Blount Partnership News and Events

Join the Blount Chamber for a pair of ribbon cutting this week. The first is March 20 at 10 a.m. at Prestige Cleaners (616 Condry Lane, Maryville) and the second is March 22 at 10 a.m. at the CBBC Midland Branch (214 N. Calderwood St., Alcoa). Light refreshments will be served at both locations. Let's support these local businesses.
Check out the 102nd edition of the The Dialogue at the bottom of this email where we visit Carmen Simpher, co-cwner and operator of Little Arrow Outdoor Resort.
Join us for the annual Blount County job fair presented by Blackberry Farm, M Force Staffing, Pellissippi State and Staffing Solutions, on Thursday, March 22, 2018 from 2-6 p.m. at the Second Harvest Food Bank facility in Maryville. If you are interested in participating, please click here for more information.

Some employers already participating include: Ruby Tuesday, Premier Solutions International, AMR Blount County, First Tennessee Bank, Harrison Construction Co., Gear Recruiting, LLC, Allcor Staffing, Asbury Place, ESS/Source4Teachers, EZ Stop FoodMarts, Denso Manufacturing, Summit Medical Group, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, AAA-Auto Club Group, AtWork Personnel, K12, Life Care of Blount Co, Express Employment Professionals, Gibson Hotels, Source4Teachers, Pellissippi State, M Force Staffing, Staffing Solutions, Blackberry Farm, Y-12 Federal Credit Union, TCAT-Knoxville and Blount Memorial Hospital.
Joint the HR Focus Group on April 4 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville) as Stacy Myers of Advanced Management presents The Five Behaviors of a Successful Team. There is no cost for this seminar. If you are interested in attending, please email Amy at Continuing Education Units are available
Enjoy the aroma of BBQ and live music while visiting with federal, state and Blount County elected officials and mid-term candidates in a relaxed atmosphere at the Blount Partnership's Pigs & Politics Legislative Day sponsored by Vulcan Materials, Spectrum Enterprise, Full Service BBQ, Design Innovation,The Casual Pint, Maryville College, Campbell Party Rentals, Michael Brady, Inc., and K12, Inc., on Tuesday, April 24, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at Alumni Gym on the Maryville College campus.

Tickets are on sale for $35 for the public, $25 for Blount County Chamber members, $10 for students with ID and ages five and under are free. They are available by calling 865.983.2241.

With the county primary and Rockford City election slated for May 1 and early voting beginning April 11, the event provides an enormous opportunity for the public to visit with candidates and elected officials personally as they mingle in a casual setting. No speeches or agenda is set.
Mid-Day Networking Lunch on April 3, 11:30 a.m. Enjoy the burger bar at Apple Valley Restaurant in Townsend. Mix, mingle and build your own burger at this first-time networking lunch. Open to ALL members, but you must reserve your spot, by contacting Amy Lawson at, Event co-chairs Tony Saddy of Get Fit Maryville and Kellie Moths of Rodan+Fields will lead the event.
business_group_women.jpg Make plans to attend our next Women in Business meeting on Monday, March 19 noon at the Airport Hilton (Bar Area) led by Sharon Hannum.

In order for us to have enough time for the meeting if you are planning on eating please arrive at 11:45 and go ahead and get your lunch and bring to the bar area.

This will be a Dutch Treat Lunch from Cooper's Restaurant. The menu is soup or salad bar for $8.95 + tax, this includes drink, and dessert or the whole buffet for $12 (including tax) and includes drink, buffet and dessert.
The "All Things Google" Lunch and Learn Technology Series is a professional development workshop series for adults who seek to learn about the Google platform, applications available through Google and how to access and use these applications (Google Sheets, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Drive, etc.) This technology series is offered by the Blount County Public Library with funding provided by the Tennessee State Library Archives Library Technology Training Grant.

This Lunch and Learn series meets in the new Learning Lab at the Blount County Public Library on Fridays each month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The $10 registration fee includes a box lunch and participants will have the opportunity to network. Each of the topics offered will be divided into 3-4 weekly sessions that can stand alone or be taken consecutively. A total of 50 classes will be offered with a new schedule released each month.

To register for classes in the Lunch and Learn Series please visit the Blount County Public Library website
Join Jeff Francis from the state of Tennessee's Bureau of Workers' Compensation on March 28 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Blount Parternship (201 S. Washington St., Maryville). Contact Amy for registration information which is $15 and includes lunch.
Attendees at this presentation should expect to learn: * How large the drug epidemic is in the US * How prevalent drug use in the workplace * The financial and non-financial impact that drugs in the workplace cause. * Ways to create a safer worksite * The difference between a drug free workplace and Tennessee's Drug Free Workplace Program * The benefits and requirements for employers that participate in the Drug Free Workplace Program * Recent revisions to the Program's rules
Recognized management guru and author Glen Shepard returns to the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville) on April 12 from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. to present a more advanced seminar for managers ready to move from management to leadership. In the seminar, he'll show you how to motivate your people, not just manage them. How to get them to follow you because they believe in your goals, your skills as a leader, and they are committed.

If you were fortunate enough to attend Glenn's seminar last year, this seminar will be the PEREFCT continuation to take you to the next level of excellence in management expertise, leadership development, and building a culture of teamwork that encourages cooperation that leads to success for your entire team.

If you missed last year's seminar, this seminar will offer you the opportunity to sharpen your supervisory skills and become a more effective manager and stronger leader than you've ever been. After completing this seminar, which has been certified for additional HRCI credit by SHRM, you'll have the tools for leading your team to achieving goals much faster than ever before.

