Blount Partnership News and Events

If you or someone you know is looking for a job, please check out Additionally, if you need employees, please utilize the job board to advertise your open positions. Click here to get started.
The Blount County Job Fair is coming to the Second Harvest Food Bank on Friday, May 19, 2017, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sponsorship levels include the Presenting Sponsor for $1000, Silver Sponsor for $500 and Media Sponsor is In-Kind. The deadline for sponsorship is April 13. If interested, please review and complete this form.
Be sure to check out our 74th installment of The Dialogue at the bottom of this email where we visit with 4th installment visiting with Kathleen Puckett, LPC-MHSP, LADC, CSAT,DCC, owner of A View From Within Counseling.
Get your nominations in for the Ready, Set, Move! Awards. This recognition award, sponsored by Blount BEneFITs, was established in 2009 to recognize the efforts of Blount County schools and businesses that are taking steps within their organizations to promote and embrace healthy living through creative programs that encourage good nutrition and increased physical activity. Previous winners include weight loss challenges, running clubs and other exercise programs, some of which were long-standing programs and others that were start-ups. Click here for more information and nomination form.
All chamber members and their guests are invited to the Tanasi 1796 Preview/Wine & Cheese reception on Thursday, March 16, from 3:30-5:00 p.m., at the Blount Partnership, 201 S Washington St, Maryville.

Come and enjoy a preview of the upcoming historical drama. Tanasi 1796, which will be performed on Saturday, March 25 at the Clayton Center for the Arts, features live drama, music, art, and historical displays and tells of the events leading to and following the American Revolution and the drafting of the Tennessee Constitution as seen through the eyes of Captain Joseph Black, Cherokee Peace Chief Attakullakulla, Ensign Andrew Evans, the Reverend Samuel Doak, and other historical figures from the time.

Enjoy wine and cheese while learning more about the upcoming production, which depicts a pivotal time, not only in our history as a nation, but also for our very own Blount County and the surrounding region.
Join us for a free seminar on Wednesday, March 22 from 8:30-10:30 a.m., at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville) on how to harness data to improve your business.

Bring your laptop or tablet and tap into the premier research and reference tool for business and residential data. Reference USA provides quality information and helps users of all kinds search for jobs, identify competitors, create marketing and small business plans, research neighborhoods and more. This resource is available to all Blount County businesses and Blount County Public Library cardholders. RSVP to Amy if you wish to attend.
This session on Tuesday, March 14 from 9-11 a.m. at the Blount Partnership will help make sense of the noise and help you organize your marketing. In this seminar, you will learn how to make the most of the combination of email, social media, video, and other tools for your business. When the session is done you'll have a greater understanding of marketing basics like:

Setting goals and objectives; What a "campaign" is and what to write about and offer in that campaign; The social media platforms where you need to put most of your focus; How to use email and social media together to get better results; Creating the right content to get (and keep) your audience's attention; How to get your messages opened, read, and shared to become more socially visible; Using time-saving tools to engage with your existing customers and supporters, expand your reach to new prospects more effectively

Throughout the session you'll be given opportunities to capture your own ideas and build out the framework of your own "next great campaign." So join us and start to build a plan that will help you grow your business by eliciting the responses you want from your customers or supporters. Register here.
The Tennessee Small Business Development Center is holding its next free session on Thursday, March 16 from 9 a.m.-noon at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville). Register here.
Discover Business Planning with GrowthWheel! Small Business planning is much more dynamic and moment by moment rather than a dull chore with fabricated forecasting. Lots of decisions are made over a cup of coffee or while driving not predetermined months in advance. Business owners are much more reactionary to the market and have limited planning budgets. GrowthWheel is a new innovative tool that lets the business owner plan the most pressing needs for the business. It also is a visual tool to provide structure and direction allowing the business owner to set goals and take action. NO MORE writing 40 pages of useless information that always ends buried in your desk. Gone are charts and graphs replaced by 30 day plans and action steps. GrowthWheel is not just for new businesses but also works for all businesses in all stages and for all industries. Come try this totally innovative approach to business planning.
Other classes coming to the Chamber from the TSBDC include:
Startup with Growth Wheel on April 20.
business_group_women.jpg Make plans to attend our next Women in Business meeting on Monday, March 20 at noon at the Airport Hilton led by Sharon Hannum.

This will be a Dutch treat lunch from Cooper's Restaurant. You can either do 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.

Please RSVP to Amy by Friday, March 17, if you plan to attend.
Stop selling and learn to profit from relationships that drive business to you. Join us for a free networking training class on Tuesday, March 21 from 3-4:30 p.m. at the Blount Partnership, 201 S. Washington St., Maryville. Presented by Raeus Jae Cannon, this is one class that everyone can benefit.
Registrations are currently being accepted for a free soft skills session set for March 24 entitled, "Motivation and Burnout." Do you see telltale signs of burnout at work? It is not uncommon, even for millennials under thirty, to experience burnout. Join us for tips and tricks to stay motivated, and to keep others motivated, while performing at your best.

