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VOL. 46 | NO. 27 | Friday, July 8, 2022

Moxley, Carmichael sell firm to key executives

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Cynthia Moxley and Alan Carmichael have sold their public relations firm Moxley Carmichael to a group of key company executives that represent 95 combined years of successful public relations, marketing, creative and management experience – 67 of which have been at Moxley Carmichael.

The sale of the firm was finalized June 24, and will remain locally owned and operated.

The firm will be managed by CEO Lauren Miller, Chief Financial Officer Shaun Fulco, Chief Operating Officer and President Scott Bird and Chief Creative Officer Charley Sexton.

As members of the company’s executive team, they have assisted Moxley and Carmichael in setting the direction of the company and participating in major client-related decisions for several years in preparation for this transition.

Both Moxley and Carmichael will continue to provide counsel and support to the 30-year-old company and its clients. The company rose from Moxley serving a handful of clients out of the couple’s home to a firm known statewide for its leading client list and dedication to the highest level of client service and results.

Miller, an Oak Ridge native, previously served Moxley Carmichael’s leading clients, such as Pilot Company and Covenant Health, as senior vice president.

“Our existing and growing team will continue to give our clients and community the outstanding services and results we pride ourselves on delivering, as we build on the great foundation laid by Cynthia and Alan,” Miller says. “This vision will allow us to continue the 30-year legacy of Moxley Carmichael as a locally owned and dedicated company serving Knoxville, East Tennessee and beyond.”

Moxley says the sale to employees is something she and Carmichael have contemplated for several years, and they are pleased to continue advising the team and helping serve major client needs.

“One of the most rewarding parts of my job has been the association with some of the greatest business and community leaders in our region,” she says. “That will continue. Our names are on the company, and we remain committed to its success through working with clients, new business development and visibility in the community. I am pleased that the new ownership team plans to continue Moxley Carmichael’s significant community support.”

First TN Buc-ee’s opens in Crossville

Texas-based travel center company Buc-ee’s opened its first store in Tennessee June 27. The new Crossville location, equidistant from Nashville and Knoxville, highlights the company’s emphasis on fresh food and a fun guest experience.

The grand opening celebration drew state and local leaders including Tennessee State Sen. Paul Bailey; Speaker Cameron Sexton of the Tennessee House of Representatives; U.S. Congressman John Rose; Crossville Mayor James Mayberry; and Cumberland County Mayor Allen Foster.

Located at 2045 Genesis Road, the store occupies more than 53,400 square feet and offers 120 fueling positions just outside its store with thousands of snack, meal and drink options for travelers.

Buc-ee’s favorites including Texas barbecue, homemade fudge, kolaches, Beaver Nuggets, jerky and fresh pastries are all available in the store as well.

Buc-ee’s Crossville will bring 175 new, permanent, full-time jobs to the area with starting pay beginning well above minimum wage, full benefits, a 6% matching 401(k), and three weeks of paid vacation.

“It’s a beautiful day, and I want to thank everybody for coming out,” says Buc-ee’s Co-Founder Arch “Beaver” Aplin III. “I see all the Buc-ee’s T-shirts and hats, and I know many of you drove long distances to be here. I hope you all love what we bring to this community. My commitment to you is every day will be like today. This isn’t just opening day: This is how we operate.”

ORNL sponsors entrepreneur cohort

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is sponsoring a cohort of 100Knoxville, a five-week mentorship and support program for Black founders of businesses.

“We’re honored to support Black entrepreneurs through 100Knoxville,” says ORNL director Thomas Zacharia. “I look forward to seeing how ORNL’s investment in the cohort’s businesses contributes to a stronger and more diverse Oak Ridge Corridor.”

The goal of 100Knoxville, a Knoxville Entrepreneur Center program, is to help Black-owned businesses grow through a focused investment of time and talent, while also providing access to social, political and financial capital.

Each of the five entrepreneurs in a cohort is paired with a team of mentors for five weeks to clarify strategy, improve operations and, most importantly, increase sales. Each firm will receive $5,000 to invest at the direction of the entrepreneur with the support of their mentors.

“ORNL’s success is connected to the growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in East Tennessee,” says Susan Hubbard, deputy for science and technology at ORNL. “We’re supporting 100Knoxville because we understand how access to expertise and mentorship can help new businesses and entrepreneurs flourish.”

In her role at ORNL, Hubbard oversees the lab’s partnerships in technology transfer, economic development and sponsored research.

