UT receives $1m grant to bring culturally relevant robotics to local schools
Three faculty from the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences were recently awarded a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Computer Science for All program. This funding will bring Culturally Relevant Robotics to Fair Garden Preschool and Sam E. Hill Primary School in the Knoxville area.
Through the Culturally Relevant Robotics Program, children from culturally and linguistically diverse groups will use robots and other digital technologies to support computer science learning.
The research team is made up of Frances Harper, assistant professor of theory and practice in teacher education, and Lori Caudle and Margaret Quinn, both assistant professors in child and family studies.
Others who will help with the work of the grant include Amir Sadovnik, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and Darelene Greene, preschool instructional coach for Knox County Schools, as well as community stakeholders, school administrators, preschool teachers, and Black and Latinx children and their families.
Families and teachers will work alongside the research team as they investigate the impact of the program on Black and Latinx children’s development of computational thinking and their sense of belonging in computer science. Although computational thinking is recognized as a critical, 21st century skill needed for academic and career success, little research has been done on the early access and socialization of computer science among young children from these demographics.
Across the three years, the Culturally Relevant Robotics Program will positively impact hundreds of preschoolers, families, and preschool teachers in the Lonsdale and East Knoxville communities. It will increase and improve the teaching of computer science in local, urban preschool and provide families and educators with teaching models that meet the specific needs of their diverse communities.
Additionally, this project will improve preschool curriculum by highlighting the ways that intersectional identities, such as race, gender, and class, can impact how children view themselves within the world of computer science.
Developing an interest in computer science and robotics for children at an early age could lead to an increase in computer science degrees and diversify the computer science workforce.
TDK breaks ground on new vintage development
ALCOA – TDK has broken ground on a new Vintage development for the Maryville and Alcoa area, Kent Ayer, President of TDK, announced.
“Vintage Apartments is a $33 million upscale apartment community and continues our theme of elevated living by providing a unique experience combining location and luxury. Located on Middlesettlements Road, this property has a special significance for many in the area because it was formerly Bungalow Elementary School and then it was transferred to Pellissippi State Community College before we began to redevelop it into new housing for families,” Ayer said.
Vintage will be a safe community with controlled access gates, a full-time maintenance staff, and eight buildings, eight detached garage buildings, a free standing clubhouse, and two commercial parcels for mixed use development on the property. When completed in the winter of 2021, it will include 192 units, featuring one-, two-, and three bedroom options with a variety of floor plans.
“The Maryville-, Alcoa-, Knoxville-area economy is booming with a diverse population of working professionals who want a modern, convenient, and comfortable lifestyle. Vintage will offer a different look and feel from anything else in the marketplace. The location makes it convenient to work and entertainment and will outdo the rest of the market with the amenities we provide. Vintage will be a pedestrian-friendly community within walking distance to Lowes, Walmart, and Chick-fil-A,” Ayer continued.
Units will offer larger square-footage apartments and first-class amenities, including a full-size washer and dryer; large walk-in closets; mud room; ceramic tile backsplash; quartz countertops accenting the kitchen and baths; stainless steel appliances; smooth top range; full-size stand-up showers; and pendant lighting.
Vintage will provide residents with an abundance of onsite amenities, such as a resort-style pool area, including four private cabanas with TVs and mini-refrigerators, fire pits, and two in-pool tanning ledges; secure 24-hour package and food storage receiving rooms; a dog park with agility equipment and pet spa; and an indoor fitness center, showcasing the latest in Precor equipment.
“We designed a distinctive clubhouse with a game room; club room able to be reserved for private parties; a covered patio with ping pong tables, pool tables, and outdoor equipment overlooking the pool; and a grilling area to create a sense of community for our residents. This property will be family friendly with a playground placed away from the road,” Ayer concluded.
TDK obtained construction financing through Keith Melton and David Strange with Walker and Dunlop. Pre-leasing for Vintage will begin in the spring of 2021, with Ram Property Management managing the development in partnership with TDK.
TDK also broke ground earlier this year on a $40 million project in Nashville, a $60 million project in Raleigh, N.C., and a $72 million project in Orlando, Fla. These developments are in addition to current projects in Amelia Island, Fla.; Destin, Fla.; and Murfreesboro, as well as a transit-oriented development in Mt. Juliet.
TDK is a privately-held development and construction company with headquarters in Murfreesboro. Founded in Kentucky in 1959 by Dorris Keach, TDK is a three-generation company that builds and develops projects throughout the Southeast and Southwest. Having completed more than 10,000 units valued at more than $1.2 billion, TDK properties are setting a new standard in the multi-family housing industry.
Seniors Helping Seniors introduces distanced care through telecare services
Reading, Pa. — Seniors Helping Seniors®, an at-home senior care brand that sets itself apart by employing a mature workforce of caregivers and creating meaningful relationships between its senior clients and caregivers, is continuing to provide safety and reassurance to the senior community amid the COVID-19 pandemic by recently introducing Telecare service offerings.
The telecare services will allow seniors to be cared for and monitored at a distance by their families, friends and caregivers through a personal, yet non-contact approach.
“We’re dedicated to continuing to provide new ways for families to monitor their loved ones—from a distance — and if necessary, to mitigate the number of personal interactions they have on a regular basis,” said Namrata Yocom-Jan, executive vice president of Seniors Helping Seniors. “This is exactly what telecare provides — a remote option for clients who are looking for companionship or assistance with immediate needs. Increased isolation has many seniors feeling alone and telecare can assist with bringing them together with another person to talk to, which is something that aids their mental well-being.”
The announcement comes at a time that clients are increasingly seeking remote care as the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be the biggest threat to the senior community. Seniors Helping Seniors® locations will now be able to use these services to provide aspects that include check-in calls, companionship, medication and meal reminders and to broadly check in on their clients’ health.
“TeleCare services provide so much more than just a 30 second, ‘is everything ok’ call,” said Yocom-Jan. “It is designed to provide our clients with companionship, conversation, reminders and human interaction on days that our in-person caregivers are not there in person. This also provides peace-of-mind for family members who may not be able to check in as consistently on their loved ones.”
The brand prides itself on fostering meaningful relationships while providing the utmost care for their clients, and telecare communication offerings will be able to further sustain that quality care in a way that is safe for both clients and caregivers.
“If someone can’t physically be there, our caregivers can make a phone call,” said Daniel Jan, vice president of operations for the brand. “If they forgot they had an appointment, we can send someone to drive them. If they need groceries before a snowstorm, we can send someone out to get those, too. The service provides as much or as little they need.”
Telecare offerings will continue to be useful to seniors and caregivers beyond the pandemic — particularly new clients who are not quite ready for face-to-face caregiver visits. Seniors Helping Seniors ® hopes to open the door to new opportunities for its clients through these new offerings as the world becomes increasingly more digital. This initiative follows the brand’s new partnership with virtual healthcare solutions provider Electronic Caregiver™, which will further allow seniors and their families to monitor their loved ones safely and electronically, at a distance.
“Our franchise owners are all very excited about the new offering,” said Yocom-Jan. “Not only will telecare help them with prospecting and introducing new clients to our services, but it can enrich the lives of current clients during the pandemic and beyond. Our mission is to connect seniors and help them build personal connections as they live more remote lives and we’re proud to introduce this offering to our system.”
Seniors Helping Seniors® was founded by husband-and-wife duo Kiran and Philip Yocom. Kiran, who grew up in India, later worked to advance humanitarian efforts alongside Mother Teresa. After moving to the U.S. in 1995 and marrying her husband Philip, the Yocoms felt called to provide loving care to seniors and to cultivate an exchange of gifts at every generational level. Together, the Yocoms founded Seniors Helping Seniors® in 1998, opening the brand up to franchising in 2006. With a mission to be the most respected and rewarding homecare provider in the U.S., Seniors Helping Seniors® stands apart from competitors as the only company that prioritizes hiring active seniors to provide care services to their less-active counterparts. Seniors Helping Seniors® aligns caregivers and care recipients based on the abilities and needs of both by offering a wide range of care services. Seniors Helping Seniors® has grown to nearly 200 locations in 30-plus states and seven international locations, with 125 franchise partners . For more information on Seniors Helping Seniors®, visit https://seniorshelpingseniors.com/ . To learn more about franchising opportunities with SeniorsHelping Seniors®, please visit https://franchise.seniorshelpingseniors.com/ .
Facility+ is EPA-approved to kill COVID-19 in 1 minute
Athens, TN – September 2020 – Local cleaning chemical manufacturer, Midlab, is proud to share an exciting safety update. The company’s one-step, peroxide-based cleaner and disinfectant, Facility+ by Maxim, has officially been approved by the EPA to be effective against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) in 1 minute.
To enhance safety during viral outbreaks like COVID-19, Midlab sought the addition of this 1-minute kill claim for easier, faster disinfection.
Faster Disinfection is More Critical Than Ever For:
- Restaurants/Institutional Food Service
- Religious/Service/Community Centers
- Retail/Office Complexes
- Countless other facilities
“Not only is this 1-minute kill time beneficial for restaurant staff, healthcare employees, and cleaning crews in a wide variety of industries, it’s extremely valuable for schools reopening in the Fall. Facility+ will help teachers and school administrators keep students safer and healthier without having to spend hours disinfecting desks, chairs, and other common touch points every day,” says Midlab’s President & CEO, Matt Schenk.
Midlab’s Everything Clean philosophy has remained a vital part of their cleaning product formulations and safety-focused training solutions over the last 40 years. Today, Midlab employees are working around the clock during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure facilities have access to the most effective products and safety resources they need.
“The health and safety of our customers and community is extremely important to us. We started by providing a free COVID-19 Learning Center full of printable facility safety aids. Then, we sought a 1-minute kill claim for Facility+ to ensure user confidence. Now, we’re working on a ready-to-use version of Facility+ and some new retail products, which is a first for us and will help keep communities that much safer,” comments COO, Matt Johnston.
To view all safety resources or access additional information on proper disinfection, visit COVID-19 Learning Center. For 40 years, Midlab has continued to develop innovative products, provide unparalleled customer care, and maintain a growing involvement in sustainability, such as being LEED™ Gold-certified. With virus-fighting product lines and multiple green certifications under their belt, Midlab specializes in providing the solutions your facility needs to keep Everything Clean.
HireAHelper study reveals the best places for working remotely in the US
HireAHelper, the online marketplace for finding, comparing and booking moving transportation and services, today released the findings from its new study that identifies the top 50 U.S. towns for working remotely. As more and more people choose (or are forced) to work remotely, many workers are realizing they don’t necessarily have to live in the big cities where their employers tend to be based.
According to Gallup’s annual Work and Education poll (conducted July 30-Aug. 12) 26% of U.S. workers currently report that they have worked entirely from home in recent weeks.
How The Study Was Conducted
HireAHelper created an algorithm that ranks the cost of living and local tax burden, broadband speed and free wifi spots, coffee shops and restaurants, green space and air quality to determine the top 50 towns in America for working remotely.
The study resulted in several interesting findings, including:
- The best town for working remotely in the US is Gatlinburg, TN
- Three Delaware towns are in the top 10 most remote-friendly places in the country
- Leland Grove, IL is the smallest town in the top 10, with 1,464 residents
“The pandemic has completely changed the way people think about virtual offices and the idea of working from home,” said Mike Glanz, president of HireAHelper. “Many remote workers have discovered greater productivity, job satisfaction, and happiness.”
