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VOL. 44 | NO. 48 | Friday, November 27, 2020

Mainland launches New Heights District

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Nashville-based The Mainland Companies, LLC, working in partnership with Chicago-based Speedwagon Capital Partners, is creating New Heights District, an urban, mixed-use opportunity zone business district on the south side of downtown Nashville.

Situated on an elevated vantage point between downtown Nashville and Wedgewood Houston, New Heights District offers sweeping views of the downtown skyline and direct access to the central business district via Sixth Avenue S. New Heights District is bordered on the south by Fort Negley, the Adventure Science Center and the Nashville City Cemetery.

Construction will begin next month on the first of three initial developments. Office 915 will break ground in December to overhaul a 31,000-square-foot office building at 915 Fifth Avenue S. It will house Serendipity Labs, a national brand coworking space.

Two additional projects are slated to begin construction in spring 2021:

The Stack Exchange, a mixed-use, 18,000-square-foot shipping container village designed by Matthijs Melchoirs, designer and developer of ConnexFW in Fort Worth, Texas.

Sixth & Oak, a 156-unit multifamily development situated in the southwest corner of New Heights District at the foot of Fort Negley. Hastings Architecture is designing the building.

The development team for New Heights District includes Mainland; Speedwagon Capital Partners; MZ Architects; Hawkins Partners, Inc.; Charles Hawkins Co.; Gilbert McLaughlin Casella Architects, PLC; Barge Cauthen & Associates, Inc.; MEL/ARCH Architecture Studio, LLC; and Hastings Architecture.

Baker Donelson earns legal diversity honors

Baker Donelson has earned two recognitions from the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, being named both a 2020 Compass Award winner and a 2020 Top Performer.

The Firm is one of 22 organizations across the country to earn both designations. Honorees were recognized at LCLD’s virtual annual meeting.

The Compass Award honors LCLD members who demonstrate their continued commitment to building more diverse organizations and a more inclusive legal profession through their participation in and support of LCLD’s mission and programs.

As an active member of the LCLD, Baker Donelson’s involvement in the organization includes attendance at the annual meeting, participation in the LCLD Fellows Program, participation in the LCLD Pathfinder Program, and participation in at least one LCLD Pipeline Program.

The LCLD is an organization of more than 350 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners – the leadership of the profession – who have dedicated themselves to creating a truly diverse U.S. legal profession. LCLD’s action programs are designed to attract, inspire and nurture the talent in society and within organizations, thereby helping a new and more diverse generation of attorneys ascend to positions of leadership.

Gryphon buys Kano Laboratories

Kano Laboratories, founded in 1939 and based in Nashville, has been acquired by Gryphon Investors, a middle-market private equity firm.

Kano is a producer of branded penetrating oils and lubricants sold into industrial maintenance, repair, and operations and consumer markets. Working alongside a team of executive advisers, Gryphon intends to build a leading platform in the branded specialty chemicals sector.

This represents the first deal closed by Gryphon’s Heritage Fund team, a new small-cap fund offering launched by Gryphon earlier this year. Financial terms for the transaction were not disclosed.

Kano’s management team will be led by newly appointed CEO Sevan Demirdogen, a former Group President in the Polymers and Fluids segment of Illinois Tool Works.

Gryphon Heritage Fund Operating Partner Craig Nikrant says, “Sevan was instrumental in helping us underwrite this acquisition and is uniquely qualified to lead Kano with extensive experience in the Industrial penetrating oils and lubricants space and MRO distribution.” Demirdogen will also serve on the board, along with several executive advisers who have experience within the specialty chemicals and industrial distribution channel sectors, including Mike Irwin, a 23-year veteran and former chief financial officer of WD40, who will serve as Kano’s executive chairman.

Bank of America gives TSU $1M for jobs initiative

Tennessee State University and Bank of America have announced a $1 million jobs initiative partnership to help students of color successfully complete the education and training necessary to enter the workforce and embark on a path to success in Nashville.

