INSIDE: Pinnacle winner roundtable discussion pg. 45 + Monthly Economic Indicators pg. 50
MEMBERSHIP MATTERS EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH
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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.
Lauren Johnson, the Chamber’s Membership Administrative Assistant is presented June’s employee of the month award by Anthony Welsch, Communications and New Media Coordinator.
JOANI LEEDS POSTNET
TWO-WAY TIE FOR THIRD! ASHLEY HANKINS Paychex, Inc.
JULIE WILLIAMS WorkSpace Interiors, Inc.
CHAMBER STAFF Doug Lawyer @knoxoakridgeIV Jennifer Evans @knoxevans Kyle Touchstone @knoxecondevguy Mark Field @field101 Michelle Kiely @mkiely1
NEW MEMBERS / NEW PREMIER PARTNERS BRONZE ShoffnerKalthoff Mechancial Electrical Service (865) 523-1129 www.skmes.com Construction & Contractors: Mechanical Contractors Simon Property Group (800) 443-0341 www.shopsimon.com Real Estate: Property Management Simoniz Professional Car Wash (865) 584-4622 www.cleancarfeeling.com Automotive Sales, Parts, & Service
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American Diabetes Association (865) 524-7868 www.diabetes.com Associations & Organizations
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Knoxville Municipal Golf Course (865) 691-7143 www.golfknox.com Sports & Recreation: Golf
ARCTEL Inc. (865) 745-1463 x216 Manufacturing
GAMA Network Solutions (865) 693-2188 www.gamanetworks.com Computer & IT Services
Men’s Warehouse # 1521 (865) 769-2488 www.menswarehouse.com Retail Stores
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MHC Truck Leasing (865) 637-0880 www.mhctruck.com
Central Parking System (877) 717-0004 www.knoxville.centralparking.com Transportation: Parking CPR Turkey Creek (865) 288-7390 www.cpr-turkeycreek.com Retail Edward Jones Investments--Zach Sheets--Financial Advisor (865) 691-3343 www.edwardjones.com Financial Services
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KNOXVILLE CHAMBER 44
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Winning Thoughts on Knoxville and the Innovation Valley
he Chamber invited the 2012 Pinnacle Award winners to a roundtable discussion. Topics included the region’s current business climate, how each business got its start, as well as what advice they’d give other organizations doing business in the Innovation Valley. Parker Frost, founder and CEO of GigMark, Terry Turner, president of All Occasions Party Rentals, Sharon Miller Pryse, president and CEO of The Trust Company, and Delnise Moore, founder and CEO of Always Moore Janitorial Service weighed in on the conversation. Knoxville Chamber Senior Vice President of Membership Mark Field led the discussion alongside Vice President of Public Policy and Public Relations Garrett Wagley. Excerpts from that conversation follow. If you’d like to read a transcript of the conversation in its entirety, please visit the Chamber’s website at www.knoxvillechamber.com/news.
WAGLEY: Congratulations all of you and thank you all so much for what you mean to this community as well as the progress we have going in our community. We’ll start with some general questions; one of the things we wanted to know was what was the best piece of business advice you were ever given? SHARON MILLER PRYSE: Jim Haslam serves on my board and I can truthfully say when he agreed to sit on my board he asked who the key players in the organization were. So I told him. Then he asked how much everybody made and he pointed out your key players need to be aligned with where the compensation is. It’s important to make sure that you’re paying your ‘A’ players and rewarding and spending your time with your ‘A’ players rather than perhaps coaching other players with so much of your time. PARKER FROST: For me, I was raised in an entrepreneurial family. My dad always had a sign in his office that said, ‘the three rules of business: rule one, take care of your customers; rule two, take care of your customers; and rule three, take care of your customers.’ And so through business, even though I’m only 39, what we’ve done with all my employees, is make sure they understand that. My dad’s sign is up in my office now and people that work for us have to know that while hard work and great profits are fun as well and very important--if you take care of your customers, then they’ll come back and no matter what it takes, what time of the day it is. So we kind of instill that in our staff and I think
Sharon Miller Pryse is CEO and Founder of The Trust Company, a Knoxville based wealth management company that is active in the community.
that’s what keeps our growth train going in the right direction instead of the wrong.
