INSIDE: BHS Corrugated Groundbreaking pg. 63 + Monthly Economic Indicators pg. 62
MEMBERSHIP MATTERS RIBBON CUTTING
CONNECT with the
Buddy Gregg RVs & Motor Homes celebrated its Expansion Explosion Celebration with a ribbon cutting and fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in September. Bob Wiegand, general manager, and Travis Hollifield, general sales manager, are pictured center cutting the ribbon, and are joined by Buddy Gregg associates, friends, and Knoxville Chamber Ambassadors.
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. DANIEL MONDAY
facebook.com/KnoxvilleChamber TWO WAY TIE FOR SECOND! MARK AMREIN
UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX KNOXVILLE CAMPUS
TWO WAY TIE FOR THIRD! KIM DAVIS
twitter.com/k_chamber CHAMBER STAFF Doug Lawyer @knoxoakridgeIV Jennifer Evans @knoxevans Kyle Touchstone @knoxecondevguy Mark Field @field101 Michelle Kiely @mkiely1
NEW MEMBERS / NEW PREMIER PARTNERS SILVER Service Provider Group (865) 288-5660 www.serviceprovidergroup.com Business & Professional Services
Prodigal Primary Care (865) 288-3754 www.prodigalprimarycare.com Healthcare Providers & Services: Family Practice Vendor Registry (865) 297-3571 www.vendorregistry.com Computer & IT Services
EarthLink Business (865) 246-2511 www.earthlinkbusiness.com Telecommunications
Pictures and More (865) 766-5170 www.picturesandmore.com Photography
Tailgate Tennessee (865) 356-6669 www.tailgatetennessee.com Event Planning, Catering & Venues
FB EDIT-DESIGN, Inc. (720) 939-8825 Business & Professional Services: Graphic Designers
Red Mango Frozen Yogurt and Smoothies (865) 694-5555 www.redmangousa.com Restaurants - Eating & Drinking Places; Sweet Treats and Bakeries
The Church of God of the Union Assembly, Inc. (865) 523-1496 www.thechurchofgoduaknoxville.org Church & Church Supplies
Interstate All Battery Center (865) 640-2500 Shopping: Specialty
Bell & Associates Construction L.P. (615) 373-4343 www.balp.com Construction & Contractors: Specialty Services
All Dry Roofing (865) 233-5888 www.alldryroofinginc.com Construction & Contractors: Roofing
King College (800) 362-0014 www.king.edu Education & Training
Costco Wholesale (865) 966-9019 www.costco.com Shopping: Discount Stores
John Black Photography (865) 522-1715 johnblackphotography.com Photography Knoxwood Hills (865) 633-9930 Apartments
Sam’s Club #6572 (865) 637-2582 www.samsclub.com Shopping: Discount Stores
“Weigh To Go” Weight Loss Centers (865) 219-8650 www.weightogoweightloss.com Healthcare Providers & Services: Weight Loss
Sign-A-Rama (865) 690-1903 www.signarama-knoxville.com Business & Professional Services:Signs
Wyatt Insurance Services, Inc. (865) 470-9654 www.wyattinsurance.com Insurance
CONTACT THE KNOXVILLE CHAMBER (865) 637-4550 www.knoxvillechamber.com
FINANCE & OPERATIONS firstname.lastname@example.org
THE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (865) 546-5887
PRESIDENT & CEO MICHAEL EDWARDS
DESIGN LADDY FIELDS
PUBLIC POLICY & EDUCATION email@example.com
TENNESSEE SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER (865) 246-2663
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT RHONDA RICE
WRITER ANTHONY WELSCH
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT firstname.lastname@example.org
CENTRAL BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT (865) 246-2654 email@example.com
THE KNOXVILLE CHAMBER’S MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
EDITOR LORI FULLER firstname.lastname@example.org
LEADERSHIP KNOXVILLE (865) 523-9137 U.S. DEPT. OF COMMERCE EXPORT ASSISTANCE CENTER (865) 545-4637
K N O KNOXVILLE X V I L LCHAMBER E CHA M B E R | 56 44
2012 ANNUAL REPORT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
iscal Year 2011-12 marked another year of innovative programming, well-attended events, and unprecedented influence within the community for the Knoxville Chamber. The organization’s efforts culminated with the ultimate reward: a record membership retention rate. Last year 88% of Knoxville Chamber members renewed their membership. That serves as a clear indication the Chamber’s vision to make Knoxville America’s Best Business Address® is a goal the business community supports. The Chamber planned and produced over 80 events for 7,000 registered attendees during the past fiscal year, providing local businesses the opportunity to network, learn, and grow their business in order to contribute to the overall economic prosperity of the region. Technological advances continue to make members’ Chamber-experience more convenient and engaging. The past year saw both the integration of iPads for payment and registration at Chamber events as well as the launch of a new Chamber website that has improved the online