Blount Partnership News & Events

Join us Thursday, Nov. 17 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville) to learn more about the Chamber and the many opportunities that go along with being a member by attending. You'll also learn how to make the most of the benefits afforded to you. RSVP to
The November general election is Tuesday, so be sure to exercise your right as an American to vote. Here are the precinct voting locations in Blount County. Remember to bring a photo ID. For questions regarding precincts, please contact the Election Commission Office at 865.273.5920.
Read our 59th and 60th installments of The Dialogue at the bottom of this email where we visit with Haley Schweitzer, event director at the Capitol Theatre and Craig Fernandes, president of Patriot Threads, LLC

Tourism Award -
Metropolitan Knoxville Authority
Bright Future Award - The Golden Age 1942
Large Business of the Year - Newell Brands
Small Business of the Year - Blount County Eye Center
Community Impact Award - Pregnancy Resource Center
Philanthropist of the Year - Jack Campbell
RSVP Becky Miller by Nov. 18 with your name, business name and chamber if you wish to attend.

In recent years, the Blount County Chamber of Commerce annual meeting was held in conjunction with an anniversary celebration and networking event for our members during January. As the event became more of a social gathering rather than a business meeting, the business portion was removed from this event.
The annual meeting of the corporation will now be held in conjunction with the regular meeting of the Board of Directors in November each year. This year's meeting is set for Nov. 14 at 11:30 a.m. at the Blount Partnership office located at 201 S. Washington St., Maryville, Tenn. There are currently no items on the agenda for the annual meeting other than the regular report made by President/CEO Bryan Daniels. RSVP to Brenda at
Mark your calendar to for attend the Anniversary Celebration set for Jan. 27, 2017 at the Hilton Knoxville Airport. This event promises to be one of the largest networking events in the area.
Jeff Francis, Assistant Administrator Workers' Compensation Division from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, will be at the Blount Chamber on Wednesday, Nov. 16 from 3-4 p.m.

He will discuss the latest updates to the Tennessee Workers' Compensation Act as well as Bureau Rules or Policies and effective dates of those updates and more.

RSVP to Amy to register.
Basically Blount 2017 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. 2017, along with distribution four times throughout the year via area professional offices, newcomers, visitors, and new businesses all looking to relocate to Blount County.
In addition to intriguing stories and area photography that highlight the best of Blount County, Basically Blount also includes a finger-indexed, color-coded directory and buyer's guide of all Chamber members. Chamber members consistently tell us that they keep Basically Blount on hand throughout the year in order to find business products and services when they need them. In addition to 5,000 lifestyle magazines, we will have a complete online version on both the chamber and economic development websites.
We are pleased to offer a variety of advertising opportunities at cost effective rates. 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. Download the media kit here.
This Nov 26, we want 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 Amy your logo and specials for the day. We are trying to get the word out about shopping locally at the beginning of the holiday season.
Businesses signed up:
Blount County Eye Center
Blount Discount Pharmacy
Boyd Thomas Clothing
Cycology Bicycles
Cynthia's Natural Market
Downtown Maryville Holiday Crafts
Eden Salon and Spa
Elliott's Boots
Flower Shop, Inc.
Glenstone Galleries
Hwy 411 South Antiques
Little River Trading Company
Little River Trading Company 'Lifestyle'
Louisville Mercantile
Lowe's Drug
Patriot Threads
Roost Home
Rustic Impulse Salon & Boutique
The Village Tinker
Treasures Jewelers
It's Your Career! That's the focus of free soft skills sessions offered in partnership by the Blount County Public Library, the Adult Education Foundation of Blount County and the Blount County Chamber of Commerce that are scheduled over the next eight months.

Registrations are currently being accepted for the second class set for Nov. 18 entitled, "Make Your Social Media Look Good Using Free Tools." Learn how to sharpen your online presence for a consistent, professional delivery of your brand or image. Explore tools and platforms for easy-to-create designs and beautiful graphics. Bring your laptop or tablet or one will be provided for your use.

All classes are conducted in the Blount County Library's learning lab located at 508 N. Cusick in Maryville and limited to 50 participants. Those interested must register online at 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.

The other classes offered include Managing People & Personalities, Tips for Public Speaking, Hiring Good Employees, Motivation and Burnout, Time Management and Managing Change in the Workplace.
Check out the November member-to-member promtions, please do. 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
Social media has become somewhat of a necessity for all businesses. When it comes to companies that focus on shopping and retail, social media is a must. Why is this? Social media is the easiest (and cheapest) way to generate buzz about your brand. It is critical that shopping focused businesses create posts and share them so consumers can see your products and engage with your offering. Need some inspiration for your next post? Read more

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!
Communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character have an economic advantage.
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.
"Heartache Tonight," by the Eagles, topped the Billboard Hot 100 this week in 1979. Although it remained in the top position for only one week, the single sold 1 million copies. It was the Eagles' final chart-topping song on the Hot 100. The recording also received a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.



Nov. 7-13


November 7 -- Sunset Cafe' (operated by Rocky's Jamaica Sunrise) Ribbon Cutting/Grand Opening
November 7-9 -- Tom Sciple @ The Townsend Visitors Center
November 7 -- Dulcimer Concert at Blount County Public Library
November 8 -- Windows 10 Basics @ Pellissippi State Community College
November 8 -- Stewards of Children training by New Hope Blount County Children's Advocacy Center
November 10-12 -- Maxine Falls & Norma Tosh @ The Townsend Visitors Center
November 10 -- Women's Leadership Salon: Dressing for Success
November 11 -- U.S. Bank and Food City honoring veterans
November 11 -- Knoxville Pediatric Associates - Foothills Office New Location Groundbreaking
November 11 -- Recovery Revolution at RIO Revolution
November 12 -- Holiday Picture Frame Painting Project @ Louisville Mercantile
November 12 -- Black Tie Blue Jeans Gala benefiting Blount County Children's Advocacy
November 13 -- United Way of Blount County Turkey Toss presented by Clayton


Nov. 14-20



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 59th installment visiting with Haley Schweitzer, event director at the Capitol Theatre which provides an all-inclusive venue for the community and surrounding communities such as weddings, corporate events, holiday parties, etc.
How did you get started? Originally the owner purchased the building in 2002 with the intentions of it being his art gallery. In 2008 he renovated it into an events venue. I graduated from Radford University with a B.S. in Tourism & Events and was fortunate enough to be hired as the Events Director here in June of 2015.
Who is your mentor? I have been lucky enough to have an owner/boss, Heath, who acknowledges my strengths and has confidence in me to do well. However he has also taught me an exponential amount about sales & its different techniques in this industry. It is not always something that comes naturally but he continuously is critiquing me which is something that I am very thankful for and hope to continue to grow at.
Describe your customers. Our customers mainly consist of brides and grooms. We also work heavily with a variety of business's who plan seminar's, parties, award ceremonies, etc. With us having the Coffee Shop & Ice Cream Parlor it helps us continue to build relationships with our customers because it gives people the opportunity to revisit their event venue.
Name three things you wish you knew when you started. I was unaware of just how much the importance of sales was going to be in this industry. However it has been a blessing because I can directly see the impact of my sales on the business and for myself personally.
What do you enjoy most about working at the Theatre? I enjoy working and building relationships with so many different personalities and making their dream event come to life. There is nothing that I personally enjoy more than sending a bride down the aisle on the couple's big day.

The Dialogue

This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So here we go with our 60th installment visiting with Craig Fernandes, president of Patriot Threads, LLC, which was born out of a high school capstone project to create a line of patriotic apparel that can be used to raise awareness and support for veteran non-profits and other worthy causes.
Describe how business as grown. We wholesale and retail (online store) our line of southern style game-day apparel with a purpose - to help raise awareness and support for veteran focused and other worthy non-profit groups. We fund raise through our online store by donating at least 25% of our direct to customer sales to non-profits that we highlight on our website. We also show up at non-profit fund raising events and sell our apparel and donate 25% to the event non-profit. Our brand is the fastest growing southern style game day apparel in Knoxville and we are looking for new retailers and non-profits to help.
How did this all begin? This is a family business started by my then 17 yr old son in 2015 - born out of a high school capstone project to create a line of patriotic apparel that can be used to raise awareness and support for veteran non-profits and other worthy causes. His designs were so popular that we expanded to become a wholesaler to retail stores and now have versions for every state all with popular local team colors. It took on a life of itself and grew to become a real business.
What is your background? I have been an marketing executive with an entrepreneurial bend for all of my 30 year career. I have an MBA from Babson College - which focused on entrepreneurship and have probably also inherited some of the drive from my father who was also a business consultant.
Who is your mentor? I have had many supporters - from members from the KEC center and from both the Knox and Blount County Chambers. We also received our biggest breaks from Hound Dogs, Alumni Hall and the Vol Shop - who agreed to carry our brand -because they liked the designs and wanted to give my son Brady the opportunity to succeed. Lastly we could not have done this with out support from family and friends who kept encouraging Brady and I.
Describe your customers. Our customers range from children to grand parents. The brand touches people on many levels - patriotic appeal, state appeal, country appeal and pride in their team/school. We are America's brand and our apparel is for anyone who is proud to be an American and who likes the southern proper look with a bowtie- which also means remember the troops.
Name three things you wish you knew when you started. How much money it takes to be a successful start up. And how much time it will take. And wish we launched sooner.
What do you enjoy most about the business? I get to work with my son - who is an awesome person. I also love helping others that are in need - especially veterans. Lastly it is fun to launch a start up and see how you can effect others in a positive way - and our designs also look good on them.
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