TERRY TURNER: There are probably two parts that I should answer. The first, you have to do business on your terms. If you have the customer dictate the terms of your business, you have to know how to do business 30,000 different ways or however many customers you have. As long as your terms are fair and equitable as well as understood on the front end, then there shouldn’t be an issue with that. Just decide on what those terms are and make sure they’re fair.
KNOXVILLE CHAMBER 45
See “Roundtable” on pg. 46
“Roundtable” continued from pg. 45
Secondly, is that business on the front-end is much easier than business on the back-end. So always try to have everything you are going to do up-front. That way everyone understands what his or her role is. It makes it easier on everyone, including the customer.
WAGLEY: Briefly, if you can, what is it about your business that keeps you up at night?
TERRY TURNER: What keeps me up sometimes is actually doing the work that we have because we’re in an around-the-clock industry. I still, no matter how hard I try, I can’t be the guy that goes home at night while I know I’ve got 20 guys out working in the middle of Neyland Stadium or taking down Destination Imagination. From a psychological side, I do worry where we are headed as a small business and who is out there looking out for us.
WAGLEY: Sharon, this question is specifically for you. I think it is clear The Trust Company has been a leader in the trust management arena. How do you keep your edge? SHARON MILLER PRYSE: Well, we are in a customer service business. We might be in the investment business but it is about customer service. Our people, myself included, have great relationships that are always changing. Sometimes it’s like you’ve got the online broker or the 1-800 number and that’s not what we are. We are about helping people reach their financial goals; whether it’s designing retirement plans that will meet both the needs of the employer who are looking for a big deduction and a big benefit for themselves, or the employer who says ‘I really want to find a benefit for my employees’. FIELD: Ms. Moore, we have heard in the past and I’m sure you have too, ‘I’m a small minority-owned business and I really don’t get the support from the community that I deserve to succeed. Tell us about your support, have you gotten what you needed from the Chamber?
SHARON MILLER PRYSE: I think we’re getting to the point we need to be, the point where the company is not about Sharon, it’s about The Trust Company. I have said that I want to be wanted but not needed. That means that we are growing successful management and staff so that we’re grown up and empowering people to do their jobs in various departments. It’s very hard to let go and step back and let others do what they can do. They don’t necessarily do it the way I would have done it, and you have to bite your tongue a lot.
Delnise Moore got her business started by helping seniors clean their homes that she met through church.
PARKER FROST: For me, it’s the fact that we’re growing so fast and that banks don’t lend money. We don’t use a lot of banks but the freeze on lending money to small businesses just without massive amounts of collateral is making it really hard to thrive in this market. Something needs to be done. The banks have more cash than ever and they can’t lend it. I also think for us, I’m not a tech guy but I’m in the technology business. So it’s always what’s the next thing in making sure you’re ahead of everyone else. You know, I can be the cheerleader or the frontman and make sure we’re doing everything right but making sure my people are smart enough, making sure that we’re in the forefront is slightly frightening. The other thing is, when is the time to exit? GigMark is in a pretty exciting time right now. We’re in a massive growth stage and we’re getting a lot of national press, things like Entrepreneur magazine and others just keep flooding in. When do we say ‘enough is enough’ and take the money and do it again? That’s what we do. We are entrepreneurs.
DELNISE MOORE: Oh yes. When I first started I didn’t know what to do, who to go to. So I was over there on the computer all the time in the Small Business Development Center. When I first started, I didn’t know this industry. I didn’t know what to do. But when I came here, I just had all the help I needed. I went to classes on taxes, everything was right here. The Chamber really just helped me build the business. I went to just about every event. When I first started, I didn’t want much, I had a lot of time on my hands so I was just hanging out there. Also, the networking is what really started me up and started my business growing. I give a lot of credit to the Chamber because I feel that it’s like family. I can go over here and talk to Doug (Minter) and Jane (Shelton of TSBDC) but also come to the classes, being a part of the mentor/protégé program, meeting Eddie Mannis through that program. When he and I first started, we were meeting every week and then broke off to every other week. I needed his knowledge. He started Prestige Cleaners small and look at him now. It’s funny because when we first met, I thought ‘oh my goodness,’ I didn’t know Eddie. Doug Minter just matched us up. I thought “how is a cleaning service going to help a janitorial service?” but I learned through Eddie Mannis that it’s not the product, it’s how the product is built. It’s about the processes and that’s exactly what I started to learn from Eddie. I think that mentor/protégé program is one of the best programs to help small businesses. I wish it could be expanded to be bigger because it would help so many people that want to start a business. Now, I’m mentoring a young lady.
