Latest news releases on business happenings in the Knox.biz coverage area. Check back all week for updates.
Asheville, N.C. – Sept. 25, 2019 – Food City, based in Abingdon, Va., was recognized as the Retailer of the Year by the Certified Angus Beef ® brand for leadership in product quality, marketing and sales. The award was presented at the brand’s Annual Conference, held Sept. 23-25, in Asheville, N.C. Brand partners at the conference, including meat processors, distributors, chefs, retailers and cattle ranchers, explored merchandising and marketing solutions to satisfy growing consumer demand for great-tasting beef.
Food City has set the bar on quality and service in the region by offering the Certified Angus Beef ® brand for 20 years and by having trained butchers in stores to cut the meat, wait on customers, help choose a cut and share preparation tips. The duo was important as Food City introduced Certified Angus Beef ® brand Prime in stores this year, giving customers the selection of top-quality beef.
Promotions for Father’s Day, summer grilling and holiday roasting drew customers to the meat case. Additionally, weekly circulars and in-store signage shared information about the brand’s quality, which is well received by customers.
“Customers understand the difference and it’s driven by the people in our stores,” says Dan Glei, executive vice president of marketing and merchandising. “Our commitment to having a strong, highly trained butcher in the store makes all the difference.”
Steve Smith, president and CEO, says Food City’s growth is based on supplying great quality products that customers trust. “The Certified Angus Beef ® brand plays right into that sweet spot for us because really center of the plate is so important to our customers.”
On Saturday, September 28, CVS Health is hosting a call center open house and hiring fair to fill more than 400 full-time Customer Service Representative positions in Knoxville. Interested candidates are asked to complete a short online application before attending the hiring fair, where they can expect a 15 minute interview with the CVS Health team. Applicants are asked to dress business casual and bring one form of identification and a resume. The event will take place from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on September 28 at CVS Health, 2401 Cherahala Boulevard, Knoxville, TN. For more information and to apply, visit cvs.jobs/tn.
Project GRAD is seeking local businesses to provide hands-on, paid work experiences for its high school scholars next summer through its Hands on the Future internship program. Project GRAD will be meeting with interested businesses, Sept. 25 at 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.
WHAT: Information sessions to learn more about Project GRAD’s Hands on the Future summer internship program.
WHERE: Project GRAD Knoxville, 1100 Marion Street, Suite 100, Knoxville, TN 37921
WHY: Hands on the Future is designed to teach Project GRAD juniors and seniors from Fulton and Austin East how to successfully work in a business setting.
To prepare for these internships, Project GRAD works with the students during the school year on developing important skills, such as dependability, professionalism, communicating more effectively, developing their first resumes and preparing for job interviews.
“We realize this summer is barely over and the summer of 2020 is months away, but our students are already excited about the opportunities they’ll have to prepare and interview for internships for next summer. That’s how important these internships are to our students and to Project GRAD,” said Ronni Chandler, Project GRAD’s executive director. “These internships provide our students with hands-on, real job skills that will help them throughout their lives. For some of our students, their internship experience may even help them decide what they want to do professionally.”
Project GRAD launched its Hands on the Future summer internship program in 2018. This past summer, 12 area businesses and organizations partnered with Project GRAD to provide paid internships for 23 juniors and seniors from Austin-East and Fulton high schools.
Project GRAD will be hosting a second round of informational sessions on the Hands on the Future program on October 1 at 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., for businesses that can’t make it to this Wednesday’s sessions.
Project GRAD Knoxville, established in 2001, is a nationally recognized education non-profit program known for helping to improve post-secondary attendance and completion rates among students from disadvantaged circumstances. The Project GRAD Partnership with Knox County Schools aims to provide young people in 14 Center City public schools with the inspiration, motivation, knowledge, skills and opportunities they need to achieve success throughout school and postsecondary. By focusing on improving postsecondary awareness and graduation rates, college and career path readiness, and postsecondary completion rates, Project GRAD works to ensure academic and professional success, addressing barriers in the process. To learn more about Project GRAD, go to www.projectgradknoxville.org or call 865-525-4030.
MARYVILLE, Tenn. – Sept. 26, 2019 – Maryville-based commercial construction firm Leon Williams Contractors has begun construction on a new 3,200-square-foot city hall in Etowah, Tennessee. The new Etowah City Hall will become the city’s permanent dedicated building for municipal government in 2020, when the project is scheduled to be completed.
Etowah City Hall will be located on Tennessee Avenue, on property adjacent to the historic L&N Depot, built in 1906 and a southeastern Tennessee landmark for more than a century. The new one-story building is designed to complement the railroad depot, which was extensively renovated in 2012 and currently houses a railroad museum and the Etowah Chamber of Commerce and serves as a facility for public and private events.
“This project is a significant enhancement for the city of Etowah,” said Jimmy Hawkins, president of Leon Williams Contractors. “It will complement the beautiful L&N Depot and add to the historic character of the downtown area by finishing the currently vacant lot. I am excited for the city employees to have a new space to work and residents to have an attractive city building to be proud of.”
For the last several years, Etowah’s city government offices have been headquartered in a rented office space north of downtown. Before that, the offices were located inside the city’s Carnegie Library.
“The City of Etowah is very excited to be able to use the expertise of Leon Williams Contractors for the construction of the new Etowah City Hall facility and the reinvestment in our historic downtown,” said Tina Tuggle, Etowah city manager.
For more information about Leon Williams Contractors, visit www.lwcontractorstn.com or call (865) 982-1734.
An experienced commercial design-build firm, Leon Williams Contractors simplifies the building process by effectively managing costs, adhering to deadlines and reducing complications to provide a seamless building experience. As a value-engineering expert, Leon Williams Contractors offers a complete range of services including pre-construction consultation, site assessment, design-build expertise and construction management in the greater Knoxville, Tenn. area.
KNOXVILLE (Sept. 24, 2019) - Comcast is increasing download speeds for some of its most popular Xfinity Internet packages for customers across Knoxville, East Tenn. and Southwest VA.
