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VOL. 44 | NO. 45 | Friday, November 6, 2020

Cupcake Collection wins NAACP grant

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Nashville’s The Cupcake Collection is one of 10 Black-owned small business winners of the NAACP Powershift Grant.

The company, which also has a location in New Orleans, was founded by Mignon Francois, who serves as CEO.

She has won the “Woman of Legend and Merit” from Tennessee State University, the “Emerging Business Leader of the Year” award and Black Enterprise Magazine’s “Family Business of the Year Award.’’

Francois founded the business in 2008 in Historic Germantown.

Reliant named best small bank in Tennessee

Brentwood-based Reliant Bank has been named Best Small Bank in Tennessee by Newsweek in its first ranking of financial institutions that best serve their customers’ needs in today’s challenging times.

To identify America’s Best Banks 2021, more than 2,500 FDIC-insured institutions (excluding credit unions) – and the savings and checking accounts they offer – were assessed based on 55 factors to come up with a best-in-class option in 19 categories.

“The opportunity to be an even better steward for our customers and local communities has never been more important,” said Reliant’s Chairman and CEO, DeVan Ard, Jr., “During this COVID-era, our customers are embracing online banking more than ever, while also expecting the personalized banking they’ve always enjoyed. We are pleased to be recognized by Newsweek as the best small bank in Tennessee for both our innovative technology and our personal customer service.”

FNS Group to expand Clarksville operations

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and FNS Group officials announced this week the company will build a new facility to expand its Clarksville operations.

The project represents an investment of $33.4 million and the creation of 62 jobs.

FNS Group will build a 300,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center on a greenfield site behind LG’s manufacturing facility in Clarksville. The proposed Clarksville warehouse will serve as the Southeast and Midwest portal, connecting businesses in this region to the company’s global logistics network.

Pantos USA, a subsidiary of FNS Group, has 18 employees in Clarksville and will be expanding its footprint in the area while creating an additional 62 jobs.

As a full-service transportation and third-party logistics provider, FNS Group and its affiliated companies operate more than 20 warehouses across North America and employ over 700 people. Pantos USA serves as LG’s primary logistics partner for its global shipments.

Montgomery Bell park feted for management

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has recognized Montgomery Bell State Park for excellence in facilities management as part of the 2020 Tennessee State Parks Awards of Excellence.

The lodge has been under renovations since August 2019. The park staff has submitted and tracked hundreds of work orders, keeping tabs of work hours, parts, labor and cost, saving time and labor, and reducing the amount of time equipment was down or rooms were closed. The staff has conducted timely maintenance on the facility and has made improvements to the landscape. The staff at the lodge has embraced a Go Green Policy and has initiated action to ensure it is within compliance and ahead of Go Green guidelines.

Other winners included:

• Frozen Head State Park as Park of the Year

• Norris Dam State Park for community engagement

• Cummins Falls State Park for innovation

• Booker T. Washington State Park for interpretation

• Fall Creek Falls State Park for resource management

• Warriors’ Path State Park for sustainability.

TEL approves sports gaming tech vendor

The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation has approved Flexential, a provider of data center colocation, cloud and connectivity, as a vendor to provide data center services to online sports gaming operators and deliver information technology infrastructure required for the scheduled go-live date for sports betting which was planned for Nov. 1.

Flexential received the first approval granted to a colocation operator by TEL. Flexential is the only data center provider with a Tennessee presence approved as a vendor to provide data center solutions.

The state passed legislation earlier this year allowing online sports gaming for the first time in the state’s history, mandating all transactions must take place within the confines of the state. Flexential’s three secure, compliant and highly connected data centers located in the Nashville area meet all the requirements for working with the new gaming operations.

Atlanta marketing, PR firm adds Nashville office

Carabiner Communications, an Atlanta full-spectrum marketing and public relations firm, has opened a location in Nashville.

Carabiner assists growing companies by creating and executing strategies designed to build brand awareness, engage target audiences and drive sales.

“While most people think of Nashville as the home of country music, it’s also a hotbed for entrepreneurial development,” says Peter Baron, founder and principal at Carabiner Communications.