KNOXVILLE CHAMBER 46
WAGLEY: Terry, you’ve gone through a period of high growth with your company and I know you have a diverse workforce. How do you make sure as All Occasions Party Rentals grows you keep your core values on the forefront of everybody’s mind? TERRY TURNER: Wow. That’s a hard question. I think core values have to start at the top. I think I’m very visible in my business from the laborers up through management. I think with a small business it takes visibility out of the guy in charge of core values and that’s me. So whether it’s on a job site, or in a staff meeting, or just simple things and trying to instill those values down through it’s our job as leaders. For example, if someone has on a dirty t-shirt, we have to make sure they change it. I keep a stash of t-shirts in my car. We use a lot of temporary labor, so we have to make sure that is managed and we’re not sending people out that we wouldn’t always want representing our company. With that, I think visibility is number one. I go inside businesses all the time and was recently inside one local company that is a very focused place. I went around and saw on all the walls he’s got stenciled in different parts of their core values and what they mean. I wish I was the kind of business owner and a guy that would put these things up at every doorway but I just don’t believe in Parker Frost founded GigMark, a Knoxville-based company that specializes in offering unique that. I believe that’s all fluff and a lot of that’s talk. Core values are those marketing solutions. things that you have to have inside you. We try to instill values through meetings, through living it, and through FIELD: Parker, during your acceptance speech you talked about how maybe reward. When we get a note about one of our employees, it goes on the wall the best business decision you ever made was coming to Knoxville. So, what where everybody sees it. They’re usually rewarded with movie tickets. I have a makes Knoxville a great place to have your busidrawer of ness? rewards filled with PARKER FROST: The first thing that movie comes to mind with Knoxville is that there is a tickets, big brain trust in this town with the University of restaurant Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Lab. There gift cards, are a lot of smart people here. Being able to suror whatround yourself with those people can definitely ever. We make your business better, especially if you are always try in a tech business that utilizes that sort of talent. to reward Also, Knoxville’s a cheap place to live. The people for cost of living, property taxes, it’s basically a doing what joke compared to everywhere else. My house in we feel are West Knoxville would cost me $16,000 a year in our property taxes if I lived in Michigan. Well, do you core get other stuff with that? Yeah, you get better valschools. That’s what we’re all trying to achieve ues. I with the Board of Education’s proposal, which don’t I’m with the Chamber and 100 percent behind. care what FIELD: What can improve in Knoxville and some what needs improving? may say, Terry Turner founded All Occasions Party Rentals, a company PARKER FROST: You know, I think that takes pride in strong growth and avoiding any lay-offs in the some what Gov. Haslam started with the resurgence of recent recession emdowntown, which needs to continue to improve. ployDowntown is – while a great, vibrant place – it can ees are motivated by money, they’re motivated by stuff, and some are motivated be a ghost town sometimes during the week. You look at Chattanooga and what by recognition. I think we have a pretty dedicated Employee of the Month Senator Corker did there with their downtown and it’s a fun downtown if you go program that we started three years ago. there any day of the week. KNOXVILLE CHAMBER 47
Six of the nine winners at this yearâ€™s Pinnacle Business Awards gala, presented by BB&T salute the best of the business community with a Toast to Excellence.
Parker Frost of GigMark is presented with the Pinnacle Young Entrepreneur Award.
The Pinnacle Business Awards gala is the marquee social event of the year for businesspeople in the Knoxville area.
KNOXVILLE CHAMBER 48
Rhonda Rice, executive vice president of the Knoxville Chamber presents Kirk Icuss of Consolidated Products with the 2012 Pinnacle Award for mid-sized business excellence.
