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INSIDE: New Board of Directors pg. 47-48 + Monthly Economic Indicators pg. 50


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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.


The Knoxville Chamber’s August Employee of the Month, Doug Minter, presents September’s Employee of the Month, Shannon Reeves, with the award.




PAIGE MCDANIEL TENNESSEE VALLEY FAIR CHAMBER STAFF Doug Lawyer @knoxoakridgeIV Jennifer Evans @knoxevans Kyle Touchstone @knoxecondevguy Mark Field @field101 Michelle Kiely @mkiely1


Castleton Farms (865) 376-9040 Event Planning, Catering, & Venues


knox360 (865) 245-2333 Business & Professional Services Master Custom Home Remodeling (865) 458-0416 Construction & Contractors: Remodeling

ADS Security (423) 618-0569 Building & Grounds Maintenance: Security Systems Allstate Benefits - Rick Fagan (865) 382-6376 Insurance: Employee Benefits Ambition Tattoo (865) 200-4640 Personal Services American Traffic Solutions (865) 525-9511 Christian Business Men’s Connection (865) 389-3456 Associations & Organizations

Embassy Suites - Knoxville West (865) 560-5106 Hotels & Lodging Fusion Tanning Studios (865) 980-5530 Personal Services: Salons & Spas Gillenwater Flooring & Kitchen Gallery (865) 984-0744 Shopping: Flooring Kim Bartlett Coldwell Banker (865) 661-5743 Real Estate Master Home Medic (865) 458-0416 Construction & Contractors: Remodeling

National Kidney Foundation of East Tennessee (865) 221-2121 Associations & Organizations Primary Care of Tennessee (865) 200-4101 Healthcare Providers & Services Randy White, CFP - Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. (865) 693-4772 randall.t.white Financial Services: Planning Redbud Construction Services, LLC (865) 250-9172 Construction & Contractors: General Contractors

Rik’s Guitar, Sound and Percussion (865) 691-9590 Shopping: Specialty

Suttree’s Tavern (865) 934-3814 Restaurants - Eating & Drinking Places

Riverbend Consulting Group LLC (865) 246-8492 Business & Professional Services: Business Advisors & Consultants

Trader Joe’s (865) 670-4088 Shopping: Grocery

Segundo Properties (865) 384-7290 Real Estate: Property Management

Tupelo Honey Cafe (865) 522-0004 Restaurants - Eating & Drinking Places

Sleep Apnea Professionals (865) 306-5995 Healthcare Providers & Services: Sleep Disorders Smoky Mountain BBQ (865) 368-3057 Restaurants - Eating & Drinking Places

















White Fox Beads (865) 980-0237 Retail Stores: Crafts Supply & Instruction

All over East Tennessee Knoxville Chamber businesses are finding new ways to improve what they offer to customers, and often it’s coming through a partnership with other Chamber members rather than a capital investment or an expanded product line. The Chamber has recognized this growing trend and wanted to take a closer look at a couple of partnerships that are proving mutually beneficial for the businesses involved in them. While caution is a virtue when it comes to forging partnerships, the two stories below demonstrate the power of partnership.

BREW AND BURGERS With its new, second location just a few months old in downtown Knoxville, The Casual Pint has taken Knoxville’s beer experience to a new level as a mecca for beer connoisseurs to get varieties of beer at The Casual Pint they can’t find anywhere else. But without the power of a unique partnership, customers wouldn’t be able to order food to go along with their beer. “As a staff we knew we wanted to allow our guests to have access to food, but we didn’t want them to have to get up, leave The Casual Pint, and go somewhere else to get it,” Nathan Robinette, the Owner of The Casual Pint said. “Then, Adrienne and I spoke and put it all together.” Adrienne is Adrienne Knight, owner of Trio Café, just around the corner - about a 40-second walk from The Casual Pint. Knight’s Trio staff started hanging out at The Casual Pint after work. They mentioned to her about The Casual Pint’s “BYOF” (Bring Your Own Food) policy and thought there may be a good opportunity for a partnership. “The whole relationship was forged by us offering a good, quality product. I was expecting to really have to sell them,” she said. “I’ve always thought our menu could couple very well with a bar atmosphere.” After a few meetings, Robinette and Knight knew they could bring their busi-

