Page 1

INSIDE: Women on the Rise Recap pg. 55 + Monthly Economic Indicators pg. 58

MEMBERSHIP MATTERS NEW MEMBERS & NEW PREMIER PARTNERS Insurance: Business Insurance: Property & Casualty Insurance: Workers Compensation Financial Services Amish Excellence - Furniture Maker (423) 912-1160

Shopping: Furniture Bailey & Co. Real Estate (865) 947-9000

Real Estate: Residential (865) 456-1306

Florists, Nurseries & Garden Centers Maker’s Donuts

Restaurants: Sweet Treats & Bakeries Platinum Financial Funding (865) 474-1757

Real Estate: Mortgage Banking

Rocky Top Handyman (865) 755-0369

Construction & Contractors: Remodeling

(865) 588-0555

(865) 687-6391

Business & Professional Services: Certified Public Accountants Dyon Construction, LLC (865) 388-2489

The Master Academy of Barbering (865) 315-7473

The Open Chord - All Things Music

Healthy Tennessee


(615) 208-4417

Healthcare Providers & Services Insight Partner Management, LLC (865) 386-8445

Business & Professional Services: Business Advisors & Consultants Johnson Architecture, Inc. (865) 671-9060

Construction & Contractors: General Contractors TNBank (865) 691-9444

Financial Services: Banks Tuff Shed (865) 444-6038

Verge Mobile, LLC dba T-Mobile

(865) 584-8766


Construction & Contractors: Remodeling Knoxville Security Services (865) 368-5946


(866) 501-5809

Jos. A. Bank

(865) 253-7805



Construction & Contractors

Kitchen Tune-Up


(865) 281-5874

Architectural & Engineering Services

Shopping: Men’s Clothing


Education & Training: Colleges

Residential Services: Flooring Residential Services:Garage Construction & Contractors: Commercial Construction & Contractors: Specialty Services



TDS Telecom Telecommunications



Financial Services: Planning (865) 218-1380



Construction & Contractors: Specialty Services

Barre Belle Yoga & Fitness

Carrier CPA Firm, PLLC


(865) 804-1559

Tandem Financial Partners of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.

Personal Services: Fitness & Well-being


RetroFoam of East TN, LLC

Restaurant Supplies & Services (865) 521-1879


(865) 687-6394

(865) 313-3404


Carrier Financial & Insurance Services, LLC

LB Floral

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.






(832) 403-2423

WGU Tennessee (855) 948-8495

Education & Training: Colleges World O’ Wireless (865) 306-9600

Telecommunications: Wireless

Business & Professional Services: Security Services

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


2016 Pinnacle Award Finalists Announced ANNUAL AWARDS GALA TO BE HELD MAY 13 On May 13, the Knoxville Chamber will shine the spotlight on the business community at the 12th annual Pinnacle Business Awards gala, presented by FSG Bank. Twenty-four finalists will be vying for eight coveted Pinnacle Awards. The Chamber received more than 170 nominations recognizing outstanding local businesses and businesspeople. Members of the Chamber’s board of directors are divided into committees and are charged with vetting and scoring the applicants. Scoring is based on the information provided by the nominee in the application and is completed independently by each member of the selection committee on a secure website. Scores are tallied by an independent agency and presented to the Chamber for awarding. In addition to the eight awards, the Chamber honors one outstanding business leader each year as the James A. Haslam II Chairman’s Leadership Award recipient. The 2016 honoree of this award is Ken Lowe, chairman, president, and CEO of Scripps Networks Interactive. This award is presented to a longtime Knoxville business leader who exhibits strength in character, resolve, commitment to the community, and exemplary success in business.

2016 FINALISTS: Small Business Excellence Award, sponsored by Sword & Shield, honors an East Tennessee small business that has 50 employees or less companywide, the winner will demonstrate the ability to overcome obstacles as well as a historical index of growth in revenues and workforce.

Pyxl — A full-service digital marketing firm that designs and develops custom websites, web applications, and mobile apps that balance technology and design and offer an effective user experience. Axle Logistics, LLC — A non-asset based, third-party logistics company with a focus on providing safe, reliable, and advanced transportation services to a wide variety of customers throughout the continental U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Mac’s Pharmacy — A locally-owned, independent pharmacy that is committed to improving the health of its customers through medication therapy management, immunizations, compounding, and diabetes education and services.

struction, renovations, and maintenance projects. Master Dry Foundation and Waterproofing Specialist — A locally-owned, family-operated business providing basement and crawlspace waterproofing, foundation and structural repair, as well as its new concrete services division. In 2015, the company saw 185 percent growth in sales and added 41 full-time employees to its team. Strata-G — A company that boasts a highly-qualified team of science and engineering professionals who provide a wide range of services resulting in the sustainability of energy and the environment. Strata-G has 152 local employees.

