Nashville Region TENNESSEE
FIND 10 THINGS TO DO YOUR FI RS T YE A R HERE
Opportunity is Knocking
New jobs are always on the horizon in the Nashville Region
From music to museums, the region boasts an abundant collection of entertainment options
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2021-22 EDITION • VOLUME 19
PHOTOS: JEFF ADKINS
WELCOME QUALITY OF LIFE
The Nashville Region is affordable, welcoming and humming with creative energy
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QUALITY OF LIFE
Explore the area’s cutting-edge business technologies, forwardthinking community planning strategies and much more.
Whether it’s digging into the area’s best dishes or diving into its lively cultural scene, explore how the Nashville Region plays during the day – and night.
Discover the Nashville Region’s top-ranked public schools and how they give Middle Tennessee a competitive edge.
Moving to the Nashville Region might make sense for your bottom line. See how the numbers add up.
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2021-22 EDITION • VOLUME 19
Nashville Region V.P./DIRECTOR OF CONTENT | BILL MCMEEKIN EDITORS | LINDSEY HYDE, JOHN NALLEY CONTRIBUTING WRITERS | BRITTANY ANAS, JESSICA WALKER BOEHM, LAUREN CAGGIANO, TEREE CARUTHERS, COLLEEN CREAMER, CARY ESTES, BILL LEWIS, PATSY B. WEILER STAFF WRITER | KEVIN LITWIN V.P./CREATIVE SERVICES | LAURA GALLAGHER V.P./OPERATIONS | MOLLY MORTON ART DIRECTOR | AMY HIEMSTRA SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNERS | EMMYLOU RITTENOUR, LINDSEY TALLENT GRAPHIC DESIGNER | ELIZA HAWKINS PHOTO DIRECTOR | ALISON HUNTER SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER | JEFF ADKINS PHOTOGRAPHER | NATHAN LAMBRECHT PHOTO ASSISTANT | JESS SPENCE V.P./DIGITAL STRATEGY | RICHARD STEVENS DIGITAL MARKETING DIRECTOR | CARA SANDERS INTEGRATED MEDIA MANAGER | RHONDA ADAMS V.P./CLIENT SERVICES | KATIE MIDDENDORF SENIOR AD COORDINATOR/DESIGNER | VIKKI WILLIAMS AD TRAFFIC COORDINATOR | PATRICIA MOISAN SALES OPERATIONS SPECIALIST | COURTNEY SNELL
PHOTO: JEFF ADKINS; OPPOSITE PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: SOLAR CABINS STUDIO; JEFF ADKINS (2-3); ISTOCK.COM/NORTONRSX
CHAIRMAN | GREG THURMAN PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER | BOB SCHWARTZMAN CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER | KIM HOLMBERG EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT | JORDAN MOORE V.P./BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT | JARED LANE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT EXECUTIVE | ANN MONSOR CONTROLLER | CHRIS DUDLEY SENIOR ACCOUNTANT | LISA OWENS ACCOUNTS PAYABLE COORDINATOR | MARIA MCFARLAND DATABASE DIRECTOR | DEBBIE WOKSA EXECUTIVE SECRETARY | KRISTY GILES HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER | PEGGY BLAKE
Livability Nashville Region is published annually by Livability Media, a division of Journal Communications Inc., and distributed through the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. For advertising information or to direct questions or comments about the magazine, contact Journal Communications Inc. at 615-771-0080 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce 500 11th Ave. N., Suite 200 Nashville, TN 37203 615-743-3000 • nashvillechamber.com VISIT LIVABILITY NASHVILLE REGION ONLINE AT LIVABILITY.COM/TN/NASHVILLE. ©Copyright 2021 Journal Communications Inc., 6550 Carothers Parkway, Suite 420, Franklin, TN 37067, 615-771-0080. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without written consent. Please recycle this magazine.
44 6 Discover 30 Community Profile 48 Economic Profile
Opportunity Is Knocking
High Marks for Education
New jobs are always on the horizon in the Nashville Region.
State of the Art
The Nashville Region pioneers fintech, life sciences, EV breakthroughs.
Nashville businesses have a long history of investing in community causes.
The Nashville Region’s top-ranked public schools give Middle Tennessee a competitive edge.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Where the Nightlife Hums
From music to museums, the region boasts an abundant collection of entertainment options.
OUTDOORS & WELLNESS
You don’t have to go far to get away from it all in the Nashville Region.
Strength Through Unity Nashville Region organizations bring people together to create a more vibrant communit y.
ON THE COVER The new Fifth + Broadway development in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. Photo by Jeff Adkins livability.com/tn/nashville
Things Every Newcomer Needs To Do Their First Year in the Nashville Region 1) Cheer on Our Teams
Watch Tennessee’s Major League Soccer team, the Nashville Soccer Club, take the field at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. Known to the locals as Nashville SC, the team played their inaugural season in 2020 and was immediately embraced by the city. Looking for more pro sports? Nissan Stadium also hosts Tennessee Titans football games (pictured), and at the nearby Bridgestone Arena, the Nashville Predators play in the National Hockey League.
3) Take in the Attractions
2) Explore the Past
History buffs, you have a lot to do and see. Visit Carnton in Franklin, where the Battle of Franklin took place in 1864, and tour the home that served as a Civil War hospital following the battle. Rock Castle, located about 25 minutes from downtown Nashville in Hendersonville, is also worth a visit – it’s the oldest house in Middle Tennessee. Finally, be sure to check out Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, situated 10 miles east of downtown Nashville.
Another must-visit attraction is the Parthenon, a fullscale replica of the original temple in Athens, Greece. The stunning structure is located at Centennial Park, just west of downtown Nashville. Be sure to venture inside, where you’ll find a dazzling 42-foot statue of the Greek goddess Athena and an art museum featuring permanent and temporary exhibits.
PHOTOS: JEFF ADKINS
Just 6 miles from downtown Nashville is the 188-acre Nashville Zoo, the ninth-largest zoo in the U.S. by landmass as well as home to nearly 3,000 animals representing 350-plus different species.
4) Visit the State Fair
In the summertime, don’t miss the Tennessee State Fair in Wilson County. This annual event is the state’s largest fair and includes statewide livestock competitions along with bluegrass, clogging and square-dancing competitions, plus pageants, live music, an antique car show, a dog show and much more.
5) Sip & Sample
Visit the Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, where Lexie Phillips recently made history by becoming Jack Daniel’s first female assistant distiller. Distillery guests can embark on a variety of tours for a behind-the-scenes peek at how the spirits are made (and an opportunity to sample them). Hungry? Try the Taste of Lynchburg tour that includes a distillery tour, whiskey tasting and a meal at Miss Mary Bobo’s Restaurant, a down-home dining spot with a rich history.
7) Make It to Main
PHOTOS, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: JEFFREY S. OTTO; JEFF ADKINS (2-5); ISTOCK.COM/23515399
You can’t live in Nashville – aka Music City – and not explore the live music scene. Downtown Nashville is well-known for its honky-tonks, including popular spots like Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, Robert’s Western World and Honky Tonk Central, and it also lays claim to larger venues such as Ryman Auditorium, Bridgestone Arena and Ascend Amphitheater.
8) Grow Your Knowledge
Explore downtown Franklin, billed as America’s Favorite Main Street. Located just 14 miles from Nashville, the 16-block downtown district features well-preserved Victorian buildings and an incredible mix of antique shops, boutiques, art galleries and restaurants.
Downtown Franklin also hosts special events throughout the year, including the summertime Main Street Festival, October’s Pumpkinfest and Dickens of a Christmas.
6) Listen Live
Bring the kids to the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring, which features educational exhibits as well as 20 acres of urban wetlands. Another favorite spot is Nashville’s Adventure Science Center, which includes interactive science exhibits and a planetarium complete with a 63-foot dome theater.
9) Head to the Races
Check out Nashville Superspeedway in Wilson County, where the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series are held. As the largest concrete-only track in NASCAR, the Nashville Superspeedway has also hosted NTT IndyCar Series and ARCA Menards Series events.
10 Get Spicy 10) You’re not a Nashvillian until you’ve tried Nashville hot chicken. You can find it at several restaurants, but the city’s most famous (and authentic) spots include Hattie B’s, Bolton’s and Prince’s. Even if you like spicy foods, consider ordering your chicken at a medium heat level – at least to start.
QUALIT Y OF LIFE
Welcome The Nashville Region is affordable, welcoming and humming with creative energy
rin Malone, a social media strategist, moved from San Diego to Nashville last year when her company J Public Relations opened a Southeast office. Now, weekends are for exploring her new city.
“There’s so much to do in Nashville,” says Malone, who moved here with her boyfriend. “We love the food, and the shopping is great, as well. There are also some great trails for hiking.”