A survey by job search engine FlexJobs found that nearly half of Americans working remotely are happy with their current work-life balance — and they want to continue working from home following the coronavirus pandemic.
To see HireAHelper’s full ranking of the best places for working remotely, visit: https://blog.hireahelper.com/the-best-places-for-working-remotely-in-the-us-in-2020/
HireAHelper, part of the Porch.com online home improvement network, provides an online moving marketplace where consumers can instantly compare real-time quotes and availability from local movers to book a range of moving services, from Full-Service movers to hourly moving labor. Since 2007, HireAHelper has spearheaded the Hybrid™ Moving phenomenon, an alternative moving approach that blends the use of Full-Service labor with do-it-yourself transportation, resulting in dramatic cost savings for consumers. For more information visit www.HireAHelper.com.
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit supports first responders with food and monetary donations
For months, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit and its guests have been honoring those who keep our communities safe through two ongoing promotions – First Responder Packs and First Responder Tribute Big Yellow Cup.
To date, Dickey’s has donated 7,500 sandwiches to first responders in communities the brand serves. Additionally, since July, the Texas-style barbecue brand has sold 613,600 Tribute Big Yellow Cups, raising nearly $100,000 for The Dickey Foundation, which provides safety equipment such as helmets, shields, respiratory masks and overall support for local first responders.
“It has been a joy to have our communities rally with us to show support for local first responders,” said Laura Rea Dickey, CEO of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. “We are very proud of the success we’ve seen with our First Responder Packs and Tribute Big Yellow Cup promotions, and we look forward to finishing them up strong in the next few weeks. As we continue to take donations for first responders, we hope to provide more assistance to those fighting the fires and hurricane relief efforts.”
In April, Dickey’s launched First Responder Packs, which encouraged guests to donate bundles of five or 10 Pulled Pork Classic Sandwiches to first responders. The Dickey Family also pledged to match every sandwich donated to double the efforts.
Following its First Responder Packs, the world’s largest barbecue concept began offering a 32-ounce limited-edition collectible First Responder Tribute Big Yellow Cup in July. Dickey’s is donating a portion of the proceeds from every cup sold to its charitable arm, The Dickey Foundation. Dickey’s First Responder Tribute Big Yellow Cup promotion will wrap up on Sept. 30.
To learn more, follow Dickey’s Franchise on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Download the Dickey’s Barbecue Pit app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc., the world’s largest barbecue concept, was founded in 1941 by Travis Dickey. For the past 79 years, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit has served millions of guests Legit. Texas. Barbecue.™ At Dickey’s, all our barbecued meats are smoked onsite in a hickory wood burning pit. Dickey’s proudly believes there’s no shortcut to true barbecue and it’s why they never say bbq. The Dallas-based, family-run barbecue franchise offers several slow-smoked meats and wholesome sides with ‘No B.S. (Bad Stuff)’ included. The fast-casual concept has expanded worldwide with two international locations in the UAE and operates over 500 locations in 44 states. In 2016, Dickey’s won first place on Fast Casual’s “Top 100 Movers and Shakers” list and was named a Top 500 Franchise by Entrepreneur in 2018. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit has also been recognized by Fox News, Franchise Times, The Wall Street Journal, QSR Magazine, Forbes Magazine and Nation’s Restaurant News. For more information, visit www.dickeys.com.
Soaky Mountain Waterpark to host food drive on 9/27 to celebrate last day of season
(SEVIERVILLE, Tenn.) — Soaky Mountain Waterpark officials announced today that they will be celebrating the end their 2020 season by hosting a food drive on Sunday, September 27 from 9 to 10 am. Anyone arriving during this time will be able to purchase a deeply discounted daily admission ticket to the waterpark for just $19.99 plus tax. For every ticket sold, Soaky Mountain Waterpark will donate $9.99 to the Sevier County Food Ministry to help those less fortunate in the community
According to Dave Andrews, general manager of Soaky Mountain Waterpark, “It has been an amazing first season for us despite a world-wide pandemic and we just want to say, ‘thank you’ to everyone who came to visit us this summer. We are so grateful for everyone’s support, and this food drive is our way of giving back to our community who has embraced our new tourist attraction.
The waterpark will also have donation stations located at the park entrance for guests who wish to make additional cash donations to this deserving ministry addressing food insecurity in Sevier County.
Soaky Mountain Waterpark cost nearly $90 million to construct and has added nearly 500 jobs to the local economy. It was developed by Wilderness Resorts and Waterparks who also owns and operates Wilderness at the Smokies in Sevierville, and Wilderness Resort, Glacier Canyon Lodge, and Wilderness on the Lake, Wild Rock Golf Course, Sundara Spa and Glacier Canyon Conference Center in Wisconsin Dells.
For more information visit: SoakyMountainWaterpark.com.
Courthouses and communities to “See the Day Alzheimer’s is a Memory” during 6th anniversary of statewide “Purple Out Tennessee”
The future would look more clear – and a lot brighter – with a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. That’s why the 20/20 Vision for Purple Out Tennessee is “See the Day Alzheimer’s is a Memory.”
Join Tennesseans across the state wearing purple, lining up to “Sock Out Alzheimer’s” and decorating courthouses, offices, classrooms and homes to raise awareness and funds to support Alzheimer’s Tennessee during the 6th Anniversary of Purple Out Tennessee Sept. 23-25, 2019.
Following World Alzheimer’s Day on Monday, Sept. 21, participants are invited to Purple Out for 3 Days to commemorate Purple Out Tennessee. Court Clerks across Tennessee will engage courthouses and justice centers in fun and meaningful activities to help support research and services provided by Alzheimer’s Tennessee statewide. Businesses, schools and individuals will also participate and turn the Volunteer State purple to show support for families facing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
New this year is the “People’s Choice FUNdraiser,” Wednesday, September 23. Court Clerks across Tennessee along with businesses, schools and individuals have the opportunity to use their imaginations to develop ways to raise awareness and funds. Here are some of the ideas:
- Denim Day: Staff can wear jeans for a donation.
- Hat Day: Just like Denim Day… but with hats!
- Decorate Your Mask Contest: Wear your support on your face. Donate to enter and/or cast your vote with a donation.
- Bake Sale: Take orders ahead of time
- Cookout: Take orders around the community and deliver a Hot Dog or Hamburger lunch
Thursday, September 24 is Sock Out Alzheimer’s Day. This year’s Alzheimer’s Tennessee socks have been very popular. Those who have a pair are encouraged to wear them on Thursday, September 24, and to post pictures on social media with #SockOutAlz.
Friday, September 25 is Wear Purple Day. That’s the day to suit up in the new Purple Out 20/20 Vision T-shirt and any other purple regalia. #PurpleOutTN
Purple Out Tennessee began with the state’s Clerks of Courts Association, including Loudon County’s Clerk and Master Lisa Niles, Hamblen County’s Clerk and Master Kathy Jones-Terry, Blount County’s Circuit Court Clerk Tom Hatcher, Knox County Criminal Court Clerk Mike Hammond as well as Court Clerks across the state.
Because Alzheimer’s disease and dementia impact more than 120,000 Tennesseans, the Board of Directors for the State Court Clerks Association of Tennessee voted to adopt and support Alzheimer’s Tennessee, a statewide Tennessee-based 501c3 not-for-profit organization that provides support services, promotes brain health through education, and champions research for better prevention and treatment strategies.
“Purple Out Tennessee is personal for so many of the Court Clerks and the people we serve in our communities statewide,” Loudon County’s Clerk and Master Lisa Niles, Education Chairperson for the Court Clerks Association, explained. “This is an opportunity to show those families that we remember, while supporting a not-for-profit that’s headquartered in our state and best equipped to meet the needs of today with services and tomorrow through research.”
“Seeing our state turn purple to show support for the hundreds of thousands of families like mine who have been touched by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is incredibly powerful. I know many understand what it’s like to lose a loved one to this disease. It steals both memories and dignity. My father inspired me – and I hope our loved ones will inspire everyone to come together again and make the 6th Anniversary of Purple Out Tennessee even more memorable,” said Blount County’s Circuit Court Clerk Tom Hatcher, who helped initiate the event.
Many of the more than 200 Court Clerk offices throughout the state have materials available for the public, including brochures about warning signs, what to expect and how to help as a caregiver during early to middle stages of Alzheimer’s, brain health, and the online caregiver academy offered by Alzheimer’s Tennessee 24/7 at www.alzTennessee.org. Purple Out Tennessee is an opportunity for individuals and families to see that they’re not alone, connect with resources, and ask questions.
“Our phones really ring because of Purple Out activities,” Alzheimer’s Tennessee President/CEO Janice Wade-Whitehead explained. “Those who wear purple to raise awareness and funds help many Tennesseans connect with Alzheimer’s Tennessee resources, including our knowledgeable staff at six regional offices across the state. We want our fellow Tennesseans to know we can provide help and hope, and together we will Make Alzheimer’s a Memory.”
Here’s how YOU can help Purple Out Tennessee:
- Purple Out September 23 – 25. Have a fundraiser for Alzheimer’s Tennessee on Wednesday, “Sock Out” on Thursday and then be sure to wear purple on Friday. Take pictures and share your purple pride. Post your photos with the hash tag #PurpleOut and #PurpleOutTN.
- Learn about Alzheimer’s disease. Every minute someone in America is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. More than 120,000 Tennesseans are facing the disease and that number is growing. For more information go to www.alzTennessee.org.
- Make a donation. Along with displaying your purple spirit we hope you will consider supporting Alzheimer’s Tennessee’s mission with a donation. Donate by mail to Alzheimer’s Tennessee main office at 5801 Kingston Pike, Knoxville TN 37919. To make an online donation go to http://www.alztennessee.org/donate
Alzheimer’s Tennessee is an independent 501c3 not-for-profit organization that has been based in Tennessee since 1983. Our vision is to Make Alzheimer’s a Memory. Call Alzheimer’s Tennessee’s 24/7 Helpline at 1 (800) 429-4283 or visit www.alzTennessee.org
CVS Health opens an additional 11 new COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites in Tennessee
CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) announced plans to add more than 2,000 new COVID-19 drive-thru test sites at select CVS Pharmacy locations across the country to support the company’s ongoing efforts to increase access to testing and help slow the spread of the virus.
CVS Health currently manages the largest number of independently run COVID-19 test sites in the country, and with these new locations the company expects to have more than 4,000 operating by mid-October. The new locations will open in waves over the next several weeks and build on the company’s ability to support testing in 33 states and Washington, DC, beginning with the opening of more than 400 sites this Friday.
“Since opening our first test site in March, we’ve been able to quickly adapt to the changing landscape in order to make it easier for people in the communities we serve to access testing,” said Jon Roberts, Chief Operating Officer, CVS Health and acting President, CVS Pharmacy. “We recognize the critical role testing plays in helping to manage the spread of the virus and are incredibly proud of how our teams have responded to this need while continuing to take care of our customers, clients and patients.”
Self-swab tests are no cost to patients and available to individuals meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria. *Patients must register in advance at CVS.com to schedule an appointment. A parent or legal guardian must complete the online registration for all minor patients, and patients 12 – 15 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian when they come to be tested.
When arriving for testing, patients are asked to follow signage or the instructions of the staff onsite. Procedures vary by location and patients may be directed to stay in their cars and proceed to either the pharmacy drive-thru window or a parking space or tent located in the parking lot or, in very limited locations, to enter a CVS store. Patients will be provided with a test kit and given instructions, and a CVS Pharmacy team member will observe the self-swab process.