nesses together and deliver something customers wouldn’t otherwise get. “Setting up the partnership was not difficult at all,” Robinette said. “Adrienne and her team made it painless for us. All we have to do is hand over Trio’s menu to our customer and the Trio team does the rest. Trio has done a great job, so we were confident in their ability. We also refer some of the other great restaurants in the Square and Union Ave., but Trio’s is always mentioned at the top of the list.” It’s a win-win-win. Trio gets additional food orders that typically come in at what were non-peak hours for the restaurant, The Casual Pint’s customers stay longer because their food needs are met, and craft beer drinkers get access to a great meal while drinking exceptional ale. Customers don’t even have to pick up the phone to place an order; they can do it from smartphones or iPads from inside The Casual Pint. When the order is ready, it’s immediately brought over to The Casual Pint. “Our guests love the convenience of being able to order great food and have it delivered to them. They never have to leave or stand in a line to get their meal,” Robinette said. “We even had somebody order salmon. I thought ‘that’s so cool they’re drinking really high quality beer and eating salmon’,” Knight said.

NEWSBREAK FINDS A PEARL You’ve probably seen the NewsBreak Network while pumping gas at Pilot stations around Knoxville. The screens are built right into the gas pumps, providing advertisers a somewhat captive audience to share messaging. While Brian Nelson’s network gave advertisers a unique opportunity to reach consumers, it wasn’t until a NewsBreak Network partnership evolved with Pearl Marketing Technologies that advertisers got the functionality and measurability many craved.

K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 45

See “PARTNERS” on pg. 46

“PARTNERS” continued from pg. 45 Pearl gives NewsBreak the opportunity to offer improved analytics to advertisers, giving clients a good idea of just how impactful their advertising dollars are on potential customers. The partnership brings text message feedback from customers, the ability to host text message contests from the gas pump screens, and delivers a method for NewsBreak Network advertisers to stay in touch with those customers long after their commercial spot on the network airs. “I’ve sold clients because I’m willing to offer them that ability to track. The fact that I’m willing and able to put my money where my mouth is, that gives me and the medium more credibility,” Brian Nelson, the general sales manager at NewsBreak Network said. The road to that partnership wasn’t a short one and it took several stages to develop between Nelson and Rich DeForest of Pearl Marketing Technologies. “We started to share about our businesses in baby steps, which made it a lot easier for us to eventually work together,” Nelson said. “We would see each other at Chamber events and that helped to further foster the relationship, I’m a big fan of the Chamber,” Nelson said. Not long after starting to work together, DeForest asked Nelson to join Pearl Marketing Technologies and Morris Creative Group in presenting a marketing seminar at the Chamber. That was the start of a partnership that would eventually grow into a relationship both companies would see directly impact their bottom line. “About a year and a half later we finally figured out how to collaborate so that he (Nelson) goes into an advertiser and tells them how they can lead capture and remarket to the potential customer long after the ad stops running,” DeForest said. The teamwork has strengthened both products and introduced Pearl to companies they wouldn’t have otherwise come into contact with, and certainly wouldn’t be able to call customers if not for the partnership. “We refer to it as collaboration. Especially if you’re a new business, the opportunity to collaborate with partners that have a brand or brand recognition gives you credibility and can give you visibility, which often times will lead to profitability,” DeForest said.

Advice to other business owners and managers on creating partnerships: ADRIENNE KNIGHT, Trio Cafe: “I would say first, think outside the box,” Knight said. “The other thing is, it’s kind of like dating. Somebody is always afraid to make the first move. A lot of people are more receptive to say ‘yes’ than ask the question.”

NATHAN ROBINETTE, The Casual Pint: “Do it! It’s a great form of marketing that doesn’t cost a fortune. It builds a great relationship between small businesses. The customers are happy because they receive great service and are able to get a quality product from both businesses.”

RICH DEFOREST, Pearl Technologies: “You need to know your identity before you can go out and find a partnership with another organization that will work. Also, be patient with the process and allow the relationship to mature before you expect to see your bottom line impacted. Make sure you both have a unique value proposition. In any relationship, both have to be bringing value. Once you establish the value and where your niche is in the marketplace, then and only then, look for partnerships where you can add value from your company to theirs.”

BRIAN NELSON, NewsBreak Network: “Proceed with cautious optimism. You don’t want to be negligent about your business. I think you have to have a willingness to put yourself out there. Knoxville is a “community town”. There is a degree of which you have to be willing to work and partner with like-minded business owners. The way you do that is don’t be unwilling to take the first-step toward a partnership or reach out to another business and say ‘hey, think there could be some synergy here, let’s sit down over lunch or coffee and see’.”