This initiative builds on Bank of America’s ongoing work in Nashville to address the underlying issues facing individuals and communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the current health crisis.

This year, the bank provided more than $2 million in grants to nonprofits that are connecting individuals to skills and employment in Nashville. The initiative is part of the bank’s recent $1 billion, four-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity, and its $25 million commitment to enhance up-skilling and reskilling for Black/African American and Hispanic-Latino individuals.

Including TSU, the $25 million, nationwide initiative includes partnerships with nearly two dozen community colleges that serve predominantly Black and Hispanic students, public Historically Black Colleges and Universities and public Hispanic-Serving Institutions.

S+H Group merges with Alfred Benesch

Alfred Benesch & Company has merged with S+H Group, a Nashville-based engineering and consulting services firm.

S+H serves private and local agency clients with utility design, geotechnical engineering, land development, construction administration and capital improvement planning. S+H will become a part of Benesch’s Tennessee Division.

Benesch is ranked #119 on Engineering News Record’s Top 500 Design Firm List and provides a broad range of infrastructure-related engineering services, as well as civil/site and landscape architecture. With the addition of S+H Group, Benesch further expands its presence and service portfolio in the state.

With offices in Nashville and Brentwood, Benesch’s Tennessee Division’s key areas of practice are roadway and bridge design, as well as landscape architecture. Most notably, it recently completed the nationally recognized I-240 MemFix4 CMGC project in Memphis for the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

S+H was co-owned by Chip Howorth and Tripp Smith.

HarperCollins teams with Urban Ministries

HarperCollins Christian Publishing, headquartered in Nashville, and Urban Ministries Incorporated have announced a partnership.

The two companies have entered a co-publication and co-distribution partnership that will collectively expand resources into new and existing markets. Through this partnership, UMI will help HCCP identify, publish and promote prominent and emerging voices; and distribute more resources, relevant to UMI’s loyal customer-base of African American, and African churches, denominations and consumers.

Together, the companies will form new connections with ministry organizations, churches and Christian readers. UMI and HCCP are working on multiple integrated projects to kick-start the two-year agreement.

UMI is one of the nation’s oldest and most well-known Christian resource providers to the African American church, serving more than 40,000 churches over its fifty-year history with books, curriculum, small group study resources and Vacation Bible School products.

Forefront strikes deal with Worth Media

Nashville-based Forefront Books is partnering with Worth Media to create Worth Books.

The joint venture will allow entrepreneurs and leaders in the financial, health and business marketplace who desire to publish a book but have not previously had an outlet to do so.

Worth Books is currently considering qualified authors for publication in spring/summer of 2021.

Forefront’s Associate Publisher Justin Batt will serve at the helm of the imprint along with Juliet Scott-Croxford, Worth Media’s CEO.

Pivot Point targets Connected Care Pilot

Pivot Point Consulting, based in Brentwood, has announced it is working to help potential applicants navigate the Connected Care Pilot Program to enable telehealth before the application deadline.

Earlier this month, the Federal Communications Commission announced the application filing window for the program, which will make available up to $100 million over three years to provide connected care services enabling telehealth, with an emphasis on providing those services to low-income and veteran patients.

The filing window is open through Dec. 7. The Pilot Program will provide funding for selected pilot projects to cover 85% of the eligible costs of broadband connectivity, network equipment, and information services necessary to provide connected care services.

Manduu expands in Southeast market

Manduu, a Nashville-based exercise concept company, is expanding its footprint with several new studios around the country.

The company uses electrical muscle stimulation technology to deliver an effective, highly efficient exercise regimen for adults of all ages and fitness levels.

Manduu’s latest move expands to six new markets: Birmingham, Little Rock, Boca Raton, Ft. Lauderdale, Naples and Charlotte.

Manduu anticipates having 75 studios open by the end of 2021.