Delnise Moore of Always Moore Janitorial Service pauses for a photograph surrounded by family and friends after winning the Pinnacle Award for minority-owned business excellence.
Prior to the awards gala, hundreds of local business leaders enjoyed social hour with a silent auction sponsored by WSI Oak Ridge.
Larry Martin, a long-time First Tennessee executive and government leader with the City of Knoxville accepts the James A. Haslam II Chairmanâ€™s Leadership Award.
Mike Edwards, president of the Knoxville Chamber presents Dane Scism of Cellular Sales with the Large Business Excellence Award.
Nearly 600 business people enjoyed the evening and saluted the best of the business community at the Knoxville Convention Center.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JUSTIN FEE
KNOXVILLE CHAMBER 49
Monthly Economic Indicators
NOTE - Knoxville MSA includes: Anderson, Blount, Knox, Loudon & Union Counties
*April 2012 Labor data unavailable at time of printing
Resident Labor Force
Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee U.S.
% Change March ’12April 2011 April ‘12
234,750 371,610 3,077,900 154,316,000
239,360 375,210 3,113,600 152,898,000
% Change April ’11April‘12 Residential Closings Residential Inventory Median Residential Price
April 2012 966 14,368 $147,200
March 2011 934 13,928 $139,075
April 2011 776 15,180 $148,625
% Change March ’11April ‘12 3.4 3.2 5.8
% Change April ’11April ‘12 24.5 -5.3 -1.0
Source: Knoxville Area Association of Realtors
Non-Ag Employment Knoxville MSA Tennessee
RESIDENTIAL BUILDING PERMITS
Total Single-Family Multi-Family
March 2012* 40 10 30
March 2011 20 20 0
% Change March ’11March ‘12 100.0 -50.0 100.0
Total Single-Family Multi-Family
185 83 102
70 70 0
164.3 18.6 100.0
Total Single-Family Multi-Family
214 112 102
91 91 0
135.2 23.1 100.0
Total Single-Family Multi-Family
1,952 1,096 856
1,333 1,007 326
46.4 8.8 162.6
Available Labor Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee
14,630 25,630 274,070
20,230 32,820 330,710
5.7 6.3 8.1 8.4
7.7 7.9 9.6 8.7
Unemployment Rates Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee U.S.
Sources: Tennessee Dept. of Labor & Workforce Development/U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
INFLATION RATES - CONSUMER PRICE INDEX (CPI)
*Southeast Region Avg. U.S. Avg. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- ALL ITEMS
% Change March ’11April ‘12 April ’10-‘11 3.4 3.2
% Change April ’10April ‘12 -0.9 -0.5
*South – City Size Class B/C
*All 2012 building permit data is preliminary and therefore subject to revision throughout the year. Sources: U.S. Housing & Urban Development – SOCDS – State of the Cities Data Systems; U.S. Census Bureau – Building Permits Survey
SALES TAX REVENUE - STATE & LOCAL ($) State Sales Tax Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee
% Change April ’11April ‘12
49,251,883 68,997,164 617,909,545
43,578,791 60,706,709 537,964,527
43,672,403 61,517,376 568,080,077
13.0 13.7 14.9
12.8 12.2 8.9
Local Sales Tax Knox Co. Knoxville MSA
% Change March ’12April 2011 April ‘12
AIR SERVICE (MCGHEE-TYSON AIRPORT)
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
Feb. 2012 126,402 7,422,837
April 2012 401,627 27,703 18,805 7,250 51,287 44,052 7,300 47,385 51,344 22,902 9,463 74,632 32,917
March 2012 420,017 25,323 20,087 8,157 53,066 45,983 8,049 47,623 52,903 24,057 9,768 82,109 35,721
April 2011 384,506 25,222 18,498 7,214 50,985 41,510 6,960 45,268 50,733 22,250 8,944 70,852 29,669
% Change March ’12April ‘12 -4.4 9.4 -6.4 -11.1 -3.4 -4.2 -9.3 -0.5 -2.9 -4.8 -3.1 -9.1 -7.8
% Change April ’11April ‘12 4.5 9.8 1.7 0.5 0.6 6.1 4.9 4.7 1.2 2.9 5.8 5.3 10.9 2.9
Source: U.S. Census Bureau – Advance Monthly Retail Trade Report
KNOXVILLE CHAMBER 50
Jan. 2012 126,885 7,361,949
Feb. 2011 109,384 7,200,531
% Change Jan. ’12Feb. ‘12 -0.4 0.8
% Change Feb. ’11Feb. ‘12 15.6 3.1
Two Start-Ups “Propelled” by Chamber Impress at Governor’s Innovation Conference Two East Tennessee startups with strong ties to the Chamber’s Propel program earned high honors at Governor Bill Haslam’s Innovation Conference. StallTalk, an advertising concept that places huge banner ads across portable toilets and DineTouch, a downloadable application that allows diners to order and pay for meals from their table, received accolades at the conference. StallTalk received a Judge’s Best award, Founder and CEO Matt Tunstall has contracts to cover 143,000 port-a-johns across 62 markets in 25 states. “It’s a captive audience, with people often waiting in line 15 minutes or more to get to the restroom,” Tunstall said. “We thought we might as well give them something to look at while they’re waiting.” Tunstall is a part of the Chamber and Innovation Valley’s mentor/protégé program that pairs young businesses with established business leaders for guidance. “I’m proud to see these companies earn this recognition at the state level and I think there are even bigger things on the horizon for both of the young
