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INSIDE: MediaWorks Demo Day pg. 48 + Monthly Economic Indicators pg. 50










Top Achievers are recognized for their countless volunteer hours and dedication to the Ambassador Program’s mission of serving as an active volunteer extension of the Knoxville Chamber to cultivate, promote, and maintain positive relationships between the Knoxville Chamber, its members, and the community.





NEW MEMBERS / NEW PREMIER PARTNERS SILVER PREMIER PARTNERS Applied Software (404) 564-1843 Business & Professional Services Computer & IT Services Business & Professional Services: Technical Services

BRONZE PREMIER PARTNERS ACTS Fleet Maintenance (866) 938-5910 Automotive Sales, Parts, & Service:Repair & Service Transportation: Fleet Maintenance Automotive Sales, Parts, & Service Transportation Full Service BBQ (865) 247-7316 Restaurants Event Planning, Catering, & Venues: Catering



Arrow G Consulting, LLC (865) 407-0703 Business & Professional Services: Business Advisors & Consultants Behavioral Foundations (865) 288-7871 Healthcare Providers & Services: Psychologists Confidence Learning Services (865) 226-9477 Education & Training Fish Window Cleaning - West Knoxville (865) 675-6653 Building & Grounds Maintenance: Cleaning Services & Supplies

HME, Inc. (865) 483-6563 Building & Grounds Maintenance InHouse GFX - Print, Design, Web (865) 622-3263 Business & Professional Services: Promotional Products Integrity HR Services (865) 862-7284 Business & Professional Services: Human Resources Knox Wellness, PLLC (865) 321-9255 Healthcare Providers & Services

Fulin’s Asian Cuisine - Merchant Drive (865) 281-3371 Restaurants

Kred LLC (865) 317-5685 Shopping: Specialty

Full Service BBQ - Maryville (865) 981-4414 Restaurants

Liberty Mutual Insurance (865) 539-0039 Insurance

MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort & Convention Center (423) 578-6632 Wedding Services Sports & Recreation:Golf Hotels & Lodging Metal Supermarkets (865) 630-2555 knoxville Manufacturing: Metals Mountain Laurel Leadership (865) 896-9665 Business & Professional Services Murphy USA (870) 814-7819 Shopping: Convenience Stores & Travel Centers Outlier’s Advantage: Knoxville In-Home Tutoring (865) 643-6030 Education & Training: Tutorial Services










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Prosys Information Systems (865) 310-8843 Computer & IT Services Pureline Design & Print, Inc. (865) 690-0288 Business & Professional Services:Printers QOL Designs (865) 257-9765 Business & Professional Services The Stanuszek Law Group, PLLC (865) 696-1032 Legal Services: Attorneys Staybridge Suites Knoxville West (865) 675-7829 Hotels & Lodging Viles Automotive Group (865) 859-0186 Automotive Sales, Parts, & Service: Repair & Service Automotive Sales, Parts, & Service: Body Repairing & Painting Automotive Sales, Parts, & Service: Pre-Owned Cars Automotive Sales, Parts, & Service

Mike Edwards: Cut Out the Noise, Stay the Course on Education in Knox County

Mike Edwards Knoxville Chamber President & CEO

Knox County Schools was recently deemed “exemplary” by Gov. Bill Haslam, joining an elite group of school districts in the state. Out of 144 districts in Tennessee, Knox County is one of 12 to earn this prestigious designation, and the first urban

district to be recognized. In addition, six Knox County schools were named Reward Schools for being in the top five percent in the state for performance and yearafter-year performance. This is fantastic news that should be celebrated not only by every student, parent, teacher, administrator, and board member — but by the entire community. Exemplary districts are recognized for raising proficiency levels, narrowing achievement gaps, and guaranteeing growth for all students. While announcing the designation, the governor said results like these don’t happen by accident. As a member of the state Board of Education, I can tell you this could not be more true. Becoming an exemplary district is a direct result of Tennessee and Knox County taking necessary steps to put students’ success first — the most important of these reforms being much-needed changes to our math and language arts standards. These elevated standards are critical to preparing today’s students to be tomorrow’s workforce. Our educators have done a phenomenal job

