Blount Partnership News & Events

Read our 63rd and 64th installments of The Dialogue at the bottom of this email where we visit Susanne Dalton Dupes, president of Mountain Laurel Leadership and Kevin Greene, CEO of Computer & Networking Services, LLC.

If you or someone you know is looking for a job, please check out  Additionally, if you need employees, please utilize the job board to advertise your open positions. Click here to get started.
Make plans to attend the Blount Partnership Christmas Open House, Wednesday, Dec. 7 from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Come celebrate the year while making more connections as the Partnership staff prepares breakfast goodies for all. (Our apologizes for the error on the mailed invitation, we are having it on Dec. 7, 2016 not 2017.)
Basically Blount 2017 lifestyle magazine and membership directory is entering production once again. This annual, full-color lifestyle magazine and chamber membership directory is initially distributed to all Chamber members starting Feb. 2017, along with distribution four times throughout the year via area professional offices, newcomers, visitors, and new businesses all looking to relocate to Blount County. Be sure your information is correct by checking here and emailing Amy with any updates.
In addition to intriguing stories and area photography that highlight the best of Blount County, Basically Blount also includes a finger-indexed, color-coded directory and buyer's guide of all Chamber members. Chamber members consistently tell us that they keep Basically Blount on hand throughout the year in order to find business products and services when they need them. In addition to 5,000 lifestyle magazines, we will have a complete online version on both the chamber and economic development websites.
We are pleased to offer a variety of advertising opportunities at cost effective rates. We have contracted with Marcon Marketing Consultants, a local Chamber member, to handle production and ad sales. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of Basically Blount, the importance of supporting the Chamber, and how to get your business involved contact Rick Ford of Marcon Marketing at (865) 705-8580. Download the media kit here.
This Nov 26, we want to celebrate Small Business Saturday with you! It's a special holiday created so communities can show love for small local businesses. And it wouldn't be a celebration without businesses like you joining us! Check out the businesses signed up and their deals.
The day was setup to help businesses with their most pressing need -- getting more customers. The day encourages people to shop at small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The single day has grown into a powerful movement, and more people are taking part than ever before.
Registrations are currently being accepted for the third class set for Dec. 16 free soft skills session entitled, "Managing People & Personalities." No single management type works with every employee. Learn how to manage according to personality types and get the most from your team. Share strategies and gain resources that will help you to engage, inspire, and retain employees of every type.

All classes are conducted in the Blount County Library's learning lab located at 508 N. Cusick in Maryville and limited to 50 participants. Those interested must register online at A complete class description is located on the registration site. All classes run from 8-10 a.m. with networking beginning at 7:30 a.m.

The other classes offered include Managing People & Personalities, Tips for Public Speaking, Hiring Good Employees, Motivation and Burnout, Time Management and Managing Change in the Workplace.
Be sure to get your December promotions in this week because the updated listing goes our Nov. 28. In the meantime, check out the November member-to-member promtions. New offers are being posted weekly, 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
Need some ideas to get started using SLN to promote your deals and promotions? Here are some that we came up with! Read more

Learn more about marketing your small business in a digital world, ask questions about social media, and take the time to discuss future campaign ideas. What are you waiting for? It's free with your chamber membership. Schedule your FREE session today.
If you have any questions regarding your free digital marketing member benefit ( Save Local Now), your digital platform, or online marketing in general please reach out the Blount Chamber's Rachel Coffman. She is here to help you in the year ahead and will keep you on track as you fulfill your resolutions in 2016.
Think local first + Buy local when you can = Being a local!
You'll strengthen your community. Local businesses are owned by people who live in your town, go to your church or synagogue, donate to local animal shelters, coach Little League teams. When you spend money in their stores and cafes, you support your neighbors.
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.
"I Think I Love You," released as the debut single by The Partridge Family pop group, featuring David Cassidy on lead vocals and Shirley Jones on background vocals topped the Billboard Music Chart this week in 1970, a spot it held for three weeks.