Large Business Excellence Award, presented by


The Business Excellence Awards are divided into a mid-sized category for businesses with 51-200 total employees, and a large category for those companies with 201 or more employees. The Business Excellence Awards recognize East Tennessee businesses that have shown remarkable profitability, growth, and stability. Companies must have a significant presence in East Tennessee and be nationally or internationally recognized in their respective sectors.

Mid-Sized Business Excellence Award, presented by Harper Auto Square JOSEPH Construction Company — Headquartered in Knoxville, the company offers construction and reconstruction services to a variety of clients. Since its beginning in 1972, JOSEPH has built millions of square feet of space throughout East Tennessee, including new con-

MasterCraft — Located in Vonore, Tenn., the company is a global dealer, developer, and manufacturer of ski, wakeboard, and luxury-performance powerboats. Mastercraft has 524 local employees and recently became number one in market share amongst its competitors. Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinics, PC — Twenty-five physicians, many with sub-specialty certifications, are the core of Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinics, which serves patients in six counties with a number of specialties including trauma, total joint replacement, and sports medicine. It currently employs 250 staff members. Weigel’s — A local convenience store chain serving East Tennessee with an array of product offering, including farm-fresh goods from its dairy and fresh-baked goods from its bakery. Weigel’s currently has 850 employees and operates 63 store

“Pinnacle” continued on pg. 54


The Woman-Owned Business Excellence Award,

by Cannon


& Cannon is given to an outstanding woman-owned business in East

Tennessee. Companies must be at least 51 percent owned by one or more women, and one or more women must control daily management operations. Graphic Creations — A printing company offering services that range from business cards to printing and installing large wall art murals at the Knoxville Convention Center. Microbial Insights, Inc. — A biotechnology laboratory specializing in DNA testing to quantify microbial communities. The Pavilion at Hunter Valley Farm — A full-service event venue and floral design shop that hosts weddings, corporate retreats, holiday parties, banquets, and other gatherings.

The Minority-Owned Business Excellence Award, sponsored by

Covenant Health, recognizes companies that have achieved notable growth

and are at least 51 percent owned by an ethnic minority. H&T Enterprises, Inc. — A company that provides facility and grounds maintenance, janitorial, HVAC, fleet management, and energy management for large commercial and federal facilities. Sandra G’s — A full-service alterations shop that specializes in wedding and special-occasion attire. Spanish Language Solutions, Inc. — A top-quality language service firm based in the Knoxville that facilitates access to services, business, education, and communication for people who read or speak another language.

The Young Entrepreneur Award, sponsored by FSG Bank, acknowledges the importance of the entrepreneurial spirit. This award recognizes young professionals, 40 years of age or younger as of May 13, 2016, who started or are at risk in ownership of a non-franchise business in East Tennessee. The winner will have overcome obstacles and moved their business from early to growth to some maturity. Brandon Bruce, COO and co-founder of Cirruspath — Started from scratch in 2011, the company is the leader in developing productivity software for organizations that use Salesforce. Its flagship application is called Cirrus Insight. Courtney Herda, CEO of Smarter Searches — Herda founded her company in 2012, which has quickly grown into a successful creative digital marketing agency providing marketing and advertising solutions for businesses of all sizes in an incredibly diverse range of industries. Todd and Lindsay McCormick, owners of PhotoBarn — The duo consisting of a photographer and Realtor® launched their custom, handcrafted photo products on Groupon in 2011, and now boasts a unique product line and a large, nationwide customer base.

The Impact Award, sponsored by Publix, is awarded to a non-charitable, East Tennessee business that is committed to making the region a better place to live through the development and support of a community project or program. The recipient should demonstrate the ability to improve community conditions that significantly impact the region. Gerdau — Located in the Lonsdale community, the steel mill is committed to im-

The Pinnacle Business Awards Gala, presented by FSG Bank, is the marquee social event celebrating the region’s outstanding businesses and businesspeople.

proving the neighborhood through various outreach programs. This includes Gerdau’s creation of the Lonsdale Community Advisory Committee, which seeks to address and impact issues like drugs, crime, neighborhood cleanup, and environmental concerns. Wampler’s Farm Sausage Company, Inc. — The Lenoir City-based Wampler’s Farm Sausage Company implements a company-wide policy of environmental responsibility by positively impacting animals, people, and the environment. Some of the company’s many community projects include the Knoxville Zoo Solar Power Project and the Wampler Family Site for the Child Advocacy Center. WBIR-TV — With the goal of never saying “no” to a community or non-profit initiative, WBIR-TV donates over $5 million per year of in-kind commercial air time for local Public Service Announcements (PSAs) promoting local events. Additionally, in 2015 the local news station launched “Connecting Hearts,” a program that pairs local volunteers with at-risk area seniors, offering weekly companionship and grocery delivery.