teaching more rigorous curriculum, and our students have accepted the additional challenge and shown they can compete with anyone. In fact, 2015 marked the fifth consecutive year that Knox County Schools students’ overall scores on the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, or TCAP, were either higher or on par with the state of Tennessee’s average in every achievement category. In 2013 and 2014, the school system received straight A’s on the Tennessee State Report Card for reading/language arts, math, science, and social studies. The achievement grades are based on how well students performed on the TCAP assessments against the curriculum standards. However, if you go back a few years, great results like this weren’t the norm in Knox County. In 2011, only 19 percent of high school students met the ACT college readiness benchmarks. Also, the majority of students in grades 3-12 were scoring 50 percent or less on their end-of-course exams in STEM subjects — or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The school system was consistently graduating students who didn’t have the proper skills for success in postsecondary education or in the workforce. Today, 23 percent of Knox County’s students meet the ACT college readiness benchmark, which well surpasses the state’s average of 16 percent. This number will only continue to grow, as Knox County has clearly demonstrated that it’s on a trajectory to reach higher percentages, and at a pace that is the envy of the state. What Knox County Schools has done to improve student success over the past five years is extraordinary. Test scores have consistently risen, and the school system has addressed the achievement gap for students of low income, minority students, students with disabilities, and

English language learners. Knox County has been able to close the achievement gap in 12 of the 16 measurement areas. We all know that the future of today’s students is based on both what they know and what they can do. Their ability to earn a livable wage, to raise a family, and to realize the American dream is dependent on how prepared they are when they leave high school. The success of Knox County Schools over the past few years is proof the district is doing a great job of making sure students are ready for the next step. The strides Knox County is making — along with other successful districts in the surrounding areas like Monroe County, which also received exemplary status — represent the creation of a strong workforce pipeline in our region. While these achievements are a great reason to celebrate, we must stay focused and not fall into complacency. Knox County Schools needs to stay the course on what it’s doing to prepare our 50,000-plus students for post-secondary life. Too often in public education, petty politics reduces the public discourse to “majoring in the minors.” Only by not allowing this to happen will we be able to continue this extraordinary success. The law rightfully requires all students to attend school, and as taxpayers we fund Knox County Schools. The community must demand that those we’ve put in charge of our students’ education stay the course, and not allow anything to detract from student success. As a community, we need to voice our support of Knox County Schools’ current path. If we do that, our students will be well-served. This column originally appeared on the Perspectives section of the Knoxville News Sentinel on Aug. 16.

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Large Crowd Expected at Tailgate-Themed Schmoozapalooza

AMS Corporation Receives U.S. Chamber Blue Ribbon Award

The Knoxville Chamber is gearing up for Schmoozapalooza XIII on Sept. 10 at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum. More than 600 people are expected to attend the tailgatethemed networking extravaganza. With more than 80 businesses exhibiting, the bash gives attendees a chance to make new connections in a fun, casual setting. “Schmoozapalooza provides Knoxville-area businesses with an affordable venue to market their products and services to a large mass of the business community,” said Mark Field, the Chamber’s senior vice president. “There is always a great buzz and energy at the event. We try to keep it light and lively so attendees can have fun while doing business.” Comcast Business and Verizon Wireless will present this fall’s event, with supporting sponsors SERVPRO of Rocky Hill/Sequoyah Hills/South Knoxville and Lamar Outdoor Advertising; media sponsor Sports Radio WNML; goody bag sponsor Threds; and door prize sponsor Tailgate Tennessee. The event will be held from 4 – 7 p.m. and tickets are $10 at the door. Chamber members can save $5 by pre-registering on prior to Sept. 8. SPONSORED BY:

AMS Corporation was one of the recipients of the U.S. Chamber’s 2015 Blue Ribbon Small Business Awards. Nazzy Hashemian accepted the award on behalf of the company in June. SUPPORTED BY:

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Second Annual MediaWorks Demo Day Showcases Knoxville Digital Media Startups A sold-out crowd of more than 250 people attended the 2015 MediaWorks Demo Day on August 11. Nine media startups participated in Knoxville Entrepreneur Center’s (KEC) 12week, fast-paced digital media accelerator program, which concluded with Demo Day held at the Square Room in downtown Knoxville. The goal of MediaWorks is to showcase and build upon a thriving digital media industry that supports KEC’s vision of making Knoxville the digital media hub of the South. Creative media is a target recruitment sector for Innovation Valley, the regional economic development partnership managed by the Knoxville Chamber. Participants are partnered with a supporting mentor and spend at least 150 hours over a 12-week period focusing on building a product, attracting users, and creating an investable story. During the event, guests heard from a panel of four digital media experts. Moderated by Newsbreak CEO Bob Bradley, the panel discussed the rapidly changing industry and how companies can make their own footprint in the Knoxville market. Each startup was then given the opportunity to pitch its idea to the standing room only crowd, which included investors, customers, and supporters of the program. “We couldn’t be more excited about the teams that presented, and the crowd that showed up. It’s fantastic,” said Jim Biggs, executive director of KEC. Among the participants was Children’s Media Studio, the winner of Knoxville Chamber’s What’s the Big Idea 48-Hour Launch competition. The company has already successfully launched an educational app for children’s tablets, and is working on expanding that reach. By Christmas, the app will come preloaded on over 7 million children’s tablets. “Without the business influence that we’ve learned throughout MediaWorks, we probably wouldn’t be anywhere close to where we are today,” said Zachary Stuart, MediaWorks participant and co-founder of fantasy sports app Solidpick. “The thought process that goes into developing a business is far more than the common person would think.” To learn more about KEC and its MediaWorks program, visit Kayla Witt, marketing coordinator for the Knoxville Chamber, contributed this story.

ABOVE: Jim Biggs, director of KEC, kicks off MediaWorks Demo Day 2015. BELOW: Cathy Vangieri of Children’s Media Studio pitches during MediaWorks Demo Day 2015. The education children’s learning program also won the Knoxville Chamber’s What’s the Big Idea 48-Hour Launch in March.

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One of a Kind Justin Kropff, 1976 -2015

The staff of the Knoxville Chamber lost a former co-worker and good friend on Aug. 7, 2015, when Justin Kropff lost a long and courageous battle with ocular melanoma at the age of 39. Justin was the communications coordinator for the Chamber from March 2008 to September 2011. For those of you who crossed paths with him at Chamber events, you are aware he knew no stranger. His smile, laugh, and boundless energy endeared him to everyone he met. Justin is survived by his wife of six years, Allison Kropff, a news anchor for WTSP in Tampa. Anyone wishing to honor Justin’s life can do so by making a donation to “Justin Kropff Ocular Melanoma Research Fund,” 201 E. Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL 33602.

Diversity Champions Group Leads Diversity Discussion with Michael Eric Dyson Community members gathered at the Knoxville Urban League headquarters in midJuly to discuss the diversity and inclusion barriers that challenge the advancement of the region. The conversation, headlined by nationally renowned scholar Michael Eric Dyson, was hosted by Innovation Valley’s Diversity Champions and sponsored by 100 Black Women, the University of Tennessee’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion, and the City of Knoxville. During the program, Dyson discussed the importance of diversity and inclusion in a community, and gave tips on how Knoxville can become a more welcoming city. “Dyson is an academic who is working to break down stereotypes and does this by making everyone in the room feel uncomfortable,” said Josh Buchanan, public policy analyst for the Knoxville Chamber. “Our cultural differences are weaved into the fabric that holds our Renowned scholar Michael Eric Dyson led a discussion community together and on diversity and inclusion with Innovation Valley’s Divertolerance has to start in sity Champions program in July. our workplaces where, as many successful businesses have learned, diversity of thought leads to a more positive bottom line.” Dyson attended Knoxville College before transferring to Carson Newman where he ultimately earned his undergraduate degree. Dyson also went on to obtain his master’s and Ph.D. in religion from Princeton University. Dyson has been named by Ebony magazine as one of the hundred most influential black Americans and is the author of 16 books. He currently is a professor of sociology at Georgetown University. Kayla Witt, marketing coordinator for the Knoxville Chamber, contributed this story.