Bright Ideas: Generational Diversity Thousands of Baby Boomers are turning 65-years-old every day. As the Boomers retire, Millenials are quickly becoming the largest segment of the American workforce and companies need to be aware of generational diversity to ensure sustainability and prepare future leaders. Jim Christensen will provide insight into managing multiple generations of workers at a Bright Ideas seminar entitled “Generational Diversity” on October 10 from 11:30 – 1 p.m. at the Knoxville Chamber. Bright Ideas seminars are sponsored by AT&T and presented in association with the Tennessee Small Business Development Center. “I want people to leave this Bright Ideas seminar and understand that there are five distinct generations of workers and a massive transition of wealth which will occur when the Millenials take over,” said Christensen of Dale Carnegie Training of Tennessee. Through Bright Ideas, Christensen will aim to empower Chamber members, giving them more knowledge and raising their awareness of who has the buying power in society and what drives them toward purchasing and making life deci-

sions. Additionally, Christensen will discuss how to grow and effectively mentor younger workers so they can become the next generation of leadership for your company. “There are different ways to look at work ethic and values depending upon the generation you are dealing with and as managers of an organization, you need to be aware of those values,” Christensen said. “It’s not a quick change, but in today’s world, technology is driving the generational gap.” Christensen has worked with hundreds of small and large organizations from Vonore to Bristol while with Dale Carnegie Training. During his time, at least 15,000 East Tennesseans have gone through the Carnegie training program from law firms to nuclear engineers and heating and plumbing companies. To register for this seminar, visit the Chamber events calendar on

Sponsored by:

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EST. 1869


On behalf of the Knoxville Chamber, I’d like to introduce East Tennessee to the 2012-2013 Knoxville Chamber Board of Directors. Many of these men and women recently started their service on the Chamber board but it is highly likely you have already heard of them through their respective businesses. The Chamber is entering its 142nd year as the primary economic driver of the Knoxville area. With the leadership of this board, I’m confident the Chamber will continue to flourish for many generations to come. While our region has grown and the needs of businesses have certainly changed, our objective at the Knoxville Chamber remains the same: Driving Regional Economic Prosperity. We are thrilled these individuals are dedicated to making our community prosper and our Chamber staff looks forward to working with this board of directors and the community as a whole to make our community an even better place to live. Sincerely,

Mike Edwards Chamber President and CEO

Mitchell Steenrod Board Chair Pilot Flying J

Patrick Birmingham Chair Elect Knoxville News Sentinel

Kathy Hamilton Board Secretary Shelton Group

Nathan Hunter Board Treasurer Pinnacle Financial Partners Finance Chair

Robyn Askew Lewis, King, Krieg & Waldrop, P.C. CBID - Ex Officio

Larry Bodie Claris Networks

Gerald Boyd The S.M. Stoller Corporation

Gwendolyn W. Brown Brown Pearman Russell, LLC

Daniel Carter The Trust Company of Knoxville

Chris Chandler Radio Systems Corporation

Dr. Jimmy G. Cheek University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Dr. Joseph DiPietro University of Tennessee

Michael Garfield Health Management Associates

Bill Garibay ES&H, Inc. Transportation & Infrastructure Chair

Cynthia Gibson Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc.

Keith D. Goodwin East Tennessee Children’s Hospital

Kim Greene Tennessee Valley Authority

Ron Honken Great West Casualty Company Workforce Development & Education Chair

Randy D. Jenkins Partners Development

John Kalec Clayton Homes

Joseph Ledford Barge Waggoner Summer and Cannon, Inc. Economic & Community Development Chair

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Andy Lorenz Messer Construction Company

Steve Ridenour J.S. Ridenour Construction, Inc. Membership Chair

Eddie Mannis Prestige Cleaners, Inc.

Misty Mayes Management Solutions, LLC

Mike McNamee Regions Bank

Cavanaugh Mims Visionary Solutions, LLC

Roger Osborne Caris Healthcare, LP TDC - Ex Officio

Damon Rawls Jani-King of Knoxville

Tom Rogers UT-BATTELLE/ORNL Ex Officio

David Rookstool Pepsi Beverage Company

Drew Starke Nissan North America

John Tolsma Knowledge Launch Marketing Chair

Terry Turner All Occasions Party Rentals

Howard H. Vogel O’Neil, Parker & Williamson, PLLC MKAA - Ex Officio

Mike West Northshore Management Company

Jonathan Williams Accord Federal Services, LLC

Susan Williams SRW & Associates Government Relations & Public Policy Chair

Greg Wilson First Tennessee Bank, N.A.