The Innovator Award, sponsored by Proton Power, is presented to an East Tennessee business that has developed a new technology, innovative product or service, or has applied a business system or service in an innovative way. AMS Corporation — A research-based provider of testing services, equipment, and training to the worldwide nuclear power industry in areas of process instrumentation and control system testing, reactor diagnostics, predictive maintenance, and aging management. EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute) – A non-profit organization that conducts applied research and development to ensure society has safe, reliable, affordable, and environmentally-responsible electric power. Magnum Venus Products – A supplier of advanced composite application equipment that applies all types of liquid materials in the manufacturing process, from adhesives for gluing bumpers onto cars, to filament winding machines for carbon fiber, and making storage tanks and oil pipes. The company is also a key partner in the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI).

Women on the Rise to Shine Event Tackles Communication Differences Between Genders BY: JESSICA KARSTEN

The Knoxville Chamber hosted the third installment of its popular Women on the Rise to Shine series, presented by SunTrust, at Bridgewater Place on April 13. More than 120 businesspeople attended the lunch and learn seminar presented by Amanda Johns Vaden, a founding partner of Southwestern Consulting. Her presentation, “Unspoken: Redefining Expectations Between Men and Women in the World of Work,” gave powerful insights about the differences in communication methods and intentions between genders. “Psychologists have identified over 100 structural differences between the male brain and the female brain,” Vaden said. “I know some of you out there are thinking, ‘100? That’s it?’ Truly there are over 100 biological differences just between the way that men and women think, process, act, and react in their current environment.” Vaden’s personable recap of her research, coupled with a number of humorous images and personal stories, helped foster an entertaining and memorable discussion. She highlighted a number of differences between men and women including consumer behavior, expectations at work, and meaning behind words. Regarding buying patterns, she said, “Men buy products over personality. In other words, men don’t determine their purchases based on the sales person.” Comparing the behavior with women, Vaden described a hypothetical shoe shopping experience and said, “It does not matter how much they are on sale, if you do not like that sales person, you’re not buying them today. Women actually buy personality over product.” She also highlighted significant workplace differences including men asking for what they want and making friends in high places, and women being team players and successful persuaders. Once people begin acknowledging and understanding certain expectations with Rhonda Rice of the Knoxville Chamber, Amanda the opposite gender, they can begin to Johns Vaden, presenter of the third installment of the communicate more effectively. Women on the Rise to Shine, and Megan Scanlon Megan Scanlon Roach, first vice Roach representing presenting sponsor SunTrust at Bridgewater Place. president in private wealth management for SunTrust, represented the presenting sponsor for the event and believes SunTrust’s partnership with the Chamber has brought muchneeded programming for the women in the Knoxville business community. “SunTrust is proud to collaborate with the Knoxville Chamber to create the Women on the Rise series,” Roach said. “The mission of the Women on the Rise series is to connect women of all career levels, strengthen their professional networks, and engage them in the Knoxville business community.” She continued, “We are achieving this vision through offering prominent speaker programs and unique receptions and roundtables that foster development, showcase women leaders, and encourage and motivate women in the Greater Knoxville area to realize their career aspirations.” The Women on the Rise to Shine Series will continue with a “Wine and Shes” networking and panel discussion at The Foundry on May 17. To learn more about the next installment of the Women on the Rise to Shine series or to register for the event, please visit the events page on