PHOTOS, CLOCKWISE FROM BOTTOM LEFT: JEFF ADKINS (1-2) MICHAEL CONTI; NATHAN ZUCKER
By Brittany Anas
Some of their favorite finds so far include Twelve Thirty Club, Justin Timberlake’s hip supper club in Nashville’s bustling Lower Broadway district, and Sonny’s, a pet-friendly bar in Germantown where they can take their English bulldog, Bo (@MusicCityBo on Instagram). The secret is out about the region: Music City’s lifestyle attracts young talent and families alike. A lower cost of living, abundant career
opportunities, a vibrant and diverse arts tradition, world-class cuisine and numerous opportunities to stay active have made the Nashville Region a destination for relocating talent. Plus, those who move here feel like the welcome mat has been rolled out because the residents are just that friendly.
Nashville Is Affordable Nashville gives you more bang for your buck, with overall costs below the national average and housing options far more affordable than cities on the East and West coasts. Plus, Tennessee has no state income tax. The median home value in Nashville in July 2021 was $347,000, compared to $662,000 in New York and $882,000 in Los Angeles, according to Zillow.
Photos, clockwise from top left: “Rivive” mural by Beau Stanton; Murfreesboro Greenway System; Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival; The Twelve Thirty Club in the Fifth + Broadway development in downtown Nashville.
Housing affordability was among the reasons Phil Albrecht, a software engineer who co-founded real estate brokerage Felix livability.com/tn/nashville
STRATEGIC HOSPITALITY CONCEPTS
Interview with Benjamin and Max Goldberg From Paradise Park Trailer Resort, a kitschy honky-tonk, to the Patterson House, a swanky speakeasy cocktail lounge, Strategic Hospitality has several only-in-Nashville concepts that provide next-level entertainment and eats.
We checked in with Benjamin and Max Goldberg, the brothers behind some of Nashville’s greatest hits. Why did you choose Nashville to start and grow your business?
Benjamin: Nashville is such an entrepreneurial city, plus it’s one of the most supportive and accepting places I’ve ever been. Max and I both grew up here, but I noticed there was something really special happening when I moved back to Nashville after college. Nashville had this incredible energy that I’d never seen before. At that point, I knew I needed help. I begged Max to move back home from New York to start the business with me, and here we are. What’s a theme that ties your concepts together?
Max: We’ve always opened restaurants that represent a certain point in our lives. We want to open places that are like where we’d want to hang out if we weren’t so busy all the time. We live by the Maya Angelou quote that people may not remember what you said or what you did, but how you made them feel.
At The Band Box, mini golf course holes are designed by local artists. Can you share some more unique ways you partner with other Nashville businesses?
Benjamin: Nashville has always had this sense of “the rising tide lifts all ships.” With so much talent in this city, there are always really incredible partnerships happening. One of my favorites is our relationship with Crema Coffee at Pinewood Social. When we opened Pinewood, we knew we wanted great coffee to be a big part of the beverage program. Crema is such an amazing coffee shop, and they do what they do so well. Max: I really love our Guest Chef Pop Ups at The Band Box. They began five years ago with our friend, Andy Little from Josephine, and have morphed into a program where some of the most talented chefs in the city leave the four walls of their kitchen to create something to serve at the ballpark – maybe more playful, more outof-the-box than what they can do on a daily basis. What are a few items that are so loved they’ll never come off your menus?
Max: Tater tots, nachos (Bastion and The Band Box), Pinewood’s fried chicken, doughnuts at The Patterson House, the singlewide burger at Paradise Park. For those new to Nashville, which drink should be a rite of passage?
Max: Paradise Park’s $6 pitcher and our whiskey and cola icee at The Band Box.
“With so much talent in this city, there are always really incredible partnerships happening.” 10
PHOTO: ANDREA BEHRENDS
Take, for instance, Pinewood Social, a bar and restaurant with bowling lanes and dipping pools. Or, The Band Box, which is in the right field of First Horizon Park. While the Nashville Sounds play baseball, fans can play giant Jenga and puttputt golf while sipping frozen drinks like the Field of Dreamsicle. Another Strategic Hospitality concept is the Downtown Sporting Club that has restaurants, bars, ax throwing and hotel rooms.
Homes, moved from Los Angeles to Charlotte Park, one of Nashville’s emerging neighborhoods. “The affordable home prices make the dream of owning my own home no longer a fantasy,” says Albrecht, who made the move in June 2021. Since moving, he’s been impressed with how little traffic congestion there is in Nashville and how friendly people are here.
Impressive Arts and Entertainment From the east side to the west side and everywhere in between, the arts can be seen and heard throughout the region. Bright, creative murals and public art can be found in numerous neighborhoods and communities. Plus,
Hattie B’s at 5th + Broadway
Nashville celebrates its arts scene with a number of galleries and museums, and holds several art crawls and festivals throughout the year.
But really, living in Nashville is a multisensory experience. Live music sets the soundtrack of the city. The Grand Ole Opry and The Bluebird Cafe are Nashville institutions. But you can also listen to musicians strumming guitars on street corners and playing in restaurants and bars every night of the week.
PHOTOS: JEFF ADKINS
After serving nearly eight years in the Navy, Geoff Breedwell moved from Connecticut to the Nashville Region with his wife and two daughters, starting in Mt. Juliet in Wilson County and settling in
Antioch, a community in southeast Nashville. Breedwell, who is pursuing a master’s degree in divinity at Lipscomb University, says his family has found plenty of fun things to do close to home and in downtown Nashville, from bowling and trampoline parks to hitting the pool and spending several nights a week at the Two Rivers Skate Park. For weekend adventures, his family enjoys the Adventure Science Center, with interactive science exhibits, and meals from Hattie B’s, an iconic hot chicken restaurant.
Above: The Steel Blossoms perform at Puckett’s in downtown Murfreesboro. Right: Fans pack Nissan Stadium to watch the Tennessee Titans play the Denver Broncos.
Ample Career Opportunities Whether you want to open up your own business or find a job with a great company, the Nashville Region boasts numerous opportunities to grow in your career. Not only is the area home to several resources for startups, but it offers a slew of jobs in industries such as health care, financial services, life sciences, automotive production and, of course, music.
Adventure Science Center
Remote workers are also drawn to Nashville because their dollars can stretch further here, there’s a friendly social scene they can click into, and the area has cute coffee shops and wellmaintained trails to break up those workdays.
Neighborhood Mix From downtown living to bustling communities with their own distinct vibe to wide open rural spaces, the Nashville Region has something to offer every lifestyle. A number of communities within the region, including Murfreesboro, Franklin and Hendersonville, are among the fastest growing in the state. Murfreesboro and Franklin were included on Livability.com’s Top 100 Best Places to Live in 2020. Corey Carmichael says he always loved visiting Nashville for concerts, live music on Broadway and Tennessee Titans games. In 2019, he had the opportunity to move from Memphis to Brentwood, a suburb of Nashville, to take on a new job. He’s since started his own communications consulting business.
Plus, the food scene has been a great surprise, he says. Nashville is home to top-notch restaurants, and there’s always someplace new to show off to friends who come to visit, Carmichael says.
Berry Farms neighborhood in Franklin
“But the local restaurants in Franklin and some of the surrounding areas have really blown me away, too,” he says. “There was something really special happening.”
PHOTOS, FROM TOP: JEFF ADKINS; BRIAN MCCORD
“Music and sports have always been my favorite hobbies, but I’ve picked up so many new ones since I moved to Nashville,” he says. “I like to go on hikes, play golf at some of the beautiful courses here, and I’ve become an adopted fan of country music.”
Put a Fork in It THE NASHVILLE REGION OFFERS A WORLD-CLASS DINING EXPERIENCE
The Nashville Region’s appeal to people from all over the world has helped influence its diverse and lively food scene. And if you work up a thirst, Nashville’s roster of craft brewers and distillers invites you in for a drink. Here is a small taste of the cosmopolitan dining scene in the Nashville Region:
PHOTOS, FROM TOP: MICHAEL D. TEDESCO; NELSON’S GREEN BRIER
CHAUHAN ALE AND MASALA HOUSE Ready to convince you that classic Southern dishes and Indian cuisine go wonderfully together are dishes like hot chicken pakoras made with a ghost pepper sauce and house spice mix. NELSON’S GREEN BRIER DISTILLERY Brothers Andy and Charlie Nelson revived their family’s whiskey business after their father took them on a trip to Green Brier, the home of the original Nelson Distillery that shut down during Prohibition. Take a tour of the distillery to hear the fascinating story of how the family business was revived and then sample Louisa’s Liqueur, which is named for their great-great-great grandmother.
