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INSIDE: Progressive Marketing Summit pg. 52 + Monthly Economic Indicators pg. 54


MEMBERSHIP MATTERS EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH Economic Development Project Manager Kyle Touchstone presents Executive Assistant Jenny Anderton with December’s Chamber Employee of the Month award

CONNECT CHAMBER

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.

TOP ACHIEVERS CAMERON PUCKETT BANK OF AMERICA, N.A.

Executive Assistant Jenny Anderton presents Art Director Laddy Fields with January’s Chamber Employee of the Month award

with the

facebook.com/KnoxvilleChamber

DANIEL MONDAY

twitter.com/k_chamber

SLAMDOT, INC.

CHAMBER STAFF Doug Lawyer @knoxoakridgeIV Jennifer Evans @knoxevans Kyle Touchstone @knoxecondevguy Mark Field @field101 Michelle Kiely @mkiely1

RENA AMERSON TILLMAN COMPANIES, LLC

NEW MEMBERS / NEW PREMIER PARTNERS Ally Insurance Co. (865) 255-7025 www.allyinsuranceco.com Insurance

Jets Pizza Farragut (865) 675-0505 www.jetspizza.com Restaurants - Eating & Drinking Places

Muscular Dystrophy Association, Inc. (865) 588-1632 www.mda.org Associations & Organizations

Suzani Styles (865) 607-4066 www.suzanistyles.com Shopping: Shoes

Banks & Jones, Attorneys (865) 546-2141 www.banksjones.com Legal Services: Attorneys

Knoxville Tactical (865) 362-5134 www.knoxvilletactical.com Shopping: Specialty

Rodan + Fields Dermatologists - Lynda Blankenship (865) 850-8697 www.lyndablankenship.myrandf.com Shopping: Specialty

Tallent Title Group, Inc. (865) 357-7717 www.tallenttg.com Real Estate: Title Companies

Town House Interiors (865) 777-0517 www.townhouseinteriors.com Residential Services: Interior Design

Clarity Pointe Knoxville (865) 951-2985 www.claritypointeknoxville.com Social Services: Senior Services

Law Office of Jerry Givens (865) 357-0807 www.attorneyinknoxvilletn.com Legal Services

Sherrill Hills Retirement (865) 693-0551 www.rlcommunities.com Social Services: Senior Services

Tallent Title Group, Inc. - Suburban Road (865) 851-7574 www.tallenttg.com Real Estate: Title Companies

UniFirst Corporation (865) 675-5453 www.unifirst.com Business & Professional Services: Uniforms

Employee Screening Services, ESS (865) 388-1101 Employment, Career, & Staffing Services

Maple Sunset Apartments (865) 599-0965 www.maplesunsetapts.com Apartments

Smart Toys and Books (865) 691-1154 www.smarttoysandbooks.com Shopping: Specialty

Mason Livesay Scientific (865) 771-8132 www.masonlivesay.com Business & Professional Services: Technical Services

Southeast Bumpers (865) 577-6786 www.southeastbumpers.com Automotive Sales, Parts, & Service: Parts

The Village Marketing Group (606) 219-2492 www.thevillagemg.com Business & Professional Services: Advertising Agencies

White Table (865) 851-7175 www.whitetable.com Event Planning, Catering, & Venues: Rentals

HapE Hippos (865) 384-8803 Computer & IT Services: Mobile App Development

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

FINANCE & OPERATIONS ljohnson@knoxvillechamber.com

THE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (865) 546-5887

MEMBERSHIP mfield@knoxvillechamber.com

PRESIDENT & CEO MICHAEL EDWARDS

DESIGN LADDY FIELDS

PUBLIC POLICY & EDUCATION jevans@knoxvillechamber.com

TENNESSEE SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER (865) 246-2663

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT RHONDA RICE

WRITER LYNSEY WILSON

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT dlawyer@knoxvillechamber.com

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

THE KNOXVILLE CHAMBER’S MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

EDITOR LORI FULLER editorial@knoxvillechamber.com

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

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

Tovah Love Photography (865) 363-3599 Photography


REGIONAL, STATE CHAMBERS SET LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