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Preview: Chamber’s Fall Bright Ideas Seminars The Knoxville Chamber’s fall Bright Ideas professional development seminars is underway. Presented by BGT Recruiting and Consulting, Bright Ideas is an educational lunch and learn program that features local business professionals speaking on a range of pertinent topics. On Sept. 15, Ben McWhorter of The E.W. Scripps Company will present “Show Me the Money! – Where Knoxvillians are Spending Their Money,” which will highlight local consumer information and market spending patterns. McWhorter will use data from the Scarborough market research company to share how and where Knoxvillians are spending their money, and what new technologies they are using. This information will help attendees understand how to target their customers. Mark McComas from GridWell LLC will present “Design Your Organization” on Oct. 13. In this seminar, participants will learn the key elements of a functional organization. McComas will teach GridWell’s Identity-Based Organizational Design, a method that employs both proprietary and best-practice processes from organizational development, re-engineering, and strategic planning. By understanding the power of identity-based organizational design, business leaders will be able to make effective shifts in strategy and culture, designing their business for success. Angela Cassel of TLC Moments will wrap up the fall calendar on Nov. 10 with “The Process of Leadership.” This seminar will help you discover key attributes of leadership, knock down barriers hindering your abilities, and learn new routes to growth as a leader. Angela will discuss key decision making skills, communication styles, and how to lead others to excellence. Each seminar will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The cost to attend is $25 for Chamber members and $35 for non-members, and includes a boxed lunch. To find out more information or to register for the event, visit Sponsored by:

Knoxville Chamber Staff Anniversaries Several staff members of the Knoxville Chamber are celebrating significant milestones with the organization this year. The Chamber would like to recognize and thank these individuals for their dedicated service.

Melissa Spangler

Michele Hummel

Joe Riley

15 years

15 years

15 years

Ashleigh Adkins

Lori Fuller

Leslie Smith

10 years

10 years

5 years


Dustin Ledford, Verizon Wireless Ten years ago, Dustin Ledford began his career with Verizon Wireless as a sales consultant in Chattanooga, Tenn. Today, he is the associate director of strategic sales for East Tennessee. In his current role, Ledford supervises 11 employees and works on coaching and developing sales consultants; developing and implementing sales strategies; managing partner relationships; and marketing and sponsorships. “My favorite part of the job is working with our clients to strategize how technology can assist in evolving their business,” he said. “ It is very satisfying to complete a project with a client that has enabled them to increase their revenue and make them more operationally efficient. The world of technology changes on a daily basis. It is exciting to be a part of such a forward thinking company.” Ledford received his bachelors in business administration from Tennessee Wesleyan College in 2000. However, his postgraduate career didn’t take him directly to the sales floor, but rather the golf course. (My first job out of college) was working at Springbrook Country Club and an assistant golf professional,” Ledford said. “That was a great experience and really taught me a lot in regards to developing my people skills.” Ledford said his work at the country club taught that to be successful you must learn how to adapt to different personalities. He said this definitely came in handy when he started his sales career. As a supervisor, Ledford said he likes to take a simplified approach to his leadership style. “I like to lead by example,” he said. “It is very important to me to provide my team the necessary resources and development for success. As a leader, I want to communicate with clarity, and be fair and consistent with each employee.” Ledford said he wants to instill in his team that behavior is the key to achievement. “Ensuring that reps are not only having a high level of daily activity, but the right kind of activity can be challenging, he said. “I do not like to micromanage. I like to clearly set the expectations, then let them execute.”