Beginning today, download speeds for the company’s Performance tier will jump from 60 Mbps to 100 Mbps, while Blast! speeds will increase from 150 to 200 Mbps, Extreme will move from 250 to 300 Mbps, and Extreme Pro will be upgraded from 400 to 600 Mbps. About 85 percent of Comcast’s Internet customers in East Tenn. subscribe to one of these tiers and will have their download speeds upgraded, whether they purchase Xfinity Internet on a stand-alone basis or as part of a package.
Last year, Comcast boosted download speeds for Blast! and Extreme customers in East Tenn. Over the past two years, local Comcast subscribers on average have seen their speed increased by more than 50 percent.
Today’s speed increases are the latest in a series of moves by Comcast to support growing consumer demand for super-fast, high-capacity Internet connections that can not only handle the explosion of connected devices that are powering the smart home, but also offer a single platform to manage and protect them.
Nationally, over the past four years and across Comcast’s service area, the company has quadrupled its overall network capacity and doubled its fiber miles, deployed gigabit speeds to more homes than any other Internet Service Provider, upgraded all of its speed tiers, and rolled out an entirely new class of gateways - the xFi Gateway and the xFi Advanced Gateway - that are designed for higher speeds and blanket most homes with Wi-Fi coverage.
“We’re not only delivering the broadband speed and capacity that customers need to run more sophisticated home networks, we’re setting the bar for coverage and control, too,” said Jason Gumbs, Regional SVP at Comcast. “Modern homes require fast Internet, wall-to-wall Wi-Fi, and a way to manage the connectivity needs of the entire household. With xFi, we’re giving our Internet customers the tools to manage the growing number of connected devices, apps and technologies in their homes.”
Xfinity xFi is Comcast’s differentiated Internet experience, which gives customers more speed, the best in-home Wi-Fi coverage, and easy to use controls over their home Wi-Fi networks. With xFi, customers also can manage their children’s screen time and pause Internet access, as well as protect all their IoT and home automation devices from unwelcome security threats. XFi customers receive powerful all-in-one modems and Wi-Fi routers, that, when combined with xFi pods, can extend Wi-Fi coverage to hard to reach rooms of virtually any home. Additionally, xFi customers receive complimentary access to the nation’s largest network of WiFi hotspots and five lines of Xfinity Mobile service to extend their Internet experience outside of the home.
Over the next several weeks, customers who lease a gateway will automatically receive the new speeds without having to reset their modems. Other customers who purchased their own modems should check online to see if they need a new device that is capable of handling these faster speeds (http://mydeviceinfo.comcast.net/).
ATLANTA, September 24, 2019 (Newswire.com) - American Insulated Glass, LLC (AIG), a leading glass fabricator and wholesale distributor, announced today the acquisition of Tennessee Glass Wholesalers (TGW), a privately held glass distributor located in Knoxville, Tennessee. This is an asset only purchase agreement designed to expand the AIG footprint.
In June 2019, the company announced the opening of a sales office in Knoxville and the hiring of glass industry professionals Bill Evers and Steve Brisbane with the intention of opening a new fabrication facility. This acquisition will accelerate AIG’s ability to service customers in East Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia. Initially, this facility will furnish stock glass and residential insulating glass, supporting the Knoxville service area with the company’s full range of glass solutions—including commercial insulating glass, custom tempered glass and laminated from Atlanta and Charlotte.
“The AIG team is well-known in this market and we simply could not be more pleased to be moving into a physical location in Knoxville this soon and we look forward to serving glazing contractors that we have dealt with for many years with a broader range of high-performance and custom glass solutions,” shared Billy Blair, President and CEO of AIG.
American Insulated Glass is a leading fabricator and wholesale distributor headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The company specializes in providing high-quality insulated, laminated, tempered and beveled glass to glazing contractors and the millwork industry. Dedicated to serving both commercial and residential end markets with a broad range of high-performing low-e glass solutions, AIG also distributes a full line of mirror, decorative and other glass products. AIG is positioned to expand its geographical footprint and service capabilities, both organically and via acquisition. To learn more about AIG, visit www.aiglass.com.
Nashville, TN— Tennessee’s private non-profit colleges and universities awarded more than 20,000 degrees in the 2018-2019 academic period to students completing a wide range of academic and professional programs. Continuing a trend of strong academic completion, TICUA institutions awarded more than 100,000 degrees in the last five years.
“Tennessee college graduates must be prepared to enter a dynamic economy with high-value, in-demand degrees,” said TICUA President, Claude Pressnell. “Our 34 member institutions ensure students receive the academic and financial support they need to not only begin their degree— but complete it.”
The most popular degrees were in business, health care, and education. More than 2,600 degrees were awarded in the STEM or technical fields.
“As our state pushes toward the Drive to 55, TICUA member institutions are helping more students access a great education and earn a degree— no matter where or when they started college,” said Pressnell. “All students should have the opportunity to attend a school that best meets their needs, and our institutions show year after year that student choice is critical to student success.”
Of the 20,000 degrees awarded, 31% went to students who transferred into one of the TICUA member colleges and universities. Additionally, 26% of the degrees were awarded to students age 25 and over. The most popular degrees awarded to adult learners included business, health related fields, and criminal justice.
The Maryville Downtown Association (MDA) announces the 10th annual “Maryville Uncorked” Wine & Silent Auction Event. An annual fundraiser for the MDA, Uncorked will take place at the Capital Theatre and Substance Solutions, both on Broadway in Downtown Maryville on October 17, 2019 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. A new VIP event will take place at The Everly on Broadway from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., prior to the regular event. VIP ticket holders will also be admitted to the regular event. Tickets are $45 for the regular event prior to October 1 and $50 thereafter. Tickets to the VIP event are $75. Designated Driver tickets are available for $20 early bird & $25 at the door. Tickets will be available for sale at MaryvilleUncorked.com.