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

Legislators Discuss Hot Issues at Briefing BY: MACKENZIE FOX

The Knoxville Chamber hosted its final Legislative Briefing of the legislative session, sponsored by AT&T, on April 1. Susan Richardson Williams, chair of the Chamber’s Government Relations Committee, moderated the discussion which covered many of the issues that garnered a lot of attention this session. Sen. Richard Briggs, Sen. Becky Duncan Massey, and Rep. Jason Zachary took part in the panel providing broad insights from the various committees each serve on, including the Health and Welfare, Calendar, and Transportation committees. A primary topic throughout this year’s assembly has been Gov. Bill Haslam’s budget surplus of nearly $1 billion and what to do with it. Many committees submitted budget amendments to utilize some of the excess funds for a number of projects. “It’s easier to get [funding for] non-recurring versus recurring,” Massey explained. “The other thing that is taken into consideration is whether it has some state-wide applicability or if it is just a local project that doesn’t have that applicability.” The budget subcommittees are tasked with prioritizing budget amendments accordingly and will continue to do so as the session comes to a close. One issue that will affect Knox County this summer is the appearance of wine in grocery stores. On July 1, these locations will be able to legally sell wine; however, there are concerns regarding the timely supply of wine, which Briggs discussed. “Both the grocery stores and the wholesalers said that they can’t supply every grocery store overnight to have wine to sell on July 1,” said Briggs explained. A bill was introduced that would allow grocery stores to begin stocking wine 90 days ahead of the July 1 selling date to combat this issue. Briggs explained a controversial part within the same bill which stated that “if there was a liquor store within 500 feet of a grocery store, there had to be an agreement signed with the local liquor store and the grocery store, if not they had to wait a year.” The bill passed, excluding the distance provision, and grocery stores will be stocking wine 90 days prior to July 1. The panelists also discussed opiate addiction, which is a significant issue in Tennessee and the rest of the country. “Last year we had around 939 people who died in traffic accidents in Tennessee. We

Alan Hill of AT&T and Susan Richardson Williams, chair of the Chamber’s Government Relations Committee with Rep. Jason Zachary, Sen. Becky Duncan Massey and Sen. Richard Briggs at the final legislative briefing of 2016.

had 1,300 people who died of accidental drug overdoses,” Sen. Briggs said. “It’s everywhere. It affects our business. It affects our lives.” As the 2016 General Assembly comes to a close, Rep. Zachary was asked to reflect on his first term in office. He expressed his pride in the Knox County delegation. “There isn’t any other delegation in the State that works together like ours does,” he said. To watch a video of the discussion in its entirety, please visit the Knoxville Chamber’s YouTube channel.

Expansion Update: WS Packaging Group, Inc. BY: KAYLA WITT

More than two years ago, WS Packaging Group, Inc. announced plans to invest $43 million to expand its current operations in Innovation Valley, creating 231 new jobs for the region. Two years into that five year plan, the company has hired 146 new employees and consolidated five facilities into one location at the former PBR/Bosch building in Westbridge Business Park. “We chose to expand in Knox County for multiple reasons,” said Brian Rhodes, vice president of operations of the South and West regions at WS Packaging Group. “We already had five facilities in the Knoxville region so it was easy to consolidate. Innovation Valley is centrally located toward our customer base, and the employment levels and opportunity to expand were attractive as well. Over the last year we completed our facility consolidation and improvements to the PBR/Bosch facility from an infrastructure perspective. Along with those changes, we ramped up our staffing and added new technology.” WS Packaging Group, Inc. is one of the largest label converting operations in North

America with more than 45 years of experience in label printing and packaging. The company operates 21 manufacturing facilities and focuses on four specific product groups. The Knoxville facility specializes in durable and compliance labels and produces labels for Electrolux Appliances and AO Smith Water Heaters. “Knox County has a lot to offer our company,” said Rhodes. “There is excellent support for training and grant money available so our new employees could be adequately skilled when they come on the job. Pellissippi State Community College has been an excellent resource, and our intent is to use them as a training partner as we continue to expand.” The company has plans to continue to hire employees as it implements its expansion. Prospective employees should have strong attention to quality and detail, as well as mechanical aptitude. “We want to be an employer of choice in Knox County,” said Rhodes. “A lot of new people have joined the team within the last several years, and our leadership staff focuses on creating a positive culture in the workplace. Whether it is favorable benefits or workplace environment, we want people to strive to work here.”

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



business development manager

Owner: Darjuanshé Brown Who has been one of your important mentors and why? What were the key lessons learned?

Industry Type: Children’s “Custom” Boutique

Describe your firm briefly, and what are your main markets or services? TuShé is a children’s boutique specializing in children’s custom clothing for birthday parties and special events for all ages. TuShé also provides the service of custom decorating for birthday parties, baby showers, and weddings.

What are some lessons you have learned from your mentor? My mentor as taught me to think my ideas through completely before taking on a task. I’ve learned the significance of using software to keep track of my clients and the importance of time management. Gaining the knowledge and support from him has truly been a blessing to my business. Being a protégé has allowed me to understand more of what being a great business owner consists of. I have gained so much knowledge from being a part of a great program and I am truly grateful.

How has your business or management thinking changed because of your mentor? I have learned to believe in my ideas more, because I see how much he believes in them. I have been able to manage my time more after listening to him tell me how valuable it is.