A

s the 108th General Assembly convenes in Nashville, recent rule changes will force lawmakers to be more selective. In an unprecedented decision, the Tennessee House of Representatives voted to cap the number of bills each member can introduce to 15 per year, a move that based on the number of representatives will theoretically reduce the number of filings by 40 percent. Proponents of the measure hope the change will streamline the legislative process and produce higher quality legislation. Additional changes in the House include prohibiting representatives from casting votes for absent colleagues and the reorganization of several committees. In an effort to balance the workload between committees, Speaker Beth Harwell gained approval to divide the State and Local Government Committee as well as the Commerce and Judiciary Committees. She also merged the Conservation and Environment Committee with the Agriculture Committee while eliminating Children and Family Affairs and transferring the majority of its responsibilities to the new Civil Justice Committee. As legislators attempt to navigate these changes, they are also armed with the position of state and regional chambers on bills affecting the business community. Focused heavily on education and economic development, the legislative agendas of both local and statewide groups support measures aimed at creating a skilled workforce and increasing job growth. “We have worked with both our regional counterparts in Blount County and Oak Ridge and with the chambers in Chattanooga, Nashville, and Memphis to develop legislative agendas for both the Innovation Valley region and the state of Tennessee for the benefit of the business community,” said Jennifer Evans, vice president of public policy at the Knoxville Chamber.

EDUCATION Recognizing the vital role a well-prepared workforce plays in both boosting the region’s attractiveness to new and expanding businesses and in supplying skilled employees to the existing business community, initiatives supporting quality education are high priorities on this year’s chamber agenda. “A skilled workforce is key to our regional economic success,” said Evans. “It is important that the legislature support reforms from the last few sessions and defeat any efforts to derail their success.” Chief among these previous reforms is the teacher evaluation system, designed to assess classroom instruction and identify areas of improvement

See “Legislative Agenda” on pg. 50

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“Legislative Agenda” continued from pg. 49 system wide. “The evaluation system provides meaningful data indicating areas where educators are excelling and areas where there is room for growth,” Evans said. “Timely access to this quantifiable information allows administrators and educators to make staffing and instructional decisions that can significantly improve student outcomes.” Another initiative aimed at ensuring ongoing progress for public education is continued opposition to the election of school superintendents. “Appointed school superintendents are accountable for their performance to an elected board of education,” said Evans. “This allows their primary focus to be the implementation of strategies that improve the success rate of their graduates and not on campaigning for reelection.” The Big Four Chambers – Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, and Nashville – also support the incorporation of student improvement on the ACT into the state’s accountability system, and on a regional level, chambers continue to advocate for fully providing the resources necessary for schools to budget responsibly.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT With projects such as the $6.5 billion Uranium Processing Facility creating unprecedented opportunity for existing business expansion and new business recruitment across both the state and Innovation Valley Region, the chambers’ regional legislative agenda urges lawmakers to create significant, transparent, and consistent economic development incentives. “The state of Tennessee and Innovation Valley are consistently ranked as one of the top locations for business in the nation,” said Doug Lawyer, vice president of economic development at the Knoxville Chamber. “Should the opportunity arise to attract key industry sectors, lawmakers must be prepared to assist in these ventures.” Two regional legislative objectives also aimed at ensuring Innovation Valley continues to gain ground among site selection consultants and economic development professionals are the expansion of regional general aviation capacity and

the completion of Pellissippi Parkway. “The Knoxville Chamber is supportive of efforts to promote regional economic development, and in concept supports the construction of a general aviation airport in Oak Ridge,” said Rhonda Rice, executive vice president at the Chamber. “However, the Chamber’s support is contingent upon confirmation that the Oak Ridge airport will have no negative impact on service at McGhee Tyson Airport.” The proposed 5,000-foot general aviation airport will be located on a brownfield site at the East Tennessee Technology Park in Oak Ridge and will not be used for commercial air service. These efforts to connect the Innovation Valley Region also include continued support for the completion of the remaining 4.4 miles of the Pellissippi Parkway, making the area easily accessible to Department of Energy properties in Oak Ridge, McGhee Tyson Airport, and the University of Tennessee. “The Pellissippi Parkway extension provides some of the best access to transportation infrastructure and innovative technology in the region,” said Lawyer. “Completion of the project is crucial for economic development, providing critical access to property identified for technology, research, development, and manufacturing.” A Tennessee Department of Transportation study found completion of the extension, which would cost the state just under $97 million, could generate as many as 19,000 jobs for Innovation Valley counties.

ADDITIONAL AREAS OF FOCUS Along with continuing to advocate for advancements in education and furthering business growth, the chambers’ joint state legislative agenda also supports the right of business and property owners to prohibit fire arms on their property as well as the establishment of a consistent state policy regarding local minimum wage for private businesses. The agenda also recommends that proposed bills be subject to an analysis of the financial impact on business and jobs within Tennessee. “These agendas only serve as a guideline for those bills impacting business that we expect to be introduced during this legislative session,” said Evans. “The individual chambers will continue to meet and address any relevant bills that appear on the docket.”