experience for members, the community, and prospective residents. iKnowKnoxville.com, the Chamber’s online business directory, continued to grow in both page views and features. iKnowKnoxville delivered nearly 160,000 page views in FY2012, more than doubling the 2011 total. Chamber staff continues to work with existing industry to create jobs. In 2012, Chamber staff members made 287 site visits to existing businesses, helping Knox County create 5,221 new jobs, better than our peer communities throughout the state, with an area-wide estimated capital investment of more than $64 million. The Chamber’s unique Mentor/Protégé Program also continued to grow in both participants and impact. In FY2012, Chamber protégé organizations tallied more than $12 million in revenue with a net increase of 14 employees. It was also a busy year for recruitment of new industry. The Chamber’s economic development team hosted the area’s first-ever “Green Carpet Tour,” an event for site selection consultants that showcased the assets of the Innovation
Valley. Additionally, Chamber staff hosted 20 prospective industries on site visits in the Knoxville region. That list of accomplishments was achieved while responsibly adhering to the budget. The Chamber ended Fiscal Year 2012 with net income before depreciation of more than $81,500. Our future presents both a unique set of challenges and opportunities for the Chamber, area businesses, and the community as a whole. Despite gains in 2012, improved public education will likely continue to be a point of emphasis and a contentious community issue for the Chamber in 2013. Without improved funding to fuel faster academic gains in our classrooms, the quality of our future workforce will likely deteriorate and prove uncompetitive in the global economy. As a united business community, our voice must be one of both fiscal responsibility and encouragement for public education with a view on long-term progress. Over the past year, Chamber staff members have established the framework for the Chamber Board approved political action committee. While this PAC will be completely hands-off when it comes to political races and candidates, it will provide an opportunity for the Chamber to continue to advocate for issues such as public education. In the short-term, our regional economic development strategy moves forward with the planning of Innovation Valley Blueprint 2.0 and the implementation of the plan in 2013. Under this plan, we continue to face challenges with regards to recruiting new industry to the region. In the highly competitive arena of luring new companies to the area, we are challenged by a dwindling inventory of publicly-held land options and diminishing public funding to help market the Innovation Valley globally. These challenges make it imperative we are targeted and deliberate with the prospects we court and the marketing we disseminate. With the continued support of the more than 2,000 organizations that make up the Knoxville Chamber, we will continue to be the leading voice for business in the community as we strive to drive economic prosperity for the city of Knoxville, Knox County, and the Innovation Valley.
See “HIGHLIGHTED ACCOMPLISHMENTS” on pg. 58
K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 57
2011-12 HIGHLIGHTED ACCOMPLISHMENTS BECOME THE LEADING MARKET IN THE SOUTHEAST FOR NEW BUSINESS RECRUITMENT
BECOME THE NATIONAL LEADER IN SKILLED AND EDUCATED WORKFORCE
• Knoxville led the four largest metropolitan areas for job growth during 2011-12 with the creation of 8,211 jobs in the MSA and 5,221 jobs in Knox County, as reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. • Existing companies invested an estimated $64,283,000 in capital expansions and projects.
• The Chamber completed its contract to install and develop the Education Management Information Systems (EMIS) for the Knox County Schools. EMIS was used in the development of the first-ever “Return On Investment” report published by the Knox County Schools to show the results of key expenditures and guide where future dollars should be directed.
• In August 2011, Innovation Valley held the 2nd Annual Technology Resource Showcase at the Haslam Business Building on the University of Tennessee – Knoxville campus. The event offered over 130 attendees the opportunity to learn about the technologies available at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee to encourage technology transfer to the region’s businesses.
• Workforce staff continued to raise awareness of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and helped launch the KARST STEM Hub (STEMSpark) representing 19 school districts in the region and over 100 post-secondary institutions.
