Affinion Insurance Solutions set to be sold

Friday, July 13, 2018, Vol. 42, No. 28

Mill Point Capital has reached an agreement to acquire Franklin-based Affinion Insurance Solutions.

Mill Point is a middle-market private equity firm. Affinion Insurance is a business services platform, distributing, marketing and administering insurance products.

The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018.

Mill Point employs an executive partner model and has extensive experience investing in carve-out transactions in the business services space, including the recent acquisition of Avenu Insights & Analytics.

“AIS has a long history of success and is led by an outstanding management team,’’ says Michael Duran, founder and managing partner of Mill Point. “We are excited to partner with the company and optimize the business as a standalone entity.”

Robert Dudacek, President of AIS, adds, “I am very proud of the terrific track record that AIS has achieved and look forward to building upon our success as a standalone company. We are excited to partner with Mill Point given their deep understanding of the power and predictability of the direct marketing business model and their commitment to our growth plans moving forward.”

Billboard lauds Belmont, MTSU for music

Billboard magazine has recognized Belmont and Middle Tennessee State University among the nation’s top music business schools.

The publication’s semi-annual list of 17 schools includes Belmont’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment and MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry. The “2018 Top Music Business Schools” lists the schools in alphabetical order.

Both Nashville area schools were given special mention for using the Bonnaroo music festival as a learning experience for students.

The music business publication says its top schools feature faculty with extensive music industry résumés and provide students with educational experiences in the classroom as well as in the field, including at music festivals.

At MTSU, the department of recording industry is contained within College of Media and Entertainment, which allows students to work “with those from TV and film production, digital animation, journalism, public relations, theater” and other fields, says department chairwoman Beverly Keel, who adds that virtual-reality production is a new focus.

Billboard’s article showed how 20 Belmont students “capped off their curriculum” for a month-long study away program through attendance at Bonnaroo.

“In the classroom, the students discussed the role of music in society and the design of sociological research studies. They then continued their work 60-plus miles southeast of campus in Manchester. Bonnaroo organizers compiled a dozen questions for the student researchers to ask festivalgoers with the purpose of gaining insight into Generation Z fans.”

Pinnacle partners with Nashville Soccer

Pinnacle Financial Partners has announced a new agreement to become a corporate partner and the official broadcast presenting sponsor of Nashville Soccer Club.

“We take a great deal of pride in our hometown, so it is our honor to support a truly homegrown organization like Nashville Soccer Club,” Pinnacle Chairman Rob McCabe says. “Partnerships like this must always be a smart business decision, and we see a bright future with this organization and its leadership. Their story is starting very much like Pinnacle’s did, as a young upstart driven by hard work and a passion for its community. We look forward to being a part of their growth and the soccer success story in Music City.”

The full terms and duration of the arrangement were not disclosed, but it includes several shared marketing opportunities in-game, presenting sponsor status for the broadcast season on Fox17 and several opportunities outside of the game-day experience.

This is Pinnacle’s third professional sports partnership. The firm has been the official bank of the Tennessee Titans since 2009 and the official bank of the Memphis Grizzlies and FedExForum since 2016.

Smokin’ Joe’s wins at Tennessee Tradeshow

Nashville’s Smokin’ Joe’s Food Products won the top prize at the 2018 Pick Tennessee Products Tradeshow.

Kingsport’s Gypsy Circus Cider placed second and Winfrey Food’s Royal Relish Chow, also of Nashville, placed third.

Tennessee food and farm product entrepreneurs competed for recognition and promoted their products to retail buyers as part of the recent Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association Convention.

All competitors are members of Pick Tennessee, a service of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture to connect consumers to Tennessee foods and artisan products.

Smokin Joe’s is a Nashville fish batter and sauce company, with products already on the shelves at Kroger stores and other retail outlets. Smokin’ Joe’s took first place with Smokin’ Joe’s Original Tartar Sauce. Royal Relish Chow is available at Publix and other stores.