Currently, most test results from specimens collected at CVS test sites across the country will be available within 2 – 3 days.
A complete list of CVS Pharmacy drive-thru test sites can be found here.
*COVID-19 tests are no cost to patients with insurance or through a program for the uninsured funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Centro Hispano celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with annual Latino Awards fundraiser
Centro Hispano de East Tennessee, a Knoxville-based nonprofit that serves the Latino community throughout East Tennessee, will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a virtual iteration of its popular annual Latino Awards gala.
Hispanic Heritage Month is observed nationally each year from September 15 – October 15. “It serves as an important opportunity to highlight the contributions of Latinos in our country,” Centro Hispano President & CEO Claudia Caballero said. “We work with and celebrate our local Latino community every day, but Hispanic Heritage Month allows us to take a step back and honor our culture from a broader perspective. There is an incredible array of diversity within the Latino community at large. Hispanic Heritage Month provides us with a necessary space to tell our own story, refocus the narrative and celebrate our collective history and the valuable impact that generations of indigenous, Afro-Latino and Latinx people have had on the United States.”
Centro Hispano hosts its Latino Awards gala as part of ongoing Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations each year. Historically the highly anticipated event, which serves as the organization’s largest fundraiser, is a cross-cultural experience that brings the Greater Knoxville community together to recognize Latinos, Latinas and community allies doing extraordinary work to support the Latino community in East Tennessee. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Latino Awards event was redesigned in a virtual format.
This year’s event will take place on Thursday, September 24 from noon – 1p.m. and features an online auction and a streaming broadcast of live and pre-recorded programming from Centro Hispano staff, mayors Glenn Jacobs and Indya Kincannon and emcees Erin Donovan and Louis Fernandez. Tickets to the 2020 Latino Awards are free. To register for the event and to make a contribution, visit latinoawards.swell.gives.
Centro Hispano, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, offers a variety of services and critical resources through its Workforce Development, Social Impact and Youth & Family Engagement departments, including HiSET and English as a second language (ESL) classes; legal, healthcare and employment referrals; afterschool and youth development programs and more. During the pandemic the nonprofit has served as a key partner to City of Knoxville and Knox County departments and has expanded its work to include distribution of food and financial aid. Centro Hispano also offers professional translation, diversity and inclusion consulting, business development and employment services to area businesses. To learn more, follow Centro Hispano on social media at @centrohispanotn and visit centrohispanotn.org.
About Centro Hispano
Centro Hispano de East Tennessee is a Latina-led nonprofit organization in Knoxville that bridges the gap between the Latino community and East Tennessee. The organization promotes empowerment and civic participation through education, workforce development, youth and family engagement and community-strengthening initiatives.
Centro Hispano’s vision is to see every Latino and Latina in East Tennessee thriving culturally, educationally and economically.
Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey expands to all of Tennessee
Nashville, TN, September 16, 2020 – Just a year after the brand’s storied revival in Nashville, Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey announces its expansion to two additional states and spanning six new markets across the U.S., including all of Tennessee (Chattanooga, Memphis, and Knoxville), Kentucky (Louisville and Lexington), and South Carolina, with plans to expand nationally by 2022.
Originating in 1860 and created by distilling pioneer Charles Nelson, Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey was the first and largest selling brand of Tennessee Whiskey in the world, producing more than 2 million bottles a year. That demand was a result of Charles Nelson’s dedication to creating a whiskey from the finest ingredients through a precise process. Filtered through a mellowing bed of sugar-maple charcoal and aged in charred oak barrels, Charles Nelson’s unique wheated mash bill and meticulous process set the standard by which all future Tennessee Whiskeys would be judged. Now, for the first time since the distillery shuttered during Prohibition in 1909, Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey is available and made using the original process and recipe, paying homage to the masterful hands that first created it, and maintaining its founder-made reputation for seven generations.
Revived by the triple great grandsons of Charles Nelson, Andy and Charlie Nelson, Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery made its 21st century debut in Nashville in 2014. As co-proprietors, the two brothers have since launched several award-winning small batch spirits, and most recently, their namesake Tennessee Whiskey, which until now has only been available in Nashville.
“We’re incredibly proud to have brought this amazing spirit back to life here in Nashville, and to now begin introducing the historic label beyond the borders of our hometown,” says Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery Co-Founder, Charlie Nelson. “It’s been our dream since my brother and I reopened the distillery to share this beloved whiskey with the world, just as our great-great-great grandfather did in his time. This is just the first step of many to come.” “We’re incredibly proud to have brought this amazing spirit back to life here in Nashville, and to now begin introducing the historic label beyond the borders of our hometown,” says Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery CEO, Charlie Nelson. “It’s been our dream since my brother and I reopened the distillery to share this beloved whiskey with the world, just as our great-great-great grandfather did in his time. This is just the first step of many to come.”
Created according to the 110-year-old recipe of Charles Nelson’s initial bottled whiskey, Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey is aged between two and five years, bottled at 91-proof, and has a nose of caramel, vanilla, nutmeg, chocolate, cinnamon, and nougat. Its unique mash bill is a combination of corn, wheat, and barley. Bringing a piece of spirits history from the past into the hands of consumers today, The Nelson’s Green Brier story is one of resurrection, spotlighting the Prohibition-era fall and modern-day rise of this great, multigenerational American distilling family.
Attralus secures investment to transform treatment for patients with systemic amyloidosis
KNOXVILLE—Attralus, a biopharmaceutical company with technology licensed from the UT Research Foundation, announced it has secured $25 million in investment financing to work on transformative medicines to improve the lives of patients with systemic amyloidosis.
By strategically evaluating, protecting and licensing innovations, the UT Research Foundation moves UT’s innovations to the marketplace for public benefit.
“We’re proud when our researchers lead the way in developing new treatments to help people, especially when their work plays an integral role in launching companies that can change lives,” said UT President Randy Boyd. “Attralus has the capacity to do just that.”
The financing was led by venBio Partners in San Francisco and will allow Attralus to further validate its pan-amyloid imaging agent and advance two therapeutic candidates into clinical development.
“We are excited to partner with the exceptional researchers at UT to develop transformative therapies for patients living with a range of systemic amyloid diseases,” Spencer Guthrie, CEO of Attralus, said. “We believe Attralus will have the opportunity to deliver life-changing therapies to patients who suffer from systemic amyloidosis without approved treatment options.”
Systemic amyloidosis encompasses 30 disorders that occur when amyloid fibrils accumulate in multiple organs, including the heart, kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract and nerves. Patients with amyloidosis can experience heart failure, kidney failure and neuropathy. Most patients have less than five years of life expectancy from symptom onset.
Jonathan Wall, professor of medicine at the UT Graduate School of Medicine and Attralus interim chief scientific officer, leads UT’s amyloidosis and cancer theranostics program. He and his research group have spent more than two decades investigating the disorder.
“Based on years of focused research and direct work with patients, we are now able to fully visualize the extent of systemic amyloidosis, begin to fully understand the impact of the disease and to guide development of truly novel and targeted therapeutics for so many patients who have not had access to therapies,” said Wall. “We are excited to use the scientific knowledge gained to date to shed light on the disease and drive forward progress for all patients living with systemic amyloidosis.”
Paul Hauptman, dean of the UT Graduate School of Medicine, adds “We are proud of the research accomplishments of Dr. Wall and colleagues at our Amyloidosis and Cancer Theranostics Program and are excited by this important bench-to-bedside collaboration with industry partners.”
Steven Goodman, UTHSC vice chancellor for research, also praised Walls’ work.
“Dr. Wall combines great research acumen with the entrepreneurial spirit required to translate basic research into important therapies and cures for human disease,” Goodman said. “He has performed groundbreaking work on the development and translation of biologicals for imaging and therapy of systemic amyloid diseases. Through Attralus, I am hopeful that Dr. Wall’s work will lead to new therapies for this disease that negatively impacts multiple organs and is a disease that desperately needs new treatment options.”
Attralus’s team of leading amyloidosis scientists and experts, including Guthrie and Wall, have researched and advanced therapeutics in systemic amyloidosis for more than 25 years. The team understands first-hand the high unmet medical need among patients with the disease and is committed to the path toward potential new therapies driven by science. Richard Gaster, venBio partner, and Corey Goodman, venBio managing partner, will join Guthrie and Nancy Miller-Rich, former Merck head of business development, on Attralus’ board of directors.
The University of Tennessee is a statewide system of higher education with campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Martin and Memphis; the UT Space Institute in Tullahoma; the UT Institute of Agriculture with a presence in every Tennessee county; and the statewide Institute for Public Service. The UT system manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory through its UT-Battelle partnership; enrolls about 50,000 students statewide; produces about 10,000 new graduates every year; and represents more than 400,000 alumni around the world.
Stan Johnson Company brokers sale of CVS Caremark Call center in Knoxville
Stan Johnson Company, one of commercial real estate’s leading investment sales brokerage firms, has completed the sale of a 59,748-square-foot single-tenant call center leased to CVS Pharmacy. The property is located at 2401 Cherahala Boulevard in Knoxville, Tennessee. Jonathan Ameen and Jeff Hughes of Stan Johnson Company, in association with John M. Adams III of Avison Young, represented the seller, Lexington Realty Trust, a New York-based institutional investor. The asset was purchased for $9.9 million by Concord Capital LLC, a group of private investors based in Jackson, Mississippi.
“In today’s environment, private investors are especially seeking reliable tenants and strong real estate fundamentals,” said Ameen, Associate Director in Stan Johnson Company’s Tulsa, Oklahoma office. “This offering presented the buyer with an opportunity to acquire an asset with a best-in-class tenant and established operating history in a growing submarket of Knoxville. Additionally, the sale allowed Lexington Realty Trust to execute on their strategy of creating a predominantly industrial-focused net lease portfolio. Considering the headwinds facing this industry at the time of sale, completing a successful transaction is something each party can be proud of.”
The mission-critical facility is CVS Caremark’s second largest call center location in the U.S., and the tenant has occupied the property since it was built in 2002. It is located on 9.6 acres in one of East Tennessee’s premier business parks, the Pellissippi Corporate Center, and area tenants include ADT Security, FedEx, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, among others. At the time of sale, there were approximately seven years left on the double net lease.
Stan Johnson Company is one of the nation’s leading commercial real estate brokerage and advisory firms that focuses on investment sales transactions involving retail, office, industrial, healthcare, and specialty properties. The firm provides acquisition, disposition, sale leaseback, capital markets, and advisory services for institutions, developers, investment funds, corporate occupiers, and private investors across the United States. With a historic focus in the single-tenant net lease sector, Stan Johnson Company is now in its fourth decade of operation and has expanded its service platform in order to better serve its valued clients. The firm has completed more than $35 billion in transactions nationwide and continues to be regarded as the Net Lease Authority® as it focuses on continued growth and expansion into other industry sectors and services. To learn more about Stan Johnson Company, please visit: www.stanjohnsonco.com.
TennSMART launches Automotive & Mobility Mentor Network
NASHVILLE, TENN – TennSMART, a statewide consortium of public and private organizations working to advance intelligent mobility solutions in Tennessee, today launched the Automotive & Mobility Mentor Network. The program pairs mentors with promising new companies through a structured, stage-gate process involving panel presentations and one-on-one mentoring sessions. The purpose of the program is to develop quality startups and grow the automotive, transportation, and mobility sectors in the state.