PEG LEG PORKER Meats are smoked fresh daily and sides are scratch-made at this award-winning barbecue joint that’s been featured on Food Network. The menu is concise with classics like barbecue sandwiches, dry rubbed ribs and pulled pork nachos. ROSIE FOOD & WINE Serving Spanish-style tapas in the suburbs, Rosie Food & Wine’s menu switches seasonally – but, for an idea, small eats include things like butternut squash burrata, grilled octopus and pork croquetas. Rosie Potatoes with garlic aioli and rosemary are a staple, though. TAILOR NASHVILLE Culinary creator Vivek Surti honors his heritage with a South Asian American menu in this Germantown restaurant. Cocktails have a true sense of place, like a house old fashioned made with whiskey and cardamon. Menus change seasonally. – Brittany Anas
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C AREER OPPORTUNIT Y
IS KNOCKING By Bill Lewis
New jobs are always on the horizon in the Nashville Region
The Bridgestone Americas building in Nashville
reativity is in the Nashville Region’s DNA, from Music Row, where tomorrow’s hits are being written today, to General Motors’ assembly lines for its future all-electric fleet and Oracle’s planned $1.2 billion downtown tech campus.
Innovators are flocking to the Nashville Region, where they find a deep talent pool educated, in part, by the area’s more than two dozen twoand four-year institutions of higher education. These include Vanderbilt, Belmont and Lipscomb universities and three historically Black colleges and universities: Fisk University, Tennessee State University and Meharry Medical College.
The Wond’ry, Vanderbilt’s Center for Innovation and Design
Even the global pandemic couldn’t slow down the pace of job creation in Nashville. In 2019, the region gained 6,748 announced new jobs. In 2020, that number grew to 11,815 announced new jobs. “The pattern is expected to continue in 2021, as Nashville continues to be a favorable destination for company growth and talent in-migration,” says Jeff Hite, senior vice president of economic development for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.
TALENT PIPELINE “The most significant factor in Nashville’s economic strength is our talent. Job creators chase talent. Not only is the region home to a strong talent pipeline … but also Nashville is attracting talent from across the globe,” he says.
PHOTOS: JEFF ADKINS
In 2019, 81 new people a day called the Nashville Region home. Despite the challenges experienced in 2020, the region continues to be an attractive place for talent to live, work and play. Some of the world’s bestknown brands make their home in Nashville, including Amazon,
Asurion, Bridgestone Americas, Nissan North America, HCA, Tractor Supply, Dollar General and AllianceBernstein. Recent successes include job growth in tech and advanced manufacturing. Tech in Middle Tennessee grew by 13% to an estimated 53,844 workers in 2019. From 2014-19, the number of tech jobs in Middle Tennessee grew by 36%, significantly outpacing national growth. Oracle expects to create 8,500 jobs at its planned campus in an emerging neighborhood on the east bank of the Cumberland River. Most recently, NTT DATA announced the establishment of a digital innovation center in Nashville. The company will invest $9.9 million and create 350 jobs, focusing on health care and manufacturing technology positions. In July 2021, retirement technology company Smart USA Co. announced
it chose Nashville for its U.S. headquarters. The London-based retirement technology platform is the U.S. division of Smart Pension Ltd., one of the world’s fastestgrowing retirement technology businesses. The move brings 130 tech jobs to the region.
Cost of Living in Select MSAs NEW YORK CITY......237.4 SAN FRANCISCO .... 196.6 SEATTLE ................. 156.7 BOSTON ................. 150.1 LOS ANGELES ........ 145.9 CHICAGO ................ 120.0 ATLANTA ................ 102.4 AUSTIN ..................... 99.3 NASHVILLE............... 98.5 CHARLOTTE ..............97.9 U.S. AVERAGE ........... 100 Source: C2ER, 2019
Tractor Supply Company Store Support Center in Brentwood
Amazon Fulfillment Center in Murfreesboro
“Nashville has all the recipes to be a great place to work and live,” says Smart USA Co. CEO Jodan Ledford. “We are excited to be among the trailblazers putting down roots here and to join the growing Nashville fintech community.” Job growth in advanced manufacturing is being led by GM. The company
is investing nearly $2 billion in Spring Hill to build electric vehicles. Ultium Cells LLC, a joint venture between GM and LG Energy Solution, will invest $2.3 billion to build its second battery cell manufacturing plant in the United States. The project will create 1,300 new manufacturing jobs in Maury County.
The Milken Institute named Nashville the Eighth Best Performing City of 2021 based on foundations for growth and recovery. The region boasts a business-friendly environment and tax structure, and it benefits from a diverse economy. With a balance of health care, technology, music and entertainment, corporate operations, manufacturing and supply chain management, Nashville remains one of the country’s most attractive growth centers, Hite says. Recruiting tech talent to Nashville is easier than in many other cities, thanks to no state income tax, a lower than average cost of living, a great quality of life, including a vibrant entertainment and nightlife, and excellent schools, says Brian Moyer, president and CEO of the Greater Nashville Technology Council.
“But the X-factor that truly sets Nashville apart can be traced to our iconic Music City roots. People have been coming to Nashville for more than 100 years to pursue their dream of a career in music. It’s a very entrepreneurial journey that is now baked into the fabric of our community,” he says. This results in a tech community that is not only innovative but also highly creative, inclusive and collaborative. “Creativity is inherent to our region, and our tech community actively seeks, values and promotes diverse perspectives. Innovation thrives here because it’s born from different points of view – it’s in our creative DNA,” Moyer says. “We’re collaborators who love sharing ideas, celebrating one another’s advances, with the belief that it will bring us all to a better place. It is a region unlike any other.”
PHOTOS, FROM TOP: JEFF ADKINS; ERIC SLOMANSON
MUSIC CITY ROOTS
A pair of Nashville Region businesses show resiliency in turbulent times was needed to survive the new normal,” Rouse says. “We boosted our online presence, and we decided to focus on what we do best and improve that to be more competitive.”
The largest-selling Blackowned spirit brand in history is experiencing barrels of success, and it’s all happening in the Nashville Region in the cities of Shelbyville and Columbia. Nearest Green Distillery is headquartered on 270 acres of farmland in Shelbyville, and a four-phase, $50 million construction development is currently taking place that will eventually consolidate all distilling, packaging and distribution operations on the property. In the meantime, those processes are taking place at a production facility in Columbia.
PHOTO: NATHAN LAMBRECHT
The company’s namesake, Nathan “Uncle Nearest” Green, was born in 1820 and lived as a slave in Lynchburg, where he became well-known for his whiskey-making ability. “Nathan was the first well-known African American master distiller, and I’m proud to continue his legacy,” says Fawn Weaver, owner and CEO of Nearest Green Distillery. “We launched our Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey brand in 2017, and today, the whiskey is sold in all 50 states and 12 countries. It’s in more than 30,000 stores, including Walmart, Target, Costco as well as restaurants, bars and hotels.” Weaver says the company actually grew substantially
Rouse says other businesses adapted by offering curbside pickup, touchless customer service and alternative means to get their products and services to their customers. But she says it was the community support that really enabled businesses like hers to get through 2020. Lisa Rouse, owner of Boro Town Cakes
during COVID-19, with her decision to invest during that time while many in the industry were laying off.
restructure her menu to focus more on sweet treats, such as brownies, cupcakes and cake pops.
“We actually doubled down. We increased our workforce, output, marketing, sales and so forth,” she says. “It’s how Warren Buffett made his money. He waits until people run scared, then he invests. That’s what I did during the pandemic, and now our distillery has more than 90 employees.”
“Some people were initially disappointed that we made changes to our business, but we could not ignore the fact that we were losing money trying to do things the same old way. We had to figure out what
“The residents have recognized the need to support small businesses and how important we are to the community,” she says. “Many small businesses offer goods and services you would not get from a chain. There was also cooperation and mutual respect among business owners. The community spirit has been incredible.” – Kevin Litwin
Other businesses across the region also pivoted during the pandemic. When Murfreesboro cafe Boro Town Cakes began losing breakfast and lunch customers, owner Lisa Rouse decided to
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Lee Company’s FM2 team provides reliable facilities management and maintenance
As a post-pandemic labor shortage looms for businesses across the Nashville region, owners and managers are wondering where they’ll find the staff they need to manage their facilities. For many of them, the solution is not to hire anyone at all.
Instead, they’re focusing on their core business without distractions and letting Lee Company handle the details of keeping their facilities running smoothly. Lee Company’s Facilities Management and Maintenance team (FM2) performs HVAC, electrical, and plumbing service and repairs, as well as general maintenance and projects. “We have a serious skilled labor gap in the entire country. It’s hard for companies to keep workers with those skills in-house,” says Steve Scott, Lee Company senior vice president FM2 business development. Some of the region’s largest employers rely on the Lee Company team, including Nissan, Vanderbilt Health, HCA, Ascension, the Nashville Predators, and the Tennessee Titans.
Technicians help craft solutions in the field, saving clients time and money.
