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VOL. 42 | NO. 27 | Friday, July 6, 2018

Songwriters get special week, contest

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Nashville’s storied Bluebird Café lauded the designation of the last full week in February as “Tennessee Songwriters Week,’’ and will help promote it by sponsoring a statewide contest for songwriters.

During the designated week, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and the Bluebird will sponsor open mic nights in Memphis, Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Johnson City.

Bluebird Cafe’s long-time open mic night host, songwriter Barbara Cloyd, will host each night as a panel of local judges and audiences select the top two songwriters from each event.

Those eight songwriters will perform at The Bluebird Cafe Sunday, April 7, 2019 during Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival before an audience that includes a panel of music publishing professionals.

New census data: State getting older

Tennessee is following national trends of an aging population, according to new U.S. Census information.

The state’s median age has increased from 38.0 years to 38.7 years from 2010 to 2017, making it the 22nd oldest state in the nation, according to data from the Census Bureau and the Tennessee State Data Center, which is housed within the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research in the University of Tennessee’s Haslam College of Business.

The nation’s median age increased from 37.2 years to 38.0 years during the same period.

“Baby boomers and millennials alike are responsible for this trend in increased aging,” says Molly Cromwell, a demographer with the Census Bureau. “Boomers continue to age and are slowly outnumbering children as the birth rate has declined steadily over the last decade.”

Baby boomers in Tennessee (ages 53 to 71 in 2017) were the largest portion of the state’s population at 23.1 percent, followed by millennials at 21.6 percent.

Tennessee counties also are aging as the nation is – all 95 counties experienced growth in their population ages 55 and older from 2016 to 2017, with the largest being in Middle Tennessee.

Based on 2017 median age, the youngest counties in the state are located in urban/metro areas and the oldest counties are more rural. Eighty-three counties had either increases or no change in median age from 2016 to 2017, while 12 counties saw a decrease in median age.

LBMC launches new app BALLAST

LBMC, a Nashville-based professional services firm, has developed a new cloud-based application, BALLAST, that streamlines and automates IT security risk assessment.

The app eliminates the need for companies to track and consolidate multiple spreadsheets and provides real-time dashboard reporting so that less time is spent assessing and more time is spent managing risks.

“We’re really excited about LBMC Information Security’s new BALLAST risk assessment platform,” says Preston Duren, head of the Information Security team at RCCH HealthCare Partners. “My team is made up of millennials, and gone are the days of performing risk assessments with spreadsheets. We need the risk assessment process to be simple and efficient, and that’s exactly what BALLAST offers.”

BALLAST allows users to define reporting areas on your dashboard that can filter based on geographical regions, brands, applications, and vendors.

Another strength of BALLAST is its flexibility. A threat or control question can easily be added to a deployed assessment on the fly, and the assigned user will be notified that they have new threats and controls to review and complete.

Primeritus Financial buys Capital Recovery

Nashville-based Primeritus Financial Services, has acquired Capital Recovery Group, LLC.

Primeritus is a provider of recovery management, skip tracing, and remarketing services to the auto finance industry in the U.S.

CRG is the only recovery solution company dedicated solely to the powersports community. Powersports include motorcycles, ATVs, side by sides, scooters and other vehicles.

Primeritus also reports that with the acquisition, CRG will undergo a name change and be known as Find Track Locate, Inc.

CRG, founded by Nic Spallas, Adam Jones, and Dennis Louderback, is the seventh acquisition by Primeritus since 2012.

“We are very selective when considering potential acquisition targets, evaluating many different aspects of the company,” says Scott Peters, president, and CEO of Primeritus. “We were very impressed when we talked to the team at CRG and knew right away that this would be a great addition to the Primeritus Family of Companies.”

Chris McGinness, SVP of Operations for Primeritus, adds, “CRG has an excellent reputation within the powersports industry. We look forward to working with their team to enhance their service offerings and continue to drive innovation, compliance, and efficiency for CRG’s and Primeritus’ clients.” McGinness continues, “While Primeritus has a presence in the powersports market, this acquisition allows us to grow our footprint significantly in this arena.”

Appello pursues Parkinson’s treatment

Appello Pharmaceuticals, based in Nashville, announces the completion of a $10.5 million Series A financing led by Deerfield Management and Mountain Group Partners.

