Blount Partnership News and Events

Check out the 110th edition of The Dialogue at the bottom of this email where we visit with a new Blount Chamber member. This week we visit with Christine Maentz, owner of Little Peeps Fun Place.

We've added six new member-to-member promotions this week. Be sure to check those out below.
After a successful, sold-out third year, the Hops in the Hills festival returns with a who's-who of local and regional brewing icons on June 22-23 in downtown Maryville. This fourth annual festival showcasing the area's finest artisan brews is a not-to-miss event for beer enthusiasts-drawing attendees from across the region.

Hops in the Hills brew week, June 18-21, leads up to the main event over the weekend with a week-long "Celebration of Fermentation." Each day, a different brewery will feature prizes, games and music for visitors to prepare them for the weekend's events.

On Friday, June 22, the Hops in the Hills Craft Brew Crawl & Poker Run will be held provided by Knox Brew Tours. The event is a unique way to experience the town's bars and restaurants and try local and regional beers.

The event is part of the Summer on Broadway celebration, a series of events to celebrate the summer season.

A complete list of participating breweries, updated schedule and link to purchase tickets is available at
Join us June 22 from 9-11 a.m. at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville) for women owned small business contracting seminar conducted by Jacqueline Merritt from the Small Business Administration.

If you are a woman owned small business and fall in one of the designated industries, you can position your company to bid on federal government set asides for WOSBs and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSBs). We invite you to attend the Where's the Money Workshop to learn about the eligibility criteria, view a listing of the designated industries, and engage the www.fbogov web site to find WOSB/EDWOSB opportunities.

RSVP to or 615-736-7465
Make plans for June 25 from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville), for a speed networking event that's like speed dating for building business relationships presented by BNI. Register by emailing and include your name, business name and phone number.

Evey individual is guaranteed to meet 15 people and spend five minutes with each of them. A facilitator will teach you how to maximize your quick connection networking oppotunity. The rest of the time will be spent rotating around the room and meeting other individuals at five minute intervals. This session is limited to one person per company and two people per industry. This is a free networking event and Blount Chamber membership is not required.
soft skills It's Your Career! That's the focus of six 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 six months.

Registrations are currently being accepted online at for a class entitled How to Run an Effective Meeting set for July 13. This course qualifies for .2 CEU's awarded by Pellissippi State.

The other classes offered include Improving Your Presentation Style - Speaking, Improving Your Presentation Style - Strategies for Engaging Presentations, Making Your Social Media Look Good and Creating Infographics for Promoting Your Business.

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.
The "All Things Google" Lunch and Learn Technology Series is a professional development workshop series for adults who seek to learn about the Google platform, applications available through Google and how to access and use these applications (Google Sheets, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Drive, etc.) This technology series is offered by the Blount County Public Library with funding provided by the Tennessee State Library Archives Library Technology Training Grant.

This Lunch and Learn series meets in the new Learning Lab at the Blount County Public Library on Fridays each month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The $10 registration fee includes a box lunch and participants will have the opportunity to network. Each of the topics offered will be divided into 3-4 weekly sessions that can stand alone or be taken consecutively. A total of 50 classes will be offered with a new schedule released each month.

To register for classes in the Lunch and Learn Series please visit the Blount County Public Library website
Member-to-member promotions are here for June. Submit to the email below. Check out the offer from Rainscapes, ID Shield, Airport Hilton, Cornerstone of Recovery, Puleo's Grille and AAA. See these and 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
Think local first + Buy local when you can = Being a local!
For every $100 spent at a locally-owned business, $73 remains in the local economy, and $27 leaves.
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 1978 was "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac. Off their 11th studio album Rumours, "Dreams" remains the group's only number-one single.



June 18-24



June 25-July 1



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The Dialogue

This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So, here we go with our 110th installment visiting with Christine Maentz, owner of Little Peeps Fun Place, which offers a full service party rental room and daily play area for children under the age of 6.
Tell me more about Little Peeps Fun Place. We have a range of party options from no services to full services. All of our parties include total clean up so the mom/dad has one less thing to worry about. Our play area is modern & safe for little children and a fun place for adults to socialize as their little ones play & interact! Before starting Little Peeps I casually "polled" the patrons of Foothills Mall. The reaction I received was very positive. Every family I spoke to said this service was much needed in Maryville. Our Facebook page reflects the same results. Hopefully care takers will use our services.
How did you get started? Several years ago I started a hobby business of professional face painting, added balloon twisting, then magic for kids and I'm now a Certified Balloon Artist building spectacular balloon decor for corporate & private events. However, my passion is bringing smiles to little peeps. It was brought to my attention that Maryville needed this kind of service & I just made it happen!
What is your background? I'm a grand mother of 12 (almost 13) little peeps ranging from 6 months to 13 years old. I've been entertaining kids professionally since 2011. My husband & I operated a very successful business in a totally unrelated field - this experience is what I needed to put Little Peeps together.
Who is your mentor? My mentors are professional children entertainers - Ken Kelly from the UK and Julian Mather from Australia. They've been encouraging me and have helped me believe in myself and my skills. Also, my husband has always encouraged me to follow my dreams.
Describe your customers. Either the parents or care takers of young children. Many young parents are very occupied with careers and daily life struggles. We also know that these parents want to provide the best experiences for their little ones and here at Little Peeps we aim to do that and create a stress free prep time for the parents. Many of our clients are uncomfortable inviting strangers in their homes for parties... bringing the event to Little Peeps removes all of those anxieties!
What impacts your business environment? We hope that Little Peeps will help increase traffic at Foothills Mall. There is no reason for such a low attendance here - The Foothills is a nice location with a variety of shops that cater to everyone. Folks need to start shopping locally more!
Name three things you wish you knew when you started. Total construction costs (they increased as the project took longer than promised). How many parents would actually use my services. If the community actually needed such a service.
What do you enjoy your business? Bringing joy to small children and relief to highly stressed parents! Employing local help and talent. Additional income!