men,” Doug Minter, the Knoxville Chamber’s business development manager said. StallTalk is also part of the new entrepreneurial initiative ETRAC, the East Tennessee Regional Accelerator Coalition, a multi-organizational effort to help push start-ups to success. The Chamber is a partner in that effort. “Prior to the recession, I think we had an ego-system, with companies touting their own benefits, and now I think we have an eco-system with everyone working together to make the region one of the best places for young businesses to grow in the country,” Minter said. Joey Natour’s DineTouch earned the People’s Choice Award at the conference. Natour worked with the Chamber through the Propel program. Propel provided counseling to the company. The sessions helped Natour grow the idea and work through issues as DineTouch took off. “Nobody offers in-restaurant mobile ordering now,” Natour said. “Mobile ordering is now limited to take-out food.” DineTouch potentially offers restaurants more revenues because guests would no longer have to wait for servers to take an order. Instead, they can succumb to cravings and order instantly, receiving their products faster and potentially ringing up larger orders.
Rep. Brooks Recaps 2012 Legislative Session at Chamber Briefing Back in Knoxville just a week after the 2012 legislative sesA similar situation in Georgia resulted in the state supplementsion, State Representative Harry Brooks told Knoxville Chaming the lottery scholarship account with tax dollars. Brooks said ber members he felt, overall, the session was productive, but he doesn’t see that ever happening in Tennessee. stressed several education-related matters still “There aren’t any tax dollars to make up a deficit need to be tackled. in the lottery,” he said. “I guess there is paranoia Rep. Brooks was the Chamber’s featured with me. We need to fix the problem sooner than speaker at a legislative briefing sponsored by later. We can’t let things happen in Tennessee AT&T, an event that keeps East Tennessee’s like they occurred in Georgia.” business community up to date on matters in Rep. Brooks did praise the state for making state government. strides with its dual-credit program. The program The Chairman of the House Children & allows local school districts to offer courses, simiFamily Affairs Committee spoke primarily lar to AP courses, which add rigor to high school about education issues, including Tennescurriculum and culminate with high school-aged see’s No Child Left Behind waiver, dual credit students being granted college credit for their Rep. Brooks told the crowd Tennessee’s No Child Left Behind waiver program, and STEM education. work. The program helps students learn what a will allow every school to be held accountable for student gains. It was the state’s Hope Scholarship post-secondary education is all about and helps program that had most of the District 19 repthem build college credit hours earlier and less resentative’s attention during his presentation. Brooks said the lottery is paying expensively, according to Brooks. out more than it takes in and this year’s estimate shows the program will run at “For Mom and Pop, it saves a whole lot of money. But more importantly, that about a $43 million deficit. child’s chance of completing a college degree just goes through the ceiling. “How long can we live in that environment?” Brooks asked the crowd. You’re approaching 90 percent once you get that student into 20-something Brooks pointed to a scholarship standard that includes the score of a 21 on hours. That’s our objective in Tennessee,” Brooks said.To see more of Brooks’ the ACT test. If you don’t have a 22 on the ACT, you’re more likely to require comments, head to the Chamber’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/knoxremedial work when you go to post secondary education. villechamber. “Think about it. We’re giving away academic scholarships at a level below the remedial standard,” Brooks said. “I think it’s kind of ironic that our big, number SPONSORED BY: one, academic-based scholarship is at the remedial level.” KNOXVILLE CHAMBER 51