The Automotive & Mobility Mentor Network is an expansion of Launch Tennessee’s successful Mentor Networks program, which also has networks in the life science and energy industries. The addition of the automotive vertical is a testament to the scale of the industry in Tennessee. According to the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development, Tennessee’s automotive industry employs more than 120K people in 88 of 95 counties.
“TennSMART is proud to partner with LaunchTN to run the Automotive & Mobility Mentor Network,” said Dr. Claus Daniel, board president, TennSMART, and Director of Applied Energy Programs, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). “We established this consortium in order to connect the smart mobility sector in Tennessee and bring automotive, intelligent mobility, and energy efficient technologies to market for improved transportation. We look forward to furthering this goal by mentoring entrepreneurs who play such a vital role in our state’s innovation economy.”
TennSMART’s varied, statewide membership—ranging from automotive manufacturing and supply chains to fleet management and autonomy—will enable it to match startups to all types of companies, which will ensure entrepreneurs are getting access that will help them scale. Current TennSMART members include stakeholders in the automotive and trucking industries, software and hardware suppliers, municipalities and utilities providers, engineers and consultants, and leading academic and research institutions.
The program will be directed by Gary Rawlings who has extensive experience helping companies validate their advanced technology and take it from the lab to the market. Rawlings currently supports the Innovation Crossroads program at ORNL.
“With regulations and supply chain issues, it can be difficult for auto startups to break through and make connections to the industry,” said Van Tucker, interim CEO, LaunchTN. “We’re thrilled to offer a way for startups to bring their innovations before industry experts and believe that TennSMART’s broad view of intelligent mobility will open doors for all kinds of exciting companies.”
The Automotive & Mobility Mentor Network is seeking companies who are developing transportation technologies and experts, including TennSMART members, to serve as mentors following a training. For more information and to apply to the program as either a company or mentor, click here.
TennSMART is a public-private consortium encompassing a growing number of organizations working together to assess, develop, and deploy new intelligent mobility innovations that could change how America transports people and goods. The consortium serves as a forum for organizations to share knowledge and leverage resources related to connected and autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, cybersecurity, freight efficiency, and multi-modal commuting. TennSMART members also engage governments, academic institutions, and industry about the importance of investment in smart mobility technologies and their role in job creation, as well as position Tennessee as a model for other states. For more information, visit www.tennsmart.org.
2020 Race Against Cancer changes course to virtual format
Knoxville, Sept. 2020 – To ensure a safe environment for race participants, Thompson Cancer Survival Center’s 27th annual Race Against Cancer will take place virtually this fall. The 5K run/walk, originally scheduled for Nov. 8 at World’s Fair Park, has moved to a virtual format to allow participants to safely social distance while supporting cancer outreach, screenings and access to healthcare for those who need it most. Proceeds from the event benefit clinical research and other valuable support programs for patients and families of Thompson Cancer Survival Center.
“2020 has been a challenging year for us all, but even more so for those affected by cancer,” said Scott Warwick, President and Chief Administrative Officer, Thompson Cancer Survival Center. “Studies have shown that the impact of COVID-19 on cancer patients is more than double its impact on the general population. Because of this, to protect patients’ safety, their family and friends have been limited in attending appointments and treatments. Now more than ever, cancer patients need the valuable support programs funded by the TCSC Foundation. Please join us in our first-ever virtual race to support cancer patients during this difficult time.”
Event organizers announced that the race will offer several race course options and a flexible time frame. Between Oct. 31 and Nov. 22, runners may choose the race course that best fits their goals. This virtual experience allows the Race Against Cancer to deliver an official interactive race experience that supports community safety while providing real-time engagement with participants.
How to “Race Your Way” Against Cancer
Using an app called “RaceJoy,” participants choose between two certified, timed course locations, or may create their own independent 5K route, resulting in a custom race experience that allows each person to race their way. In addition to new interactive features like receiving virtual cheers from friends and family, audio progress at mile markers and virtual scored results, registered participants will receive a commemorative runner’s pullover to wear during their run.
Registration for the virtual event is open through Nov. 22 at RaceAgainstCancer.org.
Tranzonic Companies hiring for more than 40 positions in Knoxville
Due to product line expansion, The Tranzonic Companies is hiring for 40 positions at its West Knoxville facility.
The company is seeking production team members and forklift operators for first, second and third shifts. The company offers full benefits, including sick time, paid vacation, wellness incentives, medical, dental and vision insurance, short-term disability, group life insurance, production incentives and attendance bonuses.
“Tranzonic is committed to finding a better way, every day,” said Brian Rhoades, executive vice president of operations for The Tranzonic Companies. “We are seeking individuals who share this commitment and thrive in a fast-paced environment with advancement opportunities.”
Based in Cleveland, Ohio, The Tranzonic Companies was founded nearly a century ago and manufactures and distributes wiping cloths, personal hygiene products, textiles, washroom supplies and accessories, wiping and cleaning supplies, and safety products. The West Knoxville facility, located off Hardin Valley Road, is the largest manufacturing and distribution site for The Tranzonic Companies.
For more information and to apply online, visit https://www.tranzonic.com/.
Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, and founded nearly a century ago, The Tranzonic Companies manufactures and distributes wiping and cleaning supplies; personal hygiene products; textiles; washroom supplies and accessories; and safety products to the away-from-home market. The Knoxville location is the largest manufacturing and distribution facility for The Tranzonic Companies. For more information, visit https://www.tranzonic.com/.
Covenant Logistics purchases Landair Buildings
CHATTANOOGA, TN – September 15, 2020 – Covenant Logistics Group, Inc (NASDAQ/GS: CVLG) (“Covenant”), a leading transportation and logistics provider whose primary services include asset based expedited, dedicated, and irregular route truckload capacity, as well as asset-light warehousing, transportation management, and freight brokerage capability, announced today the purchase of the Landair Transport Inc. corporate office building, located at 1 Landair Way, Greeneville, TN 37743 and a shop/terminal facility in Moshiem, TN. Covenant Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Paul Bunn made the announcement.
“This purchase is a smart business decision for our enterprise,” said Bunn. “The Landair office is in an excellent location, and its space offering has a wide variety of important services and opportunities for growth as a company. “With the commercial real estate market continuing to strengthen as we close out 2020, we felt now was the perfect time to move from leasing the property, to purchasing and owning.”
While there are of course business benefits to purchase, there’s a more important semblance behind the decision. “Landair is a staple of Greeneville businesses,” Bunn added. “We are proud to have taken steps in showing our neighbors that we are committed to be an employer of choice and community partner for many, many years to come.”
The acquisition of these facilities officially closed on Monday, September 14th.
Total Quality Logistics pledges $1M in donated services over five years
CINCINNATI (September 9, 2020) – Deepening its commitment to tapping the power of the U.S. trucking industry to improve lives, Total Quality Logistics (TQL) has pledged to cover $1 million in transportation costs for charitable loads by 2025. The nation’s second-largest freight brokerage firm is ramping up its Moves That Matter program to impact even more lives by covering the cost to haul food, water, medical supplies and other potentially life-saving goods to food banks, communities in need and nonprofits around the country.
As the nation began grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, TQL was inspired to intensify its Moves That Matter efforts. “Seeing firsthand the significant needs and understanding just what an important role TQL could play, we decided to push further with this commitment to $1 million in charitable loads over the next five years,” said President Kerry Byrne.
“Getting essential goods into the hands of those who need them – in stores, homes, schools and more – by facilitating shipments is our mission,” said Byrne. “Through Moves That Matter, we’re able to help our customers support nonprofits that are serving those most in need by ensuring that these items make it into the right hands. There is always a need for this kind of outreach, but in the face of this pandemic, the need is critical.”
In response to the toll COVID-19 is taking on the country, TQL’s Moves That Matter program already has covered over $100,000 in transport costs since March.
While the program delivers life-saving items such as medical equipment and food, sometimes it also delivers pure joy, as with the 100,000 toys to be distributed to children at hospitals, community centers and other areas of need in 23 cities around the country. Through a partnership with First Responders Children’s Foundation – which supports programs at police and fire departments as well as providing financial support to children who have lost a parent in the line of duty – Moves That Matter will cover the cost of transporting more than 100,000 toys donated by Mattel and Jakks Toys.
“There are few things better than seeing a child’s face light up when receiving a new toy,” said Jillian Crane, President of First Responders Children’s Foundation. “When the children are sick or their families are struggling, it becomes even more urgent. By covering the shipments, TQL is removing the burden from our nonprofit partners to coordinate the logistics and freeing their resources to serve more people.”
Moves That Matter was inspired by the desire to help children. It was founded in 2014 after the TQL team had the honor of arranging shipments of playground equipment to be assembled in memory of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Largely in response to COVID-19 needs, in 2020 Moves That Matter has covered the cost to transport more than 2 million pounds of goods, with a total retail value of $2.2 million and counting.
To learn more about how to qualify to have a load delivered at no cost through Moves That Matter, visit https://www.tql.com/movesthatmatter.
BarberMcMurry named an AIA Tennessee Outstanding EP Friendly Firm
BarberMcMurry Architects has been named an AIA Tennessee Outstanding Emerging Professional Friendly Firm.
Emerging professionals are architecture students, architectural graduates, and licensed architects with less than 10 years of experience. BMA employs 15 emerging professional architects, plus five emerging professional interior designers.
The designation of “Outstanding” is an honor BMA shared this year with only four other architecture firms across the state.
“We’re incredibly proud to be recognized as an Outstanding EP Friendly Firm by AIA Tennessee,” said Chad Boetger, Senior Vice President and Director of Design. “With 20 of our 34 employees qualifying as emerging professionals, we have a distinct focus not only on supporting our EPs, but encouraging them to actively shape the culture of the firm through pursuing innovative, leading-edge ideas.”
The firm was recognized not only for our support of young architects pursuing licensure — including covering the cost of study materials and reimbursing designers for the cost of passed exams — but for multiple office-wide innovations initiated by empowered emerging professionals. Those innovations include design approaches like virtual reality and BIM integration, sustainable design and stewardship initiatives, design dialogues called the Black Turtleneck Sessions, and a leadership development lending library.
BMA was also recognized for our purposeful, multi-tiered approach to community engagement: through whole-office volunteer days with the Empty Stocking Fund, group service with organizations like Knoxville’s Habitat for Humanity Women Build and Kingdom Design Ministries, and individual involvement.
Founded in 1915, BarberMcMurry Architects is one of the most experienced architectural design firms in Tennessee, specializing in innovative planning, beautiful architecture and interior design that bring value to clients and community. For more information, visit www.bma1915.com.
Airport Authority wins Financial Reporting Award for 27th consecutive year
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority (MKAA) has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the 2019 fiscal year. The CAFR has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program, which includes demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story.
The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management. This year marks the twenty-seventh year in a row that the MKAA has received this financial award.
“Each year, our comprehensive annual financial report serves as the foundation of our current and future fiscal plan for airport operations and capital projects,” said Eddie Mannis, Chairman of the MKAA Board of Commissioners. “We are honored to receive this award and commend our internal staff and external auditors for consistently creating an award-winning report that is both comprehensive and accurate in its presentation of our organization’s financial situation.”
The GFOA also recognized Jennifer Whitaker, MKAA Controller, for her contributions to the award-winning CAFR. Whitaker was presented an Award of Financial Reporting Achievement.
