Blount Partnership News & Events

Join us at the Blount Partnership, this Thursday, Aug. 18 from 4-5 p.m., as the Transportation Coalition of Tennessee will present to the citizens and community leaders in Blount County a discussion on the transportation infrastructure funding dilemma in Tennessee.
On Friday, Aug. 19 from 8-9 a.m., the Blount Partnership, Twin City Dealership, First Tennessee Bank and CSX will host a local legislative briefing with Mark Johnson, City Manager for the City of Alcoa. This event takes place at the Blount Partnership, 201 S. Washington St., Maryville.
Read our 34th and 35th installments of The Dialogue at the bottom of this email where we visit with Eric Mowell, lead creative geek of Peak60 Innovative Solutions, and Dianna Glandon, president and founder of Above the Rest Balloon & Event Designs.
The Blount County Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for two positions (Member At-Large 3-year term, One-Year Director) for its 2017 Board of Directors until Sept. 12, 2016. Please complete the online form of an individual you think would make a good board member.
The Best of Blount Awards are coming in November to the Clayton Center for the Arts and we need you to nominate businesses and people who have made an impact in the community over the past year. Submit nominations here until Aug. 31.
Savor some of the best food in Blount County at the 15th annual Taste of Blount set for Thursday, September 8, 2016, from 6-8 p.m. at the Theater in the Park in Maryville next to the Blount County Court House. View vendors and menu.
Tickets, which are $25 for Blount County Chamber members, $30 for the public and $15 for students 17 and under or those with a college or student ID, are available at the Chamber office (201 S. Washington St., Maryville, Tenn.), by phone 865.983.2241 or online. Tickets are available at the door the night of the event on a cash-only basis.
For an additional $10, patrons 21-years or older are invited to sample locally crafted spirits and beers. Tickets are available at the event only.
Ticket holders can try savory favorites from local restaurants, caterers and gourmet grocers in addition to voting for their favorite appetizer, main course, sandwich, dessert, beverage, presentation and overall winner.
Grab a booth space and network at the largest networking event in Blount County with Primetime presented by Pinnacle Financial Partners on Tuesday, Aug. 23 from 4-6 p.m. at Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee. Booths and tickets are $15 and available by calling the Blount Partnership at 865.983.2241 or email Amy. Also, think about bringing a door prize.
This summer casual-themed event is your best opportunity to meet many Chamber members from all sectors of the community in one location. Use this event to network and meet new people in the business community!
If you're in business, you need to attend this free seminar on Monday, Aug. 22 from 9-11 a.m. at the Blount Partnership. Register Here. This seminar will give you practical tips and insights on how to use Facebook. This seminar will help you discover the ins and outs of using Facebook to grow your business or nonprofit.
If you have been thinking about using Facebook and any of the other social media platforms (or if you are already using them in your business), then you will benefit from this seminar.
If you are currently using Facebook or if you want to get started using any of the social media platforms, then you do not want to miss this event. It is filled with valuable content, strategies, and insights on how to get the most out of the time you spend on social media. Beginners and seasoned users will walk away with something they can start using immediately to build their business.
People associated with construction or manufacturing businesses need to attend this free cost and estimating workshop for government contracts, Thursday, Sept. 1 from 9-11 a.m. at the Blount County Chamber of Commerce. Learn federal contractor's qualifications, accounting system requirements, estimating system requirements and how to structure your compliant accounting/estimate infrastructure. RSVP here.
New offers are being posted weekly, 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
The summer has flown by as quickly as ever, and we are now in the midst of August: a month when we all feel a bit slow and unmotivated after a summer full of hard work. The Romans called the hottest, most uncomfortably humid days "Dog Days". Often times these days cause us to feel like doing the opposite of work! Unfortunately, for most of us, that is not an option. However, as a business owner, there is hope. Read these quick tips to learn some no-brainer marketing tips for these lazy days. Read more here.

Learn more about marketing your small business in a digital world, ask questions about social media, and take the time to discuss future campaign ideas. What are you waiting for? It's free with your chamber membership. Schedule your FREE session today.
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!
Our local business scene is something that's unique to our city for travelers, and provides quality and convenience for residents.
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.
"Ghostbusters," recorded by Ray Parker Jr., served as the theme to the film of the same name and was in the midst of a three-week run atop the Billboard Music Charts this week in 1984. It was nominated at the 57th Academy Awards for Best Original Song.



August 15-21



August 22-28



Save the Date


You can access the entire calendar here to see other community events and submit your own.