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(July 2015)

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

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

HOUSING MARKET % Change July ’14July ‘15

July 2015

June 2015

July 2014

% Change June ’15July ‘15

234,030 415,840 3,110,400 158,527,000

235,900 418,970 3,129,900 158,283,000

233,310 404,322 3,069,400 157,573,000

-0.8 -0.7 -0.6 0.2

0.3 2.8 1.3 0.6

384,400 2,847,800

386,700 2,859,900

372,500 2,785,500

-0.6 -0.4

3.2 2.2

13,820 27,010 217,610

13,810 27,050 215,960

16,760 32,560 262,350

0.1 -0.1 0.8

-17.5 -17.0 -17.1

5.4 5.9 6.4 5.6

5.4 5.9 6.3 5.5

6.6 6.9 7.8 6.5

0.0 0.0 0.1 0.1

-1.2 -1.0 -1.4 -0.9

Non-Ag Employment Knoxville MSA Tennessee

Residential Closings Residential Inventory Median Residential Price

July 2015 1,702 10,754 $164,900

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 July ’13July ‘15 -2.2 -0.8

July ’14-‘15

June ’14-‘15

July ’13-‘14

-0.3 0.2

-0.4 0.1

1.9 2.0

0.1 0.1

% Change July ’14July ‘15

Knoxville (City)

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

June 2015* 31 31 0

June 2014 265 17 248

% Change June ’14June ‘15 -88.3 82.4 -100.0

Knox Co.

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

188 188 0

363 115 248

-48.2 63.5 -100.0

Knoxville MSA

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

310 273 37

387 139 248

-19.9 96.4 -85.1


Total Single-Family Multi-Family

2,134 1,749 385

1,917 1,466 451

11.3 19.3 -14.6

Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee

July 2015

June 2015

July 2014

% Change June ’15July ‘15

52,484,736 81,033,482 700,901,068

52,877,483 81,523,965 677,590,592

48,964,535 75,677,326 654,991,640

-0.7 -0.6 3.4

7.2 7.1 7.0

14,266,369 22,752,040

14,519,262 22,863,597

13,561,747 21,518,557

-1.7 -0.5

5.2 5.7


Passengers Cargo

April 2015 136,818 6,928,666

March 2015 149,593 6,217,774

April 2014 138,442 6,432,670

% Change March ’15April ‘15 -8.5 11.4

% Change April ’14April ‘15 -1.2 7.7

Source: Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority

Local Sales Tax Knox Co. Knoxville MSA

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

*South – City Size Class B/C


1,387 11,606 $155,000


CONSUMER PRICE INDEX (CPI) - ALL ITEMS % Change June ’14July ‘15

July 2014

% Change July ’14July ‘15 22.7 -7.3 6.4

Source: Knoxville Area Association of Realtors

Available Labor Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee

June 2015 1,561 10,769 $160,000

% Change June ’15July ‘15 9.0 -0.1 3.1

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

July 2015

June 2015

455,846 29,719 20,403 8,017 58,533 53,428 8,805 42,239 54,474 25,906 10,299 99,101 37,925

447,712 31,809 19,584 8,063 56,205 52,074 8,330 40,929 54,417 25,829 10,419 95,794 37,333

443,153 29,078 19,700 8,259 56,680 48,659 8,262 49,438 53,669 25,053 9,936 92,458 35,467

% Change June ’15July ‘15 1.8 -6.6 4.2 -0.6 4.1 2.6 5.7 3.2 0.1 0.3 -1.2 3.5 1.6





July 2014

% Change July ’14July ‘15 2.9 2.2 3.6 -2.9 3.3 9.8 6.6 -14.6 1.5 3.4 3.7 7.2 6.9 7.7

EST. 1869 For more information on research, contact Joe Riley,

Source: U.S. Census Bureau – Advance Monthly Retail Trade Report

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Since 1869, the Knoxville Chamber has been the leading voice for business in our region. Each of these businesses are celebrating milestone anniversaries as Chamber members during the month of September. Thank you for your commitment to the Chamber and the community!



Knoxville Area Urban League


Studio Four Design, Inc.


Berry Funeral Home


Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park


The Abacus Group, LLC


Bradford Catered Events


YP, formerly AT&T Advertising Solutions


McClure Realty Company


Frantz, McConnell & Seymour, LLP


15-19 YEARS

Alcoa, Inc.


Accountemps 1996

Power Systems, Inc.


Bernstein, Stair & McAdams LLP


Office Team


TownePlace Suites by Marriott


Blaine Construction Corporation


Rogers Petroleum, Inc.


