Page 1

INSIDE: Pinnacle Photos pg. 56 + Monthly Economic Indicators pg. 58


New World Trading Solutions (865) 214-6701

Distribution/Warehousing/Logistics Building Materials Business & Professional Services Manufacturing

Philly Pretzel Factory (865) 312-5755

Restaurants Premier Watersports (865) 693-9949

Sports & Recreation: Watersports RedBooth Group


Trinity Medical Associates (865) 539-0270

Healthcare Providers & Services

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.

(865) 223-6845




Snooty Patootie - Home Furnishings & Interior Design


Clayton Bradley Academy (865) 494-1222

Education & Training: K-12 CodeTank Labs (865) 809-6352

Computer & IT Services: Mobile App Development George W. Reagan Co., Inc. (865) 522-6175

Construction & Contractors: General Contractors JP Morgan Chase (865) 330-2600

Financial Services Karns Fire (865) 691-1333

Healthcare Providers & Services La Quinta - Powell (865) 947-7500

Hotels & Lodging Lisa Duncan Marketing (865) 705-7867

Business & Professional Services Modern Woodmen of America (865) 546-0804

Financial Services: Planning N2 Publishing (865) 385-9987

Solid Ground Cords, LLC (865) 247-4427

Electrical Supplies & Services SportBlue Orthopedic and Sports Rehabilitation (865) 577-1914

Healthcare Providers & Services: Physicians & Surgeons Sugar Mama’s (865) 333-5773

Restaurants: Sweet Treats & Bakeries



(865) 966-0086

Residential Services


Three Rivers Rambler

Personal Services: Fitness & Well-being Unique Most Elegant Banquet Hall (865) 240-4803

Event Planning, Catering, & Venues: Event Decor





Tennessee Trash Service, LLC

(865) 951-2975



Healthcare Providers & Services

TN Sports Medicine Group



(865) 588-0902

Entertainment: Arts & Culture




Susan G. Komen Knoxville

(865) 524-9411




(865) 816-0787


Business & Professional Services: Accounting, Auditing, & Bookkeeping




(865) 670-2345


Business & Professional Services: Business Advisors & Consultants

Shopping: Furniture CapitalPlus Financial





US Health Advisors - Kevin Jardet (865) 661-2278


Business & Professional Services: Marketing OneSouth Financial Group (865) 299-2234

Financial Services: Planning

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

Nine Honored at Pinnacle Business Awards Gala


ore than 700 people gathered at the Knoxville Convention Center on May 13 to celebrate the finalists and winners of the 12th Annual Pinnacle Business Awards, presented by FSG Bank. The gala kicked off with a reception and silent auction, sponsored by Radio Systems Corporation. Attendees then transitioned into the convention center’s ballroom to enjoy dinner and the awards program, emceed by WBIR-TV’s Robin Wilhoit. Companies and individuals were recognized in nine award categories, highlighting the range of businesses that make up Knoxville’s vibrant economy.

2016 PINNACLE AWARD WINNERS: The Impact Award, sponsored by Publix Super Markets, honors a business that displays a commitment to making East Tennessee a better place to live and work through the development and support of community projects or programs. This year’s finalists were Gerdau, Wampler’s Farm Sausage Company, Inc., and WBIR-TV. The 2016 winner was Gerdau. Gerdau and its employees seek to add value to every community in which it operates. It established the Lonsdale Community Advisory Committee in 2006 to bring together neighborhood leaders, elected officials, and city officials. Issues identified at those meetings provide the basis for many of Gerdau’s outreach initiatives. Over the past 10 years, the company has donated land for a community garden, sponsored the “Food for Kids” program at Sam E. Hill Preschool, and donated $10,000 to purchase computers, printers, and iPads for the Lonsdale Homes Community Technology Center. Gerdau