The event includes a broad sampling of heavy hors-d'oeuvre from local restaurants, a unique tasting of an assortment of wines provided by Green Meadow Liquor, an introduction of select wines from the local winery Cades Cove Cellars, a signature commemorative glass, and music by Robinella and Pistol Creek. Local restaurant participants are Sullivan's Fine Food, Barley's Taproom & Pizzeria, R.T. Lodge, Walnut Kitchen, Vienna Coffee House, Amici, & Full Service BBQ. Held previously for the past several years at Vienna Coffee, the event has outgrown the space and expanded to several venues on Broadway.
The VIP Event at the Everly includes catering from Metz Culinary, a Downtown Maryville swag bag, wines exclusive to the VIP event and music by the Doug Harris Jazz Trio.
In addition to food and wine tasting, there will be a Wine Grab. Participants donate $20, for one gift-wrapped bottle of wine. The collection consists of assorted priced bottles of wine valued between $20-$150. A silent auction with items ranging from performance tickets, art, services, gift cards to local business, and much more.
Maryville Uncorked has been made possible by the following sponsors: Russell Abbott Heating and Cooling, Tillman Companies, Blount County Partnership, The Everly, Capitol Theater, Substance Solutions, Bill Cox Furniture, Allevia Technologies, Misty Castiglia State Farm Agency, Green Meadow Wine and Spirits, Quality Financial Concepts, Novatech, The Daily Times, CBBC Bank, David Shanks, Bryan Insurance Group, Brackins Blues Club, and Northwestern Mutual.
Knoxville, TN, Sept. 9, 2019: SmartRIA and Greytwist have announced today the acquisition by SmartRIA of Greytwist Data Governance, a solution for vendor due diligence and management, personally identifiable information (PII) data governance and cybersecurity policy and procedures management and oversight. The asset sale includes the Greytwist Data Governance software platform, which will be integrated into the SmartRIA Compliance Management Platform. Greytwist Data Governance customers will become part of the SmartRIA customer family and continue to be supported.
The rollout of EU’s GDPR regulation of PII data and recent statements from the SEC together with the near-constant stories of massive data breaches and cyber theft have brought this area of compliance to the forefront of everyone’s awareness. Founded by Brian Bero and Brad Demeter in 2018, Greytwist Data Governance is a forward-looking solution that simplifies and standardizes multiple complex aspects of this new and rapidly growing compliance market, including a centralized database of cybersecurity profiles of common vendors and a unique approach to mapping out use of client data across organizations.
“Greytwist Data Governance has taken a bold step forward in standardizing a deeply complex problem. We believe their unique approach to solving the troubling issues around data governance and vendor management, combined with SmartRIA’s Compliance Management Platform and our continuing passion for simplifying compliance is a very powerful combination,” said SmartRIA CEO Mac Bartine, who will continue to lead the combined platforms.
Brian Bero, Co-Founder of Greytwist, also commented: “Working with the SmartRIA team, we quickly learned that their market knowledge, development expertise and commitment to customer success matched our vision for Greytwist Data Governance. Joining forces with SmartRIA will accelerate the product roadmap and deliver innovation to our customers in the market. I look forward to working together to support our customers and shared vision of simplifying compliance for investment advisors.”
SmartRIA’s expanded business will serve more than 1,500 wealth management firms ranging in size from one-person shops to large firms with over $15 Billion in assets under management.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Sept. 18, 2019) – FirstBank Mortgage, as part of its community reinvestment expansion, has launched its FirstBank Borrower Benefit program, which will provide $1 million in down payment assistance to qualified borrowers over the next two years.
The program is intended for borrowers purchasing a single-family, primary residence in low- to moderate-income areas within FirstBank’s lending footprint. Funds would be available for 5% of the loan amount, up to a maximum of $5,000, for the use of down payment and/or closing costs. Funds will have no interest rate and no associated monthly repayment terms.
Tennessee: Bedford, Benton, Cannon, Carroll, Chester, Coffee, Crockett, Cumberland, Davidson, Decatur, DeKalb, Dickson, Fayette, Franklin, Hamilton, Henderson, Henry, Humphreys, Jefferson, Knox, Lincoln, Madison, Moore, Perry, Putnam, Rhea, Rutherford, Shelby, Williamson and Wilson
“We are proud to provide assistance to those customers who are striving for home ownership,” said Wib Evans, President of FB Ventures, which includes the bank’s mortgage operations. “We realize that financial obstacles can make it difficult to own a home, and the FirstBank Mortgage team wants to eliminate as many barriers as we can. We advocate for our community members and do everything possible to help people get to a better place.”
The FirstBank Borrower Benefit program comes one year after the mortgage division announced its community reinvestment program in Nashville and Memphis that provides support for families in the affordable housing market through lending, education and investment.
For details regarding the FirstBank Borrower Benefit program, contact your local FirstBank Mortgage banker. For more information about FirstBank Mortgage’s community initiatives, visit https://fbmortgageloans.com/loan-help/.
Knoxville, TN [September 16] – On Saturday, September 28, 2019, CVS Health is hosting a call center open house and hiring fair to fill more than 400 full-time Customer Service Representative positions in Knoxville, TN. These customer service representatives will take inbound calls and provide information to our members so that they better understand their coverage and options, which include prescription refills, order status, and insurance coverage.
To fill these positions, interested candidates are asked to complete a short online application prior to attending the hiring event: http://adtrk.tw/tp/rj6_cHzYQ_I.K
Upon completion of the online application, candidates are invited to attend the hiring fair on September 28 where they can expect a 15 minute interview with the CVS Health team. Applicants are asked to dress business casual and bring one form of identification and a resume.
Who: Individuals with diverse work experience in customer service (at least six months experience) and a high school diploma or equivalent
Where: CVS Health, 2401 Cherahala Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932 (free parking available)
CVS Health is the nation's premier health innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Whether in one of its pharmacies or through its health services and plans, CVS Health is pioneering a bold new approach to total health by making quality care more affordable, accessible, simple and seamless. CVS Health is community-based and locally focused, engaging consumers with the care they need when and where they need it. The Company has approximately 9,900 retail locations, approximately 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 102 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year and expanding specialty pharmacy services. CVS Health also serves an estimated 38 million people through traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including rapidly expanding Medicare Advantage offerings and a leading standalone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. The Company believes its innovative health care model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.
