Chamber "At Work" News Brief 
Simpson Entertainment Recognized as the
 2014 TSBDC Rising Star Small Business

On Tuesday, April 7th at the 1st Annual Women's Conference, our very own, Dakota Simpson, owner of Simpson Entertainment, was awarded the 2014 Tennessee Small Business Development Center's Rising Star Award.   The TSBDC Rising Star award is presented to a well deserving small business from the Northwest TN area for their accomplishments in both sales growth and client relationships. "I am blessed and humbled to receive an award of this caliber. I credit the wonderful community of Dyer County and those in it who have supported me unconditionally. The TSBDC has been an invaluable source of knowledge during the startup phase of Simpson Entertainment. I look forward to being able to help others in the future just as my community has helped me."

 The Story of Simpson Entertainment
as told by Dakota Simpson

At the age of 15, I started my own professional DJ business specializing in live entertainment and lighting called Simpson Entertainment. At the time, I was a sophomore in high school and working a full-time job. I started slowly: I typed up a contract, printed business cards, and began being booked for events once a month. I soon began booking events four times a month, then twice every weekend. I discovered a niche in my region of which no one else had yet taken advantage. 

At the age of 16, I decided to get a business license for Simpson Entertainment and hired my first accountant to manage taxes for my business. As the youngest business owner in my county, I became hungry for more of the business world. Later that year I joined my local Chamber of Commerce and became the youngest member and Diplomat of the Dyersburg/Dyer County Chamber of Commerce. 

Today Simpson Entertainment is a sound business, which has two contracted employees and is known regionally for the relationships it establishes with its clients. Simpson Entertainment has provided music for Chick-fil-A, surrounding schools, Discovery Park, and other local venues and businesses. 

When I first received my business license, individuals in the community such as the mayor, Chamber CEO, and influential business owners encouraged me to persevere and take Simpson Entertainment as far as I could; 300 events, and 220 clients later Simpson Entertainment is a name recognized in West Tennessee. 

My business has taken me across the state to Knoxville, and even across the country to DJ a wedding on the beach. Members of my community often ask me to speak at business and entrepreneurial events about my experiences and journey.  The lessons I've learned while owning Simpson Entertainment and the people I have met along this business venture have influenced my character greatly and has taught me the importance of community.
Recent News and Events

Mayor Young's Easter Egg Hunt

On Saturday, April 4th, Main Street Dyersburg hosted Mayor Young's Easter Egg Hunt at 1:00 p.m. Every year the community wide hunt attracts children of all ages ranging from zero to eight years old to Downtown Dyersburg's courthouse lawn for a fun and exciting Easter egg hunt.  The Dyer County Adult Leadership members helped set up for the hunt by hiding nearly 4,000 eggs with candy and prizes inside them.
Mayor Chris Young and his  wife, Natalie, gave away stuffed animals, Sonic ice cream cones and McDonald's cheeseburgers as additional prizes for the kids.  In recent years, former Dyer County Mayor, Richard Hill, and wife, Hester, expanded the hunt to include stuffed animals and other prizes just so the kids have a little something extra to take home on this Easter holiday.  The Easter egg hunt was passed on to Mayor Young this year as part of his first year as the Dyer County Mayor.  Mayor Young was able to enjoy the event with his grandchildren and has already begun planning for next year.  

Mayor Young's Easter Egg Hunt is open to the entire community and occurs every year on the Saturday before Easter on the courthouse lawn in Downtown Dyersburg!


*Special thanks to McDonald's and Sonic for donating to the children's prizes.

NWA Mid South Ribbon Cutting

The Dyersburg/Dyer County Chamber of Commerce was more than excited to welcome NWA Mid South Wrestling to the Chamber of Commerce as their newest members.  On Friday, March 20th Chamber Diplomats, Chamber President and CEO, Allen Hester, and City Mayor, John Holden, joined friends and family of NWA Mid South inside the ring for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Herb Welch Wrestling Complex as the kick off to their meet and greet event Friday afternoon and their weekly Saturday night show. 