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New Lady Vols Head Basketball Coach Addresses Premier Partners In April 2012 Holly Warlick was named the new Lady Vols head basketball coach, stepping into a role vacated by longtime mentor and legendary coach Pat Summitt. At a December 13 breakfast, she provided the Chamber’s Premier Partners with insight into the impact of her new role and discussed her plans to continue the program’s winning tradition. The exclusive event attracted over 75 attendees and was sponsored by Bell & Associates Construction, a full service general contracting firm whose portfolio includes the Tennessee Performing Arts Center and Nashville’s new Music City Convention Center.

Coach Warlick flanked by Allan Cox and Keith Pyle of Bell & Associates Construction, sponsor of the event.

Coach Holly Warlick was the featured speaker at a December Premier Partner event.

SPONSORED BY:

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PROGRESSIVE MARKETING SUMMIT Presented by:

Co-hosted by:

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2013 • 11:30 A.M. - 4:30 P.M. The Square Room & The Knoxville Chamber $75 (Lunch will be provided) • Visit “Events & Programs” on knoxvillechamber.com to register!

The Knoxville Chamber and Knoxville Chapter of the American Marketing Association have partnered for the third annual Progressive Marketing Summit. It will be held Thursday, February 7, from 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and kicks-off at The Square Room at 4 Market Square. Registration for the half-day summit is $75 and includes lunch. Visit knoxvillechamber.com to register. The supercharged, half-day marketing conference will leave attendees with concrete takeaways to implement courtesy of an impressive lineup of innovators, experts and front-line marketers. Covering trends, topics, and case studies, the Progressive Marketing Summit promises to be a dynamic educational event attendees won’t soon forget.

11:30 a.m. – Noon

Registration & Networking

The Square Room at Café 4 – 4 Market Square

12:00 – 12:10 p.m.

Welcome & Icebreaker

The Square Room at Café 4 – 4 Market Square

12:10 – 1:10 p.m.

Keynote: Tom Webster, Edison Research

Trends, Insights & Lessons: What Marketers Can Learn from the 2012 Elections The Square Room at Café 4 – 4 Market Square

1:15 – 2:15 p.m.

Panel Discussion: How to Market to Generation “M” (Mobile)

The Square Room at Café 4 – 4 Market Square Moderator: Laura Bower, The Tombras Group Panelists: • Tamsen Webster, Allen & Gerritsen • David Jacobs, The Tombras Group • Shane Rhyne, Ackermann PR

2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Keynote: Brian Winter, Carpathia Hosting & Pyxl

Measuring Digital: How to Track Marketing Activities & Quantify ROI Knoxville Chamber – 17 Market Square

3:35 – 4:35 p.m.

Panel Discussion: The ROI of Mobile Apps: 3 Case Studies

Knoxville Chamber – 17 Market Square Moderator: Jeremy Floyd, Bluegill Creative Panelists: • Lynsay Caylor Russell, Pilot Flying J • Margie Nichols, University of Tennessee • Renee Monhollon, Knoxville News Sentinel

4:45 p.m.

Happy Hour

Downstairs at Latitude 35 – 16 Market Square

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Italian Tile Manufacturer Relocates to Innovation Valley Italian tile manufacturer, Ceramica Del Conca, announced its plans to build the company’s first North American facility in Loudon County’s Sugar Limb Industrial Park. The 320,000-square-foot manufacturing plant and U.S. headquarters operation represents a $70 million investment and the creation of 178 jobs in the Innovation Valley region. “This is a significant victory for Innovation Valley,” said Doug Lawyer, Vice President of Economic Development at the Knoxville Chamber. “Del Conca will not only

have a positive economic impact, but this expansion also promotes our region as a viable choice for other international companies looking to increase their global presence.” Founded in 1979, Del Conca uses high-tech manufacturing processes to meet growing market demand and is internationally recognized for its quality products and innovative design. The company’s new North American headquarters will service its major U.S. customers including Lowe’s, Arizona Tile, and Mannington Tile Shop.

Tomcat USA Reshores Jobs from Mexico to Knox County Tomcat USA, a leading concert lighting manufacturer, is expected to invest $2 million and create 50 new jobs with their plans to open a manufacturing facility in Knox County’s Forks of the River Industrial Park. The company, which specializes in engineering aluminum trussing and other structural components for the entertainment industry, plans to consolidate operations from their facilities in Mexico and Texas to the 60,000 square foot Knox County location.