Rodefer Moss & Company, PLLC


Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center


Sandler Training Herzog & Associates


Homewood Suites by Hilton


Junior Achievement of East Tennessee


Athens Paper Company, Inc.


The Relocation Division for Realty Executives


Sertoma Center, Inc.


Tennessee College of Applied Technology – Knoxville 1997

Dempster Poured Foundations


Mike Lewis - State Farm Insurance


Enterprise Rent-A-Car - Central Ave


Swofford Financial - Lifetime Wealth Solutions


3 Minute Magic Carwash of Knoxville, LLC

2005 2005

25 – 30 YEARS



Pigeon Forge Chamber of Commerce


AC Entertainment


Butler, Vines and Babb, P.L.L.C.

V. Alexander & Co., Inc.


The University of Tennessee Athletic Department


Zaxby’s 2005

Commercial & Investment Properties


ORNL Federal Credit Union - Middlebrook Pike Food City


Factory Carpet Warehouse

2000 Gresham Smith & Partners


20 – 24 YEARS


Pellissippi Office Center, LLC


Impact Associates, Inc.


Crown College


Wal-Mart Store #1319


Tennessee Tubebending, Inc.


First Choice Community Credit Union


Enterprise Rent-A-Car - Dutchtown


Bonitz Flooring Group, Inc.


Ashe’s Wines & Spirits


Skyline Exhibitor Source


10 – 14 YEARS



Turkey Creek Land Partners


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Alcoa Foundation Grant to Provide Tuition Assistance to YEA! Students The Knoxville Chamber’s Partnership Initiatives Fund (PIF) has been chosen as the recipient of a $15,000 grant from the Alcoa foundation. PIF is the Knoxville Chamber’s foundation, which has a mission to support efforts to foster and promote economic development through educational and scientific projects enhancing area socio-economic well-being and the quality of life. The grant will be used to reduce the tuition for students participating, as well as provide full scholarships to students who demonstrate need for the first two years of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!). “The generous grant from the Alcoa Foundation is validation that YEA! is an excellent program for fostering tomorrow’s business talent,” said Mike Edwards, president and CEO of the Knoxville Chamber. “We look forward to seeing the businesses our YEA! students will create this coming academic year.” YEA! is a unique and innovative program that transforms local middle and high school students into real entrepreneurial successes. Beginning in October, 24 students from the Knoxville area will embark on a seven-month journey through the ins and outs of entrepreneurship. The Alcoa Foundation grant will allow the program to offer seven students full-ride scholarships, and reduce the cost from $395 to $160 for all other participants. The grant will be divided over the first two classes of the Knoxville program. To date, 20 of the 24 students have been chosen for the program from around the region. The class ranges in age from 11 to 17 and the students represent 14 different schools within Knox County. “The great thing about YEA! is that it gives students a chance to explore their passions,” said Lori Fuller, vice president of marketing and events at the Knoxville Chamber. “Some

students have concrete business concepts coming into the program, others just have broader ideas of what they’d like to accomplish. Throughout the program these students will be able to work with mentors from the community to take those ideas and turn them into successful, real businesses.” The program is presented by Pilot Flying J and hosted by the University of Tennessee’s Haslam College of Business. In addition to the Alcoa Foundation’s investment in the program, Clayton Bank is also a supporting sponsor. The Knoxville Entrepreneur Center and Tech 2020 have partnered the Chamber to help with YEA! programming. YEA! requires students to attend three-hour classes over 30 weeks from October 2015 through April 2016. In this time, students will brainstorm and form their enterprises, make pitches to real investors, obtain funding, file their DBAs, and by the end, actually launch their own business or social movement. Fuller said there are four more spots to be filled before the class is full. “If you know a student who has an entrepreneurial spirit, encourage them to apply for this program,” she said. “What they’ll learn in YEA! will be invaluable.” Visit for more information.