This initial investment will support the development of an innovative new treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

Licensed to Appello from Vanderbilt University, the compounds involved were developed at the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery.

“These compounds have some unique properties and carry with them the potential to change the way Parkinson’s patients are treated,” says P. Jeffrey Conn, Ph.D., VCNDD director and Lee E. Limbird, professor of pharmacology, who will also join Appello’s board of directors. “I look forward to working with the team to achieve that vision.”

Craig Lindsley, Ph.D., VCNDD Director of Medical Chemistry and the William K. Warren Jr. Chair in Medicine, adds, “With the support of Deerfield and Mountain Group Partners, we are well-positioned to rapidly advance our lead compound into the clinic and address an important unmet medical need.”

Brian Laden, Ph.D., the Appello’s president and COO, states, “Our focus is on bringing a much-needed novel therapy to Parkinson’s patients. The support and expertise of our board and investors will help make that goal a reality.”

Premise names new lead investor

Brentwood-based Premise Health, a direct health care company, announces global investment firm OMERS will become its new lead investor.

The new partnership begins in mid-July.

OMERS Private Equity is the private equity investment arm of OMERS, the defined benefit pension plan for municipal employees in the Province of Ontario, Canada.

For Premise Health, which partners with organizations to address the health needs of their employee and dependent populations, this announcement marks the next step forward as it grows to meet demand for greater health care access, according to Premise CEO Stu Clark.

VU adds scholarship to honor Lawson

A new undergraduate scholarship at Vanderbilt University will honor the Rev. James Lawson, one of the civil rights movement’s most influential leaders and an important figure in Vanderbilt history.

The Rev. James M. Lawson Jr. Scholarship provides need-based financial support for underrepresented minority students who demonstrate a commitment to civil rights and social justice.

The scholarship was established by a gift from Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management alumnus Doug Parker, MBA’86, and his wife, Gwen.

“Gwen and I have tremendous respect for Rev. Lawson and the enormous role he played in the civil rights movement,” says Parker, chairman and CEO of American Airlines.

“We were fortunate to learn much more about him during the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday several years ago in Selma, Alabama. We’re honored to help extend his legacy at Vanderbilt through this scholarship and support future generations of civil rights and social justice advocates.”

Parker will be joining the Vanderbilt University Board of Trust July 1.

Lawson’s participation in the civil rights sit-ins led to his expulsion from Vanderbilt in 1960 following a vote by the executive committee of the university’s Board of Trust – a move that generated national headlines and prompted some faculty members to resign in protest.

A compromise was worked out to allow him to complete his degree, but he chose instead to transfer to Boston University.

Eventually, Vanderbilt and Lawson reconciled, and in 1996 he received the Divinity School’s first-ever Distinguished Alumnus Award.

LaunchTN, Nissan back Entrepreneurship Festival

Launch Tennessee and Nissan North America have formed a partnership for the 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival.

LaunchTN is a public-private partnership that fosters entrepreneurship across the state.

Nissan will be the presenting sponsor of the event, which is the Southeast’s premier gathering of founders, investors and ecosystem builders offering entrepreneurs the knowledge, connections and capital needed to scale their businesses.

At the annual festival in downtown Nashville Aug. 29-30, Nissan will host “Innovation Alley,” an interactive experience for attendees and the public to experience Nissan Intelligent Mobility — the company’s vision for changing how vehicles are powered, driven and integrated into a connected society.

Mars Petcare announces new line of pet food

Franklin-based Mars Petcare is introducing a new super premium brand of dog and cat food, Wild Frontier pet food.

The line of food meets pets’ instinctual needs, including grain-free, animal-based recipes with multiple sources of prey and nutrient-rich organs, which pets’ ancestors sought first after the hunt to help them thrive.

Originally part of the NUTRO brand of dog food, Wild Frontier is now its own brand, providing pet parents with the next level of protein-rich ancestral nutrition. All of the recipes include high-quality protein as the first ingredient, with no grains or soy and no artificial flavors or preservatives.

Tate Ornamental to expand in White House

Tate Ornamental, Inc. officials have announced the company will expand its White House operations. The metal, millwork and stonework manufacturer will create 50 new jobs and invest $6 million in Robertson County.

With this expansion, Tate will be expanding its operation into a new 80,000 square foot facility in White House. Construction of the new facility is set to begin in summer 2018 and is expected to be completed by the summer of 2019.

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