For some clients, including Belmont and Cumberland universities, Lee Company FM2 staff members are on-site every day. Others businesses may need help for a few days or weeks, or as briefly as a few hours. FM2 team members can assist with tasks of all sizes, from rewiring electrical circuits to climbing a ladder for someone uncomfortable with heights. In an emergency, the FM2 team is available 24/7. “We exist so our clients can concentrate on doing the work they love,” Scott says. Lee Company technicians bring decades of experience when they
walk in the door, but with such a diverse client base, they know it’s important to learn about each one before beginning work. The city of Nashville’s needs, for instance, are different from those of Ingram Barge, which relies on the FM2 team to maintain its boats on the Cumberland River. “We have to start from a place of vulnerability and transparency,” Scott adds. “What does a successful day for an NFL team look like? Or a hospital or a barge company? We sit down with our customers, who co-create the solution with us.” Technicians in the field can call on Lee Company’s Virtual Support Center to help craft solutions, which saves time and money for clients. Technology, like Lee Company’s own brand of smart thermostats, can continuously monitor facilities and provide instant alerts. “It’s like virtual boots on the ground 24/7 and provides actionable data,” Scott says. Lee Company technicians are part of a 1,500-person-strong, family-owned company that is committed to creating opportunities for its employees and supporting its communities. Lee Company University, for example, provides free technical training for employees while building toward a journeyman’s license in their chosen trade. Lee Company also supports more than 130 nonprofits in the communities it serves. “A lot of companies can send a tradesperson to a site. The difference is the culture that we bring,” Scott says. “We have the skill sets to provide the service they need and a national industryleading safety record. We have a team who are on their game every day.”
“We have a serious skilled labor gap in the entire country. It’s hard for companies to keep workers with those skills in-house.” – Steve Scott/Lee Company Senior Vice President FM² Business Development
SPONSORED BY LEE COMPANY
INN O VAT I O N
STATE OF THE
THE NASHVILLE REGION PIONEERS FINTECH, LIFE SCIENCES, EV BREAKTHROUGHS
By Colleen Creamer
ashville’s core identity is unquestionably country music, but the region is also increasingly becoming a nerve center for life sciences, finance and automotive innovators drawn to the region’s standout quality of life, access to market, and diverse and talented workforce.
Pharmaceutical and biotech firms are utilizing the region’s already established health care and clinical research industries.
August Bioservices in late 2020 announced a $64 million expansion of its Nashville operations that will create 180 new jobs. The contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) provides drug discovery, development and manufacturing services to support the global pharmaceutical industry. The company is expanding its capabilities to become a specialized one-stopshop CDMO for clinical and commercial injectable therapies.
As part of the expansion, a new state-of-the-art drug development and manufacturing facility will feature multiple highspeed production lines capable of delivering commercial-scale across a wide array of sterile injectables containers, including vials, IV bags and prefilled syringes. The company in May 2021 closed a $23.6 million Series A extension from investors that will go toward expanding its manufacturing capacity and capabilities.
In Brentwood, ICON Clinical Research Inc. is broadening its research operations, which range from early-phase clinical development to globalization. And North America’s largest manufacturer of COVID-19 testing swabs, Puritan Medical Products, has established a new manufacturing and distribution center in Robertson County. Puritan Medical Products
Revance Therapeutics Inc. announced in late 2020
that the innovator in aesthetic and therapeutic products would move its headquarters from the San Francisco area to Nashville. The new headquarters will include a training and education center where employees, health care providers, consumers and patients can learn about the latest innovations in the company’s aesthetics,
PHOTOS, FROM LEFT: PURITAN MEDICAL PRODUCTS; WADE PAYNE/GENERAL MOTORS
‘Standard for Innovation’
therapeutics and financial technology products and services. Sara J. Fahy, vice president of corporate affairs and experience, says a number of core features that the Nashville Region offers factored into the company’s move, specifically its wealth of talent and location.
“We sought a location that would support our growth as we continue to set the standard for innovation,” Fahy says. “Nashville’s central location and talent base allow us to be face to face with customers and elite practice partners for live injection training and
GM announced plans to invest
$2 BILLION to revamp its Spring Hill plant in Maury County to start production on its first all-electric Cadillac Lyriq, expected to hit showrooms in 2023.
interactive learning.” livability.com/tn/nashville
Clean Automotive Solutions Middle Tennessee, undoubtedly an epicenter for the development of electric vehicles and their components, is getting even greener. In 2021, GM announced plans to invest $2 billion to revamp its Spring Hill plant in Maury County to start production on its first all-electric Cadillac Lyriq, expected to hit showrooms in 2023. GM joins Nissan, which has been manufacturing its electric vehicle, the Leaf, in Rutherford County since 2013, and Ultium Cells, a joint venture between LG Energy Solution and GM, is investing $2.3 billion to manufacture GM’s proprietary Ultium battery, also in Maury County.
Emerging Fintech Financial services giants, including UBS and AllianceBernstein, have found a home in the Nashville Region, and that is helping drive innovation in financial technology.
Nashville International Airport
Alto Solutions Inc. is a Nashville-based fintech company that makes it easy for individuals to access and invest in alternative assets using their retirement funds. Alto’s platform streamlines the process for investors, investment funding portals and investment sponsors. Another startup that blends fintech with
Nashville’s established music business, SangCash was created by Stephen DeGrazia to accelerate performance venue owners’ payments to songwriters and music publishers. Franklin-based software developer Core10 builds financial platforms for banks and lenders by adapting to each client’s needs, says Lee
Farabaugh, co-founder and president. “Core10’s goal is to take API (Application Programming Interface) development off of our clients’ plates,” Farabaugh says. “We can help tailor work for each client by asking the right questions up front.” Digital blockchain banks, such as Linus Financial, are also heading to the region.
“We are an alternative to people who don’t feel equipped to make trades on the stock market,” Nemer says. “We are for the person who knows they need to take on a little more risk and who knows that they need a higher interest rate than what they’ve been getting, but they don’t really know where to get it.”
Find more about how the Nashville Region is moving forward at livability.com/tn/ nashville.
PHOTOS, FROM TOP: CORE10; NATHAN LAMBRECHT
Matt Nemer, co-founder of Nashville-based Linus, says by streamlining the conventional model, the company can offer higher interest rates than traditional banks with no fees and minimums while also providing standard services.
Let It Ride
ILLUSTRATION: ISTOCK.COM/JULIA LEMBA
Only six U.S. cities have three major interstate highways that converge within its boundaries, and one of them is Nashville, where Interstates 24, 40 and 65 intersect. That puts Nashville Region distribution and logistics companies within a day’s drive of 50% of the U.S. population. I-65 connects Nashville with major hubs, including Louisville, Indianapolis and Chicago to the north, and Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile to the south. Highly traveled east-west I-40 links the Nashville area with cities such as Asheville, Knoxville, Memphis, Little Rock and Oklahoma City. I-24 runs
Strong transportation and logistics sector keeps the region moving forward
northwest to southeast and provides convenient travel to metropolitan areas, including St. Louis, Chattanooga and Atlanta.
plays a central role in connecting the region and making the Nashville MSA a global hub.
As a result of its location in the Mid-South, major companies that have set up distribution operations in the Nashville Region include Amazon, Gap, Lowe’s, Macy’s, Saks and Under Armour. Also adding to the region’s transportation advantages is Class I rail service via CSX, while the Cumberland River provides convenient access for companies wanting to ship by barge.
The airport was established in 1937 under the original name of Berry Field, which is why its airport code remains BNA.
Another asset is Nashville International Airport, which
Passenger volume continues to increase at the airport, with the average number of screened departures currently at 25,124 per day in June 2021, greater than the 2019 pre-pandemic high of an average of 23,543 passengers per day. Additionally, the number of nonstop routes is at a record high, offering service to 88 markets.
Nashville businesses have a long history of investing in community causes
Madison Middle School, which is taking part in Amazon’s Future Engineer program
By Teree Caruthers The Nashville Region’s corporate community has long roots in philanthropic work and community improvement efforts. Longstanding companies such as Ingram Industries and HCA Healthcare have helped write
CO R P O R AT E C I T I ZEN S HIP
that volunteerism and spirit of giving into the region’s corporate DNA. Now, as the Nashville Region attracts a new generation of companies, that emphasis on community stewardship is playing out in different ways.
AllianceBernstein donated more than $250,000 to support postsecondary education and career readiness.
Making Housing More Affordable Take Amazon, which arrived in the region in 2010 and has since invested millions of dollars to support the schools and organizations that promote housing security for residents.
PHOTOS, FROM LEFT: METRO NASHVILLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS; YMCA OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE
The company has donated more than $2 million to affordable housing efforts, and in 2021, announced it would commit $75 million more to help build 800 homes for low-income families along heavily traveled public transit corridors. “Amazon’s $2.25 million donation to The Housing Fund will immediately support hundreds of families across Nashville,” says Holly Sullivan, head of worldwide economic development at Amazon.
A Commitment to Career Readiness AllianceBernstein, a global asset management firm and recent arrival to the region, has made support of postsecondary education and career readiness a pillar of its corporate citizenship. “When we relocated to Tennessee in 2018, one of the first things we created in our Nashville office was a dedicated community relations program,” says Kate Chinn, vice
president and head of community and civic engagement. “To help shape our strategy, we spent time meeting and listening to the community to identify the biggest needs in the region and to determine how and where we could make the greatest impact.” The firm decided that creating opportunity for all students to reach their full potential was a great need and it aligned with its values.