Premier and Presidential Partners

The Dialogue

This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So here we go with our 34th installment visiting with Eric Mowell, lead creative geek of Peak60 Innovative Solutions who has a constant determination for developing the most technically sound yet artistically engaging products that are built specifically with the user in mind.
What is Peak60 about? I am passionate about bringing ideas to life. I have hired and collaborated with many industrial design/ product development companies through-out my career, but these companies are typically located only in major metropolitan areas. There are so many amazing businesses in the local area, and I want to be able to help them bring their ideas to life as well. We work to understand businesses, then build innova-tive solutions through digital media marketing, new product devel-opment (Industrial Design & Engineering), and packaging design/ development.
How did you get started? In addition to my design experience, I was fortunate enough to be a major part of the growth of a local CPG company. During my tenure I led the creation and management of the new product development team that became a primary focus for the company, setting it apart from competition, and helping it to achieve a top spot in its category even among several well known industry giants such as P&G and J&J. This experience helped me under-stand the business and how to be successful in the market, and I am now applying those principles to Peak60.
Who is your mentor? My wife has definitely been my biggest supporter throughout my career. She has been my top advocate, praying for me and en-couraging me as I pushed further out of my comfort zone. She has been a great critic and a detached perspective for my work. Through the moves, risks, and rewards, she has challenged me, but most importantly been by my side.
Describe your customers. We cover a variety of business needs, so here is list of a few: * Individuals or businesses with product ideas that they want to see come to fruition. Businesses that may have products already, but could use some fresh updated designs and/or line extensions. * Businesses that need help with packaging designs and devel-opment. * Small to mid-size businesses that need help with digital marketing through website development, social media, etc.
What impacts your business the most? In the world of technology and design, ideology and perspective changes frequently. This can be due to social, economic, environmental, technological, legal and/or political environments, but on the flip side, a change in technology and design can also cause a change to those environments. A simple thought, when properly developed, has the opportunity to change the world.
Name three things you wish you knew when you started at Peak60. 1. My previous job was heavily involved in the national market, so I didn't have many local connections. But something tells me the Chamber can really help with that. 2. I wish I better knew when to hit the pause button. Building a business is hard, and you must be dedicated, but it's not healthy for it to overtake your life. 3. Not necessarily new to this business, but learned over time in my career. No two days are alike. Each day is an adventure, and you must embrace it and enjoy.

The Dialogue

This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So here we go with our 35th installment visiting with Dianna Glandon, president and founder of Above the Rest Balloon & Event Designs who strives to create fun & excitement for her clients while at the same time reducing their stress level when they are planning special events! They LOVE to help people party!
You're not a normal party planner. What sets you apart? Above the Rest Event Designs brings powerful color energy to special events of all types. How? Through the art mediums of balloons and fabric. Yes, balloons, but not what your mind is thinking of as "balloons." We are professional experts in creating customized full room or event decor that make people exclaim, "WOW!" when they enter a room or event. Our balloon designs often become the focal point at an event causing people to have their photos taken with the designs. We create FUN and... We make it easy for event planners to look great, their event to draw attention, or to impress people. Because our designs raise the energy at any event, it becomes easier for our clients who are hosting fundraisers to raise more money because the atmosphere has become a very positive one.
This sounds fun. How did you get started? Ten years ago I was teaching school and also student council advisor. We often did things with balloons, but when we planned a statewide student council convention for 900 students, we planned a giant tailgate party as our final night celebration. To decorate, we hired a balloon artist. At the end of event I said, "Tim, your job has to be so fun!" He said, "Well, then why don't you buy my business?'' "Seriously?" I said. "I don't think so." But couldn't get the idea out of my mind. Long story short, after researching, I found a balloon industry training site in Georgia and attended it. There I discovered the new and exciting world of event decorating and people who are now dear friends! I continued to teach and also did balloon decor part-time. The business began to grow until I had to make a choice. After much prayer and receiving some obvious guidance, I took a leap of faith and retired from teaching to begin Above the Rest Balloon & Event Designs--and have loved it ever since!
You've obviously learned a lot. What else have you done? Over the past 10 years I have attended numerous training workshops and conventions specific to the balloon industry as well as fabric draping (because we are also fabric draping experts). In that time I have traveled across the country learning from industry experts from around the world; learning from masters from over 15 countries. We have competed in international industry competitions, placed in several and have learned much about design from those competitions. Additionally, I study constantly about running a business through a wide variety of educational sources, including having a business coach.
Who are your typical customers? My customers are BUSY! They are typically in charge of planning several events at one time since most of our clients are corpora-tions, schools or colleges. They know that it's best to trust quality vendors to take care of details like decorating so they can attend to other details of planning an event. My customers want to look good and make their events look fantastic. In the private sector, my clients are BUSY! They either don't have time to plan and create decor or they don't feel confident in their ability to make their event look its best. They want relief from the stress so they can party!
What are some things you wish you knew when you started?
I wish I knew the absolute essential value of having a business coach. I wish I knew the importance of have a great graphic de-signer working with me behind the scenes instead of trying to do so much by myself. I wish I knew that even though I own a bal-loon and fabric draping company that my real job is being a marketer.
What do you enjoy about running your business? I love that with every event we decorate, that we get to make people smile, that we save them time, and that their guests get to smile more!
Previous Profiles:
Dr. Jackie Hone, Trinity Direct Primary Care of Maryville
Randi Smith, Damsel in Defense
Roy Shields, Smoky Mountain Self Defense
Michael & Lori Bishop, Mountain Top Retirement Planning
Cynthia Warner, Cynthia's Natural Market
Holly Sparks, Realty Trust Group
Amy McCarty and Tosha Wilhelmsen, The Artistic Bean Maryville
Dr. Drew Osborn, Foothills Pediatric Dentistry
Ray Clowers, Champion Physical Therapy
Jeffrey Jeter, OneSouth Financial Group
Josh Fincher, Thermocopy
Cory Blanton, Aerotek Scientific
David Anderson, Shelter Insurance
Nancy McBee, Tennessee Trane Energy Services
Joel Honeycutt, J&S Janitorial Solutions
Suzie Cutshaw, JB&B Capital
Tom Klein, InfoSystems
Clint Woodfin, Spicer Rudstrom, PLLC
Rebecca Kiger, Home Instead Senior Care
Ben Hazel, Pree's Tree Specialists
Larry Parker, Auto Collision Experts
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