• Innovation Valley hosted six site selection consultants for a Green Carpet Tour in April 2012. Over the two days the consultants learned about the many assets our region can offer businesses looking to expand or relocate. • Chamber economic development staff hosted 20 prospective corporate recruits for site visits throughout the year. • Chamber staff met with 287 existing businesses for retention, expansion, and/or technology mining and matching visits. • The Chamber’s research specialist fulfilled 2,035 requests for research information.
BECOME THE LEADING PLACE TO START AND GROW A BUSINESS IN THE SOUTHEAST • The Chamber produced over 80 events during the year with over 7,000 registrants. The Pinnacle Business Awards, BAH Humbug, and Schmoozapalooza continue to be the most popular events for members. The Chamber partnered with The Development Corporation and Tech 20/20 on a new collaborative event, “What’s the Big Idea,” a business plan competition in which 20 local companies participated. • The Chamber’s PROPEL Program that supports small, woman, veteran, and minority-owned business development efforts managed 25 Mentor/Protégé teams, and 54 minority-businesses joined the Chamber in FY 2011/2012. • The Chamber partnered with five local business coaches and consultants to aid marketing efforts for Chamber Member MD® & Chamber Member Rx®. Over 160 businesses participated in the proprietary business assessment tool offered by the Chamber. • iKnowKnoxville.com, the Chamber’s new online membership directory launched in November 2010, continued to grow in popularity with over 160,000 page views registered during 2011-12, double that of the previous fiscal year.
• The Chamber continues to lead the Educators in the Workplace Program, which allowed over 80 area educators to visit businesses and experience how classroom standards are applied in the workforce. • Workforce staff continued collaboration with the Knox County Schools in the implementation of its 5-year Strategic Plan and execution of its Annual Report.
BECOME THE REGION’S MOST EFFECTIVE VOICE FOR BUSINESS • The Chamber experienced the best overall member retention rate in recent history at 88%. New member sales were strong with 237 new members, including 34 new Premier Partners. • The Chamber stood at the forefront of public advocacy for better student outcomes and accountability in Knox County public schools. Advocacy efforts resulted in a highly publicized community conversation that netted an additional $7 million in funding for Knox County Schools in FY2013. These Chamber efforts cast light on community issues and funding shortfalls in the community that previously were not debated or addressed. • Chamber staff developed and the Board of Directors passed the framework required to initiate a political action committee empowered to lobby for select community issues. • The Chamber mobilized the business community to offer input on proposed sign-ordinance changes within the City of Knoxville. • The Chamber led the effort to insert critical language in the MPC proposed Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Plan to protect business interests and ensure continued growth in our community. • In August 2011, the Knoxville Chamber was recognized as the “2011 Chamber of the Year” by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives in the largest chamber category.
K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 58
CONTINUED on pg. 47
ESTABLISH THE INFRASTRUCTURE AND SUPPORT NECESSARY TO ACHIEVE STATUS AS AMERICA’S BEST BUSINESS ADDRESS® • The Chamber ended the 2011-12 fiscal year with net income from continuing operations before depreciation expense of $81,500.
Please visit “Social Media News and More” on Knoxvillechamber.com to view the entire Annual Report.
• The Chamber successfully implemented Microsoft Dynamics GP 10 accounting system that integrates with Microsoft CRM. This integration
reduces staff time spent and reduces the chance of human error when working with accounting tasks. As a result of the implementation, the Chamber has provided timely financial statements to the Finance Committee, Executive Committee, and Board of Directors with one fewer full-time employee in the Finance Department. Additionally, the integration empowered Chamber management with new data such as monthly renewal reports and accounts receivable.
K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 59
A change in venue helped spark success for Schmoozapalooza VII. Exhibitors and attendees shared rave reviews of the 7th semi-annual networking event and trade show at Knoxville’s Civic Coliseum. Comcast Business Class, Sam’s Club, Cellular Sales, HR Comp, Newstalk 98.7, and The Greater Knoxville Business Journal made the fall’s largest local networking event possible as key sponsors for the festivities. As part of the tailgate themed evening, attendees had a wide assortment of great food and awesome opportunity to meet with some of the best business in East Tennessee. Centered around a Toyota Tundra provided by Toyota of Knoxville, more than 600 attendees took part.
Nancy Nabors of The Greater Knoxville Business Journal greets attendees at Schmoozapalooza VII.
