Blount Partnership News and Events

Join Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell on July 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church (804 Montvale Station Rd., Maryville) for a town hall public meeting of the CARES Committee. The meeting's purpose is to gather public comment and input on the Mayor's report as presented on July 18 that addressed jail overcrowding and a transition facility.
Join us for Coffee Club on July 25 at 7:45 a.m. at the Y-12 Federal Credit Union branch in Eagleton (2901 Old Knoxville Hwy., Maryville).

Coffees are designed to offer our members the opportunity to build business relationships with other members and to gain exposure for their business or organization in an "open house" setting.

Coffees are open to anyone associated with a Chamber member business. Participation is not reserved to the representative(s) listed on the Chamber membership.
They get up early to make the donuts and events begin at 5 a.m. on July 23 at the Dunkin' (618 S. Washington St., Maryville).
* FREE Coffee & Donut for a month cards for the FIRST 100 guests
* Hourly raffles from 5-9 a.m.
* Boys and Girls Club of Blount County ($2000 donation)
* Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 9 a.m.
* Dunkin' Mascots Cuppy & Sprinkles
Make plans for Saturday, August 3 for the highly acclaimed 'Bacon at the Bear', featuring 13 of the best regional chefs cooking their own personal dishes to benefit New Hope Children's Advocacy Center. Presented by New Hope: Blount County Children's Advocacy Center, each Chef will incorporate Benton's Bacon and a common theme steeped in the roots of Appalachia. Each ticket includes a bourbon or wine tasting session, presented by Knoxville Beverage; Annual silent auction to benefit New Hope; Artisan and farmer's exhibits on The Lawn; Live music by Humle Bob & the Engineers. TICKETS.

The event is part of the Dancing Bear Lodge and Appalachian Bistro Vittles & Fiddles Weekend, a three day celebration of Appalachian cuisine, culture, and community. The new weekend-long gathering is an extension of that same culinary vibrance, with additional opportunities for guests to enjoy the sounds, sights, and culture of Appalachia.
Did you know the Blount Partnership is on social media? Follow us at the links below and you'll find more content and information than I can stuff in this email newsletter? It only takes one click.
Chamber Facebook
Partnership Facebook
Peaceful Side of the Smokies Facebook
Blount Area Jobs Facebook
Chamber Twitter
Peaceful Side Twitter
Chamber Instagram
Peaceful Side Instagram
Here we go with our 140th installment of The Dialogue at the bottom of this email. This week we visit with Roben Richmond, owner of Tickled Orange Photo Booth, which is the perfect entertainment addition to any event.
Dr. Jeff McCord, Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, will present a briefing about the workforce efforts from the state on July 31 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville).

Before joining the Department, Commissioner McCord spent seven years at Northeast State Community College in Kingsport where he was Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development. RSVP ONLINE.
When you roll out the red carpet for your customers, they run out and tell everyone they know. In today's marketplace, customers have more choices and louder voices than ever before. That's why focusing on excellent customer service is the new marketing! Your customers can be your best source of advertising - if you engage your team to up their game in terms of the experience they create!

During this 1/2 day, interactive workshop we will discuss what it takes to build a culture of service where your team members are excited and ready to roll out the red carpet for your customers. Walk away with actionable ideas for:

- Taking your customer experience up to the next great level.
- Improving the 3 areas of the customer experience, including the WOW Factor
- Enhance customer and team member interactions
- Use 5 steps to building a culture of service excellence

So, join presenter Donna Cutting of Red Carpet Learning Systems on August 7 from 8 a.m.-noon at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville). The fee is $40 for Chamber members (book included) and $50 for non-members (book included). REGISTER ONLINE.
soft skills It's Your Career! That's the focus of a free soft skills session offered in partnership by the Blount County Public Library, the Adult Education Foundation of Blount County and the Blount County Chamber of Commerce.

Registrations are currently being accepted online at for a class entitled Communicating and Listening Effectively on August 30. All participants will earn .5 CEUs per session for participating. They will also receive an email survey two months after workshop participation to assess application of new ideas.

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.
Blount Chamber members can now post their own Member-to-Member deals on this page at no charge. Simply login to your account, Click on the "New Coupon" button, fill out the form and click save. It's that easy.

