Blount Partnership News and Events

Check out the latest edition of The Dialogue in this email. This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So, here we go with our 128th installment visiting with Marc Cuffaro, founder/CEO of Operator Transition Assistance Corporation (OPTACorp).
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.
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.
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 is 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
12:45 p.m. Assemble at MLK Center
1 p.m. March from MLK Center to Maryville College
2 p.m. Program at Nutt Theatre in Clayton Center
Promote your business during "Operation Thank You" by sending 1400 gift certificates, brochures or business promotional pieces to us and we will distribute them during Operation Thank You.

Your Chamber constantly looks for ways to help you promote your business through the ABC theory - Always Buy Chamber. We do ask that your enclosure piece not to exceed 8 ½" x 11". These inserts should be delivered to the Chamber no later than 5 p.m. Thursday, February 7.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Amy Lawson at or call 865.983.2241. There is a fee of $250 for insert enclosure.

Participate in the Chamber's 21st annual "Operation Thank You" set for February 19-21, 2019 and meet other business people on a one-on-one basis.

During this three-day event, Chamber members, the Chamber staff and Board of Directors will personally deliver Chamber member information packets. We invite you to join us in this three-day effort. You can agree to call on as many or as few members as your schedule permits.

If you, someone (or several people) from your business, organization or group is interested in participating, please contact Amy Lawson at or call 865.983.2241.
Did you RESOLVE to get more INVOLVED in 2019? Join Leadership Blount for the Spring 2019 session of Discover Blount! This fun, social, engaging introduction to Blount County will help you Discover all the great things about Blount County and identify ways to get involved. Discover Blount meets on six Tuesday afternoons this Spring and will highlight government, history, industry, tourism, education, health, and community service. Grab some friends and jump on the bus! For more information and to register go to
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
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!
Independent local businesses go into their local community to buy the supporting services they need.
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 1974 was "Time in a Bottle" by Jim Croce. ABC originally did not intend to release the song as a single; but when Croce was killed in a plane crash in September 1973, the song's lyrics, dealing with mortality and the wish to have more time, had additional resonance.

The Dialogue

This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So, here we go with our 128th installment visiting with Marc Cuffaro, founder/CEO of Operator Transition Assistance Corporation (OPTACorp), which works to successfully integrate transitioning special operators and uniquely qualified veterans into post-military careers in corporate America.
Describe what OPTACorp does. We are a consulting and advisory agency dedicated to investing in veterans, as we prepare them for careers. That principle also applies to our clients, with whom we work closely to identify specific employment requirements, to find a fully qualified veteran that meets their needs. What makes us unique is the time we spend with both our veterans and clients. Our transition phases provide a pathway for the veteran to personally bring their skills and experience to business leaders. We represent superior candidates that can provide a competitive advantage. We are passionate about creating the best opportunities for the veterans who have volunteered to serve and protect our nation.
How did you get started? After witnessing the struggles faced by some friends upon transitioning from the Special Forces into the corporate workforce.
What is your background? The team behind OPTACorp possesses 20+ years of elite special operations experience combined with more than 50 years of business development experience in the corporate sector.
Who is your mentor? Colonel Kim Moros, Deputy of the Care Coalition. Col. Moros is a leader in the transition of veterans into corporate America. Her success is nationally recognized not only in the military sector, but in the private sector as well. She recognized OPTACorps professional manner and how it aligned with what the Care Coalition was doing. She quickly realized that I would have a greater level of success of moving the program nationally with a higher level of placements because I was a civilian.
Describe your customers. OPTACorp clients are all businesses that support the employment of veterans with skills in project management, logistics, engineering, quality assurance, IT, security and business development.
Name three things you wish you knew when you started? 1. To have a better understanding of what these brave men and women have been through. 2. To have a more efficient model to support their needs. More time focused on how to question them, and a better understanding of their physical, mental and emotional needs. 3. To work more specifically with clients that understood what veterans could or are currently doing within their organizations.
What do you enjoy about the business? The feeling of helping a group of men and women that I consider to be our heroes.


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