One of the most important mentors in my life has been Cavanaugh Mims, president of Visionary Solutions, who taught me the lesson of ‘consistent boldness.’ He travels more than anyone I know to grow his firm throughout the country, but he is also devoted to family and community and always follows through on commitments. To be consistent is one of the traits small businesses must have to be successful. Boldness is always needed as well, because small business ownership requires daily risk-taking which is not for the faint-of-heart. Darjuanshé has this type of boldness, as she is working to build a consistent system to deliver her unique products and services. She is a single mom and is graduating from college this year, which shows her tenacity. She brings this strength to her customers which is a sign that she will surprise many people and exceed expectations.

What are the benefits of being a mentor? The hidden return on investment with mentorship is that it renews your passion. As business leaders, we often times work so hard that we lose touch with the original passions that led us here. Every time I am around the protégés, it feeds my passion. This is one of the best selfish benefits of giving back.

Why should every business have a mentor? Mentors are great to have for motivation and knowledge. Most of them have faced and overcome similar obstacles and can give the proper advice for you to succeed.

Do you think successful firms should mentor a small firm? If so, why? It is important to understand that mentorship has been around since the beginning of time. No one gets to success without help. Additionally, no community can answer its greatest call of offering good quality of life without mentors. What is interesting is that most people approach mentorship of another small businesses as an added commitment, but being a mentor to others is part of being a successful business owner.

What are the three key priorities small firm owners should consider every day? For a small business owner, the three priorities to consider are clarity, clearance, and completion. We have to be clear about our focus of the day, get understanding about the barriers or processes that must be cleared, and be bold enough to complete what is in front of us.

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


(March 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 Mar. ’15Mar. ‘16

Mar. 2016

Feb. 2016

Mar. 2015

% Change Feb. ’16Mar. ‘16

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

233,260 413,350 3,111,500 158,279,000

226,390 403,030 3,042,100 156,318,000

0.1 0.0 0.1 0.4

3.1 2.6 2.4 1.6

391,800 2,937,200

390,200 2,924,000

380,000 2,845,600

0.4 0.5

3.1 3.2

8,640 17,480 142,420

9,310 19,070 154,050

11,680 23,940 197,930

-7.2 -8.3 -7.5

-26.0 -27.0 -28.0

3.4 3.9 4.2 5.1

3.6 4.2 4.5 5.2

4.7 5.4 5.9 5.6

-0.2 -0.3 -0.3 -0.1

-1.3 -1.5 -1.7 -0.5

Non-Ag Employment Knoxville MSA Tennessee

Residential Closings Residential Inventory Median Residential Price

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

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 Mar. ’14Mar. ‘16 1.2 1.0

Mar. ’15-‘16

Feb. ’15-‘16

Mar. ’14-‘15

0.6 0.9

0.5 1.0

-0.6 -0.1

0.1 -0.1

% Change Mar. ’15Mar. ‘16

Knoxville (City)

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

Feb. 2016* 12 12 0

Feb. 2015 15 15 0

% Change Feb. ’15Feb. ‘16 -20.0 -20.0 0.0

Knox Co.

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

105 105 0

92 92 0

14.1 14.1 0.0

Knoxville MSA

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

200 179 21

120 120 0

66.7 49.2 100.0


Total Single-Family Multi-Family

3,200 1,505 1,695

1,463 1,173 290

118.7 28.3 484.5

Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee

Mar. 2016

Feb. 2016

Mar. 2015

% Change Feb. ’15Mar. ‘16

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

44,873,381 68,175,000 579,440,565

42,404,070 63,951,093 550,199,153

9.0 9.4 9.6

15.4 16.6 15.5

13,322,165 20,772,904

12,499,549 19,558,373

11,461,938 17,871,876

6.6 6.2

16.2 16.2

% Change Mar. ’15Mar. ‘16 3.6 15.0 3.1 -0.9 4.0 4.8 6.0 -15.7 2.6 8.6 4.0 4.4 7.6 8.2


Passengers Cargo

Dec. 2015 140,311 7,153,776

Nov. 2015 148,111 5,627,619

Dec. 2014 139,162 6,930,892

% Change Nov. ’15Dec. ‘15 -5.3 27.1

% Change Dec. ’14Dec.‘15 0.8 3.2

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


1,227 9,492 $152,500


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

Mar. 2015

% Change Mar. ’15Mar. ‘16 9.9 -12.3 1.6

Source: Knoxville Area Association of Realtors

Available Labor Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee

Feb. 2016 1,114 8,224 $157,501

% Change Feb. ’16Mar. ‘16 21.0 1.2 -1.6

Source: Tennessee Dept. of Revenue

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

Mar. 2016

Feb. 2016

459,015 30,577 21,258 8,087 58,311 55,578 8,911 30,400 55,311 28,723 9,698 101,987 42,915

