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VOL. 46 | NO. 36 | Friday, September 9, 2022

Tourism nets state $24B in 2021

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Tennessee tourism generated $24.2 billion in domestic and international travel spending in 2021, a recently released economic impact data from U.S. Travel Association and Tourism Economics reveals.

Davidson County led the state in direct visitor spending for 2021 with $7.3 billion, followed by Shelby ($3.46 billion), Sevier ($3,443 billion), Knox ($1.652 billion), Hamilton ($1.51 billion) and Williamson ($1,044 billion).

It also marks the largest visitor spending nationally in Tennessee’s history. Travelers in Tennessee spend an estimated $66 million per day. Travel in Tennessee generated $1.9 billion in state and local tax revenue. Travel and tourism is also the third-largest employer in the state.

The 2021 report also noted that every Tennessee county saw an increase in visitor spending over 2020, and 51 counties exceeded their 2019 visitor spending records. Nine counties experienced more than 40% growth in year-over-year travel spending, including Davidson, Cheatham, Sevier, Union, Polk, Grundy, Knox, Blount and Hamilton.

On the state employment side, leisure and hospitality industries supported 317,000 jobs in 2021, an 8% increase from 2020 and 91% of 2019 levels.

The 2021 Economic Impact on Travel Report includes county data and comprehensive models of the economic impact of spending by industry. Economic Impact on Travel Report booklets will be handed out at the Governor’s Conference on Hospitality & Tourism Sept. 28-30 in Memphis.

New LOCAL Midtown project breaks ground

Subtext, a St. Louis-based integrated real estate development company, and Brinkmann Constructors, a St. Louis-based national general contractor, held an official groundbreaking ceremony Aug. 30 for LOCAL Midtown, a 15-story multifamily project in Nashville.

LOCAL Midtown is expected to be completed and open for leasing in 2024.

Located at 1904 Hayes Street, the 270,000-SF residential complex will contain 307 total units with a mix of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom layouts. The modern design by architect Dynamik Design features 10,000 SF of total amenity space.

Amenity highlights include a curated coffee bar and micro market on the first floor, a music studio and recording booth on the fifth floor, and several unique spaces on the sixth floor – media lounge, speakeasy, collaboration spaces, gaming room, fitness center with coach-led classes, library and outdoor amenity deck with a swimming pool.

The 15th floor will feature a sky lounge and deck with sweeping views of downtown Nashville. A five-level covered parking garage will be available to residents.

Skrmetti takes over AG’s office

The top legal counsel for Gov. Bill Lee has taken over the state’s attorney general office.

Earlier this year, the Tennessee Supreme Court announced that Jonathan Skrmetti would replace Attorney General Herbert Slatery, a Republican who announced in May that he wouldn’t seek another eight-year term. Skrmetti was sworn in Sept. 1.

Tennessee is the only state in the U.S. where its Supreme Court appoints the attorney general.

Before serving in Lee’s administration, Skrmetti worked as the attorney general’s chief deputy from 2018-2021.

Skrmetti is a member of the Federalist Society, a conservative legal organization that has championed judges appointed by former President Donald Trump. He graduated from Harvard Law School, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.

Girls in Tech relocates HQ to Nashville

Girls in Tech, a global nonprofit working to erase the gender gap in tech, announced it has moved its global headquarters from Silicon Valley to Nashville.

The organization was drawn to the fast-growing tech hub’s geographical, governmental, economic and social assets that continue to draw big tech companies and a strong talent pool.

Founded in 2007, Girls in Tech has grown into a global leader in the gender equality movement with a membership of 130,000+ women and allies in 50 cities, 38 countries and 6 continents. Along the way, it has become one of the most prominent voices in promoting diversity, equality and inclusion in tech and the business world as more than just something to do because it’s right, but because it also drives innovation and enhances a company’s bottom line.

The organization will celebrate its 15th anniversary next week in Nashville at its first annual conference since the pandemic’s onset. The Sept. 7 conference features a dynamic selection of speakers with inspiring stories and practical insights to share.

Consulting firm SEI opens Nashville office

SEI, an employee-owned business and technology management consulting firm, announced the opening of its latest location in Nashville.