The Herb Welch Wrestle Plex is a new venue to the area which hosts live wrestling every Saturday night, as well as a wrestling school throughout the week where aspiring wrestlers can learn their craft. They are located at 1827 Saint John Avenue in Dyersburg, Tennessee. For more information about NWA Mid South Wrestling please visit their website,, or contact them via phone at (612) 492-1793 or email at

Life Choices Ribbon Cutting

On Tuesday, March 31st the Dyersburg/Dyer County Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony at Life Choices Medical Center in Dyersburg in honor of their new office location. Several Chamber Diplomats and Life Choices Medical Center staff and board members joined together to cut the ribbon as celebration for the opening of the new office. Chamber Membership Director, Hannah Caylor, presented the plaque to Life Choices Executive Director, Kim Hampton, and the rest of the Life Choices staff and board members after the ribbon cutting.

Life Choices Medical Center of Dyersburg has been a Chamber member since 2001. Life Choices is a non-profit medical clinic that is dedicated to educating and equipping individuals to make empowered decisions, providing pregnancy confirmation, and offering programs of prevention, intervention, and restoration. They are entirely supported by private donations and grants which enable them to offer services at no cost. Life Choices is now located across from the Dyersburg Regional Medical Center at 595 East Tickle Street. They are open on Mondays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the morning from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and in the afternoon from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. To schedule an appointment, text LCappt to 59769 or call (731) 286-HOPE(4673). For more information about Life Choices Medical Center please visit their website,, or their Facebook page,   Life Choices Medical Clinic, Dyersburg.

Dyer County Youth Leadership

Dyer County Youth Leadership recently traveld to Nashville and toured the State Capitol. The tour was hosted by State Representative, Bill Sanderson, and State Senator, Ed Jackson.  The leaders were able to sit in on Committee Meetings and witness a portion of the process it takes for a bill to become a law.  Tennessee Governor, Bill Haslam, spoke briefly with the group as they posed for a photo in the Capitol.

Dyer County Youth Leadership students also met with the Dyersburg Police Department for Law Enforcement Day.  On Law Enforcement Day, leaders can ask any question that comes to mind about how the department operates like why they do what they do and the challenges law enforcement agencies face today.  The afternoon session included a safety briefing and hands on rifle and pistol shooting at the firing range.  


Dyer County Youth Leadership will hold its graduation on April 28th at the Lannom Center. The Dyer County Youth Leadership program would not be possible without the help of our sponsor, First South Bank. 

Upcoming Meetings and Events
Tuesday, April 21st, at 2:00 p.m.
112 West Court, Dyersburg, TN

Diplomat Meeting
Friday, April 24th, at 12:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 28th, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
1106 East Court, Dyersburg, TN

Thursday, April 30th, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
DSCC E.H Lannom, Jr. Gymnasium

Business After Hours - Davis Wealth Services
Tuesday, May 5th, from 5:00 tp 7:00 p.m.

Friday, May 8th, lunch at 11:00 a.m.
Shotgun start at 12:00 p.m.
Dinner at 5:00 p.m. (est)
The Farms Golf Course

Thursday, May 14th
from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m.
The Lannom Center
*Registration is closed, 
all vendor spots are full

For more information about these Chamber events or any upcoming community events please click the "Learn More" button or visit our website,  Dont forget to add your next event to the Events Calendar!
Member News
First Citizens National Bank Ranks in the 
Top 15th Percentile of Community Banks

Seifried & Brew LLC is proud to announce that First Citizens National Bank, based on the Seifried & Brew Total Risk/Return Composite Ranking, has again ranked in the S&B Top 15th Percentile of Community Banks for 2014. The benchmark for this ranking includes institutions with assets between $10 million and $10 billion. To earn this distinguished ranking, First Citizens National Bank established a commendable performance of balancing risk and reward. President and CEO Jeff Agee stated "Our teammates are committed to the execution of a well thought out strategic plan".