New Xfinity retail store opens today in Knoxville
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – September 17, 2020: Comcast announced today the opening of its enhanced Xfinity customer retail store in Knoxville, Tenn. The 4,100 square-foot facility, located at 5132 N. Broadway provides customers an immersive destination to discover and interact directly with the latest Xfinity products and services. This space is the third of its kind to be added in greater Knoxville.
Beginning today, Knoxville area customers will notice a major difference in the more modern Xfinity retail center. The store features interactive displays and lounge-like seating areas where visitors can explore all XFINITY products, from internet, video and connected home solutions to Xfinity Mobile. In addition to the latest mobile devices and top-of-the-line accessories, retail offerings at the store will include Xfinity Home accessories and other merchandise that complement the services.
“We’re proud to bring this new retail setting and enhanced level of service to our Knoxville customers,” said Jason Gumbs, Regional SVP at Comcast. “The re-opening of our Knoxville Xfinity store is another milestone in our larger campaign to offer a simpler and more convenient retail experience.”
The store will be open for business Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
Xfinity stores are designed strategically by product area —Xfinity Mobile, Xfinity X1, Xfinity Home and Xfinity Internet – so customers can see the company’s industry-leading products in action.
Xfinity Mobile is a key part of Xfinity stores – customers can purchase new mobile phones, or bring their own Apple devices and choose a flexible data plan based on their individual needs – electing to pay by the gig or choose unlimited service.
Discover xFi, the Xfinity personalized home Wi-Fi experience, and learn how to view and control network devices through the app, site or voice remote in the Xfinity Internet zone.
X1, the next generation video platform, is featured in a living room environment, so customers can try the voice remote and see how X1 works firsthand.
The Connected Home Zone section showcases how Xfinity Home combines the best of home security and automation into one simple experience – customers can learn how they can control an increasing number of IoT devices from their phone, tablet or Xfinity Home touchscreen.
Due to COVID-19, Comcast has implemented several new policies in its stores, including:
- Requiring face coverings for all employees and customers
- Practicing social distancing measures such as limiting the number of customers in the store to maintain a six-foot distance between persons
- Installing plexiglass dividers between interaction areas, kiosks, and on workstations
- Cleaning stores professionally twice every day
The opening of new Xfinity stores is part of Comcast’s multi-year strategy to transform the customer experience; the stores provide new and existing customers a place to learn how to optimize their Xfinity services and to address any service needs.
Food City supermarket heroes to serve as Food City 300 race officials
ABINGDON, VA (Tuesday, September 15, 2020) – Preparations are currently underway to welcome race fans back to Bristol Motor Speedway for the running of the September 18th Food City 300.
Earlier today, Food City announced that a team of their supermarket heroes will serve as Friday’s race officials. “The past several months has been unchartered times for all of us and while our company has certainly faced its share of challenges, this experience has also made us better and stronger,” said Food City president and CEO, Steven C. Smith. “Our superstar team of heroes have gone above and beyond the call of duty to meet the needs of our valued customers and the communities we serve. From the extraordinary efforts of our front-line associates to those working behind the scenes, this has truly been a team effort.”
John Jones, Food City Executive Vice President/Director of Store Operations will serve as Honorary Starter and wave the green flag to signal the start of Friday’s Food City 300. Jones was recently named Retailer of the Year by Tennessee Grocers & Convenience Store Association. Each year, TGCSA selects one outstanding Tennessee retailer who exemplifies the high standards of integrity and efficiency upon which the organization was founded to be named Retailer of the Year.
Jones joined the Food City team in 1980. He served in a number of key positions before being promoted to his current role in 2014, where he is responsible for guiding store operations for the company’s entire chain of 134 supermarkets. He is also very active within his community, having served on the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Board of Directors, TGCSA Executive Committee, TGCSA Annual Convention Chair, past Chairman for TGCSA Board of Directors, University of Tennessee Retail Hospitality Board, Kingsport TN Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, TGEF Golf Tournament and The 2014 Medal of Honor Convention Executive Committee. He is a member of TGEF Hall of Eagles and is a Tri-Cities Business Journal 40 Under Forty award recipient. He also received special recognition from the National Grocers Association’s executive leadership program.
Jones is a 1981 graduate of Hampton High School. He also attended Northeast State Community College and East Tennessee State University. He currently resides in Blountville, TN with his wife, Jennifer. They are the proud parents of Tyler, who is currently employed as a Food City Pharmacist and Brianna Lancaster, a graduate of Lincoln Memorial University – DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine and currently a pediatric resident at East Tennessee State University.
A team of associates comprised from Food City’s distribution center, corporate offices and store locations surrounding Bristol Motor Speedway will serve as the event Grand Marshals and deliver Friday night’s starting command virtually.
“It’s been said that times of crisis don’t build character, they reveal it. I’m proud to be surrounded by huge amounts of character every day – from a team that continues to put the needs of our friends and neighbors first. While it was impossible to for our entire team of over 17,000 associates to be with us, we’re excited to have a group of our area supermarket heroes represent our entire Food City Family and their extraordinary efforts and dedication to the communities we serve,” says Smith.
Food City is Bristol Motor Speedway’s longest running sponsor and the second longest in NASCAR. The Xfinity Series Food City 300 gets under way at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, September 18, 2020.
Headquartered in Abingdon, Virginia, K-VA-T Food Stores (Food City’s parent company) operates 134 retail outlets throughout southeast Kentucky, southwest Virginia, east Tennessee, Chattanooga and north Georgia.
Buff City Soap continues Southern expansion
Knoxville, TN – Turkey Creek is getting its own Soap Makery. Buff City Soap – the brand known for it’s fresh, handcrafted soaps made daily in-store by local Makers – has opened its first Knoxville store and is having its Official Grand Opening Event Friday, September 18th beginning at 9:00am- where the first 50 people through the doors, get FREE soap for a year! The brand is excited to open its first Knoxville store at a time when demand for its products continues to rise!
Each Buff City Soap store offers more than 25 unique and customizable scents across dozens of handcrafted soap products; including its famous soap bars, bath bombs, foaming hand soap, and even laundry soap. Buff City Soap has recently created a new soap called “Birthday Song,” which gets its name from the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendation of singing the “Happy Birthday Song” to yourself twice while washing your hands with warm water to safely clean your hands. For each bar of Birthday Song Soap that is sold, Buff City Soap is donating $1 to local and national COVID-19 relief
Located at 11277 Parkside Drive, Suite 516, the new shop will be owned and operated by Jamie Mason, Brittany Vick, Jessica Pace, Vince Sartori, and Michelle Stokes. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the store is ensuring that it has products available for the community, so the new location is offering curbside pickup, and online ordering, with transition to the in-store experience as it is deemed safe in order to maintain the health and welfare of the staff and customers. Buff City Soap is also currently in the process
of turning all 35 locations into distribution centers to fulfill customer’s needs.
“Buff City Soap offers quality, handmade soap products that I believe in and stand by 100%,” Pace stated. “After watching Buff City grow from the ground up and becoming faithful customers, we knew it was time to get involved with the brand.” Stated Vick. “We cannot wait to help grow Buff City Soap’s presence in Tennessee, and we are confident that the Turkey Creek Pinnacle community will absolutely love our array of delightfully scented, handcrafted products.”
Buff City Soap’s retail locations offer customers a scent and Makery experience that is totally unique in the industry. Every product is handmade in each location by local Makers in a bakery-like setting called a Soap Makery. Customers are able to watch their products be handcrafted right in front of their eyes, and even have the chance to make their own or customize any product with a unique scent that fits their scent
“Buff City Soap provides consumers with an up-close-and-personal look at the soap-making process, which you really can’t find anywhere else,” said Jamie Mason. “Walking into a Buff City Soap store is unique because not only do we offer fresh, handcrafted products daily, but we also offer an entire experience by showcasing our Makeries and allowing people to see their own soap creation being handcrafted before their eyes.”
Founded in 2013 by Brad Kellum and Jennifer Ziemianin, Buff City Soap has created a higher quality alternative to commercial soap products full of harsh chemicals, detergents, animal fats, and sulfates. By giving customers the chance to see the whole making process live in each Soap Makery, Buff City Soap is disrupting the consumer goods industry by focusing on transparency of ingredients and process.
“Energized franchise partners like Jamie Mason and his team are helping Buff City Soap continue our mission of providing consumers across the country with access to high quality soap products,” stated CEO Justin Delaney. “Their drive to share our unique, handcrafted products with the Knoxville- Turkey Creek community is what makes our brand so special, and we look forward to seeing the impact they have with their Buff City Soap location.”
To learn more about the Buff City Soap franchise opportunity, visit www.buffcitysoap.com/franchise.
Founded in 2013 and franchising since 2018, Buff City Soap continues its rapid growth trajectory across 11 states to date and many more on the roadmap for 2020. Buff City Soap’s unique handmade soap process continues to disrupt the beauty and consumer goods category. Buff City Soap has 35 locations in 11 states, including Tennessee, Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, Colorado, Ohio, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Florida. Buff City Soap also has development deals in process to more than DOUBLE
existing store count in the near future. For more information visit www.buffcitysoap.com.
Elevator pitches are live for Innov865 Week’s 2020 Startup Day Pitch Competition
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Elevator pitches are online for each competitor in this year’s Innov865 Alliance Startup Day contest. Each short video gives a glimpse of the technology and innovation currently developing in Knoxville’s robust startup scene.
The minute-long proposals are compiled here by media sponsor WATE. Pitches range from technology for fighting climate change to innovation for bringing fitness to schools, along with ideas for healthcare, innovation in security and workplace training.
Innov865’s 2020 Startup Day competition is 2 p.m. Sept. 29, and is part of a weeklong series of events. Pitches on Startup Day will be more detailed than the elevator pitches available currently.
Chris Heivly, a co-founder of MapQuest who is nicknamed the “Startup Whisperer,” is a judge for Startup Day. He said that the Knoxville’s entrepreneurship culture is strong.
“Knoxville is a perfect example of what is possible in this ever-changing economic landscape. You have a great cultural community with diversity around the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory,” he said. “You have this local, regional, statewide and national network that continues to grow and, in today’s business environment, the lift that a strong network provides can be city-changing.”
Because of those factors, Techstars has been studying the area as a potential incubator for startups. Heivly is the vice president of innovation at Techstars.
“There is an immediate opportunity to build on the past entrepreneurial work and set the economic direction for the region,” he said. “We at Techstars are here to identify gaps in the strategy, fill those gaps with the help of all of the local entrepreneurial leaders, and help facilitate the growth of new and existing founders through our experiences, our programs and our hands-on help.”
Meanwhile, the annual “Shark Tank”-style pitch competition that is Innov865’s Startup Day will showcase the work being done already in this area. The event is free and open to the public, registration is required.
Hosted by the Innov865 Alliance, Innov865 Week spotlights Knoxville as a great place to start and grow businesses and connects the entrepreneurs planting roots here with support systems to succeed. The week’s events bring together local leaders, investors, entrepreneurs, and the public to support local economic development and celebrate Knoxville’s entrepreneurial spirit.
The event will be presented virtually using the Knoxville-based technology platform, Lunchpool. Startup Day’s pitch competition will feature six of Knoxville’s most investable startups pitching their businesses in front of a panel of expert judges for a chance to win up to $10,000 in cash prizes. Two prizes are up for grabs: the Innov865 Judges’ Choice prize and the Innov865 Crowd Favorite prize, presented by BB&T and SunTrust Bank, now Truist.