The move is part of the firm’s ongoing growth initiative and commitment to hyperlocal consulting that creates long-lasting, profound change in the communities where its consultants live and work.

Managing Director Rachel Askew, a native Nashvillian and industry veteran, will lead the firm’s local expansion.

SEI’s Nashville office enables its team of experienced consultants to better serve Nashville-based industry-leading organizations in the health care, retail, finance, and automotive sectors by hiring consultants with local expertise and empowering them to leverage their network of experienced consultants across 12 other major US markets.

Askew brings nearly two decades of experience managing cross-functional teams, establishing strong partnerships, and helping businesses develop strategies to drive success. Before joining SEI, she served as managing director at Ankura, formerly C3 Consulting, part of a global consultancy, where she focused on developing and implementing transformative business strategies and processes for companies in the health care, IT, retail, logistics and financial services industries. She earned her MBA from Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management and BA from the University of Tennessee.

SEI Nashville’s office is located at 2817 Azalea Place in Nashville.

Pinnacle on list of ‘Companies That Care’

Pinnacle Financial Partners has again earned a spot on People Magazine’s 100 Companies That Care list, jointly chosen by the publication and Great Place to Work. Pinnacle came in No. 35 on the list, joining much larger international brands like Target, Salesforce and Hilton, all chosen for the generosity of their company benefits and charitable work, as well as personal accounts of the impact these organizations have made on the lives of their employees.

“There’s no shortage of caring, kindness and compassion among our associates,” said Terry Turner, Pinnacle’s President and CEO. “This honor recognizes who we are at our core both collectively and individually. Pinnacle may be the name on the list, but it’s the result of work from our associates and hundreds of community partners we are honored to support.”

Rankings were based on more than a million employee survey responses and data from companies representing more than 6.1 million U.S. employees.

State fire assistance grants now available

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry is offering two direct grant programs through the state and also is promoting a new federal program. State programs include the Volunteer Fire Assistance and the Hazard Mitigation Assistance grants. The United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service is offering a Community Wildfire Defense grant.

Volunteer fire departments that serve fewer than 10,000 citizens can apply for a Volunteer Fire Assistance Wildland Fire Suppression Kit to supplement a fire department’s wildland firefighting capacity. These kits consist of wildland firefighting personal protective equipment and tools and are valued at approximately $3,000 per kit.

Cities, towns, and communities with a risk or potential for loss from wildland fires are eligible to apply for a Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant. Communities that have developed a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) are eligible for funding to implement hazard mitigation and community education projects of up to $20,000 the first year. In following years, additional grant requests can be submitted annually, with a maximum allowable grant of $10,000 per calendar year.

The Division will be accepting applications for the two state-funded programs from Sept. 1-Oct. 14.

The application period is now also open for the USDA-administered Community Wildfire Defense Grant Program. It offers financial assistance to at-risk local communities for the development of CWPPs and associated mitigation projects. This new, five-year, competitive federal program assists at-risk communities, nonprofit organizations, and state forestry agencies with planning for and mitigating wildfire risks.

Information

VU nursing program targets diverse leadership

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing is creating a new leadership development program for nurses new in health care leadership and academic positions who are from groups historically underrepresented in nursing and/or those who support them.

The Academy for Diverse Emerging Nurse Leaders will be held in Nashville Nov. 14-18. Applications for the inaugural class of fellows are now being accepted.

“The need for nursing faculty and nurse leaders from groups historically underrepresented in nursing is well established, but research shows a need for career development resources that address the specific needs and challenges of diverse nurse leaders,” said Pamela Jeffries, dean of Vanderbilt School of Nursing. “We believe that the knowledge, mentorship, strategy and skills that new leaders will attain via the Academy for Diverse Emerging Nurse Leaders will empower them to continue to advance and lead.”

Rolanda Johnson, VUSN associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion, and Mamie Williams, Vanderbilt University Medical Center senior director for nurse diversity and inclusion, will codirect the academy, which is designed for nurses who have been in academic or health care leadership roles for less than three years.

The academy will be taught by experienced faculty and health care leaders from diverse backgrounds, and is specifically designed to serve the needs of new and emerging nurse leaders and faculty. Fellows also will participate in virtual sessions, receive mentorship from an executive coach and institutional mentor and develop a leadership project.

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