employees also created a mitten tree program for Lonsdale Elementary. Its most recent initiative is a playground to provide neighborhood children a safe place to play in the wake of the death of Zaevion Dobson. The Innovator Award, presented by Proton Power, is given to a business that has developed a new technology, innovative product or service, or applied a business system or service in an innovative way. The finalists this year were AMS Corporation, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and Magnum Venus Products (MVP). AMS Corporation took home this year’s award. Also known as Analysis & Measurement Corporation, AMS provides testing services, equipment, and training to the worldwide nuclear power industry in areas of process instrumentation and control system testing, reactors diagnostics, predictive maintenance, and aging management. The company was born out of the research performed by its owner and president, Dr. Hash Hashemian, at the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The Small Business Excellence Award, sponsored by Sword & Shield Enterprise Security, is presented to a business with 50 or fewer employees that has consistently grown its workforce and revenue and overcome obstacles including access to capital, operational efficiency, control of expenses, customer loyalty, and distribution. Finalists in this category were Axle Logistics, LLC, Mac’s Pharmacy, and Pyxl, Inc. This year’s recipient was Mac’s Pharmacy. Mac Wilhoit founded Mac’s Pharmacy in 1989, taking over the location of the former Morris Drug on Washington Pike. In 2009, he opened a second location to serve the PowellClaxton community, and in 2012 he launched

Mac’s TLC Solutions, a closed-door pharmacy serving long-term care communities in Knox, Anderson, Loudon, Sevier, and Blount counties. Last July, he purchased Lowe’s Drug in Maryville, which enabled him to expand into home medical equipment. The Minority-Owned Business Excellence Award, presented by Covenant Health, recognizes a minority-owned business that has produced outstanding business results and growth and overcome the obstacles of race or ethnicity. This year’s finalists were H&T Enterprises, Inc., Sandra G’s, and Spanish Language Solutions, Inc. Spanish Language Solutions, Inc. received this year’s award. An immigrant from Spain, Coral Getino started translating scientific articles in the 1980s as part of her research, doctoral thesis, and postdoctoral work at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She launched Spanish Language Solutions in 2004, and it has been built on the global economy and the influx of Hispanics to East Tennessee. The company provides translation, interpretation, editing, instruction, and assessment services. The Woman-Owned Business Excellence Award, presented by Cannon & Cannon, is given to an outstanding woman-owned business that is independently owned, operated, and controlled by a female. The winner demonstrates the ability to compete in a non-diverse field. Graphic Creations, Inc., Microbial Insights, Inc., and The Pavilion at Hunter Valley Farm were finalists for this category. The 2016 winner was Microbial Insights, Inc. Founded in 1992 by Dora Ogles-Taggart, Microbial Insights is a biotechnology laboratory that specializes in DNA testing in order to quantify microbial communities. Over the past 24 years, the company has grown to become the leader in DNA-

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

“Pinnacle” continued on pg. 54

“Pinnacle” continued from pg. 53 based technologies for the environmental restoration industry. The laboratory’s clients include environmental consulting companies, government agencies, and regulatory personnel who collect and ship samples to Microbial Insights for analysis. The Business Excellence Award is divided into a mid-size category for businesses with 51-200 total employees, and a large company category for those with 201 or more employees. These awards are presented to businesses headquartered in East Tennessee, or those with a significant presence in East Tennessee that have shown remarkable profitability, growth, and stability and are recognized regionally, nationally, and/or internationally in their respective business sectors. Finalists for the Mid-Size Business Excellence Award, sponsored by Harper Auto Square, were JOSEPH Construction, Master Dry Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists, and Strata-G, LLC. Master Dry Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists took home this year’s award. A locally-owned and family-operated business that moved from London, Kentucky to Knoxville in 2009, Master Dry provides basement and crawlspace waterproofing, foundation and structural repair, and a newly-launched concrete services division. Since moving to Knoxville, the company has grown from five employees to more than 90, and has increased revenues significantly since launching seven years ago. The company is currently expanding its facility from 14,000 square feet to 50,000 square feet and projects triple-digit revenue growth this year. Finalists for the Large Business Excellence Award, sponsored by LBMC, PC, included MasterCraft, Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinic, PC, and Weigel’s. This year’s winner was Weigel’s. The company started 85 years ago as a small dairy producing raw milk in 10-gallon cans and selling it for nine cents a gallon. Weigel’s has transformed to meet its customers’ needs, from a dairy farm to a drivein milk depot called Weigel’s Jug O Milk, to its current convenience store concept. Today, the family-owned business has 63 convenience store locations stretching from Greenville to Crossville and employs 850 people. The Young Entrepreneur Award, presented by FSG Bank, is presented to a young professional, 40 years of age or younger as of May 13, 2016, who lives and works in East Tennessee and has achieved success while overcoming obstacles, to become one of tomorrow’s top leaders. The winner will have started or is at risk in ownership of his/her business and will have moved the company from early growth to some maturity. This year’s finalists were Brandon Bruce of Cirruspath, Todd and