DOOR PRIZE WINNERS: • Tabatha Bowers of Bank of America – Tailgate Tennessee Touchdown Package with Petro’s Catering for 20 people. • Georgia McDonald of Rodan & Fields - $100 Amazon gift card courtesy of Comcast • Barbara Condon, Licensed Massage Therapist – Pantech Marauder smartphone courtesy of Cellular Sales • Tisha Collins of Arctel - $50 Sam’s Club gift card courtesy of Sam’s Club • Julie Parton of Gregory’s Greenhouse – two roundtrip tickets to any of Allegiant’s Florida locations courtesy of McGhee Tyson Airport • Al Wanderlingh of TNT – iPad courtesy of HR Comp
Ryan Howes, of Jos. A Bank Clothiers and Wilma Hobby of ARG Financial Staffing.
The crew from HR Comp puts the finishing touches on their exhibit in preparation for guests at Schmoozapalooza VII.
K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 60
Chilly, of the Knoxville Ice Bears gets ready to enter The Knoxville Photo Booth Company’s exhibit with Stan Hawkins and Dianna Jaynes of Novacopy.
Phil Williams, of NewsTalk 98.7’s Phil Show, hosts a live broadcast outside Schmoozapalooza VII on the plaza of the Civic Coliseum.
Julie Parton receives a pair of roundtrip tickets from McGhee Tyson Airport good to travel anywhere Allegiant Air flies as part of the door prizes awarded at the event.
Lyle Harris shares information about Verizon’s cell phone offerings and business solutions.
The Sam’s Club display was a popular stop for punches on Schmoozapalooza passports as part of the evening’s contest.
Shoe Carnival shows off their impressive offerings to attendees at Schmoozapalooza VII.
K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 61
MONTHLY ECONOMIC INDICATORS
NOTE - Knoxville MSA includes: Anderson, Blount, Knox, Loudon & Union Counties
Resident Labor Force Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee U.S.
% Change Sept. ’11Sept. ‘12
% Change Aug. ’12Sept. ‘12
238,900 376,750 3,103,400 155,075,000
240,790 379,340 3,127,500 155,255,000
238,400 373,700 3,130,000 154,022,000
-0.8 -0.7 -0.8 -0.1
0.2 0.8 -0.8 0.7
Residential Closings Residential Inventory Median Residential Price
Sept. 2012 883 14,636 $140,325
Aug. 2012 1,171 14,909 $147,850
Sept. 2011 887 14,950 $138,575
% Change Aug. ’12Sept. ‘12 -24.6 -1.8 -5.1
% Change Sept. ’11Sept. ‘12 -0.5 -2.1 1.3
Source: Knoxville Area Association of Realtors
Non-Ag Employment Knoxville MSA Tennessee
RESIDENTIAL BUILDING PERMITS
Total Single-Family Multi-Family
Aug. 2012* 16 16 0
Aug. 2011 6 6 0
% Change Aug. ’11Aug. ‘12 167.7 167.7 0.0
Total Single-Family Multi-Family
83 81 2
51 51 0
62.7 58.8 100.0
Total Single-Family Multi-Family
110 108 2
71 71 0
54.9 52.1 100.0
Total Single-Family Multi-Family
1,533 1,119 414
1,077 1,038 39
42.3 7.8 961.5
Available Labor Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee
15,710 25,840 264,840
17,970 28,990 289,950
20,160 32,680 336,580
-12.6 -10.9 -8.7
-22.1 -20.9 -21.3
5.9 6.2 7.6 7.6
6.7 6.9 8.3 8.2
7.7 7.9 9.7 8.8
-0.8 -0.7 -0.7 -0.6
-1.8 -1.7 -2.1 -1.2
Unemployment Rates Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee U.S.
