Blount Partnership News & Events

Early voting for the November general election begins Wednesday, Oct. 19 and runs through Nov. 3. Get out and vote. Here are the early voting locations in Blount County. Remember to bring a photo ID.
Be sure to join Raeus Jae Cannon for a free networking training class as she shows you how to quit making cold calls and drive more business to you. It is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 1 from 3-4:30 p.m. at the Blount Partnership. RSVP to Amy.
Read our 53rd and 54th installments of The Dialogue at the bottom of this email where we visit with Heavy Harris, president of Dynabody Fitness Equipment and Gino Bachman, president/volunteer of the Blount County SPCA.
Get ready to rev up your engine with Rusty Wallace, a member of NASCAR's Hall of Fame, as he takes the pole position as the guest speaker for the Blount Partnership's Best of Blount Awards, Nov. 1 at 6:30 p.m., at the Clayton Center for the Arts on the Maryville College campus.

Sponsored by Rusty Wallace Kia, tickets are $30 and available by calling the Blount Partnership 865.983.2241, online at or at the Partnership office located at 201 S. Washington St., in Maryville. A premium $45 ticket is available for special seating and a photo and autograph opportunity with Wallace prior to the event.

The Best of Blount Awards focus on the Blount County community as a whole rather than only on the business sector. It celebrates those individuals and businesses that give their time and resources to make this area an outstanding place to live and work.

Awards will be given for Philanthropist of the Year, Community Impact Award, Bright Future Award, Business of the Year and the Tourism Award.
Do you have one hour per month to help students in your community transition from high school to college? tnAchieves, local partnering organization to Gov. Haslam's TN Promise, needs 9,000 mentors to work with high school students from the Class of 2017. Mentors remind students of important deadlines, serve as a trusted college resource and, most importantly, encourage students to reach their full potential. The time commitment is small, but the impact can be life changing for a first generation college student trying to navigate the college going process. Learn more or register at
Whiskey lovers from East Tennessee and beyond are invited to attend an unprecedented event in Blount County on Saturday, November 5. Grains and Grits, a celebration of Southern spirits and gourmet grub, will bring more than two dozen Tennessee distilleries to the Townsend Visitors' Center.

The festival showcases a who's-who of Tennessee whiskey legends, including Jack Daniels Master Distiller Jeff Arnett, who will be participating in his first-ever East Tennessee tasting, and other national whiskey names such as George Dickel. A bevy of craft distillers from throughout the state will also sample their spirits to attendees, including Old Forge, Popcorn Sutton, Thunder Road and Chattanooga Whiskey.

Grains and Grits is being arranged and hosted by the Tennessee Distillers Guild and the Smoky Mountain Tourism Development Authority (SMTDA).

While Tennessee whiskey serves as the event's focus, there will be plenty of offerings for non-whiskey-drinkers. Several area restaurants will serve food, and many area breweries and wineries will be in attendance.

World-renowned resort Blackberry Farm will serve both food and beer. Live music will provide a backdrop for the celebration.

Grains and Grits is an opportunity for distillers to connect with customers face to face, and nearly two dozen of them have signed up to offer samples at the event.

Tickets for Grains and Grits are $60 online and $70 the day of the event, and VIP parking is $10. They can be purchased at The website also includes more information about the event.
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 eight months.

Registrations are currently being accepted for the first class entitled Effective Networking set for Oct. 21.

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 Make Your Social Media Look Good Using Free Tools, Managing People & Personalities, Tips for Public Speaking, Hiring Good Employees, Motivation and Burnout, Time Management and Managing Change in the Workplace.
If you haven't checked out the October member-to-member promtions, please do. 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
With Twitter having over 300 million monthly active users, you may have found yourself trying to use Twitter as a marketing tool for your business. At times it may be hard to connect with your current customers or find new ones, so here are a few tips on how to get your Twitter feed alive and active. Read more here.