Lindsay McCormick of PhotoBarn, and Courtney Herda of Smarter Searches. The 2016 recipient was Brandon Bruce, chief operating officer and cofounder of Cirruspath, a productivity software development company. Bruce and co-founder Ryan Huff launched Cirruspath because they were tired of jumping back and forth between Gmail and Salesforce CRM, to update customer records. Cirruspath is now one of the fastest growing start-ups in Knoxville with 55 employees. Since launching in 2011, Cirruspath has grown from zero to 3,500 customers and has 100,000 users of its Cirrus Insight application, which connects Salesforce CRM to Gmail, Outlook, Office365, iPhone, iPad, and Android. The company employs 35 people here in Knoxville and another 20 in Irvine, California. The James A. Haslam II Chairman’s Leadership Award, presented by Prestige Cleaners, is given to a longtime business leader who exhibits strength in character, resolve, and a commitment to the community, and has demonstrated exemplary success in the regional business community. This year’s honoree was Ken Lowe, chairman, CEO, and president of Scripps Networks Interactive. Scripps Networks Interactive is a leading developer of lifestyle content in the home, food, and travel categories for television, digital, mobile, and publishing. The company’s portfolio is comprised of television and Internet brands HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel, and Great American Country, which collectively engage more than 190 million U.S. consumers each month. Scripps Networks’ reach now also touches 170 countries. Under Lowe’s leadership, Scripps Networks Interactive is now generating $3 billion in revenue each year, and the publicly-traded company’s valuation at the end of April was approximately $8 billion. Lowe was surprised with a congratulatory video, produced by SNI, which included messages from Gov. Bill Haslam and SNI talent ranging from Chip and Joanna Gaines to Guy Fieri. The gala concluded with a champagne toast to the winners, sponsored by Scripps Networks Interactive. The production of the 2016 Pinnacle Business Awards was made possible by assistance from All Occasions Party Rentals, Bandit Lites, M&M Productions USA, Above the Rest Balloon & Event Designs, and Photographfee. Media sponsors for the event included the Knoxville News Sentinel, Greater Knoxville Business Journal, and NewsTalk 98.7. BigWheel was the software provider for the event.

K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 54

Scripps Networks Interactive Hosts Premier Partners BY: JESSICA KARSTEN

Knoxville Chamber Premier Partners had the unique opportunity to visit Scripps Networks Interactive for a morning event featuring Ken Lowe, chairman, president, and CEO, on April 27. More than 90 area leaders gathered for breakfast, networking, and a presentation from Lowe about the company and the practices that have led to its success. Lowe briefly discussed the history of Scripps Networks and why Knoxville was selected as the location for its global headquarters. “My dream was to tap into this huge home-buying and renovating trend in the United States by launching a very small niche network based Ken Lowe, chairman, president, and CEO of Scripps Net- on home design, landscaping, and works Interactive poses for a photo with Mike Edwards, decorating,” Lowe said. “When we president and CEO of the Knoxville Chamber. were looking for somewhere to create HGTV, I wanted to find a location where employees could actually live the brand. They could own a home. They could have a garden.” He also described ten lessons that he feels can be learned through HGTV, one of the six Scripps Networks brands. Focusing on home improvement, gardening, and remodeling, it is currently ranked as one of the top five cable networks in the country. “HGTV has rewritten the rulebook for cable TV in many ways… in a time when our competitors are really struggling,” he said. “The more I think about why the network has been a success, the more I believe there are valuable leadership, management, and entrepreneurial lessons that you can learn from HGTV.” Lowe outlined lessons including “follow your dreams,” “find your shiplap,” and “it’s all about values.” “In the early days of HGTV, we all agreed on the importance of establishing a set of core values to drive us as managers, but also drive our company,” he explained. “I’m convinced that without these core values, there’s no way we’d be the successful company we are today.” A few of the core values at the heart of Scripps Networks include integrity, humor, openness, and diversity. Lowe expressed to the attendees the importance of placing core values ahead of profits in their businesses. He said, “I think it’s absolutely important that you stand for something and put values at the heart of your business.” Lowe believes that HGTV is not just about renovations, it’s about relationships. He used examples from popular shows including “Property Brothers” and “Fixer Upper” to illustrate how family interactions on the shows keep audience members engaged and entertained. “The interaction between people on our screens is hugely engaging to viewers,” Lowe explained. “They can relate to it, because we all can relate to it in one way or another. It’s the same in business relationships. Successful businesses must have effective relationship-building and communication at their very core to succeed.” He concluded the presentation with a discussion on the importance of diversity and said that Scripps Networks is committed to reflecting the multi-faceted nature of society and celebrate it through its programming. “That’s why we’ve been vocal in our opposition to legislative moves in Tennessee that could discriminate against certain groups of our employees,” he said. “Discrimination of any type should never be tolerated, especially in a democracy.”