Baltimore (September 17, 2019) – GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum, one of the most influential national news outlets in the commercial real estate industry, has honored the Kern’s Bakery redevelopment with its Opportunity Zone Redevelopment Achievement Award. It came as part of the Adaptive Reuse 2019 awards gala Sept. 16 in Baltimore. The Knoxville, Tennessee project is also profiled online and featured in the September print issue of GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum magazine.
The publication noted that the mixed-use redevelopment will “reinvigorate” the area as a mixed-use development. The 16-acre project, praised for its innovation, will include:
Retailers, restaurants and collaborative office space within the renovated bakery itself, creating a 75,000-square foot destination with locally-sourced and highly- curated mix of restaurants, specialty purveyors, kiosks, pop-up shops and open seating areas for socializing and listening to live music
Boutique housing designed to appeal to millennials and members of Generation Z – including young professionals, graduate students, medical students and upper classmen
A brand-name limited-service hotel to serve out-of-town visitors and business travelers
Kern’s Bakery is located near downtown Knoxville – and one of the most extensive natural urban environments on the East Coast. Completion is expected in Fall of next year.
The opportunity zone program is designed to spur economic development and job growth in areas the U.S. Treasury Department has certified as needing reinvestment.
“We are dedicated to preserving the character of the building and restoring this amazing piece of Knoxville’s history,” states Mallory & Evans Partners principal Alex Dominguez, who accepted the award. “This unique environment will organically attract the best merchants and deliver the authentic, engaging experiences people desire.”
Mallory & Evans Partners, based in Atlanta, is redeveloping Kern’s Bakery. Its principals wield decades of collaborative commercial real estate experience. Ozone Capital Management, LLC, which specializes in opportunity zone investments, is an equity partner for the multifamily component. Johnson Architecture is the architect. For more information, visit experiencekernsbakery.com.
Knoxville, Tenn.—SmartFinancial (Nasdaq: SMBK), the parent company of SmartBank, announced today the organization was named to Fortune’s annual 100 Fastest-Growing Companies list, ranking No. 55 among the world’s top performers.
The Fortune 100 Fastest-Growing Companies are publicly traded companies ranked each year by revenue growth rate, EPS growth rate and three-year annualized total return. SmartFinancial achieved growth rates of 42 percent, 37 percent and 11 percent, respectively. The overall rank is based on the sum of three ranks.
“This is quite an honor for our company to be recognized alongside some of the most influential businesses in the world,” said Miller Welborn, SmartBank Chairman of the Board. “I am very proud of the hard work of our team as their dedication and commitment continue to set us apart and truly fuels our growth.”
This is SmartFinancial’s first appearance on the list, which includes some of world’s leading companies, including Netflix, Amazon and Facebook. The entire 2019 Fortune 100 Fastest-Growing Companies list can be found here.
“This recognition is a direct reflection of the quality of the team we have in place and I couldn’t be happier for them,” said Billy Carroll, president and CEO of SmartBank. “We’ve been fortunate to expand to some great communities over the past few years and we’ll continue to look for opportunities in other markets as part of our future growth strategy.”
Today, SmartFinancial, has 397 associates, $2.3 billion in total assets and 29 branches across three states.
Knoxville, Tenn., September 16, 2019 – Volunteer East Tennessee’s fifth annual Volunteer Expo (#VolExpo19), the region’s largest volunteer fair returns to West Town Mall on Saturday, September 28, 2019 from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM. This free, public event gives community members access to nearly 40 participating nonprofits in one place to learn about ways to volunteer. The annual event was started by Volunteer East Tennessee to make it easier for organizations and volunteers to connect face-to-face.
Volunteer Expo attendees can meet and learn about one-time or long-term volunteer opportunities from participating organizations representing the arts, youth programs, animal welfare, health, human services and more.
“The Volunteer Expo is the best event for anyone looking to volunteer but is not sure where to start,” said Alyson Gallaher, Executive Director of Volunteer East Tennessee. “Volunteer East Tennessee is committed to matching community volunteers with nonprofit organizations that fit with their interests, work with their schedule, and skill set. We are excited to organize and host this event for the greater Knoxville area.”
The first 100 attendees to create volunteer accounts on-site or show proof of an existing volunteer account with www.volunteeretn.org, will receive a Volunteer East Tennessee water bottle. Community members participating in the Volunteer Expo will also be eligible for a gift card raffle.
For more information on the Volunteer Expo (#VolExpo19) and for a list of participating nonprofits, go to VolunteerETN.org/VolunteerExpo or contact Amelea Everett, Program Manager at 865.582.4085. Volunteer East Tennessee can also be reached through these social media channels:
Volunteer East Tennessee’s mission is to inspire service by equipping organizations and mobilizing volunteers to connect with one another and strengthen communities. Volunteer East Tennessee is a nonprofit organization that offers a unique technology that will assist local nonprofit organizations with fulfilling their needs with quality volunteers, volunteer training, and a broader reach into the community and region.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Discover the trailblazers and innovators behind Knoxville’s growing startup community during 2019 Innov865 Week, coming up September 23 – 27, 2019. The annual entrepreneurship festival, hosted by the Innov865 Alliance, spotlights Knoxville as a great place to start and grow businesses and connects the entrepreneurs planting roots here with support systems to succeed.
Innov865 Week boasts a range of events for everyone in the community to support local economic development, from investors and regional entrepreneurs to community leaders and students. “Entrepreneurship is essential to the success of our community,” said Tom Rogers, president and CEO of the UT Research Park at Cherokee Farm and founding member of the Innov865 Alliance. “When we invest in building a supportive, high-growth ecosystem for aspiring and mature startups to grow their businesses here, everyone in Knoxville benefits.”