Tim Wright AAA East Tennessee

EST. 1869

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Mountains of Praise for Innovation Valley Business Facilities, a trade magazine targeted toward businesses and site selection consultants is high on the Innovation Valley. In the latest edition of the magazine, the Knoxville area is ranked No. 8 amongst fastest growing cities and No. 10 for economic growth potential. According to the most recent data available from Tennessee’s Department of Workforce Development, the Knoxville metropolitan area currently enjoys the lowest unemployment rate of Tennessee’s metro areas. “Our 2012 metro growth rankings show that growth is synonymous with Knoxville,” Business Facilities editor in chief Jack Rogers said. “Few cities can match the combination of assets the Tennessee city brings to the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley. Knoxville has all of the attributes that will enable it to be a growthcenter for years to come.” The metro rankings results indicate the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the University of Tennessee are high-tech leaders in the country and are helping establish the Innovation Valley as a primary alternative-energy hub. Dr. Thom Mason, director of ORNL, is also the chairman of the Innovation Valley board of directors. The regional economic development initiative works closely with the publicly funded lab and private industries to bridge the gap between research

and the marketplace. “I believe in the adage, ‘companies innovate or they die’,” Jessie Smith, Innovation Valley’s technical director said. “We ask companies, why would you want to be anywhere else?” What better way than to tap into DOE’s largest energy materials lab and the innovative products coming out of Y-12 and the many collaborative efforts with a major university?” Those synergies between research and the region’s economy will lead to a bright future in East Tennessee. “With an influx of skilled workers and a world-class research infrastructure, we expect Knoxville to continue its upward climb in our key metro rankings categories,” Rogers said. Tennessee as a state is also very well represented in Business Facilities “Rankings Report”, including a first-place ranking in the category of Automotive Manufacturing Strength, a No. 8 ranking for Best Business Climate, and a No. 8 ranking for Economic Growth Potential. “We’re excited about our economic future in the Innovation Valley and it appears Tennessee as a whole is making the moves necessary to build a worldclass workforce that is capable of the type of innovation that can truly shape the world’s future,” Rhonda Rice, the executive vice president of the Knoxville Chamber said.

Carbon Fiber Could Fuel Innovation Valley Growth New federal rules on efficiency coming from Washington D.C. could help fuel East Tennessee’s local economy as part of a plan that Innovation Valley and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory initiated more than a year ago. President Obama’s administration recently finalized rules that will require auto manufacturers to nearly double the average fuel economy of cars and trucks by the year 2025. The ambitious standards call for an average efficiency of more than 54 miles-per-gallon, which will likely lead to more efficient engines and lighter car bodies. Looking to make lighter, stronger materials for use in manufacturing is something Knoxville Chamber executives and Innovation Valley partners have been ahead of the curve in exploring. “There is no way to get to 54-miles per gallon without putting vehicles on a weight diet. You can only increase efficiency of a gas or hybrid engine so much,” Jesse Smith, Innovation Valley’s director of technology said. “I believe for the first time we have energy independence in our sight.” Little more than a year ago, ORNL started a new organization called The Carbon Fiber Composites Consortium that Innovation Valley is currently the administrator of. Through the partnership, ORNL is working on developing low-cost carbon fiber in Oak Ridge that could play a significant role in the future of manufacturing and economic development in East Tennessee. The group centers on a manufacturing demonstration-facility that will allow test runs of carbon fiber for U.S. manufacturing. A $35-million Department of Energy grant paid for the Oak Ridge facility. The Carbon Fiber Technology Center is close to opening and by many estimates should be open by the first quarter of 2013. While the facility won’t be able to produce large-scale amounts of carbon fiber – with a limit of around 25 tons per year, the facility will allow organizations to easily

test ways to make carbon fiber more affordable. Since inception, 42 companies have joined the consortium, which charges members $5,000 to $10,000 annually depending upon the organization’s size to be a part of the partnership. Benefits include gaining access to the research at the ORNL facility. Twice a year the consortium meets to update members about what is happening at the test-manufacturing center. Industries then have a chance to weigh-in and help drive the direction of research. “The growth potential is astronomical. Carbon fiber is lighter than metal but it’s also stronger than metal. This is material that is being put into Formula One race cars,” Smith said. “We’re working with folks every day, talking about getting them to move here.” Once lower-cost carbon fiber is developed, ORNL then plans to license the technology to a company that will create a process for producing larger amounts of the carbon-fiber in order to fulfill the quantities needed to supply manufacturers for commercial purposes. Today, carbon fiber costs manufacturers a minimum of $15 and up per pound depending upon the grade of material purchased. “We hope to get to the $5 to $7 per pound price range. We’ll see developments that bring a lower price within the first year but the definition of ‘low-cost carbon fiber’ will always be changing as we work to improve the price.” Smith said. Innovation Valley is already working to ensure those large-scale manufacturing facilities will want to locate near Knoxville.