Chamber to Host Eighth Annual Shrimp Boil BY: JESSICA KARSTEN

The Knoxville Chamber will host the Eighth Annual Peelin’, Eatin’, and Politickin’ Shrimp Boil on June 16 at Jackson Terminal. The casual event gives business and community leaders the chance to enjoy cold drinks, great food, and music while mingling with local and state elected officials. Last year’s event drew more than 300 people to the World’s Fair Park Amphitheater. “The Chamber offers several events throughout the year for members to hear and interact with elected officials, particularly state legislators,” said Amy Nolan, vice president of public policy for the Chamber. “Shrimp Boil provides that opportunity in an informal setting, and is also a way to show our gratitude to individuals who are willing to serve our community as elected officials.” Admission for the event is $30 for Chamber members and $40 for non-members. To register for the event, please visit the events page on

Last year’s Shrimp Boil drew more than 300 guests to the World’s Fair Park Amphitheater. The Eighth Annual Peelin’, Eatin’, and Politickin’ Shrimp Boil will be held on June 16 at Jackson Terminal.

K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 55

The Knoxville Chamber hosted the 12th Annual Pinnacle Business Awards, sponsored by FSG Bank, on May 13 at the Knoxville Convention Center. More than 700 members of the business community came out to celebrate the award finalists and winners. Photography by Justin Fee, Photographfee

The 12th Annual Pinnacle Business Awards was made possible with production assistance from All Occasions Party Rentals, Above the Rest Balloon & Event Designs, Bandit Lites, M&M Productions USA, and Photographfee.

More than 700 members of the Knoxville business community attended the 2016 Pinnacle Business Awards, which featured a reception, silent auction, dinner, and awards program.

The 2016 Pinnacle Business Awards silent auction, presented by Radio Systems Corporation, featured more than 100 packages up for bid.

Guests at the 12th Annual Pinnacle Business Awards were entertained by the Joseph North Quartet at the May 13 event at the Knoxville Convention Center.


Eric Gast of Pilot Flying J and his wife, Stephanie, pose for a photo with Josh Smith of Master Dry Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists and his wife, Tracy, at the 2016 Pinnacle Business Awards reception. Master Dry took home this years Mid-Size Business Excellence Award.

Knoxville Chamber Board Member Jill Green, Doug Lawyer of the Chamber, Christine Bell of BGT Recruiting & Consulting, and Chamber Ambassador Brent Christian enjoy the 2016 Pinnacle business awards reception at the Knoxville Convention Center.

John McNeely of Sword & Shield Enterprise Security, Inc. and his wife Sheila pose for a photo with Jim Vaughn, Bruce Diggins, and Harry Gross of SunTrust Bank during the 12th Annual Pinnacle Business Awards reception on May 13.

Robert Baird, Knoxville market executive of the event’s presenting sponsor FSG Bank, addresses the crowd at the 2016 Pinnacle Business Awards.

Ken Lowe, chairman, president and CEO of Scripps Networks Interactive, was honored at the 12th Annual Pinnacle Business Awards with the James A. Haslam II Chairman’s Leadership Award.