This year’s featured guest is Ted Serbinski, the managing director of Techstars Mobility, the first U.S. startup accelerator program focused on next-generation mobility technologies. Techstars is an American seed accelerator with more than 1,900 companies in its portfolio and has invested $6.2 billion in startups since 2006. Serbinski is a founding member and former partner of Detroit Venture Partners, a $55 million seed-stage fund that has invested in more than 25 companies.
The week’s premier event is Startup Day, Tuesday, September 24, at the Mill & Mine in downtown Knoxville. This year’s festivities are bigger than ever: a mayoral forum moderated by WATE 6 On Your Side is planned, where the two candidates competing in the November general election to become Knoxville’s next mayor will present their visions for entrepreneurship and innovation. Other activities include a fireside chat with Genera, a local startup affiliated with the University of Tennessee Research Foundation that recently secured a $118 million investment for sustainable packaging and fiber products made from grass.
Startup Day’s main event is the annual “Shark-Tank”-style pitch competition for a chance to win up to $10,000 in cash prizes. This year, six of Knoxville’s most investable startups will pitch their businesses on-stage before a panel of expert judges. In addition to the opportunity to spotlight their startup for investors, entrepreneurs will compete for a “crowd favorite” cash prize presented by SunTrust Bank. The 2019 expert judges panel features Richard Dapaah, venture partner with FundRX and Knoxville Entrepreneur Center executive-in-residence; Sue Malone, president of Strategies for Small Business; and featured guest Ted Serbinski with Techstars.
The competing startups were hand-selected by the Innov865 Alliance for their extraordinary potential and investability. They are:
Active Energy – startup offering ultra-efficient, low-cost thermal energy storage utilizing the world’s first “icephobic coating,” a patent-pending invention that creates a surface impervious to freezing water, thus improving cooling performance by completely eliminating ice build-up.
EDP Biotech – medical device diagnostics company with novel platform technology enabling earlier detection of diseases such as colorectal cancer, using machine learning and multiplexing to perform more advanced and efficient blood tests.
Reviewbox – e-commerce software platform that enables brands and manufacturers to track product reviews and sales data across online retail sites like Amazon, providing visibility into every aspect of an e-commerce business and connecting companies directly with their customers.
SmartRIA – software platform with proprietary technology that simplifies compliance for investment advisors, saving firms and hybrid firms time and money in maintaining compliance with federal and state regulations.
TCPoly – 3D printing company developing advanced materials and technology, including the world’s highest thermal conductivity filament (50x higher than traditional plastics). When combined with the design freedom of 3D printing, can be used to make lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and high-performance heat transfer components.
Winter Innovations – medical device company inventing novel orthopedic surgical tools that improve patient outcomes in high-risk procedures, such as the EasyWhipTM specialty needle that improves the stability, speed, and efficiency of graft stitching, a critical component of surgery for torn ligaments and tendons.
Startup Day is free and open to the public; doors will open at 1:30pm. Tickets are available now online.
In addition to Startup Day, Innov865 Week is full of both public and invitation-only festivities including a reception with local startups and venture capitalists; an Investor Series with GRIDSMART founder and CEO Bill Malkes; investor speed pitching; a celebration of Oak Ridge National Lab’s Innovation Crossroads graduates and incoming cohort of new energy startups; frequent happy hours and networking opportunities. To learn more about the week’s events and details, visit www.innov865.com/calendar/2019-09/. This calendar will be updated as events are added throughout the week.
SAVANNAH, GA. – Sept. 12, 2019 – Green Badger, the leading software solution for LEED certification for the construction industry, has named the global construction B2B agency Ripley PR as its public relations agency of record.
“The team at Ripley PR understands our industry and the people who work in it,” said Green Badger CEO and founder Tommy Linstroth. “They’ve got a lot of experience and deliver powerful results for companies in construction, technology and sustainability, so we’re confident they’ll help us build awareness as the top platform for LEED certification. We’ve seen the dynamic work they’ve done for other businesses like ours, so we’re looking forward to a productive partnership as we move ahead.”
Green Badger is a comprehensive cloud-based software solution for project teams to manage LEED documentation from the start of a project to completion. The Green Badger platform cuts the time spent on LEED documentation by more than 60% with features including a real-time project dashboard; a database of thousands of green construction products; a collaborative activity tracker; and a mobile app that allows project managers to complete onsite inspections and instantly verify products.
“Green Badger is solving a real problem for contractors by automating the labor-intensive LEED process,” said Heather Ripley, CEO of Ripley PR. “It saves them and their customers time and money and makes LEED projects easier to understand and manage. It’s a great value to the construction industry, and it’s also making sustainable building more accessible. We’re anticipating a fruitful relationship as we help Tommy and his team build awareness of the fantastic solution they’re offering.”
In addition to empowering the building industry, Green Badger is committed to an eco-friendly business model. Green Badger is a carbon neutral company and plants 10 trees for every new subscription.
Ripley PR specializes in construction and B2B technology public relations. The global agency offers strategic communications services for its clients, including crisis management, media relations and social media strategies. The agency’s unique combination of strategic business accounting and creative public relations help clients build brand awareness, establish positive reputations and drive increased leads and sales. For more information visit www.ripleypr.com or call (865) 977-1973.
Knoxville, TN – September 13, 2019 - GEM Technologies is pleased to announce a $10,000 donation to the Pellissippi State Community College Foundation to support the construction of the new Bill Haslam Center for Math and Science.
Pellissippi State is Tennessee’s largest community college, and the 82,000-foot Bill Haslam Center for Math and Science will play an integral part in meeting the increasing demand for lab spaces and classrooms on Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, which has the largest enrollment of the college’s five campuses.
“As a long-time neighbor to Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, GEM is thrilled to partner with the college as they continue their excellent work educating the students of the community,” said GEM President and CEO Michael Evans after presenting GEM’s contribution to Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. on Sept. 13.