Nov. 21-27


Premier and Presidential Partners

The Dialogue

This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So here we go with our 63rd installment visiting with Susanne Dalton Dupes, president of Mountain Laurel Leadership, which is committed to developing women leaders. The big result we want is to increase the number of women at decision-making tables throughout East Tennessee. The end result of that is that local companies and organizations will have stronger bottom lines, stronger cultures, and stronger.
This sounds interesting, how do you do achieve your results? Mountain Laurel provides a variety of services to build leadership skills in women: -Rising Stars Boot Camp for Emerging Women Leaders -Women's Leadership Summit (annually on the 2nd Friday of June) -Women's Leadership Salon (bi-monthly on the second Thursday of January, March, May, July, September, November) -Women in Readership book club (NEW: Begins January 2017)
How did you get started? Our partnership grew out of the East Tennessee Women's Leadership Summit. Each of us is dedicated to increasing the leadership skills of women and the number of women leaders in East Tennessee in all sectors. After holding the Summit for several years, we agreed that we needed to do more to really effect the change we want to create.
What is your background? Cumulatively, the three partners of Mountain Laurel Leadership have extensive leadership and development experience to share with their clients. Together, Susanne, Deb Schmitz, and Wendy Pitts Reeves bring -50+ years of leadership experience -70 years as mentors and coaches -50+ years in program and project management -100+ years direct experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sector -Multiple degrees, certifications, and accreditations in directly relevant expertise -Extensive professional and personal networks
Who are your mentors? We have put together an advisory board that are strong advocates for our business: -Bob Booker, DENSO -Teri Brahams, Pellissippi State -Angie Cannon, Cannon and Cannon, Inc. -Dr. Catherine Gilreath, retired physician -Dennis Hough, Affirm Consulting -Vandy Kemp, Maryville College -Franciel Linares, Information International Associates -Doug Minter, Knoxville Chamber of Commerce -Mike Ragsdale, Tennessee Strategies
Describe your customers. Women who want to: -effectively develop leadership skills. -exert personal influence authentically and confidently. Or who: -struggle with handling workplace conflict. -need a boost in self-management skills (time management, delegation, etc.). Organizations that -have trouble retaining women managers and leaders. -struggle to maximize gender diversity in leadership ranks. -want to maintain a culture and a succession plan that eliminates negative competition between women managers.
What impacts you the most? The biggest impact on our environment is the lack of awareness about the disparity of women at leadership levels and knowledge about how integrating women's leadership strengths with men's can really benefit organizations. We are working to change that.
What do you enjoy most about this leadership program? Watching our program participants grow in their self-awareness, their willingness to step up to challenges, and their ability to hold difficult conversations and manage conflict.

The Dialogue

This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So here we go with our 64th installment visiting with Kevin Greene, CEO of Computer & Networking Services, LLC, which focuses on Information Technology so our customers can focus on growing their businesses.
What exactly do you do? CNS Provides small to medium size business with IT support. Our goal is to deliver enterprise level support and solutions to business of all sizes. We provide cloud services, data security, patch management, backup, and more.
How did you get started? After years as a network administrator, and later as a consultant, I knew first hand what is import and required to serve the customer. I have been on both sides of the table and can relate to the needs Local IT administrator.
What is your background? I graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from UT, with a concentration on computer aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM). As my career progressed, I moved more into Network Engineering. I found great value in having certifications in the IT field; I acquired the certifications from the major vendors like Cisco and Microsoft, as well as many others.
Describe your customers. Our customers are professional business that are big enough to have IT needs, but to small to have an IT department. We provide that service.
What impacts your business? We work with medical, legal, and CPA firms through out East Tennessee. Those businesses require strict data security, and we provide that level of protection to all of our customer no matter the field they service. Our goal is to provide the highest level of service to all of our customers.
What do you enjoy about your business? IT is a fast moving, constantly changing environment. It never stays the same, and there is always something new to learn. This industry prevents you from ever getting board.