“I am looking forward to having the Tomcat facility located in Knoxville and to continue growing the business with the exceptional workforce we have in this area,” said Mike Garl, president of Tomcat USA. A member of the Milos Group, the world’s largest aluminum trussing and staging manufacturers, the company’s client list ranges from rock and roll legends Pink Floyd and the Rolling Stones to Broadway productions of Wicked and The Lion King.

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MONTHLY ECONOMIC INDICATORS

(Nov. 2012)

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

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

HOUSING MARKET % Change Nov. ’11Nov. ‘12

Nov. 2012

Oct. 2012

Nov. 2011

% Change Oct. ’12Nov ‘12

239,480 377,410 3,104,000 154,953,000

240,810 379,840 3,126,800 155,779,000

238,430 374,040 3,118,800 153,683,000

-0.6 -0.6 -0.7 -0.5

0.4 0.9 -0.5 0.8

341,000 2,735,600

340,200 2,718,100

336,900 2,704,800

0.2 0.6

1.2 1.1

Residential Closings Residential Inventory Median Residential Price

Nov. 2012 918 13,760 $145,975

Oct. 2012 1,025 14,380 $148,650

Nov. 2011 737 13,825 139,075

% Change Oct. ’12Nov. ‘12 -10.4 -4.3 -1.8

% Change Nov. ’11Nov. ‘12 24.6 -0.5 5.0

Source: Knoxville Area Association of Realtors

Non-Ag Employment Knoxville MSA Tennessee

RESIDENTIAL BUILDING PERMITS

Knoxville (City)

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

Nov. 2012* 17 17 0

Nov. 2011 11 11 0

% Change Nov. ’11Nov. ‘12 54.5 54.5 0.0

Knox Co.

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

77 75 2

43 41 2

79.1 82.9 0.0

Knoxville MSA

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

99 97 2

59 57 2

67.8 70.2 0.0

Tennessee

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

1,379 964 415

1,334 781 553

3.4 23.4 -24.9

Available Labor Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee

13,970 22,910 242,910

15,740 26,010 270,990

16,790 27,760 295,060

-11.2 -11.9 -10.4

-16.8 -17.5 -17.7

5.2 5.4 6.9 7.4

5.9 6.2 7.8 7.5

6.3 6.6 8.4 8.2

-0.7 -0.8 -0.9 -0.1

-1.1 -1.2 -1.5 -0.8

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

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

INFLATION RATES - CONSUMER PRICE INDEX (CPI)

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

Nov. ’11-‘12

Oct. ’11-‘12

Nov. ’10-‘11

1.4 1.8

1.9 2.2

3.9 3.4

- ALL ITEMS

% Change Oct. ’11Nov. ‘12

% Change Nov. ’10Nov. ‘12

-0.5 -0.4

-2.5 -1.6

*South – City Size Class B/C

*All 2012 building permit data is preliminary and therefore subject to revision throughout the year. Sources: U.S. Housing & Urban Development – SOCDS – State of the Cities Data Systems; U.S. Census Bureau – Building Permits Survey

SALES TAX REVENUE - STATE & LOCAL ($) State Sales Tax Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee

Nov. 2012

Oct. 2012

Nov. 2011

44,363,186 61,692,276 557,322,909

45,323,371 63,356,009 575,340,846

45,728,368 63,982,687 542,131,051

-2.1 -2.6 -3.1

-3.0 -3.6 2.8

12,331,072 17,278,043

12,763,312 17,744,272

12,797,792 17,858,864

-3.4 -2.6

-3.6 -3.3

Local Sales Tax Knox Co. Knoxville MSA

% Change Nov. ’11Nov. ‘12

% Change Oct. ’12Nov. ‘12

AIR SERVICE (MCGHEE-TYSON AIRPORT)

Passengers Cargo

Oct. 2012 153,547 7,042,648

Sept. 2012 140,696 7,955,911

Oct. 2011 167,328 7,486,322

Source: Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority

Source: Tennessee Dept. of Revenue

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

Dec. 2012 468,693 21,850 31,650 12,804 57,683 45,671 9,545 42,239 72,086 25,222 11,766 74,942 51,166

Nov. 2012 415,890 24,479 22,072 9,901 53,531 42,964 8,622 43,862 57,219 22,380 10,255 69,870 42,812

