Blount Partnership News and Events

Be sure to check out the 91st installment of The Dialogue at the bottom of this email where we visit with a new Blount Chamber member. This week it is Margaret Wildi, president & co-owner of Twisted Sisters Quilt Shop.
On August 19, a summertime spectacle will take place in Townsend, Tennessee: the inaugural Great Smoky Mountain Hot Balloon Festival.

The sky will be filled with a spectrum of color against the backdrop of a breathtaking Tennessee sunset as half a dozen professional balloonists take flight.

Taking place at the Townsend Visitors Center located at 7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., the event features something for everyone. Families can enjoy kid-friendly activities, live entertainment, crafters demonstrating and selling their artwork, delectable food from the food truck court and local craft beer.

The event takes place within days of another highly anticipated Blount County event: the total solar eclipse.

On Monday, August 21, a narrow path in the United States will experience the first total solar eclipse in 26 years. Only certain parts of specific states will experience this cosmic event. The eclipse is caused by the moon blocking the sun, and only the sun's corona is visible. Blount County just happens to be one of the places to see this once-in-a-lifetime event.
The countdown to ChamberRitaville, the Blount Chamber's largest networking event, is down to eight days. So get your $10 ticket and join us August 22 from 4-6 p.m. at the Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee (136 Harvest Lane, Maryville). Don't forget to bring a door prize.

This summer casual-themed event is your best opportunity to meet many Chamber members from all sectors of the community in one location. Use this event to network and meet new people in the business community!

By the way, there's awesome food that we'll have. Check out these treats and goodies: ice cream cake by Diary Queen, Chick-fil-A chicken nuggets, Shoney's chicken tenders, Bananas Foster from Metz, wraps from Ruby Tuesday, sliders by All Occasion, Moe's chips/queso/salsa, Italian beef sandwich's with mini beefs from Windy City Grille. Cash bar with alcohol and non-alcoholic Chamberitta's.

To get your tickets or sign up to give away door prizes please call the Blount Partnership at 865.983.2241 or email Amy.

The Blount Partnership, Twin City Dealerships and First Tennessee Bank play host to a local legislative briefing with Mark Johnson, City Manager for the City of Alcoa. The briefing is held at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville) on August 18 from 8-9 a.m. So make plans to find out what's happening with that huge clearing on Alcoa Highway.
Speed Networking, sponsored by BNI, is coming to the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville) on August 17 from 2-5 p.m. Space is limited to 30, so register today by emailing Amy. (Include your name, company name and phone number)

A facilitator will spend the first 30 minutes teaching you how to maximize your quick connection networking opportunity. You will then spend 1.5 hours rotating around the room meeting 15 other participants. The afternoon is capped off with a 30 minute reception.
Let the friendly competition begin. Taste of Blount, a collection of savory food favorites from restaurants, caterers and gourmet grocers, returns for its 16th year at the Theater in the Park in Maryville (across from the Blount County Courthouse) Thursday, Sept. 14 from 6-8 p.m.

Tickets, which are $25 for Blount County Chamber members, $30 for the public and $15 for students 17 and under or those with a college or student ID, are available at the Chamber office (201 S. Washington St., Maryville, Tenn.), by phone 865.983.2241 or online. Tickets are available at the door the night of the event on a cash-only basis.

Vendors on hand at press time include Full Service BBQ, Lambert's Southern Pie & Bake Shop, Lemon Grass, McAlister's Deli, Moe's Southwest Grill, Rocky's Jamaica Sunrise, Roland's Bistro, Sullivan's, The Soup Kitchen, Vienna Coffee House, Gracie's, Shrimp Dock of Alcoa, Artistic Pop and Jamaerican Jerk Centre.

Ticket holders can try savory favorites and vote for their favorite appetizer, beverage, sandwich, main course, dessert, presentation and overall winner.
Join us August 31 at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville) for Financing Your Business the SBA Way. This free seminar covers SBA loan options including which loan program meets a specific entrepreneurial need. The session begins with the 5 C's of credit including character, cash flow, collateral, capitalization and conditions. It then transitions to an overview of SBA's actual loan programs. Lastly, specific information will be shared about interest rates and repayment terms plus our participating lenders. Whether you are an existing entrepreneur or have given thought to starting a business, this seminar will put you ahead of the game in government guaranteed lending. Jacqueline Merritt, Small Business Administration, is the presenter. To register, please email or call Jacqueline Merritt or 615/736-7465.
Check out the new special deals from University Eye Specialists, Two Men and a Truck and King University. See these and other promotions at member-to-member promotions. New offers are being posted almost daily, so check out the Blount County Chamber of Commerce Member-to-Member promotions online. This Member-to-Member Promotional Program offers you and your company the opportunity to market your products and services to the membership.
Here's how it works:
1. Submit a PDF of a service, product or discount you'd like to offer to the Chamber membership to Be sure to include an expiration date.
2. An email with all the promotions will be sent out on the final Monday of every month to our member database.
3. All promotions will be posted on
Think local first + Buy local when you can = Being a local!
You're much more likely to get to know a small business owner in your neighborhood.
Find what you're looking for in the Chamber Directory.
Is your organization hosting an event in the community? Submit it here on our community calendar. If it's a tourism event, please email Ashlee so she can post it on
Also, please send us any news releases or good news about your business. We'd love to share it with the community.
"Roll with It," by Steve Winwood topped the Billboard Hot 100 this week in 1988, in the midst of a four-week run atop the chart. The song was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 1989, Record of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal performance.

One other piece of trivia. Did you know the movie " Red Dawn," which was released Aug. 10, 1984, was the first film with a PG-13 rating?



August 14-20



August 21-27



Save the Date


You can access the entire calendar here to see other community events and submit your own.

The Dialogue

This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So here we go with our 91st installment visiting with Margaret Wildi, president & co-owner of Twisted Sisters Quilt Shop which provides quality fabric, patterns, notions, classes and quilting services to quilters and seamstresses.
Describe what Twisted Sisters Quilt Shop does. We assist customers in the selection of fabric and other products as they create quilts, table runners, place mats, and other projects. We provide quilting services as well as guidance to those who are new to this craft. We are always looking for me and unique fabric that will allow our customers to be as creative as they can.
How did you get started? My sister Mary and I helped the previous owners prior to their move to this location. We purchased the business from them in March 2017.
What is your background? Mary has been quilting for over 15 years and she brings the knowledge and expertise of the craft to the business. I have a Masters Degree in Marketing and Communication as well as served in numerous leadership roles for most of my career. We both are retired from Grange Insurance Companies in Columbus Ohio.
Who is your mentor? While we had many mentors in our careers at Grange Insurance, Sassy Foster has been invaluable as a mentor in our quilt business endeavor.
Describe your customers. Our customers vary in age and skill level. We have men and women who shop our store looking for products to help them complete their projects. We are seeing a lot of new customers interested in quilting which includes the younger generation.
What impacts your business? What we provide is not a necessity but a hobby for most customers. For those customers it provides a social environment in which to meet others with the same interest. The technology impacts some customers who have computerized sewing machines, as well as those who use the website to search for products and ideas.
What do you wish you knew when you started? That there are so many different manufacturers of fabric.
What do you enjoy about the business? Meeting the customers who come in and are always in an upbeat and creative mood. We get to meet customers from all over the country. We get to experience the various projects people are working on. It is amazing how creative our customers can be.
Premier and Presidential Partners