First Citizens National Bank operates from 21 locations in Tennessee. Established in 1889 in Dyer County, the bank today has approximately $1.2 Billion in assets and serves markets throughout nine Tennessee counties. For more information on First Citizens National Bank visit  



2015 Hope and Honor 7K


The Burks Broadcasting Group's Hope & Honor 7K to Benefit the Wounded Warrior Project was held on Saturday, March 21, 2015 at Okeena Park in Dyersburg, TN. The event was open to all ages and featured a 4.4-mile run course and a 2-mile walk course beginning and ending at Okeena Park. Natalie Patterson, Vice President and General Manager of Burks Broadcasting, served as the event emcee and discussed the course with the participants and lead the group in prayer. Megan Stokes of Dyersburg sang the National Anthem prior to the beginning of the race.

After participants crossed the finish line and results were certified, the awards ceremony was held at the park pavilion. The Wounded Warrior Project raises awareness for the needs of injured service members and receives 100% of all Hope & Honor Run entry fees. Event sponsors were Burks Beverage, Burks Broadcasting Group, Time Castellaw Automotive, the Dyersburg/Dyer County Chamber of Commerce, and General Appliance and Furniture Company.

2015 Hope & Honor 7K and 2 mile walk results:

1st Place - Jacob Gill
2nd Place - Caleb Byars

3rd Place - Roger Stegemn

1st Place - Morgan Spelings
2nd Place - Damaris Cook

3rd Place - Lea Gennett 

1st Place - Ronnie Joe Moore

2nd Place - Cody Orchard
3rd Place Maria Orchard

Edward Jones Ranks No. 6 on FORTUNE Magazine's 
Best Companies to Work For List 


Financial services firm Edward Jones ranked No. 6 on FORTUNE magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For 2015" list in its 16th appearance on the prestigious list, according to Vondal Davison a Financial Advisor here in Dyersburg, TN.

Edward Jones' 16 FORTUNE rankings also include top 10 finishes for 12 years, top five rankings for six years and consecutive No. 1 rankings in 2002 and 2003. Last year, the firm ranked No. 4 overall.

In the FORTUNE survey of associates, for which the ranking is predominantly based, 94 percent of Edward Jones associates said they have pride in the work they do. And 96 percent of associates say that overall, Edward Jones is a great place to work.

The full list and related stories appear in the March 9 issue of FORTUNE magazine and at

FORTUNE partners annually with Great Place to Work to conduct the most extensive employee survey in corporate America to identify the 100 Best Companies to Work For. Two-thirds of a company's survey score is based on the results of the Trust Index Employee Survey, which is sent to a random sample of employees from each company. This survey asks questions related to their attitudes about management's credibility, overall job satisfaction and camaraderie. The other third of the scoring is based on the company's responses to the institute's Culture Audit, which includes detailed questions about pay and benefit programs and a series of open-ended questions about hiring practices, internal communications, training, recognition programs and diversity efforts.

In addition to the FORTUNE honor, Edward Jones was ranked No. 1 on the People's Picks: 20 Great Workplaces in Financial Services list by the workplace review web site, Great Rated! That ranking comes from an anonymous survey of Edward Jones associates and also was administered by the workplace culture experts at Great Place to Work.

Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company, provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm's business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch offices, is designed to cater to individual investors in the communities in which they live and work. The firm's 14,000-plus financial advisors work directly with nearly 7 million clients. Edward Jones, which ranked No. 6 on FORTUNE magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2015, is headquartered in St. Louis. FORTUNE and Time Inc. are not affiliated with and do not endorse products or services of Edward Jones. The Edward Jones website is located at, and its recruiting website is Member SIPC.

Please feel free to contact any of our local Edward Jones offices and advisors.

Vondal Davidson - 286-5512

John Cloar - 286-1489

Greg Raines - 286-5512

Chris Weik - 286-2106


Dachser USA to Focus on Expansion Over the Next Two Years


At the end of July in 2014, Dachser USA, the American branch of the German-based logistics provider that generated 4.99 billion euros ($6.68 billion) of revenue in the 2013 fiscal year, celebrated its most recent expansion in to the St. Louis market.

Earlier in the year, the company opened a new facility in Chicago. This recent growth fits in with Dachser's immediate strategy of ramping up its presence in key American regions.