“We’ve had our eye on Nashville for a while now as a location for expanding our firm. The city continues to grow rapidly, offers a strong talent pool, and has a number of state and local entrepreneurial resources to help support the startup ecosystem.”

Nashville ranked 11th on Inc.’s 50 Best U.S. Cities for Starting a Business in 2020. Nashville’s more than 500 health care companies have an annual global revenue of $84 billion.

Heading Carabiner’s new Nashville satellite location is Virginia Cochran, who offers more than 12 years of experience in public relations, sales, strategic planning and team management.

Need a shower? BNA adds Minute Suites

Minute Suites has opened a location in the new Terminal D of the Nashville International Airport.

The opening date was Nov. 1. The site will feature five private suites and a bathroom with shower for guests to reserve for use.

“We are the natural place to go to escape the airport terminal and find your own space in the airport.” Daniel Solomon, co-founder and director of Minute Suites says. “Our service will positively impact travelers’ experience in Nashville.”

Since 2009, Minute Suites has been providing customers a hospital-grade clean retreat from the hustle and bustle of busy airport terminals. The pandemic setback construction schedules and openings, but Minute Suites is still pushing through to get several new locations open in the coming months.

Minute Suites provides clean and serene retreats for traveler’s with delayed flights or long layovers. The options for booking are flexible with the minimum stay set at one hour. Multiple locations feature a shower service that can be booked exclusively in 30-minute increments.

Brand825 earns gold as a top startup agancy

Nashville-based Brand825, a full-service marketing and creative agency, won two international awards for its achievements as a startup agency.

The company has won a gold PR World Award and a bronze Women World Award.

Brand825’s work on a successful advertising campaign for a national fitness brand won the gold PR World Award in the “Startup Agency of the Year: Full Service” category.

Brand825 reports it has grown revenue by 2,670% since the agency launched in 2016, which was the main factor in the agency earning the bronze Women World Award in the “Startup of the Year: Business Services” category.

“It’s gratifying to be recognized among so many incredible organizations and agencies around the world,” says Kedran Whitten, co-founder of Brand825. “It was a dream to launch our agency: we love what we do, and it shows in our work. These awards speak to the passion and quality of our service and our dedication to our clients.”

The PR World Awards are the world’s premier awards honoring and recognizing in-house and agency achievements in the areas of advertising, branding, direct marketing and much more. The Women World Awards celebrate the achievements of all women in business and the professions behind the year’s most outstanding initiatives. Both awards’ winners will be celebrated and presented their awards during virtual awards ceremonies in December.

Pinnacle Financial hits 20-year milestone

Pinnacle Financial Partners, which opened in Nashville in 2000, is celebrating 20 years in business.

Pinnacle first opened with 38 associates, one client and zero dollars in assets. Since then, the firm has grown to 111 offices in 12 major markets across five states, 2,600 associates and $33.8 billion in assets as of Sept. 30, 2020.

Over the course of the firm’s 20 years, Pinnacle has been one of the fastest growing and best performing bank stocks in the country, won dozens of national, regional and local “best workplace” awards and earned recognition as one of the best banks in the country for its distinctive client service.

Bridge Connector partners with Snowflake

Nashville-based Bridge Connector, an interoperability company changing the way health care communicates, has announced a partnership with Snowflake, the Data Cloud.

The venture will build fast, efficient integrations between data systems at the point of care and Snowflake’s platform. Bridge Connector will provide the data liquidity needed for health care providers, technology vendors and payers to decrease time spent on implementation and realize the benefits of Snowflake sooner.

Bridge Connector recently closed $25.5 million in Series B financing that raised total funding to more than $45 million.

Asurion launches same-day repair service

Nashville-based tech care company Asurion now offers same-day cracked screen repairs on most tablets for Asurion Home+ members.

Asurion Home+ combines tech protection coverage for all personal home tech along with fast, flexible support for those devices at a customer’s home or through its network of stores.

Asurion Home+ customers can enjoy same-day tablet cracked screen repairs by dropping off a tablet at any one of Asurion’s network of more than 550 uBreakiFix stores locations in the U.S. before 2 p.m. local time.

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