The program’s spring 2022 cohort, 100Knoxville’s fourth, recently concluded and the fall cohort will begin in September. The ORNL-sponsored cohort will follow sometime after. Each cohort is facilitated by strategist and business consultant Kandis Troutman, founder of the Creative Architect.

BinMayhem opens first Knoxville store

Discount shopping concept store BinMayhem opened its first East Coast location in Knoxville July 2, located at 5032 Clinton Highway.

Entrepreneurs Chris Levy and Jason Padovani, who started their careers in logistics and supply chain industry at Penske in 2005, saw an opportunity to enter the liquidation and closeout business, and in 2016 opened the first BinMayhem on the West Coast.

“We offer the most extreme discount pricing on the best products in the market and customers travel on average 35 miles to visit our stores daily,” says Padovani, the CEO and co-founder of BinMayhem. “Now, we are excited to offer this unique shopping experience to the Tennessee market. Customers in Knoxville will be shocked by the sheer number of products and the deep discounts BinMayhem provides.”

BinMayhem is retail re-imagined with a bin-based discount shopping experience and sells merchandise including electronics, food, health and beauty, pet, baby products, sporting goods and more at extreme discounts.

The ultimate “bargain hunter’s dream” is built on a descending price scale from Saturday through Friday with all merchandise for the entire day being sold based on the reflective day’s price point:

Saturday: $10

Sunday: $10

Monday: $8

Tuesday: $6

Wednesday: $4

Thursday: $2

Friday: Deal Day – a new special deal every week based on product supply

The store is fully restocked with new merchandise each week.

Where’s Waldo? hunt returns to downtown

Knoxvillians might have wondered, “Where’s Waldo?” over the past couple of summers. For the first time since 2019, the sneaky literary character will be hiding inside downtown merchants in his signature stripes, the Downtown Knoxville Alliance has announced.

The fifth-annual scavenger hunt is happening throughout the month, with a record-number of merchants participating. More than three dozen downtown shops, restaurants, museums and other organizations will display a cutout of Waldo.

All players need to do is pick up a passport at a participating business, which can be identified by a window cling at the entrance, and ask for a passport stamp once they find the fellow in black-rimmed spectacles.

The free Knoxville Trolley will help participants explore the city and collect stamps.

“We are excited to welcome Waldo and thousands of players back to Downtown Knoxville this summer,” says Michele Hummel, executive director of the Downtown Knoxville Alliance. “In 2019, more than 5,000 people participated, and we are anticipating even larger crowds this summer as families explore the area and enjoy all the fun along the hunt.”

Steadfast seekers who collect 20 or more stamps can enter to win Waldo books from Union Ave Books. Players are encouraged to pose in front of the Where’s Waldo? photo op in Market Square, and those who share their scavenger hunt memories using the hashtag #foundwaldoknox on social media will have weekly chances to win gift cards from the winner’s choice of participating businesses.

For more information about Where’s Waldo? and other happenings in Downtown Knoxville, visit

ChoiceSpine partners for robotic surgery platform

eCential Robotics, a French growth company that designs, manufactures and markets the first unified 2D/3D robotic imaging and surgical navigation system for bone surgery indications and ChoiceSpine LLC, a U.S.-based, privately-held spinal implant company, announced today their long-term partnership to offer a common optimized solution. This system combines navigation, robotics and implant systems that are easy to use, accurate for spine surgeons, and benefits the patient.

After starting the process in 2021, eCential Robotics and ChoiceSpine agreed to partner their technologies with spine robotic surgeries. Built on the technical excellence of the products and a common long-term vision, a collaboration combining two critical assets is emerging, eCential’s Robotics platform and ChoiceSpine’s implant offerings.

The eCential Robotics platform pulls together intraoperative 2D/3D imaging, navigation, and robotics in its core design as the only available fully-unified, single-device solution with a single-user interface. In addition, the eCential Robotics platform is an open solution, catering to different surgeons’ preferences. Built around a range of applications currently dedicated to spine surgery, there are plans for multiple bone surgery indications soon.

The Knoxville-based ChoiceSpine is recognized for introducing innovative and niche solutions to the spinal implant market, emphasizing MIS solutions, such as the Thunderbolt™ Minimally Invasive Pedicle Screw System and the Triton™ 3D printed SI Joint Fixation System.

Other differentiating technologies offered by ChoiceSpine include proprietary BioBond™ 3D printed interbodies, a shallow docking access system for direct lateral surgery and multiple cervical fusion options. In addition, the orthobiologics portfolio offers bone graft solutions, including 100% demineralized bone matrix, cortical fibers, synthetics, a cellular bone matrix, structural allograft and allograft sponge options.

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