Sources: Tennessee Dept. of Labor & Workforce Development/U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
INFLATION RATES - CONSUMER PRICE INDEX (CPI) Sept. ’11-‘12
*Southeast Region Avg. U.S. Avg. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- ALL ITEMS
% Change Aug. ’11Sept. ‘12
% Change Sept. ’10Sept. ‘12
*South – City Size Class B/C
*All 2012 building permit data is preliminary and therefore subject to revision throughout the year. Sources: U.S. Housing & Urban Development – SOCDS – State of the Cities Data Systems; U.S. Census Bureau – Building Permits Survey
SALES TAX REVENUE - STATE & LOCAL ($) State Sales Tax Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee
46,559,386 64,942,609 570,755,375
46,297,950 64,938,229 568,718,972
48,282,162 66,736,310 554,974,531
0.6 0.0 0.4
-3.6 -2.7 2.8
% Change Sept. ’11Sept. ‘12 3.0 -0.7 3.6 2.5 3.1 4.9 5.1 4.1 -1.2 -2.0 2.5 4.0 8.7 3.9
Local Sales Tax Knox Co. Knoxville MSA
% Change Sept. ’11Sept. ‘12
% Change Aug. ’12Sept. ‘12
AIR SERVICE (MCGHEE-TYSON AIRPORT)
Aug. 2012 146,771 8,577,151
July 2012 161,894 7,305,361
Aug. 2011 154,965 8,137,960
Source: Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority
Source: Tennessee Dept. of Revenue
RETAIL SALES - NATIONAL (IN MILLIONS OF DOLLARS) Category Total Retail Sales Building Materials Clothing Stores Electronics & Appliances Food & Beverage Stores Food Svcs & Drinking Places Furniture & Home Furnishings Gasoline Stations General Merchandise Stores Health & Personal Care Stores Miscellaneous Stores Motor Vehicle & Parts Sales Non-store Retailers Sporting Goods/Books/ Hobby/Music
Sept. 2012 390,766 23,146 18,456 7,765 51,933 43,313 7,942 46,563 48,036 21,819 10,014 70,769 33,842
Aug. 2012 422,637 25,244 20,643 8,098 54,068 45,545 8,558 49,482 52,057 23,089 10,685 80,791 35,678
379,330 23,299 17,818 7,578 50,360 41,271 7,556 44,738 48,615 22,265 9,768 68,024 31,139
% Change Aug. ’12Sept. ‘12 -7.5 -8.3 -10.6 -4.1 -3.9 -4.9 -7.2 -5.9 -7.7 -5.5 -6.3 -12.4 -5.1
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 | 62
% Change July ’12Aug. ‘12 -9.3 17.4
% Change Aug. ’11Aug. ‘12 -5.3 5.4
Innovation Valley Welcomes BHS Corrugated to Knox County The Knoxville Chamber and The Development Corporation of Knox County proudly announced BHS Corrugated North America is relocating to Knox County and will serve as the first tenant Knox County’s Hardin Business Park on October 5. BHS expects to initially have 35-40 employees at the Knox County facility with the potential for 70 employees by the year 2017 with an annual payroll of almost $4 million. “We’re delighted BHS Corrugated is going to stay in East Tennessee and move into the Innovation Valley,” Rhonda Rice, executive vice president of the Knoxville Chamber said. “We know the workforce, quality of life, and infrastructure of West Knox County will fit their expanding needs, and we’ll work to ensure BHS Corrugated has all the tools they need to continue thriving.” The Knoxville Chamber and The Development Corporation of Knox County worked exhaustively with BHS over the course of 2012 to keep the manufacturer in East Tennessee. In all, the courtship process with Chamber staff lasted nearly a year. BHS Corrugated plans to start construction on a 35,000-square-foot facility almost immediately. The company has purchased one parcel of land and has an option on an adjoining parcel as well, as they prepare for possible future growth in the Innovation Valley.
(left to right) Patrick Birmingham, Knoxville Chamber chair-elect; Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett; Lars Engel, managing director of BHS Corrugated; U.S. Rep. Jimmy Duncan; Greg Wolf, of BHS North America; County Commissioner R. Larry Smith; and Roger Osborne, chair of The Development Corporation break ground at BHS Corrugated’s new location.
See “BHS” on pg. 66
PROPEL MENTOR/PROTÉGÉ PROFILE Protégé: Jason West
Jason West, the CEO of LML Ventures has an unusual mentor/protégé situation. Instead of one traditional mentor, West has access to several members of the executive team at Maryville-based RELYANT. Through the connections, both LML Ventures and RELYANT have gained customers. LML Ventures is a service-disabled, government contracting company. “It is very unique, how I came to meet RELYANT. I ran into some of the guys years ago and Dan Smith, the CEO is a former marine. We hit it off,” West said. “RELYANT and LML Ventures are both in government contracting. Both companies have executives that know how to succeed in the domestic United States market but our mentor/protégé team has extensive experience and knowledge of how to navigate austere and hostile areas that present significant risk to government contractors.” West brings a number of years of experience serving with the United States Marines. Deployments to Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan have offered West an understanding of different cultures and a bevy of other experience. Where he used to look for danger and the enemy, West now looks for business. “When you’re in the military you understand all the acronyms and how the government beast operates, so it’s very easy to transition into government contracting as an industry,” he said.