According to Frank Guenzerodt, president and chief executive officer of Atlanta-based Dachser USA, more expansion is planned for the next year and a half. He envisions Dachser branching out to Minneapolis, Detroit and Cleveland, as part of the company's goal to increase its footprint in the Midwest. 

To keep Dachser's momentum going, Guenzerodt is also looking to beef up the company's western U.S. footprint, where its presence is "still relatively soft", beyond locations in Los Angeles and Phoenix with new offices in Seattle, San Francisco and, possibly, Denver. In the Northeast, expansion in Baltimore and Philadelphia is a possibility, as well as adding a satellite location in the Southeast in cities like Nashville, Tenn. Or Charleston, S.C. 

"The United States, as far as development is concerned, is vitally important for the organization," he said, explaining that as Dachser expands to more worldwide locations, it is important to have a substantial U.S. network because the United States is among the top two trading partners with these new overseas locations.

"For us, it's very important to be able to have the infrastructure network in place to serve those Dachser organizations on a global scale, and for that we need to continue to grow aggressively in North America," he said.

It's for this reason that Guenzerodt puts the U.S. operation's importance to Dachser third behind Germany and China. During fiscal year 2013, when Dachser brought in nearly 5 billion euros in revenue, just a shade more than 3 million euros came from European logistics, a 13.5 percent rise year over year and the largest part of its business by far. The company also derives a significant portion of its revenues from food logistics, which ended the fiscal year at 620 million euros, an 8.2 percent increase. Dachser's air and sea logistics arm generated just under 1.41 billion euros during the period, representing growth of 7.7 percent.

To put things into perspective, Guenzerodt said U.S. turnover is just under $170 million, a 12 percent increase from last year, but that represents a substantial increase from the $15 million seen in 2004, when Dachser first started pushing the U.S. market. The goal, he said, is to double that $170 million by 2018, and have offices in 18 to 20 locations throughout the region.

"Our key asset is people," he said. "As we can attract new people to come on board, we continue to open new locations."

Dachser USA has experienced growth amid a sluggish air freight market and an ocean freight industry not only by growing with the market, but by taking business from other providers, Guenzerodt said. The company focuses on midsized firms that need to move between 100 and 500 tons of air freight. When large transportation providers represent these companies, he explained, they might not get the most attentive customer service due to their lower volumes. This, he said, is where Dachser comes in, siphoning off business from its competitors.

Even with Dachser USA's success, there are still challenges on both the air and ocean side of its business. The company's air business is growing, but the overall market is stagnant. Guenzerodt said they're waiting for the peak season to develop out of Asia, and air freight into and out of Europe to the United States remains soft. Most generally, the extreme weather felt during the first few months of the year derailed some of Dachser USA's business, leading to an, "unusually slow" start to 2014.

"When you have areas like Chicago and New York being closed for a couple of days, you never make that up for some reason," he said. "I don't know what happens to the freight; it kind of disappears."

Handling ocean shipments out of Asia, which Dachser USA has been striving to grow in 2014, was impacted by the ongoing dock labor negotiations at the West Coast ports. Pricing for shippers has increased due to the uncertainty, and Dachser has rerouted a number of customers to East Coast ports where possible. Freight is also coming in through Canadian ports, and some shippers are even opting for air freight services.

"We have our regular customers covered with alternative routings and contingency plans," Guenzerodt said. "There have been quite a few additional costs for importers so far this year."

Guenzerodt expects the West Coast labor negotiations to be worked out by fall of 2014, which will help rates dip back down to a more "reasonable level." From that point forward, shipments out of Asia to the West Coast should be back to normal, "if there is ever a normal in the Pacific these days," he said.


University of Memphis with the Lowest Crime Rate

For the second consecutive year, the University of Memphis has the lowest crime rate of the 10 large universities, both public and private, in Tennessee. According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's 2014 Crime on Campus report, the U of M had an incident rate of 14.6 per 1,000 campus population. Only one other institution, East Tennessee State University, had a rate lower than 20. The average for the 10 large schools was 24.7 incidents per 1,000. Large campuses are those with more than 5,000 students.

