Page 1

INSIDE: Shrimp Boil Photos pg. 52 + Monthly Economic Indicators pg. 54





Max Air Trampoline Park celebrated its grand opening at 229 East Emory Road in April. Amber Martin, managing partner, is pictured center cutting the ribbon and is joined by family, colleagues, and Knoxville Chamber representatives.





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.








NEW MEMBERS / NEW PREMIER PARTNERS BRONZE PREMIER PARTNERS Gage Talent Agency (865) 588-8815 Event Planning, Catering, & Venues: Talent Agencies Global Testing Laboratories (865) 523-9972 Manufacturing: Electronics; Research & Development: Laboratories; Business & Professional Services: Technical Services; Electrical Supplies & Services

ADP (865) 396-8319 Business & Professional Services:Billing, Payroll, & Collection Services Beachbody - Jenn Greenberg (865) 202-1612 Personal Services: Fitness & Well-being



Bearden Behavioral Health (865) 212-6600 Healthcare Providers & Services

Dex Media (865) 679-8900 Business & Professional Services: Marketing

Keese Consulting Company (865) 521-6851 Employment, Career, & Staffing Services

Michael Dunn Center (865) 376-3416 Healthcare Providers & Services

Big Love Bus (865) 203-1355 Transportation: Buses

Farmer’s Insurance McCullock Agency (865) 801-9977 Insurance

Kennedy Coffee Service (865) 250-1668 Food & Beverage: Beverages

Ross Medical Education Center (865) 297-4800 Education & Training

Knoxville Fashion Week (865) 680-1707 Entertainment: Arts & Culture

Sprouse and Neuhoff (865) 207-4091 Photography

Landscape Workshop (865) 388-0232 Building & Grounds Maintenance: Landscaping

The Real Estate Book of Knoxville (865) 405-9747 Real Estate: Residential

Hatcher-Hill Brokerage, LLC (865) 249-8132 Real Estate: Commercial

Cerebral Palsy Center for Handicapped Adults, Inc. (865) 523-0491 Associations & Organizations

HealthSlide (865) 692-1002 Computer & IT Services: Software

Child Therapy Services (865) 686-8808 Social Services: Child Care Centers Creekside Technologies LLC (865) 686-5224 Computer & IT Services

Interstate Mechanical Contractors, Inc. (865) 588-0180 Construction & Contractors: Mechanical Contractors

Crown Point Consultants (865) 414-0310 Business & Professional Services: Business Advisors & Consultants

JMC & Associates (865) 588-8330 Insurance

Law Office of Ursula Bailey (865) 522-9942 Legal Services Legacy Painting (865) 321-1305 Building & Grounds Maintenance: Painting










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

The Restoration House (865) 200-5406 Associations & Organizations Virtual Physician Technologies (865) 212-2211 Healthcare Providers & Services: Physicians & Surgeons


Cirrus Aircraft On May 6, a crowd gathered on the tarmac of McGhee Tyson Airport for a special announcement from Gov. Bill Haslam. With the runway as his backdrop, the governor announced the newest arrival to the airport — Cirrus Aircraft. In a $15 million investment, the Duluth, Minn.based general aviation company will be expanding its operations to East Tennessee with its new customer experience center located at the airport. Deemed the Vision Center, the facility will become a flagship location for all Cirrus Aircraft pilot, owner, and customer activities — including sales, delivery, training, maintenance, and support personalization. Cirrus’ expansion will add 170 jobs to the Knoxville area. The company’s decision to call Knoxville home was the result of a collaborative recruitment effort between the state of Tennessee, Oak Ridge Na-

tional Laboratory, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority, the Blount Partnership, and the Knoxville Chamber. Together, this team worked for nearly a year to show Cirrus that Knoxville was the perfect fit.