GoGreenET.com Business After Hours Draws Crowd, Touts Sustainability More than 150 Knoxville Chamber members joined the Knoxville Utilities Board, Thermocopy, and GoGreenET.com at a Business After Hours networking event that honored companies making a significant investment in sustainable business practices. The social gathering at the University of Tennessee Gardens was highlighted when Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Amy Nolan of The Greater Knoxville Business Journal celebrated 2012’s Green Achievers. The Green Achievers program celebrates companies that complete Shelby and Jack Feldmann of Clayton InspecKnoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero congratulates a survey indicating they’ve reached an admirable level of tion Services pause for a quick photograph with companies that have made an investment in susMichelle Crowder and Nell Campbell of Bullock tainability as Mark Field, senior vice president of reducing their carbon footprint from operations. This year’s Smith & Partners. membership for the Knoxville Chamber, listens in. award winners were Scripps Networks Interactive, Alsco, Kelsan, and DeRoyal. “Thank you to all the companies that make Knoxville a more sustainable comChamber senior vice president of membership, said. “Other chambers are munity and more environmentally friendly,” Mayor Madeline Rogero said. forced to charge their members to install similar green recognition programs. KUB and Thermocopy make the awards program possible through their supThe fact that Knoxville has sponsors willing to spearhead something like this port. In many other communities, green recognition is not possible without an speaks volumes to what we value as a community.” application fee. SPONSORED BY: “We’re very lucky to have the support of Thermocopy, KUB, and the Business Journal in our community to honor these businesses,” Mark Field, Knoxville
Creating a Healthier, More Energy Efficient, Water Conserving Work Space By: Elizabeth Eason, Elizabeth Eason Architects www.eearchitecture.com We are all hearing about green companies, products, and buildings, but can these be good for your company? Absolutely. I would like to review a few strategies for improving energy efficiency, water usage, and indoor air quality in an existing office space. The majority of people in the United States spend 90 percent of their time inside buildings, so the indoor environmental quality of your office space is the perfect place to start making your company more green and more productive. As we recently heard repeated at the Chamber’s annual Pinnacle Awards gala, a business’s employees are key to its success. Employee productivity rises (and absenteeism falls) in work environments with ample access to fresh air, natural daylight, views, and a reduced level of indoor pollutants. Start improving your indoor environmental quality by conducting a survey of your staff, and inquiring about current acoustics, lighting, temperature levels, and building cleanliness. Develop a plan of action to address any comfort issues identified through the survey, which might include providing energy efficient task lighting or developing a green cleaning policy to eliminate harmful chemicals that adversely affect air quality. Water efficiency improvements begin with a quick check of the plumbing fixtures in your space. Determine the current consumption rate of each fixture. Aerators can be easily added to most lavatory faucets to conserve water and
retrofit kits to reduce the consumption rate of toilets are readily available. Develop a sustainable purchasing policy to guide you in making smarter choices about the materials and products you use every day. Purchase Energy Star qualified computers, printers, and other equipment. Use energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs. These easy choices can have a huge impact on energy use. A recent survey of nearly 4,000 building owners and operators found that “the growing trend of making buildings more energy efficient is smart business, helps create local-market jobs, and benefits the environment.” Your business can also reap the benefits of sustainable practices outside the office. Encourage your employees to use alternative transportation such as bicycles, buses, or carpools to commute to work and participate in the Knoxville SmartTrips program. If you have landscaped areas around your office, plant drought-tolerant, native plant species, and add a rain barrel to reduce the amount of potable water used for irrigation. These are just a few of the many easy steps your business can take to create a healthy, more productive workspace and improve the efficiency in your office. What’s left to do once you’ve implemented these sustainable business practices? If you plan for it at the outset, third-party certification of your sustainable office can be achieved through programs like Energy Star or LEED for Existing Buildings. These point-based systems will enable you to definitively measure your efficiencies and share your commitment to green practices, as well as the benefits of a more sustainable business.
