Princeton Review taps MTSU for best listing

Friday, August 23, 2019, Vol. 43, No. 34

The Princeton Review has named Middle Tennessee State University one of the best places for an undergraduate degree.

It is the first time MTSU was awarded a spot in the review’s guide, “The Best 385 Colleges,” an honor given to roughly 13% of the nation’s approximately 3,000 four-year institutions.

The publication called MTSU “a go-to choice for those wishing to receive a quality and affordable education.”

“We are pleased that The Princeton Review recognizes the great quality and value of our academic programs and the wonderful quality of life and facilities found on our campus,” says MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee.

Adds Provost Mark Byrnes, the university’s chief academic officer, “This reflects the hard work of our faculty and staff in helping our students succeed, as well as the almost $1 billion in improvements and new construction put forward on our campus.”

In past years, MTSU has been included in the review’s list of top schools in the Southeast. The university remains on the regional list by virtue of its inclusion on the review’s top national list.

“We chose the 385 colleges for this edition as our ‘best’ overall, academically, based on data we gathered in 2018–19 from more than a thousand school administrators about their schools’ academic programs and offerings,” says Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s editor-in-chief and lead author.

SmileDirectClub readies for IPO status

SmileDirectClub, headquartered in Nashville, has publicly filed a registration with the SEC for a proposed initial public offering for its Class A common stock.

The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined.

The company has applied to list its Class A common stock on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “SDC.”

J.P. Morgan and Citigroup are serving as lead book-running managers for the proposed offering. BofA Merrill Lynch, Jefferies, UBS Investment Bank and Credit Suisse are also acting as book-running managers for the proposed offering. Guggenheim Securities, Stifel, William Blair and Loop Capital Markets are also acting as co-managers for the proposed offering.

The proposed offering will be made only by means of a prospectus.

Inova Payroll earns Inc. 5000 notice

For the fourth consecutive year, Inova Payroll, a Nashville-based payroll and human resources service provider, has landed on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in the U.S.

Inova made the list at No. 3967. Inova has experienced continued growth through partnerships, acquisitions and a commitment to service.

“Sustaining this high level of growth over four years demonstrates just how innovative our team is here at Inova,” says Farsheed Ferdowsi, Inova Payroll’s founder, president, and CEO. “We’re excited about our past success but focused on the coming year and continuing to serve as a problem solver for business owners, and payroll and HR professionals.”

Earlier this year, Inova launched two new product lines, a full-service human resource outsourcing solution, and group benefits. The new offerings complement the company’s payroll and human capital management technology and support services.

Inova acquired One Source Payroll, a Dallas-area company that provided payroll, time and labor, human resources, and ACA compliance to more than 300 employers throughout the country, in February.

Council Capital sells Atlanta’s EspriGas

Nashville-based Council Capital, a healthcare-focused private equity firm, sold its stake in Atlanta-based EspriGas to an entity affiliated with Kaltroco.

CEO Mike Walsh will remain a significant shareholder in EspriGas alongside Kaltroco. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

EspriGas is a technology and data-driven medical and industrial gas company that utilizes a network business model to manage the gas supply chain. Since Council Capital’s investment in 2013, EspriGas has more than doubled its revenue.

Council invested in EspriGas alongside Walsh, who says, “We found success by delivering an excellent customer experience. Council Capital was the perfect match for EspriGas. With access to strategic thinkers, introductions to potential customers, and support from shared portfolio resources, the Council Model helped us through every stage of our growth.”

Auto supplier to expand, invest in Mount Pleasant

Athena-SCE, Inc., an automotive supplier, plans to invest more than $3 million to expand operations in Maury County.

The company will create 36 jobs as part of the expansion and locate its operations at 424 William Springs Road in Mount Pleasant, where Athena SCE will build a 5,800-square-foot addition to its existing 32,500-square-foot facility.

Athena-SCE, which produces gaskets and other sealing devices for automotive and industrial applications, expects the new facility will be fully operational in the fourth quarter of 2019.

“Moving a manufacturing plant is a significant undertaking,’’ says Ryan Hunter, Athena-SCE president. “We’re thankful to the City of Mount Pleasant, the Maury County Alliance and the State of Tennessee for their genuinely warm welcome and expert assistance. We’re elated to be part of the Mount Pleasant community.”

EnableComp to add Tullahoma operation

EnableComp LLC, a company that processes complex medical claims for more than 800 healthcare providers, will expand its operations and add a third office in Middle Tennessee.

The Franklin-based company will invest nearly $1 million to open an office in Tullahoma, where it will create 200 jobs over the next five years.

The company’s Tullahoma operation will process medical insurance claims from submissions to appeals. EnableComp will locate its operations at 1400 Cedar Lane in Tullahoma.

Founded in 2000, EnableComp currently has approximately 240 employees at its headquarters in Franklin. The company processes 180,000 claims annually and uses clinical expertise, data driven analytics, managed care and proprietary technology to achieve optimal results for its clients.