GEM, a small business leader in East Tennessee, currently employs a local workforce of approximately 200 engineers, scientists, professionals and skilled staff. The company recognizes the importance of the further development of the math and science programs at Pellissippi State and looks forward to strengthening the bridge from college graduation to career placement for graduates.
The construction of the Bill Haslam Center for Math and Science is essential to Pellissippi State as demands for classrooms and lab spaces have increased due to the introduction of Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect, last-dollar scholarships that provide two years of tuition-free attendance at a community or technical college in Tennessee. Haslam, the governor of Tennessee from 2011 to 2019, was instrumental in the creation and advancement of these programs.
Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus has not received any major renovations or new buildings for more than a decade. The addition of the Bill Haslam Center for Math and Science will add a significant amount of instructional space, including nine science labs and six computer labs, 18 classrooms, and a teacher education center.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary this September, GEM is focused on the future and working towards strengthening partnerships and support to the community, and firmly believes that investing in education and workforce development is key to supporting the continuous growth in the East Tennessee region.
KNOXVILLE, TN (September 11, 2019) – October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month—the perfect time to discuss the importance of early detection. Tennova Healthcare is spreading the word about mammograms and encouraging women to get screened for the breast cancer.
Tennova is offering a Mammogram Special at six locations in East Tennessee. Bring your mom, daughter, sister or a female friend to one of the following locations between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., and you will also enjoy special pampering and a gift:
Appointments are required. To schedule your screening mammogram, call 865-545-7771 or toll-free at 866-645-7771.
One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related death among women in Tennessee. Although the causes of breast cancer are still unknown, there are many factors including advancing age and family history that may increase someone’s risk for breast cancer.
“Mammograms save lives,” said Janine Mingie, director of the Tennova Breast Centers at North Knoxville Medical Center and Turkey Creek Medical Center. “Today, thanks to early detection and treatment advances, women are surviving breast cancer and living longer, healthier lives.”
For women of average risk, the American College of Radiology and Society of Breast Imaging recommend annual screening mammograms beginning at age 40. Different guidelines apply to women at higher risk. A screening mammogram can help detect breast cancer in its earliest and most treatable stages.
“The fact is that mammography is the best tool available to screen for breast cancer,” Mingie said. “At present, there are no tests to replace mammography.”
Tennova Healthcare offers breast imaging services including digital mammography at North Knoxville Medical Center, Turkey Creek Medical Center, Jefferson Memorial Hospital, LaFollette Medical Center, Newport Medical Center and Tennova South.
Screening mammograms are covered by most health insurance plans. Appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis. An order from a physician is not required, but the patient must provide a physician/provider name when an appointment is made. If the patient does not have a physician/provider, a list will be provided for the patient’s selection. All mammogram reports will be sent to the physician/provider and follow-ups are the responsibility of the patient.
Lenoir City, Tennessee (September 10, 2019) – The SureStay Hotel by Best Western Lenoir City has opened its doors in Lenoir City, Tennessee, and invites travelers to experience one of the newest hotel brands in the industry – the SureStay Hotel Group.
The newly renovated SureStay Hotel by Best Western Lenoir City will provide guests with an experience they can count on and the amenities today’s travelers have come to expect. The SureStay service promise reflects the brand and the hotel’s commitment to providing quality service and value to its guests.
Located at 400 Interchange Park Drive, Lenoir City, Tennessee, the hotel features 33 renovated and well-appointed guest rooms and six suites, all with new furniture and air conditioners, flat screen televisions, microwaves and mini fridges; select suites also feature a whirlpool jacuzzi and sofa bed. The SureStay Hotel by Best Western Lenoir City also offers an outdoor pool with upgraded pool area, renovated breakfast room, free onsite parking for large trucks and RVs, complimentary hot breakfast and free wireless internet – providing guests with the superior comfort and utmost value they want out of their stay.
The property’s location is optimal for guests interested in exploring the nearby area as it is just a short drive from Lenoir City Park, Rock Springs Park, Tellico Reservoir, Tennessee Valley Winery, and close to the Great Smoky Mountains and attraction-filled Gatlinburg area.
“We are thrilled to welcome a new hotel to our growing brand: the SureStay Hotel by Best Western Lenoir City,” said Rob Mentnech, Managing Director of SureStay Hotel Group. “Whether visiting the area for business or to see the beautiful nearby areas and attractions, guests will appreciate this option of an affordable, quality hotel.”
“Our guests will love our newly renovated hotel and the many amenities we offer as part of their stay: free high-speed internet throughout the hotel, complimentary breakfast, and quality customer care,” said Ken Patel, Owner and General Manager of the SureStay Hotel by Best Western Lenoir City. “Our clean and brand-new guest rooms, designed to exceed guest expectations and featuring wonderful amenities, will be sure to enhance each guest’s stay.”
KNOXVILLE, Tenn., September 9, 2019 – CICS Services, LLC (CICS) announced today the launch of a new reinsurance pool for property and casualty coverages. Knox Reinsurance Company Inc., referred to as Knox Re, is licensed and regulated by the North Carolina Department of Insurance.
Designed for small and mid-market businesses, Knox Re is a homogeneous pool that provides more predictable underwriting results with features designed to stabilize costs long term, simplify administrative burdens and help participating businesses gain greater control of their insurance programs.
“Access to appropriate risk distribution and collateral has long been a sticking point for captives looking to write more traditional lines of coverage,” said Nate Reznicek, Director of Operations at CIC Services. “With the formation of Knox Re our best in class clients are now able to easily access A+ carrier programs and take risk and retain underwriting profit in their property and casualty coverages.”
Knox Re is open to insureds from almost all industries and trade classes and helps ensure smooth losses and predictable results for program participants. “Knox Re also provides great benefit to our carrier and broker partners,” said Mr. Reznicek. “Our strict underwriting methodology helps ensure that our carrier partners and client advisors can have great comfort in the quality of the captive participants, their underlying risk management practices, and repeatable underwriting results.”