Click here if you need access to your login information.

Of course, we will be happy to add your coupon. Just email information about the product or discount you'd like to offer to the Chamber membership to Be sure to include an expiration date.

View the latest deals.
Think local first + Buy local when you can = Being a local!
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 1990 was "She Ain't Worth It" by Glenn Medeiros with a rap verse from singer Bobby Brown. It hit number one for two weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 on July 21, 1990, becoming Medeiros' only number one hit in America and Brown's second and last number one hit after "My Prerogative".

The Dialogue

This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So, here we go with our 140th installment visiting with Roben Richmond, owner of Tickled Orange Photo Booth, which is the perfect entertainment addition to any event.
Describe Tickled Orange Photo Booth. Photo booths are especially fun for weddings, corporate events, fundraisers, birthday parties, school events, grand openings, or showers- just to name a few. We provide an open-air or (free standing) photo booth, customizable backdrop, and an extraordinary prop selection for any occasion. Take advantage of instant unlimited printing at every event as well. Choose between 2x6 or 4x6 customizable printed keepsakes for your guests. Enjoy taking fun photos, and we guarantee that the experience will leave everyone tickled orange.
How did you get started? I recently left my job with Child Protective Services to stay home with my girls. Originally, I thought I might look into a graduate program since I would have some idle time. Little did I know, God had a different plan in store for my life. A little backstory- I have played around with photo booth props for holidays or birthday parties with family and friends every year for as long as I can remember. I was surprised to learn that a company in Dallas manufactured and distributed photo booths to individuals seeking to start their own business. Upon learning this, an interest was sparked, and I made an appointment to tour their showroom in Dallas. While there, I decided to move forward with the perfect photo booth. I explained to my husband that we lived in an area flooded with fun events, and that a photo booth business would be a fun way to get involved with our community and to develop new relationships. With his support, other things followed. I created a rational business plan and pitched the idea to our bank. I made trips to our insurance agent's office and our attorney's office for some guidance. Tickled Orange Photo Booth became a reality. The name "Tickled Orange" came from a random conversation with my dear friend, Amber Lamance. I approached my friends at Label Industries, to help me create the perfect brand. They took a few notes and brought my business logo to life. With everything in place, I moved forward to launch Tickled Orange Photo Booth in June 2019.
What is your background? I became acquainted with resources and non-profit organizations available in our area for families in need when I worked for The State of Tennessee.Unfortunately, the environment I worked in was discouraging and hostile at times. Those times taught me that laughter is a cure for all things, and laughing frequently is necessary for mental and emotional survival. Tickled Orange Photo Booth encompasses all of those things. I have the ability to give back to my community by providing the perfect environment for laughter and fun.
Who is your mentor? There certainly is not just one. However, if I had to choose only one it would be my husband, Justin. Justin is successful contractor in our area. He is the most intelligent person I know with a limited education. He has built a successful business by rationale and smart financial decisions. He operates his business with integrity. Justin has provided moral support, words of encouragement, opportunities to teach me random lessons. In addition, he sometimes has to reverse roles and care for our children. He encourages "me" time. Justin takes the time to provide explanations, which I appreciate. I have much to learn, and I am grateful for continuing opportunities to learn from him everyday.
Describe your customers. My customers. They are my people. We gravitate towards each other because we share an affinity for laughing and funny pictures, I'm sure of it. Since my business has only recently launched, I appreciate the individuals I have had the opportunity to serve. for taking a chance to try something new or different. Some of the most encouraging words have also come from these human beings. I will always be humbled by kindness I have been shown as a new business owner.
Name three things you wish you knew when you started. I wish I had known the importance of networking, and how truly valuable it is for your business to grow. I wish I had scoped out several different CRM programs before committing to one. I wish I had known the how necessary it is to have a social media presence.
What do you enjoy about running the business? I love that my business is associated with fun. I also love that there was always purpose and timing behind Tickled Orange Photo Booth, and it came as a total surprise to me while I was making plans elsewhere. I love meeting new faces and learning how I can serve others through Tickled Orange Photo Booth. What I have found in Blount County is that this community exhausts every avenue to give back, to promote others, and to support others.


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