Rick Dees, entertainer and radio personality, addresses the crowd at the 2016 Pinnacle Business Awards regarding his good friend, Ken Lowe.



(April 2016)

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

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

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

Apr. 2016

Mar. 2016

Apr. 2015

% Change Mar. ’16Apr. ‘16

234,110 413,990 3,121,100 158,488,000

233,510 413,490 3,114,400 158,854,000

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

0.3 0.1 0.2 -0.2

1.1 0.6 1.3 1.2

394,500 2,959,100

391,700 2,938,100

384,200 2,878,500

0.7 0.7

2.7 2.8

8,270 16,270 133,250

8,640 17,480 142,420

11,160 22,470 182,220

-4.3 -6.9 -6.4

-25.9 -27.6 -26.9

3.2 3.6 3.9 4.7

3.4 3.9 4.2 5.1

4.3 4.9 5.3 5.1

-0.2 -0.3 -0.3 -0.4

-1.1 -1.3 -1.4 -0.4

Non-Ag Employment Knoxville MSA Tennessee

Residential Closings Residential Inventory Median Residential Price

Apr. 2016 1,570 8,521 $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 Apr. ’14Apr. ‘16 1.6 1.3

Apr. ’15-‘16

Mar. ’15-‘16

Apr. ’14-‘15

0.7 1.1

0.6 0.9

-0.9 -0.2

0.1 0.2

% Change Apr. ’15Apr. ‘16

Knoxville (City)

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

Mar. 2016* 42 42 0

Mar. 2015 24 24 0

% Change Mar. ’15Mar. ‘16 75.0 75.0 0.0

Knox Co.

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

115 115 0

126 126 0

-8.7 -8.7 0.0

Knoxville MSA

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

215 196 19

206 206 0

4.4 -4.9 100.0


Total Single-Family Multi-Family

3,148 1,848 1,300

2,594 1,580 1,014

21.4 17.0 28.2

Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee

Apr. 2016

Mar. 2016

Apr. 2015

% Change Mar. ’15Apr. ‘16

55,343,703 84,554,406 727,974,078

48,929,529 74,593,153 635,260,285

52,366,457 79,227,748 671,195,817

13.1 13.4 14.6

5.7 6.7 8.5

15,092,839 23,728,650

13,322,165 20,772,904

14,232,967 22,070,147

13.3 14.2

6.0 7.5


Passengers Cargo

Feb. 2016 114,587 NA

Jan. 2016 119,081 6,186,302

Feb. 2015 101,588 5,924,011

% Change Jan. ’16Feb. ‘16 -3.8 NA

% Change Feb. ’15Feb.‘16 12.8 NA

Source: Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority

Local Sales Tax Knox Co. Knoxville MSA

*All 2016 building permit data is preliminary and therefore subject to revision throughout the year. Sources: U.S. Housing & Urban Development – SOCDS – State of the Cities Data Systems; U.S. Census Bureau – Building Permits Survey

*South – City Size Class B/C


1,274 9,991 $150,000


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

Apr. 2015

% Change Apr. ’15Apr. ‘16 23.2 -14.7 8.7

Source: Knoxville Area Association of Realtors

Available Labor Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee

Mar. 2016 1,348 8,325 $155,000

% Change Mar. ’16Apr. ‘16 16.5 2.4 5.2

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

Apr. 2016

Mar. 2016

450,888 33,255 20,561 7,233 56,634 56,283 8,560 32,735 52,648 27,337 10,140 95,848 42,672

460,078 30,050 21,288 8,057 58,687 56,003 9,097 31,325 55,431 28,715 10,208 98,884 44,974

438,217 31,512 20,346 7,358 55,803 52,119 8,193 36,211 52,424 25,511 9,573 93,297 39,311

% Change Mar. ’16Apr. ‘16 -2.0 10.7 -3.4 -10.2 -3.5 0.5 -5.9 4.5 -5.0 -4.8 -0.7 -3.1 -5.1





Apr. 2015

% Change Apr. ’15Apr. ‘16 2.9 5.5 1.1 -1.7 1.5 8.0 4.5 -9.6 0.4 7.2 5.9 2.7 8.5 6.4

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 | 58

Bruce Hayes Tabbed as Small Business Development Center Director BY: JESSICA KARSTEN