Over the past two years, West estimates he’s spent about 15-months overseas, spending time in Afghanistan. LML Ventures focuses on logistics and the young company derives the bulk of its revenue from that area. Meanwhile, RELYANT works across a number of different industries. “The pipeline is construction, Major West while deployed in Iraq with the United it’s heavy on construction. There States Marine Corps. are opportunities in vehicle maintenance and mining as well,” West said. While West hopes to expand LML Ventures horizon to countries like Kuwait and Djibouti in the near future, he credits the mentor/protégé experience with a piece of his success, helping establish business relationships here at home, and educating the public about what it is his company does. “The mentor/protégé program allows us to get our names out domestically. We want to grow that part of our business and in order to do it, people need to know who we are,” West said. “It’s been a really good situation for me and hopefully RELYANT feels the same.”
K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 63
Barker Sleep Institute Hosts Business After Hours
Barker Sleep Institute recently welcomed dozens of Knoxville Chamber members to a Business After Hours at their Papermill Pointe facility. Chamber members networked and learned about the benefits of a good night’s rest from Dr. Rosanne Barker. Rosa’s Catering provided a terrific spread of hors d’oeurves while Pepsi and Eagle Distributing graciously provided beverages to Dr. Rosanne Barker congratulates Tammy Lawson, the evening’s Dozens of Chamber members attended the event at Barker door prize winner. Sleep Institute. wash it down. Tammy Lawson, of North Cedar Hospitality, won a complimentary sleep testing session and consultation from Barker Sleep Knoxville-area with the area’s most experienced clinical staff and two locations, in Institute. Barker Sleep prides itself on being the most trusted sleep program in the Knoxville and Sevierville.
STEMspark Launches at L&N STEM Academy STEMspark, the Knoxville area’s hub of the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network launched recently at a reception hosted by the L&N STEM Academy in downtown Knoxville. STEMspark will serve as East Tennessee’s go-to resource for science, technology, engineering, and math-related issues for educators, parents, and students. The initiative is part of a unique private-public Dr. Kathleen Airhart, Deputy Commissioner of Education, Dr. Partner organizations, including the Knoxville Chamber, sign collaboration that will expand STEM education in East Jim McIntyre, and L&N STEM Academy principal Becky Ashe memorandums of understanding indicating their support of the Tennessee. STEMspark will primarily serve the comunveil the STEMspark logo. STEMspark brand and STEM hub concept. munity through a website resource. • Increase numbers of highly effective teachers in math and science class“We are excited to debut our new name and logo,” rooms. said Marilyn Roddy, former City Councilwoman who has been appointed as the East • Impact student preparedness for college or the workplace by increasing the Tennessee STEM Hub Director. “‘Knoxville Area Resources for STEM Teaching’ or academic rigor of K-12 experience. ‘KARST’ didn’t fully convey the regional significance of the initiative. I’m confident that • Increase the number of students in the STEM workforce pipeline. the new brand will more accurately convey our mission and help us to expand our The Chamber is one of more than a dozen different stakeholders working to efforts.” ensure the STEM resource will offer value to the community. The regional initiaWhile the hub will be based at L&N STEM Academy, it is expected to serve educative is funded in part by the federal “Race to the Top” grant. tors and students in more than a dozen neighboring counties, stretching as far as STEMspark’s advisory board is currently weighing proposals for the STEMScott County. spark website, which will house most of the resources available for the business The goals for the hub are to: community, educators, and families. • Increase student achievement in core areas, specifically math and science.
K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 64
First-Ever Centered on Sales a Success Centered on Sales, a workshop for sales professionals in the Knoxville area, recently drew around fifty people to Rothchild Catering and Conference Center. The event featured well-known sales gurus sharing best practices as it relates to sales calls, hiring sales professionals, and understanding customer needs. Professionals presenting at the conference included Paula Harriss of Paula Harriss Coaching; Steve Herzog, the President at Sandler Training; and Steve Suggs, the executive vice president of sales at SalesManage Solutions. “It was a great afternoon for everyone in the sales community to refine their craft, brainstorm with other salespeople in the region, and hopefully learn a thing or two to help their organizations in the next year,” Nelson Leiser, the event’s organizer said. “I was delighted to see so many sales professionals committed to customer service.” Leiser said he anticipates the event will become an annual conference in the Knoxville area.
Paula Harriss, of Paual Harriss Coaching takes a question from the audience during the inaugural Centered on Sales event.