The full report is available online at

"The tremendous work of our officers and investigators, and the assistance from our students, faculty and staff, have helped us maintain our great campus safety record," said Bruce Harber, U of M chief of police.

Contributing to the consistently low incident rate is the University's Police Services Department; the use of technology, including more than 600 Internet-based video cameras; and the U of M's steadfast commitment to safety.

Cardboard Boat Regatta at Discovery Park of America
Discovery Park of America has set Saturday, May 30 th as the date for its "Second Annual" Cardboard Boat Regatta.  Last year, 12 teams signed up for the "Maiden Voyage."  "This was one of the most exciting and fun events that we had at Discovery Park last year," John Watkins, Grounds Director said.  "This year, we think it will be even bigger and better!" 


If you would like to build a cardboard boat and enter this year's race, the registration packet is available online.  "Just go to our website and click on the Cardboard Boat Regatta graphic on our home page," Watkins said.  "The rules and entry form are easy to find."  Or, you can call the park and ask for the special events department. 


Last year the actual race proved to be a great spectator sport!   You can see a video of last year's event by clicking on the Cardboard Boat Regatta graphic on the park's website's home page if you need inspiration.  "Most of the teams had never participated in a Cardboard Boat Regatta before last year," Watkins said.  "The boats were quite impressive considering that this was a 'first' for this area," he went on to say.  "We expect our sponsors will take advantage of the tremendous marketing opportunity with even more elaborate boats this year," a park spokesman said. 


The deadline to enter a boat in the Regatta is Friday, May 22nd.  Entrants are asked to be at the park with their boat for inspection by 9:00 a.m. on race day, May 30th.  The races will begin at 11:00 a.m.  This unique event, which is sure to become an annual favorite, will take place in the South Lake near the Final Flight Reelfoot Landing.  Registrants will via for six awards including 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, "The Team Spirit Award," The Titanic Award" (given for the most spectacular sinking), and "The Van Gogh Award" (given for the most creative boat).  Both businesses and individuals are welcome to enter.  The cost is $35, which includes four passes to Discovery Park on the day of the race. 


There will also be a hotdog stand and Dippin' Dot cart on the grounds.  Commemorative t-shirts will be available.  For more information about the Boat Regatta or other DPA events, visit the website at

Welcome New Members!
Accu-Cutt Lawn Care
1335 E. Court St.
Dyersburg, TN
(731) 287-0039
Accu-Cutt Lawn Care

The Restoration Station
115 E. McGaughey
Dyersburg, TN
(731) 478-5105

Southern Class Boutique
850 Pennell Lane
Sutie B
Dyersburg, TN
(731) 478-6199

Hometown Urgent Care, PLLC
1375A Flowering Dogwood Lane
Dyersburg, TN
(731) 325-5678
Hometown Urgent Care, PLLC

Membership Renewals

Elite Healthcare Group, PC DBA Pain Relief And Wellness Associates

Lamar Advertising

N.W. TN Shooting Sports Assoc., Inc.

Physical Therapy of Dyersburg

Sonic Drive-In #1

Verizon Wireless

Lewis Norman

AT & T

Delta Roofing, Siding & Supply Co.

First Southern Real Estate

Here's Hope Counseling Center, LLC

Bethel University: College of Professional Studies

The Factory Connection

Walmart Store

A.B.W.A. American Business Women's Association

Dyer County Branch of the NAACP

Metro Industrial Jobs

Dyer County Government

SRG Global, Inc.

 Caravan Packaging Corporation
Cupples J & J Company
Dyersburg Self Storage
Hometown Urgent Care, PLLC
Okeena Termite and Pest Control
Twin Oaks Technology, LLC

First Choice Farm and Lawn
First South Bank
Medical Nephrology Associates
Wilkerson, Gauldin, Hayes, & Jenkins, Attorneys
Aeneas Internet and Telephone
Boss Hoss Cycle, Inc.
Colonial Diversified Polymer Products
Dyersburg Pallet
Electronic Communication Systems
Fisher Realty & Auction
Klinkhammer Acoustical
Southern Class Boutique
Volunteer Chapter of SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management)