412,328 23,248 18,681 7,982 53,839 51,700 8,035 26,974 50,768 26,595 8,960 89,629 39,732

442,876 26,588 20,614 8,160 56,081 53,045 8,404 36,075 53,890 26,446 9,329 97,658 39,876

% Change Feb. ’16Mar. ‘16 11.3 31.5 13.8 1.3 8.3 7.5 10.9 12.7 8.9 8.0 8.2 13.8 8.0





Mar. 2015

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

MAY - 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 May. Thank you for your commitment to the Chamber and the community! The Arts and Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville


Smith & Hammaker



Uster Technologies, Inc.


Rogers Group, Inc.


Knoxville Beverage Co., Inc.


March of Dimes


Tennessee Roofing Corporation


Covenant Health


American Red Cross of the

Modern Supply Company




White Realty and Service Corporation

Tennessee Mountain Valley


15-19 YEARS


AMEC Foster Wheeler Environment


Webb School of Knoxville


Boys & Girls Clubs of The Tennessee Valley

Arby’s Roast Beef Restaurant


Burkhart Enterprises, Inc.


Children’s Center of Knoxville, Inc.





Friedman’s Appliances


Johnstone Supply Co.



Knoxville Museum of Art


Marketing Dimensions


Knoxville’s Community Development Corp.


Hoya Vision Care - Knoxville



Northwestern Mutual


Office Depot



Securities Service Network, Inc.


Cannon & Cannon, Inc.



Stanley Steemer of East Tennessee, LLC


NetGain Mobile Diagnostics


Ayres & Parkey


Tate’s School & Tate’s Day Camp


Doyle Webb-Realty Executives and Associates


Rural/Metro Corporation


William E. Pinkston, CPA


Chandler’s Deli, LLC


Wood Properties, Inc.


Humana 1986

Select Ticket Service


Partners Development


LubriCorp, LLC


Rubber Plus, Inc.


Northeast Knox Utility District


10 – 14 YEARS

Vaughn & Melton Consulting Engineers, Inc.


Summit Medical Group, PLLC


Corporate Communications


Appalachian Claims Service


Resource Advisory Services


BNI- Business Network International


Associated General Contractors of Tennessee - Knoxville Branch D & V Distributing Company Cindy Doyle Agency/State Farm Insurance Company Commercial Realty Company Asset Planning Corporation




25 – 30 YEARS

West Side Honda


Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C.


EPRI 2003

Bible Harris Smith, P.C.


Prestige Cleaners, Inc.


Cortese Tree Specialists, Inc.


East Tennessee Children’s Hospital


TeamHealth 1988

Premier Transportation, LLC



Ameriplan Benefit Corporation


Jewelry Television


Brown, Jake & McDaniel, CPA’s


Holston Gases, Inc.


Toyota/Lexus of Knoxville


Knox Chapman Utility District


Bandit Lites, Inc.


All Occasion Catering, LLC


River Sports Outfitters, Inc.


Fulghum, MacIndoe & Associates, Inc.



Quantum Environmental & Engineering

Novinger, Ball and Zivi, PC

Thermocopy of Tennessee, Inc.

Better Business Bureau of Greater \


and Infrastructure, Inc.


Wimberly Lawson Wright Daves & Jones, PLLC

Helen Ross McNabb Center, Inc.


Frontier Communications


Knoxville Zoological Gardens


Knox Area Rescue Ministries


U.S. Bank


Senior Citizens Home Assistance Services


Presbyterian Homes of Tennessee, Inc.


Tillman Companies, LLC



Mullins Warehouse Park/1605 Rentals, Inc.


Mowery Insurance Inc.



Michael Brady Inc.


HomeTrust Bank


Lewis, Thomason, King, Krieg & Waldrop, P.C.


Safe n’ Sound Creative Technologies


Scenic Helicopter Tours

2006 2006

East Tennessee

Sunshine Industries/The Arc Knox County West Knox Utility District Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc. -



20 – 24 YEARS


O’Connor Communications



Common Grounds/Landscape Management, Inc. 1992

Electrical Workers Local 760

Creative Structures, Inc.


Connor Concepts, Inc.


LDI 2006

Kitchen Sales, Inc.