Quality for All Chinn says the company focused on investing time and resources into education initiatives in Middle Tennessee. “We believe that, in order to have a thriving city, a prepared future workforce and a strong talent pipeline, we need to invest in initiatives and programs where the talent pipeline begins,” Chinn says.
“Like many other cities, Nashville was hit hard by the pandemic. But we’ve already seen signs of the economy recovering, and sectors like health care and technology offer great career opportunities for young people.” - Ryan Flury/JPMorgan Chase
The company has also invested in the Nashville Public Library Foundation, United Way Greater Nashville, Rock the Street Wall Street, Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee, YMCA Achievers Program, the Martha O’Bryan Center and Nashville GRAD with Nashville State Community College. Chinn says the company has made it a priority to give back to the city that has given so much. “The people of Nashville have welcomed our employees with open arms,” she says. “We truly believe in the city of Nashville and its future and feel that it is our duty to continue to make Nashville a great place to live and work.”
Closing the Wealth Gap JPMorgan Chase, a global investment bank and financial services holding company, made Nashville one of seven communities where it committed $7 million to support career pathways for underrepresented students through its New Skills Ready Initiative. “Like many other cities, Nashville was hit hard by the pandemic. But we’ve already seen signs of the economy recovering, and sectors like health care and technology offer great career opportunities for young people,” says Ryan Flury, executive director and Nashville market leader for JPMorgan Chase. livability.com/tn/nashville
Joe Woolley, CEO of the
Nashville LGBT Chamber 26 Nashville, Tennessee
STRENGTH Nashville Region organizations bring people together to create a more vibrant community // By Lauren Caggiano A community is only as strong as its efforts to be inclusive and support people in their journeys, whether personal or professional. Several organizations based in the Nashville Region are doing just that. And their efforts have resulted in boosting minority-owned small businesses, welcoming new residents and providing a climate where all feel a sense of belonging.
PHOTOS, FROM LEFT: JEFF ADKINS; ISTOCK.COM/DRAZEN_
Inclusive Entrepreneurship Brynn Plummer, vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center (NEC), is among those making a difference. From her vantage point, an entrepreneurial community should not be homogeneous and reflect only a certain archetype. Instead, it’s the center’s charge to bring more people from different walks of life to the table.
“I would say over the last two to three years, we’ve taken a much deeper focus on how we can make Nashville the best place in America to grow business,” she says. “There are things that we can do our theory
of change around that has really put diversity much more front and center.” For example, making sure entrepreneurs of all races and backgrounds feel seen, understood and included is a conscious effort.
Programs such as Twende, an initiative of the NEC, gives entrepreneurs of color in all industries access to world-class curriculum, a supportive community and individualized mentorship. livability.com/tn/nashville
Putting People First Domonique Townsend, the CEO of We Optimize Work and an engineer, is a Twende success story. Her business, founded in 2019, caters to employers who are open to what she refers to as “humancentered work approaches” to increase engagement, productivity and belonging for women in the workplace. The pandemic, for instance, presented an opportunity for her to consult on the best way to cater to employees’ needs.
Intro Nashville offers locals and those who are new to the region an opportunity to become more engaged.
like they need to downshift or leave their careers. So that’s what we focus on.” Townsend, a mother and Black woman, says her experience informs her own approach to business. Twende was helpful
because it addressed and leaned into some of the obstacles people of color face — head on. “In generalized programming, a lot of things are not discussed, because (facilitators) don’t
BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR Chamber program supports local businesses after tornado, pandemic
A massive tornado tore through Nashville in March 2020, then Music City was hit with the COVID-19 pandemic. Many local individuals and companies are still struggling with the aftermath of both disasters, so the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce started a Be A Good Neighbor initiative for the community to stand together and support each other as the regional economy rebounds. The program provides an online list of Nashville Region businesses that began offering their products and services in new ways during the pandemic.
One example is Falcon Press LLC, which made its large 40-inch printing presses immediately available to produce materials needed to reopen businesses, schools and restaurants. Another example is Nodat, which helped restaurants stay connected to customers by highlighting businesses on their mobile app that were still operating through takeout, pickup or delivery. Even as things return to somewhat normalcy, area businesses can still post their names and products/services under several different product or service categories. To post your company or for more information, go to nashvillechamber. com/landing-pages/goodneighbor.
think about those challenges because they have not experienced them necessarily,” she says. “Twende, however, is really intentional about addressing those barriers.”
Creating a Welcoming Climate Addressing barriers is a theme with which Joe Woolley is familiar, as the CEO of the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce. The organization advocates, educates and connects on behalf of its members who share the values of promoting equity and diversity in business and society. “Education means providing our corporate members with information around diversity and inclusion initiatives,” he says. “Diversity and inclusion is the name of the game in business right now. And you have a lot of leaders in the field setting the bar here in Nashville, and then you’ve got a lot trying to catch up, too.”
PHOTO: INTRO NASHVILLE
“So, I look at all these return-to-office approaches right now,” she says. “And I’m helping them figure out what’s optimal, what’s the risk if they go all in-person versus remote, versus hybrid. But at the core of that is having better work approaches, so that way women do not feel
Another program, Intro Nashville, empowers people in a different way. A program of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Intro Nashville provides new arrivals with tools that help unlock connections to the region.
HANDS ON NASHVILLE EMPOWERS RESIDENTS TO GIVE BACK THROUGH MEANINGFUL OPPORTUNITIES
According to Caitlin Okrzesik, the chamber’s director of community initiatives, Intro Nashville serves as a bootcamp of sorts for recent transplants. Offered both virtually and in person, participants leave the program with newfound relationships that can help them personally and professionally. “It helps you build your network fast, so you get the opportunity to meet with people who are movers and shakers who’ve helped this community thrive,” she says. That was the case for Amy Rao Mohan, an Intro Nashville participant and an attorney with law firm Sherrard Roe Voigt & Harbison.
PHOTO: MADISON THORN
“The ability to network with other like-minded professionals in a similar stage of career development drew me to the program,” she says. “I enjoyed the ability to get to know other professionals and hear about the type of work they are doing.”
Find more about how Nashville is becoming more inclusive at livability.com/tn/nashville.
Hands On Nashville flood cleanup
If you have a passion and time, Hands On Nashville can facilitate opportunities that can enrich your life and help you grow personally.
According to Branch, there’s a role for anyone with a willing spirit. There’s no shortage of that mentality in the Nashville Region. Despite recent tough times, he says residents have stepped up in ways that many might not have imagined. Specifically, he cites the natural disasters and tragedies as catalysts for action.
The nonprofit’s mission is to help meet community needs through volunteerism. “Even beyond disasters, several The organization’s programs connect thousand volunteers sign up each year volunteers to opportunities supporting to help meet community needs through 200-plus nonprofits, schools and other volunteer service,” he says. civic groups. Hands On Nashville and its network of volunteers rise to the occasion. On that note, he invites newer residents to join the ranks of their volunteer “From direct disaster response to cohort. The benefits include learning helping nonprofits solve their techmore about the region while networking, based challenges, we and our partners offer a plethora of opportunities for making new friends, learning new community members to get involved,” skills and reducing stress. says A.T. Branch, volunteer engagement “It is such an easy way to get connected leader. “Hundreds of volunteer AND feel a sense of accomplishment opportunities supporting tons of while doing so,” he says. local organizations can be found - Lauren Caggiano on our website at hon.org.”
COMMUNITY PROFILE DEMOGRAPHICS
POPULATION (Nashville metro area)
1,933,860 Square miles
5,689.4 People per square mile
0-19 ................................. 25% 20-39 ............................... 29% 40-59 ............................... 26% 60+ .................................. 19%
White ............................... 71% Black ............................... 15% Hispanic ............................ 8% Asian ................................. 3% Other ................................. 2%
36.7 Source: Census Reporter
By Household Type Married couples......................... 62% Male householder ....................... 6% Female householder ................. 14% Nonfamily ................................... 18%
Drives alone ............................... 79% Carpools ....................................... 9% Public transit ............................... 1% Walks ............................................ 1% Other............................................. 1% Works from home ........................ 8%
28.5 minutes Mean travel time to work
INCOME Per capita
$37,696 Median household income
$70,262 THIS SECTION IS SPONSORED BY
High school ............................ 25% Some college.......................... 27% Bachelor’s degree.................. 25% Postgraduate degree ............ 14%
New industrial park to provide jobs for influx of young workers
Even President Andrew Jackson reportedly stayed in the oddly-colored building – few were painted white back then – that gave birth to the Tennessee town’s name. Today, White House is becoming a hub for a different kind of traffic. State and local officials recently announced the first tenant in the brandnew White House Business
Park along the Interstate 65 corridor. After searching for two years for the right spot, Advanex Americas, a precision spring and components parts manufacturer, is relocating its U.S. operations from California, investing $17 million in Robertson County to build a 75,000square-foot facility, and creating 102 jobs.