SITE SCOUTING Cirrus Aircraft began scouting sites for its Vision Center in June 2014. Bill King, vice president of business administration for Cirrus, said the company had very specific parameters for the location of the new facility. “We started the process by creating a definition of the experience we wanted our customers to have at any given location,” King said. “We wanted it to be south of the Mason-Dixon line, because believe it or not some people don’t want to take delivery of an airplane in December,

January, February, or March in Duluth,” he added. In addition to favorable weather, the site’s surrounding area needed to offer amenities that were sufficient to the Cirrus customer base, whose average net worth is more than $10 million. “We wanted to give our customer an experience that would be very conducive to learning; very conducive to wanting to come back and visit; and that had an extraordinary history to it that made it an inviting community for the customer base to come back year after year,” King said. With these elements in mind, the company narrowed down its list of states with potential sites from 14 to eight, with Tennessee being one of them. Cirrus then issued an exclusive invitation

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“Cirrus” continued on pg. 50

“Cirrus” continued from pg. 49

to each state’s economic development office. Knoxville Chamber, and the Blount Partnership hit the During the visit, each entity on the Knoxville team, “During the site selection process, we called each ground working on the recruitment process that would along with representatives from Visit Knoxville, gave the of the state economic development representatives be code-named “Project Thunder.” company a presentation on what the area had to offer. that we were working with and invited them to the EAA Cirrus executives arrived in Knoxville that fall for the Cirrus was then given the grand tour of the region’s AirVenture Oshkosh air show in Wisconsin,” King said. official site visit. However, it wasn’t their first visit to the tourism destinations. “(We wanted these states) to see how we operate as a area. Company officials had conducted several under“We took the Cirrus team to Blackberry Farm, company and to learn more about our sphere of influthe-radar visits to scout the area themselves in the downtown Knoxville, the Smoky Mountains, and that ence in the aviation industry.” months prior. whole atmosphere just really rang true to them on how The invitation piqued the interest of Alex Bertelli, “These visits were conducted to assure we saw each they were going to meet their customers’ needs and a project manager with the Tennessee Department of of the candidate communities in a ‘normal’ state and not expectations,” Bertelli said. Economic and Community Development. simply trying to impress a potential business client,” King In addition to premier tourism spots, the Cirrus group “Being an aviator, I knew from experience that Cirrus said. “The visits included flying into the local airport and was helicoptered into ORNL for a look at the computawas a premier company and if you ever tional science, neutron science, and carbon had the opportunity to work with them you fiber facilities. Through the state’s manudefinitely should,” he said. “I told my boss facturing innovation program called RevV, this is an opportunity we shouldn’t pass Cirrus would have access to these facilities up, and to get in front of a company like for research and future product development. Cirrus when they have a project is really “It wasn’t a hard sell once we showed important.” them the facilities and that we could help Bertelli accepted Tennessee’s invitation them solve problems,” Smith said. “The labo— the only invited state to do so — and ratory is an interesting and unique capability brought along Jeff Smith, the deputy for that the state can put on the table, and other operations at ORNL, to tout the technostates find it difficult to offer.” logical assets that would be available to While Cirrus would have also had access Cirrus through the lab. However, at the to ORNL if it had chosen Smyrna, Bertelli time, McGhee Tyson wasn’t on the list of said McGhee Tyson’s proximity to the lab sites Cirrus was considering in the state. would be an added perk. Bertelli had recommended the Tri-Cities “Cirrus manufactures a composite aircraft; Regional Airport, Smyrna Airport, and the it’s got carbon fiber in it,” he said. “InnovaNashville area’s John C. Tune Airport for tion Valley has been recruiting carbon fiber Tennessee’s front-runners. companies based on the synergies at the lab. After spending time with Cirrus and obFrom a manufacturing and synergy standserving how the company took care of its point, it just made sense on the development clients, Smith said he suggested Knoxville side to locate Cirrus to Knoxville.” to Bertelli as a possibility. “Cirrus was making this big push for THE SHORT LIST creating a world-class customer experiAfter another cut, Cirrus narrowed its list ence, and I said if that’s what they’re after of states to Texas, North Carolina, Florida, then the Knoxville region has some assets Georgia, and Tennessee. Two sites in Tenthat can fit very well in that vein,” said nessee were left standing — Knoxville and Smith, who also serves on the board of Smyrna. In December, the two competing Gov. Bill Haslam welcomed Cirrus Aircraft to its new home at McGhee Tyson commissioners for the airport authority. Tennessee locations were invited to Duluth to Airport on May 6. “I initially didn’t consider Knoxville present their final pitches. because (Cirrus was) familiar with the Doug Lawyer, vice president of economic airport and had asked to see what else Tennessee had carefully grading each community on a number of facdevelopment for the Knoxville Chamber; Bryan Daniels, to offer,” Bertelli said. “But after (closer consideration) tors — including obvious ones such as quality of airport president and CEO of the Blount Partnership; Rachel I really liked the airport, its location in Innovation Valley, and airport operations — as well as driving into town Trump, the Blount Partnership’s director of economic its proximity to the lab, Blackberry Farm, the Smoky and identifying various hospitality-related assets, such as development; and ORNL’s Smith were en route to the Mountains, and other amenities.” quality restaurants and hotels.” two-day pitch, which included a dinner that evening with King said each contending community was graded on Cirrus and Smyrna, when their flight from Chicago to ‘PROJECT THUNDER’ a total of 30 different factors. Knoxville passed the test Duluth was canceled because of winter weather. With McGhee Tyson Airport officially under considand was given the opportunity to host the Cirrus senior “We knew we had to get to that dinner,” recalled eration, TVA, ORNL, the airport authority, ECD, the management team for a formal visit. Lawyer. “We didn’t want Smyrna to have any advan-

