Blount Partnership News and Events

Check out our 104th installment of The Dialogue at the bottom of this email where we visit with Robert Berlin, a video marketing specialist & photographer with Open Roads Media. Stay tuned for a special workshop on how you can use video as part of a business development strategy presented by Open Roads Media.
Be sure to carve out some time on April 12 for the Blount Chamber Afternoon Mixer at CBBC Bank (330 East Broadway, Maryville, TN 37804) beginning at 3:45 p.m. Participation is not reserved to the representative(s) listed on the Chamber membership.
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 more information at

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.
This recognition award, sponsored by Blount BEneFITs, was established in 2009 to recognize the efforts of Blount County schools and businesses that are taking steps within their organizations to promote and embrace healthy living through creative programs that encourage good nutrition and increased physical activity. Previous winners include weight loss challenges, running clubs and other exercise programs, some of which were long-standing programs and others that were start-ups. Click here for nomination form.
The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry/Tennessee Manufacturers Association (TMA), is pleased to announce the 2018 TMA Statewide Tour. This 13-city tour is designed to promote the strength of Tennessee's rapidly expanding manufacturing community. It will provide an update on the state of Tennessee manufacturing, key economic and workforce updates and trends, a recap on Tennessee's 2018 Legislative Session & its impact on manufacturing, and conclude with a Q&A period.

What to Expect?
* One-hour presentation by TMA Director, Denise Rice, an industry veteran with 25+ years of experience in manufacturing
* Hear updates on real successes and challenges facing manufacturers
* Learn about key resources available to support manufacturers of all sizes-including key employee benefits
* FREE light breakfast or lunch with manufacturing peers

Who Should Attend?
* Manufacturing executives
* General managers
* Site managers
* Plant managers
* HR managers
* Key leaders
* Small, medium and large manufacturing facilities

**Space is limited. Pre-registration is required.
Recognized management guru and author Glenn 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.
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 ths free event April 19 from 9:30 a.m.-noon at 17 Market Square, #201 Knoxville, TN. Please note the new location. Click here to register.
It's Your Career! That's the focus of six 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 online at for the fourth class entitled Free Resources for Professional Development set for April 27. This course qualifies for .2 CEU's awarded by Pellissippi State.

The other classes offered include 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.
Come explore Tremont on an awesome outdoor adventure. Imagine splashing around in an icy cold mountain stream, climbing ridges to an unbelievable view, or choosing from a variety of activities to discover nature through hands-on explorations, day hikes and crafts.

Tremont offers an in-depth summer learning experience that fosters an understanding of the beautiful Smoky Mountains and encourages a lifelong appreciation and stewardship of the environment.

From backpacking in the wilderness to learning about the secret haunts of salamanders, Tremont Institute offers a variety of opportunities to serve different interests, abilities and age groups.

Find the program that is just right for you or the young person in your life. Only Tremont offers unique outdoor experiences that include meals and housing.
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
Member-to-member promotions are here for April. Check out the offer from Vienna Coffee. 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!
Local owners buy local services themselves
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 1971 was "Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)" by The Temptations. It is considered one of the Temptations' signature songs. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine listed "Just My Imagination" as number 389 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.



April 16-22



Save the Date


The Dialogue

This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So here we go with our 104th installment visiting with Robert Berlin, a video marketing specialist & photographer with Open Roads Media.
Tell me about Open Roads Media? I love using video and professional-quality photography to help small business owners provide customers with the information they need to make good buying choices.
So, what do you do? I create video and photo products that attract new customers, convert prospects into leads, close sales more quickly and generate repeat business. These videos and photos are used on websites, digital advertising, social media and on displays in stores.
How did you get started? I've been working in corporate America as a digital marketing strategist while doing side projects for the past four years. Recently I decided to make the leap of faith and turn Open Roads Media into a full-time venture.
What is your background? I first fell in love with photography while still in high school at Heritage High School and studied photojournalism first at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, then at Texas Tech University before joining the US Army where I served as a photojournalist with the 25th Infantry Division (Light) in Hawaii. Following my military service I continued working as a photojournalist in Alaska, Montana and earned a Master's Degree at the University of Missouri-Columbia. I returned home to Maryville in 2014.
Who is your mentor? My parents were serial entrepreneurs. Watching my father build businesses during the Permian Basin (Texas) Oil Boom of the 80s and my mother and stepfather build their business here in East Tennessee, I learned from them how rewarding small business ownership could be. Let's be honest, though: I also learned how bloody hard it can be, too. Along the way, I've been unbelievably fortunate to encounter dozens of people who shared their passions for life with me and inspired me to follow my own path.
Describe your customers. My ideal customers are aware they need high-quality video and photo to compete in the new digital marketplace. They may be unsure how to use video effectively, but they're willing to engage in a discussion to find video solutions to their current sales challenges.
What environments impact the business environment you work in? Right now our society is drowning in digital media content and the rate of technological change is staggering. Small business owners are struggling to keep up with all these challenges and, frankly, it's overwhelming. Additionally, it is harder and harder to know what is true and what is not true in the digital world. In this case, small business owners are fighting through the digital noise to communicate with their customers in a way that is genuine and meaningful.
Name three things you wish you knew when you started. 1) Stick with what you love and the rest falls into place. 2) Surround yourself with good people and magic happens regularly. 3) Hard times just happen. Get through them and carry on.
What do you enjoy about video? I have so many adventures in this job it's impossible to describe them all. One day I'm hiking trails in the National Park. The next I'm on a Dragon Boat Race. The day after that I'm shooting a how-to video for a technological gadget. And I cap the week off flying in an experimental aircraft someone took five years to build themselves. I absolutely love the diversity of my life, but what makes it all meaningful is the connections I get to have with people who are building their dreams. It is a tremendous honor to be included in their journey, and I only hope my talents can help them achieve their dreams.
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