Sales professionals from all over East Tennessee attended the event for the opportunity to learn more about selling and to network with one another.
PREMIER PARTNER PROFILE
Castleton Farms Countless couples have started their married lives together on the manicured lawns and in the breathtaking gardens of Castleton Farms. But East Tennessee’s premier event venue is about more than just wedding parties and is an ideal place to ‘wow’ attendees at business gatherings. The unforgettable landscape of Castleton Farms rests on 108 acres of rolling hillside in Loudon with lovely mountain views. The Manor offers four beautifully decorated guest rooms, two parlors, and the family great room all of which is at the disposal of guests during their events. Scattered about the property, guests can find pavilions, sculptures, and flowers, which create a feeling of grandeur. Come winter, the falling leaves give way to a setting that makes the ideal backdrop for large holiday get-togethers and company Christmas parties. “It’s Castleton’s desire to create an unforgettable experience for our clients and their guests from the moment they enter our property during the planning process all the way through the completion of their event,” Darla Walker, the executive director at Castleton Farms said. “Corporate America is so busy, we want to determine what the objective is of the event and work closely to make certain everything is taken care of on this end.” When guests book with Castleton, they receive a full-team working tirelessly to ensure their needs are exceeded. That team includes an event planner that will gain a thorough knowledge of clients’ expectations. Castleton is made up of two gardens. There is a southern garden that includes a bridal pavilion and tented pavilion as well as a vineyard. The carriage house gardens are home to a croquet lawn, the carriage house, and pergola gardens that have hosted many weddings as well. Each setting brings a unique feel that radiates charm. Castleton’s availability for the winter-season is already filling fast with facilities to host intimate executive team gatherings in the on-site manor, or a larger experience for the whole company, sharing the holiday season with 200-250 guests in Castleton’s carriage house. With a large, permanent structure soon-to-be in the works, don’t forget to consider Castleton Farms for next corporate retreats or get-togethers. Contact Darla Walker at (865) 376-9040, to book a Christmas party or corporate gathering.
K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 65
“BHS” continued from pg. 63
“This is the largest investment we’ve ever made in North America and it’s something that we really appreciate and we have been working on for a long time,” Greg Wolf, President of BHS North America said. “We thought the move to Knoxville with the infrastructure and the talent structure that was here would allow us to continue to grow. That was a big part of the decision to stay in East Tennessee and move to Knox County.” Currently operating in Rutledge, Tennessee, with about 40 employees, the corrugated roller expansion project was pursued by a number of other large communities. Competition was fierce as several communities offered free land as well as state incentives to lure the jobs out of Tennessee. “BHS Corrugated’s decision to move into Knox County over communities offering very generous incentives is further evidence Innovation Valley is the place to locate, grow, or start a business,” Todd Napier, President and CEO of The Development Corporation of Knox County said. Several publications have heralded Knoxville as a community to closely watch. Most recently, Business Facilities Magazine touted Knoxville as “synonymous with growth” and called the Innovation Valley the nation’s tenth best area for economic growth potential in the United States. “Their decision to locate in East Tennessee and the Hardin Business Park is another indication of the Innovation Valley’s continued emergence as a leading area to start and grow a business,” Patrick Birmingham, incoming chairman of the Knoxville Chamber’s Board of Directors said. BHS Corrugated is expected to invest at least $6.4 million in building and equipment at Hardin Business Park. The business park, located in West Knox County is fewer than 5 miles from Interstate 40 and sits in the heart of Innovation Valley’s world-class research and technology corridor, anchored by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and McGhee Tyson Airport.
Power 30 Speed Networking 4 – 7 p.m. Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square Members Only
NOVEMBER 8 Premier Partner Event w/ featured speaker Christi Branscom, Project Manager for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Knoxville Build 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square
NOVEMBER 15 Business After Hours 5 – 7 p.m. WorkSpace Interiors, 2820 Middlebrook Pike Sponsored by:
DECEMBER 6 BAH Humbug 5-8 p.m. Windows on the Park, Holiday Inn World’s Fair Park, 525 Henley Street Sponsored by:
BHS North America President Greg Wolf addresses the crowd as incoming Knoxville Chamber Board Chairman Patrick Birmingham and Congressman Jimmy Duncan watch and listen.
BHS Corrugated will be the anchor tenant at Knox County’s Hardin Business Park, located in the Northwest portion of the county off of Pellissippi Parkway.
K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 66
Published on Oct 31, 2012