Tag Archives: Knoxville Chamber

Nominations open for annual Pinnacle Business Awards

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Nominations for the Knoxville Chamber’s 10th annual Pinnacle Business Awards are now open.
The nominations will be accepted through 5 p.m. Feb. 28. The awards recognize the achievements of top businesses and entrepreneurs in the Knoxville area.
You do not have to be a Chamber member to nominate a company for an award.
Award categories are: Young Entrepreneur, Small Business Excellence, Minority-Owned Business Excellence, Woman-Owned Business Excellence, Business Excellence, Innovator and Impact .
The awards will be presented May 2 at the Pinnacle Awards Gala, which will be held at the Knoxville Convention Center.
The highlight of the event is typically presentation of the James A. Haslam II Leadership Award, which is given to a business leader who “exhibits strength in character, resolve and a commitment to the community and exemplary success in the regional business community,” according to the Chamber website.
Click here for more information about the awards.
Click here for an online nomination form.

‘What’s the Big Idea’ biz competition is back

The Knoxville Chamber’s “What’s the Big Idea” business plan
competition is back and this year it comes with  a dose of reality television.

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Borrowing an element from the hit TV show “The Voice” – a group
of successful entrepreneurs will coach contestants who make the semifinal
round.

Applications for the contest are now being accepted. Inventors,
entrepreneurs and anyone else with a “big idea” can click here to apply online at the chamber website.

The deadline to apply is April 8. The competition is
sponsored by the chamber, the Development Corporation of Knox County and Tech
2020.

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Crushed glass furniture wins business plan competition

Knoxville businessman Mark Wassenaar wants to turn broken beer bottles into flooring, countertops and casual furniture.

Wassenaar’s idea may sound unusual but it won this year’s What’s the Big Idea!? Business Plan Competition sponsored by The Development Corporation of Knox County, Knoxville Chamber and Tech 2020.

“We were impressed by all the entrepreneurs who took part in this competition,” Development Corp. Executive Vice President Todd Napier said in a news release. “Virtuous Products shows an enormous amount of promise and the judges indicated they expect big things from the start-up in the years to come.”

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Knoxville job market best in the nation

Job creation is looking up in Knoxville – way up. A new survey by Manpower Group says that Knoxville will have the strongest job market in the country in the second quarter.

Twenty-five percent of Knoxville employers surveyed said they will be adding jobs in the second quarter, up from 17 percent in the first quarter this year and 18 percent in the second quarter 2011.

Only 1 percent of the metro Knoxville business surveyed said they will be cutting jobs this spring.

“Among survey participants, the Knoxville, TN MSA employment outlook is the best in the nation,” Manpower said in a news release.

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Schmooz next week with your business friends

The fifth version of Schmoozapalooza, the Knoxville Chambers’ networking extravaganza, will be held Sept. 29 at Turkey Creek Public Market, 11221 Outlet Drive.

Exhibitors include dozens of big and small companies from throughout the area. Previous schmooz fests have attracted hundreds of biz people looking to connect with potential vendors, customers and employers.

Click here for registration info and a full list of exhibitors.

Security pays off for Sword & Shield

Security technology services continues to be a very lucrative business for Sword & Shield Enterprise Security Inc.

The Knoxville based company’s revenues jumped to $139.1 million in 2010 from $73.6 million in 2009. That 89 percent increase was good for No. 133 on the Everything Channel’s 2011 VAR500 rankings.

The VAR500 ranks the largest value-added resellers, solution providers and integrators in North America according to revenue. Sword & Shield was No. 300 on the previous ranking. The 2011 list was released earlier this week at the VAR500 executives conference in Jacksonville, Fla.

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Educators in the Workplace registration deadline Saturday

Knoxville area teachers interested in learning more about local businesses have until Saturday to apply for this year’s Educators in the Workplace program.

Since 2009 the Knoxville Chamber has sponsored a summer program that connects teachers across the Innovation Valley with local companies.

Teachers can learn first-hand about the skills their students will need when they enter the work force,” said Garrett Wagley, the chamber’s vice president of policy and public relations.

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Tennessee chambers blast Wall Street Journal

In response to a stinging Wall Street Journal editorial, the Knoxville, Chattanooga and Nashville chambers of commerce have sent a letter to the Journal editor to set the record straight regarding the chambers’ position on the controversial school voucher issue.

The Journal accused the chambers of “joining with the teachers unions to kill education vouchers” in an editorial published on May 13 under the headline: “Tennessee’s Chamber Maids”.

The conspiracy charge is “unfounded” and the Journal opinion piece completely misses the need to ensure that school voucher legislation includes public accountability, the chambers’ letter says.

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Knoxville Chamber challenges Wall Street Journal editorial

The Knoxville Chamber took a shot to the jaw Friday on the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page over the school voucher issue. But the chamber is slugging back.

The editorial — “Tennessee’s Chamber Maids” — chastises the Knoxville, Chattanooga and Nashville chambers of commerce for siding “with the teachers unions to kill education vouchers.”

Knoxville Chamber CEO Mike Edwards said the Journal completely mischaracterized the chamber’s position on the voucher bill. And the newspaper is wrong about the status of the bill.

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Educators in the Workplace returns

Knoxville area teachers who want to learn more about the business world can sign up for Educators in the Workplace, an Innovation Valley program that allows teachers to spend time with local businesses in the summer.

Companies particpating this year include Capstan, Roane County Medical Center, Oak Ridge National Lab, Toho Tenax, Molecular Pathology Laboratory Network, Inc., 21st Mortgage, Y-12, Standard Aero and Covenant Health.

For more info contact Ahanna Esters at the Knoxville Chamber at 865-246-2658 or aestes@knoxvillechamber.com.

Here’s a video on the program.