Advanex products are used in everything from ballpoint pens to space stations in industries that include automotive, agriculture and medical. “They were looking for a location closer to the East Coast, and they identified the Middle Tennessee area,” says Margot Fosnes, chief economic development officer for the Robertson
County Economic Development Board.
“The site was already zoned industrial but it really hadn’t drawn a lot of attention,” she continues. “The fact that we were planning to develop the rest of the property as an industrial park really resonated with them.” The seed for the new business park was planted when TVA Economic Development approached Robertson County economic
Gov. Bill Lee and other officials were on hand at the groundbreaking for a new industrial park in White House. Advanex Americas will be the first tenant in the new park, building a 75,000-square-foot facility and bringing more than 100 jobs to Robertson County.
PHOTOS: TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
In the mid-19th century, a popular stagecoach traveling the L&N Turnpike typically stopped at a white, two-story house near the Kentucky state line to let passengers rest overnight or enjoy a meal.
tenants on a fast timeline. “If somebody says, ‘I need to build a 100,000-squarefoot building’ and the lot would only hold a 50,000square-foot building, we have the flexibility to move those parcels around,” Fosnes says.
planners about partnering to develop spacious, publicly controlled tracts of land – a scarce commodity near bustling Nashville. The project received an additional boost when it was awarded a Site Development Grant by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. “There truly is a very, very big demand for
large parcels of land that have the necessary infrastructure and easy access to the interstate,” Fosnes explains. “We’re running out of that in Middle Tennessee, especially for projects that need 20, 30, 50 acres.”
Another plus is the availability of a growing workforce commuting from both Tennessee and Kentucky. As the fastest-growing town in Robertson County, White House is drawing young families with
its ample recreational opportunities, affordable housing and quality schools. More than 700 new apartments and 3,500 single-family homes are currently under development. Inquiries about the industrial park are also picking up speed, and Fosnes predicts the mixed-use development will build out quickly and possibly expand in the future. “White House has an exciting future,” she concludes.
The new 200-acre park is conveniently located near the heavily trafficked interstate, with flexible spaces that can accommodate
SPONSORED BY ROBERTSON COUNTY BOARD OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
PHOTO: ISTOCK.COM/STEVE DEBENPORT
TA L EN T
HIGH MARKS for Education
THE NASHVILLE REGION’S TOP-RANKED PUBLIC SCHOOLS GIVE MIDDLE TENNESSEE A COMPETITIVE EDGE
By Teree Caruthers
A cornerstone of the Greater Nashville Region’s economic success is its highly skilled and readily available workforce. Thanks in large part to a number of top-ranked public school systems that prepare students for both college and in-demand, local careers, the region keeps a steady pipeline of talent flowing to relocating and expanding businesses. Maury County Public Schools, for example, has integrated STEAMrelated programs in its schools to better prepare students for their futures. Mt. Pleasant Elementary, Mt. Pleasant Middle School, Mt. Pleasant High School and Randolph Howell Elementary have all earned the Tennessee STEM School Designation. In Robertson County, a new biotechnology lab at White House Heritage High School offers students a biotech certification when they graduate, which will allow them to immediately begin a career in the field.
On Course for Careers The internationally acclaimed Academies of Nashville, offered through Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS), provide students
with one of the best college- and career-prep experiences in the country, with a hands-on approach to learning in a range of disciplines. The Academies’ program matches local industries and experts with high schools to provide one-ofa-kind learning opportunities in areas such as visual and performing arts, health care, technology, business, education and criminal justice. “We have programs at all of our zoned high schools — which are open enrollment for students outside of those zones — to give our high schoolers the chance to explore their dreams and talents while learning useful skills to prepare them for college and career opportunities to follow,” says Sean Braisted, executive officer of communications and community engagement for MNPS. “In addition to a rich selection of advanced academics, we also offer dual enrollment and credit offerings to launch our graduates into success after high school.”
Williamson County Schools’ Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center (EIC) gives high school students valuable soft skills through hands-on experience in areas such as customer service, business and product development. EIC students have started their own in-home bakeries and retail shops and offer services such as child care, housecleaning and lawn care. “Everything done at the EIC helps facilitate skills that
are needed in the Williamson County and Middle Tennessee workforce. Creativity, ideation, communication, teamwork and flexibility are just a few that come to mind,” says Jeremy Qualls, executive director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center and college, career and technical education for Williamson County Schools. “The level of rigor, combined with those soft skills, makes these students not only ready for college, but highly recruited by Rutherford County Schools
schools that offer entrepreneurship programs.” Qualls says the EIC partners with local business leaders to mentor students and help coach them through the process of developing and pitching their business plan. “This process not only gives the mentors and coaches exposure to the program, but it also gives them opportunities to interact with students and see the level of creativity and leadership they possess,” Qualls says. “We have actually had students get offered jobs on the spot from mentors.”
Quality Choices One of the fastest-growing districts in the state, Rutherford County Schools consistently ranks among the best school districts in Tennessee and has outpaced national rankings on a number of measures. In August 2020, the district launched
Maury County Public Schools
the Rutherford County Virtual School, which has grown in enrollment from 100 students to more than 300 in grades 3-12. Unlike many online programs, Rutherford County’s virtual courses are taught by Rutherford County Schools teachers. Students enrolled in the virtual program are able to participate in in-person clubs, sports and other extracurricular activities. While the program launched during the height of the pandemic, it was years in the making and was designed as an option for home-schooled students, athletes in year-round training or students who spend part of the school year outside the district. “We’re really trying to incorporate the best of both worlds. Rutherford County is well-known throughout the state for our really strong academic program. We offer some of the best teachers and the best curriculum, and we’ve got some of the highest test scores in the state,” says Jessica Supakhan, principal of Rutherford County Virtual School. “Not only are students learning from these amazing teachers — all level five teachers, outstanding educators — but they’re also able to learn from the comfort and convenience of their home or even on the road if they’re traveling.”
Learn more about the high quality schools in the Nashville Region at livability.com/tn/nashville.
PHOTOS, FROM TOP: RUTHERFORD COUNTY SCHOOLS; MAURY COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Leading the Way PROGRAM DEVELOPS INDIVIDUALS FOR LEADERSHIP ROLES TO ASSIST PUBLIC SCHOOLS The slogan “You’re never too old to learn” is appropriate for Leadership Public Education, an initiative backed by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. The project is an education program that helps participants gain knowledge and skills to eventually assume community leadership roles to help make Metro Nashville Public Schools a better district. Participants are known as fellows, and they meet monthly for six months to learn and discuss the challenges that impact the MNPS district. Experts in the fields of public education and organizational development lead each session. Classes are held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on the second Friday of the month from January through June. The cost is $500, and topics discussed include public school funding, the MNPS budget process, roles and responsibilities of board of education members and the director of schools, and teacher and principal talent attraction and retention.
Fellows also learn about conflict resolution and effective communication as well as education policy, law and equity. As part of the program, each fellow commits to an elected, appointed and/or volunteer community leadership role impacting MNPS. Those roles can be with a parent-teacher organization, school or district advisory council, nonprofit board of directors, Academies of Nashville Partnership Council, Education Report Committee at the Nashville Area Chamber, MNPS Board of Education, Tennessee State Board of Education or Metro-Nashville Davidson County boards and commissions. The mission is for Leadership Public Education fellows to become advocates for public education in Nashville by getting behind-the-scenes looks at how the district operates, in order to effect real change. More information is at nashvillechamber.com/economic-development/talentdevelopment/leadership-public-education/overview.
f ro m
SVI LL n t E is
ju Na s st hvi ll
Put your corporate home in the Nashville area without the hassle. Reverse commute. More time for you. This photo features a 10-acre, pad ready, Class A Office Park on Conference Drive right off of I-65. Skyline Primary Care was the first to build. Dollar General Corporate HQ is located half a mile down the road. There are four (4) pads available. NOT LOOKING TO BUILD? Lease all or part of 32K SF across the street.
Mary Laine Hucks, Director of Economic Development CITY OF GOODLETTSVILLE 318 N. Main St. | Goodlettsville, TN 37072 615.851.3211 | email@example.com www.goodlettsville.gov/business
racing its Tennessee roots back more than a century, FirstBank is a community bank to its core.
Since 1906, local decision-making has been a hallmark of how the bank does business. Today, associates still know the names and unique stories behind the account numbers, but that personal connection is now backed by the financial power of almost $12 billion in assets.
Get More A big bank with the soul of a small town, FirstBank stays true to its rural roots even as it enjoys significant growth in the large urban areas that make up Middle Tennessee’s Metro Nashville market.
One of the largest financial institutions in the Southeast, FirstBank is in the top 5% of U.S. banks based on assets. “We’ve expanded our footprint by giving our best to our communities,” FirstBank President and CEO Chris Holmes says of the bank’s success. “We make a difference through our focus on building personal relationships and serving the needs and opportunities that come from these relationships.” With a business culture focused on one-on-one banking, associates are invested in their customers and communities with a desire to see both succeed. Whether it’s a banking relationship that requires personal solutions or complex support, FirstBank’s size and expertise
allow for a full complement of products and services, from personal accounts, mortgages and business banking to industry solutions and investment partners. If your dream is growing a business, owning a home or planning for retirement, FirstBank believes customers deserve more than just an account – they deserve a connection. “Our customers work directly with bankers who know them,” explains FirstBank’s Davidson County President Ashley Hill. “We are big enough to be your complete financial services provider, but we’ve remained focused on giving back to our communities with local decisionmaking. It’s the best of both worlds.”