A new addition to the 2020 Startup Day program is the Innov865 Impact Award, presented by Verizon. The Innov865 Impact Award recognizes an inventor who has made a positive impact in the fight against COVID-19. The award, along with the $10,000 in cash prizes from Startup Day, will be presented at the Startup Day Awards Ceremony Friday, October 2 at 11a.m.
The six startups in Startup Day’s pitch competition were selected by the Innov865 Alliance for their potential and investability. They include:
Electro-Active Technologies Inc. – A modular system to convert food waste and renewable electricity into low-cost hydrogen. Their system keeps food waste out of landfills and provides a zero-emission fuel to offset gasoline and diesel use.
Cofounder and CEO: Alex Lewis
490 BioTech – Creates bioluminescent human cells capable of producing a light signal that adjusts in real-time to represent changes in cellular health. The glowing cells can be used by pharmaceutical companies to make safer, more effective, and less expensive medicines.
Cofounder and CSO: Dan Close
Quantum Lock – A smart lock system that is more secure than many current smartphone-based key systems. The technology uses quantum physics to generate keys that are random and untraceable.
Cofounder: Erica Grant
Qardian Labs – Artificial intelligence-based software meant for evaluating heart disease risk and reducing the occurrence of Sudden Cardiac Arrest by improving screening for people in high stress environments.
Founder: Sofia Tomov
PowerUp Fitness – Certification for wellness champions as youth fitness instructors and providing them with the training and support needed to empower youth through fitness, education, and fun in their communities.
Founder and CEO: Stacy Baugues
Songboarding – A subscription-based platform combining music with safety training, providing employers with a fun and memorable alternative to traditional training methods.
Cofounder: Mike Benn
Learn more about Innov865 Week by visiting https://innov865week.com/. The events calendar will be updated as events are added throughout the week.
Innov865 Week is a weeklong celebration of Knoxville’s entrepreneurial spirit that brings together startups, entrepreneurs, makers, investors, business leaders, students, and community leaders from across East Tennessee for a week of educational panels, pitch competitions, investor roundtables, and social events. It is presented by the Innov865 Alliance, a coalition that develops, supports, and promotes the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The Innov865 Alliance’s mission is to make Knoxville a “nationally recognized” hub of innovation and entrepreneurship by leveraging the region’s world-class research, creative, and technological capabilities to build the most connected and diverse startup community in Tennessee. Founding members of the Innov865 Alliance include the University of Tennessee Research Foundation, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, PYA, UT’s Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Three Roots Capital, Tennessee Valley Authority, Launch Tennessee, Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, UT Research Park at Cherokee Farm, and Bunker Labs Knoxville. To learn more, visit www.innov865.com/.
Keep Knoxville Beautiful volunteers to clean First Creek this Saturday
On Saturday, September 19, 2020 Keep Knoxville Beautiful will host its September Saturday Spruce Up cleanup event at Broadway Shopping Center 2001 N Broadway. The event is scheduled from 10am to Noon.
Volunteers will be cleanup up First Creek as it goes along Broadway. There are over 50 volunteers expected.
The Saturday Spruce Up is Keep Knoxville Beautiful’s monthly volunteer event held on the third Saturday of the month. Volunteer activities include litter pickups, graffiti removal, plantings, and collection events.
The September Saturday Spruce Up is sponsored by Tennessee Valley Authority as part of their Reservoir and Community Cleanup program and the City of Knoxville City Council.
For more information, please visit www.keepknoxvillebeautiful.org or contact the Keep Knoxville Beautiful office at (865) 521-6957.
About Keep Knoxville Beautiful
Founded in 1978 to help “clean up” prior to the 1982 World’s Fair, Keep Knoxville Beautiful is a local non-profit with a mission to empower and inspire Knox County communities to improve their quality of life through beautification and environmental stewardship.
Educating students and the public about waste-prevention, litter, recycling, and environmental stewardship
Facilitating and supporting litter pickups that make our roads and local waterways cleaner
Creating and protecting murals and hosting beautification mobs to make Knoxville a more beautiful and interesting place to live and visit
During 2019-2020 we
- Facilitated or supported 243 litter pickups
- Collected 36,492 pounds of litter
- Managed 7 beautification projects
- Reached 1,317 kids with our presentations
- Used our recycling trailer and recycling bins to provide recycling for 10 events
- Worked with 2,090 volunteers
- Facilitated 5,756 volunteer hours
To learn more about Keep Knoxville Beautiful, visit keepknoxvillebeautiful.org
Knoxville Bar Association and Legal Aid of East Tennessee offer legal advice clinic for veterans September 16
The Knoxville Bar Association is pleased to announce that a VIRTUAL Legal Advice Clinic for Veterans will be held on September 16, 2020 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. in an effort to serve veterans without the potential hazards of an in-person clinic.
The Veterans’ Legal Advice Clinic is a joint project of the Knoxville Barristers, the Young Lawyers Division of the Knoxville Bar Association (KBA), KBA/Barristers Access to Justice Committees, Legal Aid of East Tennessee, Knox County Public Defender’s Community Law Office, the University of Tennessee College of Law, Lincoln Memorial University – Duncan School of Law, and the local VA office. This is a general advice clinic with a wide variety of legal issues, including family law, landlord/tenant, bankruptcy, criminal defense, consumer protection, contract disputes, child support, and personal injury, among other issues.
Free VIRTUAL Legal Advice Clinic for Veterans
INSTRUCTIONS FOR REGISTERING – PREREGISTRATION IS REQUIRED
Contact Legal Aid of East Tennessee at (865)637-0484 to request a preferred date to be contacted for clinic intake. Available intake dates are September 10, 11, 14 and 15.
At intake, staff will gather information, including information about the legal issue. This information will be provided to the assigned attorney, who will contact the veteran by telephone on Wednesday, September 16 between the hours of 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Please feel free to print and distribute a copy of our flyer for this event to any interested parties.
Attorneys will be available to provide consultations in legal issues such as:
- Veterans Benefits
- Criminal defense
- Consumer protection
- Contract disputes
- Estate Planning
- Child support
- Personal injury
- General Legal Issues
The Veterans Legal Advice Clinic is a project sponsored by the Knoxville Bar Association (KBA), the Knoxville Barristers (the Young Lawyers Division of the KBA), Legal Aid of East of Tennessee, Knox County Public Defender’s Community Law Office, the University of Tennessee College of Law, Lincoln Memorial University – Duncan School of Law and the local Veteran’s Affairs Office.
ORNL offers technical assistance to fight COVID-19 across the nation
Experts at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory are now offering short-term technical and scientific assistance to entities working to combat the coronavirus through the COVID-19 Technical Assistance Program, or CTAP, an initiative of DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions.
CTAP provides targeted funding to ORNL and other national laboratories to enable laboratory staff to assist United States-based institutions facing challenging technical hurdles as they seek solutions to the pandemic. The program creates a pathway for ORNL to offer technical services, analysis, testing and consulting on external projects related to COVID-19.
“Our scientists and engineers hold invaluable expertise useful for companies, not-for-profits and other entities creating treatments, vaccines, personal protective equipment and medical technology that can help combat COVID-19,” said Moe Khaleel, ORNL’s deputy for projects. “ORNL’s contributions in these areas have already made an impact in the fight against the coronavirus. The laboratory’s participation in this program will allow our experts to lend their time and knowledge to other institutions working towards the same goal.”
Work that qualifies for CTAP funding must not be R&D intensive nor intended to generate intellectual property. Applicants should connect with ORNL through DOE’s Lab Partnering Service, where information about resources, experts and facilities across the National Laboratory Complex is available.
ORNL’s participation in CTAP is the lab’s latest move to foster partnerships working toward solutions to the pandemic. In June, ORNL launched the COVID-19 Rapid Access Licensing Program to make a portfolio of ORNL technologies that may be useful against the coronavirus readily available for licensing at no cost. DOE User Facilities located at ORNL, including the Spallation Neutron Source, the High Flux Isotope Reactor and the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, have also rolled out streamlined access for users conducting coronavirus research.
ORNL’s COVID-19 research is supported by the DOE Office of Science through the National Virtual Biotechnology Laboratory, a consortium of DOE national laboratories focused on response to COVID-19, with funding provided by the Coronavirus CARES Act.
UT-Battelle manages ORNL for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. The Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit energy.gov/science.— Abby Bower
Coldwell Banker Commercial Wallace celebrates new West Knoxville office
Knoxville, Tenn. — Sept. 3, 2020 Coldwell Banker Commercial® Wallace celebrated the grand opening of its new West Knoxville office location by hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Knoxville Chamber.
The new office, located at 813 S. Northshore Drive in the Creswell Building, provides a home base for the company’s 14 full-time commercial real estate brokers. The office’s sleek, modern feel is complemented by the building’s soaring windows, which offer an abundance of natural light throughout. Other features include ample parking and ease of access from I-40 and Kingston Pike.
“We’re excited to establish our new location in the heart of the Bearden area,” said managing broker Jim Staley, CCIM. “Our agents serve many clients from around the region and this new space will be the perfect hub for them to conduct their business.”
Coldwell Banker Commercial Wallace has been ranked as the top Coldwell Banker Commercial office in the state of Tennessee for two decades.
“CBCW has a well established reputation in East Tennessee and our commercial associates are highly skilled at what they do,” said owner George Wallace. “They understand the market as well as how to exceed their clients’ expectations through complex transactions.
Backed by the power of Coldwell Banker Commercial®, one of the worldwide leaders in commercial real estate, Coldwell Banker Commercial Wallace is part of a network that includes more than 150 companies, and 3,000 professionals. The company’s geographic footprint in primary, secondary and tertiary markets is unmatched.
“With a combination of extensive local knowledge and the resources of a global organization, CBC Wallace professionals provide a great deal of value to their clients through a full range of occupier and investor services, for industries across all asset types,” said owner Jim Wallace.
Humane Society, Tennessee Valley unveils new brand, sharpens initiatives
Knoxville, Tenn., September 9, 2020 – Humane Society, Tennessee Valley, the first animal shelter established in the state of Tennessee, announced a reinvigorated brand identity with the unveiling of a new logo and modified name. The organization has also redefined its key programs with fresh names and taglines—all dedicated to the core message of saving the lives of more dogs and cats.
The updated brand further enables the organization to stand out and differentiate itself within the animal welfare community to raise awareness for their core mission and programs; Pet Help – Keeping Pets and People Together, Traveling Tails and Regional Collaboration.
The organization’s Pet Help program encompasses their new wellness clinic and pet food pantry. Humane Society, Tennessee Valley will continue their current adoption, foster, volunteer, Operation Service Paws, and outreach programs.
Humane Society, Tennessee Valley’s new initiative, Traveling Tails, allows shelter animals from partner shelters in East Tennessee to find forever homes through transport to other regions of the country. Constance Paras, executive director Humane Society, Tennessee Valley explains, “Shelters in the North and Northeast have such effective spay and neuter programs that they have a waiting list of adopters and not enough animals to fill that need. They look to the Mid-Atlantic and the South where we still have an excess of shelter animals needing homes.”
Humane Society, Tennessee Valley also leads a regional collaboration effort by partnering with other area shelters in East Tennessee to save as many animal lives as possible through advancing advocacy, sharing of resources and information, and professional development within the Tennessee Valley animal welfare community.