The Development Corporation of Knox County



Builders Exchange of Tennessee, Inc.


Broadway Electric Service Corporation


Regal Entertainment Group


East TN Chapter Brandon’s Awards & Engraving

McGaha Electric Company, Inc. Steel Plate Fabricators/Knoxville Sheet Metal Works, Inc.



Services, LLC


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Inaugural Young Entrepreneurs Graduate; Applications Sought for 2016-17 Class BY: JESSICA KARSTEN

The inaugural class of the Knoxville Chamber’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) came to a close with a graduation celebration on April 19. Over the course of the 30-week program, 21 students created 12 unique businesses or social movements. Students, ages 12-18, went through the entire business process, including brainstorming business ideas, developing a concrete business plan, pitching their ideas to a panel of local investors, and launching their own businesses. Beginning last October, the students met every Tuesday evening for three hours at the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee. They received lessons from the program’s three instructors, Haseeb Qureshi, Kevin Kragenbrink and Mark Field, and heard from guest lecturers, successful entrepreneurs, and business mentors. The young entrepreneurs were also exposed to local businesses and facilities through fields trips to locations like the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee Athletic Department. Mark Field, the Chamber’s senior vice president, served as a mentor throughout the program. “I was greatly impressed with the students’ commitment to the program and their level of inquisition,” Field said. “They were always asking questions because they really wanted to understand the business process. The students inspired me, and I definitely got as much from them as they got from me.” YEA! was introduced into the Knoxville community last year and was supported by Pilot Flying J, UT’s Haslam College of Business, Clayton Bank, and the Alcoa Foundation. “This past year exemplified the potential in Knoxville’s youth,” said Mackenzie Fox, YEA! program manager. “These students have officially transformed into real entrepreneurs with operating businesses.” She continued, “With such an outstanding inaugural class, we are excited to begin recruitment for next year’s academy. The success of this year’s class has invigorated the Knoxville community and spiked a high interest in the program.” The Chamber is currently seeking applications from students in grades 6-12 to fill the 2016-2017 class. These students should be responsible and creative with the ability to communicate well and demonstrate a commitment to their community and family. Classes will continue to meet October through April, from 5 – 8 p.m. on Tuesdays. To apply for YEA!, students must fill out the application form, complete the essay, answer short questions, and submit their most recent transcript. They must also submit a letter of recommendation from a religious or community leader, teacher, or guidance counselor. After this process, the student will be invited for an interview with a YEA! Student Selection Committee Member. The application and interview process will occur on a rolling basis. In order to be accepted for Early Admittance to the program, students must submit

The graduating students of the 2016 Young Entrepreneurs Academy pose for a photo with their certificates at the graduation ceremony on April 19 at the Knoxville Chamber.

Jonathan Sexton, entrepreneur in residence for the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, delivered the graduation remarks at the Young Entrepreneurs Academy class of 2016 graduation ceremony on April 19.

their applications by May 19. Students processed for Early Admittance will be notified of their status by June 24. If any of the 24 spots remain after that date, students will be processed on a rolling basis until the program is full. To apply, nominate a student, or learn more about the program, visit knoxvillechamber. com/YEA or visit the YEA! Knoxville Chamber Facebook page.

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TVA Links Environment, Economy with Valley Sustainable Communities Program BY: KAYLA WITT

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) introduced the Valley Sustainable Communities (VCS) program in 2012 as a way to recognize communities that link local sustainability efforts with economic development opportunities. Now in its third year, the program works with cities, towns, and counties throughout TVA’s region to help them commit to long-term economic development and sustainability efforts. In 2013, Knoxville was recognized by TVA as a Platinum Community, the highest designation a community can receive. The rating signifies that Knoxville has made a “significant and comprehensive commitment to sustainability and also has thoroughly integrated economic development into its sustainability efforts.” Community leaders are currently working on reapplying for the VCS program in 2016 and hope to maintain Knoxville’s platinum status. “For economic development purposes it is extremely important the Knoxville area has sustainable communities and long-term initiatives in place to become greener,” said Lindsay Hammill, project manager for the Knoxville Chamber. “Companies looking to relocate or expand value sustainability, and it now aligns with overall business goals and mission. You have to be sustainable not only to provide a great quality of life for the people living here, but also to stay competitive in business recruitment.” Participating communities in the VCS program earn points in 15 categories by implementing sustainability, with an emphasis on those components that directly impact economic development efforts, and/or the success of existing businesses in the community.