The Tennessee Small Business Development Center is under new leadership, following the retirement of its longtime director, Larry Rossini. Bruce Hayes, who served as the senior business solutions specialist of TSBDC for nine years, has officially stepped into the role of center director. Hayes’ education is extensive, with an associate degree in electrical engineering from Roane State Community College; a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Tusculum College; and a master’s of business administration from East Tennessee State University. Following college, Hayes worked for a number of companies, including Westinghouse, W.W. Granger, and Federal Mogul. His experience is diverse, and he has worked on several notable projects around East Tennessee including the Alcoa modernization project, the Norris Dam turbine retro fit, and the power distribution for Tellico Village. In 1998, he started a small construction company and experienced the successes and challenges of small-business ownership. Hayes was active in the home builders’ association and served a one-year term working in the state legislature on impact fee structure and as an advisor on changes to worker’s compensation legislation.

The economic downturn had a staggering effect on the construction business and drove his business to bankruptcy in 2006. “As I pondered my next career move, little did I realize that the opportunity to join the Tennessee Small Business Development Center network would enable me to apply my diverse business experience in one job,” Hayes explained. “I began with consulting and teaching classes to small business owners in the Knoxville TSBDC network. Eventually I started training construction companies regarding incorporation, taxes, budgets, cash flow, and planning.” Hayes was able to use his business experience to help numerous businesses during his nine years as a business specialist for TSBDC. Since 2012, the majority of his consulting practice has been focused on helping small to mid-size companies with development strategy. As director, Hayes says he will work with TSBDC’s partners to reduce duplication of efforts and more efficiently assist small businesses. “The Knoxville-area center will concentrate on consultation and training for local businesses with technical challenges that could threaten their continuity and growth,” he said. “By utilizing successful models of effectuation, lean planning, and the application of cutting-edge planning tools like GrowthWheel, priority will be placed on addressing the immediate challenges and growth opportunities of the business client.”

JUNE - 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 June. Thank you for your commitment to the Chamber and the community! National Association Credit Management - East TN 1989

George C. Paris Co., Inc.



Merit Construction, Inc.


Norco Metal Finishing, Inc.


Kramer Rayson LLP


Denark Construction, Inc.


Southeastern Communications Services, Inc.


Bacon & Company, Inc.


Broadway Carpets, Inc.


RBM Company, Inc.


31+ YEARS Vulcan Materials Company


10 – 14 YEARS



20 – 24 YEARS

Pilot Flying J


S&ME, Inc.


Pepsi Beverages Company


The University of Tennessee


The Wakefield Corporation


LDA Engineering


Barge, Waggoner, Sumner & Cannon, Inc.


FPS, Inc.


WEBTEC Converting


Analysis and Measurement Services Corporation


Claris Networks


Coulter & Justus, P.C.

The Ferguson Company, Inc.


Hickory Construction, Inc.



15-19 YEARS


AT&T 1980

South Central A/V


Greater Knoxville Hospitality Association


Farmers Mutual of Tennessee


USI Consulting Group


Airgas USA, LLC



First Century Bank


Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar


Royal Brass and Hose


IMG, College Sports Group


Security Walls, LLC


Turley & Company


Frazier Welding & Steel Co., Inc.


Southeastern Dermatology Consultants, PC


Alzheimer’s Tennessee


Parker Business Consulting & Accounting, PC


Luedeka Neely Group, PC


HTC Professional Floor Systems


Days Inn West


Dr. Christopher O’Rourke


Maryville College

Knoxville Symphony Society

25 – 30 YEARS Ross the Boss & Co.



