The Summit is an opportunity to network with and engage business leaders from across East Tennessee. Imagine many of the things you enjoy at in-person conferences: engaging speakers, practical seminars, expanding your business network with professionals outside of your area, vendor booths (and swag!). 
Now imagine all those things in a virtual platform. The Summit is our response to a changing world. Most in-person large conferences are projected to be postponed until late 2021. The lack of large scale networking and educational opportunities has added to the weight many businesses are feeling during this time. Join hundreds of other professionals from the East Tennessee Region for our area’s first virtual conference and trade show.
As a Blount Chamber member, you can receive a $100 discount
for vendor registration.
Use Code: blountsummit2020
NEWSBREAK
As summer hits full swing, companies small and large across the country are hiring again--and COVID-19 is pushing them to adopt new strategies. Read this story to learn what they recommend instead-- including three expert strategies that can help you hire effectively, even during the pandemic

SBA’s Office of International Trade (OIT) is introducing a new business counseling resource for U.S. small business manufacturers looking to grow, expand, and recover global sales. READ MORE .
EAT LUNCH WITH US
Join us for a Power Connect Lunch on Wednesday, July 22 at 11:30 a.m., at Smoky Mountain Brewery in Maryville .

Meet, Mingle, Lunch, Connect, Nibble, Engage and Network with other influential professionals.

Open to ALL Blount County Chamber members, but you must RSVP online . This is a Dutch Treat lunch.

Event chair Tony Saddy of Get Fit Maryville will lead the event.
SPECIAL OFFER FROM AMEX
Here's Shop Small offer for American Express card holders.

Enroll an eligible American Express® Card by July 26, 2020, to get a $5 statement credit after using your enrolled Card to make a single purchase of $10 or more directly with any small business in the U.S. on the Shop Small® Map by September 20, 2020, up to 10 times. LEARN MORE .
THE DIALOGUE
This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So, here we go with our 158th installment visiting with Tom Antkow, President/CEO of Driver Safety Consultants and Adult Driver Services which is conducting free counseling sessions/seminars for drivers and their loved ones on the many liability issues that they may face if they ignore any physical, functional, cognitive or perceptual challenge that might effect their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle in today's driving environment. 

Tell me more about Adult Driving Services:
I have been in the field of Driver Evaluation, Testing and Training for several years and have chosen to help all drivers, or potential drivers, the opportunity to learn different "Defensive Driving Tactics" in order to protect themselves and the others around them while operating a Motor Vehicle.

My main motivation and inspiration comes from the fact that I lost my only child, Melissa, and her unborn baby, as the result of a motor vehicle crash several years ago.

Additionally, I believe that driving should be available to everyone. Either to gain, regain or take advantage of the freedom and independence of driving safely may afford them.

My primary focus is to assist those dealing with issues of aging, with physical, functional, cognitive or perceptual challenges or disabilities and grant them the same opportunities to operate a motor vehicle as those drivers who take their skill for granted.

What is your goal with these sessions?
These counseling "sessions" may be done in private or in the form of a group in service presentation. I have done many in service presentations for private companies with fleet operations and drivers, Church youth groups, Senior centers, legal and medical professionals and many others in order to discuss the many challenges that driving involves. I have also been a guest speaker and appeared on multiple media as a safety specialist. Furthermore, we can conduct a confidential clinical screening, and if warranted, based on the results, we may then do a follow up in vehicle observational evaluation.

What is your background?
I got started in 1973 as a professional driving instructor after spending time as a truck driver. Ultimately, I opened my own school and worked, through contract, with the Arizona Department of Vocation and Rehabilitation and Phoenix Baptist Hospital in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

I currently have credentials as a Certified Clinical Driving Evaluator as well as a Driver Rehabilitation Specialist and have served as a State of Colorado Third Party tester as well as a Traffic Safety and Education Specialist. I have also held the position of the President of the DSAA ( the Driving School Association of the Americas). That International Trade Organization worked closely with NMEDA, NHTSA, ADTSEA as well as the AAA Foundation and others, in developing and institiuting “Traffic Safety Educational and Safety Standards” to the Driving School Industry on a local and National basis.

What do you enjoy most about your work?
The satisfaction of assisting individuals in gaining or regaining their independence. Educating individual drivers in defensive driving practices as well as informing them on liability issues and best practices in driving.
SPONSOR VIRTUAL NETWORKING
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INTERESTED IN SPONSORING A VIRTUAL COFFEE CLUB?
If you've been wanting to host a coffee and the waiting list was too long, why not get on the list to sponsor one of our virtual coffee clubs? 

Benefits of attending virtual networking:
  • Meet others that you may not have met at an in-person coffee.
  • Extend your reach outside of driving area.
  • Meet members located outside the county.
  • Multiple opportunities to meet others in smaller group breakout rooms.

Dates for future virtual coffee clubs are: October 9, November 13 and December 11.

Contact Jessica Hahn at jhahn@blountpartnership.com  
MEMBER-TO-MEMBER RESOURCES
Here's a great way to offer Member-to-Member deals using your chamber member account. Check the deals .

Here's a sampling of two of the newest deals exclusively for members.

Above the Rest Balloon & Event Designs -- Proudly show off your business to Blount Countians with Ease & Confidence! LEARN MORE .

Clear Leader Group -- For the month of July, CLG is offering a complimentary behavioral assessment and report for up to five members of your team.  LEARN MORE .

Cintas -- Two-ply cloth and resuable face masks, disposable face covers and hand sanitizer in stock. Email Niki Beeler for more information.

Members can post Coupons and Discounts to this page at no charge.  Click Here
WEBINAR CALENDAR
REGIONS BANK
July 14 at 12:30 p.m., July 15 at 4 p.m., July 16 at 10 a.m.
DALE CARNEGIE
July 15 from 9-10:30 a.m.
How do you ensure effective collaboration and communication in your team without face-to-face interaction?
TIP STRATEGIES
July 16 from 11 a.m.-noon
*You do not need to be an NLC member to participate. However, you will need to create a user account to register for the event.
PELLISSIPPI STATE
Thursdays, July 16-August 6 from 9:30 a.m.-noon
Registration: $499
The Tennessee Small Business Development Center is hosting a myriad of online training webinars to assist you in all facets of your businesses. Take a gander at the upcoming events for July.
 
July 14 from 10:15 a.m.-1:15 p.m.

July 16 from 9:30-11:30 a.m.
 
July 16 from 10:15 a.m.-1:15 p.m.
 
July 28 from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
 
July 30 from noon - 1 p.m.
WHAT'S HAPPENING?
TENNESSEE PLEDGE
As businesses reopen across the state, Tennessee’s Economic Recovery Group released guidance for businesses . The Tennessee Pledge guidelines recommend capacity limits, spacing requirements, and frequent sanitization, among others.
 
The full guidance offered by the state can be  found here as well as printable guidelines .
BE SURE YOU'RE FOLLOWING US
If you aren't following us on social media, you must. We are constantly updating information as each day progresses. So, give us a like and stay up-to-date as we move through this crisis.
 
 
And follow tourism updates here:
NEWLETTER SPONSORS