Blount Partnership News & Events

Check out the latest update to The Dialogue at the bottom of this newsletter where we get to know our new Blount Chamber members. This week, we visit with Larry Parker, partner/owner of Auto Collision Experts.
We'd like for you to join us for the Glenstone Galleries & Gifts (364 Lindsay Street, Alcoa, TN) grand opening and ribbon cutting on Friday, March 4 at 10:30 a.m. Refreshments will be provided.
Just a reminder that a letter was faxed out about the Blount County map project the Blount Chamber and Target Marketing are doing for distribution this summer. If you have didn't receive one, you can review it here. If you have questions, please contact the Chamber at 865.983.2241.
Glenn Shepard's seminar "Hire With Confidence, Fire Without Fear, Tame Toxic Employees and Put Your Team on the Fast Track to Record-Shattering Success" is coming to the Blount Chamber on Thursday, April 14.

In the seminar, Shepard shows 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.

He'll also explain why The Millennials require such a different supervisory style than Gen X or Baby Boomers, and how to apply Dr. Ken Blanchard's (author of The One Minute Manager) principles of situational leadership to get all the different generations to work together as a team.

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, the April 14 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.

The seminar runs from 8:30 a.m.-Noon (arrive by 8:00 a.m.). Print the flyer to register.
The Blount Chamber is hosting a job fair on April 29 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Second Harvest Food Bank in Alcoa. To make this a success, we need your participation as either an employer with a booth or as a sponsor of the event.
Participants receive an eight-foot table, two chairs and linens if needed for $150. Premier event sponsorship is $2500 and receives top billing on all promotional materials and signage at the event.
So sign up today: Participation Form | Sponsor Form
Blount Partnership is holding an information session regarding gang awareness in Blount County on Friday, March 18, 2016, from 8:30-9:30 a.m., in its boardroom. RSVP to Amy.

Knox County Sheriff detective Thomas Walker will lead the presentation which is free and open to the public. The main focus is on what business owners should know about gangs in the area.
What is the first impression you give when they see you in their email inbox? And when they see you there, what do they do?

This free powerful seminar takes you step-by-step through the keys to effective email marketing

From revealing why regular email doesn't work, to insider tips and techniques like automated list building tools and the design elements that work (and those that don't!), this seminar will give you the keys to the most effective marketing you can do: email marketing.

Join us at the Blount Partnership on Wednesday, March 23 from 9-11 a.m. Register for free here.

Microsoft will recognize the best, most inspirational and original video that showcases a small business start-up story. The grand prize winner will win $20,000, new Surface Pro 4s, and subscriptions to Office 365 for their business (up to 10 devices/seats) in addition to a publicity package. All details, examples, instructions and entry form can be found here.
The presidential primary, Blount County primary and Rockford City primary election is Tuesday, March 1. Get all your voting information here.
Renowned collaborative networking and relationship authority Raeus Jae Cannon is holding a free networking training class at the Blount Partnership on Tuesday, March 8 from 3-4:30 p.m.
Cannon shows you how to quit making cold calls and drive more prospects your way. Come learn common sense tips and techniques you can use immediately. Please RSVP to Amy if you are interested in attending.
It's Your Career! That's the focus of three 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 five months.
With more and more millennials entering the workforce, employers have noticed many workers in a variety of professions are lacking in several areas, including problem solving, conflict resolution and critical observation. But, even though they possess the hard skills to get an interview, it's the important soft skills that will land the job and help them keep it.
All classes are conducted at the library located at 508 N. Cusick in Maryville and limited to 30 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.
Registrations are currently being accepted for:
March 18 - Team Building
April 15 - Conflict Management
May 20 - Mentoring
As a small business owner, you have many advantages over large corporations in your ability to be agile, make quick decisions and pivot. You're not constrained by the bureaucracy that plagues larger corporations. You can review the data, make inferences on the trends and shift directions when you choose to do so.

You also have the distinct ability to build close relationships with your customers. Your customers are people that you care about and often know by name. They know they're not a number to you because you work diligently to provide the high level of quality and customer service that they've come to expect from you.

It's your ability to make personal connections that set you apart from your behemoth counterparts. Like 72 percent of small businesses, you use customer referrals as a way to generate new business offline. You personally follow up with customers to the best of your ability with phone calls, direct mail or emails.
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!
When you shop locally, every dollar helps to support and sustain your neighbors, and keeps more money in the local community.
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.
"Everyday People," by Sly and the Family Stone, was the first single by the band to go to number one on the Soul singles chart and the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart this week in 1969. It held that position for four weeks and is remembered as a popular song of the 1960s.

February 29-March 6


Feb. 24 -- Floor & Decor Grand Opening
Feb. 29-March 3 -- Resume Help: One-On-One Session @ Blount County Library
Feb. 29 -- Southern Appalachia Speaker Series: The Natural History of Southern Appalachia
March 1 -- Our Appalachia: Family, Faith & Freedom - Scots-Irish in the Southern Mountains
March 1 -- Beginner's Street Kung Fu @ Clear's Silat, Street Kung Fu, & Tai Chi
March 1 -- Beginner's Tai Chi Classes @ @ Clear's Silat, Street Kung Fu, & Tai Chi
March 3 -- Maryville College to host nonprofit fair
March 3 -- Social Media for Seniors @ Blount County Public Library
March 4 -- Glenstone Galleries & Gifts Grand Opening
March 5 -- Pancake Breakfast sponsored by Leadership Blount Class of 2016
March 5 -- Social Media Boot Camp 2016: Basic Training @ Pellissippi State Community College
March 5 -- The Adult Education Foundation of Blount County's 21st Annual Adult Spelling Bee
March 5 -- CASAblanca hosted by CASA of the TN Heartland


March 7-13



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 13th installment visiting with Larry Parker, partner/owner of Auto Collision Experts.
How did you get started in this business? David Baker and I worked in major dealerships for over 25 years and had a dream to open our own body shop. The Lord opened these doors and with a lot of hard work this became a reality. We now have two shops. One located at 3531 Central Park Blvd. in Louisville and a second shop at 1259A Gallaher Rd. in Kingston. We had a strong relationship with many insurance companies which requested that we open shops in the area because of quality workmanship and our work ethic.
What sets Auto Collision Experts apart? We are a full service body shop with relationships with many insurance companies. We are I-Car Gold certified, aluminum certified by many of the major car manufactures and have a lifetime guarantee. Our employees are always continuing their training in the latest repair techniques.
What are three things you wish you knew when you started. 1. Importance of Networking; 2. Importance of Relationships; 3. Importance of Support from your friends and family.
What do you enjoy about your business? Even with all the knowledge and experience we have, the business is dynamic and always changing. We have to adapt and roll with whatever comes our way.
Any additional comments? Being a member of the Chamber is a valuable key to growing your business and building the needed relationship to make your business succeed.
Previous Profiles:
Jamie Weiss Photography
Jeff Jones, LC Fence
Steve White, White Enterprise Holding
Aundrea Scholem and Jennifer Madaj, Foothills Adult Care Enrichment Services
Wade McLemore, Paychex
Alan Baker, Crown Point Consultants
Shelby Avery, Avery Wealth Management
Kate Schriver, Schriver's
Elizabeth Ross, ECS Central, PLLC
Tony Saddy, Get Fit Maryville
Renee Taylor, CBI
Christy Simmers, Christy's Creative Cafe
Premier and Presidential Partners