Blount Partnership News & Events

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.
Be sure to check out our 72nd installment of The Dialogue at the bottom of this email where we visit with John Worley, Client Executive with TIS Insurance Services, Inc..
Twin City Dealerships and First Tennessee Bank presents a visit from Tennessee Speaker of the House of Representatives Beth Harwell on Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St.) for a legislative update. RSVP to Claire if you wish to attend. Harwell last visited the Partnership in January 2012 at its annual meeting celebration.
The Blount County Job Fair is coming to the Second Harvest Food Bank on Friday, May 19, 2017, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sponsorship levels include the Presenting Sponsor for $1000, Silver Sponsor for $500 and Media Sponsor is In-Kind. The deadline for sponsorship is April 13. If interested, please review and complete this form.
Join us for our first installment of the DIY Marketing series on Tuesday, March 7 at 9 a.m. at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville). Our focus will be on using social media to help grow your business. You will find out how to reach people and win them over to be customers who are loyal to your brand. You will walk away with practical advic and tools to help your business grow. A light breakfast will be served. RSVP ro
Join us for a free workshop on Friday, March 10 from 8:30-10:30 a.m. as the RSK Group presents tips and hints that can help you keep your audience more engaged and your presentations more focused to avoid " Death by Powerpoint." The message you are attempting to convey determines the content, graphics, flow and presentation style used. Please RSVP to Amy if you wish to attend.
This session on Tuesday, March 14 from 9-11 a.m. at the Blount Partnership will help make sense of the noise and help you organize your marketing. In this seminar, you will learn how to make the most of the combination of email, social media, video, and other tools for your business. When the session is done you'll have a greater understanding of marketing basics like:

Setting goals and objectives; What a "campaign" is and what to write about and offer in that campaign; The social media platforms where you need to put most of your focus; How to use email and social media together to get better results; Creating the right content to get (and keep) your audience's attention; How to get your messages opened, read, and shared to become more socially visible; Using time-saving tools to engage with your existing customers and supporters, expand your reach to new prospects more effectively

Throughout the session you'll be given opportunities to capture your own ideas and build out the framework of your own "next great campaign." So join us and start to build a plan that will help you grow your business by eliciting the responses you want from your customers or supporters. Register here.
The Tennessee Small Business Development Center is holding its next free session on Thursday, March 16 from 9 a.m.-noon at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville). Register here.
Discover Business Planning with GrowthWheel! Small Business planning is much more dynamic and moment by moment rather than a dull chore with fabricated forecasting. Lots of decisions are made over a cup of coffee or while driving not predetermined months in advance. Business owners are much more reactionary to the market and have limited planning budgets. GrowthWheel is a new innovative tool that lets the business owner plan the most pressing needs for the business. It also is a visual tool to provide structure and direction allowing the business owner to set goals and take action. NO MORE writing 40 pages of useless information that always ends buried in your desk. Gone are charts and graphs replaced by 30 day plans and action steps. GrowthWheel is not just for new businesses but also works for all businesses in all stages and for all industries. Come try this totally innovative approach to business planning.
Other classes coming to the Chamber from the TSBDC include:
Startup with Growth Wheel on April 20.
Registrations are currently being accepted for a free soft skills session set for March 24 entitled, "Motivation and Burnout." Do you see telltale signs of burnout at work? It is not uncommon, even for millennials under thirty, to experience burnout. Join us for tips and tricks to stay motivated, and to keep others motivated, while performing at your best.

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.
The next Blount Tourism Ambassador Program (BTAP) class is set for Wednesday, April 5 from 1-4 p.m. at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville). BTAP is based on a nationwide certification program geared toward those working in the tourism industry. The Blount County program is the first of its kind in Tennessee and the Southeast.
The three-hour course gives front-line personnel information about the county and region. They are provided up-to-date information about events, happenings and the "inside story" in order to better serve their customers. There are continuous learning opportunities throughout the year to help satisfy annual certification renewal requirements.
More than 200 people have been certified since the program's inception in 2012. Email Deborah if you or your employees are interested in attending.
SCORE is a non-profit association dedicated to helping new and existing small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship.

Greater Knoxville SCORE's 40-plus volunteers have a wide range of business experience and education and provide One on One mentoring for free and workshops for small business and non-profits for no charge or at very low cost.