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“Cirrus” continued from pg. 50

tage.” The Knoxville team wanted a seat at the table — literally — so they rented a car and began an eight-hour drive through dense fog to Duluth. The team arrived just after appetizers were served, Lawyer said, and the Cirrus executives were not only shocked to see them, but impressed with their dedication to the deal. The next morning, Lawyer, Daniels, Smith, and airport authority President Bill Marrison presented Innovation Valley’s pitch, which the state, TVA, and other local entities had helped prepare. “Our goal is to highlight the location’s multiple strengths and attributes, including quality of life, workforce, and economic viability,” said Adam Murray, target market specialist with TVA Economic Development in global business. “We worked with the local entities, Tennessee ECD, and the airport to meet Cirrus’ needs in order to facilitate the decision to locate its facility in the Knoxville region.”

Concept art of Cirrus’ Vision Center that will be located at McGhee Tyson Airport.

A REGIONAL WIN In late March, Cirrus notified the Knoxville team that after a unanimous recommendation from the company’s board of directors, McGhee Tyson would be the new home of the Vision Center. “The single most important thing that we have to get right every day is how we deal with our customers,” King said. “Our customers have come to expect a lot from us, and we intend to not only deliver but exceed on the area where we’ve always delivered well. And we certainly believe Knoxville will play a critical role in our growth.” “Having Cirrus Aircraft at McGhee Tyson Airport will create new jobs, new community research partnerships, and new opportunities for the people of East Tennessee,” said Jim Evans, vice president of marketing and air service development for the airport authority. “Their customer-focused approach and their high-tech operation are extremely important to our airport and to the aviation industry. Cirrus Aircraft’s presence at our airport provides worldwide exposure for our airport and for our region in the general aviation industry.” King said Cirrus was impressed with the seamless coordination among all the entities that played a role in recruiting the company. “This was a remarkable event and a truly impressive joint effort on the part of state, regional, and local critical players, all of whom had to make sure the bigger picture was more important than any individual interest,” King

said. Lawyer noted that this win would not have been possible had it not been for the regional partnership. “The Cirrus recruitment project really exemplifies how a region can work together,” he said. “This project worked across multiple boundaries — government, organization, local entities — everyone literally worked off the same page.” Daniels agreed. “There’s a deep appreciation for all the entities and different parties who came together to make this project happen,” he said. “No one entity could have convinced the company to locate here. It really took a team effort to showcase the attributes that we have here. It shows the importance of the Knox/Blount areas continuing to cooperate together. We hope more and more of these projects materialize.”