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See “CARBON” on pg. 54


(August 2012)

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



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

% Change July ’11July ‘12

July 2012

June 2012

July 2011

% Change June ’12July ‘12

243,050 383,400 3,141,500 156,526,000

243,790 384,570 3,152,900 156,385,000

240,840 377,830 3,144,800 154,812,000

-0.3 -0.3 -0.4 0.1

0.9 1.5 -0.1 1.1

336,000 2,677,300

336,900 2,683,500

326,100 2,644,900

-0.3 -0.2

3.0 1.2

Note: August workforce numbers were unavailable at time of printing.

Residential Closings Residential Inventory Median Residential Price

Aug. 2012 1,171 14,909 $147,850

July 2012 1,034 14,862 $148,125

Aug. 2011 979 15,555 $137,550

% Change July ’12Aug. ‘12 13.2 0.3 -0.2

% Change Aug. ’11Aug. ‘12 19.6 -4.2 7.5

Source: Knoxville Area Association of Realtors

Non-Ag Employment Knoxville MSA Tennessee


Knoxville (City)

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

July 2012* 8 8 0

July 2011 10 10 0

% Change July ’11July ‘12 -20.0 -20.0 0.0

Knox Co.

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

67 65 2

70 70 0

-4.3 -7.1 100.0

Knoxville MSA

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

90 88 2

82 82 0

9.8 7.3 100.0


Total Single-Family Multi-Family

1,159 1,073 86

912 862 50

27.1 24.5 72.0

Available Labor Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee

18,020 29,670 305,620

17,880 29,440 301,200

20,090 32,880 338,090

0.8 0.8 1.5

-10.3 -9.8 -9.6

6.7 7.0 8.8 8.6

6.7 7.0 8.7 8.4

7.5 7.9 9.6 9.3

0.0 0.0 0.1 0.2

-0.8 -0.9 -0.8 -0.7

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

Aug. ’11-‘12

July ’11-‘12

Aug. ’10-‘11

1.5 1.7

1.4 1.4

4.5 3.8


% Change July ’11Aug. ‘12

% Change Aug. ’10Aug. ‘12

0.1 0.3

-3.0 -2.1

*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

Aug. 2012

July 2012

Aug. 2011

46,297,950 64,938,229 568,718,972

46,297,950 64,938,229 568,718,972

45,906,305 64,783,169 562,362,748

-3.6 -3.2 -7.4

0.9 0.2 1.1

12,662,776 17,689,587

12,662,776 17,689,587

13,079,260 18,220,475

-3.9 -0.5

-3.2 -2.9

Local Sales Tax Knox Co. Knoxville MSA

% Change Aug. ’11Aug. ‘12

% Change July ’12Aug. ‘12


Passengers Cargo

June 2012 163,024 7,991,223

May 2012 157,152 8,076,221

June 2011 175,217 7,865,705

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

Aug. 2012 421,436 24,913 20,537 8,116 54,243 45,682 8,496 49,227 52,000 23,238 10,608 80,327 35,268

July 2012 400,9452 24,982 18,274 7,828 53,385 44,963 7,925 45,835 49,830 22,259 10,191 75,516 33,099

398,950 24,540 19,056 8,293 52,054 42,232 7,772 47,602 51,642 23,032 10,087 72,557 31,844

% Change July ’12Aug. ‘12 5.1 -0.3 12.4 3.7 1.6 1.6 7.2 7.4 4.4 4.4 4.1 6.4 6.6





Aug. 2011

% Change Aug. ’11Aug. ‘12 5.6 1.5 7.8 -2.1 4.2 8.2 9.3 3.4 0.7 0.9 5.2 10.7 10.8 6.6

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 | 50

EST. 1869

% Change May ’12June ‘12 3.7 -1.1

% Change June ’11June ‘12 -7.0 1.6

Chamber Business Development Manager Delivers Keynote at VW Supplier Conference The complicated automotive supplier universe can be confusing and even overwhelming for small businesses looking to land contracts with large component manufacturers or even automotive manufacturers themselves. To help explain the process, Volkswagen recently hosted “Partnering for Success”, a minority business trade show. Nearly 200 small businesses from across the country attended the free conference at the Chattanooga Convention Center, including the Knoxville Chamber’s Doug Minter. “It was a phenomenal show! I look for this conference to become the pinnacle auto conference for minority-owned suppliers in the country,” Minter, the Knoxville Chamber’s business development manager said. “VW offered some of the most practical information I have ever heard at a trade show like that.” The trade-show included a pair of workshops, including a panel that Minter sat on which explored diversity supplier issues. Minter also delivered a keynote address at the conference that focused on the concept of “coopetition”. Coopetition is a business strategy that combines cooperation and competition with the understanding that business competitors can mutually benefit when they work together.