The tweak to the organization’s name is minimal. With wide recognition in the “Humane Society” name, the organization chose to keep it, but make it more concise. The Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley is now Humane Society, Tennessee Valley.
The distinctive logo offers a fresh color palette and a fun, friendly vibe that coincides with the joy adopted pets bring into families’ lives. “We refreshed the brand to better communicate who we are and detail our mission to gain broader awareness for our organization and its life-saving programs. We want to convey that we do so much more to advance animal welfare than pet adoptions.”
For more information on Humane Society, Tennessee Valley visit their website at humanesocietytennessee.org.
Founded in 1885 by Peter Kern and located in Knoxville, Tennessee, Humane Society, Tennessee Valley is dedicated to providing life-saving programs and resources to enrich the lives of people and companion animals in the communities they serve. The organization is committed to relationships with other shelters in the Tennessee Valley and beyond by transferring animals to their Knoxville shelter for adoption and offering programs and resources aimed at saving more lives and impacting the community by keeping people and pets together.
Averitt celebrates Driver Appreciation Week with new truck assignments, giveaways and more
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – As part of continuing efforts to show appreciation for its entire team, Averitt Express will celebrate Driver Appreciation Week (Sept. 13-19) with numerous events throughout its network.
These will include giveaways and other events during the week, as well as meals that are provided in a way that encourages social distancing. Additionally, there will be daily prize drawings for CB radios, wireless headsets, GPS units, gift cards, televisions, tables, iPads and more.
For the grand prize, five over-the-road drivers will have their names drawn to be assigned a brand-new Freightliner truck.
“This year has presented very unique challenges, and I’m incredibly proud of how our team has reacted, adapted and persevered,” said Gary Sasser, Averitt’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Because of the efforts of our entire team, we’re well-positioned for success, and Driver Appreciation Week is a great opportunity to reaffirm how thankful we are for our associates.”
Sasser adds that Driver Appreciation Week is just part of how the Averitt team shows appreciation for associates all year long.
“It’s our commitment to what we call our ‘Winner’s Circle’ – our philosophy of taking care of our customers and our associates and focusing on the future,” Sasser says. “That gives us the opportunity to invest in new equipment and facilities, and most of all, to invest in our people with benefits, compensation and Profit Sharing. That’s something we’re very proud of. The sky’s the limit on what we can accomplish for our customers, our associates and our future.”
Also in honor of Driver Appreciation Week, Averitt produced a special video recognizing the importance of its associates. To watch the video, visit InsideAveritt.com/DAW2020.
Averitt Express is a leading transportation employer with more than 100 locations throughout the United States. The company features many amenities to serve its driving force, such as state-of-the-art facilities, driver support centers for its over-the-road drivers, dynamic safety technology on its equipment, finishing schools and other training programs, and much more. It also has a strong benefits package, including health, dental and vision insurance, a company-funded profit sharing retirement plan, an incentive program for referrals, a uniform credit, and paid holidays. These benefits, combined with a team-oriented culture and opportunities for career growth, help Averitt show unity throughout its network and to its customers. For more information about Averitt, as well as a list of job openings, call 1-888-AVERITT or visit AverittCareers.com.
Bonitz partner selected for local CEO peer advisory board, Vistage Knoxville
Knoxville, Tenn. – Clayton Chapman, managing partner of Bonitz, Inc.’s Knoxville division, has been selected to be a member of a chief executive peer advisory board in Knoxville by Vistage Worldwide, Inc. He joins over 200 senior executives, business owners, and CEOs across the state of Tennessee who are Vistage members. A South Carolina native, Chapman earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Clemson University and joined Bonitz in 2008.
Board Chair Kurt Greene said, “I am thrilled to welcome Clay to this diverse group of
exceptional owners and chief executives who play pivotal roles in achieving accelerated
growth in their companies, and are growing quickly themselves as leaders. He joins them in a special commitment, one which is enhancing not only their own lives, but also those of their families, employees, and others they touch in their communities.” Greene chairs the three Vistage advisory boards in the greater Knoxville area.
Vistage members meet monthly with peers from local non-competing businesses to help one another improve their companies and themselves. Membership is by invitation only and requires a nomination and a selection process.
Vistage is the world’s leading executive coaching organization for small and midsize
businesses. For more than 60 years, we’ve been helping CEOs, business owners and key executives solve their greatest challenges through confidential peer advisory groups and oneto-one executive coaching sessions with accomplished business leaders. Today, more than 24,000 members in 20 countries rely on Vistage to help make better decisions for their companies, families and communities. The results prove it: Vistage member companies grow 2.2 times faster than average small and midsize U.S. businesses, according to a 2017 study of Dun & Bradstreet data. Learn more at vistage.com or call (865) 407-0703.
Founded in 1954, Bonitz, Inc. is an employee-owned company operating as a major subcontractor in the commercial construction space. Bonitz specializes in all types of flooring, floor care, ceilings, walls, cladding, and access flooring. Bonitz, an industry leader in interior finishes, is committed to the mission of providing best in the world project consulting, project
management, and craftsmanship while providing superior service and practical solutions.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Knox County to host a virtual event on September 17
Knoxville, TENN — The Advisory Board for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Knox County is pleased to present Seeds of Imagination, A Legacy of Readers Luncheon. The online event will be held on September 17 from noon to 1 pm and will include a musical tribute, Dolly Parton trivia, prizes, a VIP mash-up storytime and more. The Board will honor Dr. Nick Geidner, professor of Journalism and Electronic Media at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville for directing and producing “The Library that Dolly Built,” a documentary set for world-wide release in Winter 2020.
Tickets for the event are only $15 and can be purchased at Knoxlib.org/seeds. All proceeds go directly to funding books and mailing.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Knox County is celebrating 15 years and 3 million books mailed to children under the age of five since 2005. The program was launched in January 2005 and was the first major metro area in Tennessee to join the effort.
Early reading instruction has taken a hit amid the current health and economic crisis. With social-distancing requirements and potential shutdowns, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Knox County’s mission of getting books into the hands of families with young children is more important than ever.
Since the COVID-19 crisis, all families enrolled in the program have continued to receive a book and newsletter each month. Thanks to the hard work of dedicated staff and postal workers, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Knox County continues to mail nearly 20,000 books each month to all registered children. Nearly eight in 10 children from birth to age five in Knox County are enrolled in the program.
Currently, the program’s registration is evenly divided across all Knox County zip codes. For 34 percent of Knox County households, Imagination Library books are the main sources of reading material. Graduates of Imagination Library outperformed those who were not enrolled in the program on kindergarten literacy tests, according to four statewide studies.
“Mailing 3 million books to children sends a loud message that we value reading in this community,” commented Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs. “We are committed to helping reduce any barriers for young families to make early literacy a priority. Congrats to the board of Imagination Library for this great milestone.”
Seeds of Imagination Luncheon — A Legacy of Readers is made possible through the generous support of the Boyd Foundation, Joe & Pat Johnson, Liz Stowers, Doug & Bonny Naugher, James & Courtney Choo, Matt & Kelly Taylor, Rachel & Marc Kinney, The Scott Family, Stowers Machinery, UT Medical Center, South College, Food City, The Trust Company, Phillips & Jordan, Shafer Insurance Agency, Cochran Family McDonalds, The Knox County Public Library Foundation, Friends of the Knox County Public Library, Buddy’s Bar-b-q, Dominion Group, Pinnacle Financial Partners, Bearden Pediatric Dentistry, KnoxNews.com, WBIR, Newstalk 98.7 and WIVK.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Knox County is administered through the Knox County Public Library and relies on donations to fund the books. Each local community in Tennessee must raise 50 percent of the cost of book and mailing with a matching grant from the Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation.
Allied Universal to hire 50+ security professionals in Knoxville
Allied Universal, a leading security and facility services company in North America, is seeking to hire 50+ Knoxville area security professionals. The open house hiring events are held at the company’s branch office at 11424 C Kingston Pike in Knoxville, Tennessee on September 8 and September 9 from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm.
The company also employs a virtual interview process where applicants can complete the company’s online application from the comfort of their home through highly advanced video interviewing technology. Applicants can apply online at this link.
“We are recruiting for all shifts for all levels of experience,” says Alessio Carulli, Regional Recruiter, Allied Universal.
“Our clients, and the public at large, rely on us to keep our communities and businesses safe and secure especially during these challenging times,” said Steve Jones, Chairman and CEO of Allied Universal. “Our security professionals play a pivotal part ensuring facilities can continue business as usual and other businesses that had to close, can rest assured that their assets will remain protected.”
For full time positions, company benefits include medical and dental coverage, life insurance, 401(k), holidays and more. Allied Universal is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring a diverse workforce.
“Our #1 priority is to keep our employees safe and healthy in the workplace,” said Jones. “We have a dedicated safety team constantly monitoring all COVID-19 developments ensuring we continuously educate our employees to understand and follow the CDC guidelines.”
Allied Universal offers careers and long-term growth in the thriving security industry. The company has countless examples of individuals that began their career as a security professional and today are in senior leadership positions.
Comprehensive national job listings are available at: https://jobs.aus.com/.
Allied Universal®, a leading security and facility services company with 235,000 employees and revenues over $8.5 billion, provides unparalleled security services and technology solutions. With offices located throughout the nation as well as internationally (Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom), Allied Universal is responsible for protecting more than 50,000 client sites covering multiple specialty sectors such as higher education, healthcare, retail, commercial real estate, government and corporate campuses, etc. Supported by vast experience gained from being in business for over 60 years, Allied Universal provides proactive security services and cutting-edge smart technology to deliver evolving, tailored solutions that allow clients to focus on their core business. Through world-class customer service, highly advanced systems and cohesive technology solutions…Allied Universal is There for you™. For more information, please visit www.aus.com.
Knoxville Entrepreneur Center Brandcamp applications are open
For the first time, the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center has opened up applications to the public for our Brandcamp Program – a six-week, in depth virtual program this fall, led by marketing and branding experts in the advertising agency industry.
Brandcamp leads local Knoxville companies through a series of workshops and classes in order to help business owners and founders understand the process of brand planning, including market research, the development of a brand platform, customer discovery and the exploration of the customer journey, persona-based messaging and channel planning.
The objective of this program is to provide business owners and founders with a deep understanding of the importance of brand planning, and to equip them with the necessary tools and skills to develop a brand plan that will help set their companies up for success.
- The cost to participate in the Fall 2020 Brandcamp program is $200.
- Applications close September 18th, and we will be selecting and announcing the cohort by the end of September.
- Classes will run from 4-7 pm on Wednesday evenings, from October 7th to November 11th.
- If you have any questions about Brandcamp, feel free to email us at [email protected]
Family Promise selects North Carolina family who overcame homelessness to receive new forever home from Clayton
ADVANCE, NC– August 27, 2020 – Family Promise®, an organization that serves families with children who are currently homeless or at risk of experiencing homelessness, recently celebrated the donation of a new Clayton Built® off-site built home and welcomed a family to homeownership. This was the first of several new home donations planned this year from Family Promise and Clayton, a national builder of off-site and site-built homes.
Sonya Allen, of Advance, North Carolina, and her two teenaged children, Smitty and Lanie, were forced to move out of their home after it was condemned due to water damage and mold. The family spent time in a Family Promise shelter program in Davie County, North Carolina, before moving into transitional housing after graduating Family Promise’s financial program.
