Blount Partnership News & Events

Join us for the Chamber Social hosted by Life Care Center of Blount County, Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 3:45 p.m. Earlier in the day, there is a seminar on how to get the most from your chamber membership from 2-3:30 p.m. at the Blount Partnership.
Job listings for DENSO have been added to, so check it out if you're looking for a career move.
Read our 42nd and 43rd installments of The Dialogue at the bottom of this email where we visit with Chris Kilby, co-owner of Mountain Mini Golf in Townsend and Thomas D. Garner (Tom), Executive Director/Founder of Harbours Gate.
Join Blount Partnership President/CEO Bryan Daniels for a briefing on the state of economic development in Blount County, Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 3 p.m., at the Blount Partnership, 201 S. Washington St., Maryville. Please RSVP if attending.
business_group_women.jpg Make plans to attend our next Women in Business meeting on Monday, Sept. 19 at Noon at Airport Hilton. The topic will be "Time Management- Meaning And Its Importance" by Sharon Hannum.
This will be a Dutch Treat lunch from Cooper's Restaurant. You can either do soup or salad bar for $8.95 + tax, this includes drink, and dessert or the whole buffet for $12 (including tax) and includes drink, buffet and dessert.
Please RSVP to Amy Lawson by Friday, Sept. 16 if you plan to attend.
Studies have determined that on the average 75% of people's time is wasted in meetings. Should you be brave enough, do a rough estimate of the money invested in a year in meetings to have an idea of the potential savings available. If you are interested in learning how to stop this waste please attend this session as you will learn how.
What: How to hold more effective and efficient meetings
When: Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016 from 8-9 a.m.
Where: Blount Partnership Board Boom, 201 S. Washington St., Maryville, TN
Cost of the Workshop: Free; provided by EQ Consulting Services
Cost for a Light Breakfast: None
EQ Consulting Services: Jim Rose bio
Questions: Call Jim Rose at 865-207-4480
RSVP: Email to Jim Rose
The Small Business Administration is coming to the Blount Partnership on Thursday, Sept. 22 to present two programs. The first is entitled Financing Your Business the SBA Way (9-10 a.m.) and the second is Understanding the Affordable Care Act (11 a.m.-noon). Both seminars are free. RSVP to Jacqueline Merritt if you wish to attend.
Check out the updated member-to-member promtions for September. 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
One of the best things about SLN is that it allows you to check in on the status of your email campaigns and content through our Impressions page. So, why does this page deserve your attention? Allow me to explain. 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!
Small businesses help give our community its distinct personality.
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.
"What's Love Got to Do with It," by Tina Turner was in the midst of a three-week run atop the Billboard Music Charts this week in 1984. It was taken from her fifth solo album, Private Dancer and became Turner's most successful single. In 2012, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame giving Turner her third Grammy Hall of Fame Award and her 11th Grammy Award.



September 12-18


September 13 -- How to Maximize Your Membership
September 13 -- Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center hosts Tuesdays @ 2
September 13 -- Chamber Social hosted by Life Care Center of Blount County
September 13 -- Stewards of Children training by New Hope Blount County Children's Advocacy Center
September 14 -- GAINS Computer Class-Microsoft Excel (Registration Required) @ Blount County Public Library
September 16 -- Serves that Save Tennis Tournament to benefit A Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee
September 16 -- Recovery Revolution at RIO Revolution
September 16 -- Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center Fall Sunset Concert Series
September 17 -- Marine Mud Run 5K Obstacle Course & Kid's 200m Event
September 17 -- Hometown Downtown Festival - City of Friendsville
September 17 -- Porch Pickin with Seane Crews @ Wood & Strings Dulcimer Shop
September 18 -- Historic College Hill Tour of Homes
September 18 -- Tiny Tot Triathlon


September 19-25


September 19 -- Women in Business
September 20 -- Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center hosts Tuesdays @ 2
September 20 -- City of Alcoa Police & Fire Department hosts National Night Out & Fire Prevention Week
September 20 -- Blount County Habitat for Humanity 3rd Annual Backyard BBQ
September 21 -- GAINS Computer Class-Microsoft Excel (Registration Required) @ Blount County Public Library
September 22 -- Financing Your Business the SBA Way
September 22 -- Understanding the Affordable Care Act
September 22 -- Songs by the Brook Concert Series
September 23-24 -- Townsend Fall Heritage Festival and Old Timers Day
September 23 -- Recovery Revolution at RIO Revolution
September 23 -- Good Neighbors Moonlight Mile
September 24 -- Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center 10th Annual Blue Ribbon Country Fair
September 24 -- Authors Guild of Tennessee @ Cades Cove Cellars


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 42nd installment visiting with Chris Kilby, co-owner of Mountain Mini Golf in Townsend.
What makes this special for you? Like most people we are always looking for opportunities to make money and when this opportunity came up it was a no brainier for us. Growing up in Townsend I took special pride in reopening the miniature golf course because I know what it's like to grow up in small town with little to do. We had a vision of keeping it family friendly and making it a business that helps the community and we've done that. We believe that in order for any business to be successful you have to be an active part in the area you're located. We enjoy that.
How did you get started?
Well, we sort of stumbled into the business. I don't know that many people dream of being in the miniture golf business, lol. We noticed the for lease sign on the property for a while and finally decided to call about it and it was all full speed ahead from there.
Describe your customers. Our main customer focus is tourists visiting the area but we also rely on locals and we do several events to involve the locals and offer discount days etc to show them our appreciation for their support.
What's something you wish you knew when you started? Mainly I wish I knew a little more about laying carpet, lol. We had to replace several holes and it was a little more tricky than we thought. Laying carpet on hills and turns was a challenge.
What do you enjoy most about your business? I enjoy seeing families and friends having a good time and I especially love seeing the excitement of a child when they get their first hole in one, they're always so proud and they can't wait to tell any and everyone they see!