“The auto industry continues to grow in Tennessee and we talked about the nature of growing minority-owned businesses in the auto-world,” he said. “You have to have a coopetition-plan when you’re in the auto world because you need to rely on other people. You can’t just contract with yourself, you have to have partners.” Several Knoxville-area businesses attended the trade show where they heard Volkwsagen procurement executives explain how to get a foot in the door with some of Tennessee’s largest companies. “If you’re a small company and you want to do work with someone the size of Volkswagen, odds are you’re not going to land a contract with a large facility. But, if you understand coopetition, you might be able to find a niche role that will help grow your small business,” he said. “I was impressed. I felt like we got real information – not smoke and mirrors – that offered suppliers a chance to not only interact with Volkswagen but also the auto manufacturer’s tier-one suppliers,” Minter continued. Minter also made connections that could spark development in the Innovation Valley. One particular auto supplier has an appointment on the books to visit Oak Ridge National Laboratory to explore a possible research facility in the region.

PROPEL MENTOR/PROTÉGÉ PROFILE Protégé: Erika Addington, I-Recruit Mentor: Andy Moss, M Force Staffing Before Andy Moss’s company, M Force Staffing, became the established and quickly expanding agency it is today, Moss had role models that helped him lay the foundation for the company. “I really looked up to them, asked them questions and was able to overcome hurdles they had already leapt over. They had ‘been there, done that,’ and I was able to learn from those experiences,” Moss said. Now, Moss’s experience is helping Erika Addington and her young company I-Recruit. M Force and I-Recruit are both staffing agencies, but they focus on different industries. Many of the processes that have helped M Force grow are applicable to I-Recruit. I-Recruit specializes in call center, customer service, and administrative positions while M Force puts a focus on information technology, engineering, industrial, and manufacturing segments. “We have enjoyed the mentorship because we have learned from our mentor about his past experience as a new business owner, explaining some of the challenges he overcame and successes he enjoyed. He also encourages us to move forward and shares industry tools that have worked for his company. We have a mutually beneficial relationship where we are learning

from one another,” Addington said. “I see a lot of myself in I-Recruit. They are eager, professional, and have that entrepreneurial spirit. For me, helping a young company is a way to give back. I can’t repay some of my mentors, but helping out other business owners is one Erica Addingtion Andy Moss way I can show how much I appreciate the people who helped me,” Moss said. Moss’s guidance isn’t something that’s gone unappreciated by Addington and IRecruit. The younger company has lofty goals as it looks to increase its client base while branding itself as a diversity placement recruitment firm. With the help of M Force, I-Recruit is on its way.

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Huge Crowd Takes In Knoxville News Sentinel Open

A huge Chamber crowd welcomed the Tour back to Farragut’s Fox Den Country Club as the Knoxville News Sentinel Open, presented by Pilot Flying J, opened the tournament with a Business After Hours networking event sponsored by Comcast. More than 250 Chamber members and Guests enjoyed a beautiful evening and great view of the 18th green at the annual Business After Hours sponsored by Comcast. (R) Knoxguests took in the first round of the tournaville News Sentinel publisher and Knoxville Chamber Board Chair-Elect Patrick Birmingham welcomes the crowd. ment, enjoying great hospitality and networking. The Knoxville News Sentinel Open set an attendance record, bringing more than Comcast, the event’s sponsor generously provided an Infinity backpack with a 40,000 people to the four-day tournament at Fox Den. dozen golf balls as a door prize won by Bryan Ford of Crowe Horwath LLP. Clint Porter of ORNL Federal Credit Union also won a $45 Visa gift card, thanks to Comcast. Lindsay Nolen of First State Bank won a set of V.I.P. hospitality passes to the Sponsored by: tournament provided by the Knoxville News Sentinel Open. Darron Stiles won this year’s tournament and the accompanying orange jacket.