“This program has a strong focus on economic development and it takes an intensive look at a community’s competitiveness through a sustainability lens,” said Kay Stebbins, director of research and analytics for Boyette Strategic Advisors. “The Knoxville community has many innovative initiatives in place when it comes to sustainability, such as sustainable business parks like Cherokee Farm and Pellissippi Place.” Knoxville has made great strides in sustainability since it began the City of Knoxville’s Energy and Sustainability Initiative in 2007, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions from city operations by 13 percent, and community emissions by almost eight percent. The region is also seeing more companies put a greater emphasis on sustainability within operations. Keurig Green Mountain, located at Forks of the River Industrial Park, is considered a leader in sustainability efforts. In early 2014, Keurig Green Mountain announced a set of ambitious sustainability targets that it intends to reach by 2020. “The targets are business-driven and future-oriented, demonstrating what we want to invest in today and where we want to be in the future,” said Stephanie Myers, regional volunteerism lead for Keurig Green Mountain. “Along with reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, improving the livelihoods of one million people in our supply chain, and restoring, ounce-for-ounce all of the water used to brew our beverages to people and nature, we also have a goal to make 100 percent of K-Cup pods recyclable by 2020.” To learn more about the Valley Sustainable Community program, visit www.

Forks of the River Industrial Park Tenants Gather for Town Hall Meeting BY: KAYLA WITT

Tenants from 20 companies located inside East Knox County’s Fork of the River Industrial Park recently gathered for a town hall style meeting at Pellissippi State’s MegaLab. Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett kicked off the gathering and was followed by updates from the Knox County Engineering department and the Development Corporation of Knox County, and introductions of several companies that recently located in the park. “We thought of this almost like a big block party for the tenants at Forks of the River,” said Doug Lawyer, vice president of economic development at the Knoxville Chamber. “It has been several years since we gathered all of the companies together, and there have been a lot of exciting changes occurring throughout the park recently. It’s important as the lead economic development entity for Knox County that the Knoxville Chamber has a strong presence in the region’s business and industrial parks and to ensure the Chamber is doing everything it can to help these companies thrive.” Representatives from the park’s newest tenants, Fresenius Medical Care, Leisure Pools, DDI Manufacturing, and Red Stag Fulfillment all gave updates on current operations at their facilities. Forks of the River is Knox County’s largest industrial park at 1,460 acres, with more than 40 companies located on its grounds. The park is home to such companies as Keurig Green Mountain, Melaleuca Inc., Aqua-Chem, Fresenius Medical Care, and Republic Plastics.

Representatives from the Knoxville Chamber, Pellissippi State Community College and company officials from Forks of the River Industrial Park met for a town-hall gathering at Pellissippi State’s MegaLab. Pictured from left to right: Teri Brahams, Pellissippi State Community College; Scott Huff, DDI; Chuck West, Leisure Pools; Doug Lawyer, Knoxville Chamber; Eric McCollum, Red Stag Fulfillment; Ken Pittman, Fresenius Medical Care

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MAY 13 12th Annual Pinnacle Business Awards Gala

Presented by FSG Bank 6 – 10 p.m. $110 for Chamber members/$140 for non-members Knoxville Convention Center, 701 Henley St. PRESENTED BY:

MAY 17 Bright Ideas Seminar: Networking 101

Covenant Health celebrated the grand opening of its new Convenient Care clinic at 418 S. Gay Street in Knoxville in April. Jim Vandersteeg is pictured center cutting the ribbon and is joined by Eddie Mannis, Bill Lyons, Monty Scott, and Chamber ambassadors Linda Ramsey, Christa Early, and Mary Weaver. They are also joined by Mike Edwards, Chamber president and CEO.

Presented by Johnathan Patrick, Jack Henry & Associates 11:30 a.m.-1 pm • Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square, #201 $25 for Chamber Members/$35 for non-members A boxed lunch will be included. SPONSORED BY:

MAY 17 Women on the Rise to Shine: Wine & Shes Networking & Panel Discussion Presented by SunTrust Bank, Inc. 4 – 5:30 p.m. Foundry On The Fair Site, 747 Worlds Fair Park Drive $15 for Chamber members/$25 for non-members PRESENTED BY:

MAY 20 Premier Partner Event featuring Mayor Madeline Rogero Westmoreland Health and Rehabilitation Center celebrated in April the grand opening of the nursing home’s Two Secure Memory Units, located at 5837 Lyons View Pike in Knoxville. Tom Johnson is center cutting the ribbon and is joined by his staff, as well as Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and Patricia Robledo, representing the City of Knoxville.

8 – 9 a.m. Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square #201 Exclusive to Premier Partners Only

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 - May 2016  
Commerce - May 2016