Sonya owns family land in Advance, North Carolina, where she grew up, and had always hoped she’d be able to move back one day. By permanently placing the new off-site built home on the land, Sonya’s property has the potential to appreciate over time and build equity for further stability. Now, being selected as the recipient from Family Promise for the donation of this new Clayton home, Sonya’s dream of stability, security and independence has been realized.
“At Clayton we are dedicated to helping open doors to a better life through attainable homeownership,” said Susan Brown, Director of Philanthropy at Clayton. “Sonya and her family have overcome obstacles and worked hard to build their future, so Clayton is honored to be part of the team providing this family with the dream of homeownership. We are very excited to witness how this family will make memories for years to come in a new home on their family land.”
The home donation is part of a larger national partnership between Clayton and Family Promise. Both organizations believe that assisting families brings the nation closer to where every family has a home, a livelihood and the chance to build a better future. Through the home donation program and A Future Begins at Home, Clayton and Family Promise provide educational outreach and resource development, comprehensive case management, support services, and affordable housing solutions for graduate families, like off-site built housing and transitional housing.
“Since we launched the A Future Begins at Home program, our partnership with Clayton has helped countless families achieve housing independence through home donations and homelessness prevention efforts,” said Claas Ehlers, Chief Executive Officer of Family Promise National. “We are thankful for Clayton’s ongoing commitment to the fight against family homelessness, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a significant impact on America’s low-income families.”
The transitional home Sonya and her family were previously living in is being donated by another organization to Family Promise of Davie County, where it will be used to empower even more families on their journeys to sustainable housing.
The Allen family donation is the first of five home donations to Family Promise in 2020 through the A Future Begins at Home program, which will include donations to families and transitional housing this year
The Allen’s new off-site built home, constructed by Clayton and finished by Clayton Homes of Winston-Salem is an example of the many modern off-site built homes (also known as manufactured homes) available for individuals and families seeking quality homeownership. Every off-site Clayton Built® home comes with energy efficient features such as a smart programmable thermostat, energy efficient appliances and furnace to help with long-term utility savings. The Allen family’s home is permanently affixed to a foundation on her property, which will give the family the potential to build equity in their property over time.
Manufactured homes that are permanently attached to land have the potential to appreciate similarly to site-built homes according to the MH index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). The Urban Institute® reported 2018 research based on the FHFA indexes that also indicated manufactured homes may appreciate at nearly the same rate as site-built homes according to the national index, 3.4% for manufactured homes and 3.8% or site-built homes. With the current economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, families across America are finding the dream of homeownership harder to achieve than before. Off-site built homes offer an affordable and quality option for homeownership.
Belleza presents ‘Teacher Appreciation Day’
Knoxville, Tennessee – Belleza Salon and Spa in Bearden and Belleza Salon, Spa & Men in Turkey Creek are both hosting a “Teacher Appreciation” event on Sunday, September 20, 2020 from 11am-5pm.
Knox County Teachers do so much for the Knoxville Community, now it’s time for Belleza to give back. From 11am-5pm, Knox County teachers are invited to receive a complimentary hair cut or facial waxing services.
The services will be first come, first serve. Valid Knox County School ID must be shown to receive services.
Belleza Salon & Spa is located at 6209 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919
Belleza Salon, Spa & Men is located at 11467 Parkside Drive, Knoxville, TN 37934
Pinnacle named one of People Magazine’s ’50 Companies That Care’
NASHVILLE, TN, Sept. 2, 2020 –Pinnacle Financial Partners has again earned a spot on PEOPLE magazine’s “50 Companies That Care” list, jointly chosen by the publication and Great Place to Work®. The firm joins much larger national brands like Publix , CISCO and Hilton on the list, all chosen for the generosity of their company benefits and charitable work, as well as personal accounts of the impact these organizations have made on the lives of their employees. The fourth annual list will be featured in the Sept. 14 issue of PEOPLE, which hits newsstands nationwide on Sept. 4.
“I think it goes without saying that it’s been a tough year in our country, with the pandemic and economic uncertainty,” Pinnacle’s President and CEO Terry Turner said. “Banking may seem like an odd fit for companies that seek to be difference makers in the world. Our approach and our culture are built to give kindness, compassion and respect freely. We protect that as one of our most valuable assets because it’s the right thing to do and a wise business decision. Those two can go hand in hand to make a difference for clients, associates and the communities we serve.”
Pinnacle’s response in the pandemic perfectly illustrates this philosophy. The firm put the safety of associates and clients ahead of all else and was one of the first banks in the region to close its lobbies for in-person banking. At the same time, associates went to great lengths to meet more clients’ needs through the drive thru. To ensure they can maintain balance in meeting the needs of their families, their own personal safety and the company, associates have been allowed great amounts of flexibility in work hours and liberal time off allowances. Despite all the added pressures of managing life during COVID, those same associates freely dedicated countless hours to get $2.4 billion in Paycheck Protection Program loans to their clients in a very short amount of time. They knew that money would help many businesses survive pandemic shutdowns.
In 2019, Pinnacle released its first Corporate Social Responsibility Report to quantify the impact it makes and track its progress toward improvement. According to the report, in 2019 Pinnacle:
- invested $322 million in community development organizations
- financed 6,801 affordable housing units
- invested $3.84 million in community causes and nonprofits
Pinnacle associates, meanwhile, dedicated 21,435 volunteer hours to 2,538 organizations. More information on how the firm makes a difference for its associates, clients, shareholders and communities can be found at PNFP.com/CSR.
The 50 Companies That Care list is based on more than 4.7 million surveys from individuals employed by U.S. businesses across a range of industries. Pinnacle first appeared on the list in 2017. In 2018 and 2019, the firm was named to the Honor Roll from the nonprofit Center for Companies That Care, which is not related to the list in PEOPLE magazine.
Pinnacle Financial Partners provides a full range of banking, investment, trust, mortgage and insurance products and services designed for businesses and their owners and individuals interested in a comprehensive relationship with their financial institution. The firm is the No. 1 bank in the Nashville-Murfreesboro-Franklin MSA, according to 2019 deposit data from the FDIC. Pinnacle earned a spot on 2020 list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For® in the U.S., its fourth consecutive appearance. American Banker recognized Pinnacle as one of America’s Best Banks to Work For seven years in a row.
Pinnacle owns a 49 percent interest in Bankers Healthcare Group (BHG), which provides innovative, hassle-free financial solutions to healthcare practitioners and other licensed professionals. Great Place to Work and FORTUNE ranked BHG No. 1 on its 2020 list of Best Workplaces in New York State in the small/medium business category.
The firm began operations in a single location in downtown Nashville, TN in October 2000 and has since grown to approximately $33.3 billion in assets as of June 30, 2020. As the second-largest bank holding company headquartered in Tennessee, Pinnacle operates in 12 primarily urban markets in Tennessee, the Carolinas, Virginia and Atlanta.
Additional information concerning Pinnacle, which is included in the Nasdaq Financial-100 Index, can be accessed at www.pnfp.com.
Great Place to Work® is the global authority on workplace culture. They help organizations quantify their culture and produce better business results by creating a high-trust work experience for all employees. Emprising®, their culture management platform, empowers leaders with the surveys, real-time reporting and insights they need to make data-driven people decisions. They recognize Great Place to Work-Certified™ companies and the Best Workplaces™ in the US and more than 60 countries, including the 100 Best Companies to Work For® list published annually in Fortune. Learn more at greatplacetowork.com and join the community on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
U.S. Cellular hiring for customer care positions in Knoxville
KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Sept. 1, 2020 – U.S. Cellular is looking to fill 200 open positions across its five Customer Care Centers, including the one located in Knoxville. Full and part-time customer service positions for all shifts are available in a high-energy, professional environment, and interested applicants can apply online at uscellular.jobs. Hiring will continue for the next several months, and all interviews will be conducted virtually to protect the health and safety of all parties due to the ongoing pandemic.
“At U.S. Cellular, we strive to provide an excellent wireless experience for our customers, so we need a diverse, motivated and collaborative associate base to help us deliver on that goal,” said Sharon Stewart, director of U.S. Cellular’s Customer Care Center in Knoxville. “We look forward to hiring new associates into the exciting and fast-paced world of technology so we can develop their skills and turn their job into a career.”
The open positions offer a competitive starting wage and benefits, along with incentives including performance-based quarterly bonuses and discounted service. U.S. Cellular looks for empowered professionals with relevant experience, excellent communication skills and an enthusiastic commitment to customers. The company offers ongoing training and career development, and many Customer Care Center leaders began their careers in these customer service roles.
Other U.S. Cellular Customer Care Centers are located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Madison, Wis., Tulsa, Okla., and Waukesha, Wis. In 2020, the company was named a Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion and recognized by the Corporate Equality Index and Diversity Best Practices Inclusion Index. For more information on careers at U.S. Cellular, including in its Knoxville area retail store locations, please go to uscellular.jobs.
U.S. Cellular is the fourth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier is building a stronger network with the latest 5G technology and offers a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers’ lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and improve the efficiency of government operations. It is ranked #1 in the North Central Region in the J.D. Power 2020 Wireless Network Quality Performance Study – Volume 2. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or www.uscellular.com. To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on Facebook.com/uscellular, Twitter.com/uscellular and YouTube.com/uscellularcorp.
Cherokee Distributing Company partners with E-Z Stop and KenJo Markets to donate $7,500 to Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley
Cherokee Distributing Company teamed up with E-Z Stop and KenJo Markets to make a total donation of $7,500 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley to assist the nonprofit’s efforts during COVID-19.
The Knoxville-headquartered distributing company, a leading beer wholesaler in the state, used a special in-store promotion during the months of May and June to raise donation funds with $3,750 each coming from E-Z Stop and KenJo Markets. The checks were presented to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley on Aug. 20.
“We’re grateful to partner with such an impactful organization in our community,” said Jeff Knight, general manager for Cherokee Distributing Company. “The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley had assisted families during the COVID-19 pandemic with extra services and expanded hours, so children had a safe place to be while their parents worked this summer. We wanted to help the Boys & Girls Clubs continue the great work they’re doing with young people in our community.”
The organization will continue to provide a safe place for children after school to complete their coursework with internet access, snacks and meals, supervision from staff and other activities, including sports, dance and art.
“We were eager to team up with Cherokee Distributing Company to provide support for such a worthy organization,” said Trenton Langston, vice president for E-Z Stop. “Like Cherokee Distributing Company, we are headquartered in East Tennessee and we are grateful for organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley who provide children in our community with the resources they need to continue learning and growing even in uncertain times.”
“We’re very thankful for the critical services the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley continue to provide,” said Wes Carruthers, president of KenJo. “We’re hopeful that this donation will provide some much-needed support as the organization continues to adapt offerings to best serve Knoxville-area children and families.”
Bridget Jones, director of development and corporate events for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley, said the funds will help the organization continue to offer vital services at clubs in Knox, Blount, Loudon and North Anderson counties.
“We are very grateful for partners like Cherokee Distributing Company, E-Z Stop and KenJo Markets for their support with our ongoing efforts,” Jones said. “This gift will directly help serve our young club members as we continue to navigate the challenges associated with COVID-19.”
To learn more about the Boys & Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley, visit www.bgctnv.org. For more information about Cherokee Distributing Company, E-Z Stop and KenJo Markets, visit www.cherokeedistributing.com, www.ezstop.net and www.kenjomarkets.com.
This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Knoxville Biz Ticker: UT receives $1m grant to bring culturally relevant robotics to local schools