SCORE is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA),

To request assistance, or to meet with a SCORE representative in Blount County visit us at or phone 865-692-0716.
Take a look at the March Member-to-Member promotions. With over 50 merchants participating, there's something for you. Check out the 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
Constantly clamoring to grab the attention of prospective customers, small businesses are competing with a lot of noise. Consumers are cutting through clutter by fast-forwarding television shows, subscribing to ad-free digital radio, installing ad-blockers to browse their favorite websites sans-ads and customizing what's in their social media feeds. 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.
Think local first + Buy local when you can = Being a local!
Historically, two-thirds of net new jobs in this country are created by small business. Small firms are also responsible for over half of national GDP.
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 Love a Rainy Night," by Eddie Rabbitt, topped the Billboard Hot 100 this week in 1981. The song succeeded Dolly Parton's song "9 to 5" at number 1 - the last time, to date, that the pop chart featured back-to-back country singles in the number one position.



Feb. 27-March 5



March 6-12



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 72nd installment visiting with John Worley, Client Executive with TIS Insurance Services, Inc., which is an independent, privately-owned insurance agency serving the insurance needs of policyholders in Tennessee and throughout the United States since 1945.
Describe what TIS does. TIS Insurance Services, Inc. is an independent, privately-owned insurance agency headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee. TIS serves over 6,000+ individuals and businesses in 47 states. A large staff of professionals is available to assist with all types of Risk Management and Insurance including General Commercial, Construction, Healthcare Services, Financial Services, Employee Benefits, and Personal Insurance. TIS has the expertise and resources required to deliver tailored and effective solutions; private ownership ensures immediate responsiveness to the needs of the clients. For more information about TIS Insurance Services, Inc., visit or call 800.328.0293.
How did you get started? After graduation from Maryville College in 2013 with a degree in economics, I was torn as to whether I wanted to remain in East Tennessee or return home to Virginia. I accepted a position as a Counselor with the Helen Ross McNabb Center Gateway Center in Blount County which is a residential treatment center for mental health, substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. Although I enjoyed helping the residents of the center work toward getting their lives back on track, a job offer in the insurance industry presented itself back home in Virginia. East Tennessee was calling me home and I joined TIS in late 2016 as a Client Executive. I am very honored to be working for such a reputable agency that always put's the client's needs first.
What is your background? In addition to my commercial insurance license, my degree in Economics has greatly prepared me for the day to day business acumen needed for my position here at TIS Insurance Services. Meeting with clients and helping with their risk management needs is very rewarding to me.
Who is your mentor? My dad and grandfather are my biggest mentors (don't tell them I said that). Growing up around a small farming business, my feet hit the ground running at an early age learning how to quite literally put food on the table. I was very impressionable and picked up quickly on some of the things that makes a small business go. As some business owners can attest, everything is not always smooth sailing; one has to stay the course. I learned from watching how my dad and grandfather managed day to day issues on the farm then realizing those same applications often apply to any business. One of the most valuable lessons I learned after earning my 'seat at the table' was how to talk to business partners through terms of negotiations, sales, and customer relations. The invaluable skill of selling and building relationships that I learned on the farm has been instrumental in my success.
Describe your customers. My clients come from all walks of life and different types of industries. Some are starting new ventures while others have been in business for over 50 years; I work with handymen and loggers to manufacturers and lawyers. In the insurance industry, one never knows who you might meet and have the opportunity to serve on any given day.
What impacts your business? Insurance is ever-changing. Federal laws, states statutes, even a new iPhone app can change how business is conducted. Baby Boomers are leaving the workforce and a younger generation is taking their places which also changes the insurance environment. For instance, how many college students know how to use a fax machine or how to store information on the Cloud? Another reason I love working at TIS is the fact our agency strives to have multi-generational insurance professionals in every division to address the needs of our clients.
Name three things you wish you knew when you started. There is a learning curve with any new position especially while getting acclimated. I want to continue to get certifications on my license now that I am here among my colleagues. Continuing to pursue them has been added to my goals. How broad of range TIS Insurance Services covers and specializes within. I can see my career continuing to grow in many niche areas.
What do you enjoy about TIS? Every day at TIS Insurance Services brings something new. My plans for the day can change within 30 minutes of entering the office. When a client needs me, I am always on my toes.
Any additional comments? As an alum of Maryville College and a Client Executive at TIS, I am reminded of Maryville College's founding principles and how it relates to the TIS Promise. Isaac Anderson, founder of Maryville College, once said "Do good on the greatest possible scale." Affirmed by the Board of Directors at TIS, the TIS Promise is simple in its approach and execution. "The principle of Clients First is a core value upon which our company is based and from which all other values flow." Although Isaac Anderson probably wasn't referring to insurance when he said those words in the early 19th century, they are applicable every day at TIS. Anderson was a selfless man looking to serve others. With that in mind, I will leave you with this: TIS has always believed we grow and succeed by serving the interests of our clients. Period.
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