered in Knoxville. With long-term strategic thinking as its specialty, Ackermann helps businesses grow through the planning and execution of public relations, digital strategy, product marketing, brand identity, advertising, crisis communications and media training. With clients including entrepreneurs, Fortune 100 companies, non-profit organizations, educational institutions and government entities, the firm executes campaigns and multi-year strategies in industries such as tourism, manufacturing, technology, healthcare and retail, among others. Ackermann also specializes in cyber security, being the only U.S. firm represented in a global network of security communications specialists known as Sotiria. Regionally, the firm provides cyber security crisis communications training and response support for several large companies and organizations. Recently, Ackermann won a Platinum Marcom Award for its integrated marketing campaign with Hoffmann Group USA, a subsidiary of the world’s largest manufacturing tooling company. “The Ackermann team has been instrumental in the success of the Hoffmann Group’s brand launch into the U.S. market,” said Ashley Humphrey, Director of Marketing & Communications at Hoffmann Group USA. “They developed creative solutions and worked diligently to aid me in every aspect of the campaign to assure it went as planned. I couldn’t have done it without them!” Ackermann also specializes in healthcare, helping regional physician groups attract new patients and hospitals create awareness of their true differentiation through thought leadership initiatives. “We are interested in partnering with progressive organizations to help them move the needle for their businesses,” said Cathy Ackermann, founder and CEO of the firm. “While our work always begins with a carefully crafted and measurable strategy, our experienced and nimble team can also react in the moment to help our clients take advantage of unique opportunities to grow their businesses.” Most of the team at Ackermann has been working in senior marketing and public relations positions for over a decade. You can learn more about this Knoxville-based agency at their website,

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Business After Hours 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM Hosted by: All Occasions Party Rentals 5825 Middlebrook Pike


MARCH 1 Elkmont Exchange Brewery & Eating House celebrated its grand opening on Jan. 8. Elkmont Exchange was established on a sense of adventure and a respect for the outdoors. Their founders are lifelong friends that have brought their worldwide beer and food experience back home to Knoxville. The new brewery is located at 745 North Broadway.

Schmoozapalooza 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM Knoxville Expo Center – 5441 Clinton Hwy Attendee Tickets - $5 for Chamber Members; $10 for Non-Members Standard Tabletop - $200 for Chamber Members; $300 for Non-Members Premium Tabletop - $550 Chamber members only


Capitol Connections 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Knoxville Chamber – 17 Market Square, #201




Adecco Staffing celebrated the grand opening of its new Knoxville location on Dec. 12 in Fountain City. As the global leader in staffing, Adecco partners with companies in identifying management, clerical, accounting, and industrial candidates for temporary, temp-to-hire, and direct placement. You can find its new location at 4883 N. Broadway St, Ste 102.











Interested in scheduling a ribbon cutting for your business? Contact Julie Massie at (865) 246-2606 for more information.


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February 2018 Commerce  
February 2018 Commerce