First-Ever Event Puts Sales Center Stage A first of its kind event is offering the opportunity for Knoxville-area professionals to network and refine their salesmanship skills in early October. Nelson Leiser, regional recruiting manager for Wyndham Vacation Resorts, recognized the need for a new event targeted at the region’s sales professionals. His concept was for a conference-style gathering that would provide sales-focused professional development seminars, a mini trade show, and an opportunity for recruiters to meet young sales professionals. The new event called Centered on Sales will be held October 3. It will offer unique opportunities for members of the sales community. “Whether you’re in sales or you’re a manager, it would be better for you to network in that room with other employed sales people than hoping they will respond to your advertisement on Monster,” Leiser, the regional recruiting manager for Wyndham Vacation Ownership said. Any company that wants exposure in front of potential sales people will benefit from participating as a vendor at the event. For individuals, workshops will focus on skills development, networking, and the future of the profession. Leiser anticipates about 100 area sales professionals will attend this year’s inaugural event. Leiser also anticipates the event will be beneficial for aspiring sales professionals. With a variety of resources available to young professionals looking to start a career in sales, Leiser hopes Centered on Sales will open some eyes as it relates to a sales career in East Tennessee. “We know students are leaving the University of Tennessee, going into sales, and leaving town. I certainly believe if they knew who we are, we’d have a better shot of

keeping them here in Knoxville,” Leiser said. Attendees will have their choice of nine different seminars, each focusing on a different niche in the sales world, including but not limited to: “Purpose-Based Systems,” “Scheduling to Gold,” “Stop Selling and Start Helping People Make Decisions,” “Recruiting the Best Salespeople,” and “ Adapt Your Sales Style to Your Buyer.” Additionally, three well-known sales professionals in the Knoxville area will serve as guest speakers: Paula Harriss of Paula Harriss Coaching will offer a motivational message specifically geared toward sales professionals. Steve Herzog, the President at Sandler Training, will share his experience working with sales and management professionals in Fortune 500 clients. Steve Suggs, the executive vice president of sales at SalesManage Solutions, will share his expertise in hiring and coaching salespeople, development and implementing sales activity systems and processes, and coaching organizations to higher sales. “I think they are all well thought of by the business community in Knoxville, and they each have their little niche so we don’t anticipate much overlap in terms of programming,” Leiser said. Rothchild Catering and Conference Center will serve as the host for this firstof-its-kind opportunity on October 3 from 1 – 5 p.m. To register for Centered on Sales, head to the Chamber’s events calendar at

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Visiting Superintendent Talks Tech Success in Schools When the community of Mooresville, North Carolina, invested in its public school system the return it received was higher test scores, more engaged students, and a district that is serving as the model for school districts around the country. Last spring, the idea of a similar investment in the classroom sparked heated debate in Knox County as the school district looked for ways to incorporate modern learning tools into every day curriculum. Recently, at an event sponsored by the Knox County Parent Teacher Association, the Mooresville superintendent said Knox County’s attempted approach is paying dividends for his community, located just north of Charlotte. Mark Edwards, superintendent of Mooresville Public Schools, told the crowd that Mooresville communicated the need to get laptops in the hands of every student as an upgrade to their instructional programs, not as a technology project. By approaching the need from this perspective, they were better able to demonstrate measurable results from the investment. They put a laptop in the hands of every third-grade and older student. “Most importantly we understood the need for a culture shift in terms of expectations,” said Edwards, who spoke as part of the ninth annual Education Network Forum sponsored by the Knox County Council PTA. “We certainly saw the need and the impetus to make those moves and really embrace it.” Implementing technology into the curriculum while initiating higher standards helped Mooresville become one of just four districts in the state of North Carolina to meet state standards in all academic areas. Raw test scores improved, the achievement gap between student groups narrowed, and the entire atmosphere of classrooms in the district changed. In fact, even the lowest-performing group of students, participants in the special education program, achieved a proficiency rate of 92-percent. The investment also came with a complete change of culture in the district that eventually trickled down to the students. Students are now inclined to collaborate with one-another and the traditional model of students sitting at desks with pen and paper in hand has been replaced in Mooresville with what looks more like the environment in a laboratory than a classroom. The Mooresville model has been so successful that educators from forty states have visited the district. And about 100 attendees made a point to hear Edwards speak in East Tennessee. “It was inspiring to see the kind of transformation that’s possible for about $2 per student each day,” Jennifer Evans, the Chamber’s vice president of public policy and workforce development said. “There is no doubt in my mind we have the educators, administration, and parents to ensure a similar investment would yield impressive results in Knox County.”