Every 15-minute session is streamlined and customized to an individual client’s abilities and fitness goals. In each workout, clients perform a series of stretching and flexing exercises while low-voltage electrical impulses reach deep inside the muscles. The routine safely increases muscle, stability and joint protection while greatly reducing the risk of injury.

Nashville Capital invests in Upfront Healthcare

Nashville Capital Network is one of the series A investors in Upfront Healthcare, an omnichannel communication and patient engagement platform.

Upfront raised $11.5 million in a Series B funding round, led by new investor Baird Capital along with participation from their other series A investors LRVHealth, Echo Health Venturesand Hyde Park Venture Partners.

Upfront has received $21.5 million in financing to date.

Founded in 2016, Upfront, based in Chicago, has built a foundational platform designed to grow with health system clients and their ever-changing needs. Under the hood, Upfront is powered by a library of data connectors, integrated machine learning capabilities, and an enterprise orchestration engine.

Patient confusion, frustration and distrust peaked over the last 12 months with the expansion of health system sites of care and services and the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, the demand for Care Traffic Control solutions that can transform a fragmented collection of services into a coherent, well-designed ecosystem drove rapid growth, doubling Upfront’s revenue year over year.

Clearwater top rated in Black Book survey

Nashville-based Clearwater has been rated the top Compliance and Risk Management solutions provider in Black Book Market Research’s annual health care industry survey for the fourth consecutive year.

Black Book conducts polls and surveys with health care executives and front-line users about their current technology and services partners and awards top-performing vendors based on qualitative indicators of client experience and solution/service satisfaction and three indicators of customer loyalty.

Clearwater serves a diverse and growing base of customers across the health care industry, including several of the nation’s largest health systems as well as a large universe of regional hospitals, physician practice management roll-ups, health information technology providers, medical device manufacturers, and business service providers that share in the need to keep protected health information secure and maintain compliance with regulatory requirements.

Change offers national SDoH data resource

Nashville’s Change Healthcare has launched an innovative national data resource that connects the circumstances of people’s lives to the care they receive.

The solution, Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) Analytics, is a resource to help health systems, insurers, and life sciences organizations explore how geodemographic factors affect patient outcomes.

Scientific research has shown that 80% of health outcomes are SDoH-related. Barriers such as food and housing availability, transportation insecurity, and education inequity must be addressed to reduce health disparities and improve outcomes.

Change Healthcare’s SDoH Analytics links deidentified claims with factors such as financial stability, education level, ethnicity, housing status, and household characteristics to reveal the correlations between SDoH, clinical care and patient outcomes. The resulting dataset is de-identified in accordance with HIPAA privacy regulations.

TN receives low grades from March of Dimes

March of Dimes has issued its 2020 Report Card amid the coronavirus pandemic and calls for racial justice, shining a spotlight on factors that contribute to maternal and infant health across the U.S. and in Tennessee.

The organization is the nation’s leader in the fight for the health of all moms and babies. The U.S. remains among the most dangerous developed nations for childbirth and it’s even more dire for women and babies of color.

In Tennessee the preterm birth rate in 2019 was 11.2%, earning the state a “D-” grade. Preterm birth is a leading cause of infant mortality, which has slowly declined nationally over the past few years. Yet, in the U.S., two babies die every hour, and two women die from pregnancy complications every day. The report found that in Tennessee, 556 babies died before their first birthday in 2018.

Preterm birth and infant mortality rates are worse for moms and babies of color. The Report Card shows significant racial disparities that cut across maternal and infant health. In Tennessee, Black women had the highest rates of infant mortality at 11.5 per 1,000 live births.

This year’s Report Card found that nationally the preterm birth rate has increased for the fifth year in a row to 10.2% of births, earning the nation a “C-” compared to last year’s “C” grade. Additionally, the Report Card grades the 100 largest cities based on birth in the U.S. on their preterm birth rates.

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