Contact Amy for registration information. The cost is $197 for Chamber members (When 3 or more enroll, 4th person FREE) and $247 for non-members.
Sponsored by BNI, take part in the one of todays' hottest business events - Speed Networking!

What is speed networking? It is like speed dating, except it is for building business relationships.

Only 30 individuals can participate in each Quick Connection event and every individual is GUARANTEED to meet 15 people and spend 5 minutes with each of them.

A facilitator will spend the first 30 minutes of the event teaching you how to maximize your Quick Connection networking opportunity.

You will then spend the next 1.5 hours rotating around the room and meeting 15 other participants at five minute intervals.

The afternoon will be capped off with a 30 minute reception during which you can follow-up with participants you met or introduce yourself to those you didn't get to meet.

Quick Connections is offered free of charge.
March 29, 2018 at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville)
Event Hours: 2-5 p.m.

RSVP to Kasey at
Please include your Name, Company Name, Phone Number & Email

Facilitator: Susan Moser, GAMA Network Solutions, Director Consultant, Business Network International (BNI)

ONE person per company per session.

Only TWO people per industry (i.e. Health Insurance, financial planning etc.)

Individuals can only attend TWO Quick Connections sessions per calendar Year.
The Tennessee Small Business Development Center is presenting a start up assistance workshop on March 22 from 9-11 a.m. at the Blount Partnership, 201 S. Washington St., Maryville. Explore your idea viability utilizing GrowthWheel. Learn about forms of business organization, tax requirements, business licenses, business planning and financing options with additional discussion about SBA loan qualification and opportunities. Register here.
Join us at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St.) on Wednesday, April 18, at 11 a.m. as Regions Bank is hosting an informational business succession planning meeting to assist these successful entrepreneurs in evaluating their options.

Key speakers include Andy Stockett, Managing Director of Four Bridges Capital located in Chattanooga and Dennis Tygart, Regional Wealth Strategist for Regions Private Wealth Management.

Key discussion points will be:
* Determining the value of your company
* Enhancing the value of your company
* Identifying the optimal time to transition the company while maximizing value
* Properly evaluating multiple business succession options
* Growing your business through acquisition or merger
* Evaluating the best strategy for protecting wealth once a company is sold
* Wealth management strategies for enhanced success
* Estate planning strategies for business owners

We encourage everyone to come and hear this presentation if you are interested in the key topics discussed above. There will be limited sitting for this presentation, so reserve your spot no later than April 12. To RSVP please contact Owen Ray at 865-268-1801 or email
Cybersecurity is a vital part of keeping any business healthy. Whether you are a home-based sole proprietor or large corporation, you cannot afford a security breech. Meet with computer experts from Tech Nav to learn how to keep your business, data, and all your devices secure. Readily identify potential breeches and devise a cybersecurity action plan for your business. Tools will be provided to write your cybersecurity plan during the program.

So join us for this free event April 19 from 9:30 a.m.-noon at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville). Click here to register.
It's Your Career! That's the focus of eight free soft skills sessions offered in partnership by the Blount County Public Library, the Adult Education Foundation of Blount County and the Blount County Chamber of Commerce that are scheduled over the next 10 months.

Registrations are currently being accepted online at for the second class entitled Managing People and Personalities set for March 23. This course qualifies for .2 CEU's awarded by Pellissippi State.

The other classes offered include Free Resources for Professional Development, How to Run an Effective Meeting, Improving Your Presentation Style - Speaking, Improving Your Presentation Style - Strategies for Engaging Presentations, Making Your Social Media Look Good and Creating Infographics for Promoting Your Business.

All classes are conducted in the Blount County Library's learning lab located at 508 N. Cusick in Maryville and limited to 50 participants. 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.
Member-to-member promotions are here for March. Check out the new offers from AAA, King University and IDShield. 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!
SNeed milk, eggs, bread, or beer? Go to the local corner store instead.
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 or any good news about your business, please send it to us. We'd love to share it with the community.
Topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart this week in 1973 was "Love Train," by The O'Jays. It was The O'Jays' first and only number-one record on the U.S. pop chart. The song's lyrics of unity mention a number of countries, including England, Russia, China, Egypt and Israel, as well as the continent of Africa. Love Train was a 2006 inductee into the Grammy Hall of Fame.



March 26-April 1



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 102nd installment visiting with Carmen Simpher, co-owner and operator of Little Arrow Outdoor Resort in Townsend.
What fun can we have at Little Arrow Outdoor Resort? We have a mission to create a unique place for people to enjoy the outdoors. We also provide luxury outdoor accommodations where our guests experience a friendly helpful staff while enjoying the Smoky Mountains.
How did you get started? As a family we wanted to use what our knowledge and experiences were together to have a business that provides others the accommodations to enjoy camping and the outdoors.
What is your background? My husband and I enjoyed many years of camping with our children. We previously owned 2 small businesses and had full time careers.
Who is your mentor? My family and my best friend Sheila. They are always positive and encouraging but make sure I have thought through all the pros and cons.
Describe your customers. People who enjoy life and the outdoors.
What impacts your business? I think if the economic environment is struggling less customers will be unable to vacation.
Name three things you wish you knew when you started. I wish I knew more about digital marketing, but we have a great team creating our website and my daughter works in marketing and is a ton of help! I wish I knew more about planning and zoning. Who knew I would need to know about septic systems!
What do you enjoy about the business? I enjoy working more with my family. I love making a positive impact on my community. I love dabbling in many different areas. I feel like I'm not working and the day flies by!
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