Tennessee companies Olive and Sinclair Chocolate and salsa, sauce, and marinade maker EV Originals won honorable mentions.

LP honored by Weekley Homes again

LP Building Products, headquartered in Nashville, has been awarded the “Partners of Choice” award from David Weekley Homes for the fifth straight year.

LP achieved the coveted “A” rating in quality, one of the highest awards presented by the homebuilder.

The company was one of 25 of the 200 companies participating in David Weekley Homes’ industry-leading supplier evaluation platform to receive the esteemed “Partners of Choice Award.”

“This is a great honor coming from the nation’s largest privately held home builder,” says Craig Sichling, LP specialty sales and marketing vice president. “This shows that the hard work that LP employees and channel partners put into what they do every day is appreciated.”

“To be a Partners of Choice Award winner for five consecutive years is a remarkable accomplishment, especially when you consider all the changes in our industry over the past 5 years,” says Bill Justus, vice president of supply chain services for David Weekley Homes and chief architect behind the homebuilder’s supplier evaluation platform. “Through it all our friends at LP have found a way to consistently provide quality products to our organization.”

David Weekley’s evaluation process is an invaluable aid to LP’s field team, says Matt Olson, LP national accounts manager.

“The information gives our sales and marketing teams valuable insights in how – and where we can improve the quality and service that keeps LP a world class organization.’’

Hamilton’s CARES, Forward it On team up

Forward It On, a web-based employee giving platform, has forged a partnership with Scott Hamilton’s CARES Foundation.

CARES is now a featured nonprofit available to Forward It On’s corporate and individual donor clients.

“After losing my mother to cancer and then beating it three times myself, I started CARES to further the conversation about cancer in hopes to motivate and fund new treatments,” says Scott Hamilton, Olympic gold medal figure skater and CARES CEO who lives in the Nashville area.

“Forward It On connects my charity with purpose-driven businesses and their employee donors who share my mission. Together we can turn cancer upside down.”

Nashville-based Mosaic Consulting Group, LLC leverages the Forward It On platform to enable employee giving.

Mosaic, a consulting group that focuses exclusively on the HR Information System, UltiPro, will be using UltiPro coupled with Forward It On to facilitate employee giving. Mosaic has selected CARES as their primary corporate charity and will match employee contributions based on company performance.

“Our team members have had experiences with cancer – either fighting it themselves or supporting a loved one battling the disease. We want to link arms with them in their fight by working with a charity that’s doing the same,” says Mosaic CEO, Vicki Hill.

“The majority of our team members work remotely. It’s important for us to create a passion-driven culture that bonds us together, even though we may not see each other every day.” Hill says. “Investing in the causes that our team members care about and helping them do the same brings us together with a common purpose that is meaningful for all of us.”

Edge O Lake Shoppes sold to Baceline

Nashville’s Edge O Lake Shoppes has been purchased by Baceline Investments, LLC, a boutique private equity real estate investment and management company.

Baceline has neighborhood shopping center holdings throughout the central United States.

The 35,544-square foot Edge O Lake Shoppes was acquired for $6.58 million.

Baceline’s overall portfolio now includes 54 properties, and 2.6 million square feet.

Franke introduces new kitchen products

Swiss-based Franke, with an operations center in Smyrna, announces its new Professional 2.0 Collection of kitchen products.

Franke is the world’s largest stainless-steel kitchen sink manufacturer and a leading name in kitchen faucets.

The new series offers refined touches for the serious home chef including a stainless-steel finish, deeper bowls, and custom-fit accessories.

Made of 16 gauge, commercial-grade stainless steel and available in a variety of size and configuration options, the Professional 2.0 Collection provides homeowners with a long-lasting entertaining focal point through its classic style and enduring finishes.

“We’re thrilled to build on the success of one of our favorite collections through the introduction of new innovations,” says Daniel Schwab, vice president of sales and marketing.