Blount Partnership News and Events

Seven individuals and businesses that gave their time and resources to make Blount County a special place to live and work were honored at the Blount Partnership Best of Blount Awards held at the Clayton Center for the Arts Thursday evening. Charter Spectrum, Massey Electric, Blount Excavating, C2RL Engineers, DENSO and Cherokee Millwright sponsored the event.

The awards program, which saw more than 1,000 attend, was hosted by Star 102.1-FM morning personalities Kim Hansard and Marc Anthony.

The evening was highlighted with a special visit from former U.S. Army helicopter pilot and prisoner of war Mike Durant, whose saga during a mission in Mogadishu, Solmalia, in 1993 was chronicled in the movie Black Hawk Down.

Philanthropist of the Year - Kathy Johnson
Large Business of the Year - Altar'd State
Small Business of the Year - Avero Advisors
Bright Future Award - Tina Rhea, REO Cheesewagon
First Responder Award - Elizabeth Murphy, Blount County Sheriff's Office
Community Impact Award - United Way of Blount County
Tourism Impact Award - RT Lodge
Join us for the Southern Grace Coffee (312 Tedford St., Maryville), ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. on November 20. Refreshments provided.
Wake up to new business contacts at coffee club held November 21 at Quinn Appliance (160 S. Calderwood St., Alcoa) from 7:45-9 a.m. 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.

If you currently do business with Blount County government or are interested in doing business with it, please join the Blount County Purchasing Office for Blount County Vendor Day, November 20 from 9-11 a.m. at the Blount County Courthouse, Room 315, 385 Court St., Maryville. You'll meet the Purchasing Staff and other departments. You can register to do business with Blount County.
Best Workplaces for Commuters (BWC) is an innovative membership program that provides qualified employers with national recognition and an elite designation for offering outstanding commuter benefits. Employers and developments that meet the National Standard of Excellence in commuter benefits can get on the list of Best Workplaces for Commuters. The application deadline for the 2020 BWC list is December 30, 2019.

Smart Trips has partnered with Best Workplaces for Commuters to encourage employers to apply for this national recognition opportunity. Our program would love to cover the application fee ($230 value) for our Chamber's members. If you know of any members interested, please let them know this is available until the application deadline.

For more information about the application process, please visit our website.
Become a tnAchieves mentor! 12 hours a year is all it takes to help Tennessee students on their journey to higher education. The December 6 deadline is approaching fast. We need 67 more mentors locally to meet our goal of 192! Encourage your friends, family and coworkers to apply at
Check out the latest edition of The Dialogue in this email where we visit with new Blount County Chamber member Tyler Chase, CEO of Creekside Cyber Systems.
The 2020 Basically Blount lifestyle magazine and membership directory is entering production once again. This annual, full-color lifestyle magazine and chamber membership directory is initially distributed to all Chamber members starting Feb. 2020, along with distribution four times throughout the year via area professional offices, newcomers, visitors, and new businesses all looking to relocate to Blount County.

We are pleased to offer a variety of advertising opportunities at cost effective rates through our media kit. We have contracted with Marcon Marketing Consultants, a local Chamber member, to handle production and ad sales.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of Basically Blount, the importance of supporting the Chamber, and how to get your business involved, contact: Rick Ford of Marcon Marketing at 865-705-8580 or Vicki Hawkins of Marcon Marketing at 865-310-2963
This November 30, the Blount Partnership wants to celebrate Small Business Saturday with you! It's a special holiday created so communities can show love for small local businesses. And it wouldn't be a celebration without businesses like you joining us!

The day was setup to help businesses with their most pressing need -- getting more customers. The day encourages people to shop at small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The single day has grown into a powerful movement, and more people are taking part than ever before.

If your small business is interested in participating, please email We will help get the word out about shopping locally at the beginning of the holiday season.
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 Building Success by Developing Leadership on November 22. Learn the difference between management and leadership. Explore the characteristics, qualities and attributes of proven leaders, and see how you can develop these traits within yourself and others.

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 1986 was "Human" by the Human League. The song became the second single by the band to top the Billboard Hot 100 after the 1982 single "Don't You Want Me."

The Dialogue

This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So, here we go with our 151st installment visiting with Tyler Chase, CEO of Creekside Cyber Systems, LLC, which provides top-of-the-line IT support and managed services to small and mid-sized businesses in Blount County and the surrounding area.
Describe what your business does. Creekside provides managed IT and cyber security services that are focused on the partner that chooses us. We are here to be the best in service and capability to our partners without the hassle of pressure from a sales team. We strive to be the IT partner that you want and need to come alongside your business as an asset, not a problem.
How did you get started? I joined the Marine Corps in 2012 and they put me in a role of "Data Systems Administrator". This really kindled my love of professional IT. As I went through the years since, I noticed a great greed in the providers of our area. Nickel and diming small businesses just for a buck. That is when I chose to start Creekside Cyber Systems.
What is your background? I have not ceased to learn since I got involved in this field. Through mentorship from industry leaders, added training and certification classes, and formal college education, I have excelled in this field. Personally I hold nine certifications currently and have no plans of slowing down.
Who is your mentor? There are two individuals that I would say have had the greatest impact. 1. Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone 2. Travis D Gunny Basilone has been a role model of mine ever since I heard of his leadership and tenacity despite being separated by decades. Travis has shown me more than I could even begin to describe in this field. He has been a great resource to me and a firm friend.
Describe your customers. As a managed IT provider we will support anyone who desires or needs our services. Any business should have at least an IT advisor to give advise on compliance issues related to taking payment cards and in some cases health information to avoid federal penalties.
What environments impact your business? The biggest direct impact is technology. It is always changing and in order to stay competitive Creekside needs to be on the cutting edge of tech in both implementation and daily use.
Name three things you wish you knew when you started. I wish I knew that it was going to cost more than I initially anticipated. I wish that I had known more of the basics like insurance and tax registration.
What do you enjoy about running the business? I absolutely love being able to work WITH partners instead of seeing them as only a source of income. Partnering with businesses and their owners instead of only selling to them allows us to create solutions that are within the businesses price range and results in very healthy partnerships.


November 18-24


November 18-23 -- Corinne Coley and Bill Saltz at the Townsend Visitors Center
November 18 -- Computer and Electronics Free Training and Education Session
November 18 -- Women in Business
November 19 -- Blount County Public Library Board of Trustees Meeting
November 19 -- Learning and Loving Books with Mr. Gary
November 20 -- Focus on Seniors: Medicare & Drug Plans
November 20 -- Microsoft PowerPoint 2016 Advanced Tips and Tricks Computer Class
November 21 -- Coffee Club sponsored by Quinn Appliance LLC
November 22 -- History in a Bottle, a Bourbon-centric dinner and auction to benefit Historic Ramsey House
November 22 -- It's Your Career: Building Success by Developing Leadership
November 22 -- United Way of Blount County Victory Luncheon
November 23 -- Holiday Homecoming at Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center
November 23 -- Holiday Bazaar & Bake Sale
November 23 -- National Novel Writing Month Write-In
November 23 -- Tremont Institute Volunteer Work Day
November 24 -- Trot for Education


November 25-December 1



Save the Date


Chairman's Club, Champion's Club, President's Circle