Blount Partnership News and Events

AFTERNOON MIXER THURSDAY
Get out of the office after work and unwind with the afternoon mixer hosted by Quality Financial Concepts (115 W. Broadway Ave., Maryville) on July 11 at 3:45 p.m.

Mixers are designed to offer our members the opportunity to build business relationships with other members and to gain exposure for their business or organization in an "open house" setting and open to anyone associated with a Chamber member business. Participation is not reserved to the representative(s) listed on the Chamber membership.
 
AHOY MATEYS IT'S A RIBBON CUTTING
The Anchor Restaurant (2932 Louisville Boatdock Rd., Louisville, TN) is holding its grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony July 9 at 1 p.m. Make plans to join us at this lakeside bistro. Can't make it? Check them out on your own, Tuesday-Thursday (11 a.m.-10 p.m.) or Friday-Saturday (11 a.m.-11 p.m.).

PERUSE THE DIALOGUE IN THIS EMAIL
So, here we go with our 138th installment The Dialogue at the bottom of this email. We visit with new Blount County Chamber member Chad Rogers & Victory Harbin, co-owners of The Social Brand which helps businesses market themselves online and in-person.
 
AVOIDING HARASSMENT
Make plans to attend Avoiding Harassment Claims in a #MeTooWorld on July 10 at 8:30 a.m at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville). Chad Hatmaker, a member of Woolf, McClane, Bright, Allen & Carpenter, PLLC, will be presenting. Now more than ever employers need to be up to date on the laws governing sexual harassment. This presentation focuses on how to avoid and, alternatively, limit your potential exposure to harassment claims in a #MeTooWorld.

This seminar has been approved for 1 continuing education unit. RSVP ONLINE.
 
SMOKY MOUNTAIN CLASSICC
A Blount County tradition returns for the 51st time as the Smoky Mountain Classic Softball Tournament runs July 12-14 at Sandy Springs Park. Games begin at 10 a.m. on Friday, and 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $6 Friday and Saturday at $5 Sunday. Children ages 6 & under free. No coolers allowed in gate!

To kick off the tournament, join us for the Home Run Derby on July 11 at Sandy Springs Park beginning at 5:30 p.m. to watch local participants compete and 7 p.m. for the main event. The event is free.
 
ETPA'S ANNUAL BUSINESS MATCHING & TRADESHOW
The 14th Annual ETPA Business Matching & Tradeshow Event will be held July 18 at Rothchild Catering & Conference Center (8807 Kingston Pike, Knoxville) from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. (followed by a lunch for governmental attendees and tradeshow vendors). This premier event showcases East Tennessee and northeast Georgia area businesses, large and small. It's an opportunity for businesses to meet with governmental agencies, create relationships to build future business opportunities, learn about "doing business" with the entities and to meet with private sector vendors. Get registered today.
 
CITY OF TOWNSEND OPEN HOUSE
The City of Townsend is excited to announce an open house and dedication ceremony for the new Community Center and City Hall on July 19 from 3-6 p.m. at 123 Tiger Dr., in Townsend. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to come by.

The open house starts at 3 p.m. with the dedication ceremony beginning at 4:30 p.m. with words from the Townsend Mayor and other local officials.

For questions, information, or directions, call 865-448-6886 Mon-Fri between 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
 
VIEWING OF CLOSE ENCOUNTERS SET
To celebrate this year's Summer Reading theme of "A Universe of Stories," the Blount County Public Library (508 N. Cusick Street, Maryville) will be screening Close Encounters of the Third Kind on Monday, July 15 at 6:00 p.m. in the Sharon Lawson Room. The film is rated PG with a run time of 135 minutes. The event is free and open to the public.
 
COMMISSIONER MCCORD VISIT
Dr. Jeff McCord, Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, will present a briefing about the workforce efforts from the state on July 31 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville).

Before joining the Department, Commissioner McCord spent seven years at Northeast State Community College in Kingsport where he was Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development. RSVP ONLINE.
 
ROLL OUT THE RED CARPET
When you roll out the red carpet for your customers, they run out and tell everyone they know. In today's marketplace, customers have more choices and louder voices than ever before. That's why focusing on excellent customer service is the new marketing! Your customers can be your best source of advertising - if you engage your team to up their game in terms of the experience they create!

During this 1/2 day, interactive workshop we will discuss what it takes to build a culture of service where your team members are excited and ready to roll out the red carpet for your customers. Walk away with actionable ideas for:

- Taking your customer experience up to the next great level.
- Improving the 3 areas of the customer experience, including the WOW Factor
- Enhance customer and team member interactions
- Use 5 steps to building a culture of service excellence

So, join presenter Donna Cutting of Red Carpet Learning Systems on August 7 from 8 a.m.-noon at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville). The fee is $40 for Chamber members (book included) and $50 for non-members (book included). REGISTER ONLINE.
 