Knox Re’s portfolio approach allows for small and mid-market businesses to enter the captive market and replace commercial insurance coverage with A+ rated carriers at only $250,000 of combined premium. Knox Re is now available to quote to qualified insureds. Brokers for quality insureds and existing captive owners are encouraged to visit https://captivatingthinking.com/bundled-captive-insurance-program/, or contact CIC Services directly at 865-248-3044.
CIC Services, LLC is a risk management and consulting firm, specializing in the formation and operation of captive insurance companies for our clients nationwide. As an independent captive insurance manager, CICS provides unparalleled solutions to small and mid-sized businesses in all industry sectors and prides itself on the ability to take the unique complexities of insurance company operations and simplify them for the needs of clients. By “lifting the veil” on the insurance industry, CICS enables insureds to participate in risk management and profit in a manner that has been previously exclusive to the Fortune 500.
CICS has been helping businesses setup and own their own insurance companies for nearly two decades, and is authorized to manage captives in multiple domestic and international jurisdictions from its headquarters in Knoxville, TN.
Knoxville, TN (September 5, 2019) --The online Master of Science in Supply Chain Management at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business has launched with a full student cohort. The program, created with Noodle Partners, capitalizes on UT’s leading role in the supply chain industry to connect students to a thriving network of corporate leaders.
Haslam consistently ranks among the top five schools in the country in supply chain management. The online master’s program is the first of 10 such programs that will launch in a university-wide agreement with Noodle Partners.
The initial cohort includes more than 40 students from companies including Apple, J Crew, Nissan, Volkswagen and more. The class, comprised of 39 percent women, 20 percent underrepresented minorities and 7 percent international students, will learn together virtually from their respective home cities.
“The launch of the MS Supply Chain online represents a significant step forward for the Haslam College of Business,” said Bruce Behn, associate dean for graduate and executive education at Haslam. “We are extremely proud of this first class and salute their commitment to equipping themselves with the knowledge and skills necessary to become outstanding supply chain leaders as they continue in their careers.”
An especially appealing aspect of the program to students is the Global Supply Chain Institute’s (GSCI) partnership with industry leaders. More than 250 professionals from 70 top companies gather in Knoxville to share insights, learn and network. More corporate partners work with the GSCI than any other university-based Supply Chain Management program. Partners include such Fortune 100 companies as Google, Amazon, Dell, FedEx Services, PepsiCo, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company and Walmart.
Many of Haslam’s corporate partners send their employees to the online master’s program and the Executive MBA program, which is ranked No. 1 in the world for curriculum relevance by The Economist.
“This is one of our largest ever inaugural cohorts,” said John Katzman, CEO of Noodle Partners. “The market has spoken. Haslam has a powerful position in the supply chain industry and there has been consistent demand from corporations. Students are eager to be a part of the program.”
Enrollment is now open for the January 2020 cohort with a priority deadline of October 10, 2019 and a final deadline of December 6, 2019. Learn more and apply.
The Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, founded in 1914, consists of approximately 5,500 undergraduate and graduate students. Its seven departments, seven centers and institutes, four forums and graduate and executive education programs reach across the for profit, not-for-profit and governmental sectors of business with a heavy emphasis on practical research. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, was founded in 1794 and was designated Tennessee’s land-grant institution in 1879.
Founded by a team of education and technology veterans, Noodle Partners creates innovative online and hybrid programs while improving traditional classroom models. Noodle Partners has the capability to work with universities on every aspect of building a certificate or degree program that they choose—marketing, student recruitment, enrollment, curriculum design, student engagement, support services, graduate placement and alumni engagement—and provides a high level of fit and finish. For more information, visit noodlepartners.com or follow onTwitter @Noodle_Partners or LinkedIn.
KNOXVILLE, TN (September 6, 2019) – Tennova Healthcare’s LaFollette Health & Rehabilitation Center has been recognized as a four-star facility by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS). The skilled and intermediate care facility has exceeded the national average in both overall quality and the health inspection rating. Additionally, LaFollette Health & Rehabilitation Center also achieved the national average for staffing.
CMS developed the quality rating system to help consumers compare skilled nursing service providers. Each year, CMS rates the nation’s skilled nursing facilities on a one to five scale and publishes the ratings on its “Nursing Home Compare” website (www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare). The website provides further details on the three primary components of the rating system: health inspection, quality measures and staffing.
LaFollette Health & Rehabilitation Center was one of 1,087 skilled nursing facilities out of more than 15,000 nationwide to receive a four-star rating. “This achievement is a reflection of the hard work and commitment of our staff toward providing a positive experience for our residents,” said Mark Cain, chief executive officer of LaFollette Medical Center.
LaFollette Health & Rehabilitation Center—located adjacent to LaFollette Medical Center at 200 Torrey Road in LaFollette, Tennessee—offers skilled and intermediate care as well as rehabilitation services on a short- or long-term basis.
The 98-bed facility features newly renovated private and semi-private rooms as well as a new activities-of-daily-living suite and physical therapy gym. Special amenities include a free beauty/barber shop, nutritious meals, counseling services, a wheelchair-accessible van, in-house activities and group outings. Safety and security systems feature sprinklers in all patient rooms.
According to Cain, extensive skilled nursing services are provided for residents who need hospital-type care in a homelike environment. Services include respiratory care, wound care, alternative nutritional intake, 24-hour monitoring and intravenous therapy. Intermediate care is designed for individuals who require 24-hour assistance, but not to the extent of skilled care. Services include bathing, feeding, dressing, toileting, medication administration, mobility assistance and restorative nursing.
The facility’s short-term rehabilitation program helps individuals after stroke, orthopedic surgery or illness to achieve functional abilities that allow for a return home and resumption of normal activities. Specialized services include cognitive rehabilitation, daily living and self-care retraining, mobility retraining, occupational therapy, physical therapy, skin care and wound care, speech/language therapy and swallow therapy.