K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 59


Virginia College Virginia College is currently authorized to operate campuses in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Virginia College in Knoxville, Tenn. offers diploma and associate degree programs that emphasize a fast and focused method without sacrificing the quality education that students and employers demand. The Knoxville campus offers programs in business, computer networking, cosmetology, health, and medical. It constantly researches the job market to make certain it is offering those career programs in which the greatest job growth is expected. It proudly offers the most direct path to its candidate’s new career. At Virginia College, the Career Services associates stand ready to assist future graduates in obtaining or enhancing their career, helping them with job-placement services well beyond graduation. Sometimes it is difficult to return to school, balancing a job, family, and other commitments. That is why Virginia College offers day and night class scheduling. Virginia College specializes in individual attention for its students. It has found the best learning environment includes smaller classes, taught by instructors with real-world experience. Virginia College is focused on student satisfaction and outcomes. Personalized service and attention from professionals in academics, technology, financial planning, and career services surround the students to help them achieve their specific goals. Virginia College offers the right combination of financial aid programs that can help manage the costs involved in obtaining a degree. The Financial Aid department at Virginia College is prepared to discuss how a combination of scholarships, Pell grants, and student loans are available to those who require assistance and qualify. Virginia College is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) to award certificates, diplomas, associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. ACICS is listed as a nationally-recognized accrediting agency by the United States Department of Education and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Virginia College’s students also have direct access to career opportunities within the strategic partner companies. When considering job candidates, these companies look for the knowledge, professionalism, and networking skills that the college strives to instill in each student. Its strategic partners benefit from this relationship by having access to a steady and reliable pool of Virginia College graduates. Its partners’ workforce needs change quickly, and Virginia College is responsive in providing qualified and motivated graduates, externs, and interns to fill their positions.

Chamber to Host Workshop on New Overtime Rule BY: AMY NOLAN

Local experts in employment law and human resources will discuss the U.S. Department of Labor’s new overtime rule in June at the Knoxville Chamber. Knoxville attorneys Melissa Carrasco and Chris McCarty will be joined by human resources director Catherine Barnes in a panel discussion on the topic from 8-9 a.m. on June 30. There will also be an opportunity for audience members to ask questions.

ELEMENTS OF THE FINAL RULE INCLUDE: • Increasing the salary threshold to $47,476 annually ($913/week -- slightly more than 100 percent from the current threshold of $23,660 annually ($455/week). The administration had earlier proposed a threshold of $50,440 annually ($970/week). • Updating the salary threshold every three years and tying it to the 40th percentile of salaried workers in the lowest wage region of the country (currently the Southeast). The earlier proposal had the automatic updates happening annually and was unclear on the methodology for the updates. • Setting Dec. 1 as the deadline for employers to come into compliance with the new requirement. The previous proposal did not include an implementation period but there were suggestions it could be as short as 60 days. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other groups representing business, nonprofit, and public sector employers had objected to President Barack Obama administration’s proposal to set new thresholds for salaried employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The groups had sought a much lower salary threshold; no changes to the duties test; an implementation period no less than 6 months; and no automatic annual updates. The Knoxville Chamber is among a coalition of 360 local chambers of commerce that has urged its congressional representatives to sign onto to the Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act (S. 2707/H.R. 4773), which is co-sponsored by the Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander. The bill would prevent the rule from taking effect and direct the Secretary of Labor to conduct a more detailed economic analysis to determine the impact on an array of employers before proposing a new rule.


Quaker Steak & Lube celebrated the grand opening of its newest location located at 8355 Kingston Pike in Knoxville in May. Owner Jeff Tickle is pictured center cutting the ribbons and is joined by owners Blair Jones and JJ Gillenwater, as well as Area Director Brad Smith, and General Manager Anthony Armani. They were also joined by a host of Quaker Steak & Lube employees and Chamber ambassadors.

K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 60



Owner: Brenda Murphy

Owner: Teresa Chasteen



Industry Type: Education

Industry Type: Educational Software Who has been one of your important mentors and why? What were the key lessons learned?

Describe your firm briefly, and what are your main markets or services? SailAway Learning is a dynamic educationalservices organization that mixes the most reliable, research-proven methods of the past with 21st century flair and innovation. The result is unmatched academic and developmental outcomes for all students whether public, private, or home-schooled. SailAway serves students, parents, and teachers across Tennessee and around the country with an expansive family of services and products, anchored in SailAway Literacy, a proprietary language arts learning system that turns struggling readers and writers into life-long learners.

What are some lessons you have learned from your mentor? 1. Understand thoroughly and fundamentally why this organization exists 2. Recognize the good SailAway provides to the families and children it serves individually, and the larger education community as a whole 3. Never stop learning

How has your business or management thinking changed because of your mentor?

Jeb Bush. Reform is never easy. Success is never final.