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!
A growing body of economic research shows that in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.
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.
This week in 1976, "Disco Duck," a satirical disco novelty song performed by Rick Dees and His Cast of Idiots, topped the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. At the time, Dees was a Memphis disc jockey.



Oct. 17-23


October 17 -- White Caps: Moral Vigilantes @ Blount County Public Library
October 18-20 -- Maxine Falls & Norma Tosh @ The Townsend Visitors Center
October 18 -- Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center hosts Tuesdays @ 2
October 18 -- Blount County Public Library Board of Trustees Meeting
October 19 -- Affordable Care Act Health Care Enrollment @ Blount County Public Library
October 19-31 -- Early Voting at the Library
October 20 -- "Homes FORE Humanity" 4th Annual Golf Tournament
October 20 -- 15th Anniversary Celebration to Honor Senator Doug Overbey
October 21 -- Soft Skills Training - Effective Networking
October 21-23 -- Fred Weiser @ the Townsend Visitors Center
October 21 -- Recovery Revolution at RIO Revolution
October 22 -- Susan G. Komen Knoxville Race for the Cure
October 22 -- World Orphans Run
October 22 -- Banter, Bluegrass and Brunch @ Blount County Public Library
October 22 -- Kingdom Design Ministries hosts Dancing with the Stars Blount
October 22 -- Town of Louisville 7th Annual Octoberfest
October 22 -- Junior Service Leauge of Maryville's Hub-B-Que benefittng Toys for Blount County


Oct. 24-30


October 24 -- Quality Financial Concepts - Shred It
October 24-26 -- Cathy Coulter @ The Townsend Visitors Center
October 24 -- Southern Appalachian Studies Series: Appalachian Basketry at Blount County Public Library
October 25 -- Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center hosts Tuesdays @ 2
October 26 -- Medicare Plans and Changes for 2017 at Blount County Library
October 27 -- Coffee Club at Quinn Appliance
October 27-29 -- Lyda Plemons, Corrinne Coley & Anna Bolton @ the Townsend Visitors Center
October 28 -- United Way of Blount County Blount Bridges Workshop
October 28 -- 2nd Annual Harbours Gate "Seeds of Hope"
October 28 -- Recovery Revolution at RIO Revolution
October 30 -- Foothills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship hosts Death Cafe
October 30 -- Fall Festival at 1st United Methodist Church


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 53rd installment visiting with Heavy Harris, president of Dynabody Fitness Equipment which makes top quality fitness equipment for schools, home or privately owned gyms at an affordable price.
Describe what Dynabody does. We manufacture the Dynabody brand of fitness equipment as well as operate a 24 hour gym.
How did you get started in this business? I am a former power lifter & followed my passion.
What is your background? I have an engineering degree from the University of North Carolina.
What impacts your business most? It is very difficult for schools that do not have winning sports teams to get funding for the best equipment available in spite of our rock bottom pricing for the schools.
Name three things you wish you knew when you started . Employee retention & problems. How to collect $20.00 from somebody for a gym membership.
What do you enjoy about running Dynabody? Please look at our school galleries on our website. Our custom made equipment with school colors & logos creates an environment to promote school pride and encourage students to always do their best.

The Dialogue

This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So here we go with our 54th installment visiting with Gino Bachman, president/volunteer of the Blount County SPCA which cares for the welfare of animals and believe offenders should be prosecuted.
Describe what the Blount County SPCA does. The Blount County SPCA is an organization designed to assist Blount County Law Enforcement in enforcing animal cruelty laws and to conduct investigations in order to bring to justice the person(s) who violate those laws. Currently there are 4 investigators, which volunteer their time. We rely on the community for donations to help pay for vet bills, food, dog houses, etc.
What is your background? Previous law enforcement background.
What impacts the SPCA the most? Owners that cannot afford to care for the animals anymore. People with drug or alcohol addictions, evictions and foreclosures cause the owners to neglect or abandoned an animal.
What do you enjoy about working with the SPCA? It is all about the welfare of the animals. Removing them from inhumane situations to vetting and finding new homes.
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