SIGN UP FOR THE LATEST SOFT SKILLS CLASS
soft skills It's Your Career! That's the focus of a free soft skills session offered in partnership by the Blount County Public Library, the Adult Education Foundation of Blount County and the Blount County Chamber of Commerce.

Registrations are currently being accepted online at www.blountchamber.com for a class entitled Communicating and Listening Effectively on August 30. All participants will earn .5 CEUs per session for participating. They will also receive an email survey two months after workshop participation to assess application of new ideas.

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.
   
YOU CAN POST YOUR OWN MEMBER-TO-MEMBER DEALS
Blount Chamber members can now post their own Member-to-Member deals on this page at no charge. Simply login to your account, Click on the "New Coupon" button, fill out the form and click save. It's that easy.

Click here if you need access to your login information.

Of course, we will be happy to add your coupon. Just email information about the product or discount you'd like to offer to the Chamber membership to jmuir@blountpartnership.com. Be sure to include an expiration date.

View the latest deals.
 
REMEMBER TO SHOP LOCAL
Think local first + Buy local when you can = Being a local!
 
Find what you're looking for in the Chamber Directory.
 
GOT AN EVENT OR NEWS? WE'D LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT
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.
 
REMEMBER WHEN
Topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart this week in 1982 was "Don't You Want Me" by The Human League. In November 1983, Rolling Stone named it the "breakthrough song" of the Second British Invasion of the U.S.

The Dialogue

This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So, here we go with our 138th installment visiting with Chad Rogers & Victory Harbin, co-owners of The Social Brand which helps businesses market themselves online and in-person. The difference though is that we have a holistic approach to design.
 
Describe more about what The Social Brand does. We love marketing and helping businesses tap into their potential. Plus, we are both creative people and it's cool to get to use your creativity in your business!

We help businesses clarify their message, target their most profitable audience and keep up in a content-driven world on social media, online and on Google. We focus on the social connections that drive businesses forward and bring a human-centric focus back into a world full of generic, corporate marketing options.
 
How did you get started? When we first met, we both owned and operated different businesses. Chad was running Old Number Eleven, a web design company and eventually, Victory was running Tech Nav Media, a social media company. In March 2019 when we merged together to form The Social Brand, we started this because we knew that our services were like peanut butter and jelly. In the digital age, a website isn't enough, just like social media by itself isn't enough - we know that businesses need a multifaceted approach. So, we took everything we learned from our previous businesses and from the 2019 market and are growing something that we see a need for.
 
What is your background? Chad has a degree in design and has been in the industry for about 25 years. He has worked with many Fortune 500 clients in the US and abroad. After college, Victory has continued to pursue knowledge and training on all things marketing. We both carry multiple certifications from everything from Business Consulting and Social Media to Google AdWords and InBound Marketing.
 
Who is your mentor? The three people who stand out the most are Teresa Sylvia with the Tennessee Small Business Development Center, Doug Minter with the Propel Protege program, and Bob Camp, a business consultant, who we met through our time in the Propel Protege program. These three people hold us accountable, give us good, solid advice and have (more times than we care to count) listened while we cried (or in Chad's case didn't cry).
 
Describe your customers. Generally, we work with small to mid-sized businesses in the Greater Knoxville area. But, that's kinda obvious, right? Specifically, we tend to work directly with Owner/Operators and Marketing Managers within those businesses which makes our job fun. We tend to work with two different groups. One type of person comes into our office and sits down with a plan already in their head - they know how they want their marketing to feel, how they want it to work and they simply need our help getting it there. The second type of person tends to feel a bit overwhelmed by the whole process and we can help them boil it down into a functional marketing strategy. At the end of the day though, no matter the job title or frame of mind when we begin to work with them, our customers are people passionate about growing their businesses and helping their communities and we get to help them accomplish that goal.
 
What environments impact your business? Well, as a SOCIAL company, the number 1 influencer on our business and on our client's businesses is social connection. Even things that don't have social in their names (like social media does) are very much social and require people to be the catalyst to success. Websites, ads, videos, and content are designed to speak to people. We try to work with our clients to get away from generic corporate-speak in their marketing and get back to the stuff that matters - the people who work IN their business, the people they work FOR in their business and the passions they share together. Beyond that, we know that when the economy is doing well, businesses tend to reinvest in their infrastructure. One of the ways that we see people reinvesting is to make sure their websites and marketing get a boost.
 
Name three things you wish you knew when you started. 1. Some things shouldn't be DIY-ed (like yours books) 2. Relationships are everything. Finding good honest colleagues that you can share both your success and (yes, especially) your failures with is vital. 3. Cash is king. Gotta have that recurring revenue, baby!
 
What do you enjoy about running the business? We are living our best life! We have the freedom to use our talents in our day-to-day jobs and the coolest part is we are getting to use those talents to actually help people. The other things we both really enjoy about owning our own business is not having "corporate rollouts" over our head pressuring us to push things that may not be good for the people we work with. When you're the boss, you get to make sure that what you're doing works for you and most importantly, for the people you're working for.
 
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