Give MORE FirstBank features community banking backed by financial power
FirstBank is one of the largest financial institutions headquartered in the Southeast and serves Middle Tennessee's Metro Nashville market.
Give More From building an exciting new headquarters in downtown Nashville to strengthening programs such as the FirstBank Forward initiative, you can’t deny FirstBank’s commitment to Middle Tennessee. Through FirstBank Forward, the bank strives to build vibrant communities with programs, products and services designed to foster affordable housing, drive economic development and promote education. FirstBank isn’t just located in Middle Tennessee, it’s part of the community. The new FirstBank Amphitheater in Franklin is a shining example of supporting the creativity that is truly an integral part of the
region, while also making a positive impact on the environment.
art sound, event lighting and large-screen image amplification.
Located south of Nashville, the beautiful FirstBank Amphitheater serves as an example of land reclamation and a commitment to supporting area artisans, farmers and small businesses. The FirstBank Amphitheater is positioned at the base of a limestone rock quarry surrounded by cliffs up to 100 feet tall, creating a dramatic outdoor location with ideal visual and acoustic space for music events.
There is no doubt FirstBank is rooted in the community. On a personal level, associates donate thousands of hours in manpower and expertise to local organizations. Leading by example with involvement in many Middle Tennessee nonprofits, Holmes says, “My message to our associates is that every day we have the opportunity to give of ourselves and make a real impact on the future of others. Our emphasis remains on local ties and heartfelt service.”
The world-class boutique setting will have room for up to 7,500 concert attendees and a spacious 1.5-acre plaza area for gathering and dining. The facility will feature state-of-the-
SPONSORED BY FIRSTBANK/MEMBER FDIC
Nightlife Hums By Patsy B. Weiler
From music to museums, the region boasts an abundant collection of entertainment options 40
A R T S & EN T ER TA I N M EN T
Photos, clockwise from left: National Museum of African American Music; The Hampton Social; Arrington Vineyards; Bleu 32 in Columbia
winning Nashville Symphony.
PHOTOS, CLOCKWSIE FROM LEFT: JEFF ADKINS (1-2); NATHAN LAMBRECHT; NICK BUMGARDNER
A downtown landmark, the restored Ryman Auditorium housed the Opry from 1943-1974. Known for its world-class acoustics, the famous stage of the Mother Church of Country Music has been selected multiple times as Theatre of the Year by Pollstar, a concert industry trade magazine.
The arts and entertainment scene in the Nashville Region is like a pan of scratch biscuits in the oven — fresh, hot and on the rise. Nashville, known the world over as Music City, lives up to its name. It is an epicenter of the full
spectrum of musical genres, from the iconic Grand Ole Opry — the show that made country
music famous — to the elegant Schermerhorn Symphony Center, home of the Grammy Award-
Lower Broadway in downtown Nashville is a historic, highoctane haven of neon signs, cold beer, live music and an explosion of new rooftop bars. Country music entertainers are making hits with their namesake, multistoried destination venues. livability.com/tn/nashville
Traditional honky-tonks like Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge — the reigning queen of the district that opened in 1957 — was recognized by Esquire magazine as one of America’s Best Bars. Tootsie’s and neighbor Robert’s Western World still serve up traditional country music with a side of PBR. The open-air Ascend Amphitheater is a part of Riverfront Park at the end of Broadway overlooking the scenic Cumberland River, where acts like
“NMAAM is important to Nashville’s ever-changing tourism landscape because not only will it provide reason for more diverse conventions to meet in Tennessee, but it will serve as a tool for employers to be able to attract and retain talented employees.” - H. Beecher Hicks III/NMAAM Snoop Dogg and Jimmy Buffett have appeared. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Frist Art Museum, housed in a stately art deco building, was previously the city’s main post office. Today, it brings a wide variety of traveling art to the heart of the city, snagging the only U.S. stop of a Pablo Picasso exhibit in 2021.
A few blocks away, the 350,000-square-foot Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum collects, preserves and interprets the evolving history and traditions of country music.
New Music Museum Opens The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM), an anchor in
Striking a Chord REPORT DETAILS THE MUSIC INDUSTRY’S GROWING IMPORTANCE TO NASHVILLE It took eight long months to research and compile, but a recently released study definitively proves one thing – Nashville truly is Music City. The 225-page Music Industry Report 2020 is billed as the most comprehensive market research ever done about the music industry in the Nashville MSA. Noting that although the city’s reputation was built by country music, other genres flourishing in the region include gospel, rock, hip hop and jazz. The partners involved with accumulating the findings for the report include the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Belmont University, the Country Music Association, the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, Nashville Songwriters Association International and Exploration.io. Their research found that the overall economic impact of the music industry in the Nashville MSA in 2020 was $8.6 billion, which represented a 43% increase from 2013. Also highlighted was the continued growing number of live music venues. The full report is available at exploration.io/ music-industry-report-2020. - Kevin Litwin
the newly opened Fifth + Broadway development, opened its doors in January 2021. The 56,000-squarefoot facility is the only museum encouraging visitors to discover the many connections and influences that African American composers have had on all genres of musicians, using artifacts, memorabilia, clothing and state-of-the-art technology. “NMAAM is important to Nashville’s ever-changing tourism landscape because not only will it provide reason for more diverse conventions to meet in Tennessee, but it will serve as a tool for employers to be able to attract and retain talented employees and encourage expanded opportunities for growth in the state’s music industry,” says H. Beecher Hicks III, president and CEO. A trip to Nashville should include a stop at the Fisk University Galleries, including the Carl Van Vechten Gallery, home to the Alfred Stieglitz exhibit of modern art, and the Aaron Douglas Gallery. And you won’t want to miss the chance to reflect on the 225 years of the Volunteer State’s history through the thousands of stories told at the Tennessee State Museum.
From Jazz to Rock The Nashville Jazz Workshop is the place for fans of syncopated
PHOTO: ISTOCK.COM/GREG EMENS
AJ’s Good Time Bar (Alan Jackson), Ole Red (Blake Shelton), Luke’s 32 Bridge (Luke Bryan) and others are drawing droves of visitors.
Festive Occasions You don’t have to be a fan of country music to find something to celebrate in the Nashville Region (though you can at the four-day CMA Music Festival, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in June 2022). The region offers all sorts of events to keep you entertained. Here’s just a sample:
The Nashville Pride Festival
Southern Festival of Books
Tennessee’s largest LGBTQ+ event occurs in September at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. Enjoy vendors, multiple stages with local and national touring acts, a kids and family zone, a youth area, a dance tent and a parade. nashvillepride.org/festival
Book lovers young and old have celebrated this free feast of the written word on Legislative Plaza every October, which includes live events with favorite authors over two days. humanitiestennessee.org
Mule Day COLUMBIA
Kick up your heels at Mule Day, a Columbia tradition for 170 years, beginning as a mule market day on the first Monday in April. A weeklong festival that draws thousands of attendees, the event includes mule shows,
PHOTO: SOLAR CABIN STUDIOS
rhythms and improvisation. For more than 40 years, tight harmonies and lightning-fast licks have been the trademark of the Station Inn, where bluegrass, Americana and the occasional gospel music reign supreme. Hear the best of Nashville songwriters at the famous Bluebird Cafe (located in the Green Hills area), plus check out The Listening Room Cafe or 3rd and Lindsley. Rock it out at
The End, a small-capacity rock ’n’ roll dive bar on Elliston Place, or its neighbor, the iconic Exit/In. Cross the river and head to East Nashville to catch an eclectic musical mix of sounds, from blues to rock, behind the microphone at The 5 Spot and The Basement East. Travel a short distance to nearby communities for fun, including Arrington Vineyards, near Nolensville, to sip a glass
arts & crafts and the famous mule parade. muleday.com
Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival NASHVILLE
Many cultures that call Nashville home gather in Centennial Park every October to showcase their many flavors of music and dance performances, authentic food vendors, hands-on children’s activities, a marketplace and more. celebratenashville.org
JazzFest is the hip place to be the first weekend of May on the historic downtown square. Enjoy dancing and performances by local schools’ jazz
bands, plus three professional bands from Middle Tennessee. In addition to music, eventgoers can find food trucks, games and familyfriendly events. mainstreetmurfreesboro. org/jazzfest
St. Jude Rock ’n’ Roll Nashville Marathon NASHVILLE Thousands of participants run a marathon, halfmarathon or 5K course that provides a tour of iconic Music City landmarks, with live entertainment along the way. The annual event also includes a health and fitness expo, and a major concert to close out the festivities. runrocknroll.com/ Nashville - Patsy B. Weiler
of wine and hear bands on Friday nights and jazz in the pavilion on Saturdays.
downtown for music and entertainment inside a restored historic church.