Chamber Team Represents Knoxville at ACCE Convention Several staff members from the Knoxville Chamber attended the 2015 Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Convention, which brings together chamber leaders from across North America. “Attending ACCE gives our team an opportunity to learn new chamber programs and successful best practices nationally,” said Field, senior vice president of membership for the Chamber. It also allows us to interact with the industry’s top talent and discuss ways that we can serve our members and community better.” During the three day conference, the group attended various seminars and workshops that covered topics like reinventing membership value, engaging entrepreneurs on the Web, and purposeful inclusion. Several of the Chamber’s staff were actively involved in the conference’s programing as well. Ashleigh Adkins facilitated a workshop entitled “60 Membership Ideas in 60 Minutes.” Doug Minter, who is vice chair of ACCE’s Diversity and Inclusion Division, presented the organization’s newly drafted policy on diversity and inclusion to the entire conference. Mark Field is a perennial judge for the ACCE Chamber of the Year Awards.

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The Knoxville Chamber team poses for a selfie in Montreal while attending the 2015 ACCE Convention. (Front) Josh Buchanan, Mark Field, (back row) Doug Minter, Melissa Spangler, Sharon Shanks, Lauren Longmire, and Ashleigh Adkins.

Staybridge a.m. Exchange Draws Large Crowd to West Knoxville More than 130 people gathered at the Staybridge Knoxville-West for the Knoxville Chamber’s a.m. Exchange on July 31. Opening off Campbell Station Road in June, the morning networking event gave guests a look at the new hotel’s lobby, lounge, and guest suites. Attendees also enjoyed coffee and a delicious breakfast spread while they networked, courtesy of catering sponsor All Occasion Catering. The event’s door prize drawing gave two lucky guests a weekend night stay at the hotel.

Sonya Hennessy of Movement Mortgage, Ally Ketron of Casa de Sara, and Sara Nelson of Freedom Chiropractic pose for a photo during the Chamber’s a.m. Exchange at Staybridge Knoxville-West.

A near-capacity crowd filled the lobby and lounge of the Staybrige-West Knoxville for the Chamber’s a.m. Exchange on July 31.

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News Sentinel Open Business After Hours



More than 150 guests filled the Fox Den Country Club clubhouse for the Knoxville News Sentinel Open Business After Hours on Aug. 20. The members-only event gave attendees the opportunity to enjoy the opening day of the Tour from the clubhouse’s dining and patio area. The golf tournament, presented by Pilot Flying J, has been a summer tradition in Knoxville for more than 25 years. The evening’s door prize gave three lucky guests passes to enjoy the tournament through the weekend. Jay Hageman of Aerotek took home four passes to the tournament. Ellen Hubrig of Innovasan and William Hopper of Pershing Yoakley & Associates both won passes with dinner at the Flemings tent.

Schmoozapalooza XIII 4 – 7 p.m. • Knoxville Civic Coliseum, 500 Howard Baker Jr. Ave. Pre-Purchase Tickets (prior to Sept. 8): $5 Tickets at the door: $10 Presented by:

SEPTEMBER 15 Bright Ideas Seminar: Show Me the Money! - Where Knoxvillians are Spending Their Money Presented by Ben McWhorter, The E.W. Scripps Company 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. • Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square, $25 for Chamber Members; $35 for non-members (boxed lunch included) Sponsored by:

John Lawrence of Fanplicity, Matt Birdwell of Fanplicity, and Adam Brown of U.S. Bank pose for a photo on the balcony of Fox Den Country Club during the Knoxville News Sentinel Open Business After Hours on Aug. 20.

SEPTEMBER 23 Sandler Training’s 7-Step System for Successful Selling Breakfast Presented by David Mattson, CEO of Sandler Training 8 – 10 a.m. • The Foundry, 747 World’s Fair Park Drive $30 (includes breakfast)

SEPTEMBER 24 a.m. Exchange Hosted by Image Matters 8 – 9 a.m. • 3017 Sutherland Drive, 37939 Sponsored by: Catering by: Ellen Hubrig of Innovasan (center) poses for a photo with Jon Killebrew of Rio Revolution Church (left) and Kristina Killebrew of The E.W. Scripps Company (right) at the Knoxville News Sentinel Open Business After Hours.

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 - September 2015  
Commerce - September 2015  

The official newsletter of the Knoxville Chamber.