NEXT STEPS Over the next year, Cirrus will be working with Blaine Construction and Partners Development to build the Vision Center at the West Aviation Area of McGhee Tyson. The location will give the company’s facility direct access to the airport’s two 9,000-foot all-weather runways. Cirrus hopes to break ground on the new location in early fall. In the meantime, through a grant from the RevV program, Cirrus is already working with ORNL to see

how the company can collaborate on new technology for its aircraft. “It will be great to work with them on a couple of new designs of aircraft, but we see a wonderful relationship developing in helping us to understand what are the opportunities to modify how we do business today, how we do manufacturing today, how do we bring that technology through the constraints of the Federal Aviation Administration certification program,” King said. As for future aerospace recruitment to the state, Bertelli said the success of landing Cirrus in Knoxville will help tremendously. “This is a world-class company that was looking and considering eight other states, and they chose Tennessee, which traditionally is not an aerospace state, it’s an automotive state,” Bertelli said. “We have a lot to offer with labor and research and development, and with local atmosphere and quality of life that is very competitive with other states. “If Cirrus Aircraft, a world-class brand, was considering Tennessee and ultimately located here, (we can tell potential clients) they should take a look at what we have to offer.”

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Watch video from the Cirrus Aircraft announcement on the Knoxville Chamber’s YouTube channel.

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


(May 2015)

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

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

HOUSING MARKET % Change May ’14May ‘15

May 2015

April 2015

May 2014

% Change April ’15May ‘15

233,350 414,800 3,106,400 157,719,000

231,570 411,660 3,079,900 156,554,000

229,920 420,680 3,045,700 155,841,000

0.8 0.8 0.9 0.7

1.5 -1.4 2.0 1.2

388,800 2,876,100

387,100 2,860,900

377,300 2,822,400

0.4 0.5

3.0 1.9

11,990 23,820 194,020

11,160 22,470 182,220

13,570 26,530 215,260

7.4 6.0 6.5

-11.6 -10.2 -9.9

4.7 5.3 5.7 5.3

4.3 4.9 5.3 5.1

5.3 6.0 6.3 6.1

0.4 0.4 0.4 0.2

-0.6 -0.7 -0.6 -0.8

Non-Ag Employment Knoxville MSA Tennessee

Residential Closings Residential Inventory Median Residential Price

May 2015 1,466 10,368 $163,000

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 May ’13May ‘15 -3.1 -2.1

May ’14-‘15

April ’14-‘15

May ’13-‘14

-0.7 0.0

-0.9 -0.2

2.4 2.1

0.2 0.2

% Change May ’14May ‘15

Knoxville (City)

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

April 2015* 23 23 0

April 2014 9 9 0

% Change April ’14April ‘15 155.6 155.6 0.0

Knox Co.

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

109 109 0

86 80 6

26.7 36.3 -100.0

Knoxville MSA

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

220 197 23

116 110 6

89.7 79.1 283.3


Total Single-Family Multi-Family

2,245 1,732 513

3,020 1,622 1,398

-25.7 6.8 -63.3

Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee

May 2015

April 2015

May 2014

% Change April ’15May ‘15

50,793,972 77,484,446 643,705,081

52,366,457 79,227,749 671,195,817

47,658,379 72,588,173 590,248,417

-3.0 -2.2 -4.1

6.6 6.7 9.1

14,024,930 22,036,971

14,232,967 22,070,148

13,295,337 20,744,645

-1.5 -0.2

5.5 6.2


Passengers Cargo

April 2015 136,818 6,928,666

March 2015 149,593 6,217,774

April 2014 138,442 6,432,670

% Change March ’15April ‘15 -8.5 11.4

% Change April ’14April ‘15 -1.2 7.7

Source: Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority

Local Sales Tax Knox Co. Knoxville MSA

*All 2015 building permit data is preliminary and therefore subject to revision throughout the year. Sources: U.S. Housing & Urban Development – SOCDS – State of the Cities Data Systems; U.S. Census Bureau – Building Permits Survey