The Dialogue

This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So here we go with our 43rd installment visiting with Thomas D. Garner (Tom), Executive Director/Founder of Harbours Gate, which bring programs of empowerment, hope and courage to make positive changes in the lives of those who struggle in substandard housing communities in Blount County. We lead those who daily battle with 'living life on lfie's terms' to find their true purpose in life. That true purpose is to take their experience, fatih and hope and share with others. By helping put all of the 'broken pieces' of their past back together, they become stronger than ever before and help others rise up who are still dealing with the same challenges.
What does Harbours Gate do? We are a front line, first point of contact in housing communities that are often overlooked as areas of true need and assistance. Having sold all that we had-our finer homes, cars, worldly goods, etc.-we have moved in on site and live side by side with those we serve. We offer: High School Diploma; Alchohol/Drug Addiction Programs; Certified Peer Counseling; legal clinic; Harbours Gate Kids; Court approved anger managment/parenting classes; employment assistance and more. We have been informed that since our presence on site in these ALL of the above are provided on site in our local neighborhoods. We come to those we serve and open up lines of communication and trust. This concept is ideal to use in other depressed and high crime/drug neighborhoods in Blount County. We left the ninety and nine to find the ones who are willing to take a hand up (not out). Once they succeed they go tell the others and that brings them in our doors. We have been informed by local authorities that since we took up residence in one of these substandard communites crime rate has dropped dramatically.
How did you get started? I began in the alchohol/addiction side many years ago. After working with street gangs in Knoxville and addicts in Blount, I saw the broader calling of dealing with Life Issues. In every location we are at, we were invited in by those who live there. After operating my own successful corporation for many years, I realized that 'stuff and money' could not fill the hole in my heart: and that hole was the desire to serve and uplift others who felt their dreams could never be reached.
What is your background? I am a graduate of Maryville College. Major History with minor in Polltical Science. I have worked for a major national company as Director of Markekting and Business Development before staring my own business. Personally I have trained with Saddleback Minisries in the establshiment of Celebrate Recoveryies; have worked with KARM, Salvation Army, Child & Family Services and serve as a teacher at Crossville Mission Bible Training Center which is a life recovery treatment program.
Who is your mentor? Stan Grubb: who visited my dilapidated trailer park project and believed in the vision I had. No one else for years saw it. We operate out of what once was a crack house where death and destruction occurred. Most of the major donors and organizations shunned me as being too primitive and in too dangerous of neighborhoods. Stan saw it and got it and helped me formulate many of our outreach programs. Stan is currently a counselor with WestCare in Roane County. Church of the Cove in Townsend, TN: gave me the opportunity years ago to work in establishing food and clothing banks and connections to work with many local people who were living in despair. David Shanks: came along at the right time. He observed and also became a believer. His tremendous support in so many areas, particularly with the Blount Chamber, is now taking us to the next level.
Describe those you help. Unemployed; disabled; very low income; many working two minimum wage jobs to just stay behind on their rent/bills; many live off disability checks; many do not have a high school diploma; many are living under court probation for prior criminal acts which limits their ability to find better employment; most do not have adequate transportation; ages range from newborns, single moms and dads to seniors. Veterans who have gotten lost in the bureaucratic shuffle.
What do you see as the biggest obstacles? Legal: strict probation limits and cripples those who have proven that they have turned their lives around. Environmental: with no zoning or regulation of mobile home parks there are many who are paying high rent for substandard housing conditions. Stigma (social): many in our working areas feel shunned or looked down because of their past or where they are living now. the phrase 'trailer park trash' still is heard and hurts many, especially our young children.
Name three things you wish you knew when you started. 1. How to attract/build a better board. (On track now but it was a learning process; especially to weed out the 'feel good' flag wavers and tourists' who weren't there for the ones we serve) 2. How to appeal to donors/volunteers. Right connections leading to the right doors. 3. Accounting organization. (Now in good hands with Whitlock & Company, CPA)
What do you enjoy most? The people. Seeing miracles of transformation in those who had given up-or had been written off by society. I have 70 year olds getting their High School Diplomas; some who were declared mentally insane now healed and getting jobs; addicts and drunks getting clean by finding true purpose in serving others. A former prostitue/gang empress fully clean-got her education-and now serves as a district attorney in another state. Yes...she came out of a Blount County mobile home park and graduated from Law School. Youth who were dropping out of school now being reinstated. We are a small group but the individual miracles we are witnessing are often stunning!
Previous Profiles:
Kurt Greene, Vistage Worldwide
John Watson, Common Grounds Landscape Management
Sherri Deutsch Anthony, Broker Properties Realtors
Bob and Pam Gray, Massage Envy - Hamilton Crossing
Regina Cotton, Integrity HR Services
Kellie Moths, Rodan+Fields
Dianna Glandon, Above the Rest Balloon & Event Designs
Eric Mowell, Peak60 Innovative Solutions
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
Premier and Presidential Partners