What are the benefits of being a mentor? I have enjoyed sharing lessons learned along the way. A true leader has a servant’s heart.

Do you think successful firms should mentor a small firm? If so, why? Yes. It benefits both firms.

What are the three key priorities small firm owners should consider every day? The importance of a growth vs. fixed mindset. Our passion comes from who we are, not what we sell. Our struggles are the short-term steps we must take on our way to long-term success.

I think more deeply about relationships within my organization and how to invest in the growth and development of each individual member.

Why should every business have a mentor? Owners, whether in start-up or maturing businesses, often feel isolated, alone, and need a trusted ear to listen to the challenges of new opportunities or concerns over lingering, unresolved issues. A mentor not only listens and responds with advice, rooted in experience, but also seems to know, without being told, what I face and offers preemptive wisdom. It’s a safe place to learn by example.

NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS The Knoxville Chamber is currently accepting applications for the 2016-2017 Propel mentor/protégé program through June 27. The program pairs an established community business leader with a protégé that is in the early stages of owning a business. Ideal protégé candidates meet the following criteria: have been

in business for three years or have ten years’ expertise in their field; agrees to Chamber membership for three years; articulates clear, measurable goals with the assistance of a mentor; has a passion to grow their business; willing to take instruction from others; and accepts a time commitment of one face-toface meeting per month.

For more information or to apply for the program, please visit

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Young Professionals Summit Slated for August




The Knoxville Chamber will host its inaugural Young Professionals Summit, Endeavor, on Aug. 19 at the Mill and Mine in Knoxville’s Old City. The one-day experience aims to create a venue for young professionals to get engaged, become empowered, and provide opportunities to get involved in the Knoxville community. “I am so excited to bring this unique experience to our community’s future leaders,” said Rhonda Rice, the Chamber’s executive vice president. “The great thing about the Endeavor Young Professionals Summit is that it is being planned by young professionals. We have two staff people at the Chamber working on this, and they have created committees of young professionals from the business community to help them with the planning. They are working hard to make sure it is a must-attend event.” Endeavor will feature two inspiring keynote speakers and three breakout sessions with multiple options, allowing participants to customize their schedule for the day. Breakout sessions will focus on personal development, professional development, and the community. The day will conclude with an after party with food and drinks from local vendors and live music. “It is an exciting and pivotal time to be a millennial in the workforce, and we are fortunate to have an incredibly talented pool of young professionals in the area,” said Caroline Bevillard, associate director of campaigns for the University of Tennessee Athletic Department, and Endeavor steering committee member. “Right now we have a great opportunity and also a great responsibility to maximize our impact on this community, professionally and personally. My hope is that the Endeavor YP Summit will serve as a platform for us to develop and facilitate positive growth here in Knoxville.” “The fact that young professionals want to create a summit for each other is a testament of the way Knoxville is moving and thinking differently,” said Nadim Jubran, team member at Capstone Concepts, and Endeavor steering committee member. “There is a different attitude, culture, and sense of pride. I believe one thing is very apparent: We all want Knoxville to reach its potential and beyond. This Endeavor Summit is one way to start those relationships and conversations about the future and how each of us plays a role.” Early bird registration for Endeavor is open. Registration includes access to the full day’s agenda and activities, breakfast and a food truck food court lunch, peer-to-peer networking opportunities, and after party with two drink tickets, food, and live music. To learn more and register for the Endeavor Young Professionals Summit, visit

Bright Ideas Seminar: Public Speaking Presented by: Ellen Kern 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square #201 $25 for Chamber members/$35 for non-members SPONSORED BY:

JUNE 16 Shrimp Boil 2016 5 – 7 p.m. Jackson Terminal 213 West Jackson Avenue $30 for Chamber members/$40 non-members

JUNE 30 New Overtime Pay Rule: What You Need To Know 8 – 9 a.m. Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square #201

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


Unique Most Elegant Banquet Hall celebrated the grand opening of its new location at 3434 Martin Luther King Ave. in Knoxville in May. Owner Sharon Glasper is pictured center cutting the ribbon and is joined by her employees, family members, Doug Minter of the Knoxville Chamber.

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Commerce - June 2016  
Commerce - June 2016