In Murfreesboro, go to Mayday Brewery or Gallagher Guitar Co.’s listening room for a special experience between the audience and the artist. The Legendary Kimbro’s Pickin’ Parlor in Franklin is full of exciting vibes, and south of Nashville in Columbia, The Mulehouse is a recently opened venue
Downhome pickin’ and dancing is a long tradition at Long Hollow Jamboree & Restaurant in Goodlettsville. And don’t overlook Puckett’s in Murfreesboro, Franklin, and Columbia.
Find more about the area’s abundant entertainment scene at livability.com/tn/nashville. livability.com/tn/nashville
Outside Interests By Cary Estes
You don’t have to go far to get away from it all in the Nashville Region
44 Nashville, Tennessee Cheekwood Estate & Gardens
OUTDOORS & WELLNESS
etting away from the hustle and bustle of Nashville doesn’t mean you actually have to get away from Nashville. Residents of the region have numerous ways to enjoy an active (or relaxing) outdoor lifestyle, and many of the favorite options are located within a short drive of downtown.
There are more than 10,000 acres of parkland just within the city limits, providing opportunities for hiking, running and cycling. Boaters flock to Percy Priest Lake, and the Duck River and the Harpeth River are favorites for kayakers and canoers. And scenic relaxation is available at Cheekwood Estate & Gardens and Radnor Lake State Park, both of which are less than 10 miles from downtown Nashville.
PHOTOS, FROM TOP: JOSH NESS; JEFF ADKINS; OPPOSITE PAGE: JEFF ADKINS
“Nashville is a beautiful city, with all these green rolling hills,” Cheekwood President and CEO Jane MacLeod says. “And there is something about beauty that just soothes the soul.” The region has embraced the creation of trails, greenways and open spaces. More than 300 miles of trails spread throughout the area, with many of them connecting to such major water corridors as the Cumberland River and Stones River. In addition, a 23-mile urban greenway loop system encircling Nashville is under development (nearly 10 miles have been completed). The Parks and Greenways Master Plan recommended an ambitious goal of creating a greenway within a walkable half-mile
Kayaking on the Harpeth River; below: floating down the Duck River
of every community in the urban core. “Nashville has so many green spaces, and the city has worked very hard to connect them,” says Tina Corkum, director of the Friends of Radnor Lake organization. “There are green spaces throughout the entire community that people who live here enjoy on a daily basis.”
A Gorgeous Garden One of the best places to soak up outdoor grandeur is at Cheekwood Estate & Gardens, a 55-acre botanical garden located adjacent to the 3,100-acre Warner Parks. In 2019, Cheekwood was named one of the Top 10 Best Botanical Gardens in a USA Today readers’ poll. “Our vistas are unmarred by any development,” MacLeod says. “You feel like you are far out in the country and removed from the business of everyday living.”
The centerpiece of Cheekwood is the 30,000-square-foot Cheek Mansion that was built around 1930 and sits atop a picturesque hill. The mansion now houses an art museum, with impressive works such as the largest
collection of William Edmondson sculptures and paintings by Andy Warhol and Jamie Wyeth. Surrounding it are 12 gardens (each with a different theme), an arboretum with 120 species of trees, livability.com/tn/nashville
and a partially paved 1.5-mile sculpture trail that is illuminated for night viewing on select Thursdays. “We recently opened a 2-acre children’s garden with a turtle pond, a labyrinth, a wishing well, a tunnel and water features,” MacLeod says. “It’s every child’s dream, and by that I mean
kids ages 1 to 101, because adults love it, as well.” Cheekwood also offers educational programs and camps, including a new Wellness 360 initiative that provides outdoor yoga classes and meditation. “Every season of the year, there is something beautiful to see and do at
Cheekwood,” MacLeod says. “It’s a respite for your body, mind and soul.”
Like Cheekwood, Radnor
A Great Lake
Nashville Zoo), but it feels
Another jewel of the Nashville Region is the 1,368-acre Radnor Lake State Park, a protected Class II Natural Area with nearly 8 miles of trails and more being developed.
is located just outside the sights and sounds of the city (not far from the farther away. “Radnor Lake provides a place where people can connect with nature,” Corkum says. “They can view things here that they can’t see anywhere else in the city, like a great blue heron flying across the lake or eagles sitting on a branch. It gives you a sense of nature that you just can’t experience while driving through the city.” Deer and wild turkeys are in abundance at Radnor Lake, and Corkum says the number of different species of birds “is astounding.” And that doesn’t include seven birds of prey at the park’s Aviary Education Center. Radnor Lake also has started a native grassland initiative to create a habitat for ground-nesting birds and monarch butterflies. “We have significantly
Members of Percy Priest Yacht Club on J. Percy Priest Lake
increased the presence of monarch butterflies
The paved trail along Radnor Lake
at Radnor Lake,” Corkum says. “On a summer afternoon, you’ll see 100 of them at one time. It’s an amazing sight. When you see that, you completely forget you’re just 8 miles from the
Find more about outdoor recreation options here at livability.com/tn/nashville.
PHOTOS: JEFF ADKINS
middle of the city.”
Where the Locals Ride The Nashville Region gives cyclers plenty of places to pedal When it comes to cycling in the Nashville Region, “there are a ton of great places to go,” says R.J. LoCurto, president of the Harpeth Bike Club in Franklin. “And the great thing is a lot of rides are very quick portals into the countryside. Within 15 or 20 minutes of getting on the bike, you can be out in the country.” Here is just a sample of some great rides: Stones River Greenway: Much of this 10-mile trail runs parallel to Stones River, stretching from the Cumberland River to J. Percy Priest Reservoir. It is part of Nashville’s extension trail system that connects neighborhoods with downtown offices, shopping areas and restaurants.
Trinity Park: This beautiful park can be used as a launching point for several rides into the Williamson County countryside. Head south toward Pulltight Hill Road for a moderate climb that leads to a gorgeous view. Or, venture northeast on Burke Hollow Road for a thrilling descent. Natchez Trace Parkway: One section of this famous 444-mile national scenic byway stretches southwest from Nashville and links to the equally picturesque Old Natchez Trace, which runs along the Harpeth River. As a bonus,
it takes you past The Loveless Cafe.
Carl Road: Located near the small community of Leiper’s Fork in Williamson County, this 3-mile stretch is LoCurto’s favorite road to ride in the area. “It’s curvy and scenic, with rolling hills and sweeping turns and a canopy of trees,” LoCurto says. “It’s just spectacular.” – Cary Estes
PHOTO: JEFF ADKINS
Shelby Bottoms Greenway: This 4-mile trail begins with a ride through a tunnel underneath Briley Parkway, followed by
a trip over the Cumberland River pedestrian bridge and then onward to Shelby Park in East Nashville. “There’s a different sort of charm to these urban rides,” LoCurto says.
ECONOMIC PROFILE HOUSING
MAJOR EMPLOYERS & NUMBER EMPLOYED
Number of households
Vanderbilt University Medical Center............................... 20,428
Number of housing units
Vanderbilt University ...................... 6,912
806,178 Persons per household
Median value of owner-occupied housing units
$285,100 Owner-occupied units
Sources: Census Reporter; District of Columbia Dept. of Finance, Tax Burdens Comparison
Nissan North America .................. 10,750 HCA Healthcare Inc. ...................... 10,613 Saint Thomas Health ...................... 6,243 Community Health Systems........... 4,700
Verizon Wireless .............................. 2,025 A.O. Smith Corp. ............................... 1,922 Ingram Content Group Inc. ............. 1,859 Tyson Foods ..................................... 1,792 State Farm Insurance Cos............... 1,650 Schneider Electric ........................... 1,600 Walgreens Co. .................................. 1,592
Randstad .......................................... 4,557
Dell .................................................... 1,500
Asurion ............................................. 3,600
The Kroger Co. ................................. 3,523
National HealthCare Corp. ............. 3,250
Shoney’s ........................................... 3,000
Genesco Inc...................................... 1,355
Electrolux Home Products ............. 2,900 Bridgestone Americas .................... 2,897 Lowe’s Cos. ....................................... 2,890 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store ........................... 2,600 Amazon.com..................................... 2,500
Gap Inc. ............................................. 1,306 Regions Bank ................................... 1,250 Lifeway Christian Resources .......... 1,229
TAX BURDEN COMPARISON
Gaylord Opryland Resort ............... 2,500
AT&T Inc. .......................................... 2,250
Dollar General Corp. ....................... 2,219
Kansas City............................... $8,703
Middle Tennessee State University ............................... 2,174
Louisville .................................. $8,689
United Healthcare ........................... 2,052
Atlanta ...................................... $8,386
Goodwill Industries of Middle TN ..................................... 2,029
Indianapolis ............................. $8,113
Los Angeles .............................. $8,229
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