457,468 22,065 30,893 12,850 56,466 43,010 9,267 42,058 74,634 25,387 10,974 71,674 46,666

% Change Nov. ’12Dec. ‘12 12.7 -10.7 43.4 29.3 7.8 6.3 10.7 -3.7 26.0 12.7 14.7 7.3 19.5

12,069

7,923

11,524

52.3

Dec. 2011

% Change Dec. ’11Dec. ‘12 2.5 -1.0 2.5 -0.4 2.2 6.2 3.0 0.4 -3.4 -0.6 7.2 4.6 9.6 4.7

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

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EST. 1869

% Change Sept. ’12Oct. ‘12 9.1 -11.5

% Change Oct. ’11Oct. ‘12 -8.2 -5.9


$6.5 Billion Uranium Processing Facility Could Benefit Local Business Representing the largest single capital investment project in Tennessee since World War II, the new $6.5 billion Uranium Processing Facility at Y-12 National Security Complex will not only allow for safer, more centralized operations, but the construction phase could prove beneficial for local businesses. On January 17, over 175 members of the region’s business community gathered at The Square Room to gain an understanding of the project’s scope and potential economic impact from John Eschenberg, Federal Project Director for the Uranium Processing Facility. “It’s vital that our local businesses are not only aware of the project but also understand how they can help their business,” said Rhonda Rice, executive vice president of the Knoxville Chamber. “Though it is still in the design phase, companies must begin the process now in order to be prepared when construction begins.” With the potential for 60 percent of investment dollars to stay within the region, Eschenberg stressed that number was contingent on local suppliers preparing themselves now to conduct business with the government. “This facility not only provides a catalyst for attracting new business to the region, but it gives a variety of local suppliers the opportunity to work with the government,” he said. “Our goal now is to inform and educate these companies on effectively doing business with the government and communicate that these nuclear standards are not unachievable.” Local business owners in attendance found the event not only informative, but timely for those hoping to be involved in the project. “I appreciate the Chamber being proactive,” said Jennifer Moore, director of marketing and business development at Mesa Technologies. “After hearing the presentation, I not only have a better grasp of what the project will mean for our region but also realize there are steps our company should be taking now to ensure we have the opportunity to participate.” Companies interested in becoming a vendor for the project can register online at http://supplier.bechtel.com.

Leaders on the Uranium Processing Facility project Mark Seely, John Eschenberg, and Richard Brown were in attendance to discuss how local businesses could benefit from the state’s largest capital project since World War II.

Members of the local business community gathered at the Square Room to learn how the new $6.5 billion dollar Uranium Processing Facility could impact the Innovation Valley region.

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OCTOBER 1 – DECEMBER 31, 2012 Innovation Valley is the regional economic development initiative managed by the Knoxville Chamber.

BUSINESS RETENTION & EXPANSION VISITS:

NEW RECRUITS:

50 jobs, $2 Million Capital Investment

178 jobs, $70 Million Capital Investment

Helping to nurture businesses already located in the region is a significant portion of our economic development efforts. Innovation Valley staff visited with the following companies during the quarter: Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Gulf & Ohio Railways Johnson & Galyon Knoxville Utilities Board Republic Plastics University of Tennessee Cherokee Farm Visionary Solutions

SITE VISITS BY PROSPECTIVE BUSINESSES:

EXPANSIONS:

9 Manufacturing companies visited the Innovation Valley during the quarter to explore doing business here.

100 jobs

100 jobs, $4.2 Million Capital Investment

80 jobs, $1.8 Million Capital Investment

75 jobs

YEAR-TO-YEAR OVERALL JOB GROWTH FOR OCTOBER: Knox County October 2011 – 224,454 employed October 2012 – 226,633 employed = 2,179 new jobs

Knox MSA October 2011 – 353,005 employed October 2012 – 356,432 employed = 3,427 new jobs Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; LAUS/Local Area Unemployment Statistics

MARKETING & RECRUITMENT EFFORTS: Innovation Valley had representatives at the following conferences: • International Economic Development Council Annual Conference, Houston, TX, Oct. 1-4, 2012 • CoreNet Global Summit, Orlando, FL, Oct. 8-10, 2012 • Manufacturing prospect presentation, Tellico, TN, Oct. 12, 2012 • Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Economic Development, Nashville, TN, Oct. 18-19, 2012 • Site Selection Consultant Event, Columbia, SC, Oct. 27, 2012 • Uranium Processing Facility briefing, Knoxville, TN, Nov. 8, 2012 • Composites World Carbon Fiber Conference, La Jolla, CA, Dec. 4-6, 2012