*South – City Size Class B/C


1,284 11,295 $149,900


CONSUMER PRICE INDEX (CPI) - ALL ITEMS % Change April ’14May ‘15

May 2014

% Change May ’14May ‘15 14.2 -8.2 8.7

Source: Knoxville Area Association of Realtors

Available Labor Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee

April 2015 1,274 9,991 $150,000

% Change April ’15May ‘15 15.1 3.8 8.7

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

April 2015

March 2015

463,125 34,528 21,934 7,789 58,510 55,039 8,631 40,148 56,670 25,697 10,538 99,097 37,681

437,250 31,706 20,291 7,305 55,161 52,120 8,081 36,366 51,671 25,748 9,461 94,841 38,083

458,705 33,889 21,451 8,066 57,208 51,072 8,293 49,803 56,914 25,398 10,317 94,358 35,554

% Change March ’15April ‘15 5.9 8.9 8.1 6.6 6.1 5.6 6.8 10.4 9.7 -0.2 11.4 4.5 -1.1





April 2014

% Change April ’14April ‘15 1.0 1.9 2.3 -3.4 2.3 7.8 4.1 -19.4 -0.4 1.2 2.1 5.0 6.0 7.5

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 Releases 2015 Legislative Scorecard The Knoxville Chamber has released its 2015 Legislative Scorecard for the first half of the 109th General Assembly. The scorecard examines how state legislators voted on issues the Chamber was engaged with due to

their impact on the business community. The Chamber’s government relations committee — composed of business and civic leaders — helps the organization determine which issues are most important to the business community and then accordingly forms an advocacy plan. Issues on this year’s scorecard were education reform, guns in parking lots, and tax incentive offers. Visit to view the scorecard.


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 July. Thank you for your commitment to the Chamber and the community!



Tindell’s Lumber & Building Materials


Aurora Pool, Spa & Billiard Gallery


AAA East Tennessee


BarberMcMurry architects


Highland Memorial Park, Funerals and Cremations 2000

Abercrombie Radiological Consultants, Inc.


East Tennessee Development District


Schaad Companies


Aggregates USA - Regional Offices


Peninsula 1980

Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum


Cook’s Pest Control, Inc.


NAI Knoxville Commercial Real Estate


Egerton, McAfee, Armistead & Davis, P.C.


West Town Mall


10 – 14 YEARS

LBMC Technologies, LLC


Scott Insurance


Belew Drug, Inc.


Tennessee Valley Human Resource Association


Harrison Construction Co. - A division of APAC-Atlantic, Inc.




Home Federal Bank of Tennessee


25 – 30 YEARS

Hop Bailey Co.


RE/MAX Preferred Properties


John H. Daniel Company


Kendall Electric, Inc.


Tusculum College


21st Mortgage Corporation


Knoxville Utilities Board


Republic Plastics


Mercedes Benz of Knoxville


20 – 24 YEARS

Justin Fee of Photographfee


Power Equipment Company


Douglas A. Horne


Metropolitan Drug Commission


Reily Foods Co.


The Tennessee Credit Union


SRW & Associates


Tate & McCallie, Incorporated


East Tennessee Historical Society


Yow Properties


Willis 1948

Inter-Agency Insurance Service, Inc.


Angela Floyd School for Dance & Music, LLC


xpedx, a division of International Paper


Enterprise Rent-A-Car - Parkside


Hampton Inn & Suites - Downtown Knoxville


Rice Buick GMC Trucks, Inc.


SCORE - Counselors to America’s Small Business 1995

Kenesaw Promotional Products


Baker, O’Kane, Atkins & Thompson


The Episcopal School of Knoxville


Express Employment Professionals



Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace - Bearden Hill 1958

15-19 YEARS


The Dow Chemical Company


ORNL Federal Credit Union - Main Location


MEDIC Regional Blood Center


Shoney’s of Knoxville, Inc.


Tech 20/20


Temple Baptist Church


First Tennessee


Carpenter Wright Engineers, PLLC


StaffingSolutions/Employbridge Companies


Raymond James and Associates


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Knoxville Chamber Welcomes New Board Members As a membership organization, the Knoxville Chamber looks to its elected Board of Directors for guidance as it strives to serve and support its members and the community. Board members are recognized as key community leaders and influencers dedicated to community growth. Each board member serves a three-year term and may be re-elected. This year, the board welcomes 15 new members who will serve the 2015-18 term (highlighted in orange). Ms. Robyn Askew Chair Attorney Lewis, Thomason, King, Krieg & Waldrop Mr. Patrick Birmingham Immediate Past Chair President & Publisher Knoxville News Sentinel Mr. Daniel Carter Board Secretary Executive Vice President The Trust Company of Knoxville Mr. Tom Fisher Board Treasurer Sr VP and CFO University Health System Ms. Susan Bacon CFO Johnson & Galyon Ms. Ursula Bailey Attorney Ursula Bailey, Esq. Mr. Robert Baird Senior Vice President, Market Executive FSG Bank Mr. Eddie Black Sr VP, Corporate Services KUB Mr. Bruce Bosse President Merit Construction Mr. Grant Boyd Managing Director & City President SunTrust Bank Mr. Mike Brennan Director of Operations Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Ms. Mary Ellen Brewington Executive Cherokee Distributing Company

Mr. Kent Bristow Senior Vice President of Operations TeamHealth

Ms. Lisa Healy President Sysco

Ms. Angie Cannon CEO Cannon & Cannon

Mr. Neil Heatherly CEO Tennova Healthcare

Mr. Justin Cazana Principal/Broker Cushman Wakefield

Mr. Alan Hill Regional Director, External Affairs AT&T

Mr. Peter V. “Doc” Claussen President Gulf & Ohio Railways

Ms. Mae Killibrew-Mosley President & CEO Markets Demand More

Mr. Antone Davis Vol for Life Coordinator University of Tennessee

Mr. Andy Lorenz Preconstruction Executive Messer Construction Company

Mr. Mike DiStefano Executive Vice President Pinnacle Financial Partners

Mr. Justin Maierhofer Vice President of Government Relations Tennessee Valley Authority

Mr. Travis Edmondson CEO Clayton Bank

Mr. Michael McIntyre Director, Professional MBA Program UT Graduate and Executive Education

Mr. Jeremy Floyd CMO BVP Capital Management

Mr. David Metz EVP & CFO DeRoyal Industries

Mr. Bart Fricks COO Copper Cellar

Mrs. Denise Moretz Attorney Woolf, McClaine, Bright, Allen & Carpenter

Mr. Parker Frost President Gigmark Interactive Media Ms. Tiffany Gardner Commercial Banking Relationship Manager First Tennessee Bank

Mr. Chris Ooten Director of Real Estate Weigel’s Convenience Stores Mr. Roger Osborne Executive Vice President Caris Healthcare

Ms. Jill Green Professional Recruiter/Shareholder BGT Recruiting & Consulting

Mr. David Reynolds EVP/Manager Commercial Banking Home Federal Bank of TN

Mr. Shannon Harper Vice President Harper Auto Square

Ms. Jessica Rich Vice President/District Manager, Knoxville US Bank

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

Mr. Tom Rogers Director, Industrial Partnerships & Economic Development UT Battelle/ORNL Mr. Tim Romero Regional Vice President Enterprise Rent-a-Car Ms. Kendra Rudder Vice President of Media Strategies HGTV & DIY Network Ms. Debby Saraceni Vice President of Marketing and Physician Services Covenant Health Systems Mr. Andy Shafer President Shafer Insurance Agency Mr. John Sharpe President ARG Financial Staffing Mr. Lance Tracy Vice President Radio Systems Corporation Ms. Susan Varner President/Owner Realty Executives Relocation Mr. Howard H. Vogel Shareholder O’Neil, Parker & Williamson, PLLC Ms. Susan Williams Principal SRW & Associates Mr. Anthony Wise President Pellissippi State Community College

Teachers Gain Insight Into Workforce Needs Through Educators in the Workplace Program In June, Innovation Valley wrapped up its seventh annual Educators in the Workplace summer program. Throughout the month, more than 350 regional educators took the opportunity to visit 14 businesses around the region. The intent of the program is to help educators find ways to link what they teach in the classroom to real-world applications, so they can keep their students engaged and excited about what they are learning. “This year we expanded upon the program and increased the number Teachers from the area visited Bush Brothers in Chesnut Hill, Tenn., on June 10 for the Educators in the Workplace program. of company visits from eight to 14 and the teachers really responded, as they more than doubled in participation from last year,” said Sharon Shanks, workforce development manager for the Knoxville Chamber. “I am pleased by the number of educators that truly take a sincere interest in their students being prepared for the workforce, which is what the future of our economy is relying upon.” This year’s participating companies were located throughout Innovation Valley and included: NetShape Technologies, Kimble Chase Life, the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston Fossil Plant, Scripps Networks Interactive, Malibu Boats, Alcoa, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Great Smoky Mountains Boy Scouts of America, Newell Rubbermaid, Adroit Medical Systems Inc., Denso, Knoxville Utilities Board, McGhee Tyson Airport, and Bush Brothers. The participating host companies give educators a tour of its facilities, discussion about day-to-day business operations, and insight into the workplace culture, all while allowing the participants to earn in-service credit. “In every instance I could see how teaching high school math and coaching a competitive robotics team fits in with preparing our future Knoxville area workforce,” said Maria Crowe, math teacher and USFIRST robotics coach at Knox County’s Career Magnet Academy. “After speaking with CEO’s and top management in different industries, I can better share with my students what skills and training are needed to succeed in the workplace.” The Knoxville Chamber, the Blount Partnership, the Roane Alliance, the Loudon County Economic Development Agency, and the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce worked together to organize the Educators in the Workplace series. Kayla Witt, marketing coordinator for the Knoxville Chamber, contributed this story.


All Occasion Party Rentals Home to Knoxville’s largest inventory of event rentals, All Occasions Party Rentals is the premier source for planning any event – large or small. Originally founded in 1969 as a tool and equipment rental company, the company evolved over the years into the event industry. All Occasions as it is known today was established in 2003. “In the beginning (1982-1993), the focus was more on tables, chairs, smaller tents, punch bowls, glassware, etc.,” the company’s owner, Terry Turner, said. “Nothing really upscale or custom. As we have grown, especially over the last 10 years, the industry has many more intricacies and nuances. Now events are more spectacular and showpieces.” Turner said the company averages about 4,000 events per year, ranging from the smallest orders that customers pickup, to large-scale events such as Bonnaroo or L’amour Du Vin at the Knoxville Museum of Art. “We work really hard to exceed our customer’s expectations,” said Turner. “Whether you are doing an event for 20 friends at your home, a corporate event for 500 staff or a festival for 60,000, we treat them all the same.” One of All Occasions most popular rental products are tents, which Turner said makes up a large part of the company’s business. More everyday rentals include tables and chairs, as well as china, glassware, and flatware. In order to keep on top of the latest event trends, Turner said the All Occasions staff consults magazines and trade publications, attends trade shows, and networks with its peers in the industry. In addition to rentals and special event planning, All Occasions has a sister company, All Convention and Expo Services, that specializes in tradeshows and pipe and drape. “We also offer logistics advice and planning for larger events,” Turner said. “We can also help pull all the elements together under one umbrella for ease of interaction and billing. We can arrange for most anything to do with events from executive restroom trailers to ice to security.” Turner said one thing that sets All Occasions apart from its competition is its staff. “We have several staff that have been with us more than 10 years,” he said. “From delivery drivers to sales people, the continuity is so important for events. Some of our delivery crew has over 15 years with us. That is not common in our industry. We also take great pride in our relationships with our customers. We work really hard to give them what they want.” The company employs 60 staff members at All Occasions and 15 at All Convention. Turner said All Occasions tries to be an engaged member of the Knoxville community and gives back through event sponsorships. “I have always felt an obligation to give back to our community. I think that is appreciated and respected,” he said. “We understand that there is a need for what we do to help raise money for so many charities, schools, foundations, etc. We try to balance how we can help them and still maintain a profitable business.”

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Chamber Ambassadors Recognized at Annual Luncheon The Knoxville Chamber celebrated its Ambassadors at the annual appreciation luncheon at the Square Room on June 11. The Chamber’s Ambassador program has 48 members who have cumulatively volunteered countless hours to helping the organization staff special events and mentor new members. “Our Ambassadors are invaluable to the Chamber,” Lauren Longmire said. “Without their help, we wouldn’t be able to produce more than 60 events per year. We are incredibly grateful for their willingness to dedicate so much time and energy to our organization.” During the luncheon, each Ambassador was recognized with a certificate for his or her service. Newly elected co-chair Marc Archer was named “Ambassador of the Year” for his dedicated service in the program. Archer, who owns his a marketing and design company, has been a Chamber Ambassador since 2012. Outgoing co-chairs Lindsay Serfass of PMG Benefits Consulting and Brent Christian of Capital Financial Group, LLC passed the torch to incoming co-chairs Archer and Sherry McHaffie of Pinnacle Financial Partners. Archer and McHaffie will serve as co-chairs for the next year and will have the opportunity to be reelected for a second term. “We have an incredibly special group of Ambassadors at the Chamber,” said Mark Field, senior vice president of membership. “The hard work and dedication they put forth is why our Ambassador program is recognized as one of the most outstanding in the nation.”


JULY 7 Office Productivity Series – PowerPoint Pixar: Working with Animations and Transitions

Presented by Valerie Taylor, New Horizons Computer Learning Center 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. • 10133 Sherrill Boulevard, Suite 130, 37932 $25 for Chamber members; $30 for Non-Members (boxed lunch included) Presented by:

JULY 14 Office Productivity Series – Slaying the Email Dragon: Outlook Best Practices Presented by Valerie Taylor, New Horizons Computer Learning Center 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. • 10133 Sherrill Boulevard, Suite 130, 37932 $25 for Chamber members; $30 for Non-Members (boxed lunch included) Presented by:

JULY 17 Premier Partner Event: Behind the Scenes of UT Athletics New Broadcast Studio Featured Speaker: Chris Fuller, Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Operations 7:30 – 8:30 a.m.Brenda Lawson Athletic Center, 1551 Lake Loudoun Blvd. Exclusive to Premier Partners Presented by:

JULY 21 Office Productivity Series – Exceling at Excel: Using Tips and Tricks to Increase Efficiency Presented by Valerie Taylor, New Horizons Computer Learning Center 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. • 10133 Sherrill Boulevard, Suite 130, 37932 $25 for Chamber members; $30 for Non-Members (boxed lunch included) Presented by:

JULY 28 Office Productivity Series – Class It Up: Delivering Great Customer Service!

Sherry McHaffie of Pinnacle Financial Partners; Mark Field, senior vice president of membership for the Knoxville Chamber; and Marc Archer of Archer Design pose for a photo at the annual Ambassador appreciating luncheon on June 11. McHaffie and Archer are the program’s new co-chairs.

Presented by Valerie Taylor, New Horizons Computer Learning Center 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. • 10133 Sherrill Boulevard, Suite 130, 37932 $25 for Chamber members; $30 for Non-Members (boxed lunch included) Presented by:

Go to “Chamber Events” on to learn more or register for any of these events. You may also call the events line, (865) 246-2622

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Commerce - July 2015  
Commerce - July 2015  

The official newsletter of the Knoxville Chamber.