KNOXVILLE CHAMBER 52
Congratulations What’s the Big Idea!? Finalists! Judges have whittled down the field from 30 business plans to just three. Each of these three businesses will present at the What’s the Big Idea!? Finals, June 14, from 5-7 p.m. at The Square Room at 4 Market Square. The public is invited to attend and can register at www.knoxvillechamber.com.
DineTouch, Joe Natour Software application that integrates into current restaurant ordering system that allows restaurant patrons to order food and pay their meals directly from their smartphone.
LineShark Audio, Jed Eaton and Jonathan Mayer Creates accessories and applications for musicians to create and share music as it happens via mobile devices like smartphones.
Virtuous Products, Mark Wassenaar Environmentally friendly and affordable table tops, vanity tops, and counter tops from post consumer recycled glass.
The winning business plan will win an enticing prize package provided by Rodefer Moss, UT-Battelle, CROET, CEO Advisors Group, The IT Company, Digital Crossing Networks, Tech 20/20, The Development Corporation of Knox County, and the Knoxville Chamber.
Premier Partners Welcome UT Athletic Director Dave Hart Knoxville Chamber Premier Partners welcomed University of Tennessee Vice Chancellor and Athletic Director Dave Hart at a recent breakfast event sponsored by Studio Four Design. The former Alabama administrator took over at Tennessee last September. Eight months into the job, he says he feels privileged to have the opportunity to lead the Volunteers’ program. “I don’t think Chancellor Cheek hired me to come in and manage athletics, I think he hired me to come in and lead athletics. There is a difference,” Hart said. Hart believes college athletics and the business interests of a community are tied to one another at several different points. During a point in his career at Eastern Carolina University, Hart successfully went to the local chamber of commerce for support in trying to get a water tower near campus painted in school colors, an idea not widely supported at the time. “The Chamber plays such an integral role in any city’s efforts, in any athletic department’s efforts. What Stacy Cox, the vice president & director of development stands with the I’ve always team from Studio Four Design with Dave Hart. enjoyed about being in collegiate athletics is that everything is centered on the university,” Hart said. “Not only do we have the obligation athletically to be an economic driver, it’s also a pride factor.” Despite the fact that Tennessee’s collective mood on Monday mornings in the fall can hinge on what happens at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, Hart quickly pointed out the student-athletes and the department he oversees shouldn’t be held in higher authority than collegiate athletics deserve. “Athletics is not, should not be, and will not be the most important thing on a university campus. What is clear is, it the most visible element within the total university structure, it’s the rallying point,” Hart said. The former Florida State athletic director shared stories about Bobby Bowden, a legendary Seminole coach and took questions from Chamber Premier Partners, who asked Hart about everything ranging from his hiring priorities to the future of the Lady Vols brand now that the men’s and women’s athletic departments have merged. To view a video of Dave Hart’s complete presentation, head to the Knoxville Chamber’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/knoxvillechamber. KNOXVILLE CHAMBER 53
the Big Idea?! Finale
5 - 6 p.m. Finalist Pitches 6-7 p.m. Reception and winner announced The Square Room, 4 Market Square
JUNE 20 Bright Ideas: Successful Surveys at Work Presented By: Adam Weilbaecher and Cynthia Ward Hackney, Impact Associates 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. $25 for Members and $35 for Non-Members Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square
JUNE 21 Peelin’, Eatin’, & Politickin’ Shrimp Boil 5 - 7:30 p.m. $25 for Members and $35 for Non-Members The Pavilion at Hunter Valley Farm, LLC, 9111 Hunter Valley Lane, Knoxville, TN, 37922 Entertainment Co-Sponsor:
JULY 10 New Member Orientation 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square
KNOXVILLE CHAMBER 54