NAI Knoxville

Committed to East Tennessee. Front row (left to right): Townsend Collins, Maribel Koella, Brian Tapp. Back row (left to right): James Roberson, Trey Miller, Sam Tate, Roger Denny, Matt Fentress

NAI Knoxville is known for its market leadership, knowledgeable and experienced professionals, and commitment to customer service. As a full service commercial real estate company, NAI Knoxville offers a comprehensive range of services along with the experience required to handle commercial real estate needs. Maribel Koella, the founder, owner, and principal broker for NAI Knoxville, specializes in the sale and lease of industrial and investment properties. Koella has over 25 years of experience as a Realtor and a real estate appraiser. She has earned the prestigious SIOR and CCIM designations. Koella has been actively involved in supporting the community with her involvement as a board member of Technology 2020, the Knoxville Chamber, the Smoky Mountain Tremont Institute, and the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau. Koella is currently Chair of the NAI Global Leadership Board and is the first woman to ever hold that position. Connected to the World. As the exclusive local representative of NAI Global, the world’s most extensive real estate services network, NAI Knoxville’s affiliates are virtually everywhere—from Los Angeles to London, Memphis to Mexico, and Taipei to Toronto—in 355 offices worldwide with 5,000 real estate partners. The local affiliation with NAI keeps the firm on the leading edge of the industry, while allowing it to maintain our local ownership and hometown loyalty. Commercial Real Estate Services. NAI Knoxville specializes in the sale and lease of the following types of property: • Industrial • Office • Investment • Corporate • Retail • Land • Multifamily Contact NAI Knoxville to discuss its full list of services or a specific commercial real estate need, by calling (865) 777-3030. Build on the power of our network.™

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Image Matters Hosts Another Large Crowd for Annual a.m. Exchange Image Matters helped kick-off the Tennessee/Florida game weekend by welcoming more than 100 Knoxville Chamber members to an a.m. Exchange event. They also took the opportunity to unveil their updated logos. Chamber members had an opportunity to network with one another while enjoying a delicious breakfast provided by catering sponsor All Occasion Catering. During the event, Image Matters gave away several great door prizes to attendees. • Gift Card for Full Car Detail – Lynne Fugate of CapitalMark Bank and Trust • Gift Card for Exterior Car Wash – Jeff Jones of TradeBank • 2 Entries for Color Me Rad Race benefiting Children’s Hospital – Andy Huddleston of Wyatt Insurance • Salon Visage Gift Card – Kris Rhea of King College • Salon Visage Gift Card – Stephen King of Hot 104.5/Journal Broadcast Group • Salon Visage Gift Card – Del Wilson of Patrice & Associates • 2 Tickets to Florida vs. UT game and 2 passes to Tailgate TN - David Brooks of Van Elkins and Associates, CPAs



Bright Ideas Seminar: Generational Diversity Presented by: Jim Christensen, Dale Carnegie 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. $25 for Chamber members/$30 for non-members Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square

Sponsored by: Presented in association with:

OCTOBER 18 Business After Hours 5 – 7 p.m. Barker Sleep Institute, 1388 Papermill Pointe Way Sponsored by:

OCTOBER 25 Annual Meeting 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. The Square Room, 4 Market Square

LEFT: J.D. Sullivan, President of Image Matters, welcomes the crowd to their Sutherland Avenue offices.

NOVEMBER 8 Exclusive Premier Partner Event w/ Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Project Manager, Christi Branscom

ABOVE: About 100 members of the business community came to network at Image Matters.

7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square

“CARBON” continued from pg. 49 “They’ll want to be here so they are right by the research and development lab. It makes more sense to run a test batch at a smaller scale facility than on a massscale,” Smith said. Additionally, ORNL is establishing a training program for workers in a carbonfiber manufacturing environment while Roane State Community College is focused on giving students experience building more products out of carbon fiber. Consortium member organizations have the opportunity to work with Roane State on developing appropriate curricula to ensure the workforce is in place to make East Tennessee a leader in carbon fiber production. In the end, even with low-cost carbon fiber, the improved technology could make

vehicles more expensive but the benefits will likely outweigh those costs. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood estimates Americans will pay somewhere between $2,000 to $3,000 more per new automobile using the current materials price-structure but the government also expects fuel savings of more than $8,000 over the life of the car or truck. Those net savings would give drivers a reason to get excited about fuel efficiency and carbon fiber while offering an excellent return when it comes to jobs in the Innovation Valley dealing with the emerging technology. To help explain what exactly carbon-fiber is, Smith recently conducted a workshop with approximately 50 business professionals at the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce. To see his presentation, “Carbon Fiber for Dummies,” head to the Knoxville Chamber’s YouTube channel at

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Commerce, October 2012  
Commerce, October 2012  

The latest news from the Knoxville Chamber.