OTHER EFFORTS: • Propel Small Business Counseling Program – 34 small-, woman-, minority-, and veteran-owned companies took part in business counseling sessions. • Doug Minter, business development manager, served on a panel with the Federal Reserve Board Microenterprise Roundtable • Jennifer Evans, vice president of public policy and education, participated in meetings with Pellissippi State and Knox County Schools to plan for the possibility of opening a Career & Technical Education Magnet High School. • Through a grant provided by Messer Construction, a library of business and education presentations filmed in house is being created. During this quarter, 16 videos equaling 22 hours were recorded and made available in the library.

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Answer Financial Breaks Ground on Knoxville Facility Knoxville and Knox County elected officials and business leaders recently celebrated the groundbreaking of Answer Financial’s new 32,775 square-foot facility located off of Bridgewater Road in West Knoxville. The state-of-the-art facility, which will serve as the company’s primary sales center, is anticipated to open for business by early Fall 2013 and will have the capacity for more than 400 employees. The company currently has a presence in Oak Ridge. “Once Answer Financial determined they needed a new location, we wanted to make sure they stayed in the Innovation Valley,” said Rhonda Rice, executive vice president of the Knoxville Chamber. “It was important to work with our economic development partners in Oak Ridge to ensure that we retain the 300 existing jobs the company currently represents as well as make it possible for them to grow.” The developer on the project is Providence Commercial Real Estate, led by John-David Roddy. The new facility will boast a modern design including an open floor plan with large exterior windows for natural light and outdoor views. The land is adjacent to the Ten Mile Creek Greenway, a pedestrian trail connecting the city and county boundaries, providing a convenient route for employees who prefer cycling to work. Associates will enjoy over 75 restaurants, 15 baking locations, and prime retail shopping all within a five minute drive of the facility. Breaking ground on this new building demonstrates our commitment to the Knoxville area,” stated Rob Slingerland, CEO for Answer Financial. “Knoxville is an important part of our growth plans. We are planning on hiring over 100 people at this location in the next 12-24 months.” Answer Financial is one of the largest independent personal lines agencies in the nation, providing auto and home insurance policies directly to consumers and through a broad network of marketing partners. Answer Financial serves the growing segment of self-directed consumers searching for the best way to save money on insurance by providing one easy place to Shop, Compare, and Buy Insurance.

Answer Financial celebrated the groundbreaking of their new facility in West Knoxville with (from left to right): Mayor Tim Burchett, City Councilman Duane Greive, Mayor Madeline Rogero, Answer Financial CEO Rob Slinglander, Answer Financial SVP Peter Foley, Jimmy Rodefer of BWA Properties, Josh Bishop of BWA Properties, Chamber CEO Mike Edwards, City Councilman Mark Campen, City Councilman Finbarr Saunders, John Captain of BWA Properties, and John-David Roddy of Providence Commercial Real Estate.

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UPCOMING EVENTS

FEBRUARY 5 Power 30 Speed Networking

4 – 7 p.m. • Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square

FEBRUARY 7 Progressive Marketing Summit Co-presented with Knoxville American Marketing Association 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. • The Square Room, 4 Market Square $75.00 for members and non-members

FEBRUARY 11 Rise & Shine: “Increasing Employee Engagement” A Breakfast with Peter Handal, Chairman of the Board & CEO of Dale Carnegie 7:30 – 9 a.m.• Foundry on the Fair Site, 747 World’s Fair Park Drive - $25 for members and non-members Presented by:

FEBRUARY 15 Legislative Briefing 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. • • Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square Sponsored by:

FEBRUARY 20 Bright Ideas The Business Case for Diversity Presented by Mae Killebrew-Mosley, Markets Demand More 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. • Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square $25 for members/$35 for non-members (boxed lunch included) Presented by:

FEBRUARY 22 Governor’s Breakfast with Governor Bill Haslam 7:30 – 9 a.m. • Knoxville Convention Center Cost: $35 for members/$40 for non-members Presented by:

Supported by:

FEBRUARY 26 Fantasy Casino Night 5 – 7:30 p.m. • The Lighthouse, 6800 Baum Drive Cost: $5 for members in advance/$10 for non-members and walk-ups

FEBRUARY 27 Government Contracting Utilizing Vendor Registry 8 – 9 a.m. • Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square

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Commerce February 2013  

Knoxville Chamber newsletter for February 2013