Blount Partnership News and Events

Take a gander at the latest edition of The Dialogue in this email where we visit with Katrina Kepf, president of L.I.F.E. (Living Independently and Functionally in your Environment).

Why does Santa have three gardens? So he can ho-ho-ho.
Looking for a tax deduction to ring out 2015? Remember that your Blount County Chamber Membership fee is 85% tax deductible if you renew by December 31. Call 865.983.2241 or email Amy.

Why did the elf push his bed into the fireplace? He wanted to sleep like a log.
The January 10 afternoon mixer originally scheduled to be at Sleep Outfitters has been moved to Vienna Coffee House (212 College Ave. Maryville). The event runs from 3:45-5 p.m.

Mixers 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 and open to anyone associated with a Chamber member business. Participation is not reserved to the representative(s) listed on the Chamber membership.
The North Pole doesn't import goods because it's Elf Sufficient.

Looking for a New Year's Eve event, try one of these:

New Year's Eve Dinner at RT Lodge: We are open this New Year's Eve! For the warmest, coziest (and tastiest) start to 2019, come and raise a glass or two with us! If loud music and party poppers aren't really your thing, come and cozy up at RT Lodge and welcome in the New Year. Feast on our hearty and comforting five-course New Year's Eve menu thoughtfully created by Chef Trevor Stockton and our culinary team. There'll be a glass of bubbly on us at midnight! $90 per person plus tax and service (does not include alcohol).

Blount Habitat for Humanity NYE Gatsby Gala: Blount County Habitat for Humanity will host its second annual 1920s themed NYE Gatsby Gala at a new location this year! Join us at the historic Capitol Theatre in your best 1920's attire for a night of entertainment and enjoyment in support of 26 years of building affordable homes in Blount County. You'll step into the world of 1920s opulence from the moment you arrive including the addition of an open bar and Sullivan's catering. The gala will include hot era jazz, cold drinks, gourmet hors d'oeuvres, swanky silent auction, casino tables and much, much more! NYE Gatsby Gala: $125 per person.

What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus? Claustrophobic
Join the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont on January 26 for a one-day experience in Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Winter is a unique and beautiful time of year to investigate trees and plants of the Smokies.

Cost: $64 (Includes breakfast and lunch)
Learn more on our website.

What do Santa's little helpers learn at school? The elf-abet!
Can you believe the first HR Focus Group is set for January 9, 2019? Sign up today for Ryan Allen, Senior Loss Control Specialist for Accident Fund as he presents an enlightening seminar on Making Safety Successful. Topics to be covered include Common Safety Pitfalls, Safety Management Leadership, Basic Safety Program Elements, Building for Continued Success and Tools to Elevate Safety. REGISTER HERE.

Why does Santa Claus go down the chimney on Christmas Eve? Because it soots him
The MLK business luncheon will be held at the Clayton Center for the Arts on January 18 at noon. The cost is $35 per person or $350 per table of 10. Reservations are required to attend this event and can be made by calling the Blount County Chamber of Commerce at 865-983-2241. The keynote speaker will be Mr. Cassius Cash, Superintendent of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.<

Other MLK Celebration Weekend events include:

MLK Kids and Families Fair
Saturday, January 19, 2019
1 p.m. at the Blount County Library

Community Worship Service
Sunday, January 20, 2019
4 p.m. at St. John Baptist Church, Alcoa

MLK Day March/Program
Monday, January 21, 2019
12:45pm Assemble at MLK Center
1pm March from MLK Center to Maryville College
2 p.m. Program at Nutt Theatre in Clayton Center

Christmas tree trend started because people thought it would spruce things up a bit.
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 Creating Infographics for Promoting Your Business on Dec. 21. This course qualifies for .2 CEU's awarded by Pellissippi State.

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.

What do you call an elf that can sing? A wrapper.
Businesses need to take advantage of the Blount County Library's subscription to Using your library card, get access to, a LinkedIn Company, with thousands of courses in software, creative and business skills to develop your staff skills and meet learning needs at your own convenience. Learn More

What type of Christmas dessert shouldn't you trust? Mince spies!
Member-to-member promotions are here. Submit to the email below. Check out the latest offer from Puleo's, Airport Hilton and RCN Technologies. See other promotions at member-to-member promotions. New offers are being posted almost daily, 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

What is the cow's holiday greeting? Mooooory Christmas.
Think local first + Buy local when you can = Being a local!
Local businesses give a community its flavor.
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 "The Way It Is" by Bruce Hornsby and the Range. Tupac Shakur sampled the song in his hit "Changes."

The Dialogue

This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So, here we go with our 127th installment visiting with Katrina Kepf, president of L.I.F.E. (Living Independently and Functionally in your Environment), which helps seniors and disabled members in our community be able to safely age in place in their home environment.
Describe what L.I.F.E does. We provide modification consultations/assessments in clients home, offering knowledgeable recommendations while focusing on safety and independence. As a Licensed Real Estate Agent, specializing in seniors, if client chooses to relocate, we can both list the residence for sale as well as pre-qualify homes that would accommodate the clients changing needs, assist in the relocation process, and if desired, help in providing information on local assisted living facilities and nursing homes.
How did you get started? I am a Registered Nurse and work primarily with seniors and the disabled. Individuals residing in homes without proper modifications for their physical needs or disease process, prevents them from leading independent lives and puts their safety at risk. I have a vision to provide these necessary modifications for our community, as well as to fund the modifications through our non-profit "L.I.F.E. Support" to those families with financial needs.
What is your background? I am a Registered Nurse and a Licensed Real Estate Agent. I have specialized in Seniors and the disabled for over 15 years. In my career as a nurse, I have completed countless home visits, provided modification recommendations, case management, discharge planning and operated a medical equipment loan closet for the ALS Association for the past 3 years. Becoming a Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist was the final piece of education to complete the triad of expertise to be able to develop this specialized business.
Who is your mentor? My husband, Pete Kepf, without a doubt. Without his support, I would have never been able to pursue my career as a Registered Nurse or develop this business to serve others. He is my greatest supporter, my mentor, as well as my life and business partner. He says that every great partnership has a "why"(me) and a "how"(him). This business is definitely a partnership of the best kind and our expertise and skills compliment one another very well.
Describe your customers. A senior citizen or individual diagnosed with disability that has the desire to age in place in the home of their choice.
What impact the business environment you work in? Most individuals prefer to age-in-place, safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age or ability level. Many seniors and disabled are underserved, often overlooked and can be economically taken advantage of . We advocate for this underserved community to provide quality home modifications, and relocation services with integrity.
Name three things you wish you knew when you started. How much time it would REALLY take. Realistic startup costs. How warmly we would be been accepted.
What do you enjoy about the business? "Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life" Confucius Serving and helping those in our community is more than a business, it is a calling that I am passionate about. The best thing about owning my own company the ability to be able to make positive changes in people's lives.
Premier and Presidential Partners