“It has been my vision since shortly after joining the company that we would expand outside of the Greater Nashville area,’’ says David Jones, president and CEO. “Tullahoma is perfectly situated to be another center of operational excellence, and we look forward to the next chapter of growth as we deliver value to all of our stakeholders. We want to be the employer of choice in Coffee County.”

Underserved areas to benefit from VUSN plans

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing will be able to help more rural and underserved communities due to receiving two grants totaling more than $5 million.

The monetary awards came from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to increase the number of nurse practitioners working in areas where there aren’t enough primary care providers.

In response to the growing need for mental health services, both awarded programs will have a psychiatric/mental health component that integrates behavioral health into the primary care setting.

The school received a $2.7 million award to support the development of a learning track within VUSN’s family nurse practitioner program that will focus specific education on serving rural and underserved populations.

“Our experience has been that a large percentage of graduates who do their clinical training in rural or underrepresented locations choose to practice in similar settings,” says Linda D. Norman, DSN, FAAN, VUSN dean and nursing professor.

The other HRSA grant will create a primary care nurse practitioner residency program to prepare and increase the number of new nurse practitioners practicing in rural and underserved communities.

Funded through HRSA’s Advanced Nursing Education (ANE)–Nurse Practitioner Residency Program, the $2.4 million grant will be used to develop a postgraduate Nurse Practitioner Residents (NPRs) training program that employs NPRs in community-based health clinics for 12 months and provides additional education tailored for rural and underserved patient populations. It will be VUSN’s first nurse practitioner residency program.

PlayMaker teams up with Dallas home health tech firm

Franklin-based PlayMaker Health has partnered with Axxess to deliver current market data and referral intelligence for home health and hospice agency clients.

Axxess, based in Dallas, is a home healthcare technology company, and PlayMaker is a market data and growth solution provider. The combination of PlayMaker Health’s data capabilities provides Axxess’ more than 2,000 clients complete visibility into key service areas by leveraging the most up-to-date and comprehensive claims and sales data available.

“The integration with PlayMaker Health’s data and growth intelligence complements Axxess’ easy-to-use suite of solutions, giving our home health and hospice agencies the sales and marketing data visibility they need to grow their business and increase market share,” says John Olajide, Axxess founder and chief executive officer. “This partnership will enable Axxess clients to better track referral sources and diversify their patient mix using PlayMaker Health’s valuable data.”

John Griscavage, chief executive officer of PlayMaker, adds, “The integration of Axxess’ user-friendly point-of-care technology solutions with PlayMaker Health’s platform gives more than 2,000 additional post-acute providers a unified view of all their referral, sales and performance data. This combination delivers the in-depth and actionable sales insights they need to scale smartly and run more efficiently.”

Assembly Food Hall features traditions

The dining and entertainment space that will open in fall 2020 in the Fifth + Broadway development will be named Assembly Food Hall.

The Food Hall Co. recently made the announcement.

“We wanted the name of the food hall to reflect the Southern tradition and culture rooted in Nashville,” says Joseph A. Magliarditi, president and CEO of The Food Hall Co.

“The name ‘Assembly Food Hall’ is a nod to an authentic gathering place in the South, one that welcomes locals and visitors alike and features a snapshot of the most iconic dishes and entertainment Music City has to offer. We want Assembly Food Hall to be Nashville’s gathering place.”

The European-style food hall has also announced its third wave of restaurant partners – DeSano Pizzeria, Zulema’s Taqueria and NoBaked Cookie Dough. This latest announcement of partners joins favorites like Prince’s Hot Chicken, The Pharmacy Burger, The Donut + Dog, Edley’s Bar-B-Que and Hattie Jane’s Creamery, which will make up the 100,000 square-foot venue.

Fifth + Broadway is one of the largest single mixed-use developments in the history of Nashville and the state of Tennessee. The downtown project, which replaces the 6.2-acre Nashville Convention Center site, will deliver 200,000 square feet of strategically important retail and entertainment, the 56,000-square-foot National Museum for African American Music, 372,000 square feet of Class-A office space at 501 Commerce, 386 residential units and more than 2,000 parking spaces.

Niche report says Hume-Fogg top public school

Niche, a platform for information on schools, colleges and neighborhoods, has announced its picks for the best public schools in the Nashville area.

Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet in Nashville was ranked No. 1. Central Magnet in Murfreesboro was listed at No. 2 and Hendersonville’s Merrol Hyde Magnet at No. 3.

These rankings, which include 94,474 public schools, 4,131 private schools and 10,782 school districts nationwide, do not rely exclusively on test scores and academic performance. Niche’s rankings provide a real-life view of what it’s like to attend a given school.

The platform combines user input – comments from current students, alumni, and parents – with a multifaceted analysis of factors including campus life, extracurricular activity opportunities, on-campus sports options, gifted and special needs programs availability and student/faculty/curriculum diversity.