“With a great reputation in the community, LaFollette Health & Rehabilitation Center offers quality care in a comfortable setting,” Cain said. “Its reputation is further backed up by a long history of exceptional reports from the Tennessee Department of Health and now our four-star CMS rating. I’m very proud of our experienced team—and their caring approach to each and every resident—that make achievements like this possible.”
To learn more about LaFollette Health & Rehabilitation Center or to schedule a tour, call 423-907-1379.
KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE – Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center has received multiple national quality achievement awards from the American Heart Association, placing Fort Sanders Regional in an elite group of providers focused on complex and highly specialized stroke and cardiac care. The awards include Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus with Target: Stroke Elite Plus Honor Roll Award; the Mission: Lifeline Receiving Gold Plus Award; and Mission: Lifeline NSTEMI Bronze achievement.
The Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus with Target: Stroke Elite Plus award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet stringent quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA.
In receiving the stroke achievement awards, Fort Sanders Regional met specific achievement measures with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. The hospital received the Gold Plus award by achieving 24 consecutive months’ performance at 85% of these achievement measures and 75% or greater on at least five of the program’s eight stroke quality measures. To receive the association’s Target: stroke Elite Plus Honor Roll award, Fort Sanders Regional achieved a time to intravenous stroke therapy within 60 minutes in 75% or more of acute ischemic stroke patients treated intravenously and 50% or more treated within 45 minutes, placing the hospital in the top echelons of stroke centers in the United States.
The hospital was also recognized for excellent cardiac care with the Mission: Lifeline Gold Plus Receiving Quality Achievement Award and the Mission: Lifeline NSTEMI Bronze Quality Achievement Award. These awards recognize Fort Sanders Regional for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association for the treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks. The hospital earned the STEMI Gold Plus Receiving Award by attaining 24 consecutive months’ performance at 75% or greater on the achievement measures.
“These designations recognize the dedicated work our physicians and staff put in daily to ensure our patients receive excellent, quality care,” said Keith Altshuler, chief administrative officer of Fort Sanders Regional. “These recognitions represent our increased focus on providing the best stroke and cardiac care for our community.”
These designations reinforce Fort Sanders Regional’s standing as a Stroke Center of Excellence, and the only facility in the region to hold both a Comprehensive Stroke Center certification from The Joint Commission and two separate stroke accreditations from the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. The designations also support Fort Sanders Regional’s Heart Center’s reputation for comprehensive cardiovascular services and treating some of the most complex cardiac cases in the region. For more information visit www.fsregional.com.
Maryville-based Ripley PR has been named one of Entrepreneur’s top 10 franchise public relations companies for 2019. Each year, Entrepreneur ranks Top Franchise Suppliers in 10 categories, including accounting, legal services, marketing and public relations.
Entrepreneur determines the ranking by surveying more than 500 franchisors on the service providers they use and their satisfaction level. Top-scoring suppliers make it on the annual list.
UT students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the local community, are encouraged to pitch their business ideas at Vol Court, a semiannual pitch competition and speaker series presented by the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in UT’s Haslam College of Business.
The series begins today [Wednesday, September 4]. Winners may receive up to $1,500 in prize money and space in the UT Research Foundation Business Incubator along with legal and accounting services and other prizes.
The series and competition are open to the public. There is no charge to participate in the event, and anyone interested in entrepreneurship is invited to attend.
Designed to introduce participants to entrepreneurship, series topics provide a starting point to help advance business ideas into reality.
“We’re excited to open this year with new topics and speakers,” said Shawn Carson, Vol Court director. “If you’re curious about entrepreneurship and start-ups, Vol Court is the place to begin. We encourage participants to bring their ideas and questions to share with our experts.”
The fall 2019 series includes five interactive entrepreneurial speaker sessions with local entrepreneurs and UT alumni.
The program culminates on October 9 in a pitch competition where attendees put what they’ve learned into practice. Cash prizes are awarded to first-, second-, and third-place winners.
Vol Court meets from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. every Wednesday from September 4 through October 9. All sessions will be held in the Haslam Business Building, Stokely Management Center, and the Student Union. See the Vol Court schedule for room locations.
Anyone who plans to participate in the October 9 pitch competition must attend four of the five speaker sessions listed below:
Vol Court is made possible by donated funds and services from partners including first-place-prize partner Red Stag Fulfillment, the UT Research Foundation, PYA, Morehous Legal Group, Three Roots Capital, Innovative Design Inc., and Make Me Modern.
Knoxville, TN. – Tessa Johnson, DDS, and Alivia Shasteen, DMD, will soon be offering dental services to the community of Knoxville at their brand new office, Halls Crossroads Dental Care. The new full-service, state-of-the-art family dental practice is set to open on Thursday, September 12.
Halls Crossroads Dental Care will be fully equipped with the latest products and equipment available in the dental industry, offering Dr. Johnson, Dr. Shasteen, and their dental team the opportunity to provide the most up-to-date procedures and services to their patients. From routine cleanings and simple fillings to more in-depth restorative and cosmetic services, patients can expect individualized care to help them keep their teeth for a lifetime.
“We are excited to be joining the Knoxville community to offer high quality dental services to families and individuals of all ages,” said Dr. Johnson. “Our mission is to provide exceptional experiences to each patient who walks through our doors.”
Dr. Johnson attended the University Of Tennessee Health Science Center College Of Dentistry for her Doctorate of Dental Surgery, where she graduated with honors.
“Dental health is vital to overall health, so we want to help our patients make the best decisions for their care,” said Dr. Shasteen “We plan to educate patients on the importance of dental care and encourage them to adopt an ongoing preventative care routine.”
Dr. Shasteen received her Doctorate of Dental Medicine from the University Of New England College Of Dental Medicine.
Dr. Johnson, Dr. Shasteen and team are proud to serve the Knoxville community, providing first-class general, cosmetic and restorative dentistry and outstanding patient service. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 865-262-8940 or visit HallsCrossroadsDentalCare.com. Halls Crossroads Dental Care is located at 7418 Norris Freeway in Knoxville. The office is now accepting new patients.
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