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.
The next Blount Tourism Ambassador Program (BTAP) class is set for Wednesday, April 5 from 1-4 p.m. at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville). BTAP is based on a nationwide certification program geared toward those working in the tourism industry. The Blount County program is the first of its kind in Tennessee and the Southeast.
The three-hour course gives front-line personnel information about the county and region. They are provided up-to-date information about events, happenings and the "inside story" in order to better serve their customers. There are continuous learning opportunities throughout the year to help satisfy annual certification renewal requirements.
More than 200 people have been certified since the program's inception in 2012. Email Deborah if you or your employees are interested in attending.
Join us Wednesday, March 19 from 2-5 p.m. at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville) for speed networking. The event is limited to the first 30 individuals to register. Make some new connections by RSVPing to Amy.
Join us Friday, March 31 at 8 a.m. at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville) as we hear from College Presidents; Dr. Tom Bogart, Maryville College and Dr. Anthony Wise, Pellissippi State; give us an update on what is happening in our community at the post secondary level.
SCORE is a non-profit association dedicated to helping new and existing small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship.

Greater Knoxville SCORE's 40-plus volunteers have a wide range of business experience and education and provide One on One mentoring for free and workshops for small business and non-profits for no charge or at very low cost.

SCORE is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA),

To request assistance, or to meet with a SCORE representative in Blount County visit us at or phone 865-692-0716.
Take a look at the March Member-to-Member promotions. With over 50 merchants participating, there's something for you. Check out the 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
If you own a business, you know how quickly time goes by when things become busy. That's why planning ahead is key to running your business smoothly. Sure, you can get away with procrastination. But it feels so much better to plan in advance, so you can actually remember to enjoy your business, especially during the busy holiday season. Here are a few reasons you should start planning now, not later: 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.
Think local first + Buy local when you can = Being a local!
At a small business, chances are you'll be waited on by the owner, a member of their family, or someone who reports directly to the owner.
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.
"Jacob's Ladder," recorded by Huey Lewis and the News, became the band's third number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 this week in 1987. Set in Birmingham, Alabama, the song marries the Biblical image of Jacob's Ladder to someone who rejects proselytizing evangelists and is instead struggling to get through life one day at a time.



March 13-19



March 20-26



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 74th installment visiting with Kathleen Puckett, LPC-MHSP, LADC, CSAT,DCC, owner of A View From Within Counseling which offersp rofessional counseling in an open, affirming and safe environment.
What exactly do you do? I am licensed in the State of Tennessee as a Professional Counselor-Mental Health Service Provider and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor. In addition, I am a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist trained in the Patrick Carnes model, from the International Institute for Trauma & Addictions Professionals. I am also certified as a Distance Credentialed Counselor. In addition to offering face to face counseling, I have added telehealth to my menu of services.
How did you get? After 28 years working as a Hairdresser to raise my two children, Katie and John, I divested all my assets and went to college. My BA credentials and my desire to be in public service, lead me to employment with the undeserved populations. After earning my MA, I began the journey of acquiring documented hours in my field, with the end goal of becoming a licensed Mental Health Professional. In 2011 I opened A View From Within Counseling. I have an extensive work history in the Human Services: Inpatient therapist; outpatient therapist/ partial hospitalization programs ; substance abuse inpatient and outpatient; sex addiction and impulse control; sexual identity issues; and gender issues.
What is your background? Bachelor Degree in Pastoral Ministry 2002 Master Degree in Community Counseling 2009 Certified Sex Addiction Therapist 2016 Licensed Professional Counselor - Mental Health Service Provider - LPC 2897 Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor - LDC 1082 Certified Sex Addiction Therapist CSAT No. 2014-1874 Distance Credentialed Counselor - DCC 1214
Who is your mentor? God is my guiding force in all I do. "Most certainly I tell you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." Matthew 25:40 I try everyday to live by these words.
Describe your customers. I am trained to work with adults. I do not discriminate based on color, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation or gender expression.
What impacts your counseling? I do not take insurance, therefore some of the population that seeks my professional counseling needs a referral to someone that will take their insurance. In addition, approximately 50% of my business is with a marginalized population, therefore I have the added burden of finding a 'safe' location for my clients to come for my services.
Name three things you wish you knew when you started. #1: I did not realize how afraid people would be to seek my services, for fear that I would judge them. #2: I wish I would have had more capital to begin the business. When I first opened my business, I used a sliding scale for services. This allowed me to be faithful to my Mission Statement, however I could not make a living. #3: I understand now, that getting my college degrees and numerous letters after my name, is never enough. On going education and personal growth have to be woven into every step I make.
What do you enjoy about counseling? I consider my work as sacred work. I am let into personal places of ones head and heart that few have entered. I especially love saying good-bye to clients. I do not look at therapy as a life long membership. I like to companion them to self-awareness and then set them free to fly on their own.
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