Blount Partnership News and Events

Get out of the office early and unwind with a Blount Chamber afternoon mixer at American Foundation & Basement Repairs (1503 Old Mount Tabor Rd., Maryville) on Thursday, July 12 from 3:45-5 p.m.

Bring your business associates and friends who need to make contacts. Super charge your B2B networking and meet more people. Be prepared to have fun. Escape your normal Thursday hum drum afternoon.
So, here we go with our 112th installment of The Dialogue (located at the bottom of this email) visiting with Rhoni Basden, executive director of Girls Inc. of Tennessee Valley.
Make plans to attend our next HR Focus Group on July 11 at 8:30 a.m. at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville). The topic will be "People Matter" by Kevin Kragenbrink of 3to99.

People are still the most important assets in your business. Unemployment is at historic lows in East Tennessee. Employers both small and large are finding it increasingly difficult to find and keep top performing team members. The competition for talent is getting tougher and the pool of available candidates is growing smaller. How do you plan to compete for people in the coming months and years?

In this workshop, Dr. Kevin Kragenbrink will discuss the changing environment for workers today. He will address the key elements in an employee attraction and retention strategy and offer real world strategies for businesses of any size who want to build and maintain top performing teams.

If you are interested in attending, please register online.
Join us as we celebrate the 50 Year Anniversary of the Smoky Mountain Softball Classic, July 13-15 at Sandy Springs Park! This year's "Smoky" will feature the top-ranked teams in the United States. Comparable to football's Super Bowl, basketball's Final Four, and baseball's World Series, the Smoky Mountain Classic is considered the premier softball tournament in the country.

Games begin at 10 a.m. on Friday, and 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Please see the bracket for specific game times and teams. Participating teams and brackets available approximately 1 week prior to event. Admission is $6 Friday and Saturday and $5 Sunday. Children ages 6 & under free. No coolers allowed in gate!

Check out the Home Run Derby on Thursday, July 12 to kick off the tournament. Local participants will compete at 5:30 p.m. with the top two winners competing in the main event at 7 p.m. at Sandy Springs Park. The event is free.
business_group_women.jpg Make plans to attend our next Women in Business meeting on Monday, July 16 at noon at the Airport Hilton (Bar Area) led by Sharon Hannum.

In order for us to have enough time for the meeting if you are planning on eating please arrive at 11:45 a.m. and go ahead and get your lunch and bring to the bar area.

This is a Dutch Treat lunch from Cooper's Restaurant. The menu is 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.

Register online.
Learn about forms of business organization, tax requirements, business licenses, business planning and financing options with additional discussion about SBA loan qualification and opportunities. This session is July 19 from 9-11 a.m. at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville). Register online.
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 July. Submit to the email below. Check out the offers from Pellissippi State, Express Strategic Services, King University, 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!
Shopping locally is the best way to show pride in your city and help protect the businesses that make our city unique.
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 1987 was "Alone" by Heart. The song is Heart's biggest hit, spending three weeks at No. 1. It ranked No. 2 on the Billboard Year-End Top Pop Singles of 1987, behind "Walk Like An Egyptian" by The Bangles


July 9-15



July 16-22



Save the Date


The Dialogue

This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So, here we go with our 112th installment visiting with Rhoni Basden, executive director of Girls Inc. of Tennessee Valley, which administers intentional and research based after school and summer programming in STEM, Economics, Health and more to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold.
Describe what Girls Inc. does. Our after school programs run intentional curricula to girls in elementary and middle schools to encourage career advancement, advocacy and empowerment programs. Our goal is for girls to grow up healthy, educated and independent.
What is your background? By having a heart for the next generation and the true belief that girls can do anything they put their minds to!
Who is your mentor? We are inspired by all of the incredible women in our own community who take risks, go after strong careers and empower the next generation of girls.
Describe your clients. We work with girls elementary through high school, with a strong focus on elementary and middle school girls.
Name three things you wish you knew when you began. I wish I had known more of struggles young girls face today, the difficult task of keeping a non profit afloat and I truly never knew the joy I would receive from this position.
What do you enjoy about Girls Inc.? I most enjoy seeing girls take a hold of their future and understand how decisions truly affect their everyday lives. I want everyone to know that empowering a young girl